Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, and Computation (MMEC)
The Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, and Computation (MMEC) area seeks to enable rational engineering innovation through research and education.
- Research - We advance and enrich the spectrum of scientific tools and physical models for predicting and understanding thermo-mechanical phenomena.
- Education - We provide students with the foundational skills needed to understand, exploit, and enhance the thermo-mechanical behavior of advanced engineering devices and systems, and to make creative contributions at the forefront of the field.
The MMEC area focuses on six key areas, which form the basis of our undergraduate and graduate curricula, as well as our research laboratories:
- Computational Mechanics - We are advancing the state of the art of mathematical modeling approximation and solution procedures for the analysis of multi-physics problems involving solids, structures, fluids, biology, and transport - as well as chemical and electromagnetic effects. These analyses serve to further physical understanding, propose or confirm engineering models and designs, perform inverse and uncertainty studies, and conduct design optimizations.
- Fluid Mechanics - We integrate and advance theoretical, experimental, and computational research methodologies to further our understanding and utilization of fluid flows. Research interests span scales from micro-fluidics to geophysical flows, including such problems as turbulence, flow separation, and the study of complex non-Newtonian fluids such as polymers, emulsions, and suspensions.
- Mechanics of Solid Materials - We are exploring multi-scale modeling of the mechanical response of man-made and natural solid materials to thermo-mechanical, chemical, electrical, and magnetic stimuli. Our research centers on development, implementation, and validation of physically-motivated continuum constitutive models for large nonlinear deformation and fracture of materials. Recent applications range from electromechanical behavior of carbon nanotubes to coupled deformation and phase transformation in shape memory metals to the highly nonlinear behavior of polymeric materials over broad ranges of temperatures and deformation rates.
- Nonlinear Dynamics - Examples of nonlinear phenomena include chaotic rigid-body dynamics, nonlinear wave interactions, fluid mixing and separation, and molecular micro- and nano-fluidics. Applications of our research include the study and prediction of geophysical flows, control of aerodynamic separation, and simulation of coupled atomistic-continuum flows.
- Acoustics - We develop and apply fundamental analytic and computational models to generate, propagate, scatter, and optimally receive linear and nonlinear seismo-acoustic waves in remote, subsurface, and flow-field sensing. The range of applications spans from undersea, solid earth, and atmospheric sensing, to medical ultrasound, human-computer interface, and auditory perception experiments.
- Transport Phenomena - Transport processes are significant features in energy and propulsion, manufacturing, and environmental conditioning. We are investigating the mechanisms and control of a wide range of nonlinear phenomena resulting from the interactions of fluid flow, molecular transport, and chemical reactions, both in the bulk and near active interfaces. Applications include improved batteries and fuel cells, biological processes, and advanced multi-physics composite materials.