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Labs & Facilities

Our home, the G.G. Brown Building, recently received a $46 million addition and an additional $50 million in renovations. The improvements provide state-of-the-art, student-centric instructional space. They also enable transformative research that combines core mechanical engineering with emerging technologies.

Project support

  • Wooldridge Combustion Laboratory

  • Wilson Student Team Project Center

Automotive & Future Transportation

  • Automotive Research Center

  • Barton Research Group

  • General Motors/University of Michigan Automotive Collaborative Research Laboratory: Advanced Manufacturing Division

  • General Motors/University of Michigan Smart Materials & Structures Collaborative Research Laboratory

  • Powertrain Control Laboratory

  • Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory

Biomechanics & Biosystems Engineering

  • Biomechanics Research Laboratory

  • Human Biomechanics and Control Laboratory

  • Integrated Biosystems and Biomechanics Laboratory

  • Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory

  • Epureanu Research Group


  • Powertrain Control Laboratory

  • Structural Dynamics and Controls Lab


  • Design Lab

  • Global Health Design Initiative

  • Laboratory for Innovation in Global Health Technology (LIGHT)

  • Optimal Design Laboratory

  • Precision Systems Design Lab

  • Sensory Augmentation and Rehabilitation Laboratory (SARL)

Dynamics and Vibrations

  • Vibrations and Acoustics Laboratory: Microsystems

  • Epureanu Research Group

  • Structural Dynamics and Controls Lab


  • Michigan Industrial Energy Center (MIEC)

  • Energy Storage and Materials Simulation Lab

  • Global CO2 Initiative
  • Fuel Cell Control Systems Laboratory


  • Cavitation and Multiphase Flow Laboratory

  • Laboratory for Turbulence Physics and Computation
  • Scientific Computing and Flow Physics Laboratory

  • Technical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory


  • S.M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center

Mechanics & Materials

  • Materials Characterization Lab

  • Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory

  • Mechanical Testing Lab

  • Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory

Mechatronics & Robotics

  • Rehabilitation Robotics Group

  • Haptix Laboratory

Micro/Nano Engineering

  • Nanomechanics Laboratory

  • The Violi Group

Multi-scale Computation and Computational Mechanics

  • Computational Physics Group

  • Laboratory for Turbulence Physics and Computation

  • Algorithmic Synthesis Laboratory

  • The Violi Group

Thermal Sciences

  • Heat Transfer Physics

  • Laboratory for Transport & Interaction in Porous Media

  • Solid State Thermal Physics Laboratory

Algorithmic Synthesis Laboratory


Coordinator: Kazu Saitou

3007 EECS

Phone: 734-763-0036

Fax: 734-647-3170

Algorithmic Synthesis Laboratory (ASL) investigates theories and methods for modeling, abstraction, and algorithmic synthesis of mechanical, industrial, and biomedical systems. We emphasize the mathematical abstraction rooted on the fundamental understanding the target systems and the algorithmic generalization utilizing the tools in mechanical, industrial, computer science and engineering, including but not limited to, geometric and kinematic reasoning, image and pattern recognition, stochastic planning and optimization. Members of the laboratory are exposed, through our collaborators and sponsors, to broad application domains ranging from mechanical and industrial engineering to medical and pharmaceutical engineering.

Automotive Fuel and Combustion Technology


Director: Andre Boehman

2007 Auto Lab

The Automotive Fuel and Combustion Technology (AFACT) group is devoted to studies of fuel chemistry, combustion and pollution control for combustion engines, and more generally for compression and spark ignition combustion processes. The mission of AFACT is to investigate and solve problems related to combustion engine emissions through innovation in engine combustion, exhaust aftertreatment and fuel formulation research. Typically, there are more than a dozen students, including some undergraduate laboratory assistants, involved in the research with the AFACT group at any given time.

Automotive Research Center


Primary Investigator: Bogdan Epureanu

2043 Auto Lab

The Automotive Research Center (ARC) is a University-based U.S. Army Center of Excellence for advancing the technology of high fidelity simulation of military and civilian ground vehicles. It represents the key basic research partner of the U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) in Warren, Michigan. The ARC was established in 1994 at the University of Michigan. Our partnership base has evolved over the years to meet the research needs of our Army sponsors and now include Wayne State University, Oakland University, University of Iowa, Clemson University, Virginia Tech, Michigan Tech, Mississippi State University and University of Alabama Birmingham.

