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The Pennsylvania State University - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department


Research areas include adaptive signal processing, aeroacoustics, architectural acoustics, atmospheric acoustics, computational acoustics, intensity sensors, noise control, nondestructive evaluation, nonlinear acoustics, ocean acoustics, physical acoustics, signal processing, sonar engineering, structural acoustics, transducers, ultrasonics, underwater acoustics, thermoacoustics, and sound quality.

Aerospace Engineering

Research areas include astrodynamics; analytical, computational, and experimental fluid dynamics and aeroacoustics; flight science and vehicle dynamics; rotorcraft; structures, structural dynamics, and adaptive structures; space propulsion, and turbomachinery.

Research facilities include subsonic and supersonic wind tunnels, a laminar flow water channel, an anechoic hot jet noise facility, a supersonic shear layer facility, massively parallel computer systems, a rotor test stand, flight simulation facilities, an advanced composites laboratory, a vibration control laboratory, an electric propulsion test stand, and turbomachinery compressors and turbines.

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Programs are available in food engineering, soil and water resource management and conservation, properties of biological materials, environmental control, expert systems, particulate materials, agricultural structures, systems engineering, machinery systems, safety engineering, horticultural engineering, microclimate modifications, and wood engineering.

Facilities include modern laboratories for food engineering, geographic information systems, controlled environmental studies, water quality, electronics instrumentation, waste management, hydraulic power and engines, physical properties of biological materials, structural component testing, computer vision, and machine research and design.

Architectural Engineering

Graduate studies and research encompass four main subject areas:
Construction: process modeling, lean construction, specialty contracting, productivity improvement, project delivery methods.
Illumination Systems: modeling and visualization, daylighting, optical design, photometry, human factor issues.
Mechanical and Energy Systems: CFD modeling, district energy, thermal storage, indoor air quality, EMCS/real-time tools, system modeling/optimization, decoupled sensible and latent cooling, emerging technologies.
Building Structural Systems: advancement of analysis and design methods, optimization, seismic evaluation, structural control, natural hazard resistance and serviceability of building envelope systems, housing, historic preservation, cable and membrane structures.

Biomedical Engineering

A multidisciplinary program with core departmental faculty and associate faculty members in other departments with studies on artificial organs, biomaterials, blood rheology, cell mechanics, hemodynamics, medical imaging, microvascular function, molecular mechanics, neuroelectrophysiology, physiological transport, pulmonary function, ultrasound imaging and transducer engineering, and ultrasound therapeutics.

Chemical Engineering

Research areas encompass:
Biomolecular Engineering: separations of biomolecules, sensing, informatics, bioreactors, protein and metabolic engineering.
Nanoscale Engineering: nanoscale reaction and reactor engineering, catalytic membranes, nanoscale tribology, and nanowire probes.
Computation Engineering: molecular dynamics at the nanoscale, multiphase fluid dynamics, complex polymeric solids and multi-length scale modeling.
Classical Chemical Engineering: polymers, mass transfer, catalysis, fluids, control optimization.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Programs include civil and building construction, project management, civil engineering materials (geotechnical engineering, Portland cement and asphalt concrete, pavement design), water resources (watershed models, groundwater modeling, systems analysis, hydraulics of open channels), structures (earthquake, blast, abnormal loadings; bridges, buildings, and the building enclosure; off-shore structures, structural control, reliability, and rehabilitation), and transportation (traffic engineering, transportation planning, facilities design, network optimization algorithms, and intelligent transportation systems).

College of Engineering


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Research areas include antennas, propagation, microwaves, computational electromagnetics, radar and lidar remote sensing, radiometry, in situ and remote sensing of the ionosphere; digital communications, networking, optical networks, wireless networks, image and signal processing, multidimensional signals, signal recognition, reconstruction, neural networks; nonlinear optics, fibers, optical storage, computing; silicon, III-V, organic, wide bandgap semiconductors and devices, MEMS, ceramic, ferroelectric, and quantum devices, processing techniques; linear systems, active vision, control systems; power system planning and control, drive systems, power electronics.

