Computation, Simulation and Visualization of Pulverizing Aircraft Mountain Crashes

Topic: Computation, Simulation and Visualization of Pulverizing Aircraft Mountain Crashes 

Lecture time:15:00 -16:00, June 8, 2016 (this Wednesday)

Lecture place:Room 321, Main Building 

Lecturer: Professor Goong Chen


The crash of the Germanwings Flight 9525 is the most high-profile airlines accident in the year 2015. The airplane "pulverized", i.e., broke up into pieces, in the mountains of the French Alps after the suicidal control by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. In this talk, we use impact mechanics and engineering to model and simulate this air crash. The physical model is mostly based on the PDEs in the Johnson-Cook model.

Numerical computations are based on the finite element methods and the use of LS-DYNA and ANSYS Explicit Dynamics software. One can see how and under what conditions an airplane could pulverize through video animations obtained from supercomputer results.

The work is a collaboration with Yi-Ching Wang, Cong Gu, Alain Perronnet, Bandar Bin-Mohsen and Hichem Hajaiej.


Goong Chen was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1950. He received his BSc (Math) from the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 1972 and PhD (Math) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1977. He has taught at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1977–78), and the Pennsylvania State University at University Park (1978–1987). Since 1987, he has been Professor of Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering, and (since 2000) a member of the Institute for Quantum Studies, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He has also held visiting positions at INRIA in Rocquencourt, France, Centre de Recherche Mathematiques of the Universit´e de Montr´eal, the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby, Denmark, the National University of Singapore, and National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

He has research interests in many areas of applied and computational mathematics: control theory for partial differential equations (PDEs), boundary element methods and numerical solutions of PDEs, engineering mechanics, chaotic dynamics, quantum computation, chemical physics and quantum mechanics. He has written over one hundred and forty papers, seven advanced texts/monographs, and co-edited four books. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, and has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Chapman & Hall/CRC Press Applied Mathematics and Nonlinear Science Series (2002-2011), and as Associate Editor for several other editorial boards, including the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, the International Journal on Quantum Information, Physica Scripta, and the Electronic Journal of Differential Equations. He is also a co-holder of a U.S. Patent on certain quantum circuit design for quantum computing. He has memberships in the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). His last book,“Chaotic Maps: Dynamics, Fractals and Rapid Fluctuations”, 227 pages, coauthored with Y. Huang, was published by Morgan & Claypool, Williston, Vermont, in November 2011. He is presently preparing a new book on computational fluid dynamics and turbulence modeling.

The article on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 published as the cover story in the April 2015 issue of the Notices of The American Mathematical Society (AMS) with G. Chen as the lead author is named by the AMS as one in Top Math Stories in the Media - 2015; see