Research

Acoustics and Vibration

Current research interests are primarily in the area of flow-induced vibrations where structures are exposed to fluid excitation such as turbulent pressure fluctuations, flow periodicity, or fluidelastic instability. Mutual interaction (coupling) between the structure and the flow may develop. The coupling is generally highly non-linear in nature and can lead to violent structural vibration and subsequent catastrophic failure of the structure. The structural integrity of the structure is maintained by keeping the vibration amplitudes within acceptable limits and the instability must always be avoided. Current applications of this research area include nuclear steam generators, nuclear fuel assemblies, acoustic-induced vibrations in valves and pipelines.  Dr. Hassan's work aims at developing an understanding of the fluid excitation mechanisms and to develop simulation tools that aids in designing structures against destructive flow induced vibrations.

Biomedical

Mechanical Biomedical Engineering at UNB involves extensive collaborations with Kinesiology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, the MRI Centre, and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Interests include imaging, biological signal processing, biomechanics, and ergonomics with well equipped laboratories in all areas.

Bioenergy and Bioproducts Research Lab (BBRL)

Bioenergy and bioproducts research is led by Dr. Muhammad T Afzal. His research focuses on feedstock processing and engineering, pellets, briquettes, modelling of compaction phenomena and thermo-mechanical characterization, biofeedstock management including its storage, drying, modelling and logistics.

Recently, Dr. Afzal and his team are focussing on design and development of novel technologies to produce renewable fuels, chemicals and value-added products and materials, process modeling and optimization, which can find application in automotive, food, chemical, health and pharmaceutical industry. It is also our goal to discover and promote the use of next generation clean energy through innovative research and education. We are interested in life cycle assessment of materials and products and developing alternate solutions to lessen the environmental impact in manufacturing and usage.

Key ongoing research activities include development of innovative technologies such as microwave to process and convert renewable feedstock into fuels, heat, power and bio-products, modeling and simulation of real time process.

We conduct both fundamental and applied research to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to bioenergy and bioproduct applications. BBRL is interested to develop collaborations with industry, academia and national institutes for research in feedstock engineering, conversion technologies and bioproducts from renewable materials.

 

Manufacturing and Materials Processing

The aim is on developing intelligent controllers for applications in polymer processing and robotics. This research program involves formulating artificial neural networks and process modeling techniques, deriving advanced control schemes in realtime and practical implementations. Other applications include magnetic levitation and flexible manipulators.

Mechatronics and Design

Mechatronics is the synergistic integration of Mechanics, Electronics, and Control.  Utilizing this concept enables the development of intelligent products and manufacturing systems.  It is stated that mechatronics design is mechanical engineering for the 21st century.  Drs. Dubay and Hassan's research in this area is devoted to the control, modelling of system dynamics and design challenges associated with the fields of active vibrations control of space structures and structures subjected to fluid flow.

Renewable Energy Systems

Ocean renewable energy research is led by Dr. Tiger Jeans.  Among alternative energy sources, wave power is one of the most abundant untapped sources on earth. The World Energy Council has estimated the world wide annual amount of wave power energy at 17.5 PWh.  This is comparable to annual worldwide electric energy consumption, which is currently estimated at 16 PWh. Thus, wave power has the potential to provide a large portion of the world's electric energy needs if it can be tapped efficiently.  The University of New Brunswick is currently collaborating with Atargis Energy Inc. to develop a novel lift based wave energy converter with improved storm survivability and hydrodynamic efficiency.


Robotics and Applied Mechanics

The Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory is led by Dr. Juan A. Carretero. There are a number of research topics studied and developed in the main areas of robot manipulator kinematics, simulation and calibration of manipulators as well as optimization in mechanical design and analysis.

The majority of the recent work includes the study of parallel manipulators and the simulation of robotic systems. Study in the area of parallel manipulators is focused on improving the workspace characteristics (such as the size, quality, and force-moment capabilities) using kinematic and actuation redundancy. Also, kinematic calibration methods and creation of complete kinematic models are of interest specially for reduced degree-of-freedom manipulators. In reference to the simulation of robotic systems, current research involves developing of computer simulated environments for the analysis of tethered underwater systems. In particular, realistic contact dynamics models are developed for arbitrary objects including flexible slender objects such as tethers or anchor systems.

Thermofluids and Aerodynamics

Fluid Mechanics research at UNB includes both experimental and computer simulation of practical technological problems facing industry and society. These include experimental study of airframe generated noise, submarine manoeuvres and control, liquid sprays for pesticide application, steam turbine irreversibility resulting from homogeneous condensation, vibration of mixing impellers in polymer reactors, surface cooling with high speed jets, and continuous casting of metals.

State of the art parallel computational tools and experimental facilities are available. These include the commercial code ANSYS and the 1000 node ACENET computational facilities. Large scale experimental windtunnel facilities (up to 260 km/hr) equipped with Stereoscopic PIV, 3 component PDI, and multi-dimensional hot-wire anemometry are available along with numerous special purpose experimental apparatuses. Faculty working in this area include Dr. Joe Hall, Dr. Gordon Holloway and Dr. Andrew Gerber. Graduate students training includes both the PhD and MSc levels.