Center for Aluminum Technology

The Center for Aluminum Technology is a partnership involving the aluminum industries, the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, the U.S. Department of Energy, and UK. The mission of the center is to provide industry with trained personnel, new knowledge and emerging technology know-how needed to be globally competitive in the 21st century. The multidisciplinary research center trains undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students to provide leadership in aluminum technology, develops programs in aluminum technology for non-degree students in conjunction with community colleges and technical schools, and provides research on the fabrication and use of aluminum. The center enlists the skills of researchers from a variety of disciplines, including materials engineering, chemical engineering, mathematics, chemistry, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Shridas Ningileri, Director (859) 514-4989

Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering

CeNSE(Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering), formerly known as CMMED (Center for Micro-Magnetic and Electronic Devices) is a shared use facility to encourage the development of device research at the nano-scale. Nearly $2 million has been invested in the basic fabrication techniques of film deposition, lithographic pattern definition, and material etching that will enable cutting edge research in a variety of fields. For example, in addition to more conventional silicon based transistor devices, simple metal/insulator circuit patterns that incorporate the self-assembly chemistry of tailored receptors could be used for biological sensors. Thus highly multi-disciplinary research efforts are strongly encouraged. This facility is a resource for Kentucky ’s development of both innovative academic research and the realization of emerging commercial ideas.

Dr. J. Todd Hastings, Director (859) 218-6544; contact me

Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments

With programs in research, education and industrial outreach, the Center brings together researchers with expertise in computer vision and image processing, data acquisition, graphics, human-computer interaction, multimedia, and teleconferencing and is dedicated to research and development of computer-generated immersive environments, ambient environments, dynamic scene acquisition and preservation, advanced telepresence and telecommunications, and visualization applications in areas such as education and training, medicine, manufacturing, security and daily life .   Researchers are building state-of-the-art visualization and display environments for different applications.   The research includes efficient 3D data acquisition and analysis and computer vision and graphics problems related to model acquisition and tracking of people and objects in order to populate and preserve realistic three-dimensional scenes.

Dr. Brent Seales, Director (859) 257-3063 contact


Electron Microscopy Center

The central campus Electron Microscopy Center, located in the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC), houses a suite of instruments for state-of-the-art materials characterization. A variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (SEM) is outfitted with a light-element energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) and a back- scattered diffraction camera for orientation imaging microscopy (OIM). A field-emission SEM is available for ultra-high resolution and low-voltage imaging. The facility offers two transmission electron microscopes, one with a LaB6 gun and the other with a field-emission gun; both TEMs are outfitted with light-element EDS detectors, and the field-emission TEM has an electron energy-loss spectrometer and imaging filter. A scanning probe microscope, which can be outfitted with heating, cooling or liquid cell stages, is also available. Instrument users are trained and assisted by facility staff.

Dr. John Balk, Director (859) 257-4582; contact me

Kentucky Transportation Center

Serving as the focal point in the state for interdisciplinary transportation research, the center works closely with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Federal Highway Administration, and various other private and governmental agencies to develop innovative transportation technological advances. An ongoing technology-transfer program provides services to local governmental transportation agencies as well as the private sector through training programs, workshops, conferences, technical publications, and on-site consultation. The center’s research capabilities span a wide range of areas with a major & focus on applied research and problem solving for the Transportation Cabinet.  Their areas of expertise closely follow the traditional civil engineering discipline, including pavement, materials, structures, traffic/safety, geotech, construction management, environmental analysis, intelligent transportation systems, and policy and systems analysis. The center provides a myriad of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to benefit from hands-on experience addressing transportation issues.

Joe Crabtree, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Kentucky Transportation Center
contact me

Institute of Research for Technology Development

The Institute of Research for Technology Development (IR4TD) addresses industry problems, with a goal of technology development, by fulfilling all three missions of the University of Kentucky – education, research, and outreach. It is made up of two operations with different, yet overlapping missions.

Research and Development (R&D)

R&D directly responds to industry’s immediate and long-term needs for solutions to process problems and challenges in seven key areas, including energy and combustion, nondestructive testing, and scale modeling. It is an outgrowth of the highly successful Painting Technology Consortium (PTC) which joined academic researchers and industrial resources to develop a new generation of energy efficient, environmentally friendly painting technology. R&D supports postdoctoral and visiting scholars, and students on multiple levels – graduate, under-graduate and secondary – with research opportunities that enhance their learning experience, a new painting technology course and the recently implemented Toyota Production Engineering Program.

Lean Systems Program

The result of an ongoing partnership with Toyota initiated in 1994, the lean program offers training courses and coaching services of the Toyota Production System (TPS) directly to businesses and organizations. During over 20-year history the program’s instructors and staff have worked with clients world-wide across a broad spectrum of business sectors. In addition to courses for professionals, the Lean program offers several academic courses and one non-academic week-long course to UK students, as well as the Graduate Certificate in Lean Systems. Students who earn a master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering can choose lean as an area of concentration.

