Advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing research

The College of Engineering has set as one of its strategic research priorities the development of an interdisciplinary research cluster in advanced manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing contributions by department

The College of Engineering is continuously pursuing new advanced manufacturing opportunities. As a result, more faculty, courses, and grants will be added to this evolving page soon. 

Chemical & Materials Engineering

M. Rashed Khan  | Dr. Khan is currently harnessing soft materials and deformable interfaces essential to manufacture stimuli-responsive materials, and address critical challenges for biochemical, biomedical, and physicochemical applications. Implantable microfluidics, 4D printing, and hybrid sensing are a few other key focus areas from the group.

Bin Li  | Dr. Li is performing computation-directed design and processing of lightweight materials for automotive and aerospace applications.

Mano Misra | Dr. Misra has been involved the advanced manufacturing of nano-crystalline high-strength light metal alloy using cold-spray 3-D printing funded by Advanced Manufacturing Office of DOE. In addition, he is working on manufacturing materials for extreme environments which include nuclear reactors, super-critical power plants and space applications. He is associated with manufacturing of high capacity solid state batteries supported by industries. His research also involves manufacturing of point-of-care sensors for diagnostics and detection funded by NIH.

Yufeng Zheng | Dr. Zheng’s research focuses on the inter-discipline of materials science, electron microscopy and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Zheng has particular interests in the understanding of fundamental processing-microstructure-property relationships in lightweight structural and functional metallic materials produced by additive manufacturing, using in-situ and ex-situ advanced characterization techniques. Specific research activities include: High-throughput materials design using combinatorial approach; Non-equilibrium phase transformations in additive manufactured metals and alloys; 3D printing of low-modulus titanium alloys for biomedical implants.

Computer Science & Engineering


Kostas Alexis | Dr. Alexis leads the Autonomous Robots Lab and emphasizes on research towards resilient robotic autonomy. His research contributions are in the fields of control systems, path planning, and simultaneous localization and mapping, alongside unmanned aircraft development especially for long-endurance missions.

Shahriar Badsha  | Dr. Shahriar Badsha is an assistant professor in cybersecurity at UNR. His main research focus includes assuring security, privacy, reliability and integrity in Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial IoT with Blockchain and Cryptography."

David Feil-Seifer | Dr. Feil-Seifer is an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering. His research in advanced manufacturing includes

  1. Investigations into how human-robot interaction can be best structured for everyday workplace interaction
  2. Distributed cognitive architectures for enabling multi-human multi-robot teams to complete complex tasks
  3. Curriculum development for robotics education that occurs pre-graduate school

Hung La  | Dr. La is an expert in robotics and control systems. He has authored/co-authored over 100 papers in major journals and international conferences. Several of his papers have won best conference paper awards and best paper finalist. He has managed over $2.5 million of federally funded projects (NSF, NASA, DOT) as the role of PI and Co-PI. He founded and is directing the Advanced Robotics and Automation (ARA) Lab

Monica Nicolescu | Dr. Nicolescu is the director of the University's Robotics Research Lab. She conducts research in the areas of human-robot interaction, robot control, learning, and multi-robot systems. Dr. Nicolescu’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Energy and Nevada Nanotech Systems. In 2006 she was a recipient of the NSF Early Career Development Award (CAREER) Award for her work on robot learning by demonstration.

Haoting Shen  | Dr. Shen is an assistant professor with research emphasis in cybersecurity. His inter-disciplinary research covers both software and hardware. The research topics in advance manufacturing include the assurance of supply chain security and developing security primitives through novel materials by micro/nano-fabrication.

Alireza Tavakkoli  | Dr. Tavakkoli is an associate professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interests are at the cross-section of visual computing and robotics, with an emphasis on robot vision, semantic world representation, and efficient teleoperation. At the University of Nevada, Reno he is affiliated with the computer vision laboratory and the integrative neuroscience program.

