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Research Areas

Aerospace

Aerospace engineering focuses on flight systems such as aircraft and spacecraft.  Applications also include other "flight" systems such as underwater vehicles, wind turbines, and high performance automobiles.  Research in the department includes both computational and experimental research across various applications including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, turbomachinery, satellites, airports, and wind turbines.

AirplaneTurbine Cross Section
Faculty with research in this area include:

Bioengineering

Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to biology and has origins dating back to Aristotle. Biomechanics seeks to understand the mechanics of living systems, from molecules to organisms. Biomechanical engineering is the practical implementation of this understanding, and embodies the attempts of humans to design and develop mechanical devices that mimic, measure, improve, repair, or replace the function of living systems.

Model of a Human SpineBiomechanical Engineering Equipment
Faculty with research in this area include:
  • Anton Bowden (BABEL): Spinal biomechanics, computational biomechanics.
  • Steven Charles (Neuromechanics): Biomechanics and neural control of movement; Movement disorders; Technology to evaluate, assist, or rehabilitate patients with movement disorders.
  • Larry Howell (Compliant Mechanisms): Compliant mechanisms analysis and design, including origami-based design for medical devices.
  • Brian Iverson (Flux Lab): BioMEMS, biosensing, mass transport enhancement.
  • Brian Jensen (BioMEMSDesign): Fabrication, and testing of biomedical systems on the nano- and micro-scale.
  • Matt Jones: Radiofrequency cardiac ablation, Near infrared imaging and spectroscopy, Personal Protective Equipment.

Design

Engineering design affects everyday life - everything around us has been designed. Design involves the systematic interplay between creation and validation with the intent to bring useful parts, products, or systems, to the marketplace. Researchers in engineering design develop theories, methodologies, and tools that improve the design process and bring new capabilities to the hands of the mechanical designer. This includes computer aided engineering, systems design, product development, numerical and optimization methods, and the integration of engineering with other disciplines.

A Cart Being Pulled by a BikePaper Model
Faculty with research in this area include:

Dynamic Systems, Controls, and Robotics

Many modern engineering systems, including robots, biomedical devices, vehicles, sensors, and machinery are comprised of interconnected dynamic elements. The ability to design, model, and control such systems is essential in modern engineering. Current areas of focus related to dynamic systems and controls at BYU include unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), active noise control, haptic interfaces, and robotics.

Students Working TogetherBYU Made Robot
Faculty with research in this area include:

Energy Systems

The dual specters of global warming and political instability in oil exporting countries have made the development of sustainable energy systems a national priority. Research in the department spans various aspects of energy engineering and includes collaborations with other departments, industry, and national labs.

Global Warming ChartWindmills
Faculty with research in this area include:

Fluid Mechanics

Fluid mechanics deals with the study of liquids and gases at rest or in motion. Research in fluid mechanics focuses on understanding how fluids move and interact with their surroundings over the range of length scales from the nano-scale to the global scale. Fluid mechanics research encompasses many complicated dynamic systems which are solved through a combination of experiments and direct observation, analytical methods, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Research topics at BYU are broad and include areas such as: biological flows, micro- and nano-fluidic systems, flow physics in turbomachines, turbulence, fluid-structure interactions, atmospheric and oceanic flow dynamics, aircraft aerodynamics, and reacting flows.

Fluid in a PuddleFluid Splattering
Faculty with research in this area include:
  • Julie Crockett (Waves): Environmental fluid dynamics.
  • Steve Gorrell (TRL): Turbomachinery aerodynamics.
  • Dan Maynes (Fluids Lab): Superhydrophobic surface fluid physics and thermal transport, train aerodynamics, turbomachinery.
  • Andrew Ning (FLOW Lab): Aerodynamics, particularly theoretical and computational aerodynamics. Applications focused on wind turbines and aircraft.

Materials

Progress in materials science is at the heart of most exciting advances in modern engineering. Materials science consists in exploring the relationships between structure, properties and processing operations that define a material. The engineering materials group develops novel processing techniques to prepare advanced materials. We use cutting edge microscopy to determine material structure at the nano-scale. Then, we employ mathematical tools to characterize the structure and properties of the material, and we design even better ones.

Material Science ModelMicron Bar
Faculty with research in this area include:

Structural Dynamics and Acoustics

Acoustics research at BYU is strongly cross-disciplinary in character and focuses on the following areas: active noise and vibration control, sound-structure interaction, nonlinear acoustics, audio acoustics and architectural acoustics. The research in acoustics is both experimental and computational in nature and includes simulation and measurement of physical systems, as well as signal processing. Structural dynamics research focuses on the interaction between aerodynamics and structures.

Faculty with research in this area include:

Thermal Transport

Thermodynamics and Heat and Mass Transfer play a critical role in the design and optimization of energy conversion systems at all length scales (nano-, micro- and meso-scales). At BYU, we investigate methods to enhance and/or control transport of heat and mass to achieve efficient thermal management, chemical reactions and energy systems.  Efforts include experimental and analytical approaches and address a host of applications (combustion, aerospace, biosensors, energy harvesting, etc.).

Submarines in The WaterStudent's Working Together
Faculty with research in this area include:
  • Brad Adams: Radiative heat transfer in combustion systems.
  • Brian Iverson (Flux Lab): Heat transfer in microsystems, microfluidics, spacecraft thermal management, transport at superhydrophobic surfaces.
  • Matt Jones: Reduced order methods - Modeling, Analysis and Compression, Thermophysical Property Measurements, Energy Transport and Conversion.
  • Troy Munro (TEMP Lab): Fluorescence thermometry, thermophysical property measurement, in situ thermal measurements.
  • Dale Tree: Combustion and optical diagnostics.
  • Brent Webb: Spectral modeling approaches for radiation in high temperature gases.