Research CentersEngineering Experiment Station
Byron W. Jones, Director and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs
The College of Engineering is committed to the concept that good teaching and good research complement each other to the benefit of the student, the public, and the faculty member. The experiment station is the division of the college responsible for the administration of research.
The research faculty of the experiment station is composed of members of all departments of the college. Researchers from the Engineering Experiment Station work closely with those from the Agricultural Experiment Station and with others from within the university on projects of mutual concern.
The activities of the Engineering Experiment Station are funded by state appropriations and by grants and contracts from governmental agencies and private industries.
Center of Excellence, Advanced Manufacturing Institute
The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is a research center of excellence for development and transfer of technology to manufacturing enterprises. In this center, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and a 20-member professional staff work on manufacturing-related research and development projects. Major areas of research include integrated and intelligent manufacturing systems, non-contact measurement and sensing in manufacturing, and intelligent processing of materials.
A major component of AMI is a Manufacturing Learning Center. MLC consists of a 22,000 square-feet manufacturing plant equipped with modern manufacturing hardware and software and staffed with 14 professional engineering staff. Manufacturing industries refer their new product development and manufacturing processes problems to MLC. Teams of students, faculty, and professional staff develop the needed technologies, design and build prototypes, design the manufacturing process, and deliver the desired deliverables to companies. Not only companies are assisted: undergraduate and graduate student interns get hands-on engineering experience and become productive engineers immediately upon graduation. Internships for students are available at the MLC for both graduate and undergraduate students.
Center for Hazardous Substance Research
The Center for Hazardous Substance Research is the regional headquarters for the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center. The center provides a focal point for research and research communication. Specific goals and objectives are to: (1) provide leadership and foster the conduct of hazardous substance research, (2) have a point of contact for industrial and governmental officials with hazardous waste research concerns, (3) develop a professional staff of faculty members who can conduct contract and grant research for industry and government, (4) maintain safe and proper environment for the conduct of hazardous and toxic substance research, (5) furnish well-equipped laboratories for hazardous substance research, (6) generate opportunities for research training of students in the area of hazardous substance research, and (7) enhance the climate for economic development in Kansas for the waste processing industry.
Center for Transportation Research and Training
The center conducts interdisciplinary research and training in the planning, design, and operation of rural and urban transportation systems.
The center carries out mission-oriented research concerning national, regional, state, and local transportation problems; disseminates the results of research through publication of reports and seminars for university, industry, and government representatives to assure that the results can and will be applied to the solution of practical transportation problems; and provides training to students and personnel from the transportation community to upgrade their professional competence.
The center also hosts an annual transportation conference for state and local public employees in the transportation sector.
In 1995 the U.S. Department of Transportation selected K-State to be one of five universities participating in the Region 7 Consortium for Transportation Research and Education-the mid-America Transportation Center. The consortium coordinates over $3 million in a four-state region.
In performing the stated missions of the center, systems analysis and synthesis techniques are emphasized, and the safety, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of transportation systems are not neglected.
Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science
The Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science was established to promote computational research, to develop better research computing facilities, to provide administrative support for computer-oriented activities, and to foster cooperative efforts among members of K-State's research community.
The activities of ICRES are interdisciplinary in nature and span a wide range of research topics with emphasis on computer modeling and simulation. ICRES serves as a university-wide center for the exchange of computational techniques among researchers and for the development of computer facilities dedicated to research. The institute presently is serving as a focus to develop high-end computing capabilities to meet the needs of computational researchers in engineering and science.
Other objectives of the institute include preparation of research proposals for computational research; the encouragement of creative uses of computers; the dissemination of computing information through seminars, conferences and institute publications; and the development of software for engineering and scientific research.
Institute for Environmental Research
The Institute for Environmental Research serves as a focal point for interdisciplinary research on thermal environmental engineering and the thermal interaction between people and their thermal environment.
The institute is administered by the College of Engineering and research is administered through the Engineering Experiment Station. It works in cooperation with academic departments from throughout the university. Faculty and students from these departments participate in the institute's research programs, use the facilities for their own research, and utilize the facilities for specialized graduate courses and seminars. Research funding is primarily from contracts with private companies and government agencies.
Research facilities are available for controlling and measuring thermal environmental parameters over a range of conditions, for measuring thermal characteristics of clothing, and for measuring human physiological variables.
Major facilities include: environmental chambers ranging in size from 45 to 420 square feet and with operating temperatures ranging from -30 to 150 degrees F.; thermal manikins for measuring clothing insulation; hot plates for measuring the thermal resistance of fabric or insulation systems; and an infrared thermal imaging system for measuring human body, clothing, or building surface temperature profiles.
Institute for Systems Design and Optimization
The Institute for Systems Design and Optimization promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching, and communications in systems engineering.
The institute is administered through the College of Engineering and the Engineering Experiment Station and provides channels of communication between disciplines throughout the university in engineering systems design.
Specific objectives of the institute include interdisciplinary research; systems seminars and conferences; preparation of research proposals; and providing assistance in recruiting of graduate students, post-doctoral students, and faculty.
Laboratory for Civil Infrastructure
The facility is a center for cooperation between academia, industry, and state departments of transportation. It includes a pavement Accelerated Testing Laboratory and a shake-table for dynamic testing of model buildings. Future plans include structural testing of bridge components and pre-stressed concrete girders.
The pavement research and testing activity is sponsored by the Midwest States Accelerated Testing Pooled Funds Program. It fulfills the needs of the surrounding states for full-scale testing and addresses research topics of national and international importance. Dynamic tests include applying simulated historic earthquake ground motion and acceleration to the base and foundations of structures.
The testing laboratory presents an opportunity for students to get exposed to civil engineering practice and actual methods of highway construction, pavement management, and performance monitoring. The students and laboratory personnel use instruments and techniques applied in the current engineering profession and interact with state transportation officials, professional engineers, pavement contractors, and construction companies.
For students, the lab provides practical training and part-time employment opportunities in a civil engineering professional environment.
Nuclear Reactor Facility/ Neutron Activation Analysis Laboratory
Neutron activation analysis finds application in diverse fields such as diagnostic medicine, plant improvement studies, nutrition studies, age dating of geological specimens, forensics, toxicology, and metabolic studies. Students involved in these projects emerge with a greater appreciation of interdisciplinary efforts and the importance of being able to communicate with scientists and technologists with varying backgrounds.
National Gas Machinery Laboratory
The National Gas Machinery Laboratory supports all technological advancements of the natural gas industry through research, education, service, and technology transfer. The National Gas Machinery Laboratory was established in 1995 by the Department of Mechanical Engineering with strong support from the ANR Pipeline Company. The results of the research efforts of the laboratory are brought to the classroom at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Team efforts involve students and faculty and provide valuable experiences for students who are interested in the energy industry.
The laboratory has grown into a nationally recognized research and educational facility with more than $2 million in accumulated funding the support of a steering committee made up of industry professionals. The laboratory plays an increasingly important role in the natural gas industry by better preparing new engineers for work in the energy industry. The laboratory transfers technology to existing natural gas industry employees through short courses at Kansas State University, presentations, and site visits.