Research

Our major research areas concentrate on the following four categories.  For each category, a short description along with a summary of activities are also given.  Our sponsors include National Science Foundation, Raytheon, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., and Mathworks Inc.

  1. Dynamic modeling and vibration control of distributed-parameters systems: This area of research focuses on the development of comprehensive models for a variety of vibration-control systems represented in the form of distributed-parameters (continuous).  These include both active and semi-active configurations with their widespread applications in many vibration control and isolation systems.  Representative applications include active and semi-active suspensions, modeling and control of motion-induced vibrations in flexible systems as well as deign of a variety of vibration control systems for MEMS and NEMS.

  2. Piezoelectric-based actuators and sensors with applications to vibration and control: This area of research concentrates on the development of piezoelectric-based systems in the form of either actuator or sensor for use in a variety of vibration-control systems.  This area also includes recent advances in nanomaterials that exhibit piezoelectric properties with their application to vibration control.  The science that research in this category can enable includes; next-generation sensors and actuators development with outstanding features and utilization in many NEMS and MEMS.   

  3. Modeling, control and identification of microelectromechanical systems: The research activities in this category include development of comprehensive models for MEMS with an emphasis on piezoelectric-based systems as either sensors or actuators.  In addition to extensive model development, novel control methods (e.g., adaptive passive, or robust adaptive) along with system identification methods are being studied.  The abundant variety of applications of this research in today’s MEMS (and even NEMS) can clearly highlight the importance of this research.  It directly benefits MEMS/NEMS manufacturers specialized in vibration-based sensors and actuators (e.g., MEMS switches, optical mirrors and relays).

  4. Dynamics, control and manipulation at the nanoscale: Advancement of emerging nanotechnological applications such as NEMS requires precise modeling, control and manipulation of objects, components and subsystems ranging in sizes from few nanometers to micrometers.  One of the most challenging aspects of “nanoscale” manipulation and control design as compared with “macroscale” control design is the added complexity of uncertainties and nonlinearities that are unique to nanoscale.  The research activities in this category particularly targets efforts in nanoscale control and manipulation techniques including scanning probe microscopy systems (e.g., scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, nanomechanical cantilevers), as well as nanorobotic manipulation.