Research Labs

At the Herff College of Engineering, we are truly driven by doing! We are a hands-on college and pride ourselves on conducting innovative research that has a major impact on our campus, the community and the world. 

Biomedical | Civil | Electrical and Computer | Engineering Technology | Mechanical

Biomedical Engineering

The Tissue Template Engineering and Regeneration Laboratory is focused on developing and evaluting electrospun biomaterials for tissue engineering of new tissues and organs. The lab is led by Professor Gary L. Bowlin in conjunction with Dr. Marko Radic, immunology professor at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory (STML) integrates biology and engineering, leading to a better understanding of the mechanical behavior and cellular responses of biological tissues; namely the knee joint meniscus. Research in the laboratory aims to find ways of preventing the onset of diseases, such as osteoarthritis, a painful and dehabilitating disease caused by bone-on-bone wear on the knee joint surface. See Dr. Tammy L. Haut Donahue for information.

The multidisciplinary Biomaterials Applications of Memphis Laboratories at the University of Memphis-University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) involve UofM faculty in chemistry, physics and biology and UTHSC faculty in the Colleges of Dentistry and Medicine. BAM laboratories develop, charaterize and evaluate biomaterials for biomedical implants, coatings, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Led by Dr. Joel D. Bumgardner and Dr. J. Amber Jennings, the labs have established a world recognized expertise in chitosan-based materials.

Medical Ultrasound Imaging & Instrumentation Innovations Lab develops novel transducers and approaches to ultrasound imaging (and therapy) for many clinical applications. Led by Dr. Carl Herickhoff, the lab's mission is to develop and translate new medical ultrasound technologies to help improve human health, training and working in both fundamental and applied ultrasound engineering topics. 

The laboratories of Dr. Amber Jennings engineers biomaterials that promote healing and regeneration. Led by Dr. Jennings, research focuses on prevention and treatment of implant-associated infection. The Jennings lab has also established several industry-academia partnerships to evaluate antimicrobial materials and their biocompatibility. 

The Sensor Institute of the University of Memphis (SENSORIUM) focuses on developing and commercializing electrochemical and optical sensors for clinical diagnostics and for measurements of ions as well as small and large molecules in a variety of biological matrices. Development of chemical and biosensors includes basic studies on material properties and transport as well as the design, optimization and testing of microfabricated sensors and senosr arrays for both in vitro and in vivo studies. The lab is led by Dr. Ernő Lindner, R. Eugene Smith Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Chemistry.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Lab developes and validates quantitative magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy techniques for various translational and clinical applications. The research is primarily divided into two areas – a) developing confounder-free magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods for accurate quantification of iron overload and steatosis (fatty liver) non-invasively for replacing tissue biopsy, and b) developing automated techniques for quantifying metabolites in biological tissue samples using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The lab is led by Dr. Aaryani Tipirneni-Sajja.

The research activities conducted in the laboratories of Dr. John Williams cover biomechanics from the whole body down to the cellular and subcellular level. The laboratories include equipment to prepare bone and cartilage specimens for mechanical testing or histology; laser scanning and Microscribe 3D coordinate measurement machine (CMM) for digitizing bones and implants; software for reverse engineering implants, bones as soft tissue structures from optical scans and medical image data; equipment for acquiring 3D human motion kinematics outside or inside a gait lab using XSENS fused sensors, two fixed AMTI 3D force platforms with an instrumented stair case and portable stage, and a BIODEX SYSTEM PRO dynamometer for conducting muscle testing and proprioception; A small high resolution stereolithography printer (Formlabs) can print high resolution models in a variety of materials from soft pliable, biocompatible, to rigid and strong enough for actual use as a final product. Current research includes developing multiscale finite element models of joints with poroelastic and hyperelastic material properties with a focus on growth plate mechanobiology studies. The force plates and BIODEX, stair riser and portable stage (property of UofM) are located in the UTHSC/UofM gait lab in the basement, concourse C level of the College of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, UTHSC, 930 Madison Avenue.

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Civil Engineering

The Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport Laboratory (GFCT) is currently being developed.

The Multi-Axial Testing and Simulation (MAT-SIM) Facility was designed by Dr. Adel Abdelnaby and funded by the FedEx Institute of Technology through a research and innovation grant. In the facility, full and small-scale structures or structural sub-assemblages are tested under complex loading and deformation states at multiple connection points on the structural specimen, including the connection between structure and its foundation. 

