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COSS Lab - Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Design and Manufacturing, industrial automation systems, robotics, Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), Digital Twin
  • High performance computing, GPU computing (NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute Certified Instructor)
  • Optimization with OR/meta-heuristics, logistics, supply chain, Computer Simulation of Industrial Processes
  • Maritime and offshore safety
  • Information Technology, Engineering Database design, machine learning, mobile apps development, software programming (VC++ / VB.NET / Java / Objective-C / HTM5 / JavaScript / Python /Matlab / R / Julia)
  • Computer Haptics, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality-based Medical Simulation
  • Computational Geometry, Multi-axis NC machining, NC simulation and verification, Polyhedral Surface machining
  • Quality Improvement, Statistical Quality Control, Reliability
  • Simulation Modeling of Port Management and Logistics, Supply Chain, Production Scheduling
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Systems
  • Engineering Education

Current Funding

  • PI, US Department of Agriculture grant #13424031 "Developing Automated Robotic System for Mushroom Harvesting", PI Dr. Zhu, co-PI Drs. Benhaddou, Balan and Merchant, Sept 2022 - August 2025, $590,000;
  • Co-PI, US Department of Agriculture grant #13111855 "IOT Based Smart Automated Mushroom Production System", PI Dr. Balan, co-PI Drs. Benhaddou and Zhu, June 2021 - May 2024, $500,000;
  • Co-PI, National Science Foundation DUE-1950036, Preparing Effective STEM Teachers by Advancing the Cultural and Computational Engagement of STEM Scholars, PI Dr. P. Evans, Dr. D. Stokes, Dr. J. Subhlok, Dr. C. Gist, Dr. W. Zhu, and Dr. L. McAlister-Shields, April 2020 to March 2025, $1,999,872;
  • PI for University of Houston Subaward, $380,456; National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine #200011064, Developing an Integrated Offshore Energy Industry Safety Culture Evaluation, Benchmarking, and Improvement Toolbox, Project Director: Kevin McSweeney (American Bureau of Shipping), $1,440,330; 
  • PI, National Science Foundation EEC-1855147, RET Site: High School Teacher Experience in Design and Manufacturing, with Dr. A. Reyes, Dr. K. Alba, Dr. B. Basaran, Dr. M. El Nahas, Dr. Z. Fan, and Dr. F. Robles, May 2020 to April 2023, $591,490; REU supplement #1 $12,000, REU supplement #2 $12,000.

Equipment

  • Hardware: Kuka KR-6 robot, MECA500 robot, Yamaha high precision X-Y linear stage, Kosmek tool changer, OpenBuilds CNC1515, BlueROV2 robot, DVNext Rheometer, NI PXI data acquisition system, Syringe pumps, SonoPlot Microplotter II (50% ownership), Nano3DPrint A2200, 5-axis CNC machine, Oculus Rift HMD, Meta 2 AR HMD, HTC Cosmos Elite, Yost VR sensors, 2 sets of Geomagic Touch haptic devices, 4 sets of Novint Falcon haptic devices, 3 FDM 3D Printers, Form2 SLA 3D Printer, DLP 3D Printers, Markforged Mark II Composite 3D Printer, Laser Engraver, Structure 3D Sensor, Lego Mindstorm Robot, uARM robotic arm, 360 Fly 4K camera, many Arduino/Raspberry Pi embedded system and IoT accessories;
  • Software: SolidWorks, Autodesk Fusion 360, Ansys, Matlab, R, JMP, Unity3D, 3DS Max, Maya, Simio, CPlex, AIMMS, Anaconda/Python, etc;

