Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringRESEARCH & fACILITIES
Research Areas
The Department's research concentrates on energy and environmental engineering, mechanics and materials, and mechatronics and manufacturing. Research covers several major areas:

Solid Mechanics and Dynamics are two of the fundamental pillars of Mechanics research. The Department has a diverse collection of faculty with expertise in these fields. The research activities range from applied to theoretical problems, and are extremely multi-disciplinary, involving applied mathematics, solid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, computations, solid state physics, material science and experiments for various kinds of solid materials/systems and mechanical behaviors... MORE
Materials engineering focuses on characterizing and processing new materials, developing processes for controlling their properties and their economical production, generating engineering data necessary for design, and predicting the performance of products. Research topics include: smart materials; biomaterials; thin films; composites; fracture and fatigue; residual life assessment; materials issues in electronic packaging; materials recycling; plastics flow in injection molding; advanced powder processing; desktop manufacturing; and instrumentation and measurement techniques.
Research in energy, thermal/fluids and environmental engineering includes fuel cells and batteries, advanced renewable energy storage systems, thermoelectric materials and devices, nanoscale heat and mass transfer, transport in multicomponent and multiphase systems, innovative electronics cooling systems, energy efficient buildings, contaminant transport in indoor environments and control.

Mechanical design and manufacturing automation are at the heart of mechanical engineering in which engineers conceive, design, build and test innovative solutions to "real world" problems. Research work is being conducted in the areas of geometric modeling, intelligent design and manufacturing process optimization, in-process monitoring and control of manufacturing processes, servosystem control, robotics, mechatronics, prime-mover system control, sensor technology and measurement techniques, and bio-medical systems design and manufacturing.
Micro ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) is a multidisciplinary research field which has been making a great impact on our daily life, including various micro sensors used in personal electronics, transportation, communication, biomedical diagnostics, etc. Fundamental and applied research work is being conducted in this area. Basic micro/nanomechanics, such as fluid and solid mechanics, heat transfer and materials problems unique to micro/nanomechanical systems are studied. New ideas to produce microsystems for energy, biomedicine and nanomaterials, micro sensors and micro actuators are explored. Technology issues related to the micro/nanofabrication of these devices are being addressed.
Research in aerodynamics and propulsion includes the study of the performance of aero engines, propellers, flapping wings, and rotors. It deals with interactions among unsteady aerodynamics, structural mechanics, and dynamic phenomena for aircraft wings, rotor blades, flapping wings, aero-thermal efficiency and the engine life cycle maintainability. It is therefore a highly multidisciplinary topic encompassing both computational and experimental problems. Our current efforts are focused on exploiting aeroelastic phenomena to increase the efficiency of next-generation aircrafts and on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aerodynamic actuation that allow effective aeroelastic control of flexible wings and blades.