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 and other extramurally supported activities in the college. The experiment station works with faculty in all departments of the college to foster development of nationally and internationally competitive research programs. The experiment station also interacts with other colleges to facilitate collaborative research throughout the university.
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 Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation center of excellence. AMI provides a spectrum of resources to propel innovation and accelerate the economic development of Kansas through the advancement and utiliza-tion of manufacturing technologies.
AMI sponsors manufacturing-related research and development projects both on campus and throughout the region. Seventeen professional staff members work with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students on manu-facturing related research and development projects. A key focus is the development of commercializable technologies, products, and processes. Primary areas of emphasis: advanced modeling and computational analysis; advanced sensors and control technologies; advanced materials processing; and accelerated life-testing capabilities.
AMI utilizes its research and engineering expertise to develop and transfer new technologies, products, and processes and to provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs and existing manufacturers. AMI operates a full-service product and process development center equipped with cutting-edge manufacturing hardware and software. Engineering students are employed to work on these projects and gain valuable professional experience, hands-on training, and a connection to potential career opportunities.
Center for Hazardous Substance Research
The Center for Hazardous Substance Research is the headquarters for the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center and the National Environmental Evaluation and Remediation Consortium. 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 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.
Training includes the development of short courses, handbooks, manuals, and other training materials developed under the Traffic Assistance Services for Kansas and Superpave Certification Training for personnel engaged in the construction of Kansas' highways.
The center conducts close to $400,000 annual research for the Kansas Department of Transportation under the Kansas Transportation and New Developments program.
The center also hosts an annual transportation conference for state and local public employees in the transportation sector.
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.
Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory
The facility is a center for cooperation between academia, industry, and state departments of transportation. Its capabilities include accelerated testing of pavements and 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.
The lab provides practical training and part-time employment opportunities to students in a civil engineering professional environment.
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.
Nuclear Reactor Facility/ Neutron Activation Analysis Laboratory
Kansas State University has a TRIGA Mark II pulsing nuclear reactor, a radiation instruments calibration facility, and a well-equipped neutron activation analysis laboratory. The reactor, which is licensed for steady-state operation to 250 kilowatts and pulsed operation to 250 megawatts, is used for teaching and research by many departments. The reactor is used in part for radiation effects studies, neutron radiography, fission-track studies, and for neutron activation analysis, an analytical technique that is essentially nondestructive and offers sensitivities greater than one part per billion for some elements.
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.
Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies (SMART) Laboratory
Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies Laboratory has capabilities, available at only one other U.S. university, to design and fabricate novel radiation detectors for neutrons, gamma rays, and X rays. The SMART Laboratory equipment includes an assortment of semiconductor processing equipment, including a linear drive diamond- cutting wheel, two precision diamond wire saws, a wafer dicing saw, precision lapping and polishing machines, a custom chemo-mechanical polishing system, a custom six-pocket e-beam evaporator, a dual filament evaporator, an ion mill, an inductively-coupled plasma reactive-ion etching system, a vacuum rapid thermal annealing system, mask aligners, microscopes, ovens, grinders, scribers, and an assortment of various furnaces for annealing, sintering, diffusions, and oxidations. Central to the SMART lab is a class-1000 clean room where radiation detectors are fabricated. The SMART lab has numerous furnaces to grow semiconductor crystals for room temperature gamma spectrometers. Detectors are built from start to finish in readily deployable packages. A variety of detectors have been developed including micropocket fission detectors, semiconductor neutron detectors, and room-temperature gamma ray spectrometers. These are presently in use at several national laboratories.
The SMART facility is available to students and faculty for research and development of devices requiring standard equipment for VLSI processing and device fabrication. The SMART laboratory and a dedicated Radiation Measurements Teaching Laboratory are used to provide students with training in all aspects of radiation detection and measurements.