Energy and Mineral Engineering

Our research focus is the effective production, conversion, utilization, and management of energy and mineral resources. Some of our current research activities are:
alternate transportation fuels
new catalysts for chemicals production
respirable dust problems
enhanced recovery techniques for petroleum and gas reservoirs
imaging techniques for porous media
multiphase transport technology
site remediation technology
advanced particle technologies
advanced pollution control concepts
artificial neural networks
hearing conservation
risk assessment and management in mining health and safety
novel mining technologies

Engineering Science and Mechanics

Research emphases include optical, electronic, and/or mechanical material properties and their role in design; advanced materials fabrication and processing including nano-scale; simulation of behaviors and processing.
Specific research areas include composite materials; rheological and biological materials; continuum mechanics; powdered materials; fatigue and fracture mechanics; failure analysis; micromechanics; surface engineering including wear/tribology; CVD and ion implantation; microelectronic materials and devices; ESR; thin films; solid-state devices; display materials and devices; nanofabrication; nanobiotechnology; biomaterials; microfluidics, diamond films; self-lubricating coatings and cold-spray coating methods; nondestructive evaluation; sensors and actuators; MEMS, adaptive control; smart materials; wave-material interactions including lasers; ultrasonics, structural dynamics; chaos, acoustics; boundary and finite elements; condition monitoring; and artificial intelligence.
Facilities are available for SEM, SAM, AFM, X-ray, clean rooms, metallography, shock and vibration, tribology, lasers, and fracture/fatigue.

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Focus areas include:
Human Factors: ergonomics engineering, human/machine interface design, safety.
Manufacturing Systems: metal cutting, theory, plastic deformation and welding processes, group technology, design of production systems, CAPP, engineering for production, automation, robotics, control, micro-machining, CAD/CAM, flexible manufacturing systems, machine tool sensing and diagnostics, tolerancing.
Operations Research: applied stochastic processes, decision analysis, mathematical programming, graph theory and networks, engineering economy, artificial intelligence, expert systems.
Systems Design: quality assurance, reliability, experimental design, and systems simulation techniques.

Materials Science and Engineering

Research groups in Ceramics, Fuels and Carbon, Metals, Polymers study ceramic processing, physical ceramics, chemical ceramics and glass science; characteristics and use of fuels, including their conversion to other materials.

Mechanical Engineering

Major fields of specialization include acoustics, automatic control, biomechanics, compressible and incompressible flow, computational fluid dynamics, batteries and energy storage, biomedical devices, transport phenomena in fuel cells, combustion and flame kinetics, dynamics of machines, turbulence measurements and simulations, simulation and modeling, power generation, vehicle dynamics, mechatronics, heat and mass transfer, design analysis, precision manufacturing, simulation of mechanical systems, robotics, smart materials, structural dynamics, vibrations and control, and tribology.

Departmental facilities include wind tunnels, laser and advanced diagnostics for combustion, battery manufacturing and synthesis, electroactive material characterization, electrochemical engines, control and mechatronics, vibrations, robotics, computational clusters, and computer-based data acquisition.

Nuclear Engineering

Graduate studies and research focus on:
Reactor Safety: advanced reactor design, thermal-hydraulic modeling, transient analysis, accident analysis.
Reactor Theory: computational methods, transport theory.
Reactor Control: advanced control methods, use of artificial intelligence.
Reactor Operations: fuel management, radiation instrumentation, radiation monitoring and dosimetry.
Materials Research: radiation effects, plant-life extension issues, hyperfine probes for defects in solids.
Radiation Applications: neutron radiography.
Facilities include a 1-MW TRIGA reactor, hot cells, a thermal-hydraulic test facility, and gamma irradiation, neutron radiography, neutron activation analysis, reactor simulation, nuclear materials engineering, and low-level radiation monitoring laboratories.

School of Design, Technology and Professional Programs

SEDTAPP provides a unique graduate school experience. In contrast to more traditional departments at Penn State’s College of Engineering, which focus on single fields of engineering, SEDTAPP’s graduate program offers engineers of all disciplines the ability to work together to solve design challenges. Programs are grounded in design methodology and offer engineering students opportunities to differentiate themselves by honing skills across a wide range of design-focused topics. Its faculty possesses an uncommonly rich industry background and focuses on practical and relevant curricula. SEDTAPP has launched a new master’s program in engineering design.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Applied Research Laboratory

The Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University Center of Excellence in Defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas. As a DoD-designated, U.S. Navy UARC (University Affiliated Research Center), ARL maintains a long-term strategic relationship with the U.S. Navy and provides support for the other services. ARL provides science, systems, and technology for national security, economic competitiveness and quality of life through:
• Education
• Scientific Discovery
• Technology Demonstration
• Transition to Application

Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center

The BEST Center was formed in 2011 to bring together the campus-wide expertise in energy storage, foster collaboration, and provide a focal point for research and education activities. The expertise of Penn State researchers within the BEST Center spans from materials to cells to systems. These BEST researchers have made and continue to make significant and pioneering contributions to the most important aspects of energy storage technology.

