Faculty Research Areas

Our research activities are broadly organized into the four areas shown below. Faculty conduct research individually and in collaboration with others at SD Mines and around the globe. Click to expand any of the four areas below for more information about individual faculty specializations.

Design & Manufacturing/Systems Engineering

Dr. Cassandra Degen

Dr. Cassandra Degen studies the design, fabrication, and analysis of multifunctional structures and materials including: manufacturing of structures with multifunctional potential; coupling mechanical stimuli with varied automatic responses; transfer of mechanochemistry knowledge; and elicit responses such as optical, chemical, magnetic, energetic, etc. For more information please visit the Joining and Mechanics of Polymers (JMP) Lab.

Dr. Hadi Fekrmandi

Dr. Hadi Fekrmandi’s areas of research expertise include structural health monitoring, advanced manufacturing and automation, controls and autonomous systems, inspection robotic platforms, sensors, and instrumentation.

Dr. Aaron Lalley

Dr. Aaron Lalley’s current research activities include modeling chatter in VMC machining processes. Previous research includes: manufacturing process development for advanced solar cell production; ion implantation for enhanced tooling performance; nano-fiber composite modeling; novel tooling methods for thin metal coining; laser weld process control; and novel part handling.

Dr. Pierre Larochelle

Dr. Pierre Larochelle’s core research interests are focused on the kinematics and design of complex robotic mechanical systems. For more information, please visit the Robotics and Computational Kinematics Innovation (ROCKIN) Lab.

Dr. Karim Muci

Dr. Karim Muci has research interests in computational mechanics, solid mechanics, and biomechanics.

Dr. Andrea Surovek

Dr. Andrea Surovek’s research interests include bringing bio-inspired design into structural engineering research and practice. Her research examines termite mounds as a potential model for sustainable structural forms, integrating functions of strength, stability, and ventilation. In addition, she serves as the Director of the School’s EPICS Program. EPICS (Engineering Projects In Community Service) is a service-learning program that combines multidisciplinary design projects with community service.


Dynamic Systems & Controls/Robotics

Dr. Nickolaus Bruno

Dr. Nickolaus Bruno studies the behaviors and application of active materials. His main interest is in the thermodynamic behavior of meta-magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMAs). For additional information please visit his personal webpage.

Dr. Hadi Fekrmandi

Dr. Hadi Fekrmandi’s areas of research expertise include structural health monitoring, advanced manufacturing and automation, controls and autonomous systems, inspection robotic platforms, sensors, and instrumentation.

Dr. Pierre Larochelle

Dr. Pierre Larochelle’s core research interests are focused on the kinematics and design of complex robotic mechanical systems. For more information please visit the Robotics and Computational Kinematics Innovation (ROCKIN) Lab.

Dr. Daniel Rederth

Dr. Daniel Rederth has research expertise in the area of nanoscale semiconductors. His recent work has focused on a numerical approach to modeling magnetic quantum dots.

    Solid Mechanics

    Dr. Jason Ash

    Dr. Jason Ash has research interests in the interfacial mechanics of composite materials as well as biaxial testing of composite materials.

    Dr. Nickolaus Bruno

    Dr. Nickolas Bruno studies the behaviors and application of active materials. His main interest is in the thermodynamic behavior of meta-magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMAs). For additional information please visit his personal webpage.

    Dr. Cassandra Degen

    Dr. Cassandra Degen studies the design, fabrication, and analysis of multifunctional structures and materials, including: manufacturing of structures with multifunctional potential; coupling mechanical stimuli with varied automatic responses; transfer of mechanochemistry knowledge; and elicit responses such as optical, chemical, magnetic, energetic, etc. For more information please visit the Joining and Mechanics of Polymers (JMP) Lab.

    Dr. Aaron Lalley

    Dr. Aaron Lalley’s current research activities include modeling chatter in VMC machining processes. Previous research includes: manufacturing process development for advanced solar cell production; ion implantation for enhanced tooling performance; nano-fiber composite modeling; novel tooling methods for thin metal coining; laser weld process control; and novel part handling.

    Dr. Karim Muci

    Dr. Karim Muci has research interests in computational mechanics, solid mechanics, and biomechanics.

    Dr. Albert Romkes

    Dr. Albert Romkes studies computational and applied mechanics and mathematics with an emphasis on: (multi-scale) modeling of heterogeneous media and multiphysics/interaction processes; numerical analysis of partial differential equations arising in continuum mechanics applications; development of finite element type methods of approximation; estimation of approximation and modeling error; and development of strategies for mesh-adaptive finite element processes.

    Dr. Andrea Surovek

    Dr. Andrea Surovek’s research interests include bringing bio-inspired design into structural engineering research and practice. Her research examines termite mounds as a potential model for sustainable structural forms, integrating functions of strength, stability and ventilation. In addition, she serves as the Director of the School’s EPICS Program. EPICS (Engineering Projects In Community Service) is a service-learning program that combines multidisciplinary design projects with community service.

    Thermal & Fluid Science

    Dr. Duane Abata

    Dr. Duane Abata’s areas of research expertise include transient and steady state combustion, internal combustion engines, alternative biofuels, fuel delivery and fuel sprays, and high-pressure ignition.

    Dr. Prasoon Diwakar

    Dr. Prasoon Diwakar studies laser-based diagnostics, plasma-particle interactions, plasma diagnostics, plasma spectroscopy, aerosol analysis and instrumentation, thermal sciences, and combustion diagnostics.

    Mr. Ardell Knudson

      Dr. Bamdad Lessani

      Dr. Bamdad Lessani’s research interests include computational fluid dynamics (CFD), turbulence modeling, large-eddy, and direct numerical simulations (LES/DNS) of turbulent flows.

      Dr. Khosro Shahbazi

      Dr. Kohsro Shahbazi studies computational and theoretical fluid dynamics; high-order hybrid methods for multiscale high-speed flows; high-order discontinuous Galerkin methods; multigrid algorithms and Newton-Krylov solvers; high performance scientific computing and parallel algorithms; compressible and incompressible fluid mechanics; shock/ultrasound wave bubble interactions and multi-phase flows. For additional information please visit his personal webpage.

      Related SD Mines Labs and Research Centers

      Experimental and Computational Mechanics Laboratory (ECML)
      Contact:   Dr. Karim Muci

      Joining and Mechanics of Polymers Lab (JMP)
      Contact:   Dr. Cassandra Degen

      Robotics and Computational Kinematics Innovation Lab (ROCKIN)
      Contact:  Dr. Pierre Larochelle

      Composite and Polymer Engineering Laboratory (CAPE)
      Contact:  Dr. David Salem 

      Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AML)

      Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Laboratory (AMP)

      Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP)
      Contact: Dr. Dan Dolan

      All SD Mines Laboratories and Research Centers