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Mechanical Engineering Research

Tom Turng using a micro-injection molding machine

Advanced Manufacturing

Our research builds a scientific understanding of advanced manufacturing processes, observing the complex physical phenomena at play in manufacturing processes, developing physics-based models to predict outcomes, control these processes, and transfer this fundamental knowledge to industry.

We conduct exciting research in additive manufacturing (design for and simulation of high-energy, high-speed, in-process observation of polymer, metal and solid-state-metal additive manufacturing), biomanufacturing, sustainable manufacturing (energy efficiency and recycling strategies), smart manufacturing (embedding sensors in cutting tools), polymer manufacturing (modeling, simulating and designing for polymer injection molding; polymer foams and nanocomposites), and metal manufacturing (ultra-precision machining, solid-state joining, metal-matrix nanocomposites, and laser polishing).


Faculty affiliates

Laboratories and Centers

Lianyi Chen

Lianyi Chen

Metals Design and Manufacturing Lab

Prof. Chen’s research involves studying the metal additive manufacturing process. By gaining a better understanding of the fundamental physics and dynamics at play within this complex process, Chen aims to design new processing technologies that enable manufacturers to 3D print consistent, highly reliable metal parts.

Sangkee Min

Sangkee Min

Manufacturing Innovation Network Laboratory

The MIN lab’s mission is to develop Appropriate Technology for Society (ATS) by advancing four key areas pertinent to advanced manufacturing –Ultra-Precision Machining (UPM)Sustainable Smart Manufacturing (SSM)Burr Minimization & Prevention (BMP) and Manufacturing for Design (MFD).

Frank Pfefferkorn

Frank Pfefferkorn

Laser-assisted Multi-scale Manufacturing Laboratory

The LAMSML, led by Frank Pfefferkorn, helps move advanced manufacturing processes from arts, to science-based technologies that benefit industry. They are actively advancing their understanding of friction stir welding, laser polishing, cryogenic machining, additive-subtractive manufacturing, and micro end milling.

Pavana Prabhakar youtube

Pavana Prabhakar

Manufacturing and Mechanics Laboratory

The Prabhakar Research Group Manufacturing and Mechanics Laboratory works on unraveling the mechanics of failure in reinforced composites under multi-physics environments, including extreme temperatures (high/low), moisture, salinity, and microbes. The aim is to enable damage-tolerant and resilient lightweight structures for sustaining such environmental stressors along with mechanical loadings like dynamic impact and fatigue.

Polymer Engineering Center PEC

Tim Osswald & Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng

Polymer Engineering Center

The PEC is co-lead by Tim Osswald and Lih-Sheng Turng. Research interests at the PEC range from traditional plastics and polymeric/metal composites to bio-based polymers, and composites; from conventional to emerging and innovative processes; from geometric modeling and prototyping to process control and automation; from nanofilm and nanocomposites to microcellular plastics; and from advanced modeling and simulation to Internet and Web-based tools for design and manufacturing.

Mike Zinn REACH Lab

Mike Zinn

Robotics Engineering, Applied Control, and Haptics

The REACH Lab is focused on the investigation of a wide range of human-centered robotics topics including medical robotics, manufacturing, and haptics. Our projects are collaborative in nature and involve researchers from a broad set of disciplines, including the departments of computer science, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering and various departments in the UW-Madison medical school.