Research Areas, Facilities and Services

Kettering University's labs and facilities are used for sponsored and applied research. Our faculty have received 12 NSF MRI grants since 2012 and worked with numerous companies in areas such as autonomous vehicles, medical research, crash safety, and other ground-breaking areas.

The labs also provide research skills and experiences to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students have the unique opportunity to engage in research projects in their area of interest as soon as they arrive on campus.


Advanced Energy Storage and Application | Advanced MicroscopyAdvanced Power Electronics Lab | Autonomous Driving & Artifical Intelligence | Crash Safety Center | High Performance Computing Cluster Lab | High Voltage Lab | Human Interfaces & Ergonomics Lab | Mobility Research Center | Mobile Systems and Vehicle Controls Lab | Noise, Vibration, Harshness Lab | REACH Lab | Research Experience for Undergraduates

A student researcher preps a crash dummy.

The Kettering University Crash Safety Center, which opened in 2005, offers facilities for mobility occupant protection testing in frontal, side and rear impact. Crash safety systems including vehicle interiors,  airbags, seatbelts and child restraint systems can be assessed utilizing an array of anthropomorphic test devices, high speed video cameras, and instrumentation. While custom test apparatuses can be developed, the core testing is completed using the pneumatic decelaration sled with a capacity of a 2,000-pound payload up to 42 miles per hour and reach peak decelarations above 70 Gs.

The Center supports:

  • Educating undergraduate, graduate and practicing engineers
  • Research, consulting and testing for government and industry
  • Awareness and education for the community, including seminars on installing child seats and K-12 enrichment

Contact

crashsafety@kettering.edu

https://digitalcommons.kettering.edu/crash/

The driving track at the Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center facility on the campus of the university.

The Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center, an autonomous vehicle testing track, is the only one of its kind on a college campus in the country. The outdoor lab space and proving ground enhances faculty, student, and industry research and development of autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety standards, hybrid, and electric vehicle technologies, among other uses. The track features an S-curve, elevation, surface changes, and straightaways and is available for year-round, 24-hour testing.

Contact

Kettering’s Office of Sponsored Research
osr@kettering.edu 
810) 762-7996

Usage Requests
https://www.kettering.edu/research/labs/external-orgs

An undergraduate student working in a research lab at Kettering University.

The Kettering University Research Experiences for Undergraduates is a National Science Foundation-sponsored program for undergraduate students studying science and engineering to participate in summer research projects with Kettering faculty. The eight-week, interdisciplinary program’s theme is “Utilizing Plants for Innovative Research (UPIR): Cultivating the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers.” The research focuses on exploring environmental and green challenges facing our society, include using green energy to reduce fossil fuel consumption, exploring natural compounds for medicinal uses, reducing waste by using natural composite materials and utilizing novel approaches to phytoremediation. Faculty mentors from applied biology, biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, mathematics and physics are involved in the program. REU participants will receive professional development training to prepare them for to succeed in their careers.

Contact

Upir-reu@kettering.edu

https://newb.kettering.edu/wp/upir-reu/

Doctor testing the feel of a haptic surgical tool.

The Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics (REACH) Lab conducts research on autonomous systems, robotics/haptics, and human machine interaction. The research incorporates various fields of studies, including computer science, engineering, control, robotics, psychophysics, and human motor control. The REACH Lab seeks advances in automated driving and multi-modal user interface designs through experimental studies in virtual reality simulation.

Contact

Dr. Mehrdad Zadeh
Electrical & Computer Engineering
mzadeh@kettering.edu
(810) 762-9500, Ext. 5914

http://newb.kettering.edu/wp/reach/

High voltage circuit used in Kettering University's lab.

