Laboratories

In addition to the undergraduate laboratories, the Department has established specialized laboratories to carry out research in advanced materials and fracture mechanics, environmental and fluid sciences, aerosciences, and bioengineering.

Experimental Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics Laboratory

Turbulent flows encountered in engineering applications is the focus of research carried out in this laboratory. In particular the behavior of small scales of turbulence is studied by carrying out measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution. The facilities and equipment in this lab include a 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 25 ft. low speed wind tunnel; a large scale compressible flow shock tube of 12 in. diameter, 74 ft. length and 3,000 psi maximum pressure; a YAG laser and other accessories for Rayleigh scattering; an Argon laser for laser Doppler anemometry; 2 CCD cameras sensitive in the ultraviolet range; fast data acquisition systems; and a stereo particle image velocimeter.

Biomechanics Laboratory

The Biomechanics Laboratory is engaged in research investigating bone mechanics, bone implant interaction and mechanisms of sport or accidental injuries. Current areas of research include modeling, simulation and analysis of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by non-contact (angular acceleration) or blunt head impacts, mainly due to vehicular collisions, contact sports or falls; damping characteristics of subarachnoid space through invivo and invitro experiments; investigating cervical spine injuries and instabilities due to contact sport and automobile accidents; and biodynamic modeling and simulations to access human and machine interaction.

Solid Mechanics/Materials Research Laboratory

This laboratory is devoted to research involving solid mechanics and materials processing, testing and evaluation, with emphasis on the study of fracture and damage mechanics, composite and nanocomposite materials, high and low temperature behaviors, and micro- and nanomechanics for micro- and nanostructural design. Various modern testing and processing techniques, such as micromechanical in situ testing, static, fatigue, vibration and impact testing at high, low and room temperatures, non-destructive evaluation and digital image processing are used. Currently, it has a very high-speed digital camera, a servo-hydraulic universal testing machine with an environmental chamber, a computer controlled drop weight impact tester with an environmental chamber, two gas guns for high-speed ballistic impact, a split Hopkinson bar, a computer-controlled vibration shaker system with a precision temperature/humidity chamber, an immersion and a spray ultrasonic scanning system, a compression/transfer molding hydraulic press, a universal measuring microscope, and a microhardness tester.

Ferroelectric and Active Materials Research Laboratory

The major goal of this laboratory is to conduct experimental and analytical research on active materials such as ferroelectric materials, shape memory alloys, and their composites. It also provides students opportunities to have hands-on and research experiences on active materials and structures. Currently the lab is equipped with an electro-mechanical coupling testing machine, a high voltage amplifier, a displacement sensor machine, a vacuum bagging system and a custom built autoclave for polymer-matrix composites processing, a refrigerated circulating digital liquid bath, and a piezo-d33 tester.

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory

In the Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory, miniature sensor and actuator systems made using microfabrication processes, especially Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) processes are being developed. Research in this area is motivated by the potential to produce high-performance, low-cost, miniature sensors and actuators. Smart sensors are made by combining microstructures and circuits on a single silicon chip. Specific research areas of interest include nano and micro cantilever beams, biosensors based on porous silicon, single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCT) sensors and microfluidic channels for electrophysiological studies of single cells.

Computer Aided Design and Engineering (CAD/CAE) Facilities

The Department of Mechanical Engineering maintains a Computer Aided Design Laboratory which is used for engineering analysis and design. It consists of twenty-six Dell Optiplex 9020 MT computers, two HP Color LaserJet 4700dn printers, one HP LaserJet P4015dn printer, a Sony LCD projector and computerized whiteboard. The Department has established a Nuclear Engineering Computer Laboratory containing twenty Dell Optiplex computers for running specialized nuclear engineering software. The Department also has a Multimedia Facility which includes twenty-six Dell PC's, document camera, LCD projector, computerized whiteboard, and two HP LaserJet P4015dn printers. In addition, the Department shares a VDI Computer Laboratory equipped with forty-five Dell Wyse 5050 terminals, LCD projector and document camera. When any of these laboratories are being used for classroom instruction, students may use an additional computer laboratory containing fifteen Dell Optiplex PCs,and two HP LaserJet printers. These systems are equipped with mechanism design, mathematics, finite element, boundary element and computer-aided manufacturing and simulation software including, SolidWorks, ANSYS, Fluent, Comsol, Matlab, Mathcad, Mathematica, Working Model, EES (Engineering Equation Solver), and

STK ( Systems Tool Kit).