Our research programs for graduate and undergraduate students provide an unmatched experience having access to state-of-the-art computational facilities and experimental capabilities.



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From the Ground Up

UA faculty and graduate students are working with the military to design better mobile airfields.

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Research Areas

UA’s Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty is grouped into three interconnected but distinct disciplinary groups; Dynamic Systems & Control (DSC), Materials Processing & Manufacturing (MPM), and ThermoFluids Science (TFS). Each of these Departmental Disciplinary Group (DDG) is further broken into horizontally interconnected “Research Thrust Areas (RTAs)”. Our diverse faculty conduct research in all of these areas while concentrating in a more specific discipline or area as follows:

Specialized Research Units

The Department of Mechanical Engineering also directs four specialized research units:

Alabama Industrial Assessment Center

The Alabama IAC is one of 31 Industrial Assessment Centers nationwide. The IAC program is sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Alabama IMaDE

The premier hub for multidisciplinary research and education in intelligent and advanced manufacturing systems and processes.

Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies

The Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies (CAVT) is a University of Alabama Research Center dedicated to the advancement of vehicle technology.

Manufacturing at the Point-of-Need Center

An interdisciplinary research and development Center that consists of world-class expertise in materials, manufacturing, engineering design, business management, and logistics.

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Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (AIMS) LaboratoryDr. Nader Jalili
In this research laboratory, four main areas of research and education are pursued. 1) Dynamic Systems, Control, and Automation 2) Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Manufacturing Systems 3) Future Manufacturing with Human Robot Teams and finally 4) Mechatronic and Manufacturing Systems Education.

Biomechanics Laboratory – This laboratory contains work space for design and construction of devices to aid in health maintenance. Computer facilities in the lab are equipped with software for both lumped-mass and finite element modeling of the human body.

Combustion and Reactive Flow Laboratory – This teaching and research laboratory contains a holographic interferometer, a high-speed imaging system, a laser-induced fluorescence system, and a particle image velocimetry system. The laboratory supports research on topics such as microgravity combustion, reactive turbulent flows, propulsion, and internal combustion engine applications.

Design Clinic Laboratory – This laboratory consists of a design library, conference space, audio/visual equipment, telephone centers, and a presentation area for Design Clinic Industrial Project activities.

Instrumentation Laboratories – These labs provide a variety of experimental equipment and instruments to support the teaching of basic instrumentation for mechanical systems and thermal fluid systems.

Machining Research Laboratory – This laboratory contains basic machine tools such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and a 10-hp CNC turning center. The laboratory supports research on machining areas (e.g. machining of advanced materials for process development, modeling, and optimization). The laboratory also supports teaching of introduction to manufacturing processes.

Metrology Laboratory – This laboratory contains metrology instruments, including a Leitz measuring microscope, a Brown & Sharpe Coordinate Measuring Machine, and other gages. The laboratory supports research on metrology-related issues in manufacturing such as precision and surface finish. The laboratory also supports teaching needs on fundamental metrology in manufacturing.

Numerical Modeling Laboratory – This laboratory features high-performance workstations with expanded storage and various I/O devices for efficient modeling of fluids and transport phenomena.

Robotics and Automation Laboratory – This laboratory supports instrumentation and research in the areas of robotics, imaging systems, computer-mechanical interfacing, control systems, and computer-integrated manufacturing.

Structural Acoustics Laboratory – Dr. Steve Shepard
Focus areas: to develop new technologies in the areas of structural vibrations and acoustics. By gaining a fundamental understanding of the generation, transmission and radiation mechanisms associated with sound and vibration, the needs of industry, government and engineering education can be met.

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Seminar Series

Speaker Invitation for FALL 2021 ME Seminar Series

Date Time Speaker Title Venue


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Nader Jalili and Steve Shepard, ME UA Research Ethics; Research in Mechanical Engineering at UA Zoom (ONLINE)


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Ron Creel, Former NASA Lunar Roving Adventures: Dust, Dust, Everywhere – What Are We Going To Do? Zoom (ONLINE)


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Ian Walker, Clemson Continuum Robot Trunks and Tentacles SHELBY 1093


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Loyld Hackel, Curtiss-Wright’s Metal Improvement Company The Laser Wave Equation and a Career Working its Variables Zoom (ONLINE)


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Lance Simpson, Research and Instructional Service Librarian, UA Research Strategies and Library Resources for Mechanical Engineering SHELBY 1093


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Dr. Daniel Gibson, Capstone College of Nursing, UA Developing the Tools & Models for Tissue Fate Determination Shelby 1093


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Dr. Jun Zhang, University of Nevada, Reno Twisted String Artificial Muscles for Compliant and Versatile Robots Zoom (ONLINE)


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Dr. Siddharth Goyal, Divisions Maintenance Group Advanced Controls in Smart Buildings with Business Perspective Zoom (ONLINE)

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