Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Research

The department has 34 full-time, tenured, or tenure-track faculty plus five research faculty whose expertise spans across a broad range of topics, including energy and power technology, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, computational mechanics, smart materials and systems, controls, acoustics, micro- and nano-technology, and materials science.

The research program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science has grown steadily, reaching nearly $6 million in research revenue funded by government agencies and industry.

Strong ties to industry have fostered a symbiotic relationship which both grows the local and national economy and enhances the educational experience of the students. The department houses more than a dozen research laboratories as well as a center.

The core competencies of the department's research are in many areas, most specifically: 

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Design
  • Materials for Extreme Conditions
  • Biomechanics and Medical Technologies
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Energy System Technologies
  • Quantitative and In Situ Materials Characterization

 

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND DESIGN

Active faculty members:

  • Hessam Babaee
  • Markus Chmielus
  • Sung Kwon Cho
  • Minking Chyu
  • Anthony Deardo
  • C. Isaac Garcia
  • Tevis Jacobs
  • Jung-Kun Lee
  • Ian Nettleship
  • David Schmidt
  • Albert To
  • Jeffrey Vipperman
  • Qing-Ming Wang
  • Xiong Wei
  • Jörg Wiezorek
  • Xudong Zhang

 

 

MATERIALS FOR EXTREME CONDITIONS

Active faculty members:

  • Minking Chyu
  • Anthony Deardo
  • C. Isaac Garcia
  • Tevis Jacobs
  • Gerald Meier
  • Wissam Saidi
  • Guofeng Wang
  • Qing-Ming Wang
  • Xiong Wei
  • Jörg Wiezorek
  • Sylvanus Wosu

 

BIOMECHANICS AND MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES

Active faculty members:

  • Sung Kwon Cho
  • William Clark
  • G. Paolo Galdi
  • Anne Robertson
  • Nitin Sharma
  • Patrick Smolinski
  • Jeffrey Vipperman
  • Qing-Ming Wang
  • Sylvanus Wosu
  • Xudong Zhang

 

MODELING AND SIMULATION

Active faculty members:

  • Hessam Babaee
  • G. Paolo Galdi
  • Peyman Givi
  • Sangyeop Lee
  • Anne Robertson
  • Wissam Saidi
  • David Schmidt
  • Patrick Smolinski
  • Albert To
  • Jeffrey Vipperman
  • Guofeng Wang
  • Xudong Zhang
  • Xiong Wei

 

ENERGY SYSTEM TECHNOLOGIES

Active faculty members:

  • Sung Kwon Cho
  • Minking Chyu
  • William Clark
  • Daniel Cole
  • Peyman Givi
  • Jung-Kun Lee
  • Sangyeop Lee
  • Gerald Meier
  • Jeffrey Vipperman
  • Guofeng Wang

 

QUANTITATIVE AND IN SITU MATERIALS CHARACTERIZATION

Active faculty members:

  • Markus Chmielus
  • Anthony Deardo
  • C. Isaac Garcia
  • Tevis Jacobs
  • Sangyeop Lee
  • Scott Mao
  • Anne Robertson
  • Wissam Saidi
  • Qing-Ming Wang
  • Xiong Wei
  • Jörg Wiezorek
  • Sylvanus Wosu

 

SUNG KWON CHO

• MEMS design and fabrication
• Micro/biofluidics
• BioMEMS

MINKING K. CHYU

• Heat and mass transfer
• Gas turbine cooling and durability
• Fuel cells
• Energy technology

WILLIAM W. CLARK

• Adaptive and morphing structures
• Energy harvesting
• Active and passive-semi-active vibration control
• Smart structures

DANIEL G. COLE

• Dynamic systems, measurement, and control
• Iterative and adaptive control
• Control of nanosystems
• Nanomanipulation and fabrication
• Optical traps
• Adaptive optics

GIOVANNI P. GALDI

• Linear and nonlinear stability
• Fluid/particle interaction
• Flow in channels and pipes

PEYMAN GIVI

• Turbulence
• Combustion
• Computational fluid dynamics
• Propulsion
• Stochastic processes

JUNG-KUN LEE

• Solar cell application of nanostructured materials
• Ion beam process and characterization
• Functional oxide materials

SCOTT X. MAO

• Experimental micro- and nanoscale mechanics
• Materials science
• Applied and fracture mechanics
• Thin films
• Metal/ceramic composites

GERALD H. MEIER

• High temperature oxidation
• Coatings
• Fuel cells
• Gas turbines

ANNE M. ROBERTSON

• Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid dynamics
• Cerebral vascular disease
• Constitutive modeling of soft biological tissues

