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Research Centers

Engineering 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

Bradley A. Kramer, Director

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute, a component of the College of Engineering and a Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation Center of Excellence, provides an array of resources to advance technologies, people, and companies through collaborative engineering and business partnerships.

With a full-service product and process development and training center, equipped with cutting-edge manufacturing hardware and software, AMI utilizes its applied research expertise to develop and transfer new technologies and provide technical assistance to industry. Services include product design and engineering, manufacturing process development and technology development, and commercialization.

The AMI intern program is focused on supplying engineering and business students hands-on training and a connection to potential career opportunities, in addition to providing employers a resource of experienced candidates.

Center for Hazardous Substance Research

Larry E. Erickson, Director

Lakshmi Reddi, Associate Director

The Center for Hazardous Substance Research is the administrative home to the Urban Operations Environmental Laboratory (UOEL), community outreach programs for the Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center (MHSRC), and the National Environmental Evaluation and Remediation (NEER) Consortium. The UOEL is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the MHSRC is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The NEER Consortium is a partnering organization for the center's multidisciplinary, multiparty projects. The center's activities primarily involve environmental assessments and development of new technologies that minimize environmental impacts of hazardous substances; research conferences and publications on cleanup of hazardous substances in soil and groundwater; and free technical assistance to citizens and other stakeholders who are providing input on cleanup and reuse of EPA Superfund, brownfields, tribal, and other types of sites. Teams of faculty and students conduct this work. More information about the center is available at www.engg.ksu.edu/CHSR/.

Center for Transportation Research and Training

Eugene R. Russell, Sr., Director

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 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

Lakshmi N. Reddi, Director

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

Virgil Wallentine, Director

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 serves 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

Steven J. Eckels, Director

Elizabeth A. Mccullough, Co-Director

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

L. T. Fan, Director

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

J. Kenneth Shultis, Director

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

Kirby S. Chapman, Director

The National Gas Machinery Laboratory helps the natural gas transmission industry move natural gas safely, reliably, and cost-effectively throughout the nation. With thousands of reciprocating engines that power natural gas pipelines across the county, these engines need low-cost retrofit technologies to meet today's standards for clean air and efficiency. Through a strong partnership with industry representatives, research at the NGML focuses on meeting these challenges.

The results of the research efforts at the NGML 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. Mechanical engineering students employed at the NGML on a part-time basis receive hands-on experience that complements the solid grounding in engineering fundamentals learned in the classroom. Upon graduation, these students are highly sought by, and many of them accept positions within, the natural gas transmission industry.

Home to the Turbocharger Test and Research Facility, the scavenging test bench, a fully instrumented one-cylinder Ajax DP-115 test engine, and a full complement of computational software and hardware, the laboratory has grown into an internationally recognized research and educational facility with more than $7 million in accumulated funding since 1996.

Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies (SMART) Laboratory

Douglas McGregor, Director

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.

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