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Research

Facilities

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a variety of facilities to support student projects and research. These spaces enable students to turn ideas into physical reality while gaining experience with industry standard prototyping, manufacturing and instrumentation equipment.

Bray Lab

The Bray Lab machine shop is a full manufacturing facility including manual and CNC lathes and milling machines, a laser cutter, a CNC router, various rapid prototyping capabilities (3D printers), band saws, drill presses, and complementary equipment. To learn more, visit the Bray Lab website.

Human Factors

The Human Factors Research Lab (HFRL) and Human Factors Usability Lab (HFUL) have a wide range of devices using for measuring, assessing, prototyping, and testing. In the HFRL, this includes devices for physical and digital prototyping and digital prototyping. Prototypes can be tested in the HFUL, which includes high-definition video and audio recording equipment for a more realistic testing environment.


Faculty Laboratories

Below, find a few examples of the diverse, dynamic research happening across the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Learn more.



Sustainable Electrochemical Energy Lab
Professor Iryna Zenyuk

At the Sustainable Electrochemical Energy Lab (SEELab), we focus on fundamental understanding of coupled transport phenomena and reaction kinetics in electrochemical energy-storage and conversion technologies. The group is motivated by the basic science, and aims at resolving technological hurdles to commercialization next-generation fuel cells for transportation sector, as well as grid-storage technologies for sustainable, low-emission energy systems. SEELab specializes in design of advanced diagnostics, material development and characterization along with computational modeling of electrochemical energy systems.

Image: A 3D X-ray computed tomography volume-rendered non-precious metal catalyst layer on top of micro-porous and gas-diffusion layers.





Microscale Sensors and Systems Laboratory
Professor Robert White, 200 Boston Ave Suite 2700

This laboratory is concerned primarily with the development of microscale (MEMS) transducers. MEMS devices are fabricated with minimum dimensions on the order of 1 micron through procedures finding their roots in semiconductor processing. In addition to traditional semiconductor materials, we also experiment with new material systems with particular application in mechanical transduction. The lab follows device design through all stages from concept, to mathematical modeling, fabrication, packaging, and testing. There is an emphasis on acoustic sensing in the lab including aeroacoustic sensing and biomedical ultrasound. In addition to microscale sensing, we also work in the broader area of acoustics, vibrations, dynamics, and controls. We also have an interest in computational cochlear mechanics and biomimetic sensing. The design and testing of low noise electronics and automation for MEMS testing also form part of our activity. The lab is closely allied with the Tufts Micro and Nano Fabrication Facility, where we perform our fabrication activities.



Superconductivity and Fusion Research Laboratory
Professors Luisa Chiesa and Douglas Matson, Bray Lab

This laboratory has facilities to support development of advanced materials for applications in superconductivity and fusion technology. Superconductivity research involves studying superconducting materials and their electro-mechanical properties when used in magnets or cables for fusion energy or energy transport and storage systems applications. The lab focuses on stress-strain characterization of superconducting wires and tapes. Cables composed of multiple wires are also studied and the tests to optimize their design and performance include collaborations with MIT and national laboratories (Fermilab, Berkeley National lab and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory). Fusion technology research involves investigations in the science of welding, brazing and soldering with an emphasis on microstructural control during solidification. The lab houses sophisticated sample preparation equipment used in the production of ingots for testing in collaboration with scientists at NASA and Sandia National Laboratory. The laboratory also contains basic chemical processing unit operations for fabrication and testing of thermal barrier aerogel composites.






Tufts Micro- and Nano-Fabrication Facility
Professor. Robert White, 200 Boston Ave Suite 2700

This multi-user facility provides micro- and nano-fabrication capabilities to the Tufts community. The lab is a class 1000 to class 10,000 cleanroom facility. Capabilities include NUV contact lithography (minimum feature size ~750 nm), thin film sputter deposition, plasma etching, a variety of "wet" chemical processes including wet etching, PDMS micromolding for microfluidics, and electroplating, vapor phase Parylene deposition, wafer sub dicing, wire bonding, and a suite of metrology tools. The laboratory is open to graduate students, undergraduate students, post doctoral researchers, and faculty from across the University. Users span multiple departments and multiple schools. In addition to traditional glass and silicon microsystems, recent projects have included work on biomaterial thin films, microfluidics, and optical microsystems.