A concentration in energy systems typically entails advanced study of a) thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer and combustion; b) the application of these principles to phenomena and devices which constitute energy-conversion systems; and c) the analysis, simulation and design of such systems as well as plants; e.g., chemical, metallurgical, food, etc., which are energy-intensive. Current research topics include: plant optimization, fuel cells, cogeneration systems, fluid mechanics and heat transfer in surface mount technology, engine emissions/process effluents and jet engine propulsion systems.
A concentration in manufacturing and materials systems engineering allows students to focus on a broad range of topics. These topics range from micro issues, such as material-related issues and cutting mechanisms in material removal processes, to macro analysis of complex manufacturing systems from either a process or ergonomics perspective. The focus of this concentration may be computer integrated manufacturing, material processing, mechanical behavior of materials, manufacturing processes, quality systems or ergonomics within manufacturing. Normally, each of these multi-disciplinary areas requires certain core courses along with specialized studies, which may include advanced courses in other engineering disciplines, courses in mathematics and statistics and/or courses in business administration. Current research topics include: cellular manufacturing, polishing and mass finishing processes, rapid prototyping, robotic systems, production integration (JIT, TQC, CIM), ergonomics of assembly operations, reliability/quality estimation, human performance and safety evaluation and materials forming and joining processes.
A concentration in mechanical systems typically entails advanced study of a) mechanical system design and analysis and b) modeling, simulation, and control. Mechanical design and analysis focuses on the use of physical and mathematical principles to understand the behavior of mechanical systems. It includes computer-aided optimal design, such as the design of multi-body, multi-degree-of-freedom mechanical systems. Modeling, simulation and control involve the study of theoretical mechanics in conjunction with computational applications including advanced dynamics, kinematics and stress analysis. Other applications include the modeling and control of manufacturing processes, including robotics and automated deformation processing. Current research areas include: surface mount technology, composite and polymeric materials, control in automated assembly, surface finishing processes, design of compliant machine tools, metal cutting/forming mechanics, finite element methods and pressure vessels comprised of multi-layered composites.