Centers and Labs
Taking their inspiration from the “soft and wet’” natural world, engineers and scientists are designing new tools and devices that aim at practical applications. The goal is to “reverse engineer” scores of millions of years of natural evolution.
The Triangle MRSEC is a national resource for soft matter science and engineering research and education in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (Triangle) area of North Carolina, a thriving technological and economic hub with a high concentration of materials innovation activity in both academia and industry.
Labs and Research Groups
The Microscale Physicochemical Hydrodynamics Laboratory (µPHYL) is directed by Professor Chuan-Hua Chen. Our research deals with experimental and theoretical investigations of small-scale physicochemical hydrodynamics, where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other. By manipulating surface tension actively (e.g. by electric fields) and passively (e.g. by surface structures), we are develop innovative solutions for applications ranging from bioanalytical assays to microelectronics cooling.
The research sponsored by the GUIde Consortium is interdisciplinary in nature and requires research in the areas of structures and fluid mechanics. To address these challenges of blade efficiency and reliability, the GUIde Consortium was formed. The acronym “GUIde” stands for Government Agencies, Universities, and Industry working together on a common goal. Through cooperation, the organizations within the Consortium develop an enhanced view of how to achieve their objective. Consequently, the Consortium serves as “guides” for one another in solving challenges in controlling the vibration of bladed disks. The Consortium Center Director at Duke is Dr. Robert Kielb.
The Computational Mechanics Laboratory's research is focused on the development of new numerical methods that enable the investigation of emerging theories in applied mechanics, with a particular emphasis on the important role played by interfaces and defects. Our work is interdisciplinary and combines civil and mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, and materials science.
Professor Yellen's research group investigates programmable techniques for manipulating colloidal particles with potential applications in electronic, photonic, and biomedical devices. The main focus of his group is the investigation of complex interactions between micrometer and nanometer sized colloidal particles and magnetic recording media commonly used in the data storage industry.
Research includes methods and algorithms for learning and computational intelligence. Optimal control and approximate dynamic programming techniques, with applications in adaptive flight control, and control of mobile sensor networks. Theory and applications of network models, such as neural and probabilistic networks, with an emphasis on memory and reliability. Application of expert systems and systems theory to psychological and cognitive modeling from data.
The Robotics and Manufacturing Automation Lab is a collection of professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students in the Pratt School of Engineering who are devoted to the development of command and control systems for robotics.
The research and education of Soft Active Materials Laboratory (SAMs Lab) are motivated by new materials and phenomena emerging on the interface between engineering and biology. We are currently particularly interested in soft materials which are easily deformed by multiple thermodynamic forces (e.g. stress, electric field, magnetic field, and chemical potential) and their applications in various technologies such as energy storage, energy harvesting, biofouling, drug delivery, tissue engineering, robotics, microfluidics, and water treatment.
The research of the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory is in the area of interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology including phenomena at the micro- and nanoscale. Thermodynamic aspects of photovoltaics, novel sustainable energy conversion technologies, and chemical reactions are an essential part of this research. The main focus is the combination of ideas, insights and results from traditional energy technology such as thermal power plants with novel and innovative technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaic cells based on micro- and nanostructured materials. An essential topic of this laboratory is the energetic and exergetic analysis of complex energy conversion and storage systems, especially those including renewable and sustainable energy solutions.
The purpose of the WISeNet Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program is to prepare Ph.D. students for interdisciplinary research in wireless sensor networks. Students in this program are supported for up to two years, and receive a WISeNet graduate certificate upon completion of a Ph.D. degree from one of the participating departments.
Equipment and Facilities
The Duke University Wind Tunnel is a subsonic wind tunnel that is located in the basement of the Hudson building annex. The wind tunnel is a large experimental apparatus that is used frequently for aerospace engineering research as well as undergraduate class projects.