Several individuals and organizations have made special and significant contributions to this book, and I wish to recognize their efforts. My wife Stephanie has encouraged me to write a book for many years. This book would not have been realized without her tireless support and steadfast encouragement, all while she pursued her graduate studies. My graduate and undergraduate research students who contributed to this book have been a joy to work with, and a constant source of inspiration. Teachers can learn from their students, and indeed I have and continue to do so. I am grateful to many of my faculty colleagues in various departments at Texas A&M University who have shared their valuable insights and provided suggestions on the research. Special thanks are bestowed upon Dr. Sharon M. Swartz of Brown University, for graciously providing a specialized review and critique of Chapter 2.
This book was begun during my Faculty Development Leave, and I am indebted to my Department Heads in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University during and since that time: Dr. Helen L. Reed, Dr. Walter E. Haisler, and Dr. Dimitris C. Lagoudas. They not only encouraged me to pursue it, but also provided me with the full opportunity and means to do so.
While all of the authors in this book have obtained funding for their portion of the work from various sponsors, two sponsors in particular have provided exceptional support overall. The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific ...