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There are multiple active research projects in the areas of Smart Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Ergonomics, Machine Learning, and Operations Research, Sustainability, and Energy Efficiency. The research projects are supported by the following research groups, laboratories and centers:


Human Factors and Neuro-ergonomics group

Areas of research include Human-AI Interaction in Healthcare, Technology and User Safety in Automation, AI Governance and Accountability and mHealth Application and Consumer Health. Please contact Dr. Avishek Choudhury for additional information.

Human-Centric Work Systems group

Areas of research include Joint Safety-Productivity Assessment Systems, Human-Machine Interactions, Novel Worker Training (augmented reality based) Methods, and Machine Learning for Activity Recognition. Please contact Dr. Dr. JuHyeong Ryu for additional information.

WVU Pollution Prevention (P2) group

The primary objective of our Pollution Prevention program is to provide technical assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises in key industries by assisting with identification, development, and implementation of P2 methods. The recommendations provided to the industries are designed to help the business lower operational costs by reducing expenditures, water and energy usage, waste, and disposal costs, while at the same time maintaining - and often improving - productivity. 


Additive Manufacturing Lab

Areas of research include Directed Energy Deposition (DED), Hybrid Manufacturing, High-performance Material Development, and Sustainable Manufacturing. Please contact Dr. Zhichao Liu for additional information.

Industrial Ergonomics Lab

Areas of research include Occupational Biomechanics, Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Human factors Engineering, and application of E4 (Ergonomics, Energy, Environment, Economics) for productivity improvement. Please contact Dr. Ashish Nimbarte for additional information.

Smart Manufacturing Lab

Areas of research include Smart Manufacturing Systems (SMS), Machine Learning, AI and Hybrid Analytics in SMS, Digital Transformation & Digital Supply Networks, and Product Lifecycle Management & Servitization. Please contact Dr. Thorsten Wuest for additional information.

Research Centers

Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development, Inc. is a non-profit corporation managed by the Department. Through the Center, graduate students may have an opportunity to consult with many different kinds of businesses. In such projects, graduate students earn additional income while gaining experience in their professional specialty. Center projects offer a unique opportunity for graduate students to experience the research needs of industry and fashion a thesis topic that extends the frontiers of knowledge while being of value to industry.

Industrial Assessment Center

Tenured faculty from accredited U.S. engineering schools guide senior and graduate engineering students as they analyze your plant's energy use. These faculty/student teams are at your plant one-two days with minimal disruption to your plant's operation. About 60 days after the audit, the team prepares a formal, confidential report, recommending specific energy-efficient actions and estimating their costs and pay-back periods. The audits often reveal simple ways to cut energy use quickly with very small capital investment. Also, they generally lead to increased productivity and provide environmental benefits by increasing energy efficiency.

A component of the National Energy Strategy, the IAC program is a major energy conservation initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy. DOE currently funds 30 schools through the program. IAC's provide the energy audit at no cost to your company. The host school also provides Workman's Compensation and liability insurance for the team members.

Since it began in 1976, the IAC program has:

  • Conducted more than 5000 industrial audits
  • Recommended cumulative savings of more than $500 million
  • Identified energy conservation action

Typical energy-conserving actions can be as elaborate as installing a management system for limiting peak energy demand or as simple as shutting off a heater in an empty room. Additional recommendations include adjusting temperatures on process equipment and installing energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and energy-efficient motors. Manufacturers currently implement about 50 percent of the recommendations, with individual manufacturers.

The audit is available for all types of manufacturing. You are eligible for IAC services if your plant's products are within the standard industrial classification codes 20 through 39 and you are located within about 150 miles (242 kilometers) of the host campus. Your plant must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have gross annual sales of $75 million or less
  • Employ no more than 500 people
  • Consume energy at a cost of $1.75 million/year or less
  • Have no technical staff to do energy analysis

NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium

The NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium was established in August 1991. It includes seven universities and four colleges in West Virginia.

West Virginia University is the lead institution. The consortium is housed in the Statler College on the Evansdale Campus of WVU.

The mission of the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium is to develop a statewide infrastructure that will enhance the state's competitiveness in research, education, and industrial activities.

Specifically, the Consortium aims to capture, channel and enhance the interests and activities of current and potential scientists, engineers and other related professions in its member institutions. To achieve this goal, the consortium is organized into three major categories:

  • Promote and support research efforts of consortium faculty and students in areas of interest to NASA
  • Increase community support through effective communication of the consortium's mission in regard to the importance of science, engineering and space-related education and research activities to the economic climate of West Virginia
  • Enhance the interests and enthusiasm of K-12 students in science, engineering, mathematics, and space-related disciplines.