  • CPE 470/670 Autonomous Mobile Robots
  • CS 482/682 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS 491/691 Autonomous Mobile Robot Design
  • CS 491/691 Introduction to Aerial Robotics
  • CS 791 Robotic Manipulators
  • CS 791 Robotics for Humanity
  • CS 791 Machine Learning Applications
  • CS 485/685: Computer Vision
  • CS 491/691: Deep Learning
  • Construction Robotics, Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development,  $149,992, Kostas Alexis (PI), Christos Papachristos (Co-PI)
  • Hung M. La (PI), David Feil-Seifer (Co-PI) and Paul Oh (Co-PI at UNLV): UGV-UAV Hybrid System for Unstructured Environment Exploration. Nevada NASA Seed Research Infrastructure Development. Amount: $83,523. UNR portion $73,523. Duration: 1 year: September 2016- August 2017.
  • Hung M. La (PI): Deep Reinforcement Learning Framework for Robotic Manipulation. Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Research Infrastructure. Amount: $45,000. Duration: 8 months: September 1, 2018- April 9, 2019.
  • Jun Zhang (PI) and Hung M. La (Co-PI) : An Artificial Muscle-powered Versatile Robotic Grasper. Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Research Infrastructure. Amount: $49,000. Duration: 9 months: August 1, 2019- April 9, 2020.
  • Monica Nicolescu (PI), Mircea Nicolescu (Co-PI), David Feil-Seifer (Co-PI): From Heterogeneous Individual Capabilities to Emerging Teamwork: An Architecture for Effective Human-Agent Teams. U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Amount: $ 99,943. Duration: 12 months: May 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021.
  • Engineering and Robotics Teachers' Training Nevada 2019, Nevada Department Of Education PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Adam Kirn, Amount: $225,000, May 23, 2019 - May 31, 2020.
  • CHS: Small: Socially-Aware Navigation, National Science Foundation PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Monica Nicolescu, Amount: $500,000, Sept. 1, 2017 - Aug. 31, 2020, award #IIS-1719027
  • REU Site: Collaborative Human-Robot Interaction, National Science Foundation PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Shamik Sengupta, Amount: $360,000, Feb. 1, 2018 - Jan. 31, 2021, award #IIS-1757929
  • Designing Collaborator Robots for Highly-Dynamic Multi-Human, Multi-Robot Teams, Office of Naval Research (ONR) PI: Monica Nicolescu, Co-PI: David Feil-Seifer, Amount: $656,511, April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2019, award #N00014-16-1-2312
  • Infrastructure For Socially-Aware Navigation For Long-Term Human-Robot Interaction, NASA EPSCoR PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Kimberly Barchard, Amount: $30,416, July 1, 2017 - April 9, 2018, award #NNX15AK48A
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Robotics Curriculum For UNR College of Engineering, NASA Space Grant PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Monica Nicolescu, Hung La, Kostas Alexis, Logan Yliniemi, Amount: $76,539, Sept. 1, 2016 - Aug. 31, 2017, award #NNX15AI02H
  • Fast Detection of Partially Occluded Humans from Mobile Platforms, NASA Space Grant Consortium PI: David Feil-Seifer, Co-PI: Richard Kelley, Amount: $30,000, July 1, 2014 - Feb. 29, 2016, award #NSHE-15-40
  • DURIP: Humanoid Platforms for Human-Robot Collaboration, Office of Naval Research (ONR) PI: Monica Nicolescu, Co-PI: David Feil-Seifer, Mircea Nicolescu, Amount: $312,000, May 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015, award #N00014-14-1-0776
  • Instructional Enhancement Grant: Robotics for Experimentation in the Classroom, University of Nevada, Reno Provost's Office PI: David Feil-Seifer, Amount: $5,000, July 1, 2014 - May 15, 2015

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Patrick Laplace | Dr. Laplace’s research interests are in the area of advanced sensor hardware and sensor design for mechanical and electro-optical systems. He has developed deployable sensor systems, including data acquisition and communication systems, for both large-scale experiments and major infrastructure deployment.  His current focus is in the development of effective sensor / communication networks for civil infrastructure and the production / manufacture of systems.

