Our mechanical engineering faculty are focused on teaching and research. Our students
work side by side with faculty in numerous labs and research centers that are breaking
ground in many fields of engineering.
Advanced Materials and Multi-Scale Manufacturing:
Our research advances innovative materials (metallic, polymeric, ceramic, and their
composites) and multi-scale manufacturing (nano-manufacturing to structural) solutions
to different application areas. The study of manufacturing and materials processing
includes the development and modeling of advanced joining technology for friction
stir welding of Ti alloys, steel alloys, thick-section Al alloys, and Al metal matrix
The main thrust areas of our aerospace research activities are composite materials,
predictive maintenance, combustion and unmanned vehicles. This includes steered fiber
nonconventional laminate design, automated novel structural composite part production,
multi-disciplinary design optimization of aircraft structures and system and automated,
fusion-based assembly. We develop equipment and processes for 3D printing of continuous
Research in this category advances experimental, theoretical and computational techniques
to enable performance evaluation, state assessment and even discovery of new engineered
materials in multiple disciplines.
Experimental and computational research in thermal/fluid focuses on the micro/nano-scale
two-phase heat transfer and flow, power plant cooling, the design, fabrication, packaging,
and modeling of microelectromechanical systems for micro-cooling systems and micro
fluidic and biomedical devices, combustion, heat transfer during manufacturing, space
power generation, and thermal management.
Our faculty research covers a broad spectrum of energy conversion and storage-related
concepts to advance fuel cells technology, including novel materials development,
advanced characterization, and component and system level modeling and optimization.
Emphasizing a mechanical and thermal systems approach, our biomedical research involves
the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology
for healthcare purposes, both diagnostic and therapeutic.
Nuclear engineering research focuses on advanced nuclear fuels and materials, thermal
hydraulics, reactor design, advanced fuel cycles, structural integrity of nuclear
reactor vessels and piping systems, embrittlement of reactor vessel steels. We also
research the application of nuclear power in future energy economies for sustainability,
including the production and use of hydrogen from nuclear energy.
Nondestructive Evaluation, Smart Structures and Condition Based Maintenance:
We develop digital deformation measurement systems for structural evaluation and characterization.
Our research on smart structures and condition-based maintenance of machines focuses
on characterizing piezoelectric/piezomagnetic active materials and utilizing them
for structural health monitoring, damage detection, diagnostics and adaptive control
of rotating machinery, aircraft and other mechanical systems.
Our strengths include state-of-the-art research in the integration of mechanical systems
and electronics such as electromechanical systems with embedded sensors, microcontrollers,
actuation, and process control; robots and autonomous vehicles; and automotive systems.
Our faculty lead in the high-tech development of nanostructured materials, including
the design, fabrication/processing, reliability testing, nanomechanical characterization,
and simulation of nanowires, nanofilms, and nanocomposites.