Facilities in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Experience World-Class Facilities
Our department is one of the largest at Clarkson. We have several mechanical and aerospace research facilities and labs, including our small wind Blade Test Facility (one of only three in the nation), a flight simulator and a wind tunnel (where the U.S. luge team has tested their sled aerodynamics before the Winter Olympics).
Blade Test Facility
Wind turbine blade testing is a critical factor in maintaining high levels of reliability and evaluating the latest technological developments in airfoils and materials. Blade testing is required as part of turbine certification to meet international design standards. Our facility performs a wide portfolio of industry-standard structural testing services of Wind Turbine Blades and other wind turbine components. It can accommodate blade lengths up to 14 meters.
Our wind tunnel lab houses low- and high-speed subsonic wind tunnels. Both tunnels feature a three-foot-by-four-foot test section. The high-speed tunnel can reach speeds of 175 mph, and the low-speed tunnel, equipped with a HEPA filter on the contraction, can reach speeds up to 30 mph. The low-speed tunnel simulates atmospheric conditions for the development of new tools in modeling, measurement and flow management. The high-speed tunnel is used primarily for force measurements on flight and ground vehicles.
The Shipley Center is a discovery-driven entrepreneurial support hub that can help guide you as you bring your ideas to life. Through a collaborative hands-on process, the Shipley Center brings academic and social experience together under one roof, providing inventors and entrepreneurs with the ability to commercialize their products, connect with potential investors and utilize Clarkson University faculty and student resources to bring their ideas to life.
Turbulence and Multiphase Flow Laboratory (TMFL)
A virtual lab with main computer facilities managed by Prof. Goodarz Ahmadi, the primary objective of the TMFL is to provide a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that control turbulent multiphase flows, including the transport, deposition and removal of particulate matter. The primary objective is to develop predictive models for the behavior of dilute and dense turbulent multiphase flows (including aerosols and granular flows). The other main goal is to provide a detailed understanding of the effect of particle shape and size on particle deposition and removal, as well as the dynamics of multiphase systems.
Multi-Gravity Research Welding System (MGRWS)
Managed by Prof. Daryush Aidun, this welding system can be used to examine the solidification of various materials under high buoyancy-induced convection. It can simulate 30 G's and is the only one in North America.
Connective Tissue Mechanics Laboratory
Managed by Prof. Arthur J. Michalek, this laboratory is used for experimental investigation into the structure, function and composition of various musculature connective tissues, including ligament, meniscus and intervertebral disc. The laboratory is equipped with dedicated workspaces for specimen preparation, biochemistry/histological staining, mechanical testing and instrument prototyping/development. Instrumentation includes a cryostat for preparing thin tissue sections and an inverted microscope with brightfield, phase contrast, epifluorescence and polarized light capabilities. Functional measurements are performed using a constant force creep indenter for testing the viscoelastic properties of soft tissues and a system for measuring pressurization and relaxation during fluid injection protocols.
Shear Flow Water Tunnel
Managed by Prof. Douglas Bohl, the Shear Flow Water Tunnel is a unique water tunnel that allows for non-uniform velocity profiles to be generated in the test section. Two pumps are used to provide independently controlled free streams that combine into a shear layer at the start of the test section. The test section (20 cm x 20 cm x 150 cm) allows for experiments in the developing shear layer or in the fully developed region where the velocity profile varies linearly. The slope of the linear profile is fully adjustable. The test section is optically accessible, and the lab is equipped for optical measurements using Molecular Tagging Velocimetry (MTV), Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF).
Directed by Prof. Byron D. Erath, this lab investigates multi-physics problems that arise in nature. While broadly encompassing the field of fluid mechanics, the primary research focus seeks to advance the understanding of laryngeal aerodynamics to improve diagnosis and treatment methods for vocal pathologies, as well as to discover novel biometric markers in speech.
Holistic Structural Integrity Process (HolSIP) Lab
Managed by Prof. Marcias Martinez, this lab is dedicated to the understanding of failure mechanisms of structural aerospace materials and the development of smart material technology in the fields of morphing, SHM and experimental mechanic techniques.
Directed by Prof. Michael Bazzocchi, the ASTRO Lab explores advanced concepts and performs innovative and transformative research in science and engineering. The lab trains high-quality researchers and engineers, develops new technologies and provides novel solutions to problems in astronautics, robotics and society.
The Aerosol Instrumentation Research lab (AIRlab)
Managed by Prof. Suresh Dhaniyala, the AIRlab is focused on improving the understanding of indoor and outdoor air quality through the development of novel measurement and analytical techniques for the characterization of ambient and atmospheric aerosol. The specific research areas of focus include the development of novel low-cost aerosol sensors; advanced data analytics for sensor networks; building automation for indoor air quality, indoor/outdoor bioaerosol characterization; fundamental studies of aerosol turbulent transport and aerosol/gas sampling from high-speed aircraft. The AIRlab houses advanced instruments for aerosol generation, sizing, collection, characterization and modification. Additionally, the AIRlab operates large indoor and outdoor sensor networks with advanced cloud-based data collection and analytics for use in indoor-outdoor air pollution exposure studies.