WILLIAM S. SLAUGHTER

• Theoretical Solid Mechanics
• Life Prediction Models
• Strain Gradient Plasticity
• Sintered Materials
• Biomaterials

PATRICK SMOLINSKI

• Computational simulation and finite element analysis
• Orthopaedic device engineering, tissue characterization and tissue engineering
• Simulation and testing of surgical procedures and injury mechanisms
• Quantitative Anatomic characterization

JEFFREY VIPPERMAN

• Acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, and hearing loss prevention
• Applied control, including active noise and vibration control
• Control algorithm development (feedback and adaptive feedforward)
• Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design and fabrication
• Modeling and simulation of dynamic systems
• Smart structures and systems, including sensor and actuator development

QING-MING WANG

• Smart materials, including piezoelectrics and electrostrictives
• Thin films
• Actuator and sensor development
• MEMS design and fabrication
• Micro fuel cells
• BioMEMS

JÖRG M.K. WIEZOREK

• Material Science with emphasis on Processing-Structure-Property relationships in metals and intermetallic based alloys for high performance applications 
• Physical Metallurgy, Metal Physics:  Phase Transformations    
• Defects and Interfaces in Crystals, Microstructural Evolution, Mechanical and Magnetic properties
• Degradation of structural (steels & non-ferrous alloys, composites) in extreme environments  
• Advanced Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (SEM & TEM)
• Dynamic in-situ TEM study of deformation and transformation processes
• Quantitative electron and X-ray diffraction

SYLVANUS N. WOSU

• Impact physics/experimental mechanics
• Composite materials
• Biomechanics of cerebral oxygen metabolism

MARCUS CHMIELUS

• Multiscale Structure-Mechanical Property Investigation of Additive Manufactured Components for Development of a Reliable Qualification Method, NSF
• A Database Relating Powder Properties to Fatigue Strength for Binder Jet Printed Inconel, RAMP

SUNG KWON CHO

• Enhanced Water Recovery of Power Plant Cooling Tower Systems, DOE-NETL  
• Micro Swimming Drone, NSF  
• Electrowetting, Dielectrowetting, Dielectrophoresis and Digital Microfluids  
• Active Membranes for Mass Transport Augementation, CRDF
• Implantable Biosensors, DOD

MINKING K. CHYU

• Design, Fabrication and Performance Characterization of Near-Surface Embedding Cooling Channels with an Oxide Dispersion Strengthened (ODS) Coating Layer, DOE, University Turbine System Research

WILLIAM W. CLARK

• Structures with Reconfigurable Circulatory Systems, DARPA
• Light-Activated Shape Memory Polymer Composites, DARPA/Cornerstone Research Group
• Fiber-Reinforced Morphing Composite Skin, DARPA/NextGen Aeronautics 
• Augmenting the Lifetime of Batteries for Implantable Devices, NSF/Piezo Energy Technologies

ANTHONY J. DEARDO

• Development of TRIP and IF Steels using TSCE Processing, Baoshan Iron and Steel Company 
• Study of the Sources of Property Variability in HSLA Steels, U.S.  Steel, Rouge Steel, HyLSA Steel, Reference Metals Company and AISI
• New Ultra-low Carbon High Strength Steels with Improved Bake Hardenability for Enhanced Stretch Formability and Dent Resistance, DOE, ORNL, U.S. Steel, Weirton Steel, and Reference Metals Company
• Development of Ultra-high Strength Linepipe Steels, Wuhan Steel and TAMSA
• A New Approach to TRIP Steels, U.S. Steel and Reference Metals Company
• Physical Metallurgy of High Strength Thin Slab Casting Steels, Nucor Steel, HyLSA, and Reference Metals Company
• Development of Medium Carbon Steels with Enhanced Machinability, Machinability Consortium
• Development of Dual-phase and Trip Steels for Automotive Applications, Nucor Steel

PEYMAN GIVI

• Comprehensive Characterization of Oxy-fuel/Hydrogen Turbine Systems, DOE-NETL

TEVIS D. B. JACOBS

• Mechanics of Nanoscale Contacts
• Mechanical and Functional Properties of Rough Surfaces
• Fundamental Understanding of Tribological Processes

JUNG-KUN LEE

• Multifunctional Smart Nanoparticle Based Drilling Fluids for Ultra Deep Oil and Gas Exploration, DOE-NETL
• Enhanced Water Recovery of Power Plant Cooling Tower Systems, DOE-NETL

SCOTT X. MAO

• Nano- and Microscale Experiments and Theoretical Modeling for Strain Gradient Plasticity, NSF

