Laboratories

The Department of Mechanical Engineering manages more than 50,000 square feet of modern research and teaching facilities in the Applied Science Complex, Black Engineering Building, Gilman Hall, Hoover Hall, Howe Hall, and the Lab of Mechanics on the Iowa State campus. Our buildings contain classrooms, computer clusters, instructional and research laboratories, offices, and a student lounge.


Advanced Imaging and Noninvasive Operations (ADINO) Ultrasound Laboratory

222 ASC-2
Laboratory Contact: Timothy Bigelow

The Advanced Imaging and Noninvasive Operations (ADINO) Ultrasound Laboratory is operated by Associate Professor Timothy Bigelow. The goal of the research conducted in the ADINO Ultrasound Laboratory is to improve ultrasound for medical and nondestructive evaluation applications. This goal has two main thrusts:

  • To improve the effectiveness of ultrasound by studying the scattering and propagation of ultrasound waves in complex media. Past projects in this area have included quantifying the scattering properties of tissue to diagnose cancer without the need for an invasive needle biopsy, and applying statistical signal processing to quantify cervical ripening. If we can detect cervical ripening, then we could determine if a woman is at risk for preterm delivery weeks before contractions actually begin. In addition, scattering of ultrasound waves have been studied for in-line monitoring of additive manufactured parts.
  • To improve the therapeutic effectiveness of medical ultrasound. Past projects have included developing ultrasound therapy for the non-invasive treatment of bacteria biofilms and cancer. Biofilms are a major concern when they form on medical implants and currently require a replacement of the implant.

Laboratory Capabilities

  • Custom ultrasound imaging and therapy systems
  • a z.one Ultrasound System from ZONARE Medical Systems, Inc. (with a L8-3 Linear Array Transducer and a L14-5sp Intra-operative Linear Array)
  • Custom powder-bed additive manufacturing system (under construction)

Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) Laboratory

152/157 ASC-1
Laboratory Contact: Gap-Yong Kim


Advanced Sensors and Nanoscale Mechanics Laboratory

1086 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Pranav Shrotriya


Attinger Lab

Link to lab webpage

0047 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Daniel Attinger
Project Areas
Micro/Nanofluidics; Convective Heat Transfer; Single Droplet/Bubble Dynamics; Multiscale Transport Phenomena for Energy and Forensics Applications
Laboratory Capabilities
Visualization, Engineering and Simulation of Multiphase Flow


Augmented Reality Lab

1620 Howe Hall
Laboratory Contact: Rafael Radkowski
Laboratory Capabilities
The Augmented Reality Lab explores augmented reality (AR) technology and its capabilities for engineering applications. The research focuses on fundamental technologies for computer vision-based object tracking and identification, human-computer-interaction, as well as applied research in engineering-use cases.


Bai Research Lab

1056 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Xianglan Bai


Biorenewable Fuels and Combustion Laboratory

1118 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contacts: Song-Charng Kong
Project Areas
Studies of chemical kinetics and fundamental combustion characteristics of biorenewable fuels, waste-derived fuels, carbon-free fuels, and nanoenergetics
Laboratory Capabilities
Swirl-stabilized flames for stationary heating and gas turbines, laminar and turbulent flames, premixed and diffusion flames, fuel sprays and spray flames, ignition and combustion of nanoenergetics


Boyd Fabrication Laboratory

Link to lab website

1260 Hoover Hall
Laboratory Contact: Josh DeLarm and Craig Severson
Project Areas
Fabrication of projects in E170, ME270, ME415, ME466, ME486 and various ISU Clubs.
Laboratory Capabilities
4-axis CNC machine, manual mill, lathes, drill presses various metal working – shear, brake, iron worker, band saw, grinders and various wood working equipment – table saw, compound miter saw, band saw, scroll saw, router, planer, jointer, sanders and a welding station with MIG welder, spool gun attachment, plasma cutter, and oxy-acetylene torch, and vacuum forming machine.


Boyd Testing and Assembly Laboratory

Link to lab website

1360 Hoover Hall
Laboratory Contact: Josh DeLarm and Craig Severson
Project Areas
Testing and assembly of projects in E170, ME270, ME415, ME466, ME486 and various ISU Clubs.
Laboratory Capabilities
Various types of fasteners and/or adhesives needed to assemble a student project including the use of hand tools.


Center for Computational Thermo-fluids Research

0095E Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Shankar Subramaniam


Computation Laboratory

0087 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contacts: Pranav Shrotriya, Sriram Sundararajan


Emerson Fluid Teaching Laboratory – ME 335

0076 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: John Howell
Project Areas
Core ME 335 lecture lab support using basic fluids principles. This core lab environment allows the student to visually adapt experiments to compliment the principals taught in 335 lecture.
Laboratory Capabilities
Fluid flow through a smooth pipe, pump efficiencies, sub sonic air flow in a wind tunnel, Mass air calculations.


Engine Laboratory I

1055/1057 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Song-Charng Kong
Project Areas
Clean Energy Technology; Biofuel Research
Laboratory Capabilities
This laboratory is used for both ME 449 teaching and engine research on performance optimization and alternative fuel combustion.


Engine Laboratory II

1059 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Song-Charng Kong
Project Areas
Clean Energy Technology; Biofuel Research
Laboratory Capabilities
This laboratory is used for ME 449 teaching, SAE Baja engine testing, and biofuel engine research.


