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University of Utah - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department


The Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah, established in 1974, is an internationally renowned center of interdisciplinary basic and applied medically related research. It has a rich history in artificial organs including the heart-lung machine, the intra-aortic balloon pump heart assist device, the artificial eye, the artificial heart and the dialysis machine, the first of which was engineered out of sausage casing and part of a Ford automobile water pump during WWII by Willem Kolff. Additionally, the department has a history of developments in biomaterials, drug delivery and entrepreneurial activity. Current research activities of the department include biobased engineering, biosensors, medical imaging, biomaterials, biomechanics, computation/modeling, drug/gene delivery, neural interfaces, computational bioengineering, tissue engineering and other specialty areas.

Chemical Engineering

Biotechnology, catalysis, combustion, energy, fuels, reaction engineering, multi-scale simulation, molecular modeling, rheology, nanomaterials, environmental engineering, polymer science, ceramics processing, process identification and control.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering: environmental processes, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, water reuse, green house gas emissions, tracking water management, environmental chemistry, surface water quality, anaerobic processes, solid and radioactive hazardous waste treatment, biomass energy, resource recovery, antibiotic resistance bacteria, sanitation, public health, climate impacts on environmental systems, physicochemical processes, environmental engineering, nuclear engineering, radiation protection, health physics, remediation of organic and heavy metal contaminants, water and soil quality, water quality assessment.

Water Resources: Hydrology, storm water management, water resources planning and management, water resources systems analysis, drinking water, water-energy-food nexus, water infrastructure, resiliency and sustainability, hydraulics, open channel flow, flood modeling, carbon sequestration, subsurface contaminant transport, green infrastructure, low-impact development, risk assessment, uncertainty analysis, life-cycle assessment, climate impacts on water resources, remote sensing of water use and water quality, water quality management, wetlands restoration and creation, remediation of contaminated sediments, geothermal engineering, groundwater contamination, heat transfer, imaging, parallel computing, reservoir engineering, rock mechanics, sediment transport, multiphase flow, surface/ground water interaction, and river mechanics.

Geotechnical engineering: Soil improvement and stabilization, collapsible soils, geosynthetics, geoenvironmental characterization of aquifer and reservoir heterogeneity, examining geochemical regimes associated with groundwater flow systems and petroleum reservoirs, numerical simulation of groundwater flow and petroleum production, GIS applications for diverse spatial databases, applications of structural analysis and geological mapping for assessing geohazards.

Transportation engineering: Traffic signal systems, public transportation, transit signal priority, traffic modeling and simulation, intelligent transportation systems, traffic flow theory, highway and street design, road safety, non-motorized transportation, traffic operations, project development, risk and reliability analysis, congestion pricing, large-scale transportation network simulation and modeling, transportation network performance assessment, GIS-based transportation asset management, transportation network complexity, driving simulation, big data applications in transportation, spatial data management and analysis, data information systems, connected vehicles, vehicle automation, vehicle communication, artificial intelligence, agent-based traffic control.

Steel and Concrete Structural Engineering: Structural dynamics as applied to building systems with emphasis on earthquake engineering and vibration problems, structural control, structural optimization, reliability engineering, computer-aided analysis and design, bridge engineering, system reliability of steel connections, finite element modeling of steel connections, rehabilitation using fiber reinforced polymer composite materials.

Materials Engineering: Design, characterization methods, and evaluation of concrete, asphalt, and composite construction materials with emphasis on determining infrastructure health and sustainability.

Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Forensics; New computational methodologies for neutron transport in complex geometries (AGENT code); 3D technologies; Binary radiation targeted therapies in cancer treatment and BNCT for breast cancer; Detection of special nuclear materials; Radiochemistry; Environmental remediation of heavy metals; Mass spectrometry; Coincidence and Multiplicity Counting; Novel Radiation Detection Concepts and Materials; Radiation Detector Development.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electromagnetics, optics and optoelectronics, micro- and nano-device fabrication, communications, signal processing, microwaves, computer engineering, control systems, image processing, semiconductors, VLSI system design, power engineering, antenna design, biomedical applications, modeling biological networks, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), RF mixed-signal integrated circuits design and electronic design automation.

Geological Engineering

Rock properties, slope stability analysis, landslide hazard assessment,
soil dynamics, earthquake engineering, stress-strain-strength of
geo-materials, surface water hydrology, surficial processes, fluid
dynamics of earth processes, colloid transport, aqueous organic
geochemistry, subsurface hydrology, dating of young waters.

Materials Science & Engineering

Biomaterials, computational materials and nanomaterials, ceramics, composites, polymers, electronic materials.

Mechanical Engineering

Engineering mechanics, materials engineering, manufacturing engineering, composite materials behavior and mechanics, fatigue, fracture mechanics, behavior of plastics, adhesive bonding, tribology, acoustics, vibrations, biomechanics, design methods, reliability in design, quality in design, ergonomics, safety, systems engineering, fluid mechanics, environmental fluid mechanics, heat transfer, nanoscale thermal transport, aerodynamics, bioheat transfer, microscale thermal fluids, alternative energy systems,thermal energy storage, sustainability, wind power.