Center for Acoustics and Vibration

The Center for Acoustics and Vibration's mission is threefold: focus on acoustics and vibration research; foster strong graduate education in those areas; and work with industry to translate research into practice.

Center for Combustion, Power and Propulsion

Due to its ability to evolve as the role and impact of combustion in society changes, the combustion research program at Penn State has been and continues to be one of the top combustion programs in the United States. Penn State researchers have made important contributions to the field of combustion, both in terms of improved understanding of combustion fundamentals and the application of combustion science to the development of advanced combustion technology.

Center for Computational Materials Design

The CCMD fosters long-term partnerships with industry and government laboratories to develop the emerging technology of materials design. Material design is a new paradigm in which the usual route of selecting existing materials for applications, including prototype design and testing, is replaced or enhanced by concurrent design of material and applications. We explore methods for development of materials property databases and extend systems engineering design methods to design materials with the optimal functionality for each application. The CCMD offers a venue for bringing together state-of-the-art computational materials science modeling with the latest approaches in managing uncertainty and conducting robust systems design based on targeted sets of goals.

Center for Dielectrics and Piezo Electrics

From the outset, the consortium has aimed to promote interdisciplinary research, develop innovative graduate programs, enhance the quality and diversity of life sciences faculty, and improve shared technology resources.

The Huck Institutes is one of several interdisciplinary research units established and supported by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research. Interactions between units are actively explored.

Center for Health Organization Transformation

Center for Health Organization Transformation's work has emphasized three main areas of healthcare delivery: Patient-Centered Interventions; Technology and Informatics; and Operational Efficiency and Improvement Analytics. Through this research, we have developed breakthroughs across a range of challenges:

1. care coordination for patients with chronic kidney disease
2. financial incentives to reduce hospital associated infections
3. physician decision making for obesity counseling
4. prediction of early onset Parkinson’s disease
5. mobile health interventions for teen risk behaviors
6. no-wait Emergency Department at Hershey Medical Center

Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Disposition

Penn State, along with its partners, operate the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) as a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technology for critical applications. With a broad mission to advance and deploy AM technology of metallic and advanced material systems to industry, CIMP-3D seeks to advance enabling technologies, provide technical assistance to industry, and promote AM’s potential through training and education.

Center for Machine Learning and Applications

The focus of this center is on machine learning and its applications, especially research at the interface between machine learning/data mining and scientific computing/computational science.
The rapid computerization of industry and society has resulted in many scientific and engineering disciplines producing large amounts of experimental and observational data. Machine learning and data mining methodologies need to be developed to analyze and extract knowledge from this data. The research in the center will span core machine learning areas such as classification, clustering, dimension reduction, and their applications in text analysis and applied linguistics, image analysis, computational biology, materials science, and business. We envision collaboration amongst faculty and students to enable solutions that cut across core machine learning/data mining research and application boundaries.

Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization

The Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization is dedicated to research, development, and education across all aspects of micro- and nanotechnology. The Center resources are focused on addressing the incorporation of nanotechnology into secondary education, into post-secondary education, and into industry applications.

Center for Neural Engineering

The Penn State Center for Neural Engineering, an intercollege center bridging the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, and Science, was created to develop active educational, research, and outreach collaborations with scientists and physicians who are working on developing the next generation of smart devices for the clinical treatment of dynamical diseases of the brain.

Center for Research in Design and Innovation

The Center for Research in Design and Innovation provides the resources to facilitate interdisciplinary research in design that is required to understand design-related challenges and create solutions for them. The Center focuses on two research themes: human contexts and design technologies and tools.

