Research Areas

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering concentrates its research activities in five broadly defined areas. Many faculty members are involved with two or three areas and the multi-disciplinary background of the faculty provides a comprehensive approach to the various topics. This arena provides an opportunity for the student to develop a multidisciplinary background and illustrate the department's dedication to challenging important societal, scientific, and industrial problems.

Applied Physics - Noel Valero Photography

Applied Physics

Lasers are important as diagnostic tools and in instruments whose use spans a spectrum from materials fabrication to medical applications. The underlying physics is applied to diverse areas such as advanced propulsion systems, X-ray generation, and understanding the properties of complex materials and fluids.

Biomechanics and Biomaterials

Cells and tissues are living, active materials. Studying the behaviors of these materials, as well as the mechanics of organs and organisms, gives us new insights into both the mechanics of life and how to better control and engineer living systems.
Dynamics and Controls

Control, Robotics and Dynamical Systems

The analysis of nonlinear dynamic systems play important roles in many aspects of engineering.
Cinemagraph - Van Buren

Fluid Mechanics

Experimental, analytical, and numerical studies of fluid flow underlie many areas of technological innovation.

Materials Science

Modern materials science seeks to understand and influence the behavior of materials at a variety of length scales.
Pictured: Lithium Lorentz Force Accelerator (LiLFA) discharges as much as 30 kW through a lithium plasma, exerting up to 700 mN of thrust

Propulsion and Energy Sciences

Energy conversion by combustion is and will continue to be the overwhelming mode of energy conversion in the electricity generation, ground and air transportation, and space propulsion sectors.