Graduate Catalog
2022-2023
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
Goodwin Hall at the corner of Prices Fork Road and Stanger Street is the new flagship building for the College of Engineering. It houses 40 instructional and research labs, eight classrooms, an auditorium, and 150 offices for several engineering departments. More than classrooms, offices, and laboratories for Virginia Tech, the building is a ground-breaking experiment to measure even the smallest vibrations made inside the building. Accelerometers can measure vibration from wind loads, structural settling, or even foot traffic.
451 Goodwin Hall Mail Code:0238 Blacksburg VA 24061
Goodwin Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MEng
MEng Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.2
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Hampton Roads
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.2
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Hampton Roads
Blacksburg
• MS
MS Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.2
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Hampton Roads
Virtual
Blacksburg
Phone Number(s):
540/231-7460
703/538-3790
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 05
Spring: Sep 01
Directions
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The Graduate School
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Goodwin Hall

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Department Head : Azim Eskandarian
Graduate Program Director : Corina Sandu ( Graduate Program Chair)
Emeriti Faculty: Ricardo Burdisso; Thomas Diller; James Mahan; Douglas Nelson; Mark Pierson (Blacksburg, Nuclear Engineering Program); Alfred Wicks
Professors: Mehdi Ahmadian (Blacksburg, Director of the Center for Vehicle Systems & Safety); Pinhas Ben-Tzvi; Lance Collins (Greater Washington D.C. area, Innovation Campus Vice President and Executive Director); Azim Eskandarian (Blacksburg, Department Head); Christopher Fuller (Blacksburg, NIA); Alireza Haghighat (Greater Washington D.C. area, Director of Nuclear Engineering Program, NES Thrust Area Coordinator & NEP Director); Andrew Kurdila; Brian Lattimer; Alexander Leonessa (Blacksburg, Assoc. Dept. Head for Strategic Initiatives); Roop Mahajan (Greater Washington D.C. area); Rolf Mueller (Blacksburg, BMNS Thrust Area Coordinator); Wing Fai Ng; Mark Paul; Ranga Pitchumani (Greater Washington D.C. area); Rui Qiao; Corina Sandu (Blacksburg, Associate Department Head for Graduate Studies); Chang Min Son; Danesh Tafti; Saied Taheri; Christopher Williams (Blacksburg, DMM Thrust Area Coordinator); Jinsuo Zhang (Blacksburg, Nuclear Engineering Program); Lei Zuo (Blacksburg, RADS Thrust Area Coordinator); Michael von Spakovsky (Blacksburg, EES Thrust Area Coordinator)
Associate Professors: Alan Asbeck; Oumar Barry (Greater Washington D.C. area); Bahareh Behkam; Jan Helge Bohn; Jonathan Boreyko; Jiangtao Cheng (Blacksburg, Assoc. Prof. of Health Sciences); Clinton Dancey (Blacksburg Assoc. Dept. Head for Undergraduate Programs ); Michael Ellis; John Ferris; Warren Hardy; Celine Hin (Greater Washington D.C. area, Nuclear Engineering Program); Scott Huxtable; Mary Kasarda; Kevin Kochersberger; Zheng Li; Yang Liu (Blacksburg, Nuclear Engineering Program); Reza Mirzaeifar; Amrinder Nain; Bart Raeymaekers; Shima Shahab; Steve Southward; Brian Vick; Robert West
Assistant Professors: Pinar Acar; Kaveh Akbari Hamed; Michael Bartlett; Sohan Kale; Erik Komendera; Ling Li; Suyi Li; Dylan Losey; Joseph Meadows; John Palmore; Zhenhua Tian; Alexandrina Untaroiu
J. Bernard Jones Chair: Mehdi Ahmadian (Blacksburg, Director of the Center for Vehicle Systems & Safety)
John R. Jones III Faculty Fellow: Bahareh Behkam; Jonathan Boreyko; Reza Mirzaeifar; Rui Qiao
Samuel Langley Distinguished Professor of Engineering: Christopher Fuller (Blacksburg, NIA)
W. Martin Johnson Professor: Andrew Kurdila
Lewis A. Hester Chair Professor: Roop Mahajan (Greater Washington D.C. area)
Alumni Distinguished Professor Christopher C. Kraft Endowed Professor: Wing Fai Ng
George R. Goodson Professor: Ranga Pitchumani (Greater Washington D.C. area)
Robert E. Hord, Jr. Professorship of Mechanical Engineering: Corina Sandu (Blacksburg, Associate Department Head for Graduate Studies); Lei Zuo (Blacksburg, RADS Thrust Area Coordinator); Michael von Spakovsky (Blacksburg, EES Thrust Area Coordinator)
William S. Cross Professor: Danesh Tafti
L.S. Randolph Professorship of Mechanical Engineering: Christopher Williams (Blacksburg, DMM Thrust Area Coordinator)
Adjunct Faculty: Nicole Abaid (Blacksburg, Math); Masoud Agah (Blacksburg, ECE); Diana Bairaktarova (Blacksburg, ENGE); Romesh Batra (Blacksburg, BEAM); Brenda Brand (Blacksburg, School of Ed.); Scott Case (Blacksburg, CEE); Shengfeng Cheng (Blacksburg, Physics); Raffaella De Vita (Blacksburg, BEAM); William Devenport (Blacksburg, AOE); David Dillard (Blacksburg, BEAM); Stefan Duma (Blacksburg, Director of ICTAS); Jacob Grohs (Blacksburg, ENGE); Serkan Gugercin (Blacksburg, Math); Andrea L'Afflitto (Blacksburg, ISE); Kevin Lowe (Blacksburg, AOE); Vinh Nguyen (Blacksburg, Physics); Robin Queen (Blacksburg, BEAM); Pradeep Raj (Blacksburg, AOE); John Robertson (Blacksburg, BEAM); Shane Ross (Blacksburg, AOE); Rodrigo Sarlo (Blacksburg, CEE); Gary Seidel (Blacksburg, AOE); Maryam Shakiba (Blacksburg, CEE); John Socha (Blacksburg, BEAM); Mark Stremler (Blacksburg, BEAM); Cornel Sultan (Blacksburg, AOE); Costin Untaroiu; Craig Woolsey (Blacksburg, AOE); Roe Yoon (Blacksburg, MINE)
Nicholas and Rebecca Des Champs Chair in Mechanical Engineering: Azim Eskandarian (Blacksburg, Department Head)
Associate Professor of Practice: Robin Ott
Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor: Chang Min Son
University Distinguish Professor Nicholas T. Camicia Professor: Roe Yoon (Blacksburg, MINE)
Collegiate Assistant Professors: Kelly Scarff (Blacksburg, Director, Technical Communication Program)

Mechanical Engineering Introduction

The graduate programs in the ME Department at Virginia Tech provide quality mechanical engineering education through innovative research, faculty expertise, and practices that further expand and enhance students’ abilities in communication and problem solving, service and leadership within their profession, industry, and higher education.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers advanced study and research opportunities leading to PhD, MS, and MENG degrees. Each student, in cooperation with his or her advisory committee, develops a plan of study including research and course selection appropriate to the student's individual interests and research needs. Courses include (but are not limited to) topics on: acoustics, active materials/smart structures, automatic controls, biomedical topics, combustion, finite elements in machine design, fluid dynamics, fuel cell systems, heat transfer, nanotechnology, nuclear engineering, propulsion, rotor dynamics, thermodynamics, turbomachinery and vibrations. Students often take courses from outside the ME Department in mathematics, statistics, and many other disciplines. 

