Research in vibrations and acoustics was started by Prof. M.L. Munjal almost fifty years ago in the Department. The objective was to design industrial products for quietness, with a strong focus on automotive mufflers. Computational and experimental work was carried out in the Ducts and Mufflers Laboratory in the Department leading to a commercial software that can predict the performance of industrial automotive mufflers. In order to popularize technical acoustics for education and research, Prof. Munjal carried out industrial consultations and government projects, organized numerous workshops across the country, and offered continuing-education programs for college teachers. He was involved at the highest levels of government policy-making to bring forth noise-control norms across the country. It was only natural for him to register his vast expertise in a comprehensive book titled ‘Acoustics of Ducts and Mufflers’, published by John and Wiley. In 1999, he was joined by Prof. Venkata R Sonti, with a background in structural acoustics. Prof. Sonti and his students conduct analytical/semi-analytical studies on well-posed sound-structure interaction problems. Initially starting with linear problems, Prof. Sonti has broadened his interests to include nonlinear structural acoustic systems. More recently, there has been an energy initiative, wherein a part the objective is to understand the rotor dynamics of high-speed shafts (~ 70,000 rpm). Subsequent to these studies, research is expected to extend to the fluid-structure interaction domain.
Research activities in control in the Department have been marshalled by Prof. Ashitava Ghosal for close to three decades now, aligned with his longstanding interest in the field of robotics. He has served as instructor for the course “ME 240 Dynamics and Control of Mechanical Systems” for several years. The scope of control research was expanded to new regimes in 2018 when Prof. G.R. Jayanth joined the Department as Associate Faculty. Prof. Jayanth works on precision motion control, with applications in metrology and robotics, at the micrometer and nanometer length scales. Towards this end, his group is investigating development of new measurement techniques, probes, actuation techniques, and advanced control.