Research Themes

Research is one of the key activities of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Both fundamental research to seek new understanding of physical processes and research of an applied nature to develop new processes/products to meet the more immediate needs of industry are carried out extensively in the Department. The major research activities are summarized below.

Applied Mechanics Acoustics, dynamics & guidance, plasticity, fracture and impact mechanics, dynamic material behaviour, constitutive behaviour and modelling, multi-scale modelling (macro to molecular), fracture, NDT and evaluation, damage mechanisms in composite materials, biomechanics, mechanobiology, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), computational mechanics, soft active material, and soft robots.
Control, Robotics and Mechatronics Robust control, machine learning, optimization, data analytics, human-robot collaborative systems,  legged robots, mobile robotics, rehabilitation and haptic devices, medical robotics, autonomous/unmanned systems,  legged robotics, biomimeticsvariable impedance actuation, micro-manipulation, computer vision and graphics.
Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics Bluff body aerodynamics, unsteady aerodynamics, flapping-wing aerodynamics and flyers, flow stability & transition, vortex dynamics, turbulent drag reduction, micro-bubble & droplet dynamics, cavitation, shock and detonation, pulse detonation engine, biofluid-dynamics, microfluidics, fluid transient in pumping systems, computational fluid dynamics research.
(Click here for more information on the Fluid Mechanics group.)
Manufacturing Sustainable design and manufacturing;  Distributed design & manufacturing systems; Machining process planning, characterization, monitoring and diagnostics; Systems and processes for micro/nano-machining;  Additive manufacturing processes, materials and systems; Assistive technology systems and devices; Neuro-sensors and magnetic sensors for defense applications; Augmented reality applications in manufacturing operations
Materials Advanced Processing, Designing, Modeling and Characterization of Futuristic MaterialsCost effective and energy efficient processing of lightweight metal based (Al, Mg) materials focussing on (nano) composites, Advanced Scanning Probe Microscopy Characterization, Biomimetics, lithium ion and post-lithium electrochemical batteries, supercapacitors,  computational materials modelling and design, carbon-based fibers and aerogels, electrospun nanofibers and nanoparticles, Tribology.
Energy & Thermal Systems Basic concepts of thermodynamics are extended to energy management for buildings, solar-powered adsorption desalination, co-generation power plants, drying technologies, electronic packaging and cooling, micro power sources, micro-channel cooling and boiling,  thermo-electric systems, nanostructured solar cells, lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries, as well as sorption characteristics of adsorbents for cooling and desalination cycles.

In addition, the Department has also identified a number of research growth areas, namely

  • Advanced Manufacturing Systems
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Bio-mechanical Engineering
  • Defence Technology
  • Design and Processing of Innovative Materials
  • Energy Systems for Cooling and Desalination
  • Future Transportation
  • Green Technology
  • Micro- and Nano-Systems Technology
  • Off-shore Engineering
  • Robotics

Aeronautics is one of the most technologically advanced engineering areas, and the Aeronautical Engineering Specialisation is a premier pathway for students. Students may apply for admission either at the point of entry into the B.Eng. (ME) programme (from AY13/14 onwards), or later in Stage 3 of their studies in ME. Students will receive a separate certificate of specialisation, in addition to their B.Eng. (ME) degree scroll. Upon completion of this specialisation, students will be able to apply the essential understanding and skill sets they developed to the analysis, design, manufacturing, maintenance, operation and support of aerial vehicles and systems.

The work is carried out in 16 teaching cum research laboratories.

The department is one of the heavy users of research computational facilities on the NUS campus provided by the NUS Computer Centre in computational fluid dynamics and molecular dynamics modelling on a regular basis. The department also runs its own dedicated computing facilities, comprising an 80-CPU and a 20-CPU distributed memory systems. Two new shared memory compute servers (a 32-CPU system and a 48-CPU system) will also be installed in the near future.