The Mechanical Engineering Department also has international collaborations with the Technische Universität Darmstadt, as well as Thapar institute of Engineering and Technology in India.  VT undergraduates with high GPAs can also apply for the Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate degree program.  A Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate is available for students to pursue, in conjunction with their graduate degree program. 
 

Graduate Programs Rankings

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is consistently in the top 10% of graduate ME programs in the country.  It is also consistently ranked in the top 20 in the U.S. and top 50 of the world's most elite universities, according to U.S. News & World Report .  


Offered In (National Capital Region, Hampton Roads, Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.2
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • iBT
      • 105.0
  • IELTS
    • English Proficiency
      • 7.0

The MEng program seeks to educate graduate engineering students by delivering a broad-based theoretical curriculum developing students’ ability to address specific engineering problems in order to enhance industry and the technical community.

Please contact megrad@vt.edu for specific location information. Acceptance into the VT Mechanical Engineering graduate program is based on the overall application package.  In general, the minimum target requirements are to the left.  The application materials required can be accessed from the ME Graduate Students web page.

Master of Engineering (MENG) Degree Requirements

The Master of Engineering Degree (MENG) in Mechanical Engineering is primarily intended for individuals working in industry/government, and pursuing this degree on a part-time basis. Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of technical graduate study beyond the baccalaureate, not including supporting courses.  Because the MENG requires more technical coursework hours (24) and only project hours (6), departmental funding is not available. MENG students must submit a proposed Plan of Study to the Graduate Coordinator & Academic Advisor before completing the first semester registered as a MENG student. An official final plan of study is due by the end of the second semester.  The Master of Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering must include the following minimum requirements:

1.  Project and Report (ME 5904): 6 hours minimum
2.  Approved technical coursework meeting the following:  24 hours minimum

Courses numbered 5000, or higher: 18 hours minimum

  • ME Technical Course Work: 9 hours minimum
  • Courses outside the student's specialization area:  6 hours minimum
  • ME approved Mathematics or Statistics: 3 hours minimum
  • A maximum of two Virginia Tech 4000 level courses are allowed to meet degree requirements and should be on the ME Technical Elective List for undergraduate ME students.  If it is a conjoint course, it must be taken at the 5000 level.
  • A maximum of 6 hours of Special Study (5984 only), and a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study (5974 only), with the total of both not to exceed 9 hours is allowable.
  • Transfer courses  meeting Graduate School policies, are listed and approved on the official Plan of Study.  Official transcripts and course descriptions are required.
The Graduate School requires a Diversity and Inclusion component for all graduate students.  EngE 5304 Graduate Student Success in a Multicultural Environment meets this requirement and is listed as a supporting course on the plan of study.

Seminar Program: All full-time Blacksburg students must participate in the Mechanical Engineering seminar series each semester by registering in ME 5944.  
These hours are not counted towards technical course requirements and are not listed on the plan of study.

Ethics:  All graduate students must meet the Graduate School's Ethics requirement by completing CITI Training modules on Canvas or, the supporting course, GRAD 5014 Academic Integrity & Plagiarism, within their first 2 semesters.  


A written Project & Report is required for the Final Defense.

     No courses below the 4000 level are accepted to meet graduate degree                 requirements.

     Contact the ME graduate program for approval procedures before taking             any
 Independent Study (5974 only) courses.

     Summer registration is not required for continuing students.

Concentrations

Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate

A student must take a total of at least 9 credit hours with a letter grade of 'B' or better in every course to obtain the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate. Six credit hours from 5000-level courses or, higher are required.  More information is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Required:
NSEG 5114 Nuclear Engineering Fundamentals: 3 credits
Electives: Minimum 6 credit hours from the approved course list (at least 3 credit
hours at the 5000-level or higher)
Offered In (National Capital Region, Hampton Roads, Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.2
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • iBT
      • 105.0
  • IELTS
    • English Proficiency
      • 7.0

The PhD program seeks to prepare graduate students to think critically by generating a novel engineering research problem and using their technical competence to craft and conduct experimentation leading to research methodology from concept to completion.  Students will present their research as the leading expert in the research field and will contribute publications, innovative research, and other scholarly activities to benefit the global community.

Please contact megrad@vt.edu for specific location information. Acceptance into the VT Mechanical Engineering graduate program is based on the overall application package.  Admission does not guarantee financial assistance.  In general, the minimum target requirements are to the left.  The application materials required can be accessed from the ME Graduate Students web page.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering requires students to complete a minimum of 90 semester hours of technical graduate credits (with stipulations listed below) beyond the baccalaureate, pass a qualifying exam, preliminary exam, and complete a research dissertation. PhD students must submit a proposed Plan of Study before completing the second semester registered as a PhD student to the Graduate Coordinator & Academic Advisor. A final official Plan of Study is due the third semester.  Much of the course work from the Masters degree is allowed towards the PhD. The Plan of Study must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Research & Dissertation (7994):  30 hours minimum
  2. Approved technical VT ME graduate courses:  15 hours minimum
  3. Additional approved technical graduate courses:  15 hours minimum
  4. Additional hours of either research (7994) or technical coursework:  30 hours minimum
  • Technical  courses numbered 5000, or higher: 27 hours minimum
  • Students are allowed a maximum of two Virginia Tech 4000 level courses in numbers 2 and 3 above to meet course requirements.  These courses must be on the Technical Elective List for undergraduate ME students.  If it is a conjoint course, it must be taken at the 5000 level.
  • ME approved Mathematics or Statistics3 hours post baccalaureate
  • For continuously enrolled VT students completing an MS first, most or all coursework counts towards the PhD.
  • Transfer courses (including from a non-VT MS degree) meeting Graduate School policies, are listed and approved on the official Plan of Study.  Official transcripts and course descriptions are required.
  • Independent/Special Study Courses (5974 and 5984): 12 hours maximum
The Graduate School requires a Diversity and Inclusion component for all graduate students.  EngE 5304 Graduate Student Success in a Multicultural Environment meets this requirement and is listed as a supporting course on the plan of study.

Seminar Program: All full-time Blacksburg students must participate in the Mechanical Engineering seminar series each semester by registering in ME 5944.  
These hours are not counted towards technical course requirements and are not listed on the plan of study.

Ethics:  All graduate students must meet the Graduate School's Ethics requirement by completing CITI Training modules on Canvas or, the supporting course, GRAD 5014 Academic Integrity & Plagiarism, within their first 2 semesters.  

      No courses below the 4000 level are accepted for graduate credit.

      Contact the ME graduate program for approval procedures before                        taking any Independent Study (5974 only) courses.

      Summer registration is not required for continuing students.

In addition, matriculating doctoral students must pass the PhD Qualifying exam within their first 3 semesters, as well as passing a Preliminary Exam/Proposal Defense at least 6 months prior to the Final Defense. A written Dissertation is required for the Final Defense.  Please refer to the ME Graduate Handbook for more information about the PhD Qualifying exam.

