Centers and Labs

Labs and Research Groups

Duke Aeroelasticity

Acoustics, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity and aeromechanics are the 4As or Four Aces of the aerospace engineering program at Duke University. The Duke Aeroelasticity research group focuses on topics including turbomachinery, fixed wing aircraft, rotary wing aircraft, solar sail spacecraft, and more.

Microscale Physicochemical Hydrodynamics Laboratory

The Microscale Physicochemical Hydrodynamics Laboratory (µPHYL) is directed by Professor Chuan-Hua Chen. Our research deals with experimental and theoretical investigations of small-scale physicochemical hydrodynamics, where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other. By manipulating surface tension actively (e.g. by electric fields) and passively (e.g. by surface structures), we are develop innovative solutions for applications ranging from bioanalytical assays to microelectronics cooling.

GUIde Consortium for Aeroelasticity

The research sponsored by the GUIde Consortium is interdisciplinary in nature and requires research in the areas of structures and fluid mechanics. To address these challenges of blade efficiency and reliability, the GUIde Consortium was formed. The acronym “GUIde” stands for Government Agencies, Universities, and Industry working together on a common goal. Through cooperation, the organizations within the Consortium develop an enhanced view of how to achieve their objective. Consequently, the Consortium serves as “guides” for one another in solving challenges in controlling the vibration of bladed disks. The Consortium Center Director at Duke is Dr. Robert Kielb.

Computational Mechanics Lab

The Computational Mechanics Laboratory's research is focused on the development of new numerical methods that enable the investigation of emerging theories in applied mechanics, with a particular emphasis on the important role played by interfaces and defects. Our work is interdisciplinary and combines civil and mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, and materials science.

Magnetic Nanosystems Lab

Professor Yellen's research group investigates programmable techniques for manipulating colloidal particles with potential applications in electronic, photonic, and biomedical devices. The main focus of his group is the investigation of complex interactions between micrometer and nanometer sized colloidal particles and magnetic recording media commonly used in the data storage industry.

Robotics and Manufacturing Automation Lab

The Robotics and Manufacturing Automation Lab is a collection of professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students in the Pratt School of Engineering who are devoted to the development of command and control systems for robotics.

Soft Active Materials Laboratory

The research and education of Soft Active Materials Laboratory (SAMs Lab) are motivated by new materials and phenomena emerging on the interface between engineering and biology. We are currently particularly interested in soft materials which are easily deformed by multiple thermodynamic forces (e.g. stress, electric field, magnetic field, and chemical potential) and their applications in various technologies such as energy storage, energy harvesting, biofouling, drug delivery, tissue engineering, robotics, microfluidics, and water treatment.

Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory

The research of the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory is in the area of interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology including phenomena at the micro- and nanoscale. Thermodynamic aspects of photovoltaics, novel sustainable energy conversion technologies, and chemical reactions are an essential part of this research. The main focus is the combination of ideas, insights and results from traditional energy technology such as thermal power plants with novel and innovative technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaic cells based on micro- and nanostructured materials. An essential topic of this laboratory is the energetic and exergetic analysis of complex energy conversion and storage systems, especially those including renewable and sustainable energy solutions.

Equipment and Facilities

Wind Tunnel

The Duke University Wind Tunnel is a subsonic wind tunnel that is located in the basement of the Hudson building annex. The wind tunnel is a large experimental apparatus that is used frequently for aerospace engineering research as well as undergraduate class projects.