Through their research, SMU professors not only bring new information and insights to their classrooms, but also serve as role models and collaborators to students who conduct research in their laboratories across campus. Maintaining a strong research program is significant for a number of reasons, says James Quick, associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies.
The movement of aquatic life can appear inexplicable when viewed through the glass of an aquarium tank. But Paul Krueger believes the mechanics that jellyfish and squid use to maneuver can be applied to technology in the emerging field of "micro" vehicles.
Krueger, associate professor in the SMU Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering, is studying a mechanical system similar to that used by jellyfish and squid to understand pulsatile propulsion and apply it to exotic engineering applications like micropropulsion. Krueger's research results eventually might propel tiny vehicles — sizes of a centimeter, millimeter or smaller — used in microsurgery, create micro-submarines for undersea caverns exploration, or maneuver small aircraft for military surveillance.