Research

The Mechanical Engineering Department is organized into four research divisions:

Biomechanics

You’re interested in musculoskeletal structure and movement, and have a passion for helping people. You dream of giving someone back the ability to do the things they once loved. Maybe you have two loves – engineering and the medical field – and you can’t decide between the two. Maybe you don’t have to.

Here at Mines you’ll have the opportunity to explore biomechanics within the mechanical engineering framework. From modeling of movement and the biomechanics of injury, to experimental design of assistive technologies, our students work with hospitals, prosthetists/orthotists, even the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. We have a wealth of both undergraduate and graduate research opportunities that will immerse you immediately in your field, giving you the hands-on experience to give you the edge. With our tight-knit research groups, you will be an intimate contributor to cutting-edge research and make connections in industry that could lead to post-doctoral research opportunities, or jobs in the FDA, regional and national medical device companies or clinical rehabilitation labs.

If you’re looking for a personal experience with unique opportunities and close ties to local industry experts, Mines is the place for you. Explore the pages of our faculty and various research groups for further insight on our research interests, accomplishments, and how you might fit in.

Faculty

Research Groups

Robotics Automation

Interested in Robotics, Optimization, or System Design? In the Robotics Automation group we explore topics ranging from operations research, system design, and optimization to industrial and medical Robotics and haptic interactions.  Research in this division explores advances in robotics, automation, operations research, and the science of complex systems design and optimization. On the robotics side, we explore the design of systems and machine-user interfaces for medicine, rehabilitation, infrastructure inspection, and remote exploration.  On the Design and Optimization side, we explore classical operations research and machine learning as it applies to complex scheduling, managing integrated systems, such as those that occur in energy and mining operations, and designing and operating manufacturing facilities. Explore the pages of our faculty and various research groups for further insight on our research interests, accomplishments, and how you might fit in.

Faculty

Research Groups

Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Manufacturing

The Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Manufacturing group develops novel computational solutions for problems in the mechanical behavior of advanced materials.

Research spans length scales from nanometer to kilometer, and includes:

  • Microstructural effects on mechanical behavior
  • Nanomechanics, granular mechanics, and continuum mechanics
  • Nano-scale, micro-scale, meso-scale, and macro-scale material behavior models
  • Atomic structure and stability
  • Advanced computational methods (DEM, BEM, FEM, MD)
  • Incorporation of microstructural effects in materials modeling.
  • Crack initiation and growth in advanced materials.
  • Boundary element methods.
  • Homogenization theory
  • Atomic structure, stability, and properties of nanostructures
  • Advanced materials for Li-ion batteries
  • Catalytic processes for hydrogen storage applications
  • Mechanical properties of advanced ceramics
  • Graphene: growth, stability, properties
  • Directed assembly of viruses on templated surfaces
  • Nanoparticle-protein interactions in nanotoxicology
  • Development and application of computational methods in engineering and materials science.
  • Simulation of flow, compaction and fracture processes in bulk solids and particulate media.
  • Modeling of static and dynamic fracture behavior in geo-materials.

Faculty

Research Groups

Hildreth Lab

Thermal-Fluid Systems

You’re interested in all things energy, from clean combustion engines to efficient storage for solar. You’re an innovator, intrigued by the coupling of fluids to materials. You’re looking to be well-connected with current engineering issues and infrastructures, and are attracted to multidisciplinary opportunities – you’re looking to study Thermal-Fluid Systems at Mines.

Here we have a focus on advanced energy technologies, offer a mix of experimental and theoretical opportunities and look to engage and grow our student’s professional networks through direct involvement with strong industry partners. Research includes battery systems modeling and diagnostics, high-temperature electro-chemical cells, combustion, alternate methods of energy storage, energy systems management and fluid-dynamics of membranes.

Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in one of the top ten states for Cleantech employment, Mines combines an inspiring natural setting with amazing industry opportunities. Our proximity and alignment of interests make us one of the go-to partners for collaboration for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is less than six miles from campus. Not only have several alumni gone on to start their careers at NREL, but there are plenty of hands-on research opportunities for current students as well. Where else might you find alumni of our program? Sandia, NIST, GE, Ball Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance as well as various small and mid-sized Colorado companies working on new innovations in the energy industry.

Ultimately, we are seeking to improve energy technologies and solve real-world problems. A visit to our various labs and research groups can yield further opportunities for exploration on the breadth of our research interests, the accomplishments of our faculty and students, and how you might fit in.

Faculty

Research Groups