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Jeffrey T Scruggs, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Energy Initiative
Professor Scruggs's research concerns the dynamics and control of electromechanical vibratory systems. His research bridges the fields of power electronics, structural mechanics, and nonlinear control. The primary focus of his current work concerns the use of feedback control and power electronics to optimize power management in various kinds of vibratory transduction systems.
One current project concerns the control of seismically-excited civil structures, toward the reduction of risk. Due to the unreliability of external power during earthquakes, such systems must operate in the absence of external power. This research considers control systems which electrically extract energy from a structure, using motors as transducers. By using power electronics to manage this extracted energy, it can be dissipated, transmitted from one place in a structure to another, or stored for reuse.
Another current project involves the use of floating structures to harvest energy from ocean waves. One simple of example of this concept is an array of resonant buoys, each anchored to the ocean floor, and equipped with power generators that convert the heave motion of the waves into electrical energy. Work in this area is focused on the optimal control of power generation from such floating systems, in the presence of random waves.
A third project involves the use of small vibratory transducers to scavenge energy from ambient structural vibration in transportation vehicles and civil structures. Such systems are especially useful in wireless sensing applications. Work in this area is focused on the development of design techniques for scavenging energy from broadband stochastic disturbances.
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