Center for Service Enterprise Engineering

The Penn State Center for Service Enterprise Engineering (CSEE) is the first U.S. academic center devoted solely to the study and practice of service engineering. CSEE takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study, design, and implementation of service enterprises, emphasizing revenue management, workforce planning, enterprise collaboration, and service quality management.

Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory

The Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory (CSSL) educational and research activities center on electromagnetic (EM) phenomena either directly or as tools for probing the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere and ionosphere. For example, we are using a variety of radar, lidar, radiometer, and rocket-borne probing techniques to investigate atmospheric and ionospheric processes and coupling between atmospheric regions. Much of the instrumentation is conceived, designed, and built in-house. CSSL is also concerned with the study of EM phenomena, such as pulse propagation and scattering in a variety of media, and with the design of antennas. We utilize an array of computer codes to study EM processes and to visualize these and other processes.

Computational Electromagnetics and Antennas Research Lab

The Computational Electromagnetics and Antennas Research Lab is engaged in exciting and innovative research in the areas of computational electromagnetics and optics, antenna theory and design, phased array antenna systems (including ultra-wideband arrays and reconfigurable beam-scanning metamaterial lenses), microwave devices, wireless and personal communication systems (including body area networks and associated on-body/off-body propagation modes), wearable and e-textile antennas, RFID tag antennas, conformal antennas, tunable and reconfigurable antennas, frequency selective surfaces, electromagnetic wave interactions with complex media, metamaterials and metasurfaces (including novel RF/optical coatings, near-perfect super-octave absorbers, electromagnetic band gap structures, negative-, zero-, low- and high-index materials), transformation optics, nanoscale electromagnetics (including nanoantennas, quasicrystals, and a variety of other photonic and plasmonic devices), and bio-inspired electromagnetic/optical design. We are also actively involved in fundamental investigations at the cutting-edge between mathematics and electromagnetics in such areas as Fibonacci numbers, fractal geometry, knot theory, and aperiodic tiling theory. The lab is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in the development and application of nature-inspired optimization techniques (e.g. genetic algorithms, clonal selection algorithms, particle swarm, wind driven optimization, and various other evolutionary programming schemes) to solve complex electromagnetic/optical design problems.

Computer Integrated Construction Research Program

The vision of the Computer Integrated Construction (CIC) Research Program is to improve the design and construction process through improvements in the integration of computer applications. Through the years, our research has continued to expand with more people, and more diverse topic areas such as visualization, project delivery methods, energy efficiency, augmented reality, virtual reality, educational gaming, and many others. While we continue to explore new topics, we always maintain the focus on process improvement, and how technology can be leveraged to achieve improved project and professional outcomes. We are very proud of our research accomplishments through the years, but we take even greater pride in the many students who have graduated from Penn State and are making an impact in the Construction Industry.

Electro-Optics Center

The Electro-Optics Center is a hybrid between the best components of a university and those of private industry, allowing access to the university's researchers and scientists, its state-of-the-art facilities, and leading edge research. Our staff, comprised primarily of former industry and DoD personnel, brings experience in exceeding sponsor and corporate expectations. Through the application of this hybrid model, the Center is able to provide its sponsors with solutions that combine leading edge research with on-time and on-budget deliveries.

Electrochemical Engine Center

The Electrochemical Engine Center (ECEC) was founded in 1997 as the Multiphase Transport and Electrochemical Engine Laboratory by the present director, Dr. Chao-Yang Wang. The mission of the ECEC is to conduct fundamental and applied research on fuel cells and advanced batteries for electric propulsion, stationary power generation and portable electronics.
The research group has a unique combination of both computational and experimental capabilities. The computational modeling allows for the relatively easy and rapid testing of hypotheses aimed at improving the performance of electrochemical devices, while the experimental testing provides a method of verifying the most promising hypotheses. The experimental results can then feed back information to improve the models.
The ECEC has collaborating faculty and researchers from academia, national labs and many vehicle manufacturers. The interdisciplinary nature of the center includes expertise in thermal-fluid transport, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics and reacting flows, computational fluid dynamics and experimental design and testing. This multitude of individual talents allows the ECEC to solve a wide variety of problems encompassing several disciplines.

Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute

In 1999, the College of Engineering formed what is now called the Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute (E3I) to highlight environmental research and educational activities in the College.
Engineers work on many different environmental topics including water purification, thermoacoustics using benign gases for cooling, analysis of indoor environments to provide safe living spaces, the development and application of remote sensing platforms for studying the environment, and others outlined on this website.
The E3I now also focuses on energy research and education as well, with notable research work in biofuels production, solar, and wind energy research.

Facilities Engineering Institute

PSFEI provides facility engineering services to eleven state agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government's General Services Administration. PSFEI's broad array of facility services includes training facility operators and managers, conducting facility assessments, troubleshooting problems, and developing solutions and strategies for facility owners. PSFEI has specific expertise in energy efficiency and sustainability, energy markets, building infrastructure, and facilities information management.

Fluid Dynamics Research Consortium

The Fluid Dynamics Research Consortium (FDRC) is a collaborative PSU platform for basic and applied research in fluid dynamics
The consortium mission is to develop, validate and advance state-of-the-technology computational mechanics and experimental methods for:
Basic physics research
Device and concept analysis
Design guidance/tools
In fulfilling this mission, the FDRC will facilitate interactions and collaborations across the units at Penn State where fluid dynamics research is conducted. Members of FDRC include Penn State academic and research faculty and graduate students.

High Pressure Combustion Laboratory

Research at the High Pressure Combustion Laboratory (HPCL), located at the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University, has been concentrated in the area of combustion of gaseous, solid, liquid, and gelled propellants for rocket and gun propulsion systems, solid fuels for ramjets and hybrid propulsion systems, and metal combustion. Recently, the scope has been expanded further to cover combustion of airbag propellants, flammability/explosion limit determination of gaseous reactants for commercial applications, and study ablation/erosion of rocket nozzle, internal insulation, and heat-shield materials.

Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences

The Huck Institutes are dedicated to strengthening research in the life sciences, preparing students for successful careers, and encouraging new perspectives across disciplinary boundaries

Hydrogen Energy Center

Hydrogen energy research is one of several important energy-related topics at Penn State. Many faculty, staff, and students at the university are working with collaborators in industry and our National Laboratories on hydrogen storage, production, and utilization. They are inventing new hydrogen technologies and contributing to the growth of a hydrogen infrastructure in Pennsylvania, the United States, and at various locations around the world.

Indoor Environment Center

The Indoor Environment Center (IEC) conducts research in a wide variety of areas using multidisciplinary teams, for example, lighting and mechanical systems researchers collaborating to identify toplighting strategies that minimize the combined energy use of lighting and HVAC systems. This section contains brief descriptions of major IEC research areas and synopses of current and past IEC research projects. More information can be obtained by contacting the Principal Investigators for each project.

Institute for CyberScience

The problems targeted by ICS, in collaboration with other Penn State institutes, include infectious diseases, global energy needs, personalized therapies and materials design. Some of these problems may eventually be solved with virtual worlds where viruses can emerge, multiply and evolve; programs for real-time personalized therapies; and tailored nanoscale materials that can be designed and created. One area of critical importance is in data management and mining, which can aid in model discovery and simulation-based data collection from observatories viewing watersheds, ocean systems or any biologically complex population. The institute targets high-impact, large-scale research tied to improving life on Earth through the environment, biological sciences and innovation.

Institute of Energy and the Environment

The mission of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment is to expand Penn State’s capacity to pursue the newest frontiers in energy and environmental research by encouraging cooperation across disciplines and engaging the participation of local, state, federal, and international stakeholders.

Institute of Networking and Security Research

Research areas include network science, including wireless mobile networks, information theory and security, and serve as a focal point to the Penn State community for all aspects of communication networks and computer and communications and security.

International Center for Actuators and Transducers

The International Center for Actuators and Transducers (ICAT) at Penn State aims to become the world center for fundamental research on actuator and transducer materials, the design and fabrication process, as well as the applications of solid state actuators to precision machines, micro positioners, ultrasonic motors, etc.
The Center was established in April, 1992, to study the piezoelectric actuators and transducers, and the related fundamental science. ICAT has also been designed to provide the most effective transfer of this information and knowledge to the participating corporations.