Barton Research Group


Director: Kira Barton

2160 G.G. Brown

Phone: (734) 764-7293

Research in the Barton Research Group (BRG) combines the development of novel sensing and control strategies with experimental implementation. Equal part theory and application, the focus of the research is on innovative strategies for improving the performance of a wide range of systems. Current research topics include the exploration of novel sensing and control techniques for improving the coordination and precision motion control of multiple systems. The versatility of these strategies will be demonstrated through applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to emerging manufacturing processes.

Biomechanics Research Laboratory


Director: James Ashton-Miller

Affiliated Member: Kathleen Sienko

3437 GG Brown

Phone: 734-936-0366

Fax: 734-763-9332

The Biomechanics Research Laboratory (BRL) maintains an international reputation for research excellence. Investigations in BRL are aimed at exploring the mechanical causes of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disabilities, diseases, and injuries. The lab seeks to gain basic insights into problems that have wide socioeconomic impact, from spine deformities in the young to falls in the elderly. Fundamental research is carried out that seeks to understand how the brain coordinates and controls a myriad of muscles in human locomotion and how aging affects that control. Scientific hypotheses are formulated and tested using experimental and analytic tools. The insights gained are used in medicine, ergonomics, kinesiology, psychology and other fields to improve preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative techniques.

Cavitation and Multiphase Flow Laboratory

Coordinator: Steve Ceccio

1077 Autolab

The Cavitation and Multiphase Flow Laboratory is devoted to the study of a wide variety of multiphase flows, including gas-liquid flows, solid-gas flows, three-phase flows, cavitating, and boiling flows on both the laboratory and full scales.

Wooldridge Combustion Laboratory


Contact: Margaret Wooldridge

2156 GG Brown

Phone: (734) 936-0349

The Wooldridge Combustion Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor focuses on high-temperature chemically reacting systems which are critical to widespread applications, including synthesis methods for advanced materials, power and propulsion generation, and chemical processing. Professor Wooldridge’s research program spans these diverse areas and focuses on experimental studies to enable major developments in materials, fuel chemistry, and combustion devices.

Computational Physics Group


Director: Krishna Garikipati

3003 EECS

Phone: 734-936-2925

The Computational Physics Group works on theoretical and computational aspects of problems in Biological Physics, Materials Physics and Mechanics, using methods of nonlinear continuum mechanics, numerical analysis and applied mathematics.

Design Lab

Director: Steve Skerlos

3007 EECS

Phone: 734-763-0036

Fax: 734-647-3170

The Design Laboratory of the University of Michigan, from its creation in 1989, has been a leader in innovative application of engineering design. Our faculty span the breadth of the Design Science horizon and we are constantly stretching those boundaries into even more novel areas such as MEMS, Environmental Design, and Smart Materials and Structures. Our main strength is our team spirit. Collaboration and interdisciplinary research and education produce a unique mix of talent and experience here. With so many players in such a variety of areas, we bring more to the field.

DOE EFRC: Mechano-Chemical Understanding of Solid Ion Conductors (MUSIC)

Director: Jeff Sakamoto

MUSIC focuses on understanding an emerging branch of science involving mechanical and chemical phenomena that affect advanced battery designs. U-M and eight partner institutions will explore the use of ceramic ion conductors as replacements for the traditional liquid or polymer electrolytes in common lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and in flow cells for storing renewable energy in the grid.

Energy Storage and Materials Simulation Lab


Coordinator: Donald Siegel

Email: [email protected]

Phoenix Memorial Energy Institute Laboratory

The Energy Storage and Materials Simulation Lab (ESMS Lab) aims to address the materials and systems-level challenges facing the development of efficient methods for high-density energy storage. Our primary emphasis is on applications in transportation (fuel cell and battery electric vehicles) and power generation (enabling base-load intermittent sources). We make extensive use of high-performance computing, and have additional expertise in the areas of mechanical properties of materials, surface & interface science, metallic alloys, and multi-scale modeling.

Epureanu Research Group


Director: Bogdan Epureanu

Phone: (734)-647-6391

Fax: (734)-647-9379

Our research group is located in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. We focus on biological and epidemiological systems, aerospace and automotive structures, and turbomachinery. Examples include creating novel mechano-chemical dynamic models of nanoscale intracellular transport processes, developing the next generation of highly sensitive diagnosis and monitoring techniques, discovering novel methods for forecasting tipping points in complex systems such as disease epidemics and ecological systems, developing innovative reduced order models of multi-physics systems such as Li-ion batteries and complex structures, creating advanced system identification and control methodologies for smart structures and fluid-structural systems. We blend novel methods and theory with fundamental experiments in linear and nonlinear dynamics from macro to nano-scale.