Experimental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

1058 Sweeney Hall
Laboratory Contact: Michael Olsen


Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory

1121 Black Engineering (shared space)
Laboratory Contact: Ted Heindel
Project Areas
The Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory investigates hydrodynamics and mixing in gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid systems using X-ray flow visualization techniques, as well as gas-liquid mass transfer.
Laboratory Capabilities
The Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory uses many different techniques, including flow visualization using X-rays, to measure various gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid flow parameters. We also measure dissolved gas concentrations to determine gas-liquid mass transfer rates.


Hashemi Lab

Bio Microfluidic and Optofluidic Systems
1095 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Nicole N Hashemi


Heat Transfer Lab – ME 436

0087 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: John Howell
Project Areas
Core ME 436 Lecture Lab support using Heat transfer principles. This Core Lab Allows the student to physically apply principles learned in lecture ME 436.
Laboratory Capabilities
Heat Transfer through various engineering materials by conduction, Convection, Forced and natural.


Juan Ren Research Lab

1120 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Juan Ren


Kong Research Lab

1056 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Song-Charng Kong


Laboratory of Advanced Robotics and Computer Control (LARCC)

ASC-4
Laboratory Contact: Greg Luecke


Laser-Based Flow Diagnostics Laboratory

1115 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Michael Olsen


Measurement Instrumentation Laboratory

2081 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Jim Dautremont
Project Areas
Used as instructional laboratory for ME 370.


Mechanics of Manufacturing Laboratory

2103 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Abhijit Chandra


Michael Research Lab

1118 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: James Michael


Micro/Nanoscale Thermal Science Laboratory

Link to lab webpage

180J Applied Science Complex I
Laboratory Contact: Xinwei Wang
Project Areas
Thermal transport from atomic level to macroscale; measurement of thermal conductivity, diffusivity, and specific heat of materials: nanowires, nanofilms, up to meter-scale. Advanced Raman technology development for atomic level thermal probing and characterization
Laboratory Capabilities
Multi-scale thermal characterization, optics, molecular dynamics modeling, novel material synthesis


Montazami Lab

1116 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Reza Montazami


Multimodal Experience Testbed and Laboratory (METaL)

1121 Black Engineering (shared space)
Laboratory Contact: Judy Vance
Project Areas
Product design using immersive computer technology, human computer interaction
Laboratory Capabilities
The laboratory is a human-scale immersive environment for development of natural interaction techniques in virtual reality. This facility supports rapid development of products and processes through computer-based simulation. The three-projection screen immersive room, complete with stereo viewing, surround sound, and 3D position tracking provides a test bed for frequent use cases. Integration of haptic force-feedback with visual display, audio effects, and physical simulation permits the creation of multimodal experiences.


Nanoscale Energetics Lab

Link to lab webpage

1091 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Travis Sippel

Project areas
Multiphase combustion,
Nanoscale energetic material synthesis and characterization,
Propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics
Laboratory Capabilities
The Nanoscale Energetic Materials Lab is focused on (1) development of new nanoscale energetic materials for enhancement of existing/new energetic/proppulsive applications, (2) study of energetic material ignition/combustion/detonation, and (3) development of advanced functional energetic materials with dynamically tunable output. The laboratory has cross-cutting capabilities in the areas of energetic/nanoscale energetic materials synthesis, high speed ignition diagnostics, combustion, chemical propulsion, and electromagnetic insult of energetic materials.


Nuclear Engineering Counting Laboratory

0156 ASC-3
Laboratory Contact: Gregory Maxwell
Project Areas
Radiation Detection and Measurements


Padalkar Research Lab

1059 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Sonal Padalkar


Shrotriya Research Lab

1103 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Pranav Shrotriya


Sundararajan Research Lab

1103 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Sriram Sundararajan


Surface Sciences Lab

1045 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Cris Schwartz
Project Areas
The Surface Sciences Laboratory investigates the behavior of surfaces that contact each other for both biomedical and industrial applications. Primary emphases are on characterization and engineering of tribological materials.
Laboratory Capabilities
The Laboratory houses a number of surface and materials characterization instruments including multi-axis friction and wear testing, dynamic mechanical analysis, human tactile evaluation, and polymer processing.


Sustainable Power and Energy Systems Laboratory

1056 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contacts: Song-Charng Kong
Project Areas
Development and efficient utilization of environmentally sustainable power and energy systems
Laboratory Capabilities
Performance and emissions characterization of sustainable power and energy systems, including boilers, turbines, engines, and biorefineries


Systems Dynamics and Control Teaching Laboratory

2095 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Jim Dautremont
Project Areas
Used as instructional laboratory for ME 421.


Systems Reliability and Safety Lab (SRSL)

2081 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Chao Hu
Project Areas
Engineering Design under Uncertainty; Design of Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries; Reliability Analysis and Risk Management; Prognostics and Health Management.


The Bentil Group

2095 Black Engineering
Laboratory Contact: Sarah Bentil
Project Areas
Soft tissue biomechanics; Biomaterials; Traumatic brain injuries; Blast and blunt impact injury mechanisms; Brain-machine interfaces.


Vibrations Laboratory

0328 Howe Hall
Laboratory Contact: Atul Kelkar