Research

Aerospace Engineering

The Department of Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University provides the foundation for students to be critical thinkers and to assume leadership positions in their careers. This is accomplished by combining the expertise of the faculty with world-class research facilities, including the ERC and the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. This results in a comprehensive research environment to develop fully the potential of the student to initiate, conduct and lead research programs. Current areas of concentration include fluid dynamics, computational field simulation, flight mechanics, aerodynamics, structures, structural dynamics, composite structures, and nondestructive testing and evaluation.

Originally established in 1986 with a gift from Honda R & D and the Dow Chemical Corporation, the Fatigue and Fracture Testing Laboratory provides graduate students and faculty with the capabilities to test advanced materials and structures under various loading conditions. The laboratory has also fulfills external contracts and grants for various government organizations and industries.

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering has research thrusts in the areas of biomedical engineering, bioenergy, environmental engineering, and precision agriculture. Basic and applied research expenditures for 2002-2003 were over $1.7 million. Example project areas include: tissue engineering of cartilage, improvement of orthopedic and dental implants, gasification or biomass for energy utilization, improvement of biodiesel fuel, best management practices for water management in urban and rural settings, restoration of wetlands and coastal beaches, remote sensing of crop stress, sensor development for precision farming, and robotic mechanization for traditional agriculture and horticultural applications. Funding for our research comes from such sources as NIH, the Whitaker Foundation, NSF, USDA, and NASA. The departmental faculty work with other researchers in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the College of Veterinary Medicine, ICET, the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and the Department of Biomaterials at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In all of our research, we are applying engineering techniques and approaches to solve problems in living systems. For further information about our faculty and their research, please visit our web site at www.abe.msstate.edu.

Chemical Engineering

The Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering has five primary research thrusts: Environmental Engineering, Biotechnology, Energy Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Chemical Engineering Fundamentals. These four thrust areas are supported by state-of-the-art research laboratories located in the Swalm Chemical Engineering Building. Each thrust area is supported by several different faculty members working together as a research team with funding from a wide variety of industrial, state, and federal funding sources. This research is carried out in 17 state-of-the-art research laboratories supporting research in the five thrust areas.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research in the MSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is broadly based. Projects are underway in the department’s thrust areas included Construction, Environmental and Water Resources, Geotechnical, Materials, Structures, and Transportation Engineering. Funding sources currently include, or have included: National Science foundation, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U. S. Navy, U. S. Department of Transportation, US EPA, US AID, and a variety of other agencies, corporations and organizations.  Efforts are also in place to expand applications of the department’s research expertise through collaborations with universities, agencies and corporations in Columbia and P.R. China.  Similar collaborations are in place with a significant number of US universities, companies, and consulting firms.

Construction Management and Engineering research focuses on mitigating the management challenges associated with the sustainability of the built environment including resource dynamics for civil infrastructure development, societal vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards, building information modeling and management, and mitigating conflicts, claims, and disputes in the construction industry. Some of the ongoing projects include studying how: social network analysis can be utilized to study transportation systems, game theory can be used to improve construction bidding strategies, system dynamics can help attain high performance project outcomes, the different sustainability rating systems can enable infrastructure development, national contractors can be better enabled to work in an evolving global world, financial derivatives can be used to improve conditions of construction workers, social media networks can be utilized in emergency management, and green sustainability initiatives can support smart grid infrastructures.

Environmental and Water Resource Engineering research focuses on quality and quantity of surface water, with areas of emphasis including computational environmental hydraulics, computational surface water quality modeling, sedimentation engineering, biofuels and their impacts, innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies, environmental security and restoration, and regional water resource management and optimization. Current and recent research projects include the development of improved hydraulic and water quality models and application of those models to assess water quality variations, such as in the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs); studies of sediments, sedimentation and sediment oxygen demand and nutrient release (sediment diagenesis); and monitoring, assessment, prediction and management of water, sediments and nutrients at the field, watershed and regional scale.  In addition, studies of alternatives for developing biomass for alternative fuel production and studies on biological fuel cells are underway.  Management of synthetic, resistant, and hazardous materials has been a focus of research during the past decade.  So has optimizing water and wastewater by reducing energy cost and controlling process and operation parameters.  This work has recently translated to optimizing aquaculture systems to minimizing operational, management and harvest costs while improving product quality. Finally, current research also involves microbial ecology of engineered and contaminated environments.

Geotechnical Engineering research mainly focuses on the areas which interface with two critical fields of hazard and energy. Research interests include geomechanics in energy applications (e.g., oil/gas, enhanced geothermal systems and carbon sequestration), application of geophysical methods and remote sensing techniques in geo-systems health monitoring and geohazard assessment, geosynthetic- reinforced earth structures, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and design of embankment dams and levee systems. Research projects are being performed using analytical, numerical and experimental methods. A state-of-the-art soil mechanics laboratory supports the experimental part of research projects and cutting-edge high performance computing resources through MSU’s High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) are utilized to perform fully coupled numerical simulations and rigorous analytical solutions. Recent research projects include developing a multi-scale health monitoring system for earth dams and levees, numerical simulation and studying induced seismicity due to CO2 and fluid injection in storage and utilization operations, seismic design and analysis of unreinforced and reinforced earth structures, effect of sample preparation technique on fully softened shear strength of clay shale,  and use of geosynthetics for various geotechnical engineering applications.