Fuel Cell Control Systems Laboratory


Director: Anna Stefanopoulou

Affiliated Member: Huei Peng

Phoenix Memorial Laboratory, Room 3039

The experimental set-up in the Fuel Cell Control Systems Laboratory allows the implementation of multivariable controllers, fault detection, and diagnostic algorithms for the regulation of reactant flow and pressure, stack temperature, and membrane humidity. It is anticipated that the development and testing of real-time control and diagnostic systems will accelerate the use of Fuel Cells by enhancing their safety, increasing their efficiency, and ensuring their robustness in real world applications. The lab collaborates with The Schatz Energy Research Center, Ford Motor Company, United Technologies, National Science Foundation and the Automotive Research Center.

Global CO2 Initiative

Director: Volker Sick

3461 GG Brown

Phone: 734-647-9607

Research at the Global CO2 Initiative supports the development of captured carbon product technologies — both technological and biological — from early stage R&D through the stages of demonstration and early commercial deployment.

The Global CO2 Initiative is cultivating existing and potential industry and research partners to further collaborate and expand R&D and deployment opportunities for carbon dioxide removal and utilization technologies.

Global Design Laboratory


Director: Jesse Austin-Breneman

Research in the Global Design Laboratory is aimed at developing improved process and support tools to help design teams make better decisions when facing complex system design tasks. By bridging the foundations of formal complex system design with a deep understanding of actual practice, our work provides insight into the design of complex engineering systems and delivers strategies for reaching a better global design.

Current research topics include the use of multi-disciplinary optimization to model expert design teams and developing support tools to help engineers improve their system-level thinking. These strategies are applied in a variety of areas, from aerospace to automotive design to emerging markets.

Global Health Design Initiative (GHDI)


The Global Health Design Initiative provides students with an opportunity to address global health challenges through clinical immersion and design coursework. Students have performed design ethnography at hospitals in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nicaragua, and China to identify and prioritize healthcare challenges that can be partially addressed through engineering design. The overarching objectives of such clinical immersion experiences are to provide students with an opportunity to apply and further develop design ethnography skills, establish intercultural and interdisciplinary communication skills, and gain an understanding of the local and broader contexts of design.

General Motors/University of Michigan Smart Materials & Structures Collaborative Research Laboratory


University Co-Director: Diann Brei

The mission of the GM/UM SMS CRL is to exploit the emerging capabilities of smart materials and structures to create and support innovative advanced device technologies for automotive applications of value and interest to GM and extension to dual technologies for strategic partners.

Haptix Laboratory


Director: Brent Gillespie

The Haptix Laboratory is home to a set of research projects aimed at developing and applying human/machine interface devices to exploit the human sense of touch (haptics).

Heat Transfer Physics


Director: Massoud Kaviany

2186 / 3108 GG Brown

Phone: 734-764-3487

Fax: 734-647-3170

In our Heat Transfer Physics research, we seek this atomic-structure design (including nanostructures and quantum confinements) and optimization of the carrier energy kinetics (transition rates). This is rendered in the figure below. Our current research projects include laser cooling of solids, phonon recycling in transistors, phonovoltaic, α-voltaic, and phonocatalysis. We work on high figure-of-merit thermoelectric materials around the role of phonons. We are also working on the molecular dynamics explanation of the thermoreceptor gating.

Integrated Biosystems and Biomechanics Laboratory


Coordinator: Jianping Fu

Phone: 215-746-2266

Email: [email protected]

Our group’s research interests lie at the nexus of micro/nanoengineering, biophysics, biology, and biotechnology. Specifically, we focus on developing integrated, technology and biology based translational approaches to address critical challenges in human immune and neurological diseases. We integrate micro/nanoengineering tools and systems biology methods with new discoveries of mechanobiology, epigenetics, and classic signaling networks to provide transformative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions targeting immune and neurological diseases. We are also interested in developing novel synthetic biomimetic tools and platforms for understanding cancer biology, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Laboratory for Innovation in Global Health Technology (LIGHT)


Coordinator: Kathleen Sienko

1109 / 3121 GG Brown

Phone: 734-764-8308

Email: [email protected]

The Laboratory for Innovation in Global Health Technology focuses on the co-creative design of low-cost and simple technology solutions to healthcare challenges in resource-limited settings.

Laboratory for Transport & Interaction in Porous Media

Director: Massoud Kaviany

2186 / 3108 GG Brown

Phone: 734-764-3487

Fax: 734-647-3170

The Laboratory on Transport and Interaction in Porous Media synthesizes and analyzes porous media for heat and mass transfer applications. The approach of the lab combines the fundamentals of thermal transport (phonon, electron, fluid particle, and photon) and interaction (energy coversion), with special functions for this particular medium. Scientists/engineers trained in this discipline acquire the knowledge in fundamental sciences, with a large range of length and time scales and physical and chemical phenomena, and in scores of applications, that directly affect the industry and the environment.

