Photo of Carrie Hall and student working on an engine in the lab

Armour R&D gives undergraduate engineering students at Illinois Tech opportunities for hands-on work and direct experience with the research and development process.  

As an Armour R&D participant, you’ll receive a stipend to work with a faculty member, gaining valuable research and development experience and professional mentorship.

With a range of projects, including researching water desalination methods, detecting Alzheimer’s disease using MRI, and developing open-source GPS, Armour R&D offers opportunities both for students interested in discovering fundamental science and students who want to develop and implement technology that is based on research findings.

This year-round program offers you the chance to work on projects that tackle real-world problems while gaining skills that are highly valued in the engineering profession.

Participants selected for this competitive program conduct their project over the course of 10 weeks during the semester and showcase their work at the Armour R&D Expo.

Students may select a project proposed by a faculty member or develop a proposal for a project in conjunction with a faculty member.  

Applications for the fall 2023 semester are open and will be closed at 5 p.m. CST on August 18. To see open projects and submit an application, visit the Elevate Armour R&D posting. The fall 2023 Armour R&D program runs from September 18 to November 24.

Students involved in the fall 2023 semester can expect to participate in the Armour R&D Expo.

For more information, contact

Carbon Dioxide Electrocatalysis

Faulty: Mohammad Asadi (CHBE)

Description: We seek to develop advanced catalysts as well as design a one-of-a-kind electrolyzer for the effective conversion of carbon dioxide to value-added chemicals.

Beyond Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies

Faulty: Mohammad Asadi (CHBE)

Description: We seek to develop new advanced materials and devices for batteries beyond lithium-ion with potentially higher energy density to replace conventional batteries.

Characterization of Biopolymer Soil Mixture

Faulty: Boyoung Jeong (CAEE)

Description: This research will study the basic soil characteristics of biopolymer enhanced granular materials. Sodium alginate and xanthan will be used for biopolymer sources. Shear strength of biopolymer-treated soils will be accessed using direct shear test. The tests will be conducted in varying biopolymer concentrations, vertical loading, shear rates, and water content.

Multidisciplinary Design Representation in a Systems Engineering Environment

Faulty: Esma Karagoz (MMAE)

Description: The goal of this project is to build a descriptive multidisciplinary design workflow for aircraft design in systems modeling language (SysML). You’ll be learning how to model in SysML and create a descriptive model for a commercial aircraft. Then, we will connect this system model with a physics-based engineering tool, enabling interoperability. (Opportunity to publish.)

Multidisciplinary Design and Optimization (MDO) Framework for Future Aircraft Design

Faulty: Esma Karagoz (MMAE)

Description: The main objective is to build a multi-fidelity MDO framework for future aircraft design. You’ll be conducting a literature review on current MDO frameworks for aircraft design and the available tools for disciplinary analyses. Then, you’ll be creating a tool that would identify the interactions between the disciplines based on given requirements. (Opportunity to publish.)

Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy by Mapping Vascular Permeability in the Retina

Faulty: Kenneth Tichauer (BME)

Description: More than 80 percent of individuals with diabetes will suffer vision impairment (diabetic retinopathy) within their lifetimes. We are working on developing a method to detect the onset of retinopathy at the earliest stages when intervention and treatment can be most effective. The student project will center on programming and data analysis to fit mathematical models to movies of fluorescein dynamics imaged in the retinas of patients.

Detection of Insufficient Surgical Margins in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Faulty: Kenneth Tichauer (BME)

Description: Complete surgical removal of tumors in the head and neck is complicated by complex anatomy and an aim to minimize damage to otherwise healthy tissue. We are working with a surgical group at the University Medical Center of Groningen to develop a fluorescence depth mapping imaging device to help the surgeons better identify areas of the surgical bed where tumor tissue may remain. The project may include hardware and/or software development.

Rapid Cancer Detection in Surgical Excised Tumor Draining Lymph Nodes in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Faulty: Kenneth Tichauer (BME)

Description: In patients with head and neck cancer that has begun to spread to local lymph nodes, surgical removal of the lymph nodes in the entire neck region can significantly improve long term survival. However, owing to the high morbidity associated with complete neck dissection, we are developing a method to rapidly test the first lymph node draining the tumor to assess the need for more complete dissection while the patient is still on the operating table. The student project will include hardware and software development.

Understanding the Physics of Whistling

Faulty: Francisco Ruiz (MMAE)

Description: This project consists of an experiment where the acoustic characteristics of models representing human lips are measured in order to determine what causes the sound when a person whistles. The models are to be made using 3D printing, varying geometric parameters over a carefully designed grid. The experimental setup is yet to be designed, so the first task is to make a list of components.