Direct PhD

MS Students may skip the MS and enroll as a "Direct-PhD" by securing a PhD Research Faculty Mentor.  All PhD requirements are the same as listed above.



Concentrations

Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate

A student must take a total of at least 9 credit hours with a letter grade of B or better in every course to obtain the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate. Six credit hours must be from 5000-level courses or higher.  More information is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Required:
NSEG 5114 Nuclear Engineering Fundamentals: 3 credits
Electives: Minimum 6 credit hours from the approved course list (at least 3 credit
hours must be at the 5000-level or higher)
Offered In (National Capital Region, Hampton Roads, Virtual, Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.2
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • iBT
      • 105.0
  • IELTS
    • English Proficiency
      • 7.0

The thesis MS program is offered in-person and seeks to prepare graduate students by providing them with practical and theoretical engineering knowledge.  The thesis MS program trains students to become technical leaders, design a research methodology which solves an existing engineering problem, present on their research, and contribute to the scholarly work of the global mechanical engineering community.

The non-thesis MS program is available virtually.  The non-thesis MS seeks to educate graduate engineering students by providing them with preparation in the essential sciences and technology of Mechanical Engineering. This option complements our current offerings and provides potential graduate students with another opportunity which may better suit their needs, than the MS with thesis option. The non-thesis MS program involves academic course work, a research component related to coursework or, a review of research papers and concludes with a final presentation to the Examination Committee. The purpose is to ensure a research component is preserved through this MS degree program.  This degree option may be more applicable for those applicants who are interested in part-time studies, who are employed and pursuing professional development, or careers in industry.

Please contact megrad@vt.edu for specific location information. Acceptance into the VT Mechanical Engineering graduate program is based on the overall application package.  Admission does not guarantee financial assistance.  Non-thesis MS students do not qualify for departmental funding.  In general, the minimum target requirements are to the left.  The application materials required can be accessed from the ME Graduate Students web page.

Master of Science (MS) Thesis Degree Requirements

The Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering requires students to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of technical graduate course study beyond the baccalaureate, and complete a research thesis. MS students must submit a proposed Plan of Study to the ME Graduate Coordinator & Academic Advisor before completing the first semester registered as an MS student.  An official final plan of study is due by the end of the second semester. 

The MS in Mechanical Engineering must include the following minimum requirements:

  1. Research and Thesis (5994): 6 hours minimum (A maximum of 10 hours of 5994 is allowed. Students should register in additional research hours as ME 7994 towards the PhD and these hours should not appear on the MS plan of study.)
  2. Approved technical coursework meeting the following requirements: 20 hours minimum

  • Courses numbered 5000, or higher: 15 hours minimum
  • ME Coursework: 9 hours minimum
  • ME approved Mathematics or Statistics:  3 hours post baccalaureate
  • A maximum of two Virginia Tech 4000 level courses is allowed to meet degree requirements and must be on the ME Technical Elective List for undergraduate ME students.  If it is a conjoint course, it must be taken at the 5000 level.
  • A maximum of 6 hours of Special Study (5984 only), and a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study (5974 only), with the total of both not to exceed 9 hours is allowed.
  • Transfer courses  meeting Graduate School policies, are listed and approved on the official Plan of Study.  Official transcripts and course descriptions are required.
Master of Science (nt-MS) non-thesis Degree Requirements
Departmental funding is not available for the non-thesis Master of Science (nt-MS) program, as this program does not require research hours but does require more coursework (24 hours).

The nt-MS (non-thesis) in Mechanical Engineering must include the following minimum requirements:
  1. Project and Report (5904):  1-6 hours
  2. Approved technical coursework meeting the following requirements:  30 hours minimum
  • Courses numbered 5000, or higher: 18 hours minimum
  • ME Coursework: 9 hours minimum
  • ME approved Mathematics or Statistics:  3 hours post baccalaureate
  • A maximum of two Virginia Tech 4000 level courses are allowed to meet degree requirements and must be on the ME Technical Elective List for undergraduate ME students.  If it is a conjoint course, it must be taken at the 5000 level.
  • A maximum of 6 hours of Special Study (5984 only), and a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study (5974 only), with the total of both not to exceed 9 hours is allowed.
  • Transfer courses  meeting Graduate School policies, are listed and approved on the official Plan of Study.  Official transcripts and course descriptions are required.
The Graduate School requires a Diversity and Inclusion component for all graduate students.  EngE 5304 Graduate Student Success in a Multicultural Environment meets this requirement and is listed as a supporting course on the plan of study.

Seminar Program: All full-time Blacksburg students must participate in the Mechanical Engineering seminar series each semester by registering in ME 5944.  
These hours are not counted towards technical course requirements and are not listed on the plan of study.

Ethics:  All graduate students must meet the Graduate School's Ethics requirement by completing CITI Training modules on Canvas or, the supporting course, GRAD 5014 Academic Integrity & Plagiarism, within their first 2 semesters.  

 
     No courses below the 4000 level are accepted for graduate credit.

     Contact the ME graduate program for approval procedures before
     taking any Independent Study (5974 only) courses.


     Summer registration is not required for continuing students.

Concentrations

Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate

A student must take a total of at least 9 credit hours with a letter grade of B or better in every course to obtain the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate. Six credit hours must be from 5000-level courses or higher.  More information is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Required:
NSEG 5114 Nuclear Engineering Fundamentals: 3 credits
Electives: Minimum 6 credit hours from the approved course list (at least 3 credit
hours must be at the 5000-level or higher)

Mechanical Engineering Facilities

To facilitate research, the department has specialized laboratories such as an anechoic chamber, a combustion laboratory, a computer-aided design laboratory, a fuel cells systems laboratory, a gas turbine test cell, impact biomechanics laboratory, a laser dynamics imaging laboratory, a mechatronics laboratory, a rapid prototyping laboratory, a reverberation room, and a thermal radiation laboratory among others. Many of these laboratories support one or more of the seven research centers and the more than 30 laboratory groups within the department.  A list of centers and research groups are listed below, including links to the web sites if available.
 

MultiScale Mechanics of Advanced Materials Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Reza Mirzaeifar

The MultiScale Mechanics of Advanced Materials Laboratory (MultiSMArt) group uses a wide range of theoretical, computational and experimental methods at different length scales to study the mechanics of various advanced materials including shape memory alloys, carbon-based materials, biological and bio-inspired materials, composites and soft materials. Please see the Research page for  more details about the active research topics in MultiSMArt.

Nuclear Materials and Fuel Cycle Center

Director:  Prof. Jinsuo Zhang

The Nuclear Materials and Fuel Cycle Center (NMFC) focuses on three research topics: material degradation, nuclear coolant chemistry and purification and electrochemical separation for nuclear applications. Degradation of structural materials including fuel cladding has been recognized as one of the key factors that affect the performance of a nuclear reactor, especially for Gen.IV advanced reactors. The material degradation can be due to the corrosive property of a nuclear coolant such as liquid metal, molten salt and high temperature water or the chemical reactions between different materials such as fuel cladding chemical interactions (FCCI). Electrochemical separation has been found to be an effective method to separate nuclear materials from spent nuclear fuels and purify advanced coolant such as molten salts and liquid metals.  Specifically, the center focuses on : 1) Nuclear Materials compatibility (materials corrosion/degradation), 2) Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technology; 3) Electrochemical Separation; 4) Nuclear Safeguards and nonproliferation; and 5) Advanced Coolant  (molten salt, liquid metal) chemistry and chemistry controlThe Center is equipped with following facilities/equipment:1)  Flow loops for materials corrosion and coolant chemistry: Molten salt loop, high-temperature water loop, high temperature steam loop and stress corrosion cracking loop2)  Glovebox systems for both radioactive and non-radioactive materials 3)  Autoclave systems for in-situ corrosion measurements (molten salt, high-temperature/pressure water, liquid metal)4)  High-temperature electrochemical cells for molten salt/liquid metal corrosion and chemistry5)  Low-temperature electrochemical cells for water corrosion and chemistry.

