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Michigan State University - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering Department’s mission is to apply engineering principles and design concepts to advance healthcare practices, including medical diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. A particular focus is translational research, which integrates basic research, patient-oriented research, and population-based research to improve health. Much of the department’s research is multidisciplinary, involving collaborators from other departments and colleges. Ongoing research includes development and characterization of biomaterials suitable for implants, tissue repair, or prostheses; characterization of medically relevant mass, heat, and momentum transport processes; engineering of biomolecules having desired functional or signaling properties; development of instruments to monitor health-related processes and factors; application of biomechanical principles to prevent or treat damage to the human body; use of imaging techniques to noninvasively characterize biological phenomena within the body; elucidation and manipulation of neural signaling processes in the sensory and motor systems; modeling of complex interactions between complicated molecular, cellular, or organismal systems; use of bionanotechnology to exploit the unique and desirable properties of matter at the nanoscale; and application of biomimetics to mimic the functions of biological nanomachines, such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids.

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

The overall research mission is to improve peoples' lives by integrating and applying principles of engineering and biology in food, agriculture, natural resources and environmental systems.The three strategic directions within the department are "Ensuring Food Quality, Safety, and Biosecurity", "Enhancing the Environmental and Conserving Natural Resources", and "Improving Agricultural Sustainability". Research topics include: processing of nutraceuticals and functional foods, microbial modeling for food safety, properties of food and biological materials, spectroscopic and image analysis of food products, biosensor development for rapid detection of pathogens, food extrusion, process modeling and optimization, surface and ground water quality, GIS-based watershed management, on-site wastewater treatment, constructed wetlands, ground water stewardship, land use, comprehensive nutrient management, intelligent machines, technologies for site-specific agriculture, and biomass production and processing for alternative uses.

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Research interests within the department include programs or projects in advanced metallic systems, biotechnology and biomaterials, colloid and interface science, complex materials for energy applications (such as thermoelectrics, batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, etc.), polymers and composites, multiphase transport phenomena, electronic and ceramic materials, biobased material resource utilization, and biomedical and metabolic engineering. Much of the research in the department is interdisciplinary, in response to the demands of critical problem areas.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Current research areas include: structural fire engineering; advanced structural systems for seismic resistance; rehabilitation and preservation of infrastructure; structural assessment and health monitoring; reliability-based design; novel structural materials; smart infrastructure; asphalt and concrete mechanicistic-empirical pavement response and performance models; non-destructive field and laboratory testing; pavement preservation; rapid construction quality assurance; innovative pavement management; dynamic vehicle-pavement interaction; vehicle operating costs; contaminant fate, transport and exposure assessment; innovative treatment systems; monitoring and detecting contaminants, understanding of natural environments; DNA biochips, biosensors and hand-held microfluidic devices for microbial detection, occurrence, transport, and modeling of microbial and viral contaminants in watersheds; biological systems to remediate sites with chemical contaminants; contaminant transport in heterogeneous media; coupled physical; chemical and biological models; multiscale modeling of complex environmental systems; GIS-based modeling of watershed-scale processes; environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics; advanced environmental visualization; bioreactor landfills; geosynthetics; unsaturated hydraulic and thermal properties of soils; and remediation using electricity; ultrasound and reactive/sorptive permeable blankets.

Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The department research emphasis is on large scale computation, encompassing data science and computational science. CMSE converges computational mathematics of algorithms with applications in the sciences and engineering. Data science algorithm areas include: Bayesian methods, statistical clustering algorithms, manifold learning, network and graphs and topological data analysis. Computational science algorithm areas include: distributed parallel computing, finite difference, finite volume, finite element, spectral methods, fast multi-pole algorithms, agent-based modeling, physics based pre-conditioners, mesh independent algorithms, and multi-scale algorithms. Applications foci include computational biology, including the areas of medical imaging, neuroscience, drug delivery, protean folding and genomics; computational physics and chemistry, including electrodynamics, fluid dynamics, plasma science and materials modeling.

