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Illinois Institute of Technology - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Biomedical Engineering

BME faculty at IIT focus their research efforts in one of three specific areas: cell & tissue engineering, medical imaging, and neural engineering. Activity within each area is described below.

Cell & Tissue Engineering.
This area seeks to understand and attack biomedical problems at the microscopic level and use such knowledge to engineer replacement tissues and organs from individual cells. Knowledge of anatomy, biochemistry and the mechanics of cellular and sub-cellular structures is needed to understand disease processes and to target interventions. Armed with such knowledge, new technologies have been, or are being developed such as:
- Biomaterials
- Cellular Engineering
- Hemodynamics
- Mass transport

Medical Imaging.
Medical imaging encompasses a wide range of technologies (including MRI, CT, ultrasound, PET, etc.) that permit visualization of the internal structure and function of the human body. Medical imaging is an essential part of today's health care, biomedical research, and drug development, and is one of the most important contributions that engineering has made to patient care. Cutting-edge areas of medical imaging include development of new types of imaging, new hardware and computer software, and new ways of using, visualizing, and analyzing medical images.

Areas of specialization include:
- Medical imaging processing and analysis
- Development of new phase-sensitive x-ray imaging

Neural Engineering.
This area applies fundamental and applied engineering techniques to help solve basic and clinical problems in neuroscience. At a fundamental level, neural engineering seeks a better understanding of the behavior of individual neurons, their growth, signaling mechanisms between neurons, and how populations of neurons produce complex behavior. Obtaining such information improves understanding of the communication that occurs between the various parts of the nervous system and the brain. Such knowledge can lead to the development of replacement parts and other treatments for impaired neural systems.

Areas of specialization include:
- Neural Prostheses
- Computational Neuroscience
- Retinal Physiology
- Neural Control

CHEMICAL and Biological Engineering

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is one of the oldest in the nation with a strong tradition of excellence for more than one hundred years. Throughout its history, the department has been recognized as one of the premiere research institutions in the nation. Currently, fourteen faculty members and a number of research professors actively lead research groups in various areas of chemical and biological engineering. The interests of the faculty are diverse and cover processes at scales spanning from the atomic level to the global environment. Their research activities can be generally classified in one or more of four strategic research focus areas: Advanced Materials, Biological Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Systems Engineering.

The department has long been recognized, nationally and internationally, for expertise of its faculty in particle technology, fluidization, and transport and interfacial phenomena. Research activities in these areas occur through a number of research centers: Center of Excellence in Polymer Science and Engineering (CEPSE), Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering (CESE) and Particle Technology and Crystallization Center (PTCC). In recent years, faculty have embarked on research in emerging areas, such as nanomaterials, complex fluids, nanofluids, molecular modeling, novel catalysts and membranes for fuel cells and batteries.

The biological engineering research activities in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering cover broad topics in both biochemical and biomedical engineering research. Areas include biomaterials, biosensors, tissue engineering, bioinformatics, molecular modeling of proteins, diabetes, bio-derived energy, bioremediation, fermentation and a host of others.

Energy related research has always been an area of traditional strength at IIT, mostly through the activities of the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering (CESE), and our renewable energy initiatives. The department activities include research programs in fuel cells, batteries, renewable energy, gas cleaning, hydrogen storage, and water management. The department is also a leader in the “house of the future” project, which is intended to provide IIT students and researchers with a living laboratory for testing of novel energy and sustainability technologies.

The department has had a long-standing tradition of excellence in research in process modeling, monitoring, and control; process system integration; complex systems; system theory; and nonlinear dynamics. Recent activities include the use of hierarchical networks of intelligent autonomous agents for monitoring, diagnosis and control of distributed and networked systems.

Chemical and BIOLOGICAL Engineering

See above.

CIVIL, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

The main research areas in the department are architectural engineering, construction engineering and management, environmental engineering, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, public works, structural engineering, and transportation engineering.

In architectural engineering, faculty conduct research in acoustics, airflow and thermal modeling, energy conservation, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort.