Abilities, Creativity, and Ethics in Design Laboratory

Director:  Diana Bairaktarova

Through real-world engineering applications, the Abilities, Creativity, and Ethics in Design Laboratory (ACE(D) Lab) experiential learning research crosses disciplines including engineering, psychology and the learning sciences, as we uncover how individual performance is influenced by abilities, personal interests and direct manipulation of physical and virtual objects. Led by Dr. Diana Bairaktarova, the ACE(D) Lab at Virginia Tech is dedicated to engineering and design education research and the engineering learner. Our interdisciplinary research focuses on the following three lines of inquiry:1. Using innovative technologies to study novel user interfaces, virtual and augmented learning and working environments that encompass human aspects at the cognitive, eye-tracking and sensory-motor levels.2. Investigating the role of individual aptitudes and abilities in performing and learning engineering through psychometric instruments and psychological interventions.3. Adopting design thinking as a philosophy (inspiration, ideation, and quick prototyping) to investigate user-centered design, empathic design and design for social innovation.

Acoustics and Functional Materials Lab

Director:  Prof. Zhenhua Tian

Acoustic waves carry both information and energy that allow them to generate images for material evaluation as well as create invisible robotic hands (i.e., acoustic tweezers) capable of manipulating matter. The research in the Acoustics and Functional Materials Lab aims to understand the acoustic wave-matter interaction at different length scales. Second, our research focuses on developing acoustic sensing and phased array imaging technologies for applications such as structural health monitoring, bio-sensing, and biomedical imaging. Third, we work on dynamic-field acoustic tweezers that enable non-contact controllable manipulation of objects (e.g., cells, DNA, and micro/nano-particles) for manufacturing and biomedical applications (e.g., bio-printing, gene/drug delivery, and neural stimulation). Fourth, we are interested in developing meta-materials with tailored properties/functionalities as well as phononic crystals that enable versatile control (e.g., guiding, focusing, and filtering) of kHz to MHz acoustic waves.

Adhesion Mechanics Laboratory

Director:  David Dillard

The Adhesion Mechanics Laboratory focuses on characterizing the integrity,  performance, and durability of adhesive bonds, elastomers, membranes, and other polymeric material systems.  Fracture mechanics and viscoelasticity principles are applied for the experimental characterization, as well as the analytical and numerical analyses, of bonded systems.  Ongoing and recent research activities have involved sponsorship from government and industrial entities, including in the aerospace, automotive, microelectronic, and consumer product areas.  Materials studied include structural and pressure sensitive adhesives, fuel cell membranes, hydrogels, additive manufactured materials, and bonded wood composites.

Advanced Combustion and Energy Laboratory

Director: Prof. Joseph Meadows

The Advanced Combustion and Energy Laboratory focuses on the research and development of next-generation combustion technologies for propulsion and power generating applications.  

Advanced Control Systems Lab

Director:  Andrea L'Afflitto

The Advanced Control Systems Lab (ACSL) at Virginia Tech focusses on the design of new guidance and control techniques for autonomous systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robotic arms, and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). With its 18,000 cubic feet test cage, 3D printers, and state-of-the-art computers, ACSL provides a unique learning experience to its numerous graduate and undergraduate student and trains them to be highly competitive in the modern, fast-paced job market. Additional details about the lab director, Dr. L'Afflitto, and ACSL can be found at http://lafflitto.com.

Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Ranga Pitchumani

The Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory (AMTL) focuses on research, development and demonstration in advancing the state-of-the-art in materials processing and manufacturing; energy systems; energy/water nexus; energy storage; and micro and nanotechnologies.

Advanced Propulsion and Power Laboratory

Co-Directors:  Profs. Todd Lowe & Wing Ng

Affiliated Faculty: Profs. Colin Adams, Joseph Meadows, Joseph Schetz, Changmin Son, Alexandrina Untaroiu, and Greg Young
The Virginia Tech Advanced Propulsion and Power Laboratory (APPL) comprises state-of-the-art experimental facilities dedicated to the study of jet propulsion, propulsion integration, and the internal design of gas turbine engines and other propulsion and power systems. This laboratory spans two sites adjacent to both the Virginia Tech campus and the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport. The mission of APPL is to support and facilitate research and research education with a pathway for technology maturation and transition for aviation, defense, and power generation sponsors in government and industry.The goals of the laboratory include (1) providing laboratory facilities and an environment for collaboration among faculty, students, and researchers on turbomachinery, propulsion aerodynamics, hypersonics, and rocketry research, (2) educating students for research and development in aviation, defense, and power generation fields (3) providing value to sponsors, leading to high impact publication of research findings,  and (4) exhibiting an active presence in the greater propulsion and power technical community that enhances the laboratory reputation through conference participation and professional leadership.
Advanced Power and Propulsion Laboratory (APPL) is a state-of-the-art, leading-edge facility dedicated to the study of jet propulsion and the internal design of gas turbine engines and other propulsion and power systems.

Advanced Research Computing

Director:  Prof. Terry Herdman

Advanced Research Computing (ARC) provides centralized support for research computing by building, operating and promoting the use of advanced cyberinfrastructure at Virginia Tech. ARC seeks to maximize research productivity at Virginia Tech through interdisciplinary collaborations that connect researchers to new opportunities in computing and data driven research. ARC also provides a competitive advantage to VT research in obtaining external research support. Towards this end, ARC delivers a comprehensive ecosystem consisting of advanced computational systems, large-scale data storage, visualization facilities, software, and consulting services. By fostering strategic partnerships, ARC serves to cultivate advanced computing infrastructure as a platform for collaboration and helps secure the position of Virginia Tech as a leader in education, innovation, and research. ARC offers and hosts conferences, seminars, scientific computing courses and lectures catering to all levels of academia while creating a more socially inclusive environment and broadening the collective insight of the field through increased diversity.

Advanced STRuctures and Optimization (ASTRO) Lab

Director:  Prof. Pinar Acar

Advanced STRuctures and Optimization (ASTRO) Lab
We are interested in advanced computational problems (multi-scale modeling, design, optimization, uncertainty quantification, model reduction) for a large variety of structures (metals, metallic alloys, composites) in different length scales (molecular, meso and macro scales).


Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Mehdi Ahmadian

The Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Lab (AVDL), part of the Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety (CVeSS) at Virginia Tech, was established in 1995 by Dr. Mehdi Ahmadian, J. Bernard Jones Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering. AVDL provides innovative and cost-effective solutions in advanced vehicle technologies toward improving the sponsors' products and market share, creates a productive environment for educating both graduate and undergraduate students, and conducts state-of-the-art research in the area of vehicle dynamics. The lab currently has several research scientists, visiting scholars, graduate research assistants, and undergraduate students. AVDL has obtained more than 10 million dollars of funded research in vehicle dynamics and control.