David McCallen |  Dr. McCallen’s research work includes the development of advanced electro-optical sensors for transformational displacement/deformation-based monitoring of intelligent civil infrastructure. Associated work is developing new systems for the earthquake monitoring of critical infrastructure with a focus on reliable and rapid detection and localization of damage from destructive natural hazard events. The developed systems will require high-technology fabrication and manufacture.

Mohamed Moustafa |  Dr. Moustafa’s research activities include the development of advanced construction materials and innovative construction methods. His work in ultra-high-performance concrete can contribute to new fabrication and manufacturing technologies for civil infrastructure.

Krishna Pagilla | Dr. Pagilla’s research includes producing fit-for-use water for industrial, commercial, and domestic applications. The need for water, both high quality and quantity, in advanced manufacturing facilities for process, thermal management, environmental control, and auxiliary operations in arid and semi-arid regions is high. Dr. Pagilla’s work involves recycled water production from domestic wastewater and non-traditional water resources for advanced manufacturing. The nexus between energy and water in technology industry is also a focus of his research.

Floriana Petrone | Dr. Petrone's research activities include the development of a computational simulation framework for the design and performance assessment of advanced optical-based sensors applied to infrastructure systems of different complexity. This work enables the design and optimization of transformational monitoring systems that can advance high-tech fabrication and manufacturing of intelligent civil infrastructure.

Electrical & Biomedical Engineering

Sesh Commuri | Dr. Commuri has over 25 years of industry/academic/research experience in automation, systems engineering, and embedded applications. His research interests include application of robotics and automation in advanced manufacturing and design of cyber-physical systems in the age of industry 4.0.

Jeongwon Park | Dr. Park is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. His expertise is in the areas of IoT sensors and sensor networks for Advanced Manufacturing (AM), nanotechnology-enabled flexible hybrid electronics, nanoelectronics, semiconductor and nanomaterials.

Yantao Shen | Dr. Shen is currently an associate professor whose expertise is in robotics, sensors and actuators, automation, and their applications in advanced manufacturing, space exploration, environmental monitoring and medicine.

Mechanical Engineering

Ronald Gibson | Dr.  Gibson is an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering. His research expertise is in the analysis, design, manufacturing and testing of advanced composite materials.

James Hanna | Dr. Hanna is a mechanician with interests in shape-programmable materials (4D printing), web handling and converting (roll-to-roll processing), sheet forming, and other applications of mechanics and geometry to processing of structures and materials.

Yifei Jin | Dr. Jin's primary research interests involve 3D bioprinting of living tissue constructs, 3D printing of hydrophobic functional materials, yield-stress fluids for 3D printing applications, stimuli-responsive materials for 4D printing applications, and fabrication of multi-layered capsules.

Pradeep Menezes | Dr. Menezes is working in the areas of advanced green- and bio- manufacturing, such as composites and additive manufacturing, cold-spay coatings, surface engineering and tribology, bio based lubricants, characterization at micro and nanoscale, self-cleaning and self-lubricating materials, metal forming and metal cutting technology, friction stir processing and welding, and rock drilling.

Yan Wang | Dr. Wang strives to understand thermal/mechanical processes and energy transport and conversion processes over a wide spectrum of time and length scales; design micro/nanomaterials and structures for various thermal and mechanical applications; develop theoretical and computational approaches to model and simulate complex thermal and mechanical processes for energy applications and advanced manufacturing. He has a particular interest in advanced manufacturing, for his expertise in developing computational approaches to model and understand the complex thermal transport and thermally-induced microstructure evolution processes in laser additive manufacturing using high-energy and/or ultrafast lasers. .