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Labs and Centers

Boise Applied Biomechanics of Infants (BABI) Laboratory

baby crawling on a floor

Director: Erin Mannen, Ph.D.
Yanke Research Park, 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, ID  83706

The BABI Lab at Boise State University focuses on understanding how babies move and use their muscles, and what that means for safety and musculoskeletal development. We work closely with clinicians and industry to ask relevant questions to improve the health and well-being of babies.

Ceramic Microelectrical Mechanical Systems (C-MEMS) Laboratory

Plasma flame

Director: Don Plumlee, Ph.D., P.E.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 415

The C-MEMS lab uses Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC) to manufacture prototypes for research purposes. This lab is supervised by Dr. Donald Plumlee and run by undergraduate research assistants at Boise State University. The C-MEMS lab provides services for design to fabrication of many different possible applications of LTCC. A few of the lab projects include work in microfluidic channels, thermoelectric generators, and plasma microthrusters.

Computational Biosciences Laboratory (CBL)

renderings of musculoskeletal effects of walking

Director: Clare Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 402

Research at the CBL focuses on applying computational models to understand the mechanisms of disease, injury and degeneration, and designing targeted treatment options and surgical interventions to address clinical issues and athletic performance. We work in close collaboration with surgeons and experimentalists to gather data to develop and validate our models, and then use these models to predict how the body will behave during different activities, or how it may change as a result of injury or surgical intervention. The overall objective of this work is to improve quality of life and functional performance.

Computational Materials Design (CMD) Laboratory

graphics regarding structures

Director: Mahmood Mamivand, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 408

At the CMD lab we develop physics-based and data-driven models to understand the inter-relationships between chemistry, processing, structure, and property in materials. The goal of the CMD group research is to accelerate the process of materials design and discovery through advancing the science and engineering of materials microstructure. Our research covers a wide range of materials including aerospace materials, energy materials, and biomaterials.

Energizing Engineering Education (E3) Laboratory

student displaying engineering example in front of classroom

Director: Krishna Pakala, Ph.D.
RUCH 203

The E3 lab is focused on engineering education research serving as an engine to explore novel classroom techniques that can help the professional formation of engineers through understanding of the formal and informal education and value systems by which people become engineers. Our lab’s research focus is in innovative teaching and learning strategies, use of emerging technologies, and mobile teaching and learning strategies. Our lab’s goal is to transform engineering education to support student success inside and outside the classroom, by developing evidence based, practical approaches that can be widely adopted by the engineering education community.

Mechanical Adaptations Laboratory (MAL)

graphical representation of skeletal impact on leg

Director: Gunes Uzer, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 313

Studies in MAL are directed towards understanding how changes in the tissue mechanical environment in relation to exercise, injury, aging and disuse regulate structural adaptations in cells to control signaling and eventually fate decisions in stem cells.

Northwest Tissue Mechanics (NTM) Laboratory

Graduate student using testing equipment on joint

Director: Trevor J. Lujan, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 314

A core focus of the NTM laboratory is to investigate how biological tissue responds to force during injury and repair, and to then translate this research into innovative medical solutions that are effective, practical and affordable. Our research utilizes experimental and computational methods, and we engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with biologists, engineers and clinicians.

Robot Control Laboratory (RCL)

Industrial robots in the Robot Controls Lab

Director: Aykut C. Satici, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 103

The mission of the RCL is to enable robots to efficiently and robustly perform desired manipulation and locomotion tasks by designing low-level feedback control and estimation algorithms. This avenue of research lies in the intersection of dynamical systems, robotics, control, and applied mathematics. A core focus of our laboratory is to investigate how to perform manipulation with multi-agent robotic systems, devising robustly stabilizing controllers for hybrid mechanical systems, such as robots in intermittent contact with the environment. Our research is theoretical and experimental and we engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with biologists (bio-inspired robotics), engineers, and mathematicians.

Smart Materials and Systems (SMS) Laboratory


Director: Zhangxian “Dan” Deng, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 305

The overall objective of the SMS Lab is to investigate the potential of advanced smart materials in structural health or human health monitoring. The on-going projects cover both fundamental research and applied research. The fundamental research includes Multiphysics modeling and experimental characterization of new smart materials. The applied research involves wireless sensor development and mechanical energy harvesting. Future projects will target the integration of smart materials and novel 2D/3D printing technologies.

Thermal Transport and Solar Energy (TTSE) Laboratory

a thermal reflector panel

Director: Todd Otanicar, Ph.D.
Micron Engineering Center, Room 210

The TTSE Lab is focused on the intersection of thermal and mass transport with a variety of different energy systems. Our research has investigated radiative properties of nanoparticles, erosion in high temperature environments, desalination, and the design of hybrid thermal/photovoltaic solar collectors.

Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research (COBR)

athlete kicking a ball while attached to sensors

Yanke Research Park, 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, ID 83706
(208) 426-5614

COBR is a partnership between the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Kinesiology.

The mission of COBR is to advance understanding of the mechanical and neuromuscular characteristics of human movement through basic science, engineering, clinical research and education.

Industrial Assessment Center (IAC)

members of the Industrial Assessment Center pose by a sculpture

Director: Krishna Pakala, Ph.D.
RUCH 203

The Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) provides free energy, productivity, and waste assessments to small and medium sized industrial facilities by students mentored by faculty.

Theodossiou Lab

Director: Sophia Theodossiou, Ph.D.

The Theodossiou Lab will use natural and synthetic biomaterials along with human and non-human stem cells to develop 3D models of musculoskeletal development and disease, with the ultimate goal of regenerating musculoskeletal tissues following injury or disease.

Research in the Theodossiou lab combines engineering, biology, and materials science to understand how mechanical and biochemical signals drive musculoskeletal development, maturation, and disease. We will use various materials and custom, 3D printed bioreactors and scaffolds to understand how biomechanical cues can be harnessed to regenerate and repair musculoskeletal tissues.