Construction engineering and management research involves construction productivity, scheduling and progress control, dispute resolution, construction company organization, sectorial studies, and project management.

Environmental engineering research areas include air pollution, energy and sustainability, hazardous waste engineering, indoor air quality, and wastewater engineering.

Geotechnical and geonenvironmental research emphasizes soil mechanics, rock mechanics, engineering geology, earthquake engineering, soil structure, and soil-water interactions.

Research in the public works specialty area includes public policy evaluation, management of engineering operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation and construction of civil infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and traffic safety hardware.

Structural engineering research concentrates on structural dynamics and earthquake resistant design, inelsatic behavior and non-linear analysis of steel structures, and bridge engineering.

Transportation engineering research areas include multimodal transportation infrastructure and dynamic traffic network mobility, safety, security and emergency evacuation, as well as energy consumption and vehicle emission performance modeling; transportation asset management, addressing system integration, risk and uncertainty, and sustainability; and network economics.

Civil, ARCHITECTURAL and Environmental Engineering

See above.

Civil, Architectural and ENVIRONMENTAL Engineering

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Computer Science

Key areas of research for the Department of Computer Science include parallel and distributed processing, high-performance computing, computational linguistics, information retrieval, data mining, grid computing, supercomputing, cloud computing, algorithm design, approximation algorithms, and wireless networks.

ELECTRICAL and Computer Engineering

Active research programs are conducted in the general areas of communications systems, wireless networks, computer systems, computer networks, wireless security, cloud computing and micro-electronics; electromagnetics and electronics; power and control systems; signal and image processing.

The department operates research laboratories for work in CAD (Computer-Aided Design), for VLSI (Very-Large-Scale Integration), and SoC (System-on-Chip) circuit design, communications, computer networking, wireless networks, network security, cloud computing, cyber physical systems, embedded computing, image processing, medical imaging, data mining, microwave electronics, power systems, smart grids, signal processing,
and ultrasonic imaging. The Electric Power and Power Electronics Center supports research initiatives with support from industry and government in the areas of power systems, power electronics, electric machines, motor drives, and vehicular power systems. The Medical Imaging Research Center conducts research in numerous forms for imaging and data analysis, and includes the Advance X-ray Imaging Laboratory (AXIL), which is developing new types of x-ray devices. The department also collaborates with and utilizes the research resources of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering and nearby national laboratories.

Electrical and COMPUTER Engineering

See above

MECHANICAL, Materials and Aerospace Engineering

The MMAE department is dedicated to supporting both faculty and student research in a number of key areas, including Design & Manufacturing, Dynamics & Control Systems, Fluid Dynamics, Materials Science & Engineering, Solid Mechanics & Structures, and Thermal Sciences.

The research activities in the design and manufacturing area include computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, solid freeform fabrication and multi-sensor coordinate metrology. The research facilities include the state-of-the-art CNC machine, laser scanner, and computer workstations. The design and manufacturing faculty and research team also has access to various commercial CAD/CAM/CAE software and the state-of-the-art laser deposition process.

Research activities of dynamics and control faculty are centered on navigation, guidance, and control of aerospace and terrestrial systems. Work in the IIT NavLab is focused on the development of modern satellite navigation systems. Current areas of activity include Differential Global Positioning System navigation for aircraft precision landing in zero-visibility conditions, navigation of autonomous Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles, and navigation system integrity. Research activities have been sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Northrop-Grumman, and Boeing.

The Fluid Dynamics Research Center conducts experimental, analytical and numerical research over a wide range of topics involving flowing fluids. The FDRC has particular expertise in the areas of Flow Control, Navier-Stokes Simulations and Low-Dimensional Modeling, Aeroacoustics, and Contaminant Dispersion simulations. Fluid Dynamics faculty includes four experimentalists and two experts in computations and analysis. Six laboratories in the Engineering 1 building house a variety of high-quality low speed and high speed wind tunnels, anechoic facilities, jet facilities and an axial flow compressor research facility. Our current research is supported by AFOSR, NSF, Boeing, Honeywell, DARPA, and ONR.

