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University of Nebraska, Lincoln - 2017

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Biological Systems Engineering

Research is conducted in five focus areas:

Bioengineering for health and productivity
Environmental engineering
Bioprocess engineering for adding value
Site-specific crop management
Water resources and ecosystems engineering

Research endeavors are a valuable component of our mission to the students, faculty, state, region, and world. Research is conducted in university labs, and in the field utilizing four Research and Extension Centers located throughout Nebraska. In addition to research conducted in Nebraska, faculty have also worked overseas in developing agricultural and irrigation systems of benefit to specific locales. Students have the opportunity to be involved in faculty research as part of their education, or to develop research in areas of their own interest.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has extensive research facilities. These facilities include unique capabilities for the: 1) measurement science involving study of biophysical phenomena at molecular level to develop principles to build novel sensors and devices with emphasis in using approaches in optics, electronics and nanomaterials; 2) development of new concepts and technologies for addressing the challenges in the process from benchtop to bedside for human pluripotent stem cell-derived cells; 3) development of novel nanostructured materials with highly controlled architectures and chemistries for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications; 4) development of polymeric materials, nanostructures and coatings; 5) reconstruction and analysis of genome-scale and community models, systems-level analysis of ‘omics’ data, development of genetic toolkit and engineering metabolic pathways, and redesign photosynthetic apparatus and carbon fixing mechanism; 6) modeling of coupled electron/ion transport dynamics through polycrystalline oxide networks, adsorption phenomena, interfacial electron transfer and selective oxidation of Ni-base alloys; 7) Application of metabolic engineering principles and synthetic biology tools to the microbial synthesis of industrial or other value-added chemicals from renewable feedstock; 8) development of new enzyme catalysts and auxiliary functional proteins for efficient and green synthesis of pharmaceutical precursors and energy molecules; and 9) characterization of glycoproteins using HPLC and MS methods.

Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering has extensive research facilities. These facilities include multi-site experimental and computational capabilities that support research focused on: (1) fate and transport of contaminants in air, soil and water; (2) development, optimization and testing of advanced soils, materials and structural components at multiple scales and under varying demands; (3) non-contact sensing of material and structural response; (4) field evaluation of infrastructure systems and waterways; and (5) real-time assessment of transportation system safety and operations. Specific examples of unique facilities and equipment associated with items 1-5 above include: (1) real-time PCR with gradient functions, electrophoresis systems, spectrophotometers, mini beadbeaters, chromatographs, spectrometers, total organic carbon analyzers, photodiode detectors and liquid scintillation counters; (2) nanoindenters, rheometers, DIC systems, mechanical and fracture testing stations, profilometers, servo-controlled actuators, PXI data acquisition systems, and shock-tube, drop-weight and pendulum systems; (3) LIDAR and advanced imaging systems, high-speed cameras, and non-contact acoustic emission systems; (4) portable sensors, drones, data acquisition systems housed in a mobile testing laboratory; and (5) smart traffic sensors, wireless vehicle detection, autoscope and video detection systems.

Computer Science and Engineering

The Computer Science and Engineering Department houses, in addition to smaller faculty research focused laboratories, larger collaborative laboratories that conduct research on software testing and analysis, robotics and autonomous systems, cyber-physical systems, high-performance computing and sensor networking. Examples of equipment in these laboratories include a 6000 cubic foot UAV flight cage with VICON motion capture, more than 3 dozen robotic systems, 3D printers, laser cutters for fabricating experimental UAV assemblies, indoor and outdoor wireless sensor network testbeds, and significant computational resources, including a 12000 CPU system capable of delivering 121 TeraFLOPS.

Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

The Durham School for Architectural Engineering and Construction has a host of research facilities including: full-scale psychrometric chamber, acoustic chamber, room-size lighting laboratory, large structural testing laboratory with strong floor and strong walls, material testing laboratory, several UAVs with sensor capabilities

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department conducts research on two campuses, Lincoln and Omaha, in the areas of Communications and Signal Processing, Electromagnetic Fields and Optics, Electronics, Energy and Power Systems, Materials and Devices, and Bioengineering. There are unique laboratories and facilities including a myriad of lasers and other optical systems, EM test facilities for radar, microwave, and THz systems, material growth systems, industry standard CAD tools for integrated circuit design, high voltage test beds, renewable generating sources, a wind tunnel, advanced SEM, TEM, and other microscopy systems, advanced 3-D printers, including metal printers, and high performance computing facilities.

Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Extensive facilities for conducting world-class experimental and computational research are available. These include multiple metal hybrid AM machines as well as 3D printers for polymers and biological materials, complete biological research laboratories, world-class materials characterization including FIB-SEM, S/TEM, scanning probe, XPS, x-ray diffraction, and multiple in situ capabilities, materials processing, fabrication and consolidation, including multiple laser facilities and spark plasma synthesis, and device fabrication in clean room facilities.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Biological Process Development Facility

The UNL BPDF uses a synergistic, multi-disciplinary approach to advance research-derived candidate vaccines and bio-therapeutics from discovery to Phase I/II clinical trials. For over 13 years, UNL-BPDF has provided customers with access to experienced biopharmaceutical process research and development scientists and engineers, state-of-the-art process development capabilities, and cGMP manufacturing facilities.

The UNL BPDF facility features 6,000 square feet of modular clean rooms and 7,000 square feet of support space, including a pure steam generator, a water-for-injection (WFI) condenser, a 1,000-gallon WFI storage tank, and ambient and hot WFI distribution loops. The cGMP facility has 80 Liter and 200 Liter bioreactors and is able to accommodate a 1000 Liter bioreactor. The BPDF is equipped for downstream processing of both secreted and intracellular products derived from yeast or bacteria and is designed to produce Bulk Drug Substances.

Center For Electro-optics

The Center for Electro-Optics and Functionalized Surfaces (CEFS) is a collaborative research group composed of over 30 faculty, postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students, from a diverse range of disciplines, working together towards a common vision of developing the basic science and methods necessary to generate permanent metallic functionalized surfaces.

Design & Fabrication Lab

This laboratory has been created to support the education of our engineering students through the practical application of machining and fabrication processes. Through the use of this laboratory you will have the opportunity to develop hands on machining and fabrication skills which will increase your knowledge and understanding of machining processes that are routinely used in a wide variety of manufacturing industries.

Industrial Agricultural Products Center

The IAPC is devoted to assisting companies in the development and commercialization of industrial products using agricultural materials and agricultural byproducts. Our network, across multiple University of Nebraska departments, helps assist clients in all areas of product development, from conception to manufacturing.

Mid-America Transportation Center

The states that comprise Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) have many commonalities and, not surprisingly, the states' respective transportation agencies face many similar issues in providing a safe, efficient and effective transportation infrastructure. For example, the majority of the region's roadway networks are primarily rural, although there are a number of major cities interspersed throughout the area that face traditional urban transportation problems. In addition, the four states experience a considerable amount of freight traffic on the region's roadways, railways and waterways - all of which are located at the crossroads of the nation's transportation system. In Region VII, interstates I-70 and I-80 are vital east-west corridors and interstates I-35 and I-29 are major north-south corridors. Given the region's diverse economy and the growing trade with China, Mexico and Canada, freight traffic is increasing every year and is having a profound effect on the region's infrastructure. Congestion on the roadways, railways and waterways caused by this additional freight traffic will have an increasingly detrimental effect on the safety of the region's citizens, the traveling public, the transportation infrastructure and the region's economy.

The interdisciplinary areas of expertise required to successfully meet the research, education and technology transfer objectives associated with our theme include risk and reliability analysis, structural analysis, materials engineering, transportation system operations and alternative transportation infrastructure financing. MATC will work with the leading faculty members from multiple academic departments of the consortium universities. These academicians will partner with staff from the state transportation agencies and members of the commercial freight industry; engineers from the partner organizations will add comprehensive knowledge to minimize the risk to the critical infrastructure systems of the region (and, by extension, of the nation). This collaboration is established to foster an intellectual climate and physical environment capable of supporting the increasing need to improve safety and reduce risk on the multi-modal transportation system.

Midwest Roadside Safety Facility

The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF), part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a research organization with a main focus of researching all aspects of highway design and safety. MwRSF conducts safety performance evaluations of various roadside appurtenances, developing new and innovative design concepts and technologies in the area of highway safety.

In 2009, MwRSF was approved for ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) in the field of safety performance evaluation of highway features and vehicle testing of crash barriers for the tests identified in the Scope of Accreditation. A copy of MwRSF's accreditation certificate and scope of services can be found by clicking here or online at (certificate number 2937.01).