Laboratory for Turbulence Physics and Computation

Director: Rayhaneh Akhavan

2016 GG Brown

Phone: 734-763-1048

Fax: 734-647-3170

The Laboratory for Turbulence Physics and Computation seeks basic insight into the complex physics of turbulent flows through numerical simulations in order to develop novel turbulence control and turbulence modeling strategies.

Materials Characterization Lab

Coordinator: Ellen Arruda

3673 GG Brown

Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory


Director: Michael Thouless

3673 GG Brown

The Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory does numerical and experimental research in the fracture and deformation of engineering materials.

Mechanical Testing Lab

Coordinator: Ellen Arruda

3605 GG Brown

Nanomechanics Laboratory


Director: Edgar Meyhofer

1660 GG Brown

The research interest/mission/fields of the Nanomechanics Laboratory include molecular and cellular biomechanics, single molecule biophysics, biomolecular nanotechnology, cell physiology, comparative functional morphology and ultrastructure, development of microscopy-based techniques for the manipulation and detection of single molecules.

Optimal Design Laboratory


Director: Panos Papalambros

3200 EECS

Phone: 734-647-8401

Fax: 734-647-8403

The Optimal Design (ODE) Laboratory is dedicated to research in design methods and tools that improve the design process and the quality of designed artifacts. The analytical decision-making paradigm is used to study product development methods from an interdisciplinary perspective that includes engineering, business, psychology, art and architecture. Studies in automotive systems, such as hybrid propulsion technologies, are specifically emphasized.

Powertrain Control Laboratory


Director: Anna Stefanopoulou

1082 Auto Lab

Phone: 734-936-0424

Fax: 734-764-4256

The Powertrain Control Laboratory’s research addresses the theory and design of control systems for internal combustion engines and advanced powertrains. The lab focuses on transient system behavior for engines equipped with innovative mechanisms: electronic primary throttle, intake runner valves, air by-pass valve, variable camshaft timing actuators, variable valve timing actuators, exhaust gas recirculation valves, variable nozzles turbine and hybrid turbochargers.

Precision Systems Design Lab


Coordinator: Shorya Awtar

Affiliated Member: Pramod Sangi Reddy

2009 GG Brown

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 734-64-3170

This lab conducts research in the design of high-precision high-bandwidth motion systems for macro, micro and nano scale applications. Our design philosophy is based on the principles of Precision Engineering and Mechatronics, and relies heavily on the engineering disciplines of kinematics, mechanics, dynamics and controls.

Rehabilitation Robotics Group


Coordinator: Dan Ferris

Affiliated Members: Brent Gillespie, C. David RemyKathleen Sienko

1402 Washington Heights Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734-647-2740

The University of Michigan Rehabilitation Robotics Group consists of 11 faculty members working in the field of rehabilitation robotics. Rehabilitation robotics is the field of science and engineering concerned with powered devices for improving function or mobility in individuals with disabilities. It includes powered devices for movement therapy (e.g., after a stroke or spinal cord injury) and of robotic devices for the chronic assistance of human function (e.g., powered prosthetics and orthotics). The group has members from five different units – Biomedical Engineering; Kinesiology; Mechanical Engineering; Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; and Psychology. Each Rehabilitation Robotics Group member directs a research laboratory developing and/or testing technologies to aid in the rehabilitation of individuals with neurological or musculoskeletal disabilities.

S.M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center


Director: Jun Ni

Affiliated Member: Albert Shih

1051 / 1100 HH Dow

Phone: 734-764-5299

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 734-936-0363

The S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center conducts basic and applied research in manufacturing science and engineering. Its broad scope of research consists of six different research laboratories for: assembly and materials joining, dimensional measurement, drill research, in-process quality improvement, machine tools and machining, and sheet metal stamping and material forming.

Scientific Computing and Flow Physics Laboratory


Director: Eric Johnsen

2043 Lay Auto Lab

Phone: 734-764-2122

Research in the Scientific Computing and Flow Physics Laboratory draws from applied mathematics, numerical analysis, physical modeling and high-performance computing to develop new techniques for numerical simulations and modeling of fluid mechanics problems. We use these techniques to uncover the basic physics underlying complex multiscale flows, including multiphase flows, unsteady flows, high-speed flows and shock waves, turbulence and mixing, interfacial instabilities, plasma dynamics and non-newtonian flows. Our work applies to biomedical engineering, energy, aeronautics, turbomachinery and naval engineering.

