Launch of the Center for Collision Safety and Analysis

Mason News  May 6, 2013
By Catherine Probst

George Mason University administrators, staff from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), government officials, and representatives from the transportation industry, will gather to celebrate the new Center for Collision Safety and Analysis. The event will take place in Research Hall’s Showcase Room on Tuesday, May 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. on George Mason’s Fairfax Campus.Crushed car

The center, which is expected to officially open in fall 2013, will be housed in the Commerce Building near Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

Established in partnership with NCMS, the center will set new standards for collaborative research between government agencies, industry and academia. Dedicated to optimizing vehicle safety across the transportation fleet, researchers at the center will employ computer modeling and simulation technologies, real world data analysis, and experimental test methods to optimize fleet safety, assess crashworthiness improvements, and provide focused education and training programs for future scientists and engineers.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences on this innovative and groundbreaking new research center,” says Vikas Chandhoke, dean of Mason’s College of Science. “The work that takes place in the center will help position Mason as a pioneer in the field of transportation safety worldwide.”

The center is a key part of the NCMS Grid Initiative, a national innovation strategy to empower U.S. manufacturing by providing democratized, affordable access to advanced Predictive Simulation and Digital Manufacturing tools to the American industrial base.

“Predictive simulations and computer modeling at the center will help researchers understand the complex physical and material interactions that take place during a collision,” says Rick Jarman, president and CEO of NCMS. “Manufacturers need big data tools like this to stay competitive in the global marketplace. We’re proud to be partnering with George Mason on such an important program.”

Computer modeling and predictive simulation will allow researchers to accurately visualize the complex physical and material interactions that take place during a collision. This clarity will make it possible to innovate new materials and designs that optimize vehicle safety beyond its current levels, a primary goal of the Department of Transportation.

In addition, the center will expand the use of cluster-level computer simulations and provide manufacturers with hands-on access to the software and hardware involved.

“As director of the center, I am happy to be joining George Mason in its efforts to utilize the best researchers and engineers who can help address the total safety problem related to surface transportation,” says Cing-Dao Kan, director of the Center for Collision Safety Analysis. “Some of the approaches that we will use in the center include investigating, analyzing and quantifying the roles and performance of vehicles, occupants and roadside hardware in crashes, both individually and in combination.”

“Collaboration made this center a reality,” says Jarman. “Doing something like this on your own means you shoulder all the cost and risk. Do it together and those burdens are reduced because they are shared. NCMS and George Mason realized this vision together, along with partners in industry and the public sector. And the collaborative research done here will result in very substantial improvements to transportation safety.”

Opening the door for more collaboration with government agencies, industry and academia, the new research center will work toward resolving future challenges, such as setting new safety standards for a lightweight and energy-efficient vehicle fleet worldwide. The center will support multiphysics industries and defense applications, and bridge material science and modeling research in predictive simulation and analytics.

The transportation industry won’t be alone in reaping benefit from the center’s research. Mason students will enjoy numerous learning opportunities as well.

Mason’s College of Science will develop graduate and undergraduate programs in science and engineering with a focus on computational modeling and simulation. Emphasizing material and data science, simulation technology, and computational experimental methods, the program will provide focused education and training for America’s future scientists and engineers.

Write to Catherine Probst at cprobst2@gmu.edu

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