• Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 2009
  • M.S.M.E., METU, Ankara, Turkey, 2006
  • B.S.M.E., METU, Ankara, Turkey, 2004

Research Areas and Descriptors

  • Acoustics and Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials: Energy harvesting from dynamical systems; structural dynamics; linear and nonlinear vibrations; smart structures; bio-inspired locomotion, sensing and actuation; theoretical and experimental modal analysis; structural coupling and modification techniques.


Dr. Erturk began at Georgia Tech in May 2011 as an Assistant Professor. Prior, he worked as a Research Scientist in the Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures at Virginia Tech. His postdoctoral research interests included theory and experiments of piezoelastic structures for applications ranging from aeroelastic energy harvesting to nonlinear vibrations of electroelastic systems.

His Ph.D. dissertation was centered on experimentally validated electromechanical modeling of piezoelectric energy harvesters using analytical and approximate analytical techniques. Prior to his Ph.D. studies in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech, Dr. Erturk received his M.S. degree from the Middle East Technical University (METU, Ankara, Turkey) and his M.S. thesis was related to analytical and semi-analytical modeling of spindle – tool holder – tool dynamics in machining centers for predicting chatter stability and identifying interface dynamics between the assembly components.


Dr. Erturk’s theoretical and experimental research interests are at the intersection of dynamical systems and smart structures with applications to novel multiphysics problems.

Energy harvesting from dynamical systems is one of Dr. Erturk’s primary research topics. The goal in this research field is to enable self-powered electronic components by harvesting ambient energy. Potential applications of low-power harvesting range from energy-autonomous medical implants to wireless sensor networks in structural health monitoring. Dr. Erturk’s research in this field spans from electromechanical modeling and experimental investigations for design and optimization of vibration-based energy harvesters to performance enhancement by exploiting nonlinear dynamic phenomena, such as interwell chaos and large-orbit limit-cycle oscillations. To this end, monostable and bistable nonlinear electromechanical oscillators are established, modeled, and tested in his lab (figure a). Nonlinear energy harvesters offer enhanced frequency bandwidth and potentially outperform their linear counterparts under harmonic excitation at different frequencies. Linear and nonlinear stochastic electroelastic problems are also explored for scavenging mechanical energy from non-deterministic environments (figure b), such as civil infrastructure systems undergoing human and vehicle loads.

One of Dr. Erturk’s research collaborations (intersecting with the discipline of Aerospace Engineering) combines the domains of piezoelectricity and aeroelasticity to establish unconventional and scalable ways of airflow energy harvesting through electroaeroelasticity (figure c). Such scalable devices can be used in powering sensor nodes located in high wind areas. Nonlinearities in this multiphysics problem are of interest due to their inherent presence as well as to reduce the cut-in speed of persistent electrical response under flow excitation.

Bio-inspired aquatic and aerial structures with smart materials are also investigated as scalable and effective research platforms to explore other multiphsyics problems, such as aquatic locomotion and flapping-wing aircraft (figure d). A novel untethered piezoelectric robotic fish was developed and tested in Dr. Erturk’s lab and proven to outperform its alternative smart material-based swimmer counterparts. Potential applications of geometrically scalable and energy-efficient aquatic robotics by piezohydroelastic actuation range from sustainability in marine environments to effective drug delivery in medicine.  

Near future directions of Dr. Erturk’s research include low-power sustainability in civil infrastructure systems, energy-efficient morphing and biomimetic flapping of aeroelastic structures, morphing using multistable composites, energy-efficient multi-directional thrust generation in hydroelastic structures, multifunctional underwater locomotion and energy harvesting systems, energy harvesting from structure-borne or air-borne propagating waves, exploiting nonlinear dynamics to enable broadband MEMS designs and nonlinear vibration absorbers, stochastic dynamics of electroelastic structures, investigation of other transduction methods and non-piezoelectric materials for vibration-based energy harvesting. One of Dr. Erturk’s present research collaborations (intersecting with Atomistic Modeling and Materials Science) is focused on the gradient effects in centrosymmetric dielectrics for potential applications to energy harvesting, sensing, and actuation at very small scales.

Dr. Erturk’s research topics involve active collaborations with colleagues from the disciplines of Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Materials Science. He has worked on projects funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.

The interdisciplinary research topics mentioned here utilize both theoretical and experimental techniques. Therefore the students involved will be able to develop theoretical modeling skills along with an appreciation of experimental aspects. Conducting research in these topics will provide the students with a bridge between the concepts of structural dynamics and smart materials as well as theoretical and experimental modal analysis with applications to novel multiphysics problems. The students will have the opportunities to interact and collaborate with other research groups, develop strong technical communication and presentation skills, and regularly participate in technical conferences.