Modeling and Deployment of Analog Circuits

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: The student will implement linear-phase, finite impulse response (FIR) filters using various windowing techniques, such as Kaiser and Hanning, on a digital signal processor (DSP). Analog filter design (e.g. Sallen-Key, Butterworth, Chebyshev, Elliptical, etc.) and operational amplification may be used. Basic understanding of Python, MATLAB, LTSpice, digital signal processing, and test equipment operation (i.e. oscilloscope, DC power supply, multimeter, and waveform generator) will be beneficial for the project.

Explore Impacts of Air Cleaners on Indoor Air Quality and Health Outcomes

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

This project will focus on exploring the impacts of indoor air cleaning strategies on indoor air quality and health outcomes in different indoor settings. One potential direction would be to look into how indoor air quality and health are impacted by air cleaners deployed in the homes of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The project will also involve testing of air cleaner efficacy in laboratory and field settings.

Application of Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers in Buildings

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project will focus on leveraging recent developments in low-cost sensors and microcontrollers to develop and deploy smart building sensing and controls solutions, especially for our steam systems (i.e., low-cost steam traps and radiator valve controls solutions). Students with a background in coding (e.g., in C/C++, Rust for embedded systems and microcontrollers, Python), prototyping (e.g., assembly and fabrication using 3D printers), or building test circuits on breadboards (e.g., design to a printed circuit board) will work together with the current undergraduate and graduate students.

Building Systems Semantic Models

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project will focus on developing and understanding building systems semantic models that integrate best practices in computer science, such as knowledge representation, and reasoning with other engineering models (electrical, mechanical, architectural). Knowledge of working with object-oriented programming languages (e.g., Python) and understanding semantic web technologies (e.g., RDF, SHACL, SPARQL) would be beneficial. The student(s) will work closely with the professor and those with experience in semantic modeling.

Design of the Control System for an Environmental Test Chamber

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project will focus on the design, installation, and testing of control components for a teaching and research environmental chamber that is being constructed in the CAEE department. The student will work with the faculty to prepare drawings for the installation of sensors, actuators, and controllers and work on the communication protocol. Knowledge of building systems, controls, and instrumentation would be beneficial.

Application of Computational Fluid Dynamics in Buildings

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

This project will focus on the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in buildings. The student will work with a faculty to perform indoor and outdoor CFD simulations for a variety of building applications. The aim is to visualize the results in Oculus headsets and create digital twins of the CFD inputs and results. Knowledge of modeling and understanding of CFD and digital twins would be beneficial.

Understanding Wildfire Air Quality and Mitigation Measures

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project will assess impacts of developing filtration strategies for homes that are cooled with rooftop evaporative (“swamp”) coolers which is common in hot and dry climates. The project characterizes performance of common evaporative coolers, proposes novel filtration solutions, and analyzes the particulate matter during the study. A combination of lab work and data analysis are part of this project or, depending on the interest, one aspect can be more significant than the others.

Cyber-Physical Systems in the Built Environment

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This topic will look at emerging technologies such as using Oculus headsets for the visualization of results or for developing games for building systems, developing building-related phone apps, utilizing ChatGPT to program Arduino or Pi, enabling efficient integration of simulation tools, or developing digital twins of building systems. The student will coordinate with the faculty member to pick one or two of the related topics for the semester.

Building a Vapor Compression Cycle System Teaching

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project is a hands-on project to create a prototype of a teaching vapor compression system to measure, pressure, enthalpy, temperature, flow rate of the refrigerant in order to teach thermodynamic cycles. The student will work with the faculty and the lab managers in this prototype development.

3D Printing Building Systems

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: This project focuses on creating 3D models of building mechanical systems to demonstrate how all building heating, cooling and ventilation systems are built and also connected to other parts of a building.

Decarbonization of Buildings Using Innovative Solutions

Faulty: Mohammad Heidarinejad (CAEE)

Description: Decarbonization of building energy and energy systems have gained popularity in recent years. This project will focus on developing decarbonization and electrification strategies for the electric grid and the building energy systems. For example, the project will include the characterization of air source heat pumps, especially their coefficient of performance and backup heat performance for different scenarios.

Turning Research into Real-World Impact

Through Armour R&D, Pulkita Jain (CHE ’22) worked on an algorithm to make life easier for people with Type 2 diabetes and found her passion for research.


Making an Impact


Years of Armour R&D


Undergraduate Research Projects Funded


Student Participated for Multiple Semesters

Armour College of Engineering

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