The department has approximately 12,000 square feet of laboratory space for the following laboratories: Robotics and Automation, Controls and Mechatronics, Instrumentation and Data Acquisition, Manufacturing, Precision Measurement, Thermo/Fluids, Design, Student Projects, Student Research, and eight faculty research labs. The laboratories are used to support undergraduate instruction, undergraduate research, student design projects, and faculty research.


Mechanical Engineering Facilities

The Mechanical Engineering Department offers students well-equipped teaching, design, and research laboratories, though all of them are more or less used for mixed purposes as discussed below. All students get firsthand experience using the equipment.

Computers and Computer Laboratories

Manufacturing Lab (room 133)

This introduces students to lathes, milling machines, injection modeling, numerically controlled machining, and many other manufacturing processes during the sophomore course ME 210 Manufacturing and Design. The students apply this knowledge in the construction of their projects for ME 497/8 Senior Design Project I/II. The wide array of equipment is specifically for student use. There is a separate machine shop designated for the technicians.

Senior Projects Lab (room 134)

This serves as an assembly and work area for large senior projects such as the Formula SAE car. There are also two welding stations. The adjoining room, 134A, provides additional room for smaller projects and storage space.

Biomechanics Lab (room 236)

This serves the research needs of  Steven Nesbit. The room contains an eight-camera image system and software for studying human motion that was partially funded by a $213,610 National Science Foundation grant. This system gives the ability to comprehensively quantify the complex kinematics and kinetics necessary to produce a motion.

Mechanical Design Lab (room 135)

This contains 18 networked Dell workstations, including one for an instructor with screen projection. Design software packages include CAD, CAM, and CAE such as Inventor, ADAMS, AutoCAD, LabView, and Virtual Gibbs. Analysis packages include ANSYS, Fluent FlowLab, Engineering Equation Solver, Matlab, MathCad, and Mathematica. Supporting software includes word processors, spreadsheets, and Internet access. Located next to the Manufacturing Lab, the Mechanical Design Lab integrates computer-based design and analysis with an emphasis on manufacturing.

Control Systems Lab (room 234)

This serves ME 479 Control Systems and Mechatronics Design and Analysis. Six benches are each equipped with a rotational servomechanism, computer, programmable logic controller, digital storage oscilloscope, multimeter, power supply, pulse-width modulated amplifier, function generator, and an electronics workstation on which both analog and digital circuits are built. The system allows for the analysis and evaluation of control algorithms.

Instrumentation Lab (room 236)

This serves ME 331 Data Acquisition and Electrical Systems. Six benches are each equipped with a computer containing a data acquisition board controlled with LabVIEW software, a digital storage oscilloscope, multimeter, power supply, frequency counter/timer, and function generator. Further lab capabilities include pressure and temperature calibration, strain gauge application, and fractional horsepower motor testing with an eddy current dynamometer.

Thermal/Fluids Lab (room 136)

This serves ME 475 Thermal/Fluid Systems. Major equipment includes a subsonic wind tunnel, boundary layer wind tunnel, refrigeration loop, steam turbine/generator, gas turbine turbojet engine, internal combustion engines, a heat exchanger test stand, and thermal conductivity measurement equipment. Pressure, temperature, and flow measurement equipment are also available.