Event Details

20% Wind Energy by 2030: An Engineering Grand Challenge

September 29 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM - Mechanical Engineering, Rm. 256

Kenninger Family Lecture

20% Wind Energy by 2030:

An Engineering Grand Challenge


Dr. Doug Adams

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Systems Integrity
Purdue University


Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

Mechanical Engineering, Rm. 256



Today, the U.S. derives only 1.5% of the electricity we consume from wind energy and 9% from renewable sources overall, but the Department of Energy seeks to reach 20% energy from wind by 2030. On the way to achieving this long-term goal, the Administration’s short-term goal is to double the use of renewable energy in the U.S. by 2012. But wind energy is sold at a 2¢ premium over energy derived from fossil fuels (not including government subsidies), and modern turbines only operate at 35% capacity; therefore, it is not economically feasible to reach 20% wind energy unless more reliable and operationally inexpensive turbines are developed. This seminar will describe several urgent needs for prognostic health management of wind turbines. Prognostic methods in engineering aim to sense, predict, and control the reliability and performance of dynamic systems throughout their lifecycles. For example, over the 20-year lifecycle of a turbine, there are needs for reliability-based design, manufacturing quality assurance, usage monitoring, nondestructive inspection, condition monitoring, and active control. All of these areas involve the timely use prognostic tools to maximize reliability/performance. The seminar also presents a vision for Indiana’s (and Purdue’s) role in wind power engineering research and education, and several new initiatives in wind energy research and technology commercialization at Purdue are also highlighted.



Dr. Douglas Adams is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and Director of the Center for Systems Integrity, which is developing new methods for prognosis-driven engineering to increase the reliability and reduce the operational costs of engineered systems including renewable energy systems. He has graduated 22 MS/PhD students, published more than 160 papers, and delivered over 60 invited presentations and two-dozen short courses worldwide including several keynote ad­dresses. Dr. Adams published the first textbook on Health Monitoring of Structural Materials and Components in 1997 and has won numerous awards for research and teaching including the Presidential Early Career Award, Structural Health Monitoring Person of the Year Award, Society for Experimental Mechanics DeMichele Award, and is listed in the Purdue Book of Great Teach­ers. His research focuses on the solution of inverse problems in diagnostics using nonlinear system identification techniques and on the prognosis and control of remaining useful life of engineered systems including wind turbines, aircraft, spacecraft, ground vehicles, and manufacturing equipment. His industry partners have implemented many of his research discoveries to improve system reliability and performance. For example, he has developed integrated blade sensing and state awareness algorithms for wind turbine rotor blades with Sandia National Laboratory, characterized the dynamic response of wind turbine gearboxes for National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and researched structural health monitoring technologies that are now used routinely by his government and industry partners.

There will be a reception starting at 10:30 a.m. in ME 254.

Contact Details


Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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