Researcher List

Laboratories in Department of Mechanical Engineering

Materials Design Engineering Laboratory
Prof. Sei UEDA

Finite element analysis model of a centrifugal blower
Finite element analysis model of a centrifugal blower

Composite materials consist of two or more kinds of materials and are made to make the best use of the characteristics of each material. They are now indispensable materials in the fields of aviation, space, and energy, as well as in all aspects of our daily lives. In this laboratory, we are conducting computer simulations for the design, development, and evaluation of piezoelectric ceramics, which are expected to be used as materials for sensors and actuators, as well as functionally graded materials, which are attracting attention as super heat-resistant materials for space planes (space transportation ships).

Main Research Topics

  • Mathematical analysis in elasticity of piezoelectric materials
  • Study on impeller fasteners of blowers using FEM analysis
  • Evaluation of mechanical behavior of impeller fasteners
  • Basic study on evaluation of rebound characteristics of metal baseball bats
  • Evaluation of mechanical properties of table tennis balls

Material Processing Laboratory
Prof. Toshio HAGA

Experiment of a roll caster designed and developed in the laboratory
Experiment of a roll caster designed and developed in the laboratory

We are developing a process called roll caster that can produce thin strips of about 3 mm thickness from molten metal in a single step. This process has the advantage of saving energy because it can produce sheets in one step. Since the cooling rate of the strip can reach more than 1000°C/s by rapid solidification, the impurities in the recycled material are reduced to a finer size, which reduces the deterioration of performance. Another advantage of the roll caster is its compactness and low capital investment cost, and we were the first in the world to develop a roll caster for cladding materials, which can produce cladding materials directly from molten metals by joining two or more thin sheets. We are the only laboratory in Japan that has developed a roll caster, which is unique in the world.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of roll caster for clad strips
  • Development of high speed roll caster
  • Development of roll caster for strip with non-central line segregation
  • Development of thin-walled semi-solid die casting method
  • Development of casters for thin wire rods

Precision Engineering Laboratory
Prof. Yukitosh IHARA

State-of-the-art 5-axis machining center and accuracy measurement (bottom left)
State-of-the-art 5-axis machining center and accuracy measurement (bottom left)

In order to manufacture high-performance machines, the machines used to process the parts (machine tools) must be highly accurate. In this laboratory, we are studying methods for measuring and evaluating the motion accuracy, vibration, and thermal deformation of machine tools. In addition to the evaluation, we are also researching and developing new control methods, elements, and structures of machine tools to realize high-precision machine tools. We are also researching the machining of non-metallic materials and new materials such as carbon graphite and fine ceramics, and researching methods to measure the accuracy of finished parts directly on the machine.

Main Research Topics

  • Surface properties by turn-mill processing
  • Mirror surface machining of graphite
  • Machine accuracy test method for multi-axis controlled machine tools
  • On-machine measurement using touch sensors

Internal Combustion Engine Laboratory
Prof. Kazunari KUWAHARA

Internal Combustion Engine Laboratory

Internal combustion engine technologies have so far achieved combustion controls for gasoline leanburn engines by controlling in-cylinder turbulence, and for gasoline direct injection engines by controlling in-cylinder air-fuel mixing. We believe that controlling in-cylinder chemical reactions can be the next target for combustion control. Therefore, we focuses on clarifying the chemical reaction mechanisms of gasoline, diesel oil, and other hydrocarbon and carbon-free fuels as future fuel candidates, and sorting out the similarities and differences among these fuels. Combustion control through chemical reaction control may lead to a completely new concept of internal combustion engine using a completely new fuel that is not an extension of conventional gasoline and diesel engines. Toward this target, we would like to propose free and dreamy ideas that will be beyond the reach of internal combustion engine engineers at automobile manufacturers.

