Dynamics, Controls and Human Machine Interaction

The time evolution (dynamics) and control of natural and designed systems is fundamental to all engineering and science. In recent decades much of the attention has been directed toward nonlinear systems, autonomous, uninhabited, or remotely controlled systems robotics and the interface between humans and machines. Duke has one of the leading research groups in these developments.

Dynamics, controls and human machine interaction research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science centers on several areas including:

  • Modeling and control of complex dynamical systems
  • Control of structure-borne noise
  • Fluid-structure interaction (aeroelasticity)
  • Noise and vibration suppression
  • Nonlinear dynamics and chaos
  • Robotics

Examples of research projects include active control and closed-loop identification of aeroelastic instabilities in a variety of transportation vehicles; active control of sound transmission, optimal collocated and multivariable hybrid active-passive vibration control design; approximate dynamic programming; reconfigurable control of morphing aircraft; on-line learning in neural and Baysian networks; sensor planning for integrated surveillance systems; intelligent systems for criminal profiling; sensor modeling, data acquisition and management, data fusion in the context of swarm robotics; and coordination and control of multiple robots in flight and on the ground.

Opportunities for Graduate Study

The departments offers an M.S./Ph.D. study track in mechanical engineering with a core in mechanics, dynamics and controls that encompasses acoustics, control, dynamics, intelligent systems, and robotic control and automation.

The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) in Mechanical Engineering. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience. Students have the flexibility to specialize on topics of dynamics, acoustics, intelligent systems, and robotic control and automation relevant to preparation for an applied engineering career.

Faculty

Leila Bridgeman

Leila Bridgeman

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Robust and optimal control, linear matrix inequalities (LMIs), model predictive control (MPC), delayed systems, input-output stability, passivity.

Daniel Buckland

Daniel Buckland

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Research Interests: Medical device development, acute care technology, space medicine, remote medicine, autonomous medical devices.

Patrick James Codd

Patrick James Codd

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Research Interests: Minimally invasive neurosurgical device development and neurosurgical robotics.

Earl H. Dowell

Earl H. Dowell

William Holland Hall Professor

Research Interests: Aeroelasticity, acoustics, nonlinear dynamics, structural dynamics, and unsteady aerodynamics.

Silvia Ferrari

Silvia Ferrari

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Design and analysis of methods and algorithms for learning and computational intelligence. Theory and approximation properties of network models, such as neural and probabilistic networks, for the purpose of enhancing their learning abilities and improving reliability....

Henri P. Gavin

Henri P. Gavin

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, seismic hazard mitigation for building contents, nonlinear dynamics, system identification, optimal control with application to systems with controllable damping.

Laurens E. Howle

Laurens E. Howle

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Hydroelastic modeling of deformable structures, transport in thermal and chemical systems, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, nonlinear and complex systems, heat and mass transport in biological systems, stability of fluid motions, machine learning, data mining,...

Jason Jerald

Jason Jerald

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Josiah D. Knight

Josiah D. Knight

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and dynamics

Regis Kopper

Regis Kopper

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sci

Research Interests: 3D user interfaces, novel interaction techniques and immersive display systems.

Genevieve Lipp

Genevieve Lipp

Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Brian Mann

Brian Mann

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nonlinear dynamics and vibration utilizing analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques. Fundamental investigations of phenomenon and application areas where dynamical systems theory plays an important role.

Lawrence N. Virgin

Lawrence N. Virgin

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Study of the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems, including the investigation of the fundamental nature of nonlinear systems based on a mathematical description of their underlying equations of motion and the application of recent results from nonlinear dynamical systems...

Benjamin Yellen

Benjamin Yellen

Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Development of single cell analysis tools using magnetic circuits, and multiparticle assembly of colloidal crystals

Michail Zavlanos

Michail Zavlanos

Mary Milus Yoh and Harold L. Yoh, Jr. Associate Professor

Research Interests: Networked control systems, distributed control and optimization, hybrid control, with applications to robotic, sensor, communication, and biomolecular networks.