Metallurgical Engineering

Mineral processing: Fracture characteristics of particles, comminution, mathematical modeling of specific processes, fluid dynamics of specific operations, flotation, surface chemistry, and novel designs.
Hydrometallurgy: Metal extraction, concentration, purification, electrodeposition, and corrosion. Pyrometallurgy: Thermodynamics, kinetics and modeling of high-temperature chemical processes. Physical metallurgy: Powder metallurgy, phase transformations, mechanical behavior, fatigue and fracture composites, magnetic materials, electronic materials, crystal growth, solidification processing, deformation processing, structure property processing relationships, scanning and electron transmission, electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction analysis, surface characterization (AFM, STM, XPS/Auger, ...), nondestructive metal failure detection, rapid solidification, systhesis and processing of advanced inorganic materials, and nanosized and nanostructured materials.

Mining Engineering

Rock mechanics, numerical modeling, geotechnical instrumentation, ventilation of underground coal mines, mine safety, computer applications, mine automation and mine/mill integration, surface and underground mining methods (metal, coal and industrial minerals), acquiring geotechnical data through digital image processing, safety and health, risk management.

School of Computing

Department faculty and students have done pioneering work in interactive graphics, stack machine and dataflow architectures, digital recording, graphical user interfaces, three-dimensional rendering, asynchronous circuits, video games, computer algebra, and computer animation. Faculty and alumni have founded a number of well-known companies, including Adobe Systems, Ashlar, Atari, Cirrus Logic, Evans and Sutherland, Myricom, Netscape, Pixar Pixel-Planes, Silicon Graphics, WordPerfect, and Xmission.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Carbon Capture Multidisciplinary Simulation Center

The Carbon-Capture Multidisciplinary Simulation Center (CCMSC) is demonstrating exascale computing with V&V/UQ to more rapidly deploy a new technology for providing low cost, low emission electric power generation to meet the growing energy needs of the U.S.

Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute

Investigators in the Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute conduct cutting edge research in the following specific areas: structural and functional properties of ion channels, cellular electrophysiology, excitation-contraction coupling, regulation of intracellular pH and calcium, cardiac chromatin remodeling, tissue and organ level electrophysiology, computational modeling, and cardiac metabolism.

Center for Controlled Chemical Delivery

The Center for Controlled Chemical Delivery (CCCD) was established at the University of Utah in 1986 as a State of Utah Centers of Excellence Program. CCCD maintains a strong graduate training program and has attained a leading position in worldwide pharmaceutical, polymer and biomedical research. CCCD receives funding from the State of Utah, industry sponsored contracts, and grants from the National Institutes of Health. Through decades of research success, CCCD has gained a leading position in the field of biomedical polymer controlled drug delivery and blood contacting devices.

Center for Engineering Innovation

The Center for Engineering Innovation CEI is the prototyping, advanced engineering services, and technical education center for the University of Utah. We serve industry and public/government collaborators as well as supporting Utah’s academic institutions, through maturing technologies and intellectual property, and de-risking and accelerating the transfer of technologies into the commercial space.

Center for Extreme Data Management Analysis and Visualization

The Center for Extreme Data Management Analysis and Visualization (CEDMAV) focuses on theoretical and algorithmic research, systems development, and tool deployment for dealing with this extreme data in fields such as: geospatial information systems, astrophysics, climate modeling, energy production and distribution, and medical imaging.

Center for Neural Interfaces

The Center for Neural Interfaces was founded in 1995 as a Utah State Center of Excellence. The current focus is on the integration of biomedical technology with the physiological aspect of neuroscience and potential clinical applications. Chronically or acutely implantable neural interface devices based on the Utah Electrode Array are tested and used in the nervous system for recording or initiating neural signals, which may assist with sensory or motor functioning.

Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics

The Center for Biomedical Microfluidics is dedicated to the discovery, understanding, development and commercialization of microscale and MEMS devices for application to biological, biomedical, and medical problems.

Energy and Geoscience Institute

The Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) is a not-for-profit research organization with a 25-year record of conducting multidisciplinary projects worldwide. Through cooperative agreements with universities and research institutes, government agencies and laboratories, and national energy companies worldwide, the Institute undertakes a broad range of projects on all seven continents. EGI's geothermal research is focused on developing new technology for exploration, reservoir delineation, and production of resources in the Western United States, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Global Change & Sustainability Center

The Global Change & Sustainability Center coordinates, promotes, and accelerates interdisciplinary research and training on natural and human-built systems, the dynamic interactions and interconnections that exist in those systems, and the role of humans in the environment.

Institute for Clean and Secure Energy

ICSE employs an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of energy, combustion and high-temperature fuel utilization processes by combining hands-on experimental work with analytical tools and simulation. This approach enables ICSE to develop predictive tools for these highly complex processes, which span multiple scales of time and space. ICSE has the resources and expertise to address and improve the understanding of these processes, which are often associated with applied systems industrial applications.

