Research

Research Highlights

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The Strategic Research Priorities of the Washkewicz College of Engineering are:

  • Smart, Sustainable Infrastructure and Manufacturing
  • Human Health
  • Data Analytics and Cybersecurity
  • Biomaterials and Soft Materials

Our faculty have expertise and interests in a variety of research areas, some of which are outlined below and linked to the faculty or departmental webpages.

  • Advanced Manufacturing

The Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Processing (AM2P) Laboratory and the 3D Printing Laboratory provide state-of-the-art facilities for performing research on next generation materials and for educating the next generation of engineers. Research focuses on processing advanced materials, particularly metallic materials, such as metals, alloys, and composites, using advanced manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing/3D printing. 

  • Biomechanics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Faculty who work in this area focus on human motion, as well as on materials, processes and devices in which biology plays a significant role. Projects are inherently multidisciplinary and span a variety of topics including 3D bioprinting, tissue engineering, stem cells, regenerative medicine, cellular environments on microarray and microfluidic devices, drug delivery, biofuels and bioprosthesis. Facilities include the Parker Hannifin Human Motion and Control lab, the Biomechanics & Tissue Engineering lab, the BioPrinting lab and the Biologically-Inspired Materials lab. 

Researchers in the Biomechanics & Tissue Engineering Laboratory (BTEL) use a variety of bioengineering tools to investigate the mechanistic pathways by which biophysical, biomechanical, and biochemical cues influence cell pathophysiology under healthy and abnormal conditions. They also develop multiscale, multidisciplinary, and multi-science approaches to predict and treat pathological cross-contamination in fresh produce pipeline.

The BioPrinting Laboratory focuses on creating miniaturized tissue constructs containing several layers of human cell types in biomimetic hydrogels (bioinks) on several biochip platforms using "microarray three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting" technology. The microarray 3D bioprinting technology is a robotic microsolenoid valve-driven printing technology manifested on several microarray biochip platforms, including a micropillar chip, a microwell chip, and 384-pillar plates with a flat tip surface or with sidewalls. These 3D-printed tissues with cells obtained from patients can be used as promising disease models for screening therapeutic drugs for individual patients, thereby potentially revolutionizing regenerative medicine, oncology, and drug discovery.

Research performed in the Biologically Inspired Materials Laboratory encompasses topics, such as stimuli-responsive materials and antifreeze proteins. Stimuli-responsive materials mechanically respond to changes in their local environment (such as temperature, pH, or light). This change can be used to release drugs, change the physical properties of a surface, or generate force, making these materials ideal for applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. The lab also applies protein engineering techniques and synthetic chemistry towards the design of new antifreeze protein constructs, which could be utilized in applications such as storage of donor organs and tissues, ice slurry stabilizers for use in refrigeration systems, and food storage. 

The Parker Hannifin Human Motion and Control Laboratory, founded in 2012, has state-of-the-art equipment for measurement and study of human motion (primarily gait in walking and running).

  • Biosensors and Nanotechnology

Research in the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory focuses on electrochemical devices for ultrasensitive detection and renewable energy applications such as ultrasensitive biosensing (the enzymatic field-effect transistor), nanoparticle-based (enzymeless) sensors and supercapacitors.

  • Computational and Process Systems Engineering

Research in this area is focused on the mathematical modeling of physical systems across many length scales, from molecular phenomena to large-scale chemical processing. Projects cover a variety of areas, including molecular modeling, nonlinear chemical processes, and waste gasification. Click here for more information.

  • Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing

Our faculty have a proven track record of expertise in cybersecurity and data science in partnership with Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection. Our researchers collaborate with governmental agencies and industry to develop and deliver innovative engineering solutions in network security, information security, hardware-oriented security, Blockchain, and data science field. Click here for more information.

  • Controls, Robotics, and Automation

Our faculty also are experts in advanced control, robotics control, and automation in partnership with the Center for Human-Machine Systems (CHMS) and the Center for Advanced Control Technologies (CACT). Our researchers collaborate with federal agencies and industry to develop and deliver innovative engineering solutions in controls, robotics, and automation field.

The Control, Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory is dedicated to theoretical and applied research in the broad areas of control, robotics and mechatronics. Projects always comprise all stages of the control engineering cycle, from theoretical development to practical demonstrations, including modeling and simulation.

  • Nanomaterials and Interfacial Engineering

Our faculty focus on the synthesis and study of materials with nanometer length scales, where interfacial phenomena plays a crucial role in dictating material properties and performance. These materials appear in a broad set of scientific and engineering applications, including biological signaling, energy systems, coatings, and separations. Projects are in a variety of areas including nanoporous materials, next generation oxygen concentrators, carbon nanotubes, colloidal crystals, and metal alloys. Click here for more information.

  • Renewable Energy and Sustainable Engineering

There has been significant research in renewable energy and sustainability at CSU and the Washkewicz College of Engineeing specifically. Areas of research include Wind Engineering, Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems and Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Materials.

The Experimental Flow Control and Wind Energy Laboratory aims at conducting creative research activities and providing excellent opportunities for students in thermal/fluids and energy systems. Our researchers pursue fundamental experimental research on a variety of challenging topics in fluid mechanics and mass/heat transport areas, including turbulent boundary‐layer flows, laminar‐turbulent transition, vortex dynamics etc.. Advanced thermal and flow measurement techniques, in particular planar and volumetric Particle Image Velocimetry are the major tools to quantify the turbulent flow structure of different length and time scales.

The NSF-funded Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE) aims at developing a collaborative research platform centered on overcoming bottlenecks in engineering, software and social/economic sciences that impede wider application of sustainable building technology.  The network activities focus on integrating human behavioral science, social and economic sciences in tandem with sciences of building design, engineering, and metrology for data validation of building energy consumption and occupant comforts.

The aim of the research performed in the Advanced Infrastructure Materials Laboratory (AIML) is to address infrastructure challenges in the built environment. The focus is on the development of innovative structural materials, including ultra-high performance concrete and engineered cementitious composites, performance-based design of advanced concrete materials, repair and rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure, concrete durability and shrinkage, concrete sustainability, and smart sensors for structural health monitoring. 

  • Soft Materials and Complex Fluids Engineering

Research in this area is focused on fluids containing polymers, surfactants, or nanoparticles with interactions that significantly impact the macroscopic properties of the fluid. These systems are regularly found in chemical products, biological systems, consumer goods, and foodstuffs, such as laundry detergent, blood, ice cream, cell membranes, drilling fluids, shampoo, and paint. Faculty have projects in a variety of areas including particle stabilized foams, bio-nano hybrid materials, responsive polymeric nanoparticles, and microfluidic reactors. Click here for more information.

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