2018-2019 Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Fields of Study

Design, Robotics, and Manufacturing

The program is developed around an integrated approach to design, robotics, and manufacturing. It includes research on manufacturing and design aspects of mechanical systems, material behavior and processing, robotics and manufacturing systems, CAD/CAM theory and applications, computational geometry and geometrical modeling, composite materials and structures, automation and digital control systems, microdevices and nanodevices, radio frequency identification (RFID), and wireless systems.

Fluid Mechanics

The graduate program in fluid mechanics includes experimental, numerical, and theoretical studies related to a range of topics in fluid mechanics, such as turbulent flows, hypersonic flows, microscale and nanoscale flow phenomena, aeroacoustics, biofluid mechanics, chemically reactive flows, chemical reaction kinetics, numerical methods for computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and experimental methods. The educational program for graduate students provides a strong foundational background in classical incompressible and compressible flows, while providing elective breadth courses in advanced specialty topics such as computational fluid dynamics, microfluidics, biofluid mechanics, hypersonics, reactive flow, fluid stability, turbulence, and experimental methods.

Nanoelectromechanical/Microelectromechanical Systems

The nanoelectromechanical/microelectromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) field focuses on science and engineering issues ranging in size from nanometers to millimeters and includes both experimental and theoretical studies covering fundamentals to applications. The study topics include microscience, top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication/microfabrication technologies, molecular fluidic phenomena, nanoscale/microscale material processing, biomolecular signatures, heat transfer at the nanoscale, and system integration. The program is highly interdisciplinary in nature.

Structural and Solid Mechanics

The solid mechanics program features theoretical, numerical, and experimental studies, including fracture mechanics and damage tolerance, micromechanics with emphasis on technical applications, wave propagation and nondestructive evaluation, mechanics of composite materials, mechanics of thin films and interfaces, analysis of coupled electro-magneto-thermomechanical material systems, and ferroelectric materials. The structural mechanics program includes structural dynamics with applications to aircraft and spacecraft, fixed-wing and rotary-wing aeroelasticity, fluid structure interaction, computational transonic aeroelasticity, biomechanics with applications ranging from whole organs to molecular and cellular structures, structural optimization, finite element methods and related computational techniques, structural mechanics of composite material components, structural health monitoring, and analysis of adaptive structures.

Systems and Control

The program features systems engineering principles and applied mathematical methods of modeling, analysis, and design of continuous- and discrete-time control systems. Emphasis is on modern applications in engineering, systems concepts, feedback and control principles, stability concepts, applied optimal control, differential games, computational methods, simulation, and computer process control. Systems and control research and education in the department cover a broad spectrum of topics primarily based in aerospace and mechanical engineering applications. However, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments also have active programs in control systems, and collaboration across departments among faculty members and students in both teaching and research is common.

Thermal Science and Engineering

The thermal science and engineering field includes studies of convection, radiation, conduction, evaporation, condensation, boiling and two-phase flow, chemically reacting and radiating flow, instability and turbulent flow, reactive flows in porous media, as well as transport phenomena in support of microscale and nanoscale thermosciences, energy, bioMEMS/NEMS, and microfabrication/nanofabrication.

Ad Hoc Major Fields

The ad hoc major fields program has sufficient flexibility that students can form academic major fields in their area of interest if the proposals are supported by several faculty members. Previous fields of study included acoustics, system risk and reliability, and engineering thermodynamics. Nuclear science and engineering, a former active major field, is available on an ad hoc basis only.