GERALD MEIER

• Fundamental Studies of the Durability of Materials for Interconnects in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Office of Naval Research 
• Materials of Oxy-Fuel Turbomachine Conditions, DOE-UTSR 
• High-Temperature Coatings: Effects of Composition and Microstructure on Reaction Behavior under Aggressive Environmental Conditions, Office of Naval Research
• Advanced Air Plasma Sprayed Thermal Barrier Coatings, NETL-IAES
• Materials of Oxy-Fuel Coal Combustion Systems, NETL-IAES

IAN NETTLESHIP

• Nanofluids for Enhanced Thermal Energy Transport, DOE-NETL
• The Processing of Highly Porous Ceramics by Analogy with Quasi-regular Eutectic Structures, NSF
• Validation of Sintering Models by the Application of Advanced Microstructural Analysis, Sandia National Laboratory
• An Interdisciplinary Approach to Process Control at the Microstructure Level: The Application to the Fracture Strength of Advanced Ceramics, with Professor Smith of the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, Auburn University; NSF

ANNE M. ROBERTSON

• Improving Cerebral Aneurysm Risk Assessment through Understanding Wall Vulnerability and Failure Modes
• Determining the Link between Hemodynamics and Wall Structure in Cerebral Aneurysms
• In vivo Tissue Engineering of Small Arteries - Experiments and predictive modeling
• Translational, Multimodality Correlation between Human Saccular Aneurysms and Aneurysm Models
• Mathematical and Computational Modeling of Human Physiology
• Effect of Aging on the Structure and Mechanical Function of the Bladder Wall

WISSAM SAIDI

• Experimentally Verified Nano-oxidation of Copper Surfaces, NSF
• Dynamic Atomic-Scale Metal Oxidation Using Multiscale Simulations, NSF

NITIN SHARMA

• Coordinating Electrical Stimulation and Motor Assist in a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis Using Control Strategies Inspired by Human Motor Control, NSF
• Optimal Adaptive Control Methods for Hybrid Exoskeleton, NSF
• Control of FES and an Electric Motor Drive Swimming Drone for a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis, NIH
• 3-D Maneuverable Feedback-Controlled Micro Swimming Drone for Biomedical Application, NSF, NRI
• Closed-loop Hybrid Exoskeleton utilizing Wearable Ultrasound Imaging Sensors for Measuring Fatigue, NSF, CPS

WILLIAM S. SLAUGHTER

• Nano and Microscale Experiments and Theoretical Modeling for Strain Gradient laPsticity, NSF
• The use of Micromechanical Models in the Prediction of Microstructural Paths and Constitutive Parameters for Densification of Powders, NSF 
• Fatigue Damage Behavior of Chemically Treated Bioprosthetic Heart Valve Tissues, NSF
• Turbine Aerothermal and Material Research for Oxy-fuel and Hydrogen Cycles, DOE-NETL
• Aerothermal-Material Integrated Thermal Protection, DOE-NETL

PATRICK SMOLINSKI

• Design, Construction, and Evaluation of a Prototype Wear Testing Machine for Ankle mpIlants, National Collegiate Investors and Innovators Alliance 
• Design for Non-round Can Development, Weirton Steel 
• Modeling and Analysis of Open Coil Cooling, U.S. Steel
• Modeling and Analysis of Total Ankle Arthroplasty, Depuy, Inc
• Development of a Precision Roll Alignment System, U.S. Steel and Weirton Steel

JEFFREY VIPPERMAN

• Acoustic Control using Damped, Resonant Filters (Electronic Helmholtz Absorbers)
• Evaluation of Impact Noise and Acoustical Signal Processing, NIOSH-Cincinnati
• Variable Orifice Area Technique (VOAT) Design, DOE
• Vibro-acoustic Studies on a Chamber Core Cylinder, Air Force Research Lab
• Worker Dose and Equipment Noise Identification, NIOSH-Pittsburgh Research Lab 
• Enhanced Time Domain Signal Processing for the Study of Noise Generation Mechanisms, NIOSH-Pittsburgh Research Lab 
• MEMS Microvalve Technology: Phase II, DOE

GUOFENG WANG

• Atomistic Simulation Investigation on Processing-structure-property Relation of Magnetic Metal Alloy Nanostructures, NSF

QING-MING WANG

• Acoustic Wave Gas Sensors for Ultra-high Temperature Environments, NSF
• An Acoustic Wave Cytosensor System for Living Cell Study, NSF
• Fabrication of Functional Oxide Nanotubes and Nanorods for Nanoelectromechanical Devices, NSF
• Field-assisted Manufacturing of Multifunctional Nnanowire-polymer Nanocomposites, NSF
• Integrated Multimode Thin Film Bulk Acoustic Wave Resonators, ARO
•  Scanning Probe Microscopy of Nanomechanics and Biomechanics Research, ARO

SYLVANUS N. WOSU

• Pitt Engineering Impact Program, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania