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Research

Engineering Science and Mechanics Research Activities

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Researchers in the Composites Manufacturing Technology Center (Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics) evaluate the performance of an ultra high speed fiber reinforced composite flywheel for energy storage. Composite flywheels offer the potential for long-lasting, efficient, compact, and clean energy storage for solar and wind generation facilities where mismatches between power supply and demand must be accommodated. Flywheel research in the Center focuses on the design, manufacturing, and evaluation of strong, affordable fiber reinforced composites used to make the rotor.

Faculty in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics research a wide variety of topics related to energy with some of the general topics being solar energy, wind energy, nuclear energy, fossil fuels, both renewable and non-renewable energy, and energy storage. On-going research topics include:

  • Biomimetic microstructuring of solar cells
  • Structural health monitoring and condition based maintenance of power generating systems – particularly for nuclear plants and wind farms
  • Characterization of material behavior under complex loads at high temperatures to enable development of constitutive models for use in advanced designs
  • Alkaline fuel cells
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Metal hydrides to produce hydrogen
  • Primary and secondary cycles on solar energy production
  • Internal (CO2 and Bacterial) and external (IGSCC) corrosion of pipeline systems
  • Radiation fields and corrosion of nuclear reactors
  • High energy dielectrics for pulse power capacitors
  • Electrochemical capacitors
  • High temperature ceramics - study of thermal shock and design methodologies for gas and nuclear applications
  • Analysis and modeling of ceramic for racing as used during oil/gas extraction
  • Self-lubricating coatings using a cold spray method and the study of friction reduction
  • Experimental characterization of semiconductor devices for power and energy
  • Performance evaluation of ultra high speed fiber reinforced composite flywheel used for energy storage – focus on design, and manufacturing of fiber composites used to make the rotor
  • Laser interactions with materials
  • Multi-energy interactions with materials
  • Laser materials processing
  • Laser-surface interactions