Hong’s research applies to commercial vehicles as well as military ones. “Self-diagnostic composites can be used with intelligent vehicle dynamics systems engineered by companies such as Ford and General Motors,” says Gianaris. “Systems such as GM’s StabiliTrak and other traction control systems depend heavily on sensors to keep the car stable on a curvy and slippery road. Our research can reduce the weight and complexity of passenger vehicles that use these safety systems.”

The CVRC is forming an industrial collaboration center to help grow its applied research and technology projects. “We want to take the results of the work we are doing and transfer it to companies,” says Gianaris. Having tested its capabilities on smaller components in the lab, the CVRC wants to build a full-scale vehicle and demonstrate the potential of composites, including self-diagnostic techniques.