Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Multi-scale Sensors and Systems

The Multi-scale Sensors and Systems research group specializes in the design, fabrication, integration, and testing of physically and functionally compatible devices and components on multiple scales. With decades of multi-scale research and expertise, the group is poised to dramatically change the face of technology across the full range of engineering and science applications.

The group’s research focuses on developing sensors that allow real-time monitoring and control to ensure system stability for applications that require feedback at each process stage, from the molecular scale detection of phenomena to wide area measurement.

A major area of research for the group is the development of distributed sensing for sustainable fuel production and utilization. To increase the efficiency and optimization of energy conversion from biomass, researchers are developing sensors that will support the operation of biofuel production plants and ethanol engines. Their goal is to detect and report feedback at every stage of energy use, from the nano-scale reactions at the moment of combustion to the reactions as exhaust leaves an automobile.

The group encourages interdisciplinary research and the implementation of nanotechnologies and microtechnologies into deployable systems. Researchers collaborate with cross-departmental colleagues on projects that include biosensing technologies, microfluidics for fuel cells, and micro-scale metal forming. The future of multi-scale sensors and systems research lies in the use of biological materials and processes that are able to function in non-biological systems.

Research Institute

Multi-scale technologies are those that bring together functional elements to form systems where the relative size of components within the system spans from the nano through the micro and into the macro domain. The systems focus of the Multi-Scale Technologies Institute (MuSTI) emphasizes the challenges associated with integrating technologies that have relative feature sizes orders of magnitude apart and operating characteristics that are size dependent. This presents many problems that must be addressed by interdisciplinary teams of researchers using specialized equipment.

Learn more about MuSTI

Faculty + Research = Discovery

Our department boasts world-class faculty who have access to numerous innovative research labs and are committed to discovery and learning. This encompasses a range of research areas, experiences, and expertise related to multi-scale sensors and systems. Learn more about our faculty and their research interests:

Research Projects

Our faculty engage in a number of research projects, many of which are publicly funded. A sample listing of recent research projects focused on agile interconnected microgrids appears below. You can also view a broader list of research projects taking place across the mechanical engineering department.

Ongoing Projects

Past Projects