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University of Pittsburgh - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department


Engineering principles, technology and analysis are being applied to a broad variety of medical and life science problems. Major research areas include image analysis, heart assist pumps, blood oxygenators, rehabilitation engineering including prostheses, tissue-biomaterial interactions, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular biomechanics, ergonomics and occupational biomechanics, biomechanics of morphogenesis, cardiac dynamics, modeling and simulation of cardiovascular function, Doppler ultrasound, NMR imaging and spectroscopy, gene therapy, biosensors including implantable neural stimulation/recording electrodes, cell migration and angiogenesis, ion channels, organ/tissue engineering, microfluidics, neural prostheses for the restoration of motor function.

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

The department maintains strong research programs in five core areas: Biotechnology, Catalysis, Energy and Environment, Materials, and Multi-scale Modeling. Additional research areas exist in programs that have exploited opportunities at the interface between disciplines. The Department's recognized research activities impact the following boundaries between established disciplines: Biotechnology/Environment; Biology/Engineering; Energy/Environment; Polymer Chemistry/Physics; and Catalysis/Chemistry Materials; Catalysis/Energy; Catalysis/Environment.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The department has particular strengths in the areas of structural engineering, environmental engineering and sustainability, water resources, geotechnical engineering, and pavement engineering. The thrust areas of the department are enhanced through a close association with the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovations and the Center for Energy within the Swanson School of Engineering.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of research include computer engineering-algorithm development, low power computing, parallel computer and VLSI architectures, microprocessor systems and communication networks; control-nonlinear control theory; electronics-microelectronics, semiconductor device modeling, photonics; nanoscience; ; RF systems; power systems; image processing/computer vision; signals and systems-signal processing, wireless communications and coding, speech processing and recognition, biomedical signals and systems.

Industrial Engineering

The Department has three major thrust areas: (1) modern materials and manufacturing, (2) modeling and operations research, and (3) engineering management and assessment. The first area focuses on the science behind modern manufacturing. The second area focuses on modeling and mathematical programming along with applications to real-world problems. The last area focuses on the management of engineering systems, with an emphasis on engineering education assessment and models.

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

The faculty have a wide range of expertise and an excellent research program with major strengths in performing both fundamental and applied research in solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, system dynamics, vibration, control, manufacturing and materials. Major thrust areas include: smart materials and sensors, gas turbines, fuel cells, thermoelectrics, micro- and nanosystem technology, biomechanics, bioflows, materials processing, materials characterization and structure-property relationships including: phase transformations, materials degradation, gas-metal reactions, corrosion and oxidation, thermomechanical processing and physical metallurgy, ceramics. intermetallics, functional films, nanostructures, and energy materials.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Basic Metals Processing Research Institute (BAMPRI)

The Basic Metals Processing Research Institute (BAMPRI) focuses on metallurgical research of interest to the basic metals industry, especially steels. The objectives of BAMPRI are to compensate for the reduction of in-house research and development by industry that has occurred in the past two decades. BAMPRI develops and implements the latest product and processing technology for producers, fabricators, and end-users. It also helps educate the future leaders in the metals industry by offering undergraduate and graduate level courses in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

Center for Bioengineering

The Center for Bioengineering is a state-of-the-art research facility. An interdisciplinary research group of scientists are investigating research topics such as tendon/ligament and shoulder biomechanics, experimental and finite element modeling of musculoskeletal injury and repair, functional tissue engineering, cardiovascular structure-function relationships, metabolic assist devices, "smart" biomaterials and cell migration/angiogenesis.

Center for Complex Engineered Multifunctional Materials (CCEMM)

Engineered materials form the pillar of many of the revolutionary technologies to date. There remains still an ever increasing demand for engineering novel materials for a number of burgeoning energy storage and bio-functional technologies that bode to improve the quality of life in the 21st century. Developing materials to meet these challenges will require the fusion of the extensive knowledge base of polymers, metals, ceramics, and semiconductors to form complex hybrid structures capitalizing on the synergistic functional attribute of each system resulting in the generation of a multifunctional device or technology. The Center for Complex Engineered Multifunctional Materials (CCEMM) was established in the Swanson School of Engineering to bring together creative and dynamic faculty, researchers, scientists and engineers from various disciplines and schools to generate such complex materials. Electrochemical systems and Biotechnology form the two focal areas of interest for CCEMM. The overall mission is to incubate a vibrant group of dynamic faculty while engaging industrial affiliates to establish a premier Center of Excellence targeted towards educating students and researchers for advancing the science and technology of these novel complex materials for electrochemical and biotechnology applications.