Computer Science and Engineering

Departmental research strengths are in many areas, with particular strength in software engineering and formal methods, networking and cyber physical systems, security, computer graphics and visualization, bioinformatics and digital evolution, data mining, machine learning and pattern recognition, and natural language processing. The research groups and laboratories include: Biometrics Research Group, Embodied Intelligence Laboratory, Intelligent Systems Laboratory, Media and Entertainment Technologies Laboratory, Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Laboratory, Software Engineering and Network Systems Laboratory, Digital Evolution, Experimental Laboratory for Advanced Networks and Systems, Geonomics, Evolution and Development, and Language Processing and Knowledge Discovery. Partnering with several other departments and universities, the CSE department is a major contributor and plays an important role in the NSF Science and Technology Center for the study of Evolution in Action (BEACON) on our campus. Furthermore, the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (ICER) at MSU supports multidisciplinary research activities of the department.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The department has ongoing research projects in evolutionary computation, genetic algorithms; thermal electric materials and devices; plasma-assisted etching and chemical vapor deposition, plasma modeling and diagnostics; accelerator technology; diamond synthesis, diamond devices and microsensors; smart and multifunctional materials; microwave processing of materials; transient electromagnetic scattering, antennas, radar target identification; computational electromagnetics; nonlinear control, singular perturbation methods, nonlinear systems and circuits, adaptive and robust control; computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM); nondestructive evaluation techniques applied to biomedical, infrastructure, and aerospace applications; robotics, nanomanipulation, nanorobotics; mobile network protocols and systems, wireless communication, adhoc networks, network security; sensor-based microsystems, low power circuits, high performance mixed-signal integrated circuits; biomedical devices and microsystems; computer engineering, embedded processors, advanced architecture computers, VLSI design methodologies; digital circuit design, fault-tolerant design of microelectronic structures; alternative energy systems; power systems stability, operation, reliability and control; electrical machinery and drives; power electronics; parameter estimation, system identification, adaptive signal processing; speech processing, system identification, biomedical signal processing; signal processing applied to cardiovascular, neural system, speech and brain signals; micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) applications to neural implants, biosensors, and long-term implants; ultrasonics and electromagnetics for thermal therapy and medical imaging.

Mechanical Engineering

Research programs include studies of alternative energy systems, biomaterial characterization, biomimetics, cardiovascular mechanics, composite material design and manufacture, composite material processing, computational design and optimization, computational fluid dynamics, controls, cutting tool technology, distributed control and self-organizing systems, energetically enhanced combustion, energy conversion and utilization, biomechanics, experimental mechanics, fires and combustion, flow sensing diagnostics, fluid mechanics and combustion, fluid turbulence, impact dynamics, impact-trauma biomechanics, internal combustion engines, laser diagnostics, manufacturing processes, metal and composite sheet forming, microstructured and graded materials, modeling and control of mechatronic systems, molecular simulations of complex fluids, multi-functional composites, multiphase flows, nondestructive evaluation, nonlinear dynamics, nonlinear elasticity, orthopedic biomechanics, plasma enhanced combustion, propulsion and engine systems, robotics, self-diagnostics composites, structural integrity, structural optimization, thermomechanical properties of composites, tissue mechanics, transport phenomena in porous media, turbomachinery, vibrations.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center


The BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action is an NSF Science and Technology Center founded with the mission of illuminating and harnessing the power of evolution in action to advance science and technology and benefit society. Research at BEACON focuses on biological evolution, digital evolution, and evolutionary applications in engineering, uniting biologists who study natural evolutionary processes with computer scientists and engineers who are harnessing these processes to solve real-world problems.

Developers of evolutionary algorithms have long borrowed high-level concepts from biology to improve problem-solving methods, but have not always captured the nuances of evolutionary theory. Likewise, studying the evolution of artificial systems can provide biologists with insight into the dynamics of the evolutionary process and the critical factors underlying emergent properties and behaviors. BEACON will promote the transfer of discoveries from biology into computer science and engineering design, while using novel computational methods and systems to address complex biological questions that are difficult or impossible to study with natural organisms.
BEACON is headquartered at Michigan State University, with partner institutions at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Washington, North Carolina A&T State University, and the University of Idaho.

Center for Alternative Energy Storage Research and Technology

The Center for Alternative Energy Storage Research and Technology (CAESRT)
at MSU has a goal to be recognized as the
leading national academic organization for innovative high impact fundamental research in materials and technology for storing energy. CAESRT will advance the synthesis, design and validation of energy storage devices and systems that have high power densities and are durable, safe, light-weight, environment-friendly; scalable in size for specific applications; and relevant to both DoD and civilian markets. CAESRT will be strongly coupled to efficient and effective technology transfer to industry
and government.

