Advanced Structural Concepts Home

Advanced Structural Concepts

Applying cutting-edge materials in technologies that can ensure the security of global commerce, protect troops in the field, and, someday, put people on Mars.

Industries Impacted


  • Vessel structure
  • Composite tooling development
  • Material research for marine environments
  • Unmanned vessel design
  • Advance materials and processes towards certification for marine use
  • Aquaculture structures


  • Rapidly constructed housing
  • Culvert drainage
  • Cargo shipping infrastructure


  • Naval vessel design and manufacturing research
  • Rapidly deployable field operational and protective structures
  • Lightweight protective armor solutions
  • Forward manufacturing technology R&D and application  to support Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) 


  • Inflatable shielding structures for atmospheric re-entry.
Dr. Kyle Warren
Dr. Kyle Warren

Sr. Program Manager

Dr. Masoud Rais-Rohani, P.E.
Dr. Masoud Rais-Rohani, P.E.

Chair of Mechanical Engineering & Richard C. Hill Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Scott Tomlinson M.Sc., P.E., S.C.W.
Scott Tomlinson M.Sc., P.E., S.C.W.

Research Engineer

Dr. Keith Sharp
Dr. Keith Sharp

Sr. Program Manager

Dr. Bill Davids, P.E.
Dr. Bill Davids, P.E.

Bodwell University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Kyle Warren
Dr. Kyle Warren

Sr. Program Manager

Research Overview

A core research area at ASCC explores the use of advanced composite manufacturing technologies for Advanced Structural Concepts. By engaging directly with end-users from the time of project conception, researchers are able to turn ideas into useful prototypes and systems quickly. We aim to improve current technologies and develop new technologies to meet our client’s needs. ASCC has a high success rate for transitioning technologies through the Valley of Death, effectively increasing the return on investment for research funding.

Featured Projects

 Accelerating Rapid Prototype (ARP)

The goal of the ARP program is to optimize the design and enhance the quality of 3D printed parts in order to move towards “born certified” printed parts. To accomplish this goal, the ASCC will link high-performance computing, sensor integration, and AI to create ‘smart’ printers that can adjust prints in real-time to improve performance and the quality of parts produced using the world’s largest 3D printer. The printer will be enhanced with an extruder capable of depositing materials at 500 lbs/hour, continuous fiber deposition capabilities, and state-of-the-art sensors to transform additive manufacturing using AI.

Origami-Inspired Design of Rapidly Deployable Structures

 This research is looking at the design of rapidly deployable shelters with rigid flat panels that must fold and unfold in a kinematically compliant fashion.

Interoperable Landing Craft

The Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell (AMOC), part of Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), is collaborating with ASCC to prototype ship-to-shore landing craft using advanced manufacturing technologies. Prototype projects like this help to inform Marine Corps leadership on the current state of the art of manufacturing technologies which could be used for force design.

“This project demonstrates the art of the possible and the potential for AM to fundamentally alter how we think about connectors and their role in mobility and distribution within a contested environment.” – LtGen Edward Banta, Deputy Commandant – Installation & Logistics, U.S. Marine Corps.

Successfully Transitioned Technologies

Secure Hybrid Composite Shipping Container

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the ASCC and its partners developed a shipping container that mitigates security risks associated with marine cargo. The Secure Hybrid Composite Shipping Container is lighter than conventional containers and features intrusion and door opening detection capabilities. Georgia Tech Research Institute designed the security system for the container, featuring embedded sensors to detect intrusions,  and door opening sensors to monitor access to the container.


  • More Cargo, Fewer Costs
  • Lock, Locate, & Monitor
  • Prevent Loss & Fight Tampering
  • Robust, Fully Integrated Security
  • Ready to Deploy
  • Fully Customizable Solution
  • Maintenance & Logistics Experts

Origami Structures

In partnership with The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, this research is looking at the design of rapidly deployable shelters with rigid flat panels that must fold and unfold in a kinematically compliant fashion.

Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS)

MBPS, developed in partnership with the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center, provides soldiers with enhanced ballistic protection in the field where it never existed before.

MBPS is a quickly erectable, re-deployable, and lightweight ballistic protection system. MBPS provides ballistic protection for personnel and equipment in expeditionary base camps where mobility and rapid deployment requirements prevent the immediate use of heavyweight systems like sandbags and concrete barriers. MBPS requires no tools to up-armor a standard-issue 20 ft x 32 ft tent and can be deployed in less than 30 minutes by 4 soldiers.

Project Demonstration

Blast Resistant Structures

In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ERDC, the UMaine Composites Center developed blast-resistant structures with coated wood framing members, panels, and subassemblies. These blast-resistant materials are economically coated to enhance the construction material’s ductility and energy dissipation capacity.

In addition to superior blast resistance, benefits of these structures include cost-efficiencies, ease of assembly, environmental durability, rapid deployment, high strength to weight ratios, and protection from moisture absorption, termites, ants, and biodegradation. The images to the left show Conventional construction (left) vs the last Resistant Modular Construction (right) after truck bomb equivalent.

Project Demonstration


Designed in partnership with Hodgdon Defense Composites and Maine Marine Manufacturing, the UMaine Composites Center performed testing on a special operations boat with a fully composite hull to replace the aluminum hull craft currently used by the US Navy Seals. This 83-foot-long, impact-resistant prototype is the result of a $15 million research and development project that resulted in the first all-composites hull for the US Navy.

Project Demonstration