Center for Energy

The Center for Energy, housed in the Swanson School of Engineering, comprises more than 40 world-class faculty members and their research teams who will apply deep and diverse expertise across a broad spectrum of energy-related projects as well as education and outreach activities. The center's five areas of research are energy diversification, renewable energy, clean coal technologies, hydrogen, and environmental solutions.

Center for Medical Innovation

The Center for Medical Innovation is a new interdisciplinary program within the University of Pittsburgh, whose purpose is to stimulate, guide, and promote the development and commercialization of technological innovations to improve health care. CMI provides an organizational structure that links faculty, students, and clinicians across the University of Pittsburgh through collaboration with the Swanson School of Engineering, School of the Health Sciences, the Katz Business School, the School of Law, and the Office of Technology Management.

Center for Simulation and Modeling

The Center for Simulation and Modeling (SaM) at the University of Pittsburgh is dedicated to supporting and facilitating computational-based research across campus. SAM serves as a catalyst for multidisciplinary collaborations among professors, sponsors modeling-focused seminars, teaches graduate-level modeling courses, and provides individual consultation in modeling to all researchers at the University. Our areas of research include: energy and sustainability, nanoscience and materials engineering, medicine and biology, and economics and the social sciences.

Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure

The Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (CSTI) is dedicated to the advancement of transportation infrastructure sustainability through collaborative, multi-disciplinary development and dissemination of new technologies and knowledge and through education of the workforce needed to sustain this critical industrial sector. The CSTI is housed in the Swanson School of Engineering and is administered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Engineering Education Research Center

The Engineering Education Research Center (EERC) offers opportunities for enhancement of engineering teaching and learning within the Swanson School of Engineering as well as opportunities to expand engineering education research efforts at the University. The Center is equipped to assist in the development of grant proposals to study teaching and learning or to implement new instructional practices or models. EERC supports grants through serving in an evaluation capacity, developing assessments, or in managing project logistics. The Center provides assistance for distance enabled learning in the School of Engineering through professional development for faculty, course design and pedagogical strategies.

Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC)

The MAC is a working factory opened in November of 1994 at the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center (U-PARC) as an initiative of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Engineering�s Industrial Engineering Department. It is comprised of a synergistic network of laboratories encompassing machine tooling, computer aided design and manufacturing, metrology, materials tracking, and human issues. The MAC�s mission is twofold: 1.) provide research and educational support to the University of Pittsburgh and 2.) provide Southwestern Pennsylvania small and mid-sized manufacturers with the tools necessary to compete in the global marketplace. With the resources available in the MAC labs, area manufacturers can receive demonstrations on new equipment and manufacturing processes, perform pilot manufacturing, and conduct limited production. In addition to these services, the MAC also provides training on computer numerical control (CNC) machining, computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), plus a variety of other concepts (e.g. materials requirements planning, total quality management, team development, etc.) utilized in today�s highly successful manufacturing organizations.

Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation

The Mascaro Sustainability Initiative (MSI) will build on the School of Engineering�s educational program in green construction by helping to define the next generation of research in sustainability. MSI awards seed grants in the research areas of green construction and sustainable water use. These awards will nurture collaborative projects based on strong, innovative research. The MSI will conduct educational and outreach programs and sponsor a biannual scientific conference, bringing together academic and research professionals from various disciplines to share their expertise.

Materials Micro-Characterization Center (MMCC)

