Civil engineering faculty are actively engaged in a wide range of research areas including construction management, geotechnical engineering, materials, structures, transportation and water resources. Geotechnical research pertains to in situ testing of soils, fiber-optic sensors in soils and evaluation of pavements. Research in materials is being conducted in the areas of concrete materials at a fundamental level using nanotechnology to characterize their mechanical properties, fiber-reinforced concrete and nondestructive testing technologies, and stabilization of waste materials for beneficial uses. Structural engineering research is in the areas of wind and seismic engineering, control of vibrations, catastrophe risk modeling and wireless instrumentation development. Transportation research combines mathematical programing, network science and behavioral modeling to develop new transportation paradigms. Research activities include integration of novel truck datasets and analytics into enhanced models, development of business strategies for sustainable transportation, resilience in global interdependent systems and technological opportunities for freight transportation. Water resources research includes numerical groundwater modeling, design and performance of stormwater management systems, and physical modeling of unstable saltwater systems in groundwater.
Laboratories for research and instructional activities are available in the areas of materials and structures and soil mechanics. The materials and structures laboratory is equipped with several universal testing machines for physical testing, and equipment and instrumentation for experimental stress analysis. The soil mechanics laboratory contains commercial equipment for evaluating the engineering properties of soils.
Faculty research has been supported through several grants from the federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Research Council of Canada, Florida Department of Energy, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Energy Management, Florida Department of Community Affairs/FEMA etc.
Research areas for construction management faculty are project management, sustainable construction, construction materials and methods, risk management and computer modeling. Construction project management topics include project delivery systems, project performance evaluation and productivity. Sustainable construction areas include energy-efficient residential and commercial construction, renewable energy systems, project lifecycle energy projections, microgrid/smartgrid development and integration and green/smart buildings. Construction materials and methods research includes innovative materials and techniques for rapid construction, use of reclaimed asphalt, chemical soil stabilization with asphalt emulsion, cement and lime. Risk management includes risk mitigation during construction and operation of projects, disaster mitigation and disaster response. Computer modeling includes rapid construction prototyping using 3D, 4D and 5D building information modeling (BIM) and use of BIM for as-built construction drawings and facility operations.
The construction management program uses the civil engineering materials, geotechnical and transportation, laboratories for materials and soil-related research. Several computer laboratories are available for BIM related research. Additionally, the construction management program is in the process of building a high-energy efficient building on campus that will be used as a hands-on laboratory during construction and operation.
Faculty research has been supported through the Florida Department of Transportation, Turkish Airlines, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Office of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Research topics in engineering management are interdisciplinary in nature. The student may select a topic from their original engineering field, or a topic that spans several fields with the approval of the student’s major advisor and committee. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, project engineering, quality engineering, technology commercialization, engineering logistics and situational analysis. The student is able to conduct research under the master’s thesis option.
Mechanical engineering faculty are actively engaged in a wide range of research including areas of energy, robotics, nonlinear dynamics and vibrations, biomechanics, materials, combustion and propulsion, structural controls and dynamic systems, control systems, instrumentation, optimization, laser material processing, and design and manufacturing. Dynamics research pertains to nonlinearity and noise in small-scale vibrational devices, the design of micro- and nano-scale resonators for sensing and signal processing applications. Materials research is being conducted in analytical and numerical models in phase coarsening. In the area of energy combustion and propulsion, research is focused on areas such as zero-energy building, inverse heat transfer problems and production and engineering of gas turbines and rotating machinery. In the area of design and manufacturing, research is being conducted in design process using networks and artifacts of early design. Laser materials research focuses on high-precision processing of virtually any material, micro- and nano-structuring, surface functionalization, cutting, drilling and polishing of gentle materials and In-volume processing of transparent materials
Major laboratories include the Robotics and Spatial Systems Laboratory (RASSL); Dynamic Systems and Controls (DSC) Laboratory; Laser Optics and Instrumentation Laboratory (LOIL); Design and Manufacturing Research Laboratory (DMRL); Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) Laborator,y and the laser materials processing laboratory among others. Faculty are also actively engaged in Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) laboratory.
RASSL is equipped with several industrial robots as well as a state-of-the-art autonomous mobile robot. DSC laboratory is equipped with two electromagnetic single axis shakers and an 8-ft. single axis motion control table for low frequency vibration excitation, and a variety of motion sensors and other systems. DMRL is equipped with industry-standard software programs for advanced computer-aided design, manufacturing, simulation, design automation, knowledge-based engineering, and product lifecycle management. The lab also has several eye tracking devices, an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, a driving simulator, and a collection of home-grown software programs. In LOIL, the current technologies in continuous wave and short-pulse lasers and optics are used to develop new techniques for measuring and characterizing material properties for biomedical and material processing applications. The laser material processing laboratory has several optical tables and material processing workstations. CAV is equipped with a Polaris GEM development vehicle that includes a number of advanced precision systems.
Faculty research has been supported through several grants from National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA (Marshal), NASA (Headquarters), Energy Florida, Department of Agriculture and industries such as Aerojet Rocketdyne and Lockheed Martin. Mechanical engineering faculty have also been recipients of the NSF career award and several NSF I-Corp projects.