CAESRT through the efforts of its leading academic researchers and
innovators will be an engine for intellectual property creation, local and state-wide job creation, and training knowledge workers so that advanced energy storage technology will not only translate into manufacturing
expansion in the State of Michigan. It will facilitate use of this
technology in other applications, most notably hybrid vehicles and regional
electric generation facilities. It will also spawn, through industrial partners, a technological base for meeting the energy storage needs of the
military - thus creating opportunity for greater investment in the State of
Michigan by the Department of Defense.

Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection

The Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP) is the first and preeminent academic body focusing upon the complex global issues of anti-counterfeiting and product protection of all products, across all industries, in all markets on strategies to work effectively to detect, deter, and respond to the crime. Brand owners, government agencies, professional associations, and others all share in the challenge of responding to counterfeit goods and product protection issues. A-CAPP is an independent, interdisciplinary evidence-based hub, offering research, educational programs, information, and partnership opportunities designed to assist in protecting brands and products of all industries worldwide.Described by the FBI as the crime of the 21st century, product counterfeiting accounts for an estimated $600 billion in global trade and wreaks dire global health, safety and economic consequences on individuals, corporations, government and society. Through the A-CAPP and its partners, you will find information designed to help you navigate the strategic, technological, legislative, and legal challenges of anti-counterfeiting and product protection programs.

Center for Engineering Education Research

The Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER) was established in 2009 as a discipline-based education research (DBER) center to promote engineering education research in the MSU College of Engineering, More broadly, CEER promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education across MSU. The main goal of CEER is to facilitate a college-wide effort to continuously improve the educational environment of the College by conducting studies based on effective models of learning and by systematically assessing the outcomes.

CEER provides a number of services to support individual and small groups of faculty as they explore the state-of-the-art and generate proposals to to pursue research in engineering education. CEER also stands ready to help with the development of large-scale proposals, such as those for NSF Engineering Research Centers.

The three key roles of CEER are to:

provide a focus in the College of Engineering for expansion of funded research in engineering education,
encourage and support engineering faculty and staff in moving increasingly towards active learning methods based on a strong evidenced-based approach, and
synergistically collaborate with other university units to enhance research in STEM programs at MSU generally.

Center for Microbial Ecology

The Center for Microbial Ecology focuses on understanding factors that influence the competitiveness, diversity and function of microorganisms in their natural and managed habitats.

Center for Nano and Multifunctional Materials

The Center for Energy, Nano and Multifunctional Materials (CENaM) is a center of excellence supporting innovative, high impact, fundamental and applied research in nano and multifunctional materials, alternative energy generation and storage, technology development and systems for storing and retrieving energy. CENaM is working toward developing the next generation of energy generation and storage devices through the use of nanomaterials and nanoarchitectures to overcome existing limitations with current designs. The unique features of CENaM is the research emphasis on nano and multifunctional materials and their 1, 2 and 3 dimensional arrangement to produce composite materials with unique architecture and tunable isotropic properties across lengths scales from molecular to meter sizes. Current areas of research emphasis include: High energy and high power density lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors; graphene and diamond nanomaterials; multifunctional nanocomposites; ‘green’ biobased structural materials and layered nanomaterials for alternative energy generation and storage.

Center for Nanostructured Biomimetic Interfaces

The Center for Nanostructured Biomimetic Interfaces includes researchers from Michigan State University, the Michigan Molecular Institute, and Neogen Corporation. Collectively they have expertise that spans molecular biology, protein expression, separation science, polymer chemistry, interfacial science, nanotechnology, microelectronics, medicine, and commercial sensing technologies.

Center of Research Excellence in Complex Materials CORE-CM

Congratulations to Jim McCusker who was elected the new Director of CORE-CM beginning Aug. 1 2013. Jim plans to develop MSU strength in ultrafast science as well as continuing support for complex materials, particularly energy materials. For Spring 2014 he has brought together a seminar program focusing on ultrafast science and he plans a workshop in this area in summer 2014.
Affiliated center and large group activities 1. Revolutionary Materials for Solid State Energy Conversion. DOE-EFRC. MSU Faculty: Don Morelli (PI), Eldon Case, Tim Hogan, Bhanu Mahanti, Jeff Sakamoto, Harold Schock.