Dr. Kozo Saito, Director (859)257-6336 ext 80639; contact me

Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing

The Sustainable Manufacturing Research Program brings together faculty from across the College of Engineering, from other UK colleges and centers, and from universities in the U.S. and a dozen foreign countries. The goal is to pursue multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects intended to help manufacturing achieve long-term profitability while offering societal benefits and without harm to the environment or to the needs of future generations. Researchers work closely with industry to ensure the relevance and practicability of the projects.

Faculty teams are currently engaged in work on modeling and optimization of sustainable manufacturing processes covering machining, forming and brazing operations, product and process design for sustainability, sustainable supply chain operations, sustainability enhancement in biomedical implants, dry, near-dry and cryogenic machining. Projects are funded by US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and manufacturing companies such as Toyota, Boeing, Semicon Associates and Caterpillar. The sustainable manufacturing research group is actively involved in research collaboration with a wide variety of defense and commercial manufacturing organizations through the Next Generation Manufacturing Technology Initiative (NGMTI).

Dr. I.S. Jawahir, (859) 859-257-6262 ext 207; contact me

Painting Technology Consortium

The Painting Technology Consortium join research and industrial resources to develop a new generation of painting technology that has a higher energy efficiency and is more environmentally friendly than those currently used on commercial products. The painting technology efforts cover six main areas: Paint spraying and transfer efficiency; paint overspray capturing; paint curing and drying; painted surface finish monitoring and control; paint-related waste recycling and disposal; and smart paint materials. The Consortium has brought together a renowned team of researchers who are conducting research into these six main areas. Current PTC members include: Toyota, Honda, Nippon Steel, and Nissan.

Dr. Kozo Saito, Director (859) 257-6336 ext 80639; contact me


Affiliated Research Centers

Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC)

ASTeCC is UK’s premier business incubator housing new and emerging technology-based companies. Located in the middle of campus within the engineering complex, ASTeCC opened in 1994. The 80,000 sq. ft., $17 million building was funded by the Economic Development Administration and the Small Business Administration. Startup companies in ASTeCC have licensed UK intellectual property or have a connection to UK faculty or staff. ASTeCC is also home to faculty labs for research with commercialization potential, and shared-use facilities for the entire campus, including the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the electron microscopy center and the mass spectrometry facility.

Tanya Floyd, ASTeCC leasing and operations manager (859)218-6563


Center for Applied Energy Research

CAER is an energy technology research facility whose broad mission is to conduct basic and applied research designed to generate information on Kentucky energy resources; ascertain the associated environmental impacts; and produce, test and evaluate new technologies. Current activities include coal cleaning, catalysis, emissions control, separation technologies, coal combustion byproducts research, and activated carbon research. CAER’s industrial support group works with industry to solve industrial problems through utilization of the center’s analytical services expertise and facilities. The Center for Applied Energy Research each year sponsors seminars by distinguished experts on current scientific topics of interest to the academic and research communities.

Dr. Rodney Andrews, Director (859)257-0305; contact me

Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute

KWRRI stimulates and supports water research and education by identifying current and emerging water issues for Kentucky and the nation. Institute programs include the Environmental Systems Certificate curriculum, which offers graduate students an understanding of the interactions of physical, social, biological, economic and legal parameters of environmental issues. Environmental Protection Scholarships support both undergraduate and graduate students with full scholarships in exchange for employment with the state upon graduation. KWRRI assists the state Cabinet for Health Services with environmental oversight of federal facilities located in Kentucky, and administers Water Resources Research Grants, which stimulate research activities by supporting faculty members, research staff and graduate students in a broad spectrum of research topics. The institute’s technology-transfer activities include short courses, seminars and conferences, and distribution of research results.

Dr. Lindell Ormsbee, Director (859) 257-1299 contact me

Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability & the Environment

Grand environmental challenges facing the global community are complex and multifaceted and directly or indirectly influence human health and wellbeing. Adequately addressing these challenges to maximize biodiversity, maintain/restore ecosystem integrity, and avoid detrimental effects on human health and wellbeing will require major breakthroughs in science and technology for developing and promoting sustainable development, alternate energy sources and usage, and measures for managing known and emerging environmental contaminants. These breakthroughs along with development and implementation of strategies for addressing these challenges will require novel interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches requiring expertise from all traditional academic disciplines. Through a novel cross college institute, the Institute of Sustainability and the Environment (ISE), the University of Kentucky is committed to adopting recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences report on facilitating interdisciplinary research, to leverage and augment existing strengths in environmental science and policy and develop a flexible world class organization poised to address the grand environmental challenges.

Dr. Paul Bertsch, Director (859)257-1651; contact me