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College Signature Programs

Center for Biomaterials and Bioprocessing, led by Professor Galen Suppes in chemical engineering. At this center, research is conducted to use biomass to produce materials and chemicals that can help reduce American dependence on imported fuels. Current research is focused on use of carbon for hydrogen storage, improved batteries and improved supercapacitors. Research is also being conducted to find ways to make urethane foams out of soybean oil rather than petroleum-derived chemicals, converting fats and soils into energy-storing materials, and synthesis of propylene glycol from glycerol.

Center for Computational Imaging and VisAnalysis, led by Associate Professor Kannappan Palaniappan in computer science. Research efforts in this center focus on large scale computational imaging problems in biomedical and defense applications. Common to both domains are visualization tools for image and video display, annotation, ground-truth creation, trajectory editing, and performance assessment. Another common theme is the development of efficient algorithms and the use of parallel processing to speed up otherwise computationally prohibitive algorithms.

Center for Energy Conversion, led by Yangchuan Xing in chemical engineering. Work conducted within this center is aimed at developing advanced technologies for efficient energy conversion and storage. Initial efforts are focused on chemical energy, lithium air batteries and fuel cells, for example, and solar energy dye-sensitized solar cells and photoelectrochemical synthesis.

Center for Energy Conversion and Electromechanics, led Associate Professor Greg Engel in electrical and computer engineering. Research at this center is conducted to develop high power electromechanical and energy conversion devices.

CELDi — Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution — led by Professor James Noble in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. It is a multi-university, multi-disciplinary National Science Foundation-sponsored Industry/University cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Its objective is to conduct applied research in order to deliver innovative solutions to large scale and facility-level logistics system challenges. Research endeavors are driven and sponsored by member organizations that specialize in distribution, transportation, manufacturing, information technology and software solutions.

National Center for Explosion Resistant Design, led by C. W. LaPierre Professor Sam Kiger and C. W. LaPierre Associate Professor Hani Salim in civil and environmental engineering. Explosions and blast mitigation technology are studied and new concepts for blast barriers are developed within this center.

Center for Fluid Power Research, led by Associate Professor Roger Fales, in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Within this center, research is conducted on ways to use computers — and the precise control they offer — to improve the performance of machines driven by fluid power.

Institute for Interdisciplinary Geotechnics, led by Croft Professor John Bowders in civil and environmental engineering. This multidisciplinary geotechnics center seeks to solve soil, water and environmental challenges through sustainable engineering approaches and techniques.

Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium, led by Associate Research Professor Robert Reed. Several MU interdisciplinary energy efficiency programs join together in this center’s efforts to help weave energy efficiency into the fabric of the Midwest. Efforts include industry partners and a primary goal of the center is to develop academic courses and training programs to advance the comprehension, proficiency and development of energy efficient technologies.

Center for Thermal Management, led by Professor Bill Ma in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Tackling heat transfer and fluid flow mechanisms occurring in two-phase systems, this thermal management center researches novel, highly efficient cooling technologies.

Transportation Infrastructure Center, led by Charlie Nemmers in civil and environmental engineering, is a hub for multi-disciplinary collaboration in transportation engineering research and education toward sustainable transportation systems.

Center for Energy Conversion, led by Yangchuan Xing in chemical engineering. Work conducted within this center is aimed at developing advanced technologies for efficient energy conversion and storage. Initial efforts are focused on chemical energy (e.g., lithium batteries and fuel cells), and solar energy (e.g., dye-sensitized solar cells and photoelectrochemical synthesis).