Research in Materials Science and Engineering is focused on materials processing, mechanical properties and alloy development. Experimental research studies benefit from very well equipped laboratories with some unique capabilities. Modeling and simulation of materials processing and alloy thermodynamics forms a second thrust of activities. Many of the research programs are sponsored by the Thermal Processing Technology Center, which undertakes research to support the needs of the materials processing and manufacturing industries. The center performs high quality basic and applied research in thermal processing technology of interest to the primary metals and manufacturing industry. Multi-disciplinary research teams are used to provide innovative, crosscutting technological solutions to industrial materials processing problems.

The solids and structures group employs experimental, analytical, and computational techniques to study the behavior of conventional and advanced materials (including biological) at the nano-, micro-, and macroscales. Experimental facilities include a new dynamic testing lab equipped with state-of-the-art data acquisition systems. Current research focuses on topology and rate effects in cellular solids, thermomechanical coupling in high-rate deformation processes, micromechanics of composites, modeling of nanoscale composite structures subjected to thermal cycling, and biomechanics.

The research facilities of Thermal Sciences group comprise the Heat Transfer Enhancement and Two - Phase Flow Laboratory, Advanced Thermal & Environmental Systems Research Laboratory, and Combustion Laboratory. The research is sponsored by NSF, NASA, and other organizations such as Gas Technology Institute. The experimental and theoretical studies include both, macro and micro scales.

Mechanical, Materials and AEROSPACE Engineering

See above

Mechanical, MATERIALS and Aerospace Engineering

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Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research (CINNR)

CINNR’s mission is to foster research in systems and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago and neural engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Work in the Center proceeds from basic science and clinical efforts and emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the nervous system.

Center for Molecular Study of Soft Condensed Matter (CMS2)

The Center is a multi-disciplinary center dedicated to the research of soft matter, both biological and synthetic. The center has substantial expertise in cell membranes, collagen, ECM, peptide mimetics, entangled polymers, networks, and the cytoskeleton. Particular emphasis is paid to establishing molecular structure/property/function relationships. The center houses faculty from Biology, Engineering, and Physics, and is a member of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering. Research relies equally on experimental, computational, and theoretical components, including neutron diffraction, x-ray diffraction and scattering, atomic force microscopy, Forced Rayliegh Scattering, micro- and bulk rheology, molecular dynamics simulations, and stochastic and statistical mechanical modeling.

Center for Work Zone Safety and Mobility (CWZSM)

CWZSM works towards providing long-term solutions to transportation work zone safety and mobility problems, by building a consortium of major work zone stakeholders including transportation agencies, contractors, trucking industry, and the insurance industry. By working together through the consortium, the stakeholders can combine their resources and knowledge, and work towards preventing the 50,000 work zone injuries and hundreds of fatalities that occur every year. The initiatives of the center focus on (1) developing work zone safety audit guidelines by addressing the concerns and interests of all stakeholders; (2) discovering/developing/transferring new technologies and measures for improving work zone safety and minimizing negative impacts on private industries and the national economy; and (3) providing work zone safety training and education to the transportation community and the public.

Electric Power & Power Electronics Center (EPPEC)

IIT has long maintained high quality education and research programs in electric power and energy systems. The mission of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Center (EPPEC) is to make significant educational, research, and practical contributions to the fields of electric power, power electronics, electric machines, motor drives, and vehicular power systems. The tasks of the Center include the sponsorship of technical studies, which will enhance the role of university faculty, manufacturers, vendors, and consumers in power engineering research and education. The Center works with centers and departments across IIT, other institutions, government agencies, and industry to sponsor research projects, short courses, conferences, and seminars.

Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education

ECDRE’s objective is to use engineering and science based techniques to develop treatment modalities for diabetes and its many complications. ECDRE is the first engineering center in the U.S. to focus on diabetes treatment. IIT faculty members, in collaboration with investigators and clinicians at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Argonne National Laboratory, are working on a variety of diabetes-related research projects, including the development of artificial pancreas systems. ECDRE is a component of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, which is developing a biomedical research thrust on the campus of IIT.

IIT Research Institute (IITRI)

IITRI is IIT’s not-for-profit contract research affiliate. With a focus on biomedical research, IITRI’s staff of approximately 100 scientists and technicians conducts programs for both government and commercial sponsors. Specific areas of expertise include preclinical toxicology; carcinogenesis and cancer prevention; inhalation technology; molecular biology; analytical chemistry; and biodefense.

Institute for Food Safety and Health

IFSH is a world class research institute that produces knowledge-based outcomes in the areas of food safety, food defense, and nutrition for stakeholders in government, industry, and academia. IFSH builds on and expands the vital work of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), a unique research consortium of IIT, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the food industry. For more than 25 years, the center has provided a collaborative environment where scientists from industry, academia, and government pool their scientific expertise and institutional perspectives to ensure the production of safe, wholesome foods. IFSH has four operating centers that support the institute: the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Center for Nutrition Research (CNR), Center for Processing Innovation (CPI), and Center for Specialty Programs (CSP).

Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation

The mission of the Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation is to pursue groundbreaking work in the generation, transmission, distribution, management and consumption of electricity. The Galvin Center brings together faculty, students, researchers, industry, government, innovators, and entrepreneurs to collaborate to improve the reliability, security and efficiency of the electric grid and overcome obstacles to the national adoption and implementation of the smart grid.

The Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics (CAPP)

CAPP provides a locus for interdisciplinary activities at IIT aimed at the continued development of research in elementary particle physics, at developing new particle accelerator technologies, and at education and outreach to educational institutions and to the wider business, philanthropic and general public sectors. It serves as a base to coordinate the activities of a group of IIT faculty, graduate students, and staff from various departments currently involved in a number of research programs, and will promote substantial increases in such involvement through a close working relationship with other universities in the region and with Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

The Center for Complex Systems and Dynamics (CCSD)

CCSD provides an interdisciplinary collaborative environment for fundamental and applied research for understanding and mathematically describing complex systems; developing mathematical and computational techniques for simulating, analyzing, and modifying their behavior; and applying these methods to various complex systems of national interest. Current research areas include nonlinear and stochastic phenomena in complex systems, multiagent systems, complex networks and adaptive systems, natural and industrial ecologies, dynamics of multiphase systems, fluid turbulence, molecular level modeling of physical systems, brain electrophysiology and computational neuroscience, and transportation systems.

The Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering

The Center conducts basic and applied research primarily in fuel cells and batteries, while preparing students for a career in advanced energy technology.

The Center for Excellence in Polymer Science and Engineering

The Center is an interdisciplinary research and education center established in 1990 through a grant from the Amoco Foundation, is devoted to the advancement of polymer science and engineering. Research is conducted on synthesis, rheology, characterization and processing of polymers. Education programs include concentrations for B.S., MAS (non thesis), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees.

The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP)

CSEP was established in 1976 to promote research and teaching on practical ethical issues in the professions. Within IIT, CSEP pursues this mission by integrating ethics into IIT programs and courses and collaborating with faculty in teaching and research. The first ethics center to focus on the professions, CSEP continues to be one of the nation’s leading ethics centers and is internationally recognized for its work on ethics in science, engineering, and related areas of business. CSEP is committed to multi-disciplinary and multi institutional research, to projects that combine empirical investigation with conceptual analysis, and projects that introduce and propagate innovations in teaching. Past projects have focused on such topics as intellectual property, decision making involving engineers and managers, and ethics and societal implications of nanotechnology. There is a continuing emphasis on projects that integrate ethics education into technical courses, for example the development of methods of micro-insertion and Ethics Across the Curriculum. CSEP’s initiatives to integrate ethics in the IPROs offer models for raising ethics awareness and providing experience of ethics problem solving for students in all IIT’s disciplines and professional programs.