Past Funding

  • PI, National Science Foundation DUE-0737173 ‘A Study of the Impact of Haptic-augmented Learning Tools on Dynamics Course’, Co-PI Dr. J. Zhou, Dr. K. Aung and Dr. M. Srinivasan, Apr 2008 to Mar 2010;
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Sept 2016 to Aug 2017;
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Sept 2010 to Aug 2011;
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Sept 2009 to Aug 2010;
  • Co-PI, Wood Procurement Optimization for a paper mill (PI: Dr. J. Curry, Co-PI: Dr. A. Marquez), June 2008 ~ Nov. 2008;
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Dec 2006 to Aug 2007;
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Dec 2005 to Aug 2006;
  • PI, ‘Agent-based Modeling and Simulation for Hazardous Waste Reverse Logistics’, Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center, Co-PI Dr. J. Curry and Dr. H. Lou, Sept 2008 ~ August 2009;
  • PI, Lamar University Online Teaching Grant for 'Engineering Materials and Manufacturing Processes', Sept 2011 to Dec 2012;
  • Co-PI, ABS Safety Survey and Analysis, American Bureau of Shipping, PI Dr. B. Craig, Co-PIs Dr. J. Curry and Dr. W. Zhu, June 2012 to Dec 2012;
  • Co-PI, National Science Foundation DUE-1140457, Multimedia Learning of ‘Engineering Economics’ through Role Play Gaming on a Mobile Platform, PI Dr. A. Marquez, Co-PIs Dr. J. Yoo and Dr. W. Zhu, May 2012 to April 2016, $191,505;
  • Co-PI, Facilitating Active Learning with Inverted Classroom, Lamar University, PI Dr. J. Zhou, Co-PIs Dr. K. Aung, Dr. W. Zhu and Dr. X. Liu, Sept 2015 to August 2016;
  • Faculty Mentor, Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research Grant - Bio-signal Analysis and Control of a Smart Prothetic Hand, Nov 2017 to Aug 2018; with PI Aleksander Allen (EE Undergraduate)
  • Faculty Mentor, Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research Grant - Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship: Portable Intelligent Prosthetic Hand Control, April 2017 to November 2017; with PI Aleksander Allen (EE Undergraduate)
  • Faculty Mentor, Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research Grant - Design and Improvement a 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand, Nov 2016 to Aug 2017; with PI Aleksander Allen (EE Undergraduate) and Co-mentor Dr. Hassan Zargarzadeh
  • PI, Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant, Sept 2016 to August 2017; with Co-PI Dr. Ezra Wari
  • PI, Gill Foundation, Prosthetic Hand Design with 3D Printing, June 2016 to May 2017; with Co-PI Dr. Yueqing Li
  • PI, Gill Foundation, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Contest, June 2016 to May 2017; with Co-PI Dr. Stefan Andrei
  • PI, National Science Foundation DUE-1608886, RET Site: Incorporating Advanced Design and Manufacturing into High School Curriculum, with Dr. X. Fan, Dr. N. Brake, Dr. J. Zhou, Dr. X. Liu, and Dr. X. Li, Sept 2016 to Aug 2019, $545,380;
  • PI, Multi-method Simulation Framework for Port Operations, Expansion and Disaster Recovery, Center of Advances in Port Management, March 2016 to May 2017;
  • PI, National Science Foundation DUE-1457880, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Scholars with Scholarships, Career Mentoring, Outreach and Advisement, Professional Societies and Engineering Learning Community (SCOPE), with Dr. J. Curry, Dr. B. Craig, Dr. J. Zhou and Dr. H. Chu, Sept 2015 to Aug 2020, $625,300;
  • PI, Distinguished Faculty Fellowship - Teaching, and Teaching Innovation Grant, Lamar University, Sept 2015 to August 2018;
  • Co-PI, Development of the ASTM Standard for Injury and Illness Data Collection and Reporting and the ASTM Standard for Near Miss Collection and Reporting, Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP), Woodinville, Washington, PI Dr. B. Craig, Co-PIs Dr. J. Curry and Dr. W. Zhu (2014 – 2018);
  • PI, ABS/LU Maritime Safety Research Subaward 2019, (July - August 2019);
  • Co-PI, University of Houston Advanced Manufacturing Institute, Transforming Lab-scale Technologies of Developing Smart Contact Lenses to Manufacturing Phase I, with PI Dr. C. Yu, Feb 2019 to Dec 2019;
  • Co-PI, University of Houston Advanced Manufacturing Institute, Transforming Lab-scale Technologies of Developing Smart Contact Lenses to Manufacturing Phase II, with PI Dr. C. Yu, Feb 2020 to Dec 2020;
  • PI, University of Houston startup grant, Sept 2018 to August 2020;
  • PI, ABS/LU Maritime Safety Research Subaward 2020, (July - August 2020)
  • Co-PI, Maritime Prototype Leading Safety Indicators, American Bureau of Shipping, PI Dr. B. Craig, Co-PIs Dr. J. Curry and Dr. W. Zhu, since Sept 2010;
  • Co-PI, Mariner Safety Analysis, American Bureau of Shipping, PI Dr. B. Craig, Co-PIs Dr. J. Curry, Dr. W. Zhu and Dr. K. Das, since Sept 2009;