  • NSF CAREER Award, 2013
  • Sigma Xi Georgia Tech Chapter, Best MS Thesis Award (for S. Zhao), Advisor, 2013
  • CETL Class of 1969 Teaching Fellow, 2012-2013
  • Best Student Paper Award (for S. Zhao), ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Advisor, 2012
  • Smart Materials and Structures, Associate Editor, 2013-2014
  • Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Guest Editor, 2011-2012, Associate Editor, 2012-2015
  • ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems (SMASIS), Symposium Chair, 2012
  • ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC), Symposium Co-chair, 2012, 2013
  • ASME Energy Harvesting Technical Committee, Founding Chair, 2012-2014
  • ASME Design Engineering Division, Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound, Elected Member, 2011-2014
  • ASME Aerospace Division, Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Branch, Elected Member, 2011-
  • Most cited articles in Smart Materials and Structures, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, 2009-2010
  • Featured and most downloaded article in Applied Physics Letters, July 2009
  • ASME SMASIS Best Student Paper Awards, coauthor, 2009 and 2010
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Liviu Librescu Memorial Scholarship, 2008
  • The Parlar Foundation, Middle East Technical University, Thesis of the Year Award, 2006

Representative Publications

Cen, L. and Erturk, A., 2013, Bio-Inspired Aquatic Robotics by Untethered Piezohydroelastic Actuation,Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 8, 016006.

Zhao, S. and Erturk, A., 2013, On the Stochastic Excitation of Monostable and Bistable Electroelastic Power Generators: Relative Advantages and Tradeoffs in a Physical System, Applied Physics Letters, 102, 103902.

Dias, J.A.C., De Marqui, Jr., C., and Erturk, A., 2013, Hybrid Piezoelectric-Inductive Flow Energy Harvesting and Dimensionless Electroaeroelastic Analysis for Scaling, Applied Physics Letters, 102, 044101.

Elvin, N. and Erturk, A., 2013, Advances in Energy Harvesting Methods, Springer, New York.

Zhao, S. and Erturk, A., 2013, Electroelastic Modeling and Experimental Validations of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Broadband Random Vibrations of Cantilevered Bimorphs, Smart Materials and Structures, 22, 015002.

Carrara, M., Cacan, M., Leamy, M.J., Ruzzene, M., and Erturk, A., 2012, Dramatic Enhancement of Structure-borne Wave Energy Harvesting Using an Elliptical Acoustic Mirror, Applied Physics Letters, 100, 204105.

Stanton, S.C., Erturk, A., Mann, B.P., Dowell, E.H., and Inman, D.J., 2012, Nonlinear Nonconservative Behavior and Modeling of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters Including Proof Mass Effects, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 23, pp. 183-199.

Erturk, A., 2012, Assumed-modes Modeling of Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters: Euler-Bernoulli, Rayleigh, and Timoshenko Models with Axial Deformations, Computers and Structures, 106, pp. 214-227.

Anton, S.R., Erturk, A., and Inman, D.J., 2012, Multifunctional Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Wing Spar for Low-Power Generation and Storage, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, 49, pp. 292-301. 

Erturk, A. and Inman, D.J., 2011, Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting, Wiley, Chichester, UK.

Erturk, A. and Delporte, G., 2011, Underwater Thrust and Power Generation Using Flexible Piezoelectric Composites: An Experimental Investigation Toward Self-Powered Swimmer-Sensor Platforms, Smart Materials and Structures, 20, 125013.

Erturk, A. and Inman, D.J., 2011, Broadband Piezoelectric Power Generation on High-Energy Orbits of the Bistable Duffing Oscillator with Electromechanical Coupling, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 330, pp. 2339-2353.

Arrieta, A.F., Hagedorn, P., Erturk, A., and Inman, D.J., 2010, A Piezoelectric Bistable Plate for Nonlinear Broadband Energy Harvesting, Applied Physics Letters, 97, 104102.

Erturk, A., Vieira, W.G.R., De Marqui, Jr., C., and Inman, D.J., 2010, On the Energy Harvesting Potential of Piezoaeroelastic Systems, Applied Physics Letters, 96, 184103.

Stanton, S.C., Erturk, A., Mann, B.P., and Inman, D.J., 2010, Nonlinear Piezoelectricity in Electroelastic Energy Harvesters: Modeling and Experimental Identification, Journal of Applied Physics, 108, 074903.

Erturk, A., Hoffmann, J., and Inman, D.J., 2009, A Piezomagnetoelastic Structure for Broadband Vibration Energy Harvesting, Applied Physics Letters, 94, 254102.

Erturk, A. and Inman, D.J., 2009, An Experimentally Validated Bimorph Cantilever Model for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Base Excitations, Smart Materials and Structures, 18, 025009.

Erturk, A., Ozguven, H.N., and Budak, E., 2006, Analytical Modeling of Spindle-Tool Dynamics on Machine Tools using Timoshenko Beam Model and Receptance Coupling for the Prediction of Tool Point FRF, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, 46, pp. 1901-1912.