Nano Institute

The Nano Institute of Utah provides an organization wherein scientists, engineers and clinicians from across the University, the State and elsewhere work together to attain global recognition by conquering interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Institute enables Utah researchers from disciplines such as chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy to create synergistic alliances to drive higher levels of collaborative research, education and commercialization.

NSF Materials Research Science & Engineering Center

The primary mission of the University of Utah’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) on Next Generation Materials for Plasmonics and Organic Spintronics is to foster interdisciplinary basic research on new materials, develop the underlying theoretical and experimental science, train the next generation of scientists, create curiosity and excitement in Science, Math, and Engineering among the nation’s youth, transmit the knowledge to the broadest possible segments of our society, and lay the foundation of the next generation science and technology that will revolutionize society. This will be accomplished through various research, educational and outreach programs under the MRSEC. The MRSEC will create new knowledge in Plasmonics and Spintronics and transmit this to K-12 students, teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, as well as established researchers and scientists in academia. The MRSEC will create and strengthen ties with industry and national laboratories, and will promote collaborations with international scientists

NVIDIA CUDA Center of Excellence

The NVIDIA Center of Excellence at the University of Utah is using GPU technology to make significant advances in a number of scientific applications, including seismic data processing and visualization, MRI and diffusion tensor image reconstruction, cardiac electrical wave propagation simulation, combustion and fluid dynamics simulation, and several projects in large-scale scientific visualization.

Scientific Computing & Imaging Institute

Medical applications of scientific computing to topics in biomedicine are a mainstay of SCI Institute research. The main area of interest continues to be the study of bioelectric fields. Electric and magnetic fields originate from sources within the body and can also be imposed externally, typically as a means of diagnosis or treatment. Bioelectric fields from the heart are responsible for the electrocardiogram (ECG) and SCI Institute research in this area is very active. The overall goal of this research is to represent the electric sources and their behavior in the body by means of a realistic simulation model of the human thorax. Such a model would provide a means of better understanding how much information about the state of the heart is available on the body surface. We have developed geometric models of the human thorax, as well as computational tools for representing the sources of electric fields in the heart. Current areas of interest include developing methods to better estimate the electrical activity in the heart from ECG measurements on the body surface, the inverse problem of electrocardiography. A second specific project in cardiac fields is to develop computation tools for defibrillation. Defibrillators are essential devices in emergency medicine but in recent years have also become implantable. Patients with known instabilities in the electrical activity of the heart can receive potentially life saving protection. The SCI Institute has developed tools for placing electrodes anywhere within an inhomogeneous geometric model of the human thorax and calculating the resulting electric fields.
The brain is also a source of bioelectric fields, and the SCI Institute is developing computer tools to image those fields. Computational methods offer a means to extract from these complex signals such information as the location of focal epilepsy, pathways of communication in the normal and abnormal brain, and perhaps even the evolution of learning. To reach these goals, we have developed high resolution models of the human head from magnetic resonance images and applied advanced signal processing and numerical simulation techniques. Researchers in the SCI Institute study techniques for image processing that fall within a conceptual framework that relies on the geometric structure of images. This conceptual framework also allows us to construct processing algorithms that are the solutions of certain kinds of partial differential equations. Treating images as functions leads to a family of techniques for preprocessing and filtering, feature extraction, segmentation, and surface modeling.

U.S.- Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water

U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water at the University of Utah (USPCASW, UU) is a world class education and applied research center dedicated to resolving Pakistan’s water crises through applied research, developing specialist human resource and technologies; academia-industry collaboration; and policy formulation.

University of Utah Robotics Center

The University of Utah Robotics Center (UURC) consists of faculty and graduate students from the School of Computing and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with a varied research program addresses diverse topics such as intelligent agents, hybrid mobile robots, humanoid robots, haptic interfaces, and personal assistive devices.

Utah Center for NanoBioSensors

The development of ultra-sensitive biological and chemical sensors is one of the grand scientific, engineering, and educational challenges of the 21st century. The Utah Center for NanoBioSensors is addressing this challenge by developing sensor platforms that exploit breakthroughs in nanomaterials, miniaturization, sample collection, preparation strategies, and signal detection.

Utah Center of Trace Explosives Detection

The goal of the Utah Center of Trace Explosives Detection is to prototype our patented sensory materials into portable devices that are suited for infield explosives detection. The sensory materials are composed of well-defined nanofibers fabricated from different building-block molecules.

Utah Nanofab

The Utah Nanofab brings together two teams of experienced researchers, engineers and scientists with backgrounds in nano-fabrication, nano-scale surface analysis, and industrial process design. The Surface Analysis Lab is the Utah Nanofab’s analysis branch. It is home to the ~5,000 square foot microscopy suite containing optical, electron, and ion microscopes. The lab’s team of scientists and researchers have years of experience in the fields of surface topography, surface chemistry and optical and dielectric properties of materials. The Utah Nanofab Cleanroom is the Utah Nanofab’s fabrication and process design branch. We have a team of experts with years of industrial and academic experience in nano-fabrication techniques. Our class 100/1000/10,000 cleanroom provides world-class equipment for lithography, deposition, etching, packaging, and more.