Research Interests

Our department's research focus areas and strengths include:

  • Materials and Structures: Ceramics, Composites, MEMS
  • Energy Systems: Fuels Cell, HVAC, Renewable Energy
  • Biomechanics
  • Design and Manufacturing
  • Measurement Systems: Fluid Dynamics, Magnetic Resonance
  • Human Factors, Service Engineering
  • Health and safety in communities and workplaces

For more details, check out this listing of faculty research interests:

Kevin Amende
Integrated building design, performance testing of heating and cooling equipment, building control systems, engineering education

Roberta Amendola
Oxidation and corrosion of metallic alloys, high temperature protective coating development and high temperature corrosive gases and water vapor interactions with metals and ceramics

Ruhul Amin
Computational heat transfer and fluid flow

Doug Cairns
Advanced materials as applied to primary structure and understanding the materials, manufacturing, and structural performance link for new engineering systems

David Claudio
Service systems, healthcare engineering, lean principles applied to service, discrete-event systems simulation, and decision making

Sarah Codd
NMR/MRI technique development, spatially resolved studies of gas in ceramics, flow and diffusion studies in porous media, and investigation of fluid dynamics in hydrogels, biofilms, cellular suspensions and polymer electrolyte membranes

Kevin Cook
Development of new lab equipment and learning procedures, development of interactive learning techniques for students

Lewis Cox
Polymer Science, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Additive Manufacturing, Stimuli Responsive Polymers, Photopolymerization, Surface Engineering

Keith Fisher
Fluid Power Efficiency, Medical Device Design and Materials for Medical Devices, Problem Solving and Design Pedagogy, Agricultural Technological Research

Alan George
High temperature fluidized bed heat transfer particularly development of specialized instrumentation for experimental studies. Control of pressure fluctuations in supersonic wind tunnels by surface heating or cooling and related experiments.

Chelsea Heveran
Skeletal effects of aging and disease, hierarchical natural composites, data-driven materials design, biomimetic materials design

Ron June
Novel treatment strategies for osteoarthritis. Current programs involve (1) understanding how chondrocytes and all cells respond to mechanical loads, (2) using systems biology and metabolomics to understand regulation of central metabolism, and (3) expanding our understanding of osteoarthritis.

Robb Larson
Snow and Avalanche Science, Wind Energy, Renewable Energy Technologies, Composite Materials, Instrumentation

Frank Marchak
Cognitive psychophysiology, memory, vision, credibility assessment, human factors & ergonomics

Bernadette McCrory
Industrial engineering, biomedical engineering, healthcare engineering, human factors/ergonomics, biomechanics, user experience, universal design, medical device design, applied statistics

David Miller
Composite materials, experimental mechanics, mechanical system design, active materials and structures

Scott Monfort
Musculoskeletal biomechanics, postural and gait stability, neurological influence on human movement, sport injury prevention, and fall prevention

Mark Owkes
Computational fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, fuel injection, atomization, uncertainty quantification, physics extraction techniques

Cecily Ryan
Biodegradable and bio-derived polymers and composites, materials properties of composites (including interfacial compatibilization), sustainable material and energy product lifecycles, incorporation/reuse of waste materials, environment-material interaction, multi-functional materials, nanocomposites

William Schell
Engineering education and the impact of leadership and culture on change management and process improvement in organizations

Durward Sobek
Lean product development, healthcare systems engineering, engineering design methodology

Stephen Sofie
Advanced Ceramics, Ceramic Processing, Engineered Porosity, Nano-materials, Catalysts, Amorphous Alloys

Nicholas Ward
Traffic safety (road user behavior); Usability Testing; Health and Safety Culture

Stephan Warnat
MEMS, Environmental science, Sensors and actuators

Research Entities

These facilities and entities are listed because they are housed in our department or have a strong affiliation, but our research is interdisciplinary and often involves other research entities in the college as well as other user facilities at MSU.

Student working in Magnetic Resonance Lab, placing sample under scanner

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive imaging technology that has found broad application in clinical medicine and is a maturing method for studies in engineering and physics. The lab offers a variety of tools for researching biofilms, gels, ice and more.

MSU students examining a concrete crack in the lab

Established in 2016, the Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC) seeks to position Montana as a national leader in engineering education research andtransform engineering education through collaborative, empirical research.

Two WTI researchers looking at a design plan for a wildlife crossing structure
The Western Transportation Institute is an interdisciplinary center that is a national leader in rural transportation research. WTI includes the Center for Health and Safety Culture, which is dedicated to applying research to develop sustainable solutions to complex social problems.

Other Facilities

Research Opportunities

It is our intention to support all qualified doctoral students with either RA or TA positions (subject to availability of funding).

  • Available to undergraduates at MSU and other schools.
  • Students gain hands-on research experience working with a faculty adviser.
  • Provides residence hall lodging, reimbursement for travel to/from Bozeman, and $5,000 stipend.
  • Runs June through August.
  • Application deadline is generally in February.

Research is a great way to get some experience outside of classes and can be useful when you apply to either jobs or graduate school.

Getting involved with research is a very individual process.  But, most students start by looking at faculty websites and looking for projects that interest them, areas they want to focus on, or simply faculty they enjoy working with.  Once you identify a few faculty, you should contact them about potential opportunities.  Write a professional email explaining why you are interested in working with the faculty member, a bit about your strengths and why you think they align with research, your timeline for graduating, and current post-graduation plans.  If faculty do not get back to you, do not get discouraged, try going to the faculties office during office hours.  There is no best time during the year to contact faculty.  Projects start and stop all the time.

Depending on the project and your commitment level, there may be funding available.  Here are some programs that provide funding for undergraduate research

 

Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP)

The Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP) is one of the largest multidisciplinary undergraduate research programs at MSU. We are here to help undergraduate students in all disciplines pursue research, scholarship, and creative projects.

 

INBRE Program for Biomedical Research

INBRE grants are designed to enhance biomedical research capacity, expand and strengthen the research capabilities of biomedical faculty and provide access to biomedical resources for promising undergraduate and graduate students throughout eligible states.

 

McNair

The McNair Scholars Program at Montana State University-Bozeman is one of the premier and nationally recognized undergraduate programs on campus. The essence of our program is to successfully combine faculty mentoring, undergraduate research, and academic support services for students whose families have not traditionally participated in post-secondary education.  Specifically, those students who are the first in their families to attend college and are from low-income families OR are members of ethnic/racial underrepresented minorities.

 

First Year Research Experience (FYRE)

FYRE is an innovative new program designed to connect first-year students with hands-on research experiences in a variety of academic disciplines.

 

Leadership Alliance

Leadership Alliance programs foster intellectual and professional growth along every stage of the academic and career path.

 

Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program

Summer Research - Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) is a fully paid summer internship that provides undergraduates with training and mentoring in the principles underlying the conduct of research and prepares them to pursue competitive applications to PhD or MD-PhD programs.

For general questions and more information about research opportunities in our department, contact us at mieresearch@montana.edu. The engineering college's research resources webpage also provides an overview of research opportunities for faculty and students.

More Research News

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