A student works on an engine in lab

The Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering is dedicated to supporting both faculty and student research in a number of key areas.

View all MMAE Labs

Research activities in the area of autonomous systems are centered on understanding and controlling autonomous systems. The group consists of the NavLab, the Robotics Lab, the Space Weather Lab, the Advanced Engine Control Lab, and the Control Systems Lab.

Seebany Datta-Barua
Expertise: Space weather, navigation, data assimilation, remote sensing, and atmospheric dynamics

Carrie M. Hall
Expertise: Control of dynamics systems, and vehicle powertrain control

Baisravan HomChaudhuri
Expertise: Optimal control, model predictive control, distributed optimization and control, motion planning, connected vehicle, and robotics

Boris S. Pervan
Expertise: Navigation, guidance, and control of dynamic systems

Matthew Spenko
Expertise: Control, dynamics, mechanical design, and robotics

Ankit Srivastava
Expertise: Deep learning and data-driven mechanics, optimization and inverse problems, contact dynamics, wave propagation, and micromechanics and homogenization

Learn more about our Autonomous Systems Group at Illinois Tech.

The research activities in the design and manufacturing area include computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, solid freeform fabrication, and multi-sensor coordinate metrology. Research facilities include the state-of-the-art CNC machine, laser scanner, and computer workstations. The design and manufacturing faculty and research team have access to various commercial CAD/CAM/CAE software and the latest laser deposition process.

John C. Cesarone
Expertise: Computer-integrated manufacturing technologies, and simulation and functional modeling techniques

Sayed M. Saghaian
Expertise: Experimental characterization and behavior of shape memory alloys

Research activities in the area of energy storage and conversion focus on novel material synthesis for energy storage and conversion applications. Nanomaterials with unique microstructures and properties for Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, redox flow batteries, hydrogen storage materials, solid oxide fuel cells, and thermoelectric materials are designed and synthesized through various novel synthesis and processing methods, including integrated mechanical and thermal activation, co-precipitation, sol-gel processing, hydrothermal synthesis, solid state reaction, and sintering.

The novel materials obtained have enabled high specific capacity, fast charging rate, and long cycle life for Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, and redox flow batteries as well as near room-temperature hydrogen release from hydrogen storage materials with high capacity.

Hamid Arastoopour
Expertise: Transport phenomena of multiphase systems and fluidization; energy and sustainability-related research; computational fluid dynamics applications to energy conversion and carbon capture processes; wind energy; production of natural gas from unconventional gas reserves and hydrates; and energy/water/food nexus

Wei Chen
Expertise: Computational materials science; density functional theory; and materials informatics

Leon L. Shaw
Expertise: Advanced materials synthesis and processing; solid freeform fabrication; hydrogen storage materials; electrochemical capacitors; Li- and Na-ion batteries; redox flow batteries; and solid oxide fuel cells

Heng Wang
Expertise: Thermoelectrics; semiconductor physics; and charge and heat transport

Our fluid dynamics faculty have particular expertise in the areas of flow control, navier-stokes simulations, and low-dimensional modeling, aeroacoustic, and contaminant dispersion simulations. 

Laboratories in the John T Rettaliata Engineering Center house a variety of high-quality, low speed and high speed wind tunnels, anechoic facilities, jet facilities, and an axial flow compressor research facility. Current research is supported by AFOSR, NSF, Boeing, Honeywell, DARPA, and ONR. 

Kevin W. Cassel
Expertise: Application of analytical and computational methods in the thermo-fluid sciences.
 

Scott T. M. Dawson
Expertise: Fluid mechanics and dynamical systems
 

Hassan M. Nagib
Expertise: Fluid mechanics and turbulence and flow management and control.
 

Harry R. Smith
Expertise: Rotary aerodynamics and aeroelasticity
 

Candace E. Wark
Expertise: Fluid mechanics
 

David R. Williams
Expertise: Flow control, flow metering, fluidic oscillators, linear and nonlinear wave interactions in transitioning flows, acoustic measurement techniques.

Research in materials science and engineering is focused on materials processing, mechanical properties, and alloy development. Experimental research studies benefit from well-equipped laboratories with unique capabilities.

