Penn State Ultrasonics Lab

Under the direction of Joseph Rose, Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, the Penn State Ultrasonics Lab in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department performs basic and fundamental research in ultrasonic guided wave and display technologies.

Research and experimentation is designed to quickly lend to technology transfer and product development in the areas of nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring. Said technology is applied to such problems as pipeline, rail, aircraft, power generation, civil structures, military ventures, and ice detection and deicing applications. Theoretical analysis and modeling, along with theoretically driven experimentation, is the foundation of all work efforts.

A fully equipped ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation facility is available, which includes an entire series of piezoelectric sensors and electromagnetic acoustic transducers that are available over a frequency range from 50 KHz to 25 MHz. Five shock and tone burst instrumentation systems are also available. The facility also includes an eight-channel phased array tone burst system to do focusing in pipe, a laser-based ultrasonic test system, and a set of air coupled sensors.

Computer modeling and computational software are also available to generate dispersion curves and wave structures for all sorts of geometries including plates, pipe, multiple layer structures, rail, rods, and other shapes. Programs for anisotropic and viscoelastic structures can also be integrated into the programs.

Elastodynamic wave propagation and scattering finite element and boundary element codes are also available for wave propagation and wave scattering from defects for a whole series of different wave guides.

Visit the Penn State Ultrasonics Lab website to learn more.

Key Faculty:

Research Activities

The PRINSE System: Proactive Robotic Inspection of Nuclear Storage Enclosures

Through an integrated research project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program, researchers at Penn State, along with a team of researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, recently developed multi-sensor inspection and robotic systems for dry storage casks that contain spent nuclear fuel. Their newly developed PRINSE system will help evaluate the integrity of casks and extend storage duration of spent fuel until repositories can be built for safe disposal.

View the video highlighting this research.



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523