This laboratory, directed by Gelsy Torres-Oviedo, offers graduate and undergraduate students the infrastructure to investigate human motor learning mechanisms during balance and locomotor behaviors. The space for this facility is 700 square footage with a state-of-the-art 14-camera motion analysis system for recording three-dimensional body kinematic data in real time. The laboratory is also equipped with an instrumented split-belt treadmill and 2 force plates flushed with the ground, allowing kinetic recordings from each foot while human subjects from all ages walk on the treadmill or over ground. The facility also has a system for electromyographic recordings and instrumentation to digitize up to 64 analogue signals.
In April 2013 the University of Pittsburgh and Sichuan University formed a partnership to develop the Sichuan University - Pittsburgh Institute. This joint engineering institute will educate undergraduate students and foster collaborative research.
Sichuan University will invest nearly $40 million to construct and equip the new 9,290.3-square-meter building on its Jiang'anÂ campus in Chengdu. The Institute welcomed its first class of 100 undergraduate engineering students in fall 2015. All classes are taught in English by faculty recruited worldwide. The program combines research with education, professionalism with academics, and Eastern with Western approaches. Three undergraduate degree programs are offered: Industrial Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
At the Sociotechnical Systems Research lab, we target questions that help society navigate the age of data. On the one hand, the landscape for scientific research is itself changing: The combined force of high-end data analytics and high-performance computing opens new ways for scientific discovery; more and more data from various sources and in novel forms are available to facilitate scientific inquiries. On the other hand, to overcome the trust barriers and embrace the increasing role of data and algorithms in our lives, we need a scientific understanding of the algorithmic, data-driven and platform-based economies that algorithms enable. The lab’s research into large-scale sociotechnical systems should help society in this transition by deepening an understanding of the emerging, data-enabled infrastructure within their societal context. On the methodological side, we face a variety of challenges such as calibration and down-scaling of massive models with costly data for granular predictions, optimizing and locally targeting large-scale interventions, and making inferences about local interactions and micro mechanisms from observation of meso-scale behaviors and macro trends. With ongoing support from DOD and HHS, we focus our efforts on pressing societal problems and issues of national concern, ranging from interventions to improve education, health and welfare among vulnerable populations, human-machine teaming in mission critical applications, the opioid epidemic, and COVID-19 pandemic to misinformation and malign influence campaigns.
This laboratory is under the direction of Jonathan P. Vande Geest, PhD and focuses on studying the structure function relationships of soft tissues in human health and disease. Undergraduate and graduate students in the Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory (STBL) are offered opportunities to participate in research that successfully integrates state of the art tools in cell mechanobiology, continuum mechanics, computational simulation, and bioimaging. The STBL is composed of a cell culture room equipped with the necessary equipment for cell and tissue culture, including several novel bioreactors for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering research. The STBL also consists of a main wet laboratory equipped with devices for advanced biomechanical and microstructural tissue characterization, computational simulation, biochemistry, molecular biology, histological processing, and medical device functional assessment. The STBL also has access to and manages an advanced intravital microscope for quantifying the growth and remodeling of soft tissues using nonlinear optical microscopy.
This mechanical engineering laboratory is dedicated to development, modeling, and experimental characterization of active systems at the micro (MEMS) and macro scales. The diverse range of projects typically blend the related fields of acoustics, noise control, hearing loss prevention, vibrations, structural-acoustic interaction, controls, and analog/digital signal processing. A 1,000 ft2 laboratory equipped with state of the art equipment is complemented with an ancillary 250m3 anechoic chamber facility. Past and current applications include biological modeling and control, analysis of novel composite structures, development of automated classification systems, and hearing loss prevention.
Stochastic Modeling, Analysis and Control (SMAC) Laboratory
The primary mission of the Stochastic Modeling, Analysis and Control (SMAC) Laboratory is to support research that addresses the modeling, analysis and control of engineering and service systems that have inherently stochastic elements. Research in the Lab emphasizes analytical and computer-based modeling of such systems (e.g., maintenance, production, telecommunications, inventory, transportation and healthcare), and their optimization by exploiting applied probability, stochastic processes and discrete stochastic optimal control techniques. This collaborative Laboratory's aim is to gain valuable insights into solutions to complex decision-making problems in uncertain environments. The SMAC Lab is primarily funded through grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other governmental agencies. Current research thrusts include the performance evaluation of large-scale sensor networks; degradation-based reliability modeling and evaluation; data-driven, adaptive maintenance planning models; spare parts inventory modeling and control; multi-server retrial queueing systems; medical decision making applications; healthcare operations; and satellite constellation maintenance modeling and optimization.
This lab is directed by Dr. Ravi Shankar and its objective is to characterize, control and exploit physical phenomena that are operative at the nanometer length-scale to engineer material systems with unprecedented properties. To this end, we focus on understanding the fundamental mechanics of deformation at the nano-scale, elucidation of kinetics of atomic transport in nanostructured domains and characterization of phase-transformations in nanomaterials. Facilities include sample preparation capabilities for electron microscopy and micromechanical characterization, microhardness and tensile testing and capabilities for the creation of ultra-fine grained multi-phase materials. Current research is focused on the elucidation of microstructure evolution and behavior of multi-phase materials subjected to severe thermo-mechanical deformation and investigations of development of environmentally benign machining processes.
Directed by Tevis Jacobs, the focus of our research is to reveal the physical processes governing the mechanics of surfaces and interfaces. Contacting surfaces are of critical importance in advanced applications, including advanced manufacturing schemes, micro-/nano-electromechanical systems, and scanning probe microscopy applications. The function of such applications depends on the ability to precisely predict and control contact parameters such as contact area, contact stiffness, adhesion, and electrical and thermal transport.