The MMCL is located on the 5th floor of Benedum Engineering Hall. The MMCL is part of the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department. The laboratory houses instrumentation for X-ray diffraction (XRD) and texture characterization. Scanning electron microscopy (JEOL 6610V and Philips XL-30 FEG SEM) both systems with OIM for EBSD analysis. Transmission electron microscopy TEM 200CX and FEI Tecnai G2 F20 S-Twin TMP microscope and scanning probe/stylus microscopy (STM, AFM, Nanohardness), together with a range of sample preparation equipment. This facility and its staff offer access to instrumentation and expertise for the structural, compositional, and chemical characterization of materials down to near-atomic scale. The XRD Laboratory has two XRD Diffraction systems located in this laboratory. A state- of- the- art Empyrean XRD tube system the successor to PANalytical’s well-proven X’Pert Tube is available. The Empyrean tube has been designed and optimized for PANalytical's Empyrean diffractometers. In addition, the new diffraction tube is fully compatible with all PANalytical’s existing X'Pert PRO, X’Pert Powder, CubiX PRO, CubiX FAST, CubiX3 and X'Pert diffractometer systems. The Empyrean PANalytical offers non-destructive, cutting-edge characterization solutions for solids, fluids, thin films or nanomaterials. The system provides detailed information on elemental and/or phase composition, crystallographic texture, crystalline quality, and/or nanoparticle size distributions and shape. The second unit is fully dedicated to teaching undergraduate students to study powder diffraction and includes a platinum hot stage capable of temperatures up to 1100°C as well as a vacuum furnace capable of temperatures above 1000°C. This diffractometer has a thin film attachment and Eulerian cradle useful for the study of crystallographic textures and the determination of pole-figures. Computers for on-line and off-line processing and analysis of diffraction data are also available in this laboratory. The TEM Laboratory has tTwo 200kV transmission electron microscopes available. The JEOL 200CX has line resolution of 0.14 nm. The JEOL 200CX is equipped with a tungsten filament, capable of conventional diffraction contrast imaging, selected area diffraction, and magnetic domain imaging by Lorentz TEM. The TEM laboratory has a newly acquired FEI Tecnai G2 F20 S-Twin TMP microscope. This system is a true multi-purpose, multi-user 200 kV instrument. This microscope is a field emission gun transmission electron microscope. It combines high performance in all TEM, energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM) & scanning TEM (STEM) modes with ease of operation in a multi-user materials research environment. The FEI Tecnai G2 F20 S-Twin analytical transmission electron microscope permits analysis and characterization of the detailed microstructural and microchemical changes in materials that control their properties and performance. The FEI Tecnai G2 F20 S-Twin microscope will facilitate the study of material interfaces, observing microstructures, precipitates, and quantifying elemental composition and distribution, investigating the limits of material structure and properties whether working at sub-micron or sub-Angstrom scales. The Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratory has a Digital Instruments Dimension 3100 scanning probe microscope permits atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and magnetic force microscopy (MFM) investigations in a single platform. Samples up to eight inches in diameter can be scanned in air or fluids and automated stepping can be used to scan multiple areas of the sample without operator intervention.

Musculoskeletal Research Center

The Musculoskeletal Research Center offers diverse multidisciplinary research and educational opportunities. Graduate and undergraduate students conduct research toward their degrees in the bioengineering program or any of the traditional engineering disciplines. The Center encourages collaboration between clinical and basic scientists in the study of the musculoskeletal system.

Petersen Institute of Nanoscience and Engineering

The institute of NanoScience and Engineering is an integrated, multidisciplinary organization that brings coherence to the University�s research efforts and resources in the fields of nanoscale science and engineering. The institute�s vision is to solve large, complex scientific and engineering challenges in this burgeoning field by facilitating interdisciplinary teams drawn from the faculty in the School of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and the schools of health sciences, and to educate the next generation of scientists through a world-class integrated program of innovative knowledge generation.

Radio Frequency Identification Center of Excellence

The mission of the Radio Frequency Identification Center is to conduct research, establish standards and testing procedures, verify compliance and performance, and promote research in RFID and related science and technological areas.

Swanson Institute for Technical Excellence

The John A. Swanson Center for Product Innovation, established in April 2001, is a state-of-the-art complex comprising three laboratories that serve as a focal point for product development education within the school and the University, while working as a one-stop shop for manufacturing and bioengineering companies. The center ties together three otherwise distinct laboratories that parallel a new product's developmental life cycle of design, prototyping, and manufacturing: (1) the Design and Multimedia Laboratory, (2) the W.M. Keck Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering Laboratory, and (3) the Kresge Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory. These laboratories contain design workstations, reverse engineering equipment, and rapid prototyping equipment (for the manufacture of polymer-based prototypes), and rapid manufacturing equipment (to produce fully functional prototypes and soft tooling). These facilities allow users to move from concept to real parts in a matter of days. A collaborative effort with the Katz Graduate School of Business allows the center to offer a comprehensive, integrated package of engineering research, business, and applied project capabilities in new product development.