Innovating Manufacturing and Design

Our faculty develop methods and processes for the fabrication of new materials with the goal of improving our health, safety and environment. We also apply design thinking principles to determine how product value can be maximized.


Dr. Ewere studies the science and technology at the intersection of aerodynamics, structural mechanics, energy and smart materials. He has worked on exploiting aeroelastic instabilities on piezoelectric structures for engineering applications.


Dr. Ferguson studies product and system design. His research focuses on human-centered design for products and systems that will be used in and by society. He is also interested in understanding how to provide value to the end-user and the impacts of products and systems on society.


Dr. Horn studies additive manufacturing. He works to to develop novel additive manufacturing methodologies to control defects and tailor materials in order to revolutionize the design and production of multiple critical products, from patient specific implants to jet engines and weapon system components.


Dr. Hu researches mechanics and materials, engineering functional biomaterials. Her research focuses on the medical applications of these biomaterials, such as cancer detection and vascular embolization, along with the mechanics of biomedical structures.


Dr. Jiang researches nanoscale science and engineering. His research has many applications, including investigating micro/nano-engineering of smart materials and their integration in advanced electromechanical devices.

Arun Kumar Kota

Dr. Kota utilizes his expertise in surface and interfacial science to develop advanced materials that are extremely repellent to either solid or liquids, for a wide range of applications including aircraft anti-icing and de-icing, solider protective fabrics, food packaging etc.


Dr. Liu researches heat transfer in the setting of energy conversion, storage and management. He focuses on developing computational and experimental tools for understanding nanoscale thermal transport, probing new transport phenomena in micro/nano-scale structures, and applying the results to design thermal management and energy conversion/storage systems with nano-engineered functional materials.

Gracious Ngaile

Dr. Ngaile researches advanced manufacturing, focusing on innovative metal forming techniques. The goal of his research is to develop lightweight components for vehicle power transmissions systems to reduce energy consumption. He also explores new formulation of lubricants with less toxic substances for manufacturing processes.


Dr. O’Connor studies organic electronics. he works to develop stretchable electronics with new functionality that could benefit health care, and advanced photodetectors that are useful in applications such as bio-imaging and imaging pollution.


Dr. Pankow works in precision engineering and focuses on manufacturing and design down to the smallest scales possible. His work has many applications, including large scale mirrors for space observations and precision medical equipment.


Dr. Peters studies structures and materials. Her research focuses on building sensor networks into advanced structures to identify damage that could lead to failure at an early stage. She also works to understand the behaviour of advanced composite materials in extreme environments.


Dr. Rabiei studies advanced materials, manufacturing and solid mechanics. She develops novel materials with many practical applications that can perform better under variety of conditions with the goal of making life safer for human beings while saving energy and raw material.

Jong Eun Ryu

Dr. Ryu researches composite materials and manufacturing to develop a technology that can reduce the frictional drag on ship hulls to improve fuel efficiency. He investigates the spontaneous pattern generation on polymer surfaces during roll coating in an ordered manner to manufacture three-dimensional micro and nano-structures that reduce the hydrodynamic drag on large scale substrates.


Dr. Su researches design and control along with wearable and surgical robots. He designs autonomous soft robots that can have multiple applications among different disciplines, but he focuses largely on the medical applications of his research.


Dr. Tu studies manufacturing and precision engineering. He conducts fundamental research to model modeling, measurement and control of manufacturing processes in specific areas such as high speed spindles, laser material processing and machine tool metrology to contribute to the quality and productivity of manufacturing systems.


Dr. Ware researches advanced manufacturing and materials, focusing on additive manufacturing. He studies the improvement and optimization of the vat polymerization manufacturing process and the underlying materials and composites that can be fabricated with the process.

Liming Xiong

Dr. Xiong develops atomistic-to-macroscale computational tools for studying the plastic deformation, phase transformation, heat flow, diffusion, and their coupling in materials during their manufacturing, testing, and applications.   To architect the microstructure of materials towards desired performance from the bottom up, his recent research attempts involve an integration of his multiscale computer simulations with advanced manufacturing techniques, such as high pressure torsion, ultrasonic additive manufacturing, nano-mechanical stamping, atomic layer and physical vapor deposition, and so on. The alumni who were trained on such topics in his group work for DoE national laboratories, or aerospace engineering industries, such as Rockwell Collins. 


Dr. Xu researches manufacturing, ceramic materials, sensing and controls. Her research contributes to improving turbine engine efficiency as well as developing aeronautics spacesuits and a bio-compatible bone-substitute implant.


Dr. Yin researches mechanical metamaterials, soft robotics and multifunctional interfacial materials. His research has many practical applications, such as in search-and-rescue missions and biomedical devices.


Dr. Zhu researches structural mechanics, materials and manufacturing; nanoscale science and engineering along with biomedical and biological systems. He works with nanomaterial to develop wearable and stretchable electronics that can be used in a number of different applications.


Dr. Zikry’s research focuses on multiscale modelling and experiments. He works on modelling defects in materials that range from dislocations to cracks in crystalline materials, smart polymers, additive manufacturing, materials for energy systems and high-temperature materials.