Advanced Engine Control Laboratory
The Advanced Engine Control Laboratory conducts research in the areas of modeling and control of advanced internal combustion engines and development of clean and efficient utilization of alternative fuels. Current research projects include: control and analysis of high-efficiency dual fuel engines; integrated control of engine and after-treatment systems; design and analysis of advance compression ignition engines; and vehicle powertrain analysis.
Computational Materials Science Laboratory
The Computational Materials Science Laboratory explores the multidisciplinary field of materials science, data science, and high-performance computing. The current focus is the computational materials discovery and design of structural alloys and energy storage materials, with an integrated approach of first-principles calculations, molecular dynamics, and machine learning. The lab is also active in collaborative computational-experimental investigations of fundamental materials science problems ranging from phase transformations and mechanical deformations, to physical and chemical processes in materials.
Control Systems Laboratory
The Control Systems Laboratory focuses on optimal controller synthesis for different cyber-physical systems. Some of the major research topics include: fuel-efficient control of connected and autonomous vehicles; energy-efficient control of hybrid electric vehicles; computationally efficient and safety-preserving controller design for cyber-physical systems; and driver-specific advanced driver-assistance system development.
Dynamic Testing Laboratory
The Dynamic Testing Laboratory (DTL) has been established with high-speed diagnostic and data acquisition systems for high-strain-rate constitutive testing and impact failure characterization of materials. The new DTL complements existing servo-hydraulic, drop tower, and high-temperature-testing facilities in the mechanical, materials, and aerospace department's solid mechanics labs and provide the capability to investigate the mechanical response of solids in a wide range of strain rates and temperatures, and under both uni-axial and multi-axial loading conditions.
Energy Storage Laboratory
The Energy Storage Laboratory at Illinois Tech focuses on synthesis and processing of nanomaterials for energy storage applications. The current projects include studies of Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, hybrid redox flow batteries, electrochemical capacitors, and hydrogen storage materials. The materials that are under investigation include Si and P anodes for Li-ion and Na-ion batteries; Li2S, LiCoO2, Li(Ni1-x-yMnxCoy)O2 cathodes, and layered oxides without Co for Li-ion batteries; NaCrO2 and Na3MnCO3PO4 cathodes for Na-ion batteries; and hybrid sodium-based flow batteries. Novel electrode chemistry and architecture are created to impart Li-ion and Na-ion batteries with high specific capacity, high-rate capability, and long cycle life.
Heat Transfer Research Laboratory
Heat Transfer Research Laboratory activities are centered around computational and experimental heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and combustion with an application focus in gas turbines and heat exchangers. Current research projects include inquiry in the areas of turbine blade cooling and aerodynamics; heat exchanger research; and flow structure interaction.
High Temperature Structural Materials Laboratory
The High Temperature Structural Materials Laboratory promotes a goal to elucidate fundamental relationships between the chemistry, processing, microstructure, and properties of advanced structural materials. The aim is to understand the underlying mechanisms and physics that control the properties of structural materials and develop engineering solutions to overcome these limitations. Researchers work closely with a number of industrial partners and government agencies on a range of sponsored research projects.
Laboratory of Semiconductor Compounds and Alloys
Research in the Laboratory of Semiconductor Compounds and Alloys is focused on the growth of wide band-gap semiconductor single crystals for application in radiation detectors and heat and mass transfer phenomena in the processing of semiconductors, as well as measurement of their thermophysical properties. Techniques used for single crystal growth include Brigman, Czochralski, Zone Refining, and Physical Vapor Transport methods. Experimental studies are supported with numerical modeling. Current research is supported by grants from CASIS-NASA and NASA-SUBSA.
The Navigation Laboratory (NavLab) was established in 1999 as a center for research, development, and testing of advanced navigation, guidance, and control systems. Major areas of current research activity in this lab focus on satellite-based navigation systems, including GPS and Differential GPS (DGPS), high-integrity navigation algorithms, fault detection and isolation, and distributed navigation systems. Research programs have been sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, United States Navy, U.S. Air Force, the Boeing Co., Northrop-Grumman, and IIT Research Institute.
Robots have recently graduated from structured laboratories to outdoor environments with varying and unstructured terrain. In order to be highly mobile and effective in these settings, robotics research will need to shift its focus to understanding the underlying physics of robot/terrain interaction and creating design methodologies for mechanically robust robots capable of multiple modes of locomotion such as running, leaping, and climbing. Current robotics lab research focuses on electrostatic gecko-like adhesives for climbing, perching, and manipulation; navigation integrity for self-driving cars and other mobile robots; and multi-modal locomotion.
Space Weather Laboratory
Research in the Space Weather Laboratory focuses on space weather forecasting through imaging and estimation of the dynamics of the upper atmosphere. Particular interest is given to developing methods of using radio waves from Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS for remotely sensing the ionosphere, using tomography and data assimilation of these measurements for improved atmospheric prediction.
The STEM Laboratory is a group of experimental material scientists at Illinois Tech who study the transport of charge (electrons or holes) and heat (phonons) in semiconductors. The goal is to understand and be able to manipulate how the electrons and phonons move through a solid form of the foundation of a semiconductor and essentially through every part of electronic devices. The question is critical to numerous areas of material research including thermoelectrics; photovoltaics (solar cells); battery; flexible electronics; and more.
Wave Laboratory researchers are working on understanding dynamic systems through theoretical, computational, and experimental tools. One of the recent efforts is to explore the application of modern deep learning tools to problems in mechanics and physics. For example, eigenvalue computations using convolutional neural networks is the very first application of such tools to any mechanics problem. A major research focus is on understanding the propagation of waves in complex microstructured solids and liquids and creating materials that can be used to control their temporal and spatial characteristics. Other topics of interest include dynamic systems related to solid structures, such as aerodynamically induced flutter instabilities and control.