graduate student research

Instructional Facilities

Additional AEM facilities provide a space for students and faculty to collaborate on student projects, research, and instruction.

Wind Tunnel Lab
5 Akerman Hall
This lab houses the two departmental low speed wind tunnels. Both of these tunnels operate at maximum speed of approximately 67 mph and have large cross-section test sections. On is open return and the other is closed return. The two larger wind tunnels are used in the AEM 4602W Aeromechanics Laboratory, AEM 4331 Aerospace Vehicle Design I, AEM 4333 and 4391 Aerospace Vehicle Design Build and AEM 4303 Flight Dynamics and Control courses and for demonstrations and student research projects.

Undergraduate ATK Aerospace & Design Lab
130B Akerman Hall
Faculty: W. Garrard, Y. Ketema, D. Gebre-Egziabher, B. Mettler, P. Seiler
The Undergraduate ATK Aerospace Design Lab (UDL) is built to accommodate a group of design teams. The design lab gives undergraduate students an opportunity to get their hands dirty and construct prototypes and proof-of-concept models. It is equipped with a selection of manual and power tools, and students have access to safe tool-use training and supervised work times. The ultimate goal is to help students get comfortable with using tools, gain valuable hands-on experience building prototypes and models, and learn safe practices in an industrial environment. The primary materials worked on in the UDL are wood, plastic, and foam.

Aeromechanics Lab
25 Akerman Hall
This lab serves to equip students with a firm understanding of experimental methods and design in fluid and solid mechanics. Students conduct wind tunnel and water channel experiments involving flow visualization, pressure, velocity, and force measurements. Students take experimental measurements of stresses, strains, and displacements in solids and structures, including stress concentrations, aerospace materials behavior, and structural dynamics.

Instrumentation Laboratory
3 Akerman Hall
Director: T.W. Shield
This laboratory is designed to equip students with a fundamental understanding of the measurement of a physical quantity using sensors, instrumentation amplifiers, and analog-to digital-converter for transfer to PC for data acquisition and analysis. The lab exposes the details of hardware operation by using a low-level approach and utilizing embedded controllers. Lab stations consist of an instrument rack containing a dual trace digital storage oscilloscope, digital voltmeter, function generator, power supply, single board computer, and bread board area.

Freshman Seminar Course Student Project Room
394 Shepherd Labs
Instructors: James Flaten and Brian Taylor
Freshman students are given the opportunity to explore Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics as a major. The seminar classes give first-year students exposure to work in a small class environment. AEM  offers two freshman seminars, both of which include flight testing field trips:

• Spaceflight with Ballooning (Fall Semester). Students design and build mini-spacecraft and use inexpensive high-altitude helium balloons to launch them into “near-space” — the upper reaches of the atmosphere with many of the same physical properties as outer space.

• Wright Brothers Redux: Build and Fly a Model Aircraft (Spring Semester). Students explore the aviation question, “How do airplanes fly?” by designing, building and flying small radio-controlled model airplanes.

Richard and Shirley DeLeo Undergraduate Student Lounge
This resource gives AEM undergraduate and other UMN students with amd interest in aeronautics and astronautics a place to gather and participate in community-building activities such as student engineering projects and event planning (for outreach events, laboratory tours, etc). Example project and event involvement includes the RC Airplane Project, the CanSat Project, and the AIAA Student Conference.

Supporting University Facilities

Faculty and students have access to additional University facilities for the purpose of research, student projects, and more. 

Anderson Student Innovation Labs
Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering Buildings
Lab Manager: Ben Guengerich
Three laboratories add more than 10,000 square feet of hands-on learning space for CSE students, all with state-of-the-art equipment and space for student group projects, design and capstone course projects, and student entrepreneurs.

Mechanical Engineering Building Room 2134 is designed primarily for prototyping and home to more than 20 3D printers, four laser cutters, an electronic assembly area, and meeting space for collaborative group work. Mechanical Engineering Building Room 176 upgrades a traditional machine shop with  top-of-the line equipment, and the lab in the Civil Engineering Building includes additional 3D printers, a 3D scanner for digitizing objects, a materials testing load frame, welding facilities, and a comprehensive collection of woodworking tools.

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) offers access to High Performance Computing (HPC), storage, and visualization resources. Supercomputers and labs are equipped a wide selection of software, application and database solutions, web and database hosting, and consulting. Walk-in workstation laboratories accessible at the MSI include the Basic Sciences Computing Lab; Computational Genetics Lab; Biomedical Modeling, Simulation, and Design Lab; Scientific Development and Visualization Lab; and LCSE-MSI Visualization Laboratory.

CSE Shop
Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 161
Shop Manager: Ron Bystrom
The UMN CSE Shop provides a wide array of machine shop services for research purposes, including fabrication, machining, welding, onsite inspection, and consulting.

Mechanical Engineering Student Shop
Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 176
Shop Manager: Peter Zimmerman
This shop gives Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and graduates and other students enrolled in CSE courses a well-equipped and safe environment to work on projects related to CSE coursework, thesis or approved special projects.

Characterization Facility
12 Shepherds Labs
Director: Greg Haugstad
This multi-user, shared instrumentation facility is optimized for materials research. Analytical capabilities include microscopy via electron beams, force probes and visible light, including cryogenic methods; elemental and chemical imaging including depth profiling; elemental, chemical and mass spectrometry; atomic and molecular structure analysis via X-ray, ion, or electron scattering; nanomechanical and nanotribological probes; and other tools for surface and thin-film metrology.

Institute for Rock Magnetism
150 John T. Tate Hall
This national multi-user laboratory provides state-of-the-art facilities and technical expertise to advance the greater geomagnetic community. Equipment includes vibrating sample magnetometers, an alternating gradient force magnetometer, a magnetic properties measurement system, susceptometers and susceptibility bridges, superconducting rock magnetometers, magnetizers/demagnetizers, Mossbauer spectrometers, and magnetic microscopy.

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
2 Third Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Director: Lian Shen
This lab is an interdisciplinary fluids research and educational facility of UMN CSE, with research focused at the intersection of fluid dynamics and major societal challenges in energy, environment, and health. Researchers integrate experiments in the laboratory and field with advanced computational tools and theory to obtain innovative, science-based solutions to real-world fluid-flow problems.