Larson Transportation Institute

The Larson Institute engages with scores of federal, state, municipal, private, and international sponsors in research, educational and technology transfer activities. Its programs deliver cutting-edge research and career-forming educational experiences. The range and interplay of academic disciplines combined with world-class facilities carry forward key solutions for society while forming and training current and future leaders of government, industry, and academia.

Ground-breaking energy research, innovative roadway safety improvements, crash tests that underscore the importance of both driver and passenger safety, infrastructure work that improves national security while saving time and tax dollars -- all of these underscore the Larson Institute's broad pathway and enduring vision for service.

Materials Research Institute

Researchers from five academic colleges and 15 departments from the physical, engineering and life sciences are part of the Materials Research Institute, which along with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, has found a new home in the Millennium Science Complex.

Microsystems Design Laboratory

With research projects supported by NSF, DARPA, Honda, Toyota (and many more), the Microsystems Design Lab focuses on specific architectural and system-based research fields, ranging from the design of thermal and power aware circuits and systems, reliable systems, and embedded systems to nanotechnology.

Mid-Atlantic Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partner Center

The Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center helps organizations to locate, design, and implement economically viable distributed energy projects that make appropriate use of their recoverable waste heat. All buildings need electric power for lighting and operating equipment and appliances, and are good candidates for benefiting from integrated energy systems.

Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence

Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence seeks to research key issues and develop innovative solutions through three major activities:

1. The Annual Construction Roundtable provides a mechanism for industry to share thoughts and identify critical industry issues. Together, PACE members define problems and brainstorm new methods for cost effective integration of building planning, design, construction, and operation.

2. The Research Seminar provides a forum to present the results of PACE research projects of interest to members of the building industry. A combination of industry and student presentations highlight this event.

3. Specialized Faculty Projects are offered to companies by individual PACE faculty members. These activities include sponsored research projects and assistance with the implementation of research results.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing. The Center conducts applied research, fosters the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfers appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Photonics for Communication, Sensing, and Illumination Center

PCSI’s approach to research centers on inter-connected, solid foundation for user-inspired fundamental research in advanced photonic materials, devices, systems, and packaging (including laser machining, coating technologies, etc.)

Protective Technology Center

The Protective Technology Center is a multidisciplinary center focusing on protecting civil infrastructure from natural or man-made threats and dealing with the aftereffects of an event. The Center fosters and expands collaboration amongst faculty and students to facilitate finding solutions to these problems, be it at a smaller scale that focuses on specific chemical compounds or material constituents or a larger scale that focuses on a large transportation grid.

Radiation Science and Engineering Center

The Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) was established to manage Penn State's comprehensive nuclear research facilities, including the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, Gamma Irradiation Facility, radioactive sources and radiation measurement resources. The RESC provides safe nuclear analytical and testing facilities in support of the research and education activities of faculty, staff, and students at Penn State, while educating the general public about the application of nuclear energy in society.

Social Science Research Institute

Our mission is to foster research that addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels. We do so by bringing together researchers from different disciplines around emerging areas of study, and by providing consultation, financial support, shared, accessible infrastructure, and services to social scientists at Penn State.

Sustainability Institute

The Sustainability Institute (SI) was created to lead Penn State toward the University’s sustainability mission: a comprehensive integration of sustainability into the University’s research, teaching, outreach, and operations that prepares students, faculty, and staff to be sustainability leaders in their professional, personal, and civic lives.

Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group

The Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group, in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State, brings together two laboratories working on advanced topics in convective heat transfer for gas turbine engines. The Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory (ExCCL) conducts studies of fundamental turbulence and applied convective heat transfer. Subjects being researched include interactions between the highly turbulent combustor flow and the downstream turbine, endwall secondary flow effects, and turbine blade cooling techniques. These problems are approached both experimentally as well as computationally. The Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) lab contains a new test turbine facility that is capable of testing true scale turbine hardware. The focus of START is on increasing turbine efficiencies through improved seals that reduce leakages between turbine components. Also of primary interest is better understanding of airfoil heat transfer under rotating conditions.

Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence

The Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence " one of three Vertical Lift Research Centers of Excellence in the United States " engages in a wide range of research and education activities related to vertical flight technology.
Approximately 60 full-time graduate students work on projects related to dynamics, aerodynamics, acoustics, flight control and simulation, icing, HUMS, smart structures, and advanced design of rotary-wing vehicles.