Sensory Augmentation and Rehabilitation Laboratory (SARL)


Coordinator: Kathleen Sienko

1109 / 3121 GG Brown

Phone: 734-764-8308

Email: [email protected]

The Sensory Augmentation and Rehabilitation Laboratory focuses on the design, development, and assessment of medical devices, especially for balance-impaired populations such as vestibular-deficient patients, patients with sensory deficits (peripheral neuropathies), and the elderly. We also study the effects of aging (and specialized balance disorders) on postural control and balance as well as the design of preventative and rehabilitative devices for these populations.

Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory

Director: Diann Brei

Affiliated Member: Jon Luntz

1277 and 2295 GG Brown

The Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory designs smart structures, with particular concentration on the development of innovative actuators incorporating smart materials such as piezoelectrics, electrostrictives, and shape memory alloys. Lab researchers are interested in continuing research in actuators as well as branching out into other smart structure applications such as vibration control, shape control and health monitoring.

Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory


Director: Ellen Arruda

3673 GG Brown

The Soft Tissues Mechanics Laboratory (STML) at the University of Michigan studies the soft tissues of the human body, such as skin and heart. The goal is to build on the current understanding of the mechanics of these tissues through experimentation and modeling. At this time, there is particular interest in measuring the constitutive behavior of soft tissues and in developing a better constitutive model that relates the complex structure of the tissue to its mechanical response. Research in the STML is divided into three areas: experimental investigation, constitutive modeling, and finite element simulations.

Solid State Thermal Physics Laboratory

Director: Kevin Pipe

1650 GG Brown

Phone: 734-763-6624

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 734-647-3170

The Solid State Thermal Physics Laboratory conducts research in heat transfer at micro and nano size scales, especially examining electronic/optoelectronic devices and thermoelectric/thermionic effects.

Structural Dynamics and Controls Lab


Director: Kon-Well Wang

2223/2209 GG Brown

Phone: (734) 764-8464

Fax: (734) 615-8089

The research missions of the Structural Dynamics and Controls Lab (SDCL) are to develop better understanding of the dynamic characteristics of mechanical structures, and to create novel analysis, design, and control methodologies for achieving better system performance (e.g. low vibration, high stability, high precision, etc.).

Technical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory


Director: David Dowling

1021 Autolab

The Technical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory is used to conduct research in a wide range of fluid mechanical and acoustic topics. It currently houses research efforts involving multi-dimensional measurements of liquid polymer flow, detection and localization of hydroacoustic sound sources in reverberant environments, and instrumentation development work for high Reynolds number wall-bounded turbulent flows.

Vibrations and Acoustics Laboratory: Microsystems


Coordinator: Kenn Oldham

1106 GG Brown / 2200 EECS

Phone: (734) 936-3824

Fax: 734-647-3170

The Vibrations and Acoustics Laboratory conducts research in vibrations, acoustics, structural dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, and wave propagation.

The Violi Group


Coordinator: Angela Violi

3005 EECS

Phone: 734-936-0575

The research carried in this laboratory aims to develop a multiscale computational nanoscience to study the formation and fate of nanoparticles in the environment. The use of multiscale methods, such as the Kinetic Monte Carlo technique combined with Molecular Dynamics, makes it possible to follow the transformations that occur during nanoparticle formation and their interactions with other systems in a chemically specific way, providing information on both the chemical structure and the configuration of the system (i.e. their agglomerates).

Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory

Coordinator: André Boehman

Affiliated Members: George Lavoie, Volker Sick, Jason Siegel, Anna Stefanopoulou, Margaret Wooldridge

2045 W. E. Lay Automotive Lab

Phone: 764-8464

Email: [email protected]

True to its namesake, former Mechanical Engineering professor Walter E. Lay (BSE ME ’15), the Lay Automotive Lab has supported education and research since the early 1900s. Today, the Lab’s research interests are wide-ranging but generally associated with: alternative fuels, batteries, engine friction, combustion, engine controls, emissions control, fuel efficiency, laser diagnostics applied to engines, vehicular electronics design, vehicle aerodynamics and vehicle powertrain design. It encompasses 20 engine test cells, a five-bay vehicle laboratory, machine shops, and instructional and computer laboratories, including Fluid Mechanics. Michigan Engineering’s proximity to Detroit — the heart of the nation’s auto industry — has made the Lay Automotive Lab a vital contributor to industry.

Virtual tour of the Autolab research labs

Wilson Student Team Project Center

Coordinator: Don Geister


Wilson Center Building, 2603 Draper Dr.

Description: meets a critical need by providing students with dedicated space and facilities of teams to compete nationally, 10,000 square-foot center, located behind the Francios-Xavier Bagnoud Building and adjacent to Wave Field.