Assistive Robotics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Alan Asbeck

The 
Assistive Robotics Laboratory (ARL) focuses on developing human-assistance devices and on understanding how to make them work most effectively with the body.  The goal is to help people to regain capabilities they have lost, or enable people to perform feats that were not previously possible.

Autonomous Systems and Intelligent Machines Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Azim Eskandarian

The Autonomous Systems and Intelligent Machines Laboratory (ASIM) is established to conduct research in controlling multiple mechanical/electromechanical systems (robots, vehicles, mechanisms) to operate either autonomously or semi-autonomously in coordination with humans. We take advantage of intelligence created by a host of sensors, connectivity through communications, and advanced controls and learning algorithms. We also attempt to learn from biological systems and human brain functions, through signal processing, to mimic intelligent motor control.

Our current focus is on coordinated control of communication enabled mobile robots and vehicles with various on-board sensors which are linked to other robots/vehicles and surrounding environment. Our mobile robots emulate autonomous and connected vehicles with communications of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to Infrastructure (V2X) and Vehicle to other entities such as road users, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. We are developing and evaluating hybrid hierarchical control algorithms for autonomous driving, platooning, merging, and several other dynamic coordinated functions of intelligent vehicles and robots in complex environments.

A second area of focus is on driving safety dealing with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and active safety systems. We seek to understand driver cognitive perception-response abilities through human brain and physiological monitoring and modeling motor/control actions. The in-depth understanding of the driver's perception-response to external stimuli enables development of more coherent ADAS, thus leading to more intelligent vehicles. These vehicles better interact with drivers and support driving functions automatically as a continuously supporting co-pilot. Driving, due to its complexity and involvement of continuous sensing, decision making, and perception-response tasks, is a suitable test bed for human brain monitoring and investigation. However, our research discoveries would be similarly useful and applicable to other brain-controlled tasks and functions such as limb control, patient rehabilitation, or brain control of machines.

Batra Computational Mechanics Laboratory

Director:  Romesh Batra

The Batra Computational Mechanics Laboratory at Virginia Tech specializes in the development of mathematical and computational models of nonlinear and multi-physics phenomena that involve thermal, mechanical, viscous and electrical effects in elastic (e.g., rubber like, and biological materials), elastic-plastic (e.g., ceramics, metals, polymers), and thermo-visco-elasto-plastic materials under extreme loads such as those caused by improvised explosive devices and slamming of a boat into water (i.e., fluid-structure interaction).  The group studies the initiation and progression of damage and failure in monolithic and composites including sandwich structures with fiber-reinforced 


 

Center for Bioinspired Science & Technology

Director:  Prof. Rolf Mueller

The Center for Bioinspired Science & Technology (BIST) is an interdisciplinary research center at Virginia Tech that is dedicated to the study of biological function from an engineering perspective. The goal of the research is to create novel technology based on insights obtained from biological model systems that continue to outperform their man-made peers.  Within the BIST Center, Dr. Mueller's team uses a combination of soft-robotics and deep learning to understand and replicate the function of the biosonar system in bats. If successful, this research could lead to new technologies for realizing autonomy in complex natural environments.

Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems

Director:  Prof. Lei Zuo

The Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS) is a  National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Collaborative Research Center with sites at Virginia Tech, Columbia University and Penn State University.  Working on both fundamental and applied research, CEHMS aims at developing interdisciplinary strengths and integrated solutions for energy harvesting and applications, using the principles of vibration and dynamics, mechatronics design, control systems, fluid mechanics, smart/functional materials, advanced manufacturing, and power electronics. The recent focus of CEHMS is on marine renewable energy (wave, tidal, current, riverine), offshore wind energy, intelligent vehicle and transportation, self-powered control, and energy-sustainable sensors.

Center for Energy Systems Research

Director:  Prof. Michael von Spakovsky

The mission of the Center for Energy Systems Research  (CESR) is to conduct both fundamental and applied research into all aspects of energy systems and their components whether for transportation, stationary, or portable applications. Single disciplinary and multidisciplinary research includes analytical, numerical, and experimental modeling from the atomistic to the large-scale system levels. In addition, faculty develop and teach energy-based courses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as short courses on various topics such as, for example, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, fuel cells, building energy systems, hybrid electric vehicles, etc.

Center for Injury Biomechanics - Virginia Tech/Wake Forest

Director:  Prof. Warren Hardy

The Center for Injury Biomechanics (CIB) performs research investigating human tolerance to impact loading. The application of this research includes automobile safety, military restraints, and sports biomechanics.

Center for Tire Research

Director:  Prof. Saied Taheri

The Center for Tire Research (CenTiRe) is an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) which focuses on supporting a research program in tire materials, modeling, manufacturing, and testing combined with rubber material prototyping and testing, and parallel computing and dynamic simulation capabilities.

Our two world-class university sites, Virginia Tech and the University of Akron, have the expertise and facilities to perform the research requested by our industry members.  They also serve as an excellent training ground for students to enter industry. 

Our industry members are at core of the Center through involvement in the Industry Advisory Board, setting the operating procedures and direction of research to be carried out by the Center.  These members come from the tire, vehicle, materials, and testing industries.  They cooperatively propose and select the research to be conducted, fund the work through their combined annual membership fees, mentor the ongoing work, and share in the results.  This process facilitates the transfer of technology from the university to the industry members, as well as linking the companies to graduate students as potential interns and future employees.

Research already conducted by CenTiRe for our members has spanned the range from molecular level filler/polymer interaction, improved compounding, material characterization, durability testing and simulation, tire/road/ice interactions, radiated noise, intelligent tire, and tire/vehicle/road surface simulations.  Many of our graduated students who gained experience in these Center-funded projects are now working in our member companies.

CenTiRe looks to continue to grow, both in its industry memberships and by adding universities with expertise that complement our already existing capabilities to better perform tire and tire-related research for our members. 

Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Co-Directors:  Prof. Craig Woolsey & Kevin Kochersberger

The Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) is an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center whose members include Brigham Young University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Virginia Tech, and the University of Michigan. The center is the only National Science Foundation-funded unmanned aircraft research center to provide innovative solutions to key technical challenges and superb training for future leaders in the unmanned aircraft systems industry.  

Center for Vehicle Systems & Safety

Director:  Prof. Mehdi Ahmadian

The Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety (CVeSS) at Virginia Tech was established in 2004 by Dr. Mehdi Ahmadian, J. Bernard Jones Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of CVeSS. The Center consists of two laboratories: Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL, established 1995) and Railway Technologies Laboratory (RTL, established 2004). The center is served by a large number of faculty members, research scientists, visiting scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students, who support a diverse portfolio of projects. CVeSS conducts state-of-the-art fundamental, scientific, and experimental research in the area of road, rail and marine vehicles. It provides innovative and cost-effective solutions in our area of expertise to improve our sponsors’ technologies, products and market share, and creates a productive environment for educating students to better serve their future employers.

