Design, Materials & Manufacturing
The Design, Materials, and Manufacturing (DMM) thrust area focuses on all elements of engineering design and advanced manufacturing. Interdisciplinary interests span across areas of design methodology, design optimization, and advanced manufacturing and materials processing. Faculty and students in the DMM thrust area are discovering novel theories, tools, and technologies that will advance society through realization of more functional and economical materials, machines, and manufacturing processes across a wide variety of market applications.
DMM faculty and students, including our affiliate faculty, conduct fundamental and applied research in areas including: mechanical design, rapid prototyping, virtual prototyping, and additive manufacturing processes. Our analytical, computational, and experimental research covers multiple scales (from nano, to micro, to macro mechanics) and multiple material systems (including polymers, metals, ceramics, composites, and biomaterials). We have state-of-the-art capabilities for experimental work in additive manufacturing and are conducting research in enhancing these processes and manufacturing methods.
Design and materials are fundamentally linked to all other areas of mechanical and nuclear engineering. Consequently, DMM has close synergy with all other ME thrust areas. Collaboration in bio-inspired materials and nano-scale modeling with BMNS, materials development for energy systems with EES, design and manufacturing automation with RADS, and nuclear materials research with NES are regularly pursued within the department. The DMM group has extensive collaboration with other departments in the College of Engineering and other colleges at Virginia Tech, as well as several industries and government agencies.
Beyond its research efforts, the DMM group plays a major role in the Department’s teaching efforts, through the sophomore and senior capstone design courses, and a number of technical electives on contemporary topics related to design, materials, and manufacturing at undergraduate and graduate levels.
DMM Areas of Research Study
- Advanced Materials Design
- Design Theory and Methodology
- Machine Design
- Mechanics of Materials
- Smart Materials
DMM Specific Research Applications include:
- Additive Manufacturing
- Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEM)
- Design Optimization
- Rapid Prototyping
- Virtual Prototyping