Many of our mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty are affiliated with research centers such as the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), the Center for Air and Aquatic Resources Engineering and Sciences (CAARES), the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), the Shipley Center for Innovation, the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) and the Clarkson Center for Complex Systems Science (C3S2).
The following facilities and resources are also available to the MAE faculty and students:
Managed by Prof. Joshua Thomas, the Reynolds Observatory is home to two telescopes. The 12-inch telescope is used for both bright star spectroscopy and narrow-field-of-view imaging. The smaller five-inch telescope, which has a field of view slightly larger than the full moon, is used for wide-field-of-view imaging. The precision telescope mount enables long exposures necessary for observing deep-sky objects. Current projects include studying the time variability of various types of binary stars using both spectroscopy and photometry, as well as photometric studies of nebulae in the search for emissions caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Social Development and Health Psychology Research Lab
Managed by Prof. Jennifer Knack, the Social Development and Health Psychology Research Lab examines how social pain negatively impacts mental and physical health, as well as how people determine when to offer help or express concern when they see someone experiencing health problems.
Motivation and Emotion Lab
Managed by Prof. Lisa Legault, the Motivation and Emotion Lab studies how motivation affects social perceptions, relationships and behavior. Researchers ask questions like "What type of motivation promotes the open-minded perception of others?" and "What is the best way to motivate people to reduce prejudice?" and examine the answers in relation to adaptive self-regulation, such as the regulation of bias and negative emotion.
Managed by Prof. Elizabeth Pienkos, members of the Phenomenology Lab explore the subjective experience of mental disorders, as well as human experience more generally. By carefully examining what it is like to experience oneself, other people and the world, we may enhance our ability to predict, prevent and treat mental illness.
Evolution and Cognition Lab
Managed by Prof. Andreas Wilke, this lab examines how natural selection has shaped the cognitive mechanisms underlying human decision-making behavior during periods of risk and uncertainty and how these mechanisms operate in areas such as risk-taking, mate choice and foraging for food and information.
Managed by Prof. Erik Bollt, the focus of the Chaos Lab lies in applied dynamical systems, especially as informed from datasets, computation and experiments. This strongly overlaps with data science, big data, network science, inverse problem methods (including optimization), uncertainty quantification and Bayesian perspectives, information theory, machine learning and problems related to model reduction. The faculty's interests in dynamical systems, data analysis and scientific computing have included both topical developments and pursuant scientific applications. This allows students to interact with scientists and problems in many exciting areas. Topical interests in dynamical systems and complex systems come through “data-enabled science” that combines traditional applied mathematics with data analytics. Applications include oceanography, physiology, civil and mechanical engineering, bio-informatics, social science, mathematical biology, physics and brain science.
Terascale All-Sensing Research Studio (TARS)
Managed by Profs. Sean Banerjee and Natasha Banerjee, the Terascale All-Sensing Research Studio (TARS) performs research in human-driven artificial intelligence, using capture and analysis of dense multi-person interactions in online and real-world environments. Research at TARS spans the fields of computer vision, linguistics, deep learning, robotics, computer graphics, human-computer interaction and software engineering.
Physics Team Design Lab
Managed by Prof. Michael Ramsdell, the Physics Team Design Lab provides first-year STEM students with advanced group projects designed around a challenging real-world laboratory design experience. Approximately 10 percent of the class is typically enrolled. Students usually work in groups of four throughout the semester to develop a model that can accurately predict the motion of a toy car traveling along an arbitrarily shaped track (Physics I) and the motion of an electric train powered by an arbitrary voltage source (Physics II). During the final week of the semester, groups compete to test the predictive capability of their models during a series of challenge sessions.
Laboratory for Electroanalytical Characterization of Materials
Managed by Prof. Dipankar Roy, this research lab is equipped with a broad range of modern instruments and facilities for quantitative electroanalytical characterizations of a broad range of functional materials and devices based on these materials. Research conducted in the lab is focused primarily on novel materials for electrochemical energy storage/conversion and semiconductor device fabrication. Electrochemical characterization techniques are frequently coupled with optical methods, such as surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, as well as with CAMP-based facilities of electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The Electroanalytical Characterization Lab provides comprehensive hands-on research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students.
Professor Gracheva’s Computational Laboratory
Managed by Prof. Maria Gracheva, this computational laboratory is equipped with several multicore workstations adapted for high-performance computational work with the use of MPI (parallel computing) in a Linux environment. The lab faculty and students develop physical computational models with both custom codes and commercial software. The research conducted on these workstations mostly deals with problems related to biotechnology and nanotechnology, such as the identification and characterization of biomolecules with nanopore-based solid-state devices, including DNA sequencing and nanoparticle characterization. Other projects include filtering, manipulation and separation of biomolecules and nanoparticles in general. Graduate and undergraduate students working in the lab learn about modern supercomputing, gain access to national computational resources and work at the cutting edge of computational nanotechnology, biophysics and computational modeling and simulation.