Cheng Computational and Theoretical Soft Matter Laboratory

Director:   Prof. Shengfeng Cheng

The Cheng Computational and Theoretical Soft Matter Laboratory group is mainly interested in soft condensed matter systems, including both biological and synthetic polymers, nanoparticles, and nanocomposites. Researchers in the group use molecular dynamics simulations and theoretical models based on statistical mechanics to study phenomena including supramolecular/supramacromolecular self-assembly, nanoparticle self-assembly, evaporation, wetting, adhesion, friction, and crumpling phenomena.

Collaborative Robotics Lab

Director:  Prof. Dylan Losey

Welcome to the Collaborative Robotics Lab (Collab) at Virginia Tech! We create learning and control algorithms for robots that collaborate with people. Our goal is to develop intelligent robots that understand — and are understood by — their human partners. These robots personalize their behavior: continually adapting to what the human wants and proactively helping them to achieve their goals. Overall, our research explores the intersection of human-robot interaction, machine learning, and control theory, with applications in personal, interactive, and assistive robots.  

Combustion, Atomization, & Multiphase Physics Research Group

Director : Prof. John Palmore Jr

The Combustion, Atomization, & Multiphase Physics Research (CAMPhyRe) Group develops high-fidelity numerical methods to study turbulent multiphase flows with special emphasis on combustion and energy conversion systems. We study topics including  fuel spray combustion and foreign object damage (particle motion and impact). In developing our numerical methods we rely heavily on massively parallel, high performance computing techniques to accelerate our code. As such, our work lies at the nexus of engineering, mathematics, and computer science. We leverage high performance computing resources at Virginia Tech Advanced Research Computing Center to perform our work.

Complex Systems Lab

Director: Nicole Abaid

Our research focuses on the dynamics and control of multi-agent systems with real-world applications. Current projects include modeling and control of animal group behavior, neural networks, and collaborative human-robot teams.

Design, Research & Education of Additive Manufacturing Systems Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Christopher Williams

The research mission of the Design, Research & Education of Additive Manufacturing Systems Laboratory (DREAMS) is to advance the materials and processes of Additive Manufacturing technologies (commonly referred to as “3D Printing”).  Researchers blend computer-aided design, mechatronics, manufacturing science, and materials science to gain fundamental understanding of process-property-structure relationships and to create new objects with unparalleled performance that could not be achieved through any other means. With access to every modality of additive manufacturing, DREAMS Lab students are able to push the boundaries of today’s machines to process tomorrow’s materials.

Dynamic Matter Research Lab

Dynamic Matter Research Lab
Director: Prof. Suyi Li


Our lab's long-term research vision is to foster a new paradigm of structures and material systems with programmable properties" and "physical intelligence.  We refer to them as the "dynamic matter," and they could take up a variety of forms and functions: such as mechanical metamaterials that can adapt their responses on-demand; soft robot bodies that can perform control tasks with minimal or even no electronics; or large-scale architectural components that can react to ambient environmental changes intelligently. We firmly believe that this dynamic matter concept can cross-pollinate with many different disciplines — within and outside of mechanical engineering — and fundamentally advance our strategic industries like aerospace, bio-medicine, manufacturing, and robotics.

To build these dynamic matters, we take an integrated approach encompassing optimal design, theoretical analysis, and experimental validation.  In particular, we focus on creating and harnessing unorthodox relationships between geometry and dynamics, taking many inspirations from art and nature like origami folds and plant tissue physiology.  We believe that these geometries can be used to architect new dynamics and open avenues toward our long-term vision.

Energy Harvesting and Mechatronics Research Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Lei Zuo

The Energy Harvesting and Mechatronics Research Laboratory conducts applied and fundamental research in  energy harvesting, vibration control, mechatronics design, vehicle dynamics, thermoelectric materials, smart structures, and advanced sensors. Multi-disciplinary approaches are taken to address the challenges on large scale energy harvesting (from ocean wave, wind, etc.), energy harvesting for self-power control (vehicles and civil structures), energy harvesting for autonomous sensors and IoTs, and advanced manufacturing of energy harvesting materials.

Energy Storage Systems Design and Manufacturing Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Zheng Li

Energy Storage Systems Design and Manufacturing Laboratory focuses on research and education in the design and advanced manufacturing of energy storage systems. The mission is to enable wider adoption of energy storage technologies for transportation and electrical grid with no disruption to the critical materials supply chain. Multidisciplinary research activities include long-duration energy storage systems for electrical grids, cyber-enabled automatic lithium-ion battery recycling, combinatorial energy storage materials synthesis and characterization. Dr. Li develops and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on Energy Storage Systems Design and Manufacturing, and Industrial Internet of Things Platform. 

Extreme Environments and Materials Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Brian Lattimer
In the Extreme Environments and Materials Laboratory (Extreme Lab)
We explore the environment produced by hazards, impact of that environment on materials and systems, development of sensing/diagnostics to quantify the behavior, and creation of technology for improved performance in field applications.

Future Materials Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Reza Mirzaeifar

Future Materials Laboratory group uses a wide range of experimental, theoretical, and computational methods at different length scales to study the mechanics of various advanced materials including 3D printed (Additively Manufactured) metals, Metal-Graphene Composites, Shape Memory Polymers, and biological/bio-inspired materials. Please see the group page for more details about the active research topics in Future Materials Lab.

Granata Biomechanics Lab

Director: Dr. Robin Queen

Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics Lab (Granata Lab) studies changes in movement mechanics that result from injury and surgical interventions. In addition, we work to design and test new technologies for the assessment of movement and load distribution in non-laboratory systems and we are beginning to collaborate to advance assessment methods in in-home settings. 

High Performance Computational Fluid Thermal Science and Engineering Lab

Director:  Prof. Danesh Tafti

The High Performance Computational Fluid Thermal Science and Engineering Lab focuses on research in the advancement and application of computational methods and tools to aid the physical understanding and design of fluid-thermal systems. The lab’s research spans methods and software development on supercomputers, jet propulsion, renewable energy, biological and biomedical systems.

Hybrid Dynamic Systems and Robot Locomotion Laboratory

Director: Kaveh Akbari Hamed

The Hybrid Dynamic Systems and Robot Locomotion (HDSRL) lab aims to establish a firm foundation to create innovative algorithms to systematically design resilient and intelligent controllers for a wide range of dynamic systems with nonlinear and hybrid nature. These systems include, but are not limited to, (1) autonomous robots for disaster response and industrial applications, (2) cooperative multiagent systems with decentralized and distributed control policies, (3) walking and running robots with human/animal morphology, and (4) complex systems.

Intelligent Transportation Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Saied Taheri

The mission of the Intelligent Transportation Laboratory (ITL) is to improve the road transportation safety through development and application of the state-of-the-art sensors, actuators, and control systems.


Laboratory for Graphene-X and Thermal Engineering

Director:  Prof. Roop L. Mahajan

The laboratory houses a facility for synthesis of graphene from coal and graphite. It includes a probe-type ultra-sonicator, a centrifuge machine, three chemical hoods,  high-energy ball-milling device and conventional ball-milling and other related characterization and testing equipment. The laboratory is also a home to   experimental rigs for measurement of thermal conductance and convective transport in interface materials and high porosity foams. 