Main Research Topics

  • Experimental studies on new combustion control technologies using a gasoline engine testing bench
  • Experimental and computational studies to establish a new knocking prediction model using a gasoline engine testing bench
  • Experimental study on the ignition and combustion characteristics of various hydrocarbon fuels using a constant volume combustion vessel
  • Chemical kinetic studies to establish a global model for describing the ignition process of various hydrocarbon fuels
  • Chemical kinetic studies to establish a new ignitability index for natural gas

Functional Materials Engineering Laboratory
Prof. Yasutomo UETSUJI

Development of new materials based on computer simulation
Development of new materials based on computer simulation

It is important to establish a systematic method for designing systems not only in the mechanical and electrical fields but also in various fields such as chemical, biological, environmental, economic, and medical fields. In this laboratory, we aim to develop systematic design theories for various fields, which will enable us to design systems systematically and evaluate whether the desired performance can be achieved or not, by using mathematical analysis, numerical simulations, and experimental approaches.

Main Research Topics

  • Research on multiscale and multiphysics analysis of functional materials
  • Research on the design and development of new materials that are friendly to humans and the environment
  • Development of wood composites using wood from thinning in Kawakami Village
  • Design and development of micro pumps and mixers for medical and chemical analysis
  • Design and development of devices and components for automobiles (acceleration sensors, drive gears, ring components, etc.)

Cybernetic Intelligence Laboratory
Prof. Shun USHIDA

Motion control of a bipedal robot with vision
Motion control of a bipedal robot with vision

Humans can skillfully control their own musculoskeletal system by using various sensory information. In this laboratory, we are conducting research on "robots that move as smartly as humans" by referring to the advanced functions of learning, memory, and adaptation in the human brain. Specifically, we will propose the method of designing and manufacturing humanoid robots that can capture their surroundings with their eyes (cameras) and move intelligently, robot arms that can balance a stick with their fingers, and two-wheeled robots that can run without collapsing, in order to realize highly intelligent motion control systems for robots. We will consider how to create and control these artificial machines, and establish a control theory useful for real robots based on the fundamental technologies of control engineering and robotics.

Main Research Topics

  • Research on the control of highly intelligent robots that simulate human motor control
  • Motion control of a bipedal robot with vision
  • Design of robust stabilizing controller for wheeled inverted pendulum
  • Identification of flight dynamics for an unmanned helicopter and development of an autopilot system
  • Research on vibration suppression and various performance improvement of lens processing machines

Vibration & Sound Laboratory
Prof. Junji YOSHIDA

Technology for separating automobile vibration and noise contributions
Technology for separating automobile vibration and noise contributions

Most products with power sources such as vehicles generate noise and vibration. Large vibration not only shortens the life of the product, but also has a possibility to make neighboring people uncomfortable. In our laboratory, we aim improving the uncomfortableness of generated noise and vibration and conducting research on various noise and vibration issues. In general, weight and price are increased for the noise and vibration countermeasure. Accordingly, we develop a method to find out the main part or vibration behavior generating large noise and vibration easily for compatibility the noise and vibration performance with the weight and price. In addition, we also investigate which noise and vibration characteristics are important factor to improve the noise and vibration through subjective evaluation test and statistical analysis.

Main Research Topics

  • Contribution separation technique for vehicle noise and vibration
  • Sound quality evaluation methods for various products
  • Noise and vibration reduction of home appliances
  • Vibration evaluation and analysis technique for machining tools
  • Development of hammering test method using machine learning

Green Energy Materials Laboratory
Prof. Shin-ichi YAMAURA

3 Keywords of Green Energy Materials Laboratory

In this laboratory, we aim to develop new metallic materials and their applications to the environmental energy engineering fields. We have mainly engaged in researches on materials for hydrogen-powered society such as hydrogen permeable membrane and metallic bipolar plates for fuel cell and materials for energy harvesting and environmental power generation for scavenging small amounts of kinetic energy in the environment. And also we have studied deterioration diagnosis techniques for loosening of high strength bolts used in steel structures such as bridges.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of new metallic materials (mainly focused on magnetostrictive alloys, non-equilibrium alloys and high entropy alloys)
  • Research on hydrogen permeable membranes
  • Research on materials for fuel cell components
  • Creation of energy harvesting devices
  • Deterioration diagnosis techniques for loosening of high strength bolts (mainly focused on the Barkhausen noise technique)

Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics
Prof. Izuru NISHIKAWA

Laboratory of Experimental Mechanics

We are mainly engaged in research to improve the strength of metallic and composite materials. We are also developing ceramic coating methods to enable metals to be used at high temperatures, and developing a new composite material to increase the strength of dental materials. Various measurement methods necessary for strength evaluation are developing in this laboratory. The digital image correlation method is an innovative method to determine a crack detection and mechanical parameters of the material from the surface image. The techniques to apply lasers for fatigue damage evaluation and detection of micro-deformation are also developing.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of crack detection and fracture mechanics parameter evaluation method using digital image correlation
  • Research on improvement of static and fatigue strength of welded joint members
  • Research on improvement of static and fatigue strength of adhesive bonded materials
  • Improvement of fatigue strength of dental resin composites
  • Fatigue damage evaluation using laser

System Design Laboratory
Associate Prof. Tomoaki HASHIMOTO

System Design Laboratory

It is important to establish a systematic method for designing systems not only in the mechanical and electrical fields but also in various fields such as chemical, biological, environmental, economic, and medical fields. In this laboratory, we aim to develop systematic design theories for various fields, which will enable us to design systems systematically and evaluate whether the desired performance can be achieved or not, by using mathematical analysis, numerical simulations, and experimental approaches.

Main Research Topics

  • Optimal feedback control of fluid systems
  • Signal processing and system design using noise
  • Attitude control of artificial satellites
  • Research and development of robots for use in extreme environments
  • Enhancement of plant production systems

Fluid Control Laboratory
Assistant Prof. Takahiro UKAI

Flow field around a nanosecond pulsed plasma actuator
Flow field around a nanosecond pulsed plasma actuator

In the flow field around vehicles such as airplanes and automobiles, even a small disturbance can significantly change the flow characteristics. For example, small protrusions (vortex generators) installed on the wings of airplanes induce longitudinal vortices and supply mainstream energy to the vicinity of objects (boundary layer), thereby suppressing wing stall and improving airplane safety. In this laboratory, we are investigating how such aerodynamic devices, which are small in relation to the reference length, affect the surrounding air, and are working to develop more efficient and practical aerodynamic devices. We are also studying flow diagnostics, which are essential for understanding fluid phenomena. The diagnostic method we are working on is a technology that can measure air density and temperature over a wide area without contact any mechanical probes, and we aim to contribute to the development of aerodynamic devices.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of a device for controlling fluid delamination by electrostatic force (Automobile and Aircraft fields)
  • Research on optimal control of periodically fluctuating jet flow (Automobile and Aircraft fields)
  • Elucidation of fluid interference around household wind turbines and development of fluid control devices for them
  • Development of a quantitative visualization method using light refraction
  • Research on sonic booms and turbulent interference (supersonic airliner development)

Movement Assistance Systems Laboratory
Assistant Prof. Makoto HARAGUCHI

Movement Assistance Systems Laboratory

At this laboratory, we conduct research and development on nursing and welfare devices utilizing mechatronics technologies and mechanism design. In addition to devices that assist the mobility of users, such as wheelchairs that can handle steps for those with spinal injuries, new types of walkers for the elderly, rehabilitation assistance equipment for standing, and relief assistance suits for nursing workers, we also conduct development of finger rehabilitation equipment for stroke patients and undergarment wearing/removal systems for ALS patients.

Main Research Topics

  • Standing rehabilitation assistance system
  • Development of step clearing function
  • New type of walker to promote spinal rotation
  • Finger extension assistance rehabilitation apparatus
  • Relief assistance suit