The High Voltage Lab allows faculty and students to conduct research in the area of dielectric materials at different physical states. Students design, conduct and test different types of high-voltage generators and circuits in order to enhance the understanding of dielectric phenomena, the electronic conduction and swarm, partial discharges and breakdown are studied in high-vacuum (10-8 torr), gaseous, liquid, solid, and nano-dielectrics. Students receive hands-on experience by observing partial discharges and breakdowns in gaseous, liquid, and solid insulating materials. The laboratory is equipped with components capable of performing standard and non-standard insulation tests for high-voltage equipment used in industry, such as switchgear, transformers, insulators, and cables up to a test voltage of 250 kV with alternating voltages, direct voltages, or impulse voltages of various wave-shapes.

Contact

Dr. Huseyin Hiziroglu, Professor of Electrical Engineering
hhizirog@kettering.edu
(810) 762-7962 

https://newb.kettering.edu/wp/highvoltage/

How humans interact with technology is one of the focuses of the Human Interfaces and Ergonomics lab.

The Human Interfaces & Ergonomics Laboratory conducts multidisciplinary research projects with the goal of optimizing physical and virtual systems for increased human performance and improved operator safety and productivity.  The lab is equipped with several tools that can be used to evaluate human/system interactions, including:

  • precision optical motion tracking systems
  • wireless surface electromyography (sEMG)
  • custom force assessment fixtures, strain gauges, and load cells
  • eye tracking systems
  • traditional, touchscreen, and virtual reality displays
  • ergonomic field test kits

The laboratory uses these resources to design and execute human subject experiments and usability evaluations.  Some examples of recent projects include optimizing touchless gestural interfaces, modeling human wrist strength in extreme postures, and end-user evaluation of automotive passive entry systems.

Contact

Dr. Justin Young
Associate Professor of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
jyoung@kettering.edu
(810) 762-7951

A student works in the Advanced Energy Storage and Application Lab

Renewable energy systems have prominently been considered as a powerful weapon to fight against climate change and global warming. However, due to the uncertainties in the power generation and demand, energy storage devices play a vital role in creating flexible and trustworthy energy systems. Laboratory for Advanced Energy Storage and Application focuses on the development of next generation energy storage devices and simulation and modeling their behaviors. The lab is equipped with nano-materials synthesizing instruments such as Electrospinng Machine, Atmosphere Controlled Tube Furnace; Battery characterizing instruments such as glove box, Battery Cycler, Impedance/gain Phase Analyzer. Shared instruments for nanomaterial characterization at Kettering includes Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray& Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) etc.

Research interest:

  • Synthesis of functional nano-materials and their characterization for high performanceenergy storage devices, including lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, lithium-ioncapacitors
  • Mathematic battery modelling and simulation for advanced battery management system

Contact
Dr. Xuan Zhou, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
xzhou@kettering.edu
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=FXH_KvIAAAAJ&hl=en

Kettering University behind the wheel of an autonomous vehicle.

The Mobile Systems and Vehicle Controls lab focuses on the development of appropriate control strategies for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. The lab's approach to controls development includes both simulation and testing on a testbed, featuring a 1:16 scale reconfigurable roadway system. Prototypes of various scales also can be developed as needed for specific projects. The lab focuses on the education of undergraduate and graduate students and research on control algorithms of various types.

Contact

Dr. Diane Peters, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
dpeters@kettering.edu
810-762-7916

 

Prototype of an electric vehicle battery

The Kettering University Advanced Power Electronics Laboratory (APEL), established in 2014, focuses on the development and testing of power-electronic circuits and systems prototypes. The process and procedure of developmental projects typically includes: circuit topology investigation and simulation studies; circuit schematic and printed circuit board (PCB) design; power loss analysis with thermal simulations; control-loop and microcontroller software development (using Texas Instruments DSPs); and full-power testing of the prototype/converter. Projects typically last for one year to produce a prototype. The facilities in APEL are capable of testing systems at power levels up to 10 kW (without power recirculation), with DC voltage levels up to 600 V and three-phase 60 Hz AC voltages up to 480 Vrms. Converter efficiencies and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) measurements are conducted using Yokogawa WT1600 power analyzers.

