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Facilities

The Mechanical Engineering laboratories contain facilities for instruction and research in the fields of:
  • Manufacturing
  • Material Science
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Combustion Instrumentation
  • Vibration and Control Systems
  • Design for Extreme Environments

Laboratory Descriptions

The Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Prototyping Lab consists of two machine shops and a prototyping area.. One machine shop is dedicated to student use for University-directed design and research projects. The second is a teaching lab used for undergraduate and graduate instruction. Both are equipped with modern machine tools such as lathes and milling machines. The milling machines all have two-axis computer numerically controlled (CNC) capability. The teaching lab also houses both a 3-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) vertical milling machines (VMC) and a CNC lathe. Commercial CAM software is available to aid programming of the computer controlled equipment. The prototyping area is equipped with a Rapid Prototyping system that utilizes fused deposition model (FDM) to create plastic prototypes from CAD-generated models. Also featured in this area is a LaserCAMM CNC laser cutting system for nonmetallic materials.

The Engine Laboratory contains a variety of internal combustion engines installed on dynamometer stands that can be used for studies of diesel and spark-ignition engines. The facilities include a chassis dynamometer and instrumentation for evaluating engine performance, measuring exhaust gas emissions, and measuring noise. Studies can be conducted using a variety of fuels. 

The Fluid Dynamics/Thermal Science Lab contains equipment to illustrate the principles of fluid flow and familiarize students with hydraulic machines, refrigeration cycles, and their instrumentation. The lab also contains a subsonic wind tunnel equipped with an axial flow fan with adjustable pitch blades to study aerodynamics. Research tools include modern non-intrusive flow measurement systems. Visit the website.

The Heat Transfer Laboratory contains equipment to describe three modes of heat transfer. The temperature measurement of the extended surface system allows students to learn steady state conduction, and the pyrometer enables measurement of emitted power by radiation. The training systems for heat exchanger and refrigeration system are also placed in the lab.

The Instrumentation Lab contains seven computer stations equipped with state-of-the-art, PC-based data acquisition hardware and software systems. A variety of transducers and test experiments for making mechanical, thermal, and fluid measurements are part of this lab.

The Materials Laboratory contains equipment for metallography and optical examination of the microstructure of materials as well as instruments for mechanical properties characterization including tension, compression, hardness, and impact testing. The Materials Laboratory also has a tube furnace for heat treating and a specialized bell-jar furnace for pour casting and suction casting of metallic glasses and novel alloy compositions.

The Robotic Systems Laboratory is a center for interdisciplinary laboratory specializing in the design, control and teleoperation of highly capable robotic systems for scientific discovery, technology validation, and engineering education. Laboratory students develop and operate systems that include spacecraft, underwater robots, aircraft and land rovers. These projects serve as ideal testbeds for learning and conducting research in mechatronic system design, guidance and navigation, command and control systems, and human-machine interfaces.  Visit the website.

The Vibrations and Control Systems Lab is equipped with two flexible test systems. One is capable of single or multi DOF modes, free or forced motion, and adjustable damping. The other is an inverted pendulum. Both systems can be controlled by a wide variety of control algorithms and are fully computer connected for data acquisition and control.