Below are categories of faculty research interests. Please click on a heading to get a list of faculty in our department involved in each area of research.
Faculty Research Interests
Combustion and Fuels
Design and Manufacturing
Mechanics and Structures
Systems, Controls and Robotics
Thermal Fluid Sciences
Selected Current Grants
Locomotion and transitions of an amphibious system: Biologic to Robotic
Professors James Tangorra and Harry Kwatny in collaboration with Associate Professor Megan Leftwich at George Washington University and Professor Frank Fish at West Chester University have received a 3 year, $1.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research entitled “Locomotion and transitions of an amphibious system: Biologic to Robotic.” This project has two main objectives: (1) to refine our knowledge of the novel propulsion mechanisms of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and extend it to high demand underwater environments; and (2) to develop a biological, i.e. morphologic and kinematic, understanding of sea lion locomotion on land. The proposed work will build on, and extend, fundamental studies of the California sea lion’s swimming mechanism and thrust production capabilities. This marine mammal displays morphological and behavioral characteristics—speed, agility, and flexibility—that allow it to operate in flow conditions that conform to projected naval operations.
For more information contact Professor Tangorra at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Kwatny at email@example.com.
A Study on Durability of Bonded Repairs and Damage Tolerance of Advanced Metallic Materials for Aircraft Structures
Professors Tein-Min Tan and Jonathan Awerbuch have been awarded a $350,000 grant from the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center. The two-year program will focus on studying (1) the damage tolerance and structural integrity of aircraft fuselage structures made of emerging material technologies and (2) the durability of adhesively bonded composite patch repairs of primary beam structures representative of typical aircraft wing or stabilizer components. The FAA’s Full-Scale Aircraft Structural Test Evaluation and Research (FASTER) facility and Aircraft Beam Structural Test (ABST) fixture will be the primary mechanisms to leverage resources with other stakeholders, including NASA, DoD, and industry partners, such as Arconic, Boeing, Bombardier, etc.
For more information contact Professor Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Awerbuch at email@example.com.
GOALI/Collaborative Research: Thixtropic Metal Processing and 3D Printing of Zinc-Magnesium Bio-Alloys for Biomedical Implant Applications
Professor Jack Zhou, in collaboration with Professor Donggang Yao, Co-PI, in Materials Dept. of Georgia Tech and industrial partner William G. Wilson, Jr. of Molded Magnesium Products, LLC, has received funding from the National Science Foundation for “GOALI/Collaborative Research: Thixotropic Metal Processing and 3D Printing of Zinc-Magnesium Bio-Alloys for Biomedical Implant Applications.” This award supports fundamental research to explore a novel manufacturing system that is capable of 3D printing zinc-magnesium bio-alloys and other bio-alloys highly desirable in implanted medical devices for their biodegradability and high strength. The total three-year funding for two universities is $640K.
For more details please contact Professor Zhou at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploring Particle Dispersion and Charge Percolation in Suspension Electrodes: Bridging Electrochemical Performance and Rheology
Associate Professor Caglan Kumbur was awarded a 2-year, $384,000 grant from the National Science Foundation entitled “Exploring Particle Dispersion and Charge Percolation in Suspension Electrodes: Bridging Electrochemical Performance and Rheology.” This project deals with exploring the energy storage in flowing suspension fluids. Studies will be conducted to understand the role of the flow properties of fluid (i.e. flowable electrodes) on its capacity for electrical energy storage. This new flowable energy storage concept will also be implemented in water desalination applications to purify water. The resulting discoveries and new knowledge gained from these studies will benefit research on emerging energy storage and water treatment technologies and help develop new scalable technologies that utilize this new class of flowable electrodes. This project will also offer significant opportunities to extend and amplify the impact of the research to a larger society.
For more details please contact Professor Kumbur at email@example.com.
High-Tunability, Low-Loss Multiferroic Materials Based on Domain Wall Resonance
The Mesoscale Materials Laboratory, in collaboration with investigators from the University of California at Berkeley and Bar-Ilan University, is exploring and developing the fundamental understanding of domain-wall oscillation and resonance effects in thin-film solid-solution multiferroic materials. Leveraging advanced materials synthesis, multi-scale modeling and simulation and cutting-edge characterization, the three-year project supported by the US Army Research Office will address limitations in the design and realization of highly tunable and low-loss dielectrics which are key for a variety of communications technologies.
For more details please contact Professor Spanier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application of Non-Thermal Plasma to Water Cleaning from Contaminants of Emerging Concern
Professor Alexander Fridman in conjunction with Associate Professor Christopher Sales and Research Professor Alexander Rabinovich have been awarded a grant from the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. This large-scale interdisciplinary research project is focused on understanding the interaction of plasma with liquids, plasma behavior inside water bubbles, novel phenomenon of plasma mist, and applications of these systems to abatement in water of the emerging contaminants. Especial focus of the project is the destruction in water of the PFC compounds (the so-called "forever-chemicals"), which are present in water on the level of ppb (part-per-billion), very dangerous for people, and extremely challenging to be destroy by majority of existing technologies.
For more information contact Professor Fridman at email@example.com or Professor Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAREER: A Holistic Framework for Designing Multifunctional Materials and Structures Using Computational Optimization Methods
Assistant Professor Dr. Ahmad Najafi has received a $517,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) for his project “CAREER: A Holistic Framework for Designing Multifunctional Materials and Structures Using Computational Optimization Methods.” This grant supports fundamental research oriented toward extending the traditional design of single-function materials and structures. This is achieved through the formulation of a holistic framework for the design of intricate multifunctional structures and materials, engaging new multiphysics algorithms that optimize material constituents and architectures simultaneously. Furthermore, this project offers design-themed educational and outreach activities to enhance public knowledge and attract talented students to STEM careers in the design area while also targeting academically at-risk and underrepresented minority students to reduce school dropout via an out-of-school-time STEM education program.