The department has modern, well-equipped laboratories that support the research and graduate study activities of the department. These laboratories include:
Research activities in this lab examine the complete lifecycle treatment (design, modeling, analysis, control, implementation and verification) of a new generation of smart embedded mechanical and mechatronic systems. The recent explosion of communicat ions capabilities, coupled with ongoing advances in computing effectiveness and revolutions in miniaturization of processors/sensors/actuators, has accelerated the pace of implementing truly distributed smart embedded systems with a variety of emergent ap plications in plant-automation systems, consumer electronics, automobile and defense applications. Our focus is both on the theoretical formulation and experimental validation in the realization of such novel mechanical and mechatronic systems with the go al of realizing tangible enhancements in functionality, performance and cost-effectiveness. Some of the projects underway include multi-robot collaboration, mediated human-computer interfaces, haptic user-interface design and distributed real-time simulat ion and control of systems. The laboratory is equipped with various high speed computers for analysis, graphical animations and display to support our virtual prototyping efforts and a variety of sensors, actuators, computing platforms and tools for distr ibuted embedded implementation and hardware-in-the-loop testing.
Emphasis is on actually constructing a device that has been designed for a specific disabled person to improve their quality of life and provide greater self-sufficient capability. Some devices are of general enough nature to also be of use to non-disabled persons. A major sponsor of the Laboratory, currently in its second five-year funding cycle, is The National Science Foundation, as one of about twenty awardees in the United States. Creativity and innovation are de rigueur and design and construction is expedited by computer tools and a well-staffed and equipped machine shop. Ten to twenty devices are typically designed and constructed per year with several U.S. patents awarded and foreign patents pending.
This laboratory provides opportunity for researchers to conduct both fundamental and practical combustion studies. The present activities are directed towards development of better fuel injection systems both for liquid propellant rocket engines and diesel engines; reduction of pollution formation during the accentuation of hazardous wastes; and mixing in supersonic combustors. The combustion research laboratory contains the following specialized facilities: an electrically heated furnace for ignition studies in quiescent environments; a gas heated furnace for liquid propellant combustion studies; a catalytic combustion reactor for low temperature, low Nox combustion studies. In addition, the laboratory contains a fully equipped spray characterization facility, for simultaneous drop size, velocity, and number density measurements in liquid propellant rocket engines and diesel engines. This laboratory is equipped with various gas analyzers for species measurement, a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer for drop size and velocity measurements, and high speed video and movie systems for transient flow visualizations. In addition, the laboratory is equipped with an acoustic levitate for microgravity studies of drops and bubbles.
Website: Combustion Laboratory
The Laboratory conducts active research on metal-matrix, polymer-matrix, cement-matrix, carbon-matrix and ceramic-matrix composite materials for aerospace, automotive, marine, construction, electronic, and other industrial applications. Composite mate rials are designed, fabricated and characterized in terms of their structure and properties. Particular strength of the Laboratory is in (i) smart materials and structures, and (ii) electronic packaging materials. The Laboratory facility holds a range o f equipment including materials processing and materials testing equipment. Materials processing equipment includes high temperature furnaces, hot presses, vacuum furnaces, an arc melting furnace, an electroplating facility, an extruder and mixers. Mate rials testing equipment includes mechanical testing systems, a thermal analysis system (DSC, TGA, TMA, DMA), a thermal diffusivity tester, a surface area/pore size analyzer, a contact angle analyzer, electronic equipment, an electromagnetic interference s hielding effectiveness testing system and a corrosion/electrochemical testing system. Sponsors include Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation and National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
The primary objective of the laboratory is to provide resources to conduct research in the field of fluid mechanics, combustion, heat and mass transfer, applied mathematics and numerical methods. The emphasis of the current research in this laboratory is on understanding physics rather than developing numerical algorithms. These activities have been sponsored by NASA, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, and Ford Motor Company, among others. Several areas of current investigation are: turbulent mixing, chemically reacting flows, high speed combustion and propulsion, magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics. The numerical methodologies in use consist of spectral methods (collocation, Galerkin), varieties of finite difference, finite volume and finite element schemes, Lagrangian methods, and many hybrid methods such as spectral-finite element and spectral-finite difference schemes. The Laboratory is equipped with high-speed computer graphic systems and state-of-the-art hardware and software for "inflow visualization." Most computations require the use of off-site supercomputers.
The focus of this laboratory is the application of control theory to a variety of applications. The lab is involved in the development of techniques dealing with all aspects of control including: modeling, estimation and control design. The lab is also involved with inter-disciplinary research in conjunction with faculty working in the area of Virtual reality, Human factors, Earthquake engineering etc. Some of the area of research the Lab is involved in include:
Research work has been sponsored by various agencies including: Navy, NSA, Honda, Praxair, Moog, Delphi, AFOSR, DOT, besides others. The web site for the Control, Dynamics and Estimation (CoDE) Laboratory includes details of the aforementioned research and a list of publications and a few full text papers.
