Thermal Science and Engineering Research
Research concentrated on computational and experimental techniques for heat transfer at nano/micro/macro scales and the understanding of combined-mode heat transfer physics.
Director: Dr. M. Brake
Tribomechadynamics is a new field that has emerged from the confluence of structural dynamics, contact mechanics, and tribology. Central to these three fields is the study of interfaces; the difference comes in the length scale considered and the tools used to study an interface. Given a structure, such as an aeroturbine, the goal of Tribomechadynamics is to predict the response of the structure during the design stage to predict the performance degradation over time, and to use models to optimize the design of the interfacial components. Our research spans length scales from nano to macro.
Focusing on contact mechanics at length scales ranging from material structure at the nano-scale to the response of systems at the macro scale, the Contact Mechanics Center at Rice (CoMCaR) is a collaboration between faculty in Mechanical Engineering (Matthew Brake and Fred Higgs) and Materials Science and NanoEngineering (Zachary Cordero). Visit our website for information on upcoming events and research opportunities.
The vision of the lab is to make highly effective personalized treatments for neurologic and orthopedic movement impairments a clinical reality. The associated mission is to develop data-driven computational technologies that facilitate creation of patient-specific neuromusculoskeletal models which in turn can be used to design personalized rehabilitation and surgical treatments. Key skills needed for the research include multibody dynamics, numerical methods (especially optimization), and computer programming (mostly Matlab but also some C++).
Dynamic systems and control, robotics, and biomedical engineering systems.
We study fluid dynamics and heat transfer in complex natural phenomena and engineering systems using numerical, mathematical and statistical models, guided by observational and experimental data. Our work is often motivated by theoretical and applied problems related to energy and the environment. Examples of problems of interest are environmental and geophysical flows, reduced-order modeling, extreme weather events, atmospheric turbulence, climate modeling, flow control in energy systems and numerical and mathematical modeling of thermo-fluid processes.
The Particle Flow & Tribology Lab (PFTL) at Rice University researches new methodologies to predicting the behavior of Tribology and particle technologies and systems. Our research is conducted through the synergistic use of experiments, physics-based modeling, and computational simulations. The research in the PFTL impacts many fields but the key applications can be found within biotechnology, energy, additive manufacturing, and micro/nanotechnology, and space (BEANS). Advanced numerical methods include: Discrete Element Method (DEM), Machine Learning/AI, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI), and thermal fluid modeling.
Director: Dr. S. Nagarajaiah
Structural dynamic systems, smart structures system identification, sensing and monitoring under earthquakes, wind and waves, seismic protection and applied nanotechnology related to sensing.
In addition to traditional dynamic systems, controls, and mechatronics research, the MAHI Lab focuses on mechanisms to enhance human performance through physical human-robot interactions, such as for robotic rehabilitation and prosthetics.
The focus of the Energy Systems Lab is the analysis, design and optimization of multi-scale energy systems. This research relies on a solid basis of thermofluids modeling, augmented by an experimental validation and testing. To date, the lab has focused on topics such as the multiphase, multicomponent lattice Boltzmann method, cogeneration system heat and mass transfer modeling, fuel cell systems, design and characterization of thermoacoustic Stirling engines and alternative renewable energy technologies.
Focuses on computational analysis in fluid mechanics, fluid-structure interaction, biomechanics, aerospace engineering, and thermo-fluids. Applications include spacecraft parachutes, cardiovascular fluid mechanics, heart valve flow analysis, bioinspired flapping-wing aerodynamics, wind turbines, ground vehicles, tires, disk brakes, turbochargers, and ram-air parachutes.
The goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms of heat transfer, particularly at the nanoscale, and to use this information to design improved thermal systems and energy conversion devices. This experimental and theoretical thermal research is motivated by society’s demand for renewable and sustainable energy sources, energy-efficient information and lighting technologies, and improved thermal management of electronics and batteries.