Michael Philen

Associate Professor

  • Ph.D., 2006, Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., 2005, Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., 1998, Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University
Structures and Materials
  • 2013 - present, Associate Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 2006 - 2013, Assistant Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 2006, Post-Doctorate Fellow at The Pennsylvania State University

Professional Leadership

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Reviewer for

  • ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control
  • ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics
  • AIAA Journal
  • Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures

Honors and Awards

  • 2015 AIAA Associate Fellow
  • 2011 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2010 Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Assistant Professor
  • 2009 ASME Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Best Paper Award in Structural Dynamics and Control
  • 2008-2009 Certificate of Teaching Excellence
  • 2008 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (ORAU)
  • 2008 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program  
  • 1998-2006 Eastman Kodak Research Fellow


He directs the Aerospace Structures and Materials Laboratory (ASML) www.asml.aoe.vt.edu

and is a member of the Center for Renewable Energy and Aerodynamic Testing (CREATe) www.create.centers.vt.edu

Adaptive Structures

This research centers on the analysis and design of intelligent structures that can adapt and/or compensate for unwanted stimuli to better improve the performance of the system (e.g. reduced vibration, increased stability, improved surface precision). This work involves exploring advanced actuator and sensor technology along with novel control methodologies to provide adaptability, robustness, and intelligence to the system.

Smart Materials

Smart materials are materials that undergo transformations in a controlled fashion by external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, electric or magnetic fields. Some examples include piezoelectric materials, shape-memory alloys, magnetorheological fluids, and electro-active conductive polymers. This research involves the analysis, design, and application of smart materials for control and sensing of structures.

AOE 3034 - Vehicle Vibration and Control

Course focuses on the mathematical modeling and response methods of dynamic systems with an emphasis on mechanical systems. The course presents the transfer function approach and state space methods for the modeling of dynamic systems and employs time and frequency domain analysis methods for studying the system response. The course also focuses on classical methods of feedback control system design, including root locus, Bode, and Nyquist methods.


AOE/MATH 4404 - Applied Numerical Methods

Interpolation and approximation, numerical integration, solution of equations, matrices and eigenvalues, systems of equations, approximate solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. Applications to physical problems.


AOE 5034/ESM 5304 - Mechanical and Structural Dynamics

Free and forced vibrations of single-degree-of-freedom systems, multi-degree-of-freedom systems, continuous systems including strings, rods, bars, and beams. Natural frequencies and modes. Rigid Body modes. Proportional and nonproportional damping. Response to harmonic, periodic,, and nonperiodic excitations. Solutions by modal analysis, direct integration and Fourier Series. Approximate methods including assumed modes and the Rayleigh-Ritz method. Advanced topics chosen by instructor.p.