Research

Mechanical Engineering Aerospace Engineering

The Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department at the University of Florida is proud to offer graduate research programs that encompass a wide range of research interests and employ the latest experimental and high-performance computational techniques. Our interests in Mechanical Engineering are broad in scope, encompassing design and analysis of vehicles, robotics, machinery, thermal and fluid engineering, energy and power systems. Our interests in Aerospace Engineering deal with all aspects of flight such as aerodynamics, propulsion, structural mechanics, and dynamics and control, as well as significant opportunities in orbital mechanics and space systems. On a broad level, we do research in the following fields: Aerospace, Mechanical Design, Dynamics and Control, Energy and Thermal Science, Biomechanics, Fluid Dynamics and Flow Control, Micro- and Nano-Mechanics, Manufacturing, MEMS and Sensors, Autonomous Systems, Optimization and Design, Computational Sciences, Tribology, Microsystems and Solid Mechanics.

MAE Research Facts

  • Average $12.5M ASEE and $13M/year in external research expenditures over last two years

The National Science Foundation CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

MAE faculty CAREER award winners include:

  • Dr. Ryan Houim – CAREER: Understanding the Influence of Thermal Radiation on the Ignition and Propagation of Dust Explosions
    • Award Number: 1942861; NSF Organization: CBET; Award Date: 02/01/2020; Award Amount: $417,864.00; Relevance: 40.63
  • Dr. Matthew Hale – CAREER: A Unified Theory of Private Control Systems
    • Award Number: 1943275; NSF Organization: ECCS; Award Date: 02/01/2020; Award Amount: $396,780.00; Relevance: 36.11
  • Dr. Thomas Angelini – CAREER: Stability and Dynamics of Tissue Cell Assemblies in Yield Stress Materials
    • Award Number: 1352043; NSF Organization: DMR; Award Date: 06/01/2014; Award Amount: $337,549.00; Relevance: 72.0
  • Dr. Prabir Barooah – CAREER: Distributed estimation and control for energy efficient buildings
    • Award Number: 0955023; NSF Organization: ECCS; Award Date: 02/01/2010; Award Amount: $406,000.00; Relevance: 50.86
  • Dr. Yong Huang – CAREER: Understanding Process-Induced Damage in Laser-Assisted Cell Direct Writing – Bridging Manufacturing Science and Biomedical Research
    • Award Number: 1321271 NSF; Organization: CMMI; Award Date: 01/01/2013; Award Amount: $151,824.00; Relevance: 54.6
  • Dr. Warren Dixon – CAREER: Nonlinear Control of Human Skeletal Muscle
    • Award Number: 0547448 NSF; Organization: CMMI; Awad Date: 05/01/2006; Award Amount: $419,875
  • Dr. Ashok Kumar- CAREER: Electrophotographic Solid Freeform Fabrication
    • Award Number: 9875445 NSF; Organization: CMMI; Award Date: 08/01/1999; Award Amount: $280,000

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research Program (AFOSR YIP) is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance the early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

MAE faculty AFOSR YIP award winners include:

  • Dr. Ryan Houim – Characterization on the scaling effects and afterburning processes of explosively dispersed reactive powder and fragments
    • Award Number: FA9550-19-1-0023; AFOSR YIP; Award Start Date: 2/15/2019; Anticipated Award Amount $431,127
  • Dr. Riccardo Bevilacqua – Propellant-free Spacecraft Relative Maneuvering via Atmospheric Differential Drag
    • Award Number: FA9550-12-1-0072; AFOSR YIP; Award Start Date: 4/15/2012; Award Amount $333,991

Introduced in 1985, the Office of Naval Research has supported Young Investigators, making it one of the oldest scientific research advancement programs in the U.S. The ONR Young Investigator Program is a highly competitive early-career award program in which academic achievement and potential for scientific breakthrough are key factors in the evaluation process based on past performance, technical merit, and potential for scientific breakthrough for the Navy and Marine Corps.

MAE faculty ONR YIP award winners include:

  • Dr. Riccardo Bevilacqua – Measuring Spatio-temporal Variations in Upper Atmosphere via Drag Controlled Nano Satellites and WINCS (Winds-ion-neutral-composition-suite)
    • Award Number: N00014-15-1-2087; ONR YIP; Award Start Date: 5/15/2013; Anticipated Award Amount $ 510,000

Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) (R35) provides support for the research in an investigator’s laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

MAE faculty MIRA R35 award winners include:

  • Dr. Chelsey Simmons – Model Systems of Mammalian Regeneration
    • Award Number: R35GM128831; NIH; Award Start Date 8/01/2018; Anticipated Award Amount $1,835,445

MAE’s graduate research program is subdivided into three research groups:

These three research groups are considered organizational and collaboration between faculty members and students within these divisions is highly encouraged and prevalent.  Overall, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering actively promotes interdisciplinary research and many MAE faculty members collaborate with other departments in the College, as well as other colleges across campus, including Medicine and Liberal Arts and Sciences.  

Please explore the sidebar menu to learn more about faculty member research interests, the three research groups and active research projects within MAE.