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Electrical & Computer Engineering

The Electric Power and Energy Systems (EPES) Research Laboratory, led by Dr. Hasan Ali, focuses on the smart grid/micro-grid control, cybersecurity issues, 5G technology, data analytics, electric vehicle charging, loads forcasting and scheduling in smart building and renewable energy systems. Over the years, the lab has researched transient stability, power quality, geomagnetically induced current (GIC), time delay and cyber security issues of smart grid and micro-grid systems. Dr. Ali and his team apply state-of-the-art technology to modern applications, which has led to research that has been patented and published in various top-ranked journals and international conferences. 

The Computational Ocularscience Laboratory studies the structural and functional aspects of the eye under normal health and disease conditions with computational science and engineering. Founded and directed by Dr. Madhusudhanan Balasubramanian, the lab's strong interdisciplinary research efforts are structured to make significant contributions to the relevant areas in computing, mathematics, statistics and engineering.  And the central goals of our research efforts are biological and anatomical in nature to further our understanding of the anatomy, function and pathogenesis of ocular diseases, to benefit human health, to improve quality of life, and to minimize healthcare costs related to vision health.

 The Computational Intelligence Laboratory (CIL) is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the City of Memphis, the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT), the Herff College of Engineering and the Institute for Intelligent Systems. CIL Director Dr. Bonny Banerjee's research is focused on understanding how perception and action give rise to cognition from a computational perspective and using that knowledge to build artificial systems that can perceive, act, reason and learn from spatiotemporal data in multiple modalities. His research exists at the confluence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive science, and computational neuroscience with applications to the Internet of Things, healthcare, transportation, security and surveillance.

Led by Dr. Xiangen Hu, the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Partnership Laboratory at the UofM is an government initiative that reports to the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA), which formulates, executes and oversees the Department of Defense (DoD)-mandated human resource programs, budgets, policies and initiatives and provides resources and guidance to all DHRA components and programs. The ADL Initiative creates a bridge across Defense and other Federal agencies to encourage collaboration, facilitate interoperability and promote best practices for using distributed learning to provide the highest-quality education, training, informal learning and just-in-time support that is tailored to individual needs and delivered cost-effectively, anytime and anywhere, to increase readiness, save resources, and facilitate interorganizational collaboration.

The Computational Imaging Research Laboratory (CIRL) focuses on imaging science and estimation theory with applications in computational optical sensing and imaging, multidimentsional light microsopy, multispectral microscopy, hyperspectral imaging and medical imaging. CIRL is led by Dr. Chrysanthe Preza

The Optical Imaging Research Laboratory (OIRL), led by Dr. Ana Doblas aims to advance the fundamental science and engineering in imaging and photonics instrumentation for biological and biomedical applications. The final goal is the transition of research outcomes and outputs to commercial products and systems. Principal research areas of OIRL are: multimodal imaging platforms, low-cost imaging systems, automatic reconstruction algorithms, and healthcare applications using imaging/sensing devices. 

Autonomous & Complex Systems Laboratory focuses on the analysis, design, and control of complex and autonomous systems. Systems include autonomous ground and aerial vehicles, multi-agent systems, large-scale cyber-physical networks, and robots that interact with humans. We apply tools and techniques from control theory, optimization, graph theory, and machine learning to control and assure the safety of these systems. The lab is led by Dr. Mohammadreza Davoodi.

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Engineering Technology

The Automatic Identification Lab (AutoID) is dedicated to the education, research and technology transfer of all automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) technologies. As a vendor and technology agnostic lab, the AutoID Lab will help students and industry alike in the selection and integration of whatever technology is being used. Created by Dr. Kevin Brasso, the AutoID lab educates and promotes the use of the correct AutoID technology for a given problem through classes/workshops, technology transfer activities and university/industry partnerships.

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Mechanical Engineering

The Fatigue and Fracture Research Laboratory houses state-of-the-art facilities for conducting material fatigue and fracture experiments. Led by Dr. Ali Fatemi, experiments in the lab can be done under static as well dynamic loading in force control, displacement control, or strain control mode.

The Fluid Dynamics + Computational Science Lab conducts turbulence research through data-driven discovery and model development. By designing and employing multi-fidelity computational tools, the lab aims to fill gaps in the understanding of complex physical flows by elucidating details through data-driven discovery, characterization of fundamental features, and model development. Led by Dr. Daniel Foti, the lab's research focuses on complex turbulent flows characterized by dominant coherent structures and multi-scale physics.

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