Projects include:

  • Electric vehicle battery chargers (level 1, level 2, and DC fast chargers)
  • Electric alternator systems (e.g. 400 V to 12 V step-down converters)
  • Three-phase inverter / motor drive systems
  • Wireless charging circuits using low-frequency air-core transformers
  • Battery management systems (cell monitoring, cell passive balancing, cell active balancing)
  • Renewable energy conversion systems (solar & wind energy harvesting)

Autonomous vehicles must be able to detect and identify other objects on the road.

The Autonomous Driving and Artificial Intelligence (ADAI) Laboratory is dedicated to develop innovative solutions for Smart Mobility by using Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision technologies. The current researches focus on finding solutions for environmental perception using deep learning techniques with various sensor inputs. Research topics include:

  • Traffic Light Detection System
  • Intelligent Pothole Detection
  • Camera Based Stop Sign & Stop Line Detection
  • RADAR/ Camera/Lidar Sensor Fusion
  • Driver Monitoring System
  • Application of Artificial Intelligence to Combustion Engines
  • Localization and Mapping
  • Deep Neural Networks

The lab is equipped with automotive sensors (Camera, Lidar, Radar, CAN device) and software for autonomous driving application development. The ADAI research team is vastly interdisciplinary including students from electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering.

Contact

Dr. Jungme Park
jpark@kettering.edu
http://newb.kettering.edu/wp/adai-lab/

Professor Javad Baqersad working with students in the Noise, Vibration and Harshness lab.

The Noise, Vibration, and Harshness and Experimental Mechanics Laboratory (NVHEM Lab) focuses on analytical and experimental research in structural and acoustic systems. The lab is equipped with measurement tools such as strain-gages, accelerometers and state-of-the-art digital image correlation. The lab also is equipped with several software programs for finite element modeling, image processing, numerical analysis, and acoustic and vibration modeling.  

Research topics include:

  • NVH
  • finite element analysis
  • modal analysis
  • sound and acoustic analysis
  • structural health monitoring
  • tire and vehicle dynamics

Contact

Dr. Javad Baqersad, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
jbaqersad@kettering.edu
(810) 762-7494

https://newb.kettering.edu/wp/nvhem/

High performance computational computing

The Kettering University High-Performance Computing cluster (KUHPC) provides advanced computational resources for Kettering faculty and students to perform computational research on campus. The system provides high performance, big data, and graphical processing unit (GPU) computing, as well as storage for research groups spanning multiple disciplines.

KUHPC was made possible by a NSF Major Research Instrumentation Award (No. 1725938).

Contact
All inquiries should be addressed to:  kuhpc@kettering.edu

Instrumentation in microscopy lab

The mission of the Kettering University Laboratory for Advanced Microscopy is to provide high-quality microscopic imaging down to submicron length scales. Our laboratory is ideal for users who want to obtain high-resolution images of cells, surfaces, and other objects.  The laboratory is available for use by Kettering students, faculty, and staff as well as external users for microscopy research and teaching. 

  • The centerpiece of the lab is a Nikon Eclipse Ti2-E inverted optical microscope with a C2+ confocal laser scanning unit and Andor iXon Life 897 EMCCD camera. This microscope can perform brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), and fluorescence imaging of specimens including 3D fluorescence imaging (Z-stacks). Its stage is fully computer-controlled allowing for repeatable scanning over multiple regions or regions larger than the regular field of view. The EMCCD camera is also useful for rapid imaging (30+ fps) or static imaging of specimens with very weak fluorescence. 
  • The lab also features several other microscopes that can be used for true color brightfield imaging, phase contrast, and fluorescence imaging. These instruments include two Olympus BX-50 upright microscopes (including one with a dual-binocular setup for simultaneous use by two users) and a Nikon Eclipse TS100-F inverted microscope.

To find out more about the lab and get access to the instruments, please see our web site. Support for the lab has been provided by the National Science Foundation Grant 1828246 and Kettering University

Contact

Ronald Kumon, Ph.D.,Lab Director and Associate Professor of Physics
rkumon@kettering.edu
https://sites.google.com/kettering.edu/klam