Facilities and Areas of Specialization for the Mechanical Engineering Department

Design and Manufacturing
Design and Manufacturing:
Studies include CAD/CAM, kinematics and mechanisms, robotics, vehicles, manufacturing systems, dynamics and vibration, control, design optimization, mechatronics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micro/nano-technologies, smart structures, and energy harvesting. Research topics cover task driven creative design of mechanical and electro-mechanical systems, such as high performance machinery and robots, mechanisms, and sensors, including dynamics, motion, control, and vibration-related problems; traditional and advanced manufacturing, manufacturing process modeling, human augmented systems, and intelligent fault detection and diagnosis; clean energy systems. Applied courses emphasize case studies, dynamics and control, finite element methods, and computer graphics. Also featured are an array of equipment and software for research and teaching, such as mechatronic systems, robots, CAD/CAM stations, CMM, desktop rapid prototyping machine, software for computer aided engineering.

Mechatronics synergistically integrates mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software, and controls into smart electromechanical products and systems. Research in this area highlights modeling, analysis, design, control, and prototyping in a system-level approach, which requires a broad knowledge of mechanics, materials, mechanical design, manufacturing, vibration, dynamics, sensors, actuators, electronics, signals and control. Applications include industrial and laboratory automation, biomedical devices, servo machines, vehicle systems, smart structures, and energy systems.

Solid Mechanics  
The mechanical behavior of advanced materials and structures is studied with emphasis on mathematical modeling and simulation of deformation, failure, stability, and microstructural transformation. These issues span a wide range of interests that focus on various materials, systems, and multiple length scales. Research topics include fracture mechanisms of embedded flaws in coatings and thin films, delamination in composites, and the mechanical properties and behavior of micron-scale structures and systems, such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microelectronic components. Also investigated are the constitutive modeling and failure characterization of ceramics, polymers, and heterogeneous multi-component materials, and nano- and micromechanics of defect formation and motion in bulk materials and thin films.

Experimentally based research programs focus on the mechanical, thermomechanical, and failure behavior of a wide variety of materials such as metals, polymers, ceramics, hard and soft biological tissues, and composites under both static and dynamic loading conditions. Optical techniques of strain analysis including moiré methods, laser and white-light speckle methods, holographic interferometry, photoelasticity, and classical interferometry are developed and applied to solid mechanics problems such as fracture, wave propagation, metal forming, vibration, and deformation of micron-scale structures and systems such as MEMS. Characterization of micron and nano-scale materials and structures is accomplished with instrumented-indentation and scanning probe microscopy techniques for wear and harsh environment applications. Research is also conducted to characterize the failure mechanics of various engineered heterogeneous materials systems, ranging from functionally layered/graded coatings to nanocomposites under impact loading and high-temperature conditions. Specialized equipment includes high-speed digital cameras, scanning electron microscope, and split Hopkinson pressure bars, and in situ micromechanical high temperature fatigue testing system. Current research topics also include the characterization of mechanical properties of soft tissues and the pumping efficiency of an ischemic heart, both in vitro and in vivo.

Thermal Sciences and Fluid Mechanics  
Fluid Mechanics:  Current topics include advanced combustor design and flow control, and the behavior of chemically reacting species in turbulent flows. Numerical and theoretical studies include direct simulation of turbulent flows and turbulent transport at modest Reynolds numbers, stochastic modeling of the turbulent transport of temperature, and spectral closure approximations for chemically reactive flows. Other areas include microfluidics, interfacial fluid phenomena and wetting, multiphase flows, miscible flows, and complex fluids.

Thermal Sciences:  Current topics include measurement of thermophysical properties, laser-material interaction, materials processing, and heat transfer in advanced energy systems. The ultra fast thermal processing and laser-based measurement laboratory has an amplified oscillator/regenerative amplifier, a femtosecond autocorrelator, and a host of optoelectronics and light sources. The thermal sciences research laboratory has a visualization and digital image processing system. Studies also include methods and analytical tools for predicting, modeling and correlating the thermodynamic/thermophysical properties of the fluids. Current studies include the development of statistical mechanical techniques to assess the relation between intermolecular forces and the thermodynamic, dielectric, optical, and transport properties of fluids, fluid mixtures, and suspensions. Research is also being conducted on the modern formalism of thermodynamics; on combustion heat engines, aiming at achieving high fuel efficiency and engine performance; and on building energy dynamics.

Energy Technologies:    Thermal sciences and fluid mechanics are the core disciplines of the emerging field of energy technologies and sustainability science—a vibrant field of research and innovation. Although the broader field of sustainability science is an interdisciplinary field defined by the problems it addresses rather than by the disciplines it employs, the application of thermal sciences and fluid mechanics to energy technologies is and will remain an important part of global transition toward a sustainable future. The Graduate Program includes doctoral-thesis research projects in Energy Technologies and Sustainability Science as well as a course of study in Energy Technologies leading to a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, which offers ‘hands on’ laboratory and design experience as well as theory–based courses focusing on energy transformation, transfer, and storage. The Energy Technologies Laboratory contains fuel cell, wind turbine, photovoltaic, thermoelectric, heat pump, optical and infrared sensors, and motor/generator/battery facilities.

Civil Engineering
The civil engineering specialization allows graduate students to develop fundamental and applied knowledge and explore advanced research topics in the area of civil engineering, including civil engineering materials, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, coastal engineering, transportation, water resources, and environmental engineering. Current areas of research include sustainable structural materials, synchrotron-based multiscale experiments, multiscale simulations of construction materials, structural health monitoring systems, sensor technology development (wireless, fiber optics, electromagnetic), structural dynamics & control, sustainable infrastructure, historic materials & structural systems, adaptive reuse & historic preservation of historic city centers, water and wastewater treatment, fate and transport of emerging contaminants, membrane technology, water-energy nexus, harmful algal blooms.

Graduate students pursuing the civil engineering specialization have access to advanced facilities and equipment for conducting state-of-the-art research. Equipment in the civil and environmental engineering laboratories, above and beyond the normal, include a consolidation load frame, direct residual shear testing device, master loader for triaxial testing, 300K concrete compression testing instrument, 100 kN universal testing machine, Shimadzu TOC-L total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer, Hewlett Packard capillary electrophoresis, Flow - Field Flow Fractionation (FFF). In addition, the laboratory possess a variety of equipment to support basic research, including pH meters, centrifuges, and analytical balances. In addition to facilities within the environmental engineering laboratory, graduate students also have access to state-of-the-art facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), which is located less than 20 miles from campus and is accessible via direct campus shuttle. Available facilities include the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) I, NSLS II, and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CfN). The NSLS II is the next generation light source to be completed in 2014 and when completed will be the brightest synchrotron available. The CfN houses state-of-the-art equipment such as a Leica SP5 confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy, a Hitachi HD2700C scanning transmission electron microscope, a FEI Titan 80-300 environmental transmission electron microscope, JEOL 1400 Soft/Bio materials electron microscope, a RHK Technology UHV 7500 atomic force microscope, and a Veeco Multimode V Scanning Probe Microscope. The university also operates numerous computer sites with 24-hour access. Stony Brook University is a partner with BNL to operate the Blue Gene/Q supercomputer.