MwRSF Mission Statement

MwRSF's mission is to improve the safety of public roadways through the design and testing of roadside hardware.

MwRSF Goals
•Improve highway safety by making the roadside less hazardous for motorists
•Design, develop, and crash test roadside hardware
•Conduct safety performance evaluations of existing roadside features
• Perform computer simulation modeling of vehicle impacts with roadside hardware

Nano-Engineering Research Core Facilty

The Nano-Engineering Research Core Facility (NERCF) in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was completed in Spring 2016. The goal of the NERCF is to create a centralized, shared-user core facility that houses the state-of-the-science research instrumentation necessary to position the UNL researchers at the forefront of global research efforts focused on advanced manufacturing of materials, nanostructures and nanodevices.

The NERCF enhances research capacity and quality by providing in-house nanofabrication and nanocharacterization facilities open to use by faculty across the University of Nebraska system. Further, it is the intent of this facility to become a regional hub for nano-engineering. The equipment and operations are funded in part by the Nebraska Research Initiative and the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development. The mission of the NERCF is to advance materials manufacturing efforts within the university and the state of Nebraska.

Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research

Who we are
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR), a collaboration between the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), was established in April 2006 to conduct research on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation; and to expand economic opportunities and improve quality of life for Nebraska and the nation.

To conduct energy research that produces new technologies, processes and systems that provide new or significantly enhanced renewable energy sources and improves the quality of life and economic opportunity for all Nebraskans.

The overall goal of the Center is to develop research and education programs in energy sciences by fostering interdisciplinary collaboration among University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and with other research institutions, public-sector agencies, and private sector companies with similar interests. The Center supports both basic and applied research and has a broad mandate to explore a range of renewable energy opportunities (including biofuels, wind, and solar energy), as well as opportunities for energy conservation.

The Nebraska Center for Energy Science Research (NCESR) will serve as a catalyst at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to expand opportunities in a broad spectrum of important and innovative energy research areas, such as renewable energy, improved energy efficiency, the production of new materials that find applications in developing clean energy technologies and other evolving energy science areas. To achieve the vision, the Energy Center plans to: NCESR Vision 2013

Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience

Atomic manipulation, Properties affected by nanoscale dimensions, Self-assembly, Ordered nanoarrays, Quantum dots and wires, Nanoelectronics, Quantum computing, Nanomechanics, Nanooptics, Nanoelectromechanical systems, Nanobiological function and life science, Molecular design.

Nebraska Innovation Studio

Our mission is to design and create a community-oriented space that fosters innovation through making. We want to promote individual growth, business growth and community growth through creativity, innovation and collaboration.

The studio fosters success by allowing our creators to develop new skills and master existing ones. We also help entrepreneurs who want to launch and grow startups. Success for us also means collaborating with institutions and businesses in ways that strengthen the fabric of our university, our city and our state.

Nebraska Innovation Studio serves as a hub for the state's growing maker movement by supporting makerspaces across Nebraska.
Our mission begins by giving students, alumni and community members the tools they need to bring their ideas to life in a collaborative and collegial atmosphere. Nebraska Innovation Studio has the potential to be an engine for innovation for Nebraska.

Nebraska Tractor Test Lab

The University of Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory (NTTL) is the officially designated tractor testing station for the United States and tests tractors according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) codes.

Nebraska Transportation Center

The Nebraska Transportation Center facilitates collaboration between university researchers, industry leaders, and government entities. NTC integrates transportation research, education and technology transfer programs across the four NU campuses, making it one of the largest university transportation centers in the region. This unique arrangement fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by bringing together top faculty with different areas of expertise to solve larger transportation issues.

Nebraska Water Center

The Water Sciences Laboratory strives for excellence in water chemistry innovation, analytical services, and educational training opportunities. The WSL provides standardized and custom-application analytical testing for water, wastewater, and sediments designed around academic researchers and clientele within the private sector

The Holland Computing Center

The Holland Computing Center provides campus-wide services to researchers who need high performance computing resources. PrairieFire, a powerful supercomputer located in the facilty, is used by scientists and engineers to study topics such as nanoscale chemistry, subatomic physics, meteorology, crashworthiness, and artificial intelligence.