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Research Opportunities

Mechanical Engineering Research opportunities

If you are interested in one of the opportunities below, please reach out directly to the faculty member listed below each project.

Simulations of Highly Loaded Fluids for Additive Manufacturing

  • Hourly Research Assistant
  • Senior Undergraduate or M.S. student
  • Starting Fall 2021
  • Contact Prof. Noah Van Dam by email: Noah_VanDam@uml.edu

I am looking for a motivated student to work on a new project modeling the flow and behavior of highly loaded fluids for new additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing) processes. This presents a unique opportunity to get involved in computational simulations, and the development of a new, experimental AM technique. The student will be responsible for developing and running computational simulations of fluids with very high solids volume fractions under guidance from Prof. Van Dam and Prof. Hansen.

Students should be senior undergraduates or masters students. Training in the specific Computational Fluid Dynamics software will be available, but interested students should have strong programming skills. Previous experience with linux and/or engineering simulations are beneficial. Funding may be available and will be discussed as part of the interview process.

Advanced Simulations of Multiphase and Reacting Flows

  • Doctoral Research Assistant
  • Preferred start January 2022, delayed start to September 2022 may be possible
  • Contact Prof. Noah Van Dam by email: Noah_VanDam@uml.edu 
New students are sought to work on simulations of advanced combustion modes using low- or no-carbon fuels in transportation applications. Multiple projects are available. Students’ responsibilities include developing new combustion models appropriate for advanced multi-mode combustion strategies, optimizing engine performance/efficiency with low-carbon fuels, participating in regular research meetings, and generating research outputs such as conference presentations and journal publications. Students will be collaborating with experimentalists, and may have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing Machine Learning model development work.

Acoustics-based Damage Detection from Operational Wind Turbine Blades

  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Ph.D. Students
  • Starting Fall 2021, Spring 2022 or Fall 2022
  • Contact Prof. Murat Inalpolat by email: Murat_Inalpolat@uml.edu

The student in this position will develop and test an acoustic sensor network that is needed for damage detection and identification from operational wind turbine blades. This student is expected to have, or motivated to develop, background in acoustics and vibrations, signal processing and machine learning as well as testing and data analysis. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in data collection, analysis, and algorithm development. Working knowledge of Matlab / Python, and motivation to learn signal processing, structural health monitoring and machine learning algorithms is preferred. This position requires a high GPA (undergraduate GPA > 3.7), and satisfactory analytical and language skills, work ethics, integrity, motivation and collegiality, work ethics, integrity, motivation and collegiality.


Machine Learning for advanced exoskeleton development and control

  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • MS or Ph.D. Student
  • Starting September 1, 2021
  • Contact Prof. Murat Inalpolat by email: Murat_Inalpolat@uml.edu

The student in this project will help develop machine learning algorithms (Matlab and / or Python based) and help develop and test controllers for exoskeletons employed by military personnel.


CFD Simulations of a Swirl-stabilized Burner

  • Hourly Research Assistant
  • Senior Undergraduate or M.S Student
  • Starting Fall 2021
  • Contact Prof. Noah Van Dam by email: Noah_VanDam@uml.edu

This position is to work on CFD simulations of low-pressure fuel burners, including fuel spray and combustion, as part of a project funded by the Office of Naval Research. As part of this project you will learn about fuel sprays, CFD, combustion, and heat transfer. You will collaborate with other students running simulations and conducting experiments on an experimental burner being constructed in the Energy and Combustion Research Laboratory. You will utilize the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Cluster (MGHPCC) to run the simulations. Training and support will be provided on how to use MGHPCC and the CFD code CONVERGE. Hourly funding may be available for well-qualified students.


Multi-material 3D Printing for Large Scale Ceramics Manufacturing

  • Doctoral Research Assistant
  • Preferred start: June 1 2021, start delayed to September 1, 2021 may be possible
  • Candidate can be either a graduating/graduated senior, or a Master's level student looking to pursue their doctorate
  • Contact Prof. Chris Hansen by email: Christopher_Hansen@uml.edu

This student researcher will develop and use a multi-material 3D printer for ceramics manufacturing, and characterize the post-processing of those ceramics. The goal of the program is to dramatically accelerate the manufacture of ceramics through tailoring the specific compositions. The student will gain expertise in 3D printing specifically in multi-material 3D printing, and in materials processing, specifically in polymers loaded with ceramic particles. The 3D printer will require modifications, and so there is scope for design of machines. Students may also augment their characterization with simulations/models of the ceramics processing. This project is funded by the Office of Naval Research and the student will be supported for the duration of their doctoral studies.


Vibration and Acoustics of 3D-printed Microlattice Structures for Naval Applications

  • Research Assistant
  • Starting as soon as possible
  • Undergraduate or Graduate Student
  • Contact Prof. Murat Inalpolat by email: Murat_Inalpolat@uml.edu

The student in this position will computationally (Comsol or Ansys) and experimentally investigate optimal designs for microlattice structures to reduce vibration and acoustic transmission for a navy related application. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in acoustics, vibrations, 3D-printed structures, numerical techniques (finite element, boundary element, etc.), and optimization. Fluency in Ansys or Comsol, Matlab (and / or Python), and motivation to learn other modeling and analysis tools is preferred. This position requires a high GPA (undergraduate GPA > 3.5), and satisfactory analytical and language skills, work ethics, integrity, motivation and collegiality.


Machine Learning based design of military helmets for blunt impact

  • Graduate/Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Starting Fall 2021 or Spring 2022
  • MS Students (Undergraduate Students with a good Matlab background will be considered)
  • Contact Prof. Murat Inalpolat by email: Murat_Inalpolat@uml.edu

The researcher in this position will develop an intelligent tool (with a GUI) for optimal design of military helmets. The tool will utilize computer-generated and/or experimentally obtained impact data and through supervised machine learning algorithms will find optimal design variables for measured and unmeasurable variables. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in scientific computing, design optimization, and Matlab (and/or Python) programming. This position requires a high GPA (undergraduate GPA > 3.5), and satisfactory analytical and language skills, work ethics, integrity, motivation and collegiality.


Design, Fabrication, and Implantation of Custom Brain Machine Interfaces

  • Fully funded research assistant
  • Two years funding starting Fall 2021, Spring / Fall 2022
  • Ph.D. students preferred but MS students with outstanding background will be considered
  • Contact Prof. Lei Chen by email: Lei_Chen@uml.edu

The goal of this project, in collaboration with a neuroscience team, is to develop a universal and 3D-printed rat calvarium replacement system to enable a novel brain-machine interface for brain-wide electrophysiological signal recording and stimulation. The student researcher in this position will be responsible for computer-aided design and manufacturing of the microelectrode system and the 3D-printed interface plate to allow implantation of complex and customizable apparatus into the rat brain. This includes conducting the engineering research on custom medical device design and fabrication (including additive manufacturing, precision machining, and molding), cutting mechanics and buckling analysis of microelectrode penetration of the brain membranes, and working closely with the neuroscience team to identify the needs and advance the engineering design and implantation methods.