Our group uses novel combinations of in situ electron microscopy, multi-scale mechanical testing, and scanning probe microscopy to interrogate the mechanics, tribology, and functional properties of contacts. On the small scale, we can achieve Angstrom-scale spatial resolution and nanonewton force resolution, to interrogate atomic-scale processes. On the large-scale, we use micro- and macro-scale testing of larger contacts that contain multi-scale surface roughness. This enables us to scale-up these nanoscale insights to describe functional properties of larger-scale surfaces.
Our goal is to develop quantitative, fundamental, and predictive understanding of contact behavior, which will enable tailored surface properties for advanced technologies.
The John A. Swanson Center for Product Innovation (SCPI) is housed within the SSOE and has been assisting industry and education since 1999. SCPI was designed to give industry and entrepreneurs access to Pitt's state-of-the-art product development technology through the technical services of its talented students, world-class faculty and dedicated technical staff members. Clients connect with a high quality, one-stop job shop that provides efficient turnaround for product analysis and design, process design and development, rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, small-lot product manufacturing, and additive manufacturing. SCPI includes four facilities the W.M. Keck Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering Laboratory, the Kresge Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory, and the SSOE Machine and Electronics Shops all under the same SSOE-level administration to ensure close coordination, integrated operations and sharing of resources These facilities, described further below, house both traditional equipment as well as the latest in product development technologies, and will be made available as integral components of the Consortium.
The W.M. Keck Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering Laboratory allows for the development and production of functional prototypes through the utilization of leading-edge rapid prototyping and reverse engineering technologies. This state-of-the-art laboratory helps faculty and students gain hands-on access to leading-edge rapid prototyping, automated machining and reverse engineering technologies. Rapid prototyping describes the technology that produces models or prototype parts directly from 3D computer-aided design model data. The rapid prototyping systems in the W.M. Keck laboratory create prototypes from a variety of polymer-plastic materials layer by layer using thin, horizontal cross sections directly from a computer-generated model. When the computer-generated model is created from an existing part, the surface geometry is accurately reproduced in 3D through a computer-aided design system. This allows SCPI to quickly generate new prototypes or take ' existing prototype designs and change the specifications to create new prototypes with varying characteristics, significantly reducing the time needed for new and redesigned products to reach the market. Technology in this facility includes a 3D Systems (VIPER) Stereolithography (SLA) System, a Stratasys Dimension 1200EX Fused Deposition Modeler (FDM), a BF-B 3000 FDM, a Zcorp 310 3D Printer, a FARO Platinum Arm 3D Laser Scanner, a Minolta VIVID 910 Laser Camera Scanner, a Brown & Sharpe (Gage 2000) Coordinate Measurement Touch Probe, a Renishaw Cyclone Contact Scanner and a Master View Optical Gauging Machine.
The Kresge Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory completes the product development cycle within SCPI through the strength of today's manufacturing technology. This facility helps clients meet turnaround deadlines by rapidly fabricating small batches of new products using its state-of-the-art technology. To ensure quality control, two test cells within the lab enable the products to be put through the rigorous testing required for product design and improvement. Technology in this facility includes a Kern HSE 25 Laser Cutting Table, a Haas TM1-P 4 Axis CNC Machining Center, a Haas TL-1 CNC Lathe, a Hardinge Precision Toolroom Lathe, an MCP Vacuum Casting System, and a Morgan 15 Ton Injection Molding Machine.
The SSOE Machine Shop provides full-service conventional and CAD/CAM machining, precision grinding, cutting, shearing, welding, and CNC lathing and milling for a wide variety of materials. This facility prepares prototypes and custom-designed parts for every engineering discipline in the SSOE as well as other entities within the University including the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, and the Department of Physics.
The SSOE Electronics Shop provides a wide variety of electronics expertise to the SSOE including repair, laboratory support, and prototyping encompassing design, wiring, motors, sensors, computer A-D and D-A interfacing, and data acquisition and control using LabView and other software.
The Synthetic Biology and Biomimetics laboratory is under the direction of Warren C Ruder, PhD. The Synthetic Biology and Biomimetics laboratory consists of 1,274 sq. ft. and was extensively renovated in 2017 to produce a facility equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for advanced research in synthetic biology, lab-on-a-chip systems, microfluidics, and bio-robotics. Capabilities and equipment of the laboratory include: multi-day, live-cell epifluorescent microscopy, micro-fabrication, PCR, electrophoresis, micro-instrumentation design and fabrication, 3D-printing, mobile robotics, and computer vision. The lab offers postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate research opportunities in fields ranging from cell-free medical diagnostics to cellular interface engineering. By drawing from expertise in synthetic gene networks, cell physiology and biomechanics, microfluidics, and hybrid biomaterials, the lab strives to investigate fundamental biological questions while developing medically pertinent technologies. The laboratory is composed a biological safety level-2 cell-culture and imaging room that contains two live-cell epiflourescent microscopes, a biological safety cabinet, a CO2 incubator for cell and tissue culturing, and an inverted culture microscope. Additionally, the laboratory contains a molecular cloning and prototyping room equipped with a multi-mode microplate reader, a biological safety cabinet, multiple benchtop incubators, a spin-coater, a plasma cleaner, gel-electrophoresis equipment, two gradient PCR machines, and a variety of electronic and robotic prototyping equipment. By coupling these instruments with ample computing resources, the Engineered Living Systems and Synthetic Biology Lab aims to foster cross-disciplinary research and discovery.