Diverse Facilities Foster a Wide Range of Research and Learning
Higgins Laboratories and Washburn Shops are home to Mechanical Engineering and the many well-equipped facilities utilized by the department.
1.0 Design and Manufacturing Laboratories
The Design and Manufacturing Laboratories include computational design and analysis facilities, a robotics laboratory, a project assembly laboratory, and a state-of-the-art machining facility. Details on the individual facilities follow.
- 1.1 Design Studio and Computer Classroom
Part of the Keck Design Center. Lectures and labs in mechanical design and manufacturing courses are held here. Available to students for project and course work.
- 1.2 Robotics Laboratory
Equipped with a variety of industrial robots, machine tools and other equipment, this facility also houses the two largest CNC milling machines in the Haas Technical Center.
- 1.3 CNC Laboratory
Dedicated strives to creating, discovering, and conveying knowledge at the frontiers of inquiry in CNC machining and education, and helping students achieve self-sufficiency.
- 1.4 Surface Metrology Laboratory
This laboratory helps advance the understanding of the formation, behavior, measurement and analysis of surface roughness.
- 1.5 Machine Shop and Project Laboratory
Machine Shop contains a host of standard machining tools; Project Laboratory is used primarily for working on capstone design projects.
2.0 Multi-Scale Heat Transfer Laboratory
Features unique facilites to investigate the heat transfer and mass transport with, for example, electrical fields in the presence and absence of gravity with and without phase change in small to large scales.
3.0 Experimentation Laboratory
This state-of-art engineering experimentation course and laboratory directly addresses all ABET experimentation and related requirements, and provides the students with hands-on knowledge.
4.0 Mechanical Aerospace Engineering Controls (MAEC) Laboratory
The MAEC lab has four stations equipped with a dSPACE ACE 1104 kit with DS1104 R&D Controller Board, an Instek® function generator, a Comdyna analog computer and a Tektronix digital storage oscilloscope.
6.0 Thermal-Fluid Sciences Laboratories
This suite of laboratories allows for an innovative instructional format to take place in several thermal-fluid courses. Below is a description of each lab.
- 6.1 Discovery Classroom and Laboratory
This state-of-the-art multimedia classroom is combined with an adjoining experimental laboratory to create an environment which emphasizes an integrated approach to engineering education.
- 6.2 Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Used for graduate research and educational activities in fluid dynamics, this lab houses a low speed, low turbulence wind tunnel facility plus vibration shakers, hot-wire anemometry systems, spectral analyzers, digital oscilloscopes and more.
- 6.3 Aerospace Laboratory
Used for MQP and graduate research work. Includes an Aerodynamics Test Facility and Vacuum Test Facility, which supports research and educational activities requiring a controlled vacuum environment.
- 6.4 Computational Fluid and Plasmadynamics Laboratory
This modern computational facility is used for graduate research and undergraduate projects in computational fluids, gas and plasma dynamics. The CFPL includes workstations, peripherals and data storage devices.
- 6.5 Microflow Laboratory
Features a vacuum chamber and specialized equipment for the investigation of gaseous and plasma microflows, with application to microsensors, microdevices, and micropropulsion.
- 6.6 Intelligent Systems, Structures and Machines Laboratory
Boasts state-of-the art data acquisition and control capabilities for experimental verification of control algorithms as applied to autonomous systems, intelligent machines and smart structures.
- 6.7 Fluid and Plasmadynamics Laboratory
Home to several vacuum chambers and specialized test facilities for the investigation of onboard propulsion, electrospray sources, plume/spacecraft interactions and microfluidics research.
7.0 Biomechanics/Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratories
Supports undergraduate courses with a focus on the design of assistive devices to aid persons with disabilities; plus biomechanics and biofluids. Also home to the WPI Assistive Technology Resource Center and the WPI EPICS program.
8.0 Center for Holographic Studies and Laser micro-mechaTronics
Fully equipped and operational for educational and research activities that range from fundamental studies of laser light interaction with materials, to sophisticated applications in metrology.
9.0 Materials Science and Engineering Laboratories
Has three state-of-the-art Instron materials test systems for evaluating the mechanical properties and performance of metals, plastics, composites, textiles, ceramics, rubber, and adhesives.
- 9.2 The Casting Laboratory
Dedicated to research and development of advanced casting processes and to the improvement of currently practiced casting processes.
- 9.3 Heat Treating and Furnace Laboratory
Equipped with a variety of furnaces for the heat treatment of metals and ceramics. Also hosts a variety of fully instrumented quench probes and data acquisition systems.
- 9.4 Ceramic and Powder Processing Laboratory
Features a variety of powder preparation, processing and characterization equipment, as well as equipment for green-body consolidation and sintering.
- 9.5 Polymer Engineering Laboratory
Equipment includes Perkin Elmer Thermal Analysis systems, single-screw tabletop extruder, injection molding facilities, polymer synthesis apparatuses, oil bath furnaces, and more.
- 9.6 Optical and Electron Metallography Laboratories
Offers a range of analytical techniques in the area of electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and optical microscopy.
- 9.7 Nanofabrication and Nanomanufacturing Laboratory
Contains facilities for advanced research in bottom-up nanofabrication through uniform self-assembly, nano-bioscience, and characterization of nanomaterials and biomaterials.
10.0 MEMS Fabrication Laboratory
Accommodates education and research in areas of microelectronics, optoelectronics, integrated sensors, and MEMS technology based devices. A separate research laboratory has characterization facilities that include microscopy, profilometry, and more.
11.0 Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) Robotics Laboratory
Primary research focus is the development of technologies and systems for medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery.
13.0 Integrative Materials Design Center (iMdc)
Focus is on defining, disseminating, and implementing a new design paradigm and supporting methodologies for failure prevention and increased performance, reliability, and recyclability