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University of Massachusetts Lowell - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Biomedical Engineering

Medical device design for diagnostics, delivery and treatment.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering Department faculty members participate in interdisciplinary activities through University centers and research facilities such as the Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center, the Center for Advanced Materials, the Radiation Laboratory, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence, and the Center for Green Chemistry. For many courses, students are required to assimilate classroom theories with laboratory experiments by working in one of several research and teaching laboratories specializing in biotechnology and bioprocessing, ceramics, advanced materials characterization, pulp and paper testing and computers. The faculty is involved with applied research projects sponsored by industry and government agencies, and some of the current active research areas are in biotechnology and bioprocessing, advanced engineering materials and nuclear engineering.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

UMass Lowell's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has an active, diverse and expanding research program in the areas listed below.

Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical Research Laboratory
Structural Engineering
Transportation Engineering

Computer Science

The Computer Science Department has an active research program. Our research labs support undergraduate and graduate students. We have close ties with regional and national high-tech companies, who employ our current students and alumni.

Our research encompasses algorithms, assistive technology, bioinformatics, computational complexity theory, computational geometry, computer architecture, computer graphics, computer science and engineering education, cyber security and privacy, data communications and networking, data mining, database systems, embedded systems, information visualization, machine learning, medical informatics, program analysis, programming language implementation, robotics, sensor networks, software engineering, software forensics, web technology, and wireless networks.

Our research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other government and industry sources.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is both nationally and internationally recognized for its work in atmospheric research, electromagnetic scattering, properties of materials, acoustics, signal processing and imaging.

The ECE Department also has developed a program of project-based research and development that is specifically designed to provide support to the disabled. Many different electronic and microprocessor based systems have been delivered that have made a major impact on the freedom and quality of life for the disabled.

The ECE Department continues to make extensive use of the excellent computing facilities offered by the Center for Computer Man/Machine Intelligence, Networking and Distributed Systems and the Center for Advanced Computation and Telecommunications in addition to the computer centers maintained by the ECE Department, the College of Engineering, and the University. New directions in the Department include an increased emphasis on teaching and research in Computer Engineering.


The College supports a wide array of research through its departments, centers and labs.

Mechanical Engineering

The mechanical engineering faculty is very active in research. The principal research areas, with associated faculty, are as follows:

Composite materials (Chen, Hansen, Reynaud, Sherwood)
Smart materials/acoustics/controls (Niezrecki)
Nanomanufacturing (Chen, Reynaud)
MEMS & microsystems (Sun)
Modal analysis (Avitabile)
Aero/wind tunnel (Niemi, Willis)
Microgravity (Charmchi)
Baseball (Sherwood)
Robotics (Parkin, Raptis)
Manufacturing (Parkin, Shina)
Solar/sustainable energy (Parkin, Trelles)
Thermal plasmas and coating (McKelliget, Charmchi)
Wind Energy (Avitabile, Chen, Niemi, Niezrecki, Reynaud, Sherwood, Willis)

Plastics Engineering

Faculty in the Department of Plastics Engineering are active researchers. The department maintains an extensive lab facility allowing the faculty to direct research in areas including

Plastics Product Design
Plastics Process Development
Plastics Materials and Additives
Plastics Mold and Die Design
Elastomers and Rubber
Testing and Characterization
Computer Aided Engineering
Plastics Recycling
Polymeric Biomaterials

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Advanced Computation and Telecommunications

The Center has been active in the areas of computer-intensive modeling of physical and information systems. Members of the Center, (from EE, Comp. Sci., Math, CE) have undertaken research in medical imaging, communication networks, acoustics, probabilistic modeling, information processing, fluid dynamics, control systems and heat transfer.

Baseball Research Center

The UMass-Lowell Baseball Research Center is a Center of Excellence for the Science and Engineering of Baseball and uses both experimental and analytical methods to study the equipment used in America’s Pastime.

