The ME design engineering discipline focuses on developing analytical methods and tools to design products and systems associated with complex systems such as power plants, manufacturing machines, transport vehicles, renewable energy systems, robots, space stations, recycling, military hardware, prosthetic devices, and recreational equipment.
The fundamental challenge in design research is to develop theoretical foundations and repeatable and systematic methodologies that will help engineers:
- Design things better (i.e., fail less, be more reliable, perform better, look better, sell better, and be more innovative) in a world where we rely on increasingly complex products; and
- Design new and innovative solutions in a constantly evolving and changing constantly world, one in which our product needs and expectations are far greater than those of the earlier generations.
Design research applications in MIME happen at both the device and systems levels and include model-based system design, risk- and reliability-based design, computational design and visualization, bio-inspired design, design optimization, design making in design, design of renewable energy systems, and design of sustainable systems.
MIME Graduate Faculty in Design
The ME engineering mechanics specialty area focuses on computational and physical methods in mechanics. On the computational side, mechanics faculty expertise ranges from stress analysis to imaging techniques for stress/strain monitoring. On the physical side, faculty are involved in the design and testing of material properties, new biomedical materials, and composite structures.
Students who specialize in this area are equipped to solve technical problems in a wide range of fields including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, manufacturing, and computer engineering to name a few. Our faculty possess a broad range of expertise in experimental, theoretical, and computational mechanics.
MIME Graduate Faculty in Mechanics
The ME engineering specialty "materials" involves understanding what gives materials their properties -- and then using this knowledge to engineer new and better materials that can meet wide-ranging societal and environmental needs.
Materials scientists study how to fabricate new materials, predict their behavior, and control their structure and properties over length-scales spanning from meters down to the atomic scale.
The scope of materials science is immense: It encompasses diverse materials classes (metals, polymers, composites, glasses, and ceramics) and covers applications ranging from structural materials such as those used in bridges and aircraft to electronic, magnetic and optical materials used in computing, communications, and new electronic devices.
The MIME materials science faculty at OSU are engaged in research in many areas, including electroceramics, mechanical properties of materials, micro- and nanoelectro mechanical devices, multifunctional materials, nanomaterials, piezoelectric materials, superconducting materials, thin films, and thermal properties of materials.
Together their efforts address applications in areas ranging from sustainable energy to medicine and public health.
MIME Graduate Faculty in Materials
The ME robotics specialty area focuses on design and control of autonomous entities such as mobile robots, micro air vehicles, and wave energy converters and on principles and methods of path planning, multi-robot coordination, manipulation, human–robot interactions, and other robotics and control-related issue.
Robotics and control applications currently being addressed by ME faculty include robotic hand manipulation, legged locomotion and other types of bio-inspired locomotion, air traffic control, micro-air vehicle operation, robots for use in human environments, and modeling and control of marine renewable energy converters. (These and other robotics applications are listed on the Robotics Area of Research Excellence page.)
MIME Graduate Faculty in Robotics
The Thermal–Fluid Sciences (TFS) involve the application of basic fundamental laws of fluid flow, heat transfer and thermodynamics to the development and understanding of many engineering and naturally occurring systems. Current work being done by Oregon State School of MIME TFS faculty encompasses the following areas:
- Advanced Energy Systems
MIME TFS faculty are working in the areas of solar thermal systems, development of solar based fuels, development of alternative fuels, wind energy conversion and small scale hydropower system development. These studies include model development, experimental proof of concept, computational simulations and system integration.
- Thermal Management
Power systems for applications such as advanced computer systems, high power laser devices, and concentrated energy sources require the ability to control, extract and efficiently use thermal energy. In working to develop new thermal management methods, MIME TFS faculty are conducting experimental and computational studies using single and multiphase flow systems with phase change. Applications include high heat flux cooling using controlled phase change, microscale devices for solar concentration, hydrogen storage systems and passive heat transfer enhancement techniques.
- Microscale Fluidics and Heat Transfer
Transport enhancement at the microscale is a workable means of increasing overall energy transport system efficiency while providing flexibility in use in distributed systems. MIME TFS faculty have an active program in developing heat exchangers for terrestrial and space applications, fluid transport devices, fluid control systems and fluidic extraction devices. Applications include biomedical therapeutic devices such as dialyzer for renal therapy, spray and confined jet flows for localized cooling, development of drop-on-demand control technology and others.
- Multiphase Flow
Multiphase flows, which occur in both natural and engineered systems, have unique transport properties. MIME TFS faculty are involved in fundamental studies of boiling heat transfer in confined, small scale systems, development of efficient phase separation technologies, and porous media and geophysical flow studies. This work is both experimental and computational and involves the development of advanced experimental and simulation methods.
- Low-Speed Aerodynamics
In the development of unmanned vehicles, the ability to control low-speed flight is of great interest. The highly viscous flows in both air and water have unique aerodynamic characteristics that determine stability and flight efficiency. MIME TFS faculty are conducting experimental and computational simulation studies that examine the use of biomimetic inspired aerodynamic designs for improved flight efficiency.
- Advanced Energy Systems