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.

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

Dr. Janet Fornari,  Professor of Mechanical Engineering
jfornari@kettering.edu
(810) 762-7843

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

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/

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/

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)
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

Dr. James Zhang, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
810-762-7949
jzhang@kettering.edu

Professor Gillian Ryan with students in a physics laboratory.
The Computational Physics Lab at Kettering focuses on biological physics and materials science. Faculty and students use a combination of image analysis, mathematical modelling, and computer simulation to try to understand how individual proteins coordinate to influence cellular structure and function. The group takes measurements made with fluorescent microscopy to necessary information for developing useful, meaningful models of cellular dynamics that investigate the interactions of many proteins within cells.
Contact
Dr. Gillian Lynn Ryan, Assistant Professor of Physics
(810) 762-9919