Laboratory of Transport Phenomena for Advanced Technologies

Director:  Prof. Rui Qiao

The Laboratory of Transport Phenomena for Advanced Technologies focuses on atomistic, mesoscopic, and continuum simulation of transport phenomena including fluid, ion, thermal, and particulate transport. These researches are driven by challenges emerging at the frontiers of advanced technologies such as dewatering, turbine engine protection, electrical energy storage, and thermal management.

Manufacturing and Tribology Laboratory

Manufacturing and Tribology Laboratory
Director:  Prof. Bart Raeymaekers

The Manufacturing and Tribology Laboratory is active in two areas: advanced manufacturing of complex mechanical systems, materials, and devices and tribology with an emphasis on micro- and nanoscale lubrication. Our research finds application in manufacturing of novel engineered polymer composite materials, micro- and nanoscale surface engineering, manufacturing of prosthetic implants, and tribology of additive manufacturing.

Mechanics of Complex Materials Lab

Director: Prof. Maryam Shakiba

Mechanics of Complex Materials Lab (MCML).  We use theoretical and computational mechanics to unravel the link between the composition, microstructure, and performance of complex and advanced materials under different extreme environmental and mechanical loadings. This integration of computational techniques and material sciences provides engineers and researchers a tool to design sustainable, multifunctional, and additively manufactured systems.

Mechanics of Living Material Lab

Director: Prof. Sohan Kale

The Mechanics of Living Materials Lab studies emergent behaviors in cells and tissues with a multiscale materials approach. We develop theoretical and computational models for active, dynamic, and coupled mechano-bio-chemical behaviors on subcellular, cellular, and tissue scales relevant in physiology, health, and diseases.

Micro/NanoScale Biotic/Abiotic Systems Engineering Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Bahareh Behkam

Micro/NanoScale Biotic/Abiotic Systems Engineering (MicroN BASE) laboratory's interest is in experimental and theoretical investigation of phenomena at the interface of biological and synthetic systems at the micro and nanoscale. Current research activities are: (1) Developing bio-hybrid micro-robotic systems in which biological components are utilized for actuation, sensing, communication, and control (e.g. bacteria-enabled autonomous drug delivery systems for cancer therapy) (2) Studying mechanism of adhesion, motility and sensing in mammalian cells and unicellular microorganisms (e.g. effect of surface nano-topography on fungal biofilm formation). We utilize 2D and 3D microfluidic platforms to establish well-defined and repeatable test environments for most of our projects.

Multiphase Flow and Thermal-hydraulics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Yang Liu

The Multiphase Flow and Thermal-hydraulics Laboratory (MFTL) performs experimental and computational studies on various multiphase flow and reactor thermal-hydraulics topics. In the first area, we study the full spectrum of two-phase flow regimes that are of practical interest, ranging from bubble nucleation to film and droplet dynamics. Research activities include advanced instrumentation development, experimental studies, and model development for both 1-D system codes and 3-D CFD codes. In the area of reactor thermal-hydraulics, the focus is on reactor safety related issues. Specific topics include air entrainment in the emergency core cooling system, flow structure development in rod bundles, flow induced vibration on piping elements, passive safety systems, and spent fuel pool safety. MFTL has several test loops for two-phase flow experiment and instrumentation development. These test loops are equipped with high-precision instruments including magnetic flow meters, air mass flow meters, and differential pressure transducers. An existing high-speed imaging system consists of multiple (up to five) high-speed cameras, with an attainable frame rate up to 500,000 fps and resolution up to 6016x1024 pixels. A fast X-ray line-detector system can provide X-ray imaging at spatial resolution of 100 micrometer and a frame rate exceeding 1000 Hz. MFTL also has the capability to develop in-house instrumentation systems, such as multi-sensor conductivity probes, impedance void meters, and film thickness sensors. The dedicated computing resources include a 64-core AMD Opteron workstation and several multi-core Intel Xeon based workstations. The lab has access to Virginia Tech's high-performance computing systems, which houses more than five high performance clusters and necessary software packages including ANSYS CFX, ANSYS FLUENT and OpenFOAM, to perform single- and multi-phase CFD simulations.

Multiphysics Intelligent and Dynamical Systems (MInDS) laboratory

Director:  Shima Shahab

The theoretical and experimental research program at Multiphysics Intelligent and Dynamical Systems (MInDS) laboratory focuses on the structural dynamics and wave propagation in ultrasound-responsive intelligent material systems. The various interdisciplinary applications include wireless acoustic power transfer, acoustic holographic lenses, ultrasound atomization, microfluidics driven via ultrasonic, and ultrasound responsive polymer-based systems.

Nature-Inspired Fluids & Interfaces

Director:  Jonathan Boreyko

The Nature-Inspired Fluids & Interfaces laboratory (NIFI) studies novel materials and phenomena exhibited by animals, plants, and the environment.  We then exploit these to design innovative technology, with a focus on advanced materials, water harvesting, and renewable energy.  For example, building synthetic trees that mimic the transpiration cycle of natural plants, to collect fresh water or for energy generation.  Our research is a multi-disciplinary combination of fluids dynamics, phase-change heat transfer, materials science, and thermodynamics.    

Ng Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Wing Ng

The Ng Laboratory is a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to advancing the core technologies and capabilities of aerospace propulsion and ground-based power generation. It is part of the Advanced Power and Propulsion Laboratory which houses four test cells and a fundamental research laboratory with a number of experimental rigs that simulate the flow and thermal conditions throughout propulsion engines and gas turbines.

Nonlinear Systems Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Craig Woolsey

The Nonlinear Systems Laboratory (NSL) in the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department at Virginia Tech provides a facility for research and instruction in
dynamics and control of nonlinear systems, with particular focus on autonomous ocean and atmospheric vehicles. Founded in 2005, the NSL is co-directed by Dr. Cornel Sultan, Dr. Mazen Farhood, and Dr. Craig Woolsey. The Lab supports Virginia Tech's Autonomy and Robotics group.

Nuclear Science and Engineering Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Alireza Haghighat

The Nuclear Science and Engineering Laboratory (NSEL) is a unique research laboratory strategically located within a regional triangle of the Virginia Tech Research Center (VTRC) at Arlington, the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg, and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER), an industry-based research hub in New London, Virginia. Under the auspices of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), NSEL facilitates collaboration among its members and government agencies, industrial organizations, and educational institutions. It draws the expertise of faculty members from different disciplines and promotes nuclear education by offering workshops, courses, and seminars.

NSEL enables the VT Nuclear Engineering Program to fill a void in nuclear education and research in the National Capital Region. It is expected that NSEL activities will lead to establishment of new centers, vigorous research activities, engagement in nuclear policy development, and innovations of new tools and devices and computational tools for application in nuclear power, nuclear security and safeguards, and radiation diagnosis and therapy. NSEL will contribute to enhancing nuclear education in the NCR, and training of the next generation nuclear scientists and engineers.
In August 2015, NSEL signed an agreement with the US Naval Academy (USNA). Under this agreement, VT faculty and students engage with the USNA midshipmen and faculty in joint research and educational activities and benefit from the nuclear facilities at USNA.

Performance Engineering Research Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Steve Southward

The mission of the Performance Engineering Research Laboratory (PERL) is to enhance the performance of sport, military, industrial, and commercial vehicles with the development and application of innovative active & adaptive control strategies. Our goal is to advance the state-of-the-art in vehicle suspension design, testing, and optimization with breakthrough innovations for improving vehicle ride and handling.



Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

The Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory's mission is to conduct advanced fundamental and applied research in robotics, intelligent autonomous systems, robotic vision and visual serving/odometry, machine learning, human-robot interactions, mechatronics design, systems dynamics and control, mechanism design and system integration, and novel sensing and actuation. Examples of research application areas and projects include autonomous mobile robots with symbiosis of locomotion and manipulation and modular and reconfigurable mobile robotics for search & rescue and hazardous environment sensing and monitoring; intelligent bio-inspired robotic tails for robust dynamic stabilization and agile maneuvering of legged robots on rough terrain; haptics devices and upper-extremity exoskeletons for tele-operation and rehabilitation; autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launch and recovery from naval vessels; advanced medical devices and robotic systems for precision surgery; and novel smart sensors and actuators for biomedical applications.

Ross Dynamics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Shane Ross

The Ross Dynamics Laboratory at Virginia Tech specializes in applications of nonlinear dynamics, performing mathematical modeling, simulation, visualization, and experiments with applications in several different fields, including: patterns of dispersal in oceanic and atmospheric flows, passive and active aerodynamic gliding, dynamic buckling of flexible structures, transport across the air-water interface, orbital mechanics, chemical physics, and causality analysis in complex natural and artificial systems.

Soft Materials and Structures Lab

Director: Prof. Michael D. Bartlett

The research in the Soft Materials and Structures Lab lies at the intersection of soft materials, mechanics, and functionality.  Through precise experiments and analyses, we study and exploit the fascinating interplay between material composition, geometry, and programmed deformations.  This interdisciplinary and biomimetic approach aims to create advanced, multifunctional materials with novel combinations of mechanical and functional properties, including ‘smart’ adhesives, deformable electronics and soft robotics, and adaptive materials.

Spinneret based Tunable Engineered Parameters Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Amrinder Nain

The Spinneret based Tunable Engineered Parameters (STEP) is a pseudo dry spinning technique that allows the deposition of nano-micron sized diameter fibers with user defined control of  diameter, spacing, and deposition angle.

Terramechanics, Multibody, and Vehicle Systems Laboratory

Director:  Prof.   Corina Sandu

The Terramechanics, Multibody, and Vehicle Systems (TMVS) Laboratory educates students and conducts research in a broad range of fundamental and applied topics in the three main areas mentioned in its name: terramechanics (vehicle-terrain interaction, tire/track modeling, vehicle mobility, soil/terrain modeling), multibody systems (modeling, simulation, uncertainty quantification, parameter estimation, sensitivity analysis, design optimization), and vehicle dynamics (tire dynamics, suspension modeling; handling, ride, and performance analysis).

Terrestrial Robotics and Control Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Alex Leonessa

The Terrestrial Robotics and Controls Laboratory  (TREC)  at Virginia Tech is a facility for graduate and undergraduate robotics research and education with an emphasis on studying novel mobile robot locomotion strategies, such as bipedal, quadrupedal, and soft robotics. Potential areas of application are exoskeletons for rehabilitation and performance enhancement, search and rescue, precision agriculture, just to mention a few.


Theoretical and Applied Fluid Mechanics Group

 Director: Mark A. Stremler

The Theoretical and Applied Fluid Mechanics (TAFM) Group conducts research on a range of topics in fluid mechanics, including reduced-order mathematical, numerical, and experimental models of fluid flows, with an emphasis on fluid-structure interaction, flows dominated by coherent vortical structures, microfluidic systems, fluid dynamics in biological systems, and connections to dynamical systems theory, particularly applications to fluid mixing.

Unmanned Systems Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Kevin Kochersberger

The Unmanned Systems Laboratory brings together a diverse collection of researchers to a common facility dedicated to autonomous and remotely operated systems development and integration.

VT Railroad Advanced Initiatives Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Mehdi Ahmadian

The Railway Technology Laboratory (RTL), part of the Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety (CVeSS) at Virginia Tech, was established in 2004 as an Association of American Railroads (AAR) affiliated laboratory. Dr. Mehdi Ahmadian, J. Bernard Jones Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is the founding director of RTL. RTL explore advanced technologies for the railroads and their suppliers to be more efficient and competitive in their day-to-day operations, conduct state-of-the-art scientific and experimental research in railroad and rail vehicles, and create a productive environment for educating both graduate and undergraduate students to better serve their future employers. Currently, RTL is a member of consortium (called “RailTEAM”) of Virginia Tech, UNLV, and the University of Delaware, which is the only DOT University Transportation Center (DOT-UTC) in rail transportation.


Vehicle Terrain Performance Laboratory

Director:  Prof. John Ferris

The mission of the Vehicle Terrain Performance Lab (VTPL) is to improve vehicle system performance by studying the interactions between vehicles and terrain.


Veterinary-Medicine Sensor Development Group

Director:  Dr. Mary Kasarda (maryk@vt.edu)

Our group explores the development of non-invasive sensing approaches, such as the application of computer-vision and acoustic measurement techniques, for monitoring animals in veterinary-medicine and animal-care scenarios to help support improvements in the health and well-being of animals.  For example, our research in computer-vision applications lays the groundwork for robust tool development for noninvasively monitoring horses, and without the required presence of humans, in such applications as post-operative monitoring, foaling, evaluation of performance horses in competition, as well as for providing quantitative data for research on animal behavior and welfare, among other scenarios.  Dr. Kasarda is an affiliate faculty in the CENTAUR Center in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

Vibrations & Acoustics Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Christopher Fuller

The Vibrations and Acoustics Laboratory's (VAL) mission is to devote our research staff and facilities to the solution of major scientific problems in vibrations and acoustics and to improving the quality of life as far as noise pollution, in the communities that we serve.  One of our primary goals is to develop seminal new knowledge and solutions to difficult problems in sound and vibration. In addition, we aim to provide a foundation of knowledge, expertise and leadership in the field of sound and vibration control.

Virginia Tech Microelectromechanical Systems Laboratory

Director:  Prof. Masoud Agah

Virginia Tech Microelectromechanical Systems Laboratory (VT MEMS Lab) The current research at VT MEMS Lab centers on the development of CMOS-compatible three-dimensional silicon micro-machining techniques, smart microchip coolers, micro gas analyzers for environmental and healthcare applications, and bio-chips for cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment monitoring. In addition, the lab is pursuing research to merge MEMS (top-down approach) and nanotechnology (bottom-up approach) in order to enhance the performance of the micro-systems under development in our group. 

Visionarium

Visionarium Laboratory for virtual 3-D visualization was upgraded in June 2016, with a new immersive projection system: the HyperCube. Like the CAVE and VisCube before it, the HyperCube has three rear-projected ten foot square walls and a top-projected floor with a cutout hiding a MOOG motion platform. The HyperCube features numerous hardware and software upgrades to increase the performance and fidelity of the visualization, including: more pixels (2560×2560 active stereo per wall), more brightness, more contrast, surround sound, as well as a new optical tracking system. The HyperCube is connected to the ARC clusters using the 10Gbps VT-RNet. Numerous scientific visualization, 3D authoring, conversion, and publishing software are available on PID-accessible Lab workstations.
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