Modeling and simulation of materials processing and alloy thermodynamics forms a second thrust of activities. Many of the research programs are sponsored by the Thermal Processing Technology Center, which undertakes research to support the needs of the materials processing and manufacturing industries.

The center performs high quality basic and applied research in thermal processing technology of interest to the primary metals and manufacturing industry. Multi-disciplinary research teams are used to provide innovative, crosscutting technological solutions to industrial materials processing problems.

Wei Chen
Expertise: Computational materials science; density functional theory; and materials informatics

Alan W. Cramb
Expertise: Initial solidification behavior of steels; solidification behavior of liquid oxides; effect of inclusion chemistry on solidification behavior; clean steel production; and initial solidification phenomena in a continuous casting mold

Sheldon Mostovoy
Expertise: Metallurgy; mechanical properties of materials; and fatigue and fracture

Philip G. Nash
Expertise: Physical metallurgy of Ni-, Ti- and Al-base alloys; experimental determination and theoretical calculation of phase equilibria; phase transformations; powder materials technology; metastable equilibria; intermetallics; materials processing; additive manufacturing; functional materials; and nanocrystalline materials

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Aleksandar Ostrogorsky
Expertise: Heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring in materials processing; directional solidification/single crystal growth focusing on semiconductor alloys; wide band gap materials for gamma ray detectors (semiconductors and scintillators); diffusion; and growth of carbon nanotubes

Leon L. Shaw
Expertise: Advanced materials synthesis and processing; solid freeform fabrication; hydrogen storage materials; electrochemical capacitors; Li- and Na-ion batteries; redox flow batteries; and solid oxide fuel cells

Sammy Tin
Expertise: Solidification; thermo-mechanical processing; mechanical behavior; and corrosion and microstructural characterization of Ni-base superalloys and other high performance structural materials systems

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Heng Wang
Expertise: Thermoelectrics; semiconductor physics; and charge and heat transport

The solids and structures group employs experimental, analytical, and computational techniques to study the behavior of conventional and advanced materials (including biological) at the nano-, micro-, and macro-scales.

Experimental facilities include a new dynamic testing lab equipped with state-of-the-art data acquisition systems. Current research focuses on topology and rate effects in cellular solids, thermomechanical coupling in high-rate deformation processes, micromechanics of composites, modeling of nanoscale composite structures subjected to thermal cycling, and biomechanics.

Michael R. Gosz
Expertise: Computational solid mechanics, and finite element methods

Kevin P. Meade
Expertise: Orthopaedic biomechanics, elasticity, and fracture mechanics

Sudhakar E. Nair
Expertise: Analysis of elastic and inelastic structures, micro-mechanics of composites, wave propagation in anisotropic materials, moving boundary problems of the Stefan type, and dynamics of cables

Ankit Srivastava
Expertise: Wave propagation, micromechanics and homogenization, deep learning and data-driven mechanics, optimization, and inverse problems

Murat Vural
Expertise: Experimental solid mechanics, dynamic response and constitutive modeling of materials, and mechanics of cellular solids

The research facilities of the thermal sciences group comprise the Heat Transfer Research Laboratory, Advanced Engine Control Laboratory, and Laboratory of Semiconductor Compounds and Alloys.

This research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and other organizations such as the Gas Technology Institute. The experimental and theoretical studies include both macro and micro scales.

Sumanta Acharya
Expertise: Computational and experimental heat transfer; fluid dynamics and combustion; gas turbine heat transfer; gas turbine combustion; heat exchangers; fundamentals and applications in heat transfer, including natural and mixed convection and single- and two-phase flows; and heat transfer and reacting flows

Carrie M. Hall
Expertise: Combustion; alternative fuels; and internal combustion engines

Francisco Ruiz
Expertise: Thermal sciences

Aleksandar G. Ostrogorsky
Expertise: Heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring in materials processing; directional solidification/single crystal growth focusing on semiconductor alloys; wide band gap materials for gamma-ray detectors (semiconductors and scintillators); diffusion; and growth of carbon nanotubes