AEM is a Nationally Recognized Leader in Research
The AEM department has built broad expertise in the core foundations of aerospace engineering and mechanics: fluid dynamics, solid mechanics and materials, and aerospace systems. Our faculty is active and our research is in strong demand; in 2018 AEM had over $8.9 million in sponsored research expenditures. AEM research ranges from the design of hypersonic aircraft to the discovery of new active materials with unprecedented properties; from new control algorithms for drones to the discovery of MRI methods for measuring fluid flow in the respiratory system. Our research guides our undergraduate and graduate teaching and inspires our students. Our fundamental scientific approach to all our areas of teaching and research catalyzes an unmistakable atmosphere of collegiality in AEM.
Additionally, AEM researchers have ongoing collaborations at the University of Antwerp, Bonn, Carleton (Canada), Kiel, KU Leuven, Melbourne, Queensland, Canberra, Oslo, Oxford, Tel Aviv, the Ecole Centrale and Ecole Polytechnique, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; at research institutions such as the European Space Agency, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Sztaki), the Laboratoire de Mecanique des Solides (Paris), the Max Planck Institute on Mathematics in Sciences (Leipzig), the Norwegian Institute of Technology, the Advanced Institute of Italy (SISSA), the von Karman Institute for Fluid Mechanics (Belgium) and SYNTEF Energy Research (Norway). AEM researchers also currently lead the NSF sponsored KIM project (400 members in 29 countries) and "The Rise of Data in Materials Research" (participants from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK).
Right Now: Discovering nonlinear material properties
Ryan Elliott and his team are opening the possibility for “multi-state” materials, which behave differently depending upon fluctuating conditions such as heat and pressure.
Peter Seiler and team are developing intelligent algorithms to detect drone component issues at their early stages, so corrective action can prevent human injury.
Right Now: Harvesting Energy from a Minnesota Winter?
AEM researchers recently discovered new phase transforming materials that create electricity from small temperature differences in the environment. Students and faculty fabricated and tested a prototype here at the U.
Right Now: Stratospheric Balloon Flights
Student groups design, build, and fly high-power rockets and carry experiments on stratospheric balloon flights organized by AEM through the Minnesota Space Grant. These groups attract students broadly from the College of Science and Engineering.
Right Now: "Space Debris"
AEM researchers have been working on tracking space debris and predicting the drag on objects at high altitudes in order to start combating 'space junk' in our atmosphere.
Right Now: Can Airplanes be Silent?
Extraordinary 1,000,000 processor calculations performed by AEM researchers reveal the surprising source of noise from jet engines. They are also working on how to control this.
Right Now: Can Drones Advance Aircraft Safety & Agriculture?
AEM faculty are developing methods for using drones to test out ideas for making future aircraft fuel efficient and safe by collaborating with local companies to develop techniques for using drones to increase the productivity of agriculture.