With over 500 graduate students, including about 100 PhD students, several post-doctoral fellows and invited researchers, our faculty members obtain over two million dollars in research grants each year.
Researchers by topic: Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering
The resurgence of 3D printing has spurred the digital design of parts and pieces that can be easily printed and then assembled, even at one's home. The industrial application of this process is what is called additive manufacturing, which is an area of increasing importance in industrial research. Furthermore, the physical machinery in factory plants is becoming essentially an internet-of-things (IoT), connected among each other and cooperating both with each other and with a human-in-the-loop. Adding distributed decision-making to such factory plant scheme enables what is now called industry 4.0. Furthermore, it is also important to provide resilience and safety when software is connected to physical systems of critical importance that can be attacked by hackers. This is the main topic of the areas of cyber-physical systems security and critical software development to be considered in this thrust area.
The focus is on the structural development and new manufacturing methods, as well as new materials that are lighter, stronger, resilient to corrosion, and that can operate at higher temperatures for engine applications. The main focus of this thrust area are Nano-materials, particularly nano-composites for physical and mechanical property enhancement, as well as innovative coatings that meet the ecological and environmental demands are the main focus of this thrust area.
The design of new aircraft for both subsonic and supersonic flight will be an area of growth in the near future and is therefore one of the main topics of this thrust area. Designing aircraft to include the concurrent optimization of several subsystems so that their interconnection is symbiotic in the final aircraft is an important area of research. A relatively recent trend in aerospace design and optimization has been the adoption of exergy analysis, also called availability theory. This is a promising area to explore for efficient aircraft design. Dealing with the complexity involved in the design of an entire aircraft is another focal point for this research stream. In this regard, the field of aircraft systems, symmetry analysis, and the development of computational methods are of utmost importance. Finally, the development of new multidisciplinary optimization algorithms, numerical methods, and reliable software that implements them is extremely important in this thrust area.
The purpose of this stream ofresearch is to develop new FMS and control algorithms by considering all configurations for the aircraft engine and all phases of flight. This thrust area also includes the synergetic connection of a flight management system to a pilot-in-the loop or an autopilot. Going beyond the cases of fuel-propelled aircraft, flight management systems for electric, hydrogen fuel cell propelled, and hybrid aircraft also are of fundamental importance. The use of AI and machine learning for analyzing data collected during flight operation is a focal point of this thrust area. Research on air traffic control will be conducted in close connection to flight management since the set points for possible altitude and heading in the skies come from air traffic control. Additionally, the possibility of urban air taxis and drones in the future will just make the air traffic management task more complex. The transition to distributed air traffic control with vehicle-to-vehicle communication and, therefore, new distributed optimization algorithms for air traffic management is a major area of research to meet future challenges of airspace, including new airspace regulations that allow the operation of drones. The design of new drones with different shapes and the control of swarms of drones for data collection (for example environmental data or traffic information) is also a promising direction of research. Navigation of drones in GPS-denied environments is also an important challenge and focal point of this thrust area.