The Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed six strategic research foci areas that highlight the diversity and breadth of the field of mechanical engineering.


Energy Sciences and Sustainability

If you’re interested in improving the environment this is where you can delve into research that can lead to a healthier future for our planet. You’ll discover more efficient and smart uses of limited fossil fuels; produce biofuels from renewable and sustainable sources, and learn how to harvest energy from the sun, wind, earth, and water.

Faculty researchers:  Xianglan BaiRobert C. BrownMark BrydenAbhijit ChandraBaskar GanapathysubramanianTed HeindelShan HuTodd KingstonSong-Charng KongMark Mba-WrightJames MichaelReza MontazamiSonal PadalkarCary PintTravis Sippel and Xinwei Wang.


Bioengineering and Translational Health

Work toward a career in creating solutions that can have an impact on healthcare products and practices. Research here involves investigating problems at the interface of engineering, biology, and medicine, and applying mechanical engineering principles that lead to the creation of new science and engineering breakthroughs and ultimately clinical implementation. You’ll pursue experimental and computational strategies to understand the physical principles of phenomena impacting human health. This research can have a significant and lasting impact on challenges in cancer, infectious diseases, neurosciences, age-related diseases, and global health.

Faculty researchers: Sarah BentilCarmen GomesNicole HashemiMing-Chen HsuJaime JuárezAdarsh KrishnamurthyMeng LuJuan RenCris SchwartzPranav Shrotriya, and Eliot Winer.


Multiphase and Complex Fluids

This program investigates non-Newtonian, multiphase, turbulent, and chemically reacting flows over multiple lengths and time scales. You’ll help develop unique experimental and computational techniques that advance our understanding of fluid flow phenomena and enable engineering applications, including fuel and chemical production; biomass transport; particle dispersion; and heat exchangers in evaporators, boilers, and condensers. The efforts of this program pioneer new theories and models of multiphase flow and complex fluid processes and validate these processes through novel experimental techniques and exploration tools. 

Faculty researchers: Sarah BentilJonathan ClaussenBaskar GanapathysubramanianNicole HashemiTed HeindelMing-Chen HsuJaime JuárezTodd KingstonSong-Charng KongAdarsh KrishnamurthyJongyhun LeeMark Mba-WrightJames MichaelMichael OlsenAlberto PassalacquaSoumik SarkarTravis Sippel, and Shankar Subramaniam.


Big Data and Visualization

This program lets you investigate advanced computational and hardware techniques to understand and predict physical phenomena, as well as unique image rendering methods to enhance the interpretation of complex systems and data sets. You’ll help develop and advance simulation and visualization capabilities and apply them in a societal context. You can also develop enabling technologies for products or processes to be altered and tested in a virtual environment before any physical models are created. 

Faculty researchers: Sourabh BhattacharyaMark BrydenAbhijit ChandraCody FlemmingBaskar GanapathysubramanianMing-Chen HsuChao HuSong-Charng KongAdarsh KrishnamurthyValery LevitasBeiwen LiReza MontazamiJim OliverRafael RadkowskiSoumik SarkarCris SchwartzXinwei Wang and Eliot Winer.


Dynamics, Sensors, and Controls

Learn how electromechanical systems interact with people and their surroundings using sensors, actuators, and intelligent computer software. You’ll see how these components work together to build smart systems like windows that sense and cancel noise, energy-efficient buildings that predict and adjust to our needs, robots that work alongside humans as teammates, and vehicles that can guide themselves.

Faculty researchers: Sourabh BhattacharyaCody FlemmingShan HuGreg LuckeCary PintJuan Ren, and Soumik Sarkar.


Design, Manufacturing, and Nanoscale Sciences 

Many aspects of mechanical engineering require the understanding and use of phenomena that span a wide range of length and time scales. Multiscale engineering is concerned with the study of phenomena, the design of processes, and the development of products that span a wide range of scales. Of particular interest are those problems where the interactions between scales are tightly coupled and attempt to coarse-grain simpler models of complex multiscale phenomena.

Faculty Researchers: Emmanuel AgbaSarah BentilAbhijit ChandraCarmen GomesNicole HashemiCaroline HayesMing-Chen HsuChao HuShan HuJaime JuárezAdarsh KrishnamurthyJonghyun LeeValery LevitasBeiwen LiMeng LuReza MontazamiJim OliverSonal PadalkarCary PintRafael RadkowskiJuan RenCris SchwartzPranav ShrotriyaTravis SippelShankar SubramniamSriram SundararajanXinwei Wang, and Eliot Winer.