The Center is concentrating on dynamic baseball bat performance and durability using high-speed air cannons, modal techniques, and finite element modeling and a wide variety of other tools. The Center has served as an independent research center since 1999 and performs research and other services of many of the baseball leagues and sporting goods manufacturers. Much of the research is performed for leagues that include Major League Baseball, the NCAA, USA Baseball, Little League Baseball and the NFHS.

Biodegradable Polymer Research

Optimazation of mechanical performance, degradation characteristics, and cost can be accomplished by blending two or more degradable polymers. The end goal is to understand and develop the technology necessary to be able to "tailor make" a blend composition for each specific application which would be optimized for the performance, degradation, and cost requirements of that application. The miscibility of the blend components and its effect on degradation rates are of fundamental importance though relatively little is currently understood. Blends of a biodegradable component, PHBV, with non-degradable components varying in interaction from miscible to immiscible have been investigated to better understand the blend morphology and miscibility effects on the degradability of the degradable component of the blend. This study has been extended to blend systems where both components are completely degradable. The components which have been studied thus far include PBBV, polycaprolactone, poly (lactic acid), poly (ethylene oxide), cellulose acetate, and poly (vinyl alcohol) as degradable components and poly vinyl acetate, poly ethylene, ethylene-co-vinyl acetate, and ethylene vinyl alcohol, as non degradable components. AB block copolymers have been synthesized for some of the blends as compatibilizing agents. This research studies the efects of processing by twin screw compounding, injection molding, sheet extrusion, and blown film extrusion. These processing effects are correlated with changes in phase morphology, crystalline content, crystalline structure, orientation, and residual stresses which are ultimately related to the rates of biodegradation.

Center for Advanced Materials

The Center has been established as a multi-disciplinary research and resource center, bringing together state-of-the-art instrumentation, facilities and expert personnel. Its goal is the development of a knowledge base in the design, synthesis, characterization and intelligent processing of advanced materials, driven by the needs of potential technological applications. CAM adds in a significant and fundamental manner to the University’s mission in the creation of a sustainable industrial economy.

Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing

Advancing roll-to-roll technology at the nano level.

Center for Network and Information Security

Concerned with computer network security.

Center for Photonics, Electromagnetics and Nanoelectronics

The Center is a resource center for optics and electromagnetics, offering both systems and materials support for local industry. The Center performs research into scientific and engineering concepts in photonic technologies. This includes the development and characterization of new materials; evaluation of optoelectronic devices, systems, and networks; and the advanced modeling and simulation of electromagnetics and electro-optic processes. Research and development focuses on the interaction of electromagnetic fields with materials and devices of importance in optical information processing and optical communications. Work in the center is both theoretically and experimentally based and is multidisciplinary, spanning physics, as well as electrical, mechanical, optical, and chemical engineeri

Innovation Hub

New product design and development.

Mass Medical Device Center

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center

The Center is an interdisciplinary research and development and education center that assists start-up biotechnology companies in the development of procedures that can become validated, cGMP compliant, manufacturing processes.

Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence

Nanoproducts are likely to fuel the next economic boom. Existing products can be made more useful, cost-effective and durable through incorporation of nanoelements. Entirely new nanoproducts, as yet undreamed of, will revolutionize many aspects of our lives. As innovation moves toward biocompatible, flexible materials that are low-cost and environmentally benign, the strengths of UMass Lowell become evident -- UMass Lowell is a world leader in the technologies that make a difference.

NERVE Center

Develops, tests and validates robotics.

Radiation Laboratory

The UMass Lowell Radiation Laboratory provides controlled radiation environments and analytical measurement services to government organizations and to industry. The laboratory provides facilities for proton, neutron and gamma environments.

Although the main focus of the laboratory is to support the research and education missions of the university, use of its facilities by those outside the university is fully welcomed. Industry partnerships are also highly encouraged.

Raytheon UMass Lowell Research Institute

Developing new advances in the fields of flexible and printed electronics.

Wind Energy Research Center

The Wind Energy Research Group (WERG) at UMass Lowell has unique expertise and capabilities to conduct research in the advancement of wind turbine science and systems. The group consists of thirteen interdisciplinary faculty members whose research focuses on wind turbine manufacturing, reliability, energy storage, and design.