2. Design and Development of Efficient Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. NSF-Solar. MSU Faculty: Jim McCusker (PI), Greg Baker, Andrew Christlieb, Larry Drzal, Keith Promislow.

3. Developing the next generation of advanced battery technology. DoD. MSU Faculty: Larry Drzal (PI), Greg Baker, Jeff Sakamoto, Martin Hawley, Tim Hogan, Elias Strangas, Fang Peng, Greg Swain, Jeff Sakamoto.

4. Biomimetic Microsystem for High Throughput Evaluation of Engineered Nanomaterial. NIH-Grand Opportunity. MSU Faculty: R. (Marc) Worden (PI), Andrew Mason, Greg Baker, Phil Duxbury, Jack Harkema, James Wagner, Norbert Kaminski, Barbara Kaplan.

5. Interdisciplinary Bioelectronics Training Program. DE-GAANN. MSU Faculty: R. (Marc) Worden (PI), Scott Barton (co-PI), Phil Duxbury, Michael Garavito, Gemma Reguera, Jon Sticklen, Stuart Tessmer, Claire Veielle.

MSU centers in related areas Composite Materials and Structures Center.
Great Lakes Bioenergy Institute (DOE).
Institute for Cyber-Enabled Discovery.
CORE-CM Facilities
1. Brucker powder diffraction facility .
Chemisty Department. Contact Richard Staples.
2. Thermal diffusivity instrument (up to 1100K)
Engineering Research Complex. Contact Tim Hogan.
3. Asylum AFM, conducting probe, environmental cell .
Physics and Astronomy Department. Contact Reza Loloee.
4. Absolute absorbance instrument - Chemisty, McCusker lab. Coming soon.
5. Physical property measurement system (PPMS) - Physics, Ke lab. Coming soon.
6. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) - Engineering, Tarabara Lab. Coming soon.

Composite Materials and Structures Center

Welcome to the Composite Materials and Structures Center at Michigan State University. The Center is a multidisciplinary research facility located at Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. For more information, please also see our About page.

The expertise of MSU’s engineering faculty, as well as faculty members from other colleges on campus, support the center’s three major efforts:

Support of graduate and undergraduate education in the science and engineering of composites
Research on composite materials, processing, and design
Transfer of composites technology to industry through seminars, short courses, and cooperative research.

Composite Vehicle Research Center

The Composite Vehicle Research Center focuses on the design and testing of composite structures for light-weight, environment-friendly, durable and safe vehicles. The thrust areas are: advanced design of composite shells and structures for vehicles; development of novel experimental mechanics methods and smart sensing systems for analysis, non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring; and integration of simulation and experimental mechanics in design protocols for vehicles.

Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Laboratory

Computational Fluid Dynamics Center is supported by the National Science Foundation and several companies with the research objective to solve fluid dynamics problems as defined by industry.

Energy & Automotive Research Laboratories

The Engine Research Lab conducts fundamental research leading to development of optimal automotive powertrain system designs under flexible fuel conditions. In this state-of-the-art facility students gain valuable experience working in the fast-changing "crops-to-wheels" environment.

Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications

The Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications, in close partnership with Michigan State University, provides innovative R&D services based on its expertise in coating and laser technology. The overall aim of the entire Fraunhofer organization is to bridge the gap between research and industry by providing top notch applied research services.

Great Lakes Bio Energy Research Center

Our Mission

The mission of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is grand, but simply stated: to perform the basic research that generates technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other advanced biofuels.

High Performance Computing Center

Michigan State University (MSU) is aggressively pursuing the goal of enhancing its cyberinfrastructure. In the last five years, MSU has committed $3.5 million to establish itself as a leader in providing advanced computational resources that support Cyber-Enabled Discovery in a variety of research areas. As part of this commitment, Michigan State established a High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) in Fall 2004 to provide hardware and software support to researchers across campus. MSU is also working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a member of the NSF-funded Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC,

In order to better focus these efforts in computational research, training and collaboration, MSU has further committed $10 million dollars over the next 5 years to establish the new Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER). This Institute provides a common structure for researchers from across academia and industry to work on how computation can better their research. In addition to being the new home of the HPCC, iCER’s goals will include developing collaborative, interdisciplinary projects through a faculty scholars program and post-doctoral fellowships.

Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER)

The Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER) provides a common structure for researchers from across academia and industry to work on how computation can better their research. The High Performance Computer Center (HPCC) at Michigan State University provides computational hardware and support to MSU faculty, students and researchers.

Material Science Microscopy Facility

The Electronic Microscopy Facility houses scanning and transmission electron microscopes and X-ray diffractometers for a range of research studies and provides training in the use of its facilities.

MDOT Pavement Research Center of Excellence

The MDOT Pavement Research Center of Excellence conducts research and technology transfer in the transportation infrastructure area. Researchers study the effects of conventional pavement materials, polymers, composite materials, design, construction quality, preventive maintenance and rehabilitation practices on pavement performance under realistic traffic loading and environmental conditions.

MSU BioEconomy Network

The MSU BioEconomy Network ( is an umbrella organization within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies charged with coordinating MSU's efforts to develop the State, national and global bioeconomy. The bioeconomy is based upon the technologies that convert biomass to useful products, including fuels, materials, chemical feedstocks and energy. MSU has significant efforts in this sector that span basic scientific and engineering research, policy and economic analysis, education and commercialization. One goal of the BioEconomy Network is to increase MSU's federal and corporate research opportunities by supporting large, multidisciplinary proposals, such as the $142M DOE-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin. In partnership with the public and private sectors, MSU is committed to taking ecologically, economically and socially sustainable, bio-based technologies from the research laboratory to the marketplace.

MSU Center for Structural Fire Engineering and Diagnostics

The center, established in 2007 through an MSU Strategic Partnership Grant,is focused on improving the safety and resilience of the built infrastructure to withstand fire. It is supported by a Structural Fire Testing Facility capable of exposing loaded structural components and systems to fire.

National Center for Pavement Preservation

The National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP) was established by
Michigan State University and FP2, Inc. to lead collaborative efforts among government, industry, and academia in the advancement of pavement preservation by advancing and improving pavement preservation practices through education, research and outreach.

NOAA Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health

This multi-university collaboration conducts research in hydrodynamic modeling, water pollution microbiology, hydrology, and discovery of toxic algae predictors.

Nondestructive Evaluation Lab

The Nondestructive Evaluation laboratory supports the aerospace, automotive, beverage, biomedical, defense, natural gas and nuclear power industries, among others through its research programs. The Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation to conduct research across a broad spectrum of electromagnetic and ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation techniques ranging from DC to microwave frequencies.

Protein Expression Lab

The Protein Expression Lab assists with non-GMP production of recombinant proteins using microbial expression systems. The PEL provides a set of services including gene cloning, computer-controlled fermentations, fermentation optimization and scale-up, cell lysis, protein assay, protein purification and final product freeze drying.

Sparrow- MSU Center for Innovation and Research

The Center for Innovation and Research has been created through a formal partnership agreement between Sparrow Health System and Michigan State University. It will bring together potential innovators between MSU and Sparrow and support the formation of partnerships within and beyond the boundaries of our separate systems.

The MSU/Sparrow Center for Innovation and Research should be a hub for collaboration that fosters the creative spirit and encourages innovative thought. Not simply an office space, the Center should be seen as one that brings out the best in individuals and groups as they begin to identify problems, design new approaches, strategies, processes and technologies that address care problems and challenges.

The Center will champion innovators to bring them to the point of care.

University Transportation Center on Highway Pavement Preservation

NCPP " National Center for Pavement Preservation

The National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP) was established by Michigan State University and the Foundation for Pavement Preservation to lead collaborative efforts among government, industry, and academia in the advancement of pavement preservation.

Founded July 11, 2003 , the NCPP is the realization of a collective national vision of pavement practitioners, policy-makers and industry. Its purpose is to advance and improve pavement preservation practices through education, research and outreach.

There are nearly 3.95 million miles of public roads in the United States , valued at more than $1.75 trillion. The NCPP will provide a valuable resource to help educate others about the benefits of pavement preservation. It can enhance pavement preservation knowledge through research and assist owner agencies to establish effective programs. These programs extend pavement life and improve motorist safety and satisfaction while saving public tax dollars.