Solver Thorsson
Solver I. Thorsson, Ph.D.
Associate
Mechanical Engineering
Menlo Park

Dr. Thorsson specializes in fracture mechanics with a focus on composite materials. He has extensive experience in mechanical testing of materials as well as finite element analysis (FEA). His previous work includes material characterization at various loading rates for a range of material systems, including but not limited to fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites, textiles, and sandwich structures. Dr. Thorsson specializes in failure analysis of composite structures in various industry applications such as in aerospace, automotive, naval, wind energy, sports equipment and more. He has comprehensive experience in analyzing the impact response of composite materials. Investigating the resulting impact damage and residual strength of the structure. His contribution to the field of aerospace engineering with his study on barely visible impact damage (BVID), and the effect it has on the structural integrity of aerospace structures, has been well received in industry and academia.

Dr. Thorsson has broad experience with laboratory equipment for both mechanical testing and inspection of material microstructure or failure modes. Mechanical testing experience includes the use of equipment such as hydraulic load frames and grips, screw driven load frames, pressurized gas testing equipment (ballistic and high-strain rate equipment such as shock tubes, projectiles, and Split-Hopkinson Pressure Bar systems), drop weight apparatus, and material abrasion equipment. Dr. Thorsson has experience using a variety of destructive and non-destructive inspection (NDI) methods for microstructure and damage/failure evaluation, inspection methods include microscopic inspection, ultrasound scanning (C-scan), and computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Dr. Thorsson is interested in additive manufacturing of large composite structures using methods such as automated tape laying (ATL) and automated fiber placement (AFP). He is also interested in 3D printing technologies and the ever growing use of 3D printed components in structural application.

Dr. Thorsson received his Ph.D. from the Aerospace Department at the University of Michigan. His research focused on the impact response and damage of carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, with a particular focus BVID. The research involved a wide range of experimental testing, including, but not limited to, material characterization of various high-grade composite materials, impact, and compression after impact testing of aerospace grade laminated composites, crush worthiness of woven composite tubes for the car industry and more. The research topic also involved using FEA to accurately predict the impact response, damage extent and consecutively the compressive strength after impact (CSAI) of the structure. Dr. Thorsson developed an efficient high-fidelity shell based computational approach that captures the full field (in-plane) damage and failure of a composite laminate using a combination of energy based failure models and discrete cohesive element modeling. The model successfully captured the experimental impact response and damage in great detail which then lead to an accurate prediction for the CSAI for a wide variety of composite laminate systems.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2017
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2013
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Iceland, 2012

LANGUAGES

  • Icelandic

Publications

Thorsson SI, Waas AM. 8.11 Foreign object impact on composite materials and the modeling challenges. In: Beaumont, P.W.R. and Zweben, C.H. (eds.), Comprehensive Composite Materials II. Vol. 8, pp. 206–218. Oxford: Academic Press, 2018.

Thorsson SI, Waas AM, Schaefer J, Justusson B, Liguore S. Effects of elevated loading rates on mode I fracture of composite laminates using a modified wedge-insert fracture method. Composites Science and Technology 2017.

Thorsson SI, Sringeri SP, Waas AM, Justusson BP, Rassaian M. Experimental Investigation of Composite Laminates Subject to Low-Velocity Edge-on Impact and Compression After Impact. Composite Structures 2017.

Thorsson SI, Xie J, Marek J, Waas AM. Matrix crack interacting with a delamination in an impacted sandwich composite beam. Engineering Fracture Mechanics 2016; 163:476-486.

Xu W, Thorsson SI, Waas AM. Experimental and numerical study on cross-ply woven textile composite with notches and cracks. Composite Structures 2015; 132:816-824.

Ph.D. Thesis

Thorsson SI. Experimental and numerical investigation of fiber reinforced laminated composites subject to low-velocity impact. Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 2017.

Presentations

Thorsson SI, Yoshimura A, Waas AM, Rassaian M. Prediction of face-on impact response of composite laminates using high-fidelity finite element modeling techniques. 57th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, AIAA SciTech Forum, (2016-2184).

Thorsson SI, Xie J, Marek J, Waas AM. Prediction of low-velocity impact damage in sandwich composite beams. 56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, AIAA SciTech Forum, (2015-0958).

Prior Experience

Visiting Scientist at the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington, 2017

Lab Manager, Composite Structures Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, 2015-2017

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) member

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2017
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2013
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Iceland, 2012

LANGUAGES

  • Icelandic