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

  • In FY 2021, UF MAE had $16.2M in external research expenditures across more than 200 sponsored projects.

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:

MAE faculty CAREER award winners include:

  • Dr. Ashok Kumar – CAREER: Electrophotographic Solid Freeform Fabrication (1999)
  • Dr. Zhomin Zhang – PECASE: Spectral Directional Radiative Properties of Rough Si at Elevated Temperatures (1999)
  • Dr. Tony Schmitz – CAREER: Internet Tool for High-speed Machining Parameter Selection by Receptance Coupling Substructure Analysis (2003)
  • Dr. Benjamin Fregly – CAREER: Virtual Prototyping of Artificial Knees (2003)
  • Dr. Brian Mann – CAREER: Measurement and Predictive Dynamics of Meso-scale Milling (2004)
  • Dr. Warren Dixon – CAREER: Nonlinear Control of Human Skeletal Muscle (2006)
  • Dr. Andreas Haselbacher – CAREER: Predictive Simulations of Dilute-Dense Multiphase Flows and Application to Mixed Avalanches (2009)
  • Dr. Prabir Barooah – CAREER: Distributed Estimation and Control for Energy Efficient Buildings (2010)
  • Dr. Henry Sodano – CAREER: Nanowire Interfaces for Increased Strength and Multifunctionality (2010)
  • Dr. Mrinal Kumar – CAREER: An Integrated Hybrid Forecasting Framework for Increased Wind Power Penetration (2013)
  • Dr. Yong Huang – CAREER: Understanding Process-Induced Damage in Laser-Assisted Cell Direct Writing – Bridging Manufacturing Science and Biomedical Research (2013)
  • Dr. Thomas Angelini – CAREER: Stability and Dynamics of Tissue Cell Assemblies in Yield Stress Materials (2014)
  • Dr. Ryan Houim – CAREER: Understanding the Influence of Thermal Radiation on the Ignition and Propagation of Dust Explosions 2020

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. Mrinal Kumar – A Unified Dynamic Information Guided Particle Framework (2015)
  • Dr. Ryan Houim – Characterization on the Scaling Effects and Afterburning Processes of Explosively Dispersed Reactive Powder and Fragments (2019)

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. Steven Miller – Turbulent Statistics and Associated Acoustic Sources Near Shock Wave Shear Layer Interactions (2017)
  • Dr. Mark Sheplak – A MEMS-Based Cavity Monitoring System for the Control of High-Speed Supercavitating Weapons (2000)

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 (2018)

The objective of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to identify and engage rising stars in junior research positions, exposing them to DoD needs and DARPA’s program development process. The YFA program provides funding, mentoring and industry and DoD contacts to awardees early in their careers so they may develop their research ideas in the context of national security needs. The long-term goal of the YFA program is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and National Security issues.

MAE faculty DARPA YFA award winners include:

  • Dr. Youping Chen – Predicting Materials Properties from their Microstructural Architecture (2010)
  • Dr. Steven Miller – Analytical Prediction of Near-Field Hypersonic Aerodynamics (2021)

UF MAE is currently engaged in research initiatives across more than 200 sponsored projects and is the lead department on more than 100 externally sponsored awards. These research leadership efforts include the following large (> $1M) current research awards:

  • Dr. Matthew Hale – Task Order 15-0048:  Guidance Navigation and Control: Flight Laboratory Operation – (USAF Eglin AFB, 2015)
  • Dr. S.A. Sherif – University of Florida Industrial Assessment Center (UF-IAC) – (DOE, 2016)
  • Dr. Sivaramakrishnan Balachandar – Controlling Spray Formation and Dispersion – (ONR (through Cornell University), 2016)
  • Dr. Norman Fitz-Coy – Characterization of Fragments Resulting from the DebriSat/DebrisLV Hyper-velocity Impact Experiment – (NASA, 2017)
  • Dr. Chelsey Simmons – Model Systems of Mammalian Regeneration – (NIH, 2018)
  • Dr. Warren Dixon – Center of Excellence: Assured Autonomy in Contested Environments – (AFOSR, 2019)
  • Dr. Greg Sawyer – BioTribology Research for Contact Lenses and Ocular Health – (ALCON, 2020)
  • Dr. Saeed Moghaddam – Membrane-Based Ionic Liquid Absorption System for Ultra-Efficient Dehumidification and Heating – (DOE, 2020)
  • Dr. John Conklin – Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Charge Management Device (CMD) Engineering Development – (NASA, 2021)
  • Dr. Hugh Fan – Multiplexed Detection of Mosquito-Borne Viruses at the Point-of-Care – (NIH, 2021)
  • Dr. Hugh Fan – Multiplexed Airborne Virus Collection and Detection at the Point-of-Care – (NIH, 2021)