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Engineering Professor Launches New Research Center

C. Nataraj, PhD, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

C. Nataraj, PhD, professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Moritz Sr. Endowed Chair in Engineered Systems, has launched the College of Engineering’s newest research center: the Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems (VCADS). VCADS will focus on the development of new tools and techniques for analytics of dynamic systems with applications in engineering, medicine and finance. 

“Our increasingly interconnected and sensor-filled world generates a profusion of big data,” explains Dr. Nataraj. “VCADS was formed to determine how best to make use of this data to divine the underlying dynamics for analysis, diagnostics, prognostics and health management.” 

VCADS possesses a unique set of tools—which have been developed over the past decade at Villanova University—that seek to forge an optimal synthesis of nonlinear science and machine learning. “Its diverse areas of application offer an exciting vista of opportunities,” notes Dr. Nataraj, who expects the center to make many fundamental advances in this field of research.

In addition to a natural synergy with the College of Engineering’s existing research centers, VCADS expects to work closely with others at the University, including the Center for Business Analytics in the Villanova School of Business, and Center for Statistics Education in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.  VCADS will be headed by Dr. C. Nataraj with collaborating faculty from engineering, math and business.

A faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1988, and the 2013 Villanova University “Outstanding Faculty Award” recipient, Dr. Nataraj resigned his position as Mechanical Engineering department chair in spring 2015 to focus on VCADS. This will be the second College research center that he has launched. In 2002 he was instrumental in founding the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control for which he served as director until 2007.