The Fluid Dynamics Research Center (FDRC)

The Center consists of six faculty engaged in experimental, computational, and analytical studies of fluid flow and its control. The center has numerous researchquality experimental facilities including, high and low Mach number wind tunnels, jet facilities, water channels, anechoic room and an axial flow compressor. Extensive computational resources are available for numerical flow simulations. Areas of focus include active flow control for aerospace applications, aeroacoustics, contaminant dispersion predictions and vortex surface interactions.

The International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering

ICSSE coordinates education and research activities in sensor science and engineering. The center addresses significant national and international needs for research and development in sensor science. Current research activities include: biosensors, electrochemical sensors, nanosensors, physical sensors, computations for optimum sensor applications, pattern recognition and artificial intelligence in sensor systems, artificial chemical sensor arrays like electronic noses and tongues, prosthetic sensing like eyes, ears and noses, sensor modeling and design, the shared sensor technology user facility for extreme sensor evaluation, and sensors for chiral molecules. Sensor applications include medicine, environment, human health and safety, industrial and automotive, homeland security, and the NASA space station.

The Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC)

MIRC at the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering promotes, coordinates, and fosters research and educational activities at IIT in medical imaging and related fields. Educational programs include B.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Engineerig and a professional masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Current projects include: mapping the human brain, new x-ray imgaging techniques, computer-aided diagnosis, and imaging the heart.

The Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering

The Pritzker Institute is an umbrella organization that enhances the biomedical science and engineering research activities on the IIT campus. The Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC), the Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering research (CINNR), and the Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education (ECDRE), the Center for the Study of Condensed Soft Matter COSM, and the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) are some of the Centers and activities that operate under the Institute. The Pritzker Institute develops and coordinates relationships and programs with traditional science and engineering departments within IIT, as well as outside institutions, especilly, Argonne National Laboratory, Rush Presbyterian Medical Center and the University of Chicago.

Thermal Processing Technology Center (TPTC)

Through TPTC, faculty and students undertake research to support the needs of the materials processing and manufacturing industries. The center performs high quality basic and applied research in thermal processing technology of interest to the primary metals and manufacturing industry. In addition, the center provides training and education to enhance the human resources available to industry. Multi disciplinary research teams are used to provide innovative crosscutting technological solutions to industrial materials processing problems.

Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER)

WISER’s mission is to continue to improve the quality of life and positively impact society while preserving our natural resources and the environment for future generations. Fulfillment of this mission will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and, at the same time, provide sufficient and affordable sources of clean energy and water. WISER cultivates close collaboration among numerous programs at IIT with a focus on development of energy-related interdisciplinary educational and research initiatives and proposals. Current WISER activities involve more than 60 faculty members from throughout IIT, spanning engineering, design, architecture, business, psychology, the sciences, and law. WISER plans to further enhance research and educational partnerships with the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, industry, national laboratories, and other universities. The goal of the institute is to play a leading role in identifying future research directions for shaping national and international energy policy and sustainability initiatives.

Wireless Network and Communications Research Center (WiNCom)

Founded in 2006, WiNCom is an initiative of the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments. Motivated by the continuing explosion in the use of the radio frequency spectrum, and the desire to increase RF spectrum utilization and efficiency, WiNCom fuses the creative talents of faculty and students from across IIT. WiNCom’s signature achievement is the 2007 establishment and ongoing operation of the IIT Spectrum Observatory, which is creating a continuous record of RF spectrum utilization in Chicago. Research programs include RF spectrum measurements; RF measurement data storage and analysis techniques; cognitive radio; communication system modeling; RF coexistence; and RF interference modeling and mitigation. Application areas are licensed and unlicensed spectrum, public safety, smart grid, and spectrum sharing. The Center has generated numerous technology transfers and spinoffs, including a commercial RF spectrum observatory network. Center researchers have ongoing engagements with the FCC and other government entities including the U.S. Commerce Department Spectrum Management Advisory Committee.