"The focus of the lab is on tribology (science of lubrication, wear, and friction) and contact and interfacial mechanics at different scales. The pivot of the research is centered around the performance of advanced materials and components such as superalloys as well as additively manufactured parts under extreme environments."

— Ali Beheshti, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Experts in our laboratories are working to develop more energy-efficient systems, reduce wear on critical components, synthesize new nanomaterials, improve health care, and enable advanced water treatment.

The mechanical engineering laboratories have state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment. This is what each team says about their work:

The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Laboratory focuses on manufacturing and analysis of new emerging and multifunctional materials. The main research outcome of this lab is the synthesis of additively manufactured materials based on high-temperature and high-performance polymers as well as biodegradable composites and fibers. These new emerging materials have applications in many industries, especially in textile, energy, and biomedical. The lab is equipped with 3D printers for high-temperature polymers, composites compounders, speed mixers, abrasion testers, injection molding machines as well an Electromechanical Universal Test Machine. Principal investigator: Shay Bagheri

Computational Hemodynamics Lab investigates the role of hemodynamics (blood flow) in cerebrovascular diseases. In particular, 3D image-based computational fluid dynamics is used to model blood flows in cerebral arteries on a patient-specific basis. The focus of our research is mainly on cerebral aneurysms and ischemic strokes. Principal investigator: Juan Raul Cebral.

Dong Group has strong interests in the following areas: advanced materials synthesis (nanomaterials, polymer, and their hybrid and hierarchical composites); advanced materials enabled energy devices (flexible solar cells and integrated energy devices); advanced material enabled water treatment technologies (water desalination and water decontamination). Researchers are also working on multiple interdisciplinary topics. Principal investigator: Pei Dong.

Micro/Nano Mechanics and Photonics with Nanomaterials Laboratory, also called the Kang Lab, conducts fundamental research on micro/nanoscale mechanics and photonics with nanomaterials for innovations in nanobiosensors. Researchers explore broad fields including nanophotonics, optofluidic, optoelectronics, and plasmonics to create innovations in advanced materials and manufacturing for high-performance, low-cost sensor devices. The research aims to develop advanced, high-performance materials with new functionalities in mechanical, optical, and electrical properties. Principal investigator: Pilgyu Kang.

The Multi-Robot Systems and Controls Lab conducts research in the general area of autonomy, dynamics & controls, and robotics. More specifically, our work focuses on multi-agent systems including animal groups and swarms of autonomous vehicles. We are currently studying how to cooperatively control large teams of robots in adversarial or contested environments. Principal investigator: Daigo Shishika.

Nano/micro-scale Transport Engineering Laboratory investigates the fundamental physics underlying nano and microscale transport phenomena in fluids, especially involving interfaces and electric fields. The work will enable the design of better sustainable energy systems, more energy-efficient and affordable wastewater treatment methods, and even improved treatments for diseases like cancer. Principal investigator: Jeffrey Moran.

The Reliability and Mechanics of Failure Laboratory investigate how materials break under stress. The overarching theme of this research group is to explore the effects of complex microstructure on emergent physical properties in engineering materials. Exquisite control over microscopic properties, such as local elastic anisotropy or the geometry and topology of the microstructure, enables the design of functional local mechanical properties. Principal Investigator: Mehdi Amiri.

Tribology and Surface Mechanics Lab investigates surface and interfacial mechanics as well as friction and wears phenomena from nano to macro scales. The research seeks to increase energy efficiency and materials durability in systems with moving components operating especially in harsh environments (e.g., very high temperatures or corrosive environments). The equipment in this lab will enable researchers to perform precise multiscale contact, friction, and wear tests at temperatures up to 2000 ºF. We also explore advanced surface engineering techniques to improve the durability and performance of new materials, e.g., additively manufactured (3D printed) polymers and metals. Principal investigator: Ali Beheshti.

Vessel Dynamics Laboratory capitalizes on George Mason University’s unique waterfront facility at the Potomac Science Center.  The research team’s focus is on computational and experimental studies to better understand the dynamics and hydrodynamics of manned and unmanned vessels.  Principal investigator: Leigh McCue.

The Handler Group: Our work seeks to answer the following question: Can micro-particles containing a suitable additive and having specific physical properties be introduced into turbulent flow to achieve much greater drag reduction than traditional methods? We aim to target turbulent structures by allowing particles, smaller than the smallest turbulent length scale and of the appropriate shape or density, to carry and release drag-reducing agents as they collect in a natural way within or around such structures. We use direct numerical simulations of the Navier Stokes equations in our research. Our group is also involved in exploring the basic physics of microflows. Principal investigator: Robert Handler

The intelligent assistive technology, neuromuscular control and physiology, wearables, and rehabilitation (ImPoWeR) laboratory develops robotic and prosthetic devices for individuals who have experienced a neurological injury or amputation. Researchers in the lab seeks to use these robotic and prosthetic devices to 1.) evaluate and assess sensorimotor control, 2.) retrain sensorimotor function, and 3.) assist with the execution of daily activities of living. We also explore the design of novel soft actuation strategies for exoskeleton and prosthetic devices. Principal investigator: Quentin Sanders