Mechanical, Operations & Systems Engineering Research
Both private and public sectors have increasingly recognized the value of the systems approach to solve complex problems of the modern world—from climate change, to energy, to pandemics. Dartmouth engineers view the world as a series of interconnected systems, with various feedback loops enhancing or detracting from desired functions. Looking through this lens, researchers can zero in on bottlenecks and find solutions with maximum human-centered impact.
The following research sub-areas have been strategically chosen to address key challenges and opportunities and are supported by leading faculty in their fields.
Cybersecurity & Information Systems
The ability to decipher patterns in digital behaviors has implications in areas as disparate as cybersecurity, stock-market fraud, and counterterrorism. For better or for worse, more and more of our behaviors are being tracked and collated. That information not only has obvious marketing potential, but also can tell us about the daily patterns of people in society, and how we might improve information systems and design solutions for today's interconnected digital world.
Understanding cyber-physical energy systems and their integration is critical to improving sustainability and resilience in interdependent smart infrastructures. Dartmouth is active in research that supports the design, planning, and operations of large scale engineering systems involving energy, water, structures, transportation and industrial activities.
Engineered Systems for Extreme & Changing Environments
Rapid biological, physical, chemical, and social changes in a variety of the world's regions are fundamentally altering climate, weather, and ecosystems with profound global impacts. Now is an unprecedented time to use new technologies to investigate previously inaccessible realms and form international partnerships. Recent research involves scientific traverses across Antarctica, expeditions in the Arctic, and ice coring in both polar regions.
Arctic ecosystem dynamics
Sustainability, resilience, and reconfigurability
Transport and dispersion of environmental contamination
The world is filled with engineering applications that make use of the principles of fluid mechanics and thermal systems—industrial and building energy efficiency, environmental turbulence and ecosystem dynamics, and climate change to name a few. Dartmouth researchers are engaged in analytical, computational and experimental investigations to solve a range of problems involving heat, mass and momentum transfer.
The behavior and performance of complex real-world systems is shaped by interactions between multiple decision-makers. Operations research at Dartmouth has applications in energy, transportation, education, healthcare, design and manufacturing, drawing from tools in optimization, human and machine learning, and platform strategies.
Multi-component systems—such as communication networks, industrial processes, interacting teams of robots, and influences on human behavior—can produce unexpected emergent properties that make the overall system tough to model.
"Many of the systems we are building, the human user and social aspects of those systems are really critical. Being able to incorporate the human as part of the engineering system will be even more important as we move ahead.” —George Cybenko, Dorothy and Walter Gramm Professor of Engineering