The DOES lab strives to find and develop fundamental scientific principles in design and to facilitate their application in practice and education. Our focus is on open engineering systems - those systems that change and evolve over time due to changes in technologies, preferences, and marketplaces. We strive to develop decision support tools to provide theoretically sound guidance in the design of complex systems. These systems are designed by multiple designers and/or design teams who potentially have different and conflicting objectives and preferences. Issues in coordination, competition, collaboration, robustness, approximation, and visualization comprise our primary research areas. Principles from decision theory, game theory, robust simulation, advanced visualization, and parallel computing comprise our scientific foundation.
The primary objective of the hemodynamics laboratory is to provide resources to conduct research in the pathophysiology of blood flow that leads to heart attacks and strokes. The emphasis of current research is on understanding the physics and biochemistry of pathogenic events in the cerebrovascular circulation that leads to strokes. The laboratory is investigating methods to prevent the onset of strokes as well as methods to combat the morbidity and mortality consequences of strokes. The research methods used are experimental as well as computational. The activities of the laboratory have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Boston Scientific Corporation and Toshiba America Medical Systems among others. The laboratory is equipped with laser based optical tools for flow studies such as laser induced fluorescence and particle image velocimetry. A mock circulation for generating physiological flows and a blood rheology test apparatus. For radiographic studies the laboratory is equipped with a dual plane angiography unit, a portable single plane angiography unit and an intravascular ultrasound unit. In addition, the laboratory is equipped with various high speed computers for analysis, graphical animations and display. Both in vitro and in vivo studies are conducted.
Website: Hemodynamics Laboratory
Current research in MODEL has grown out of efforts to develop efficient techniques for design synthesis in nonhierarchic (coupled) environments. Examples of these large-scale, complex environments are found in the design of aircraft, automobiles, and power generation plants. These design problems are inherently complex due to the interpendencies of the participating disciplines. Major research topics of the lab include developing methodologies for system decomposition to identify the best means of breaking large problems into smaller coupled subproblems for efficient optimization, system reduction to determine a reduced set of couplings required for the analysis and optimization cycles without significant loss of system-level accuracy, and optimal scheduling and convergence strategies to identify the most efficient means of converging the complex system analysis. Also, the issue of hardware and software developments as enabling technologies is addressed through our research with JAVA and VRML applications, Design Visualization, Virtual Reality (VR) utilization, and Graph Morphing techniques. Research in MODEL has been sponsored by the Engineering Foundation, Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, NASA Headquarters, NASA Langley Research Center, The National Science Foundation, Praxair, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc., and the University at Buffalo, among others. MODEL resources include numerous state-of-the-art SUN and SGI workstations, hardware and software to support Virtual Reality research, and a variety of hardware and software for publishing efforts.
The main objective of this laboratory is to develop new techniques in the area of design and manufacturing automation by harnessing the capabilities of emerging technology of virtual reality and visualization. Research emphasis has been focused in Immersion and Interaction, Simulation and Modeling and developing new interfaces for Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing. Recent research projects include: development of a virtual/augmented reality based interface for controlling robots in a manufacturing environment, modeling dynamic virtual factory testbed, studying force-interface for automated assembly and inspections tasks, developing a virtual driving simulator for the study of vehicle dynamics and controls, creating synthetic knowledge integrated laboratory for manufacturing systems. Research in such areas as Computer Graphics, Geometric Modeling, CAD-CAM, Modern Control Systems, Robotics, Volume Visualization have been applied in various research projects in the laboratory. The VR Laboratory is equipped with a wide range of hardwares which include high speed Silicon Graphics computers, VR hardwares such as a head mounted display with multi-channel option and stereo capabilities, instrumented gloves, magnetic position sensors and development software such as World Tool Kit, Pro/ENGINEER and Webforce.and controls, creating synthetic knowledge integrated laboratory for manufacturing systems. Research in such areas as Computer Graphics, Geometric Modeling, CAD-CAM, Modern Control Systems, Robotics, Volume Visualization have been applied in various research projects in the laboratory. The VR Laboratory is equipped with a wide range of hardwares which include high speed Silicon Graphics computers, VR hardwares such as a head mounted display with multi-channel option and stereo capabilities, instrumented gloves, magnetic position sensors and development software such as World Tool Kit, Pro/ENGINEER and Webforce.
Website: Virtual Reality Laboratory
MAE researchers have developed advanced computational techniques for Fire Simulation and multi-phase reacting turbulent flows.
UB MAE researchers in computational mechanics have developed a high fidelity volcanic landslide simulator to aid geologists in mapping the hazard areas at locations such as the island of Montserrat.
A Level Set Embedded Interface Method has been developed at Compuational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory to simulate Conjugate heat transfer for irregular geometries
MAE's Laser Flow Diagnostic Laboratory is a leader holographic particle image velocimetry, a three-dimensional, next generation flow diagnostics tool.
MAE's Automation, Robotics, and Mechatronics Laboratory is conducting research both on the theoretical formulation and experimental validation of such novel mechatronic systems as multi-robot collaboration.
The nonlinear estimation group is developing techniques for propagating uncertainties through nonlinear dynamical systems for better forecasting and output uncertainty characterization.
Study of Non-premixed flame-wall interaction using vortex ring configuration is done for the first time at the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.