Suyash Lahoti

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Mandar Kulkarni

First Committee Member

Dr. Daewon Kim

Second Committee Member

Dr. Sirish Namilae


A model of energy harvesting beam with a piezoelectric material, microfiber composite (MFC), in a unimorph configuration was setup in Matlab using the governing equations of motions of a coupled electromechanical system. The equations of motion were derived using Hamilton’s variational principles and constitutive relations of a piezoelectric material. The mathematical model developed in Matlab was validated with an experiment and frequency response functions. The validated model was used to perform shape optimization so as to obtain the shape of the beam and the patch that harvests the largest voltage. The shape variables were length of the beam (LB), length of the patch (LP), and width of the beam. Optimization reveals that voltage increases with length of the beam and with an inverse tapering (increasing width) of the beam from the root to the tip. This approach presents a systematic way to design energy harvesters and can serve as the basis for the conceptual design of energy harvester for applications such as morphing wings, smart shoe, MEMS devices, etc.