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MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratories

Our Reseach Laboratories are located in the new Engineering Research Building. Take a virtual tour of our facilites below.

Nanotechnology Laboratory
Nanocomposites and Biocomposites Laboratory
Biodynamics Laboratory
BioDevice Laboratory
Acoustic Measurements and Material Characterization Laboratory
Thermal Spray Coating Systems Laboratory
Advanced Joining Processes and Assembly Lab
Controls Laboratory
Fuel and Fire Safety

 


 

Nanotechnology Laboratory (B137, B139 and B144)

Contact: Dr. Ramazan Asmatulu
Status: Operational
Lab size: 460 sq. ft.

Nano Lab StudentsNano WSU Logo

In our nanotechnology lab, students (from left: Heath Misak (MS), Amir Fakhari (PhD) and Bailey Cooper (BS)) created a WSU logo on polycarbonate surface at nanoscale, which is thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Nanotechnology research laboratory will provide advances in smart, strong and lightweight materials fabrication and characterization for aircrafts and other industries; strong and functional medical diagnostic and treatment; faster, smaller, cheaper electronics and communication devices; clean energy and manufacturing; saving resources/row materials using lesser materials; environmental monitoring and mitigation in the state of Kansas. In the future, this laboratory will also provide us with new solutions to face the world's greatest challenges. Our main goal is to offer services to Kansas s highly valued citizens for the educational, social and economical developments in many areas. We have currently the following equipments in our nanotechnology laboratory: atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Vis spectroscopy, UV photolithography, spin coater, zeta sizer / zeta potential, plasma cleaner, capacitance bridge, ESA nanofilm coating unit, electrospinning unit, etching, DC power and corrosion units, etc. In addition to these, we need transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), lasers, etc. for more advanced studies. Manufacturing lighter and stronger aircrafts, fighting deadly diseases and cleaning up the environment will not be overwhelming as nanotechnology advances at WSU.

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Nanocomposites and Biocomposites Laboratory (B142, B145)

Contact: Dr. Bob Minaie
Status: Operational
Lab size: 788 sq. ft.
Nano and Bio Composites Lab

Resin MoldingResin Molding Simulation

Above: Graduate students working in the lab
Below: Resin Transfer Molding and it's simulation

Nano and biocomposites could be used in various applications such as aerospace systems, bioengineering and the like. Compared with conventional materials, these composites can be lighter, stronger, and more durable. The challenges lie in controlling and improving the material properties and making the manufacturing process more reliable and affordable. This laboratory is involved with design and development of new classes of composites for aerospace and biomedical applications.

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Biodynamics Laboratory (B128)

Contact: Dr. Hamid Lankarani
Status: Operational
Lab size: 300 sq. ft.

Crash Side ImpactCrash Side Impact

Side Impact Analysis using Crash Dummy and Simulation

This laboratory focuses on the research, evaluation, and development of technologies related to aircraft and automotive crashworthiness and occupant protection of transportation systems. Specific projects may relate to occupant injury biomechanics, biodynamic response evaluation, vehicle safety devices, restraint systems, interior component testers, and seat certification. The equipment in the includes a component Head Injury Criteria tester developed for certification of aircraft seats and interior components, a bowling ball tester, instrumented crash test dummies or dummy parts, and impact drop testers for quantification of materials performances due to impact or at high strain rates. The lab will have the collaboration of the seat manufacturers, safety devices and equipment makers, aircraft and automotive industries, FAA, NASA, and other research organization with similar research, interests.

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BioDevice Laboratory (B133, B135, B146)

Contact: Dr. T. S. Ravi
Status: Under Equipment Installation
Lab size: 716 sq. ft.

Development of Biodevices is one of the fastest growing research interest within the broad Bio/Nano technology field. A Biodevice can be defined as instrumentation used to measure, control, and direct processes in a biological environment. This is a multi-disciplinary field with applications in biomedical, agricultural, biofuel, degradable polymers, and bioenvironment. Faculty in the CoE and across the institution will be able to utilize the facilities in such a laboratory to conduct research, including funded and student research. The laboratory can house sophisticated equipment to fabricate various forms of sensors including piezoelectric, thermomechanical, and other Bio-MEMS devices, to measure cellular forces, testing develop, to develop and fabricate micro pumps, filters, mixers, reactors, and separators, rehab and ergonomic devices, and Lab-on-Chip devices (i.e., Glucose/oxygen monitoring systems.). A Wet Laboratory Unit capable of tissue preparation and tissue culture and analysis will be part of this BioDevice laboratory.