Materials engineering research is supported by well-equipped laboratories for testing pavement materials, and select structural materials.  Research emphasis is placed on civil engineering infrastructure applications.  Highway and airfield pavements are infrastructure components of particular interest.  Characterizing hot mixed asphalt (HMA) or warm mixed asphalt (WMA) as a total mixture or as individual constituents is an area of focus.  Beneficial re-use by way of recycling infrastructure or stabilizing fine grained soils are also areas of focus.  Research efforts in recent years have led to publications regarding: asphalt concrete, bituminous emulsions, chemically stabilized soils, concrete, fiber reinforced polymers, geosynthetics, recycled infrastructure, unbound aggregate or soil, and wood.  Laboratory and field experimental work are areas of emphasis, which often includes instrumentation and data acquisition.  Coupling experimental activities with finite element analysis is also an area of emphasis.

Structural Engineering research includes application of structural mechanics, finite element analysis, structural reliability, and physical testing of steel, reinforced concrete, timber, and composites structures. Recent research projects include: finite element analysis of wave impacts on bridge superstructures; experimental evaluation of the static and dynamic mechanical response of damaged limestone; numerical and experimental evaluation of the mechanical response of damaged structural magnesium alloys; allowable vibrations on green concrete; sustainability of concrete homes; and the performance of residential safe rooms and shelters in a violent tornado.

Transportation engineering research focuses on applications of new technologies and advanced modeling techniques to solving existing and emerging transportation problems and developments of new methodologies for characterizing and optimizing physical and cyber transportation systems. Research interests include modeling and simulation of transportation systems, emergency transportation operations and transportation resilience, intermodal transportation, connected vehicle applications, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), transportation and related network infrastructure, traffic flow characteristics, and human mobility and activity patterns. Recent and current research projects include development of integrated corridor management system, real time transit evacuation systems, active traffic control system to reduce emission and fuel consumption, intermodal freight transportation planning, microscopic traffic simulation and modeling, development of trustworthy intermodal traffic measures, study of traffic flow in freeway work zones, infrastructure network reliability and resilience, logistics transportation systems planning, bio-fuel supply chain design, multimodal urban transportation systems.

Computer Science and Engineering

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering places emphasis on three research focus areas: high-end computing and visualization, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. Faculty members in the high-end computing and visualization are participate in projects that involve parallel computing, scientific and information visualization, computer graphics, time-varying volume visualization, computational field simulations on high-end computing platforms, biomedical imaging, and distributed interactive simulation frameworks.

Faculty members working in the area of artificial intelligence conduct research in the areas of planning under uncertainty, neural networks, genetic algorithms, data mining, knowledge discovery, and bioinformatics.

The software engineering faculty members are conducting research in software design, testing, and evolution; computer security, information assurance, computer forensics, software metrics, and the assurance of software for critical systems.

Research projects are funded by a variety of funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Oceanographic Office, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, the Army Research Laboratory, and NASA. In addition, faculty members participate in research with national laboratories and private companies and industries.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is engaged in numerous funded research programs with research awards in excess of $9 million in FY 2002. Departmental centers and laboratories include the Emerging Materials Research Laboratory, the High Voltage Laboratory, the Institute for Signal and Information Processing, the Mississippi Center for Applied Semiconductor Processing, the Microsystems Prototyping Laboratory, and the Telecommunication and Information Technology Laboratory. ECE faculty members also participate in university research centers including the ERC - GeoResources Institute and the ERC - Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. Fundamental areas of research include: Wide band gap semiconductor materials, power electronics, digital image processing, speech processing, telecommunications, self-timed digital design automation, and high-voltage engineering. Funding agencies include the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others.

Industrial and Systems Engineering

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering faculty has a strong research program in the areas of applied operations research, ergonomics, logistics and transportation systems, management systems engineering, and production systems. The Department's research activities focus on analyzing and modeling system dynamics and human performance in order to improve system design and organizational performance. The research is supported by external funding from many government agencies (e.g. National Science Foundation, Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Commerce, NASA, State of Mississippi), as well as large and small private companies (e.g. Nissan, Northop Grumman, Whirlpool, Delta & Pine Land Company, Mueller Industries). The Department also plays a major role in two interdisciplinary research centers: the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and the National Center for Intermodal Transportation.

Mechanical Engineering

The faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is very active in research and graduate education, with degrees offered at both the master's and doctoral levels. In keeping with the broad technical mission of mechanical engineering education, the department has both the faculty expertise and the facilities to conduct a wide variety of design, analysis, and testing functions. The primary research strengths of the faculty are in the areas of heat transfer, fluid mechanics, mechanical systems, mechanics, materials, and manufacturing. The current research projects in the heat transfer/fluid mechanics area include: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Heat Exchanger Design, Heat Transfer Enhancement, Energy Conservation, Thermal and Fluid Systems Modeling, Advanced HVAC Technology, and Uncertainty Analysis. The current research projects in the mechanical systems/materials area include: Computational Solid Mechanics, Finite Element Analysis, Metal Casting Technology, Fatigue and Fracture of Metals, and Composite Materials.