Research in the MPRL
Approximately $2M is expended by MPRL faculty in externally sponsored research each year.
MPRL faculty are involved in a wide range of research activities. Principal research thrusts include:
- Fatigue and fracture studies of structural materials used in high temperature applications such as aerospace vehicles, jet engines, rockets and power plants.
- Development of fatigue, fracture and life prediction methodologies for application to components in the aerospace, power, microelectronics and ground vehicle industries.
- Development of constitutive equations for deformation and damage of structural metals, advanced alloys and composite materials, employing multiscale modeling at the interface of materials science and engineering mechanics.
- Quantitative characterization of microstructure and damage in engineering materials.
- Assessment of thermal and environmental aging on mechanical performance of structural materials.
- Experimental and computational strategies to support design of materials for multifunctional applications.
Research programs, supported by government and industry, are carried out under the supervision of faculty members drawn from various disciplines and Schools. These projects serve as the basis for theses and dissertations of students seeking M.S. And Ph.D. degrees. In addition to faculty and post-doctoral students, a technician, a secretary and an administrative assistant support MPRL activities.
There are major external opportunities involving mechanical properties research. First, there is a strong demand for M.S. and Ph.D. graduates with a background in mechanical properties of advanced engineering materials. Second, there is high federal priority on materials research and development with regard to processing and performance initiatives. Third, there is increasing national and international emphasis on telecommunications, electronics and superconductivity and development/characterization of new materials.