A group proposal was submitted by 11 faculty members from CoE for several important equipment purchase. A sum of 225,000 was allocated for the purchase of Trion Technology Phantom III Reactive Ion Etching machine, and a Wet Etching machine from Chemcut Corporation. Both these machines combined together provides this laboratory with etching different materials including Silicon, aluminum Alloys, and polymers with structures of size range less than 100 microns. The Biodevice laboratory will be useful for people working in the biomaterial and electronic manufacturing research. The total floor area for this lab amounts to 716 sq. feet, which includes 174.6 sq. ft (Rm 133 for Li-Ion facilities), 111.2 sq. ft (Rm 135 for RIE machine), and 430 sq. feet (Rm 146 NE corner for Wet Etching machine).

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Acoustic Measurements and Material Characterization Laboratory (B141 140, and 146)

Contact: Dr. Kurt Soschinske
Status: Operational
Lab size: 522 sq. ft.

This laboratory is a new research initiative designed to augment existing acoustic research efforts for the aviation industry in Kansas, support acoustic research and development needs for local industry, and potentially collaborate on multidisciplinary research in areas such as nanotechnology, audiology, as well as in creative music / technology studies. Current aviation research efforts with the WSU National Institute of Aviation Research and the College of Engineering include acoustic absorption material database development and quiet acoustic structural panel development, using impedance and transmission loss tubes. The proposed laboratory would augment but not supplant such efforts, and include measurement capabilities for research in areas of interest to local industry outside of the aviation sector. Sound intensity, acoustic material characterization, sound power, source identification and noise spectrum measurement and analysis are some of the additional areas envisioned.

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Thermal Spray Coating Systems Laboratory (B146)

Contact: Dr. Ikramuddin Ahmed
Status: Under Construction
Lab size: 400 sq. ft.

Micro scale and nano scale research with application to military avionics, aircraft environmental control systems, power storage devices, and bio-thermal systems, among other things. Possible funding agencies are NSF and DOE, Following are current/future projects:
Application of intermetallics to aerospace structure.
In situ characterization of materials behavior at high temperature.
Defect characterization of semiconducting materials.

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Advanced Joining Processes and Assembly Lab (B146)

Contact: Dr. Behnam Bahr, Dr. George Talia
Status: CNC Machine Operational; Robotics under Development with NIAR
Lab size: 750 sq. ft.
Advanced Robotics LabFriction Stir Welding

One of the most expensive operations in aircraft manufacturing is manual aircraft assembly. This lab is designed to investigate robotic aircraft assembly for the new generation of aircraft. It is to provide new methods of assembly systems using robots to increase competitive advantage of local manufacturers in terms of productivity and quality of product. The new assembly operations will include robotic drilling, riveting and friction stir welding. This lab is also equipped with the new turn-Mill machine for manufacturing.

Infrared DrillingInfrared Drilling

Temperature measurement of a drilling process using an infrared camera
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Controls Laboratory (B131)

Contact: Dr. Brian Driessen
Status: Under development
Lab size: 150 sq. ft.

Rotocraft

Rotocraft

This lab will be used for basic and applied controls research. Examples include: dynamics, controls, modeling, optimization, and scalability and robustness aspects of controls implementation (embedding) in distributed (and mobile) systems. Nonlinear controls, optimal control, guidance and optimal trajectory generation, chatter-free variable structure controls, adaptive control. Application areas of interest: many, including robotic systems, ground vehicles, aircraft, rotorcraft, satellites, and biomedical.

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Fuel and Fire Safety (B146)

Contact: Dr. David Koert
Status: Underdevelopment
Lab size: 350 sq. ft.

Experimental facilities provide the capability for: a) the study of fuel clouds formed in enclosures such as commercial aviation fuel tanks, and b) the study of the flammability of materials used in aircraft passenger compartments. These facilities include:
Optically accessible fuel tank test cell that is temperature and pressure controllable and instrument with A 2-D PDA and a sheet laser for droplet formation studies
Vertical flammability test facility
Constant Heat Flammability test stand

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