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Ranked among the best orthopedic programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is home to nationally respected orthopedic surgeons whose research, discoveries and leading-edge therapies are benefiting patients today. Rush is committed to fostering centers of excellence that combine clinical, basic and population science to study areas of importance to the community. Several programs have been created to support and encourage Rush investigators involved in more than 1,600 research studies, including trials of new medical and surgical therapies.

The current research projects in the Department of Materials Engineering involve high-temperature fatigue thus serve the understanding of the properties of materials, their coatings and jointing compounds, which are used among other things as housing of aircraft turbines. Sliding wear and fretting or fretting fatigue occur in mechanisms controlling the Luftahrt, precision bearing technology, plastics engineering and shipbuilding. The presently studied biocompatible materials are used as implants and instruments in the fields of orthopedics, trauma surgery and cardiology.

At the Gilbert Research Lab, the primary objective is to foster interdisciplinary biomaterials research related to advanced and specialized metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials. The labs are a part of the Syraucse Biomaterials Institute where we strive to provide a rich environment for students to explore new ideas and develop the skills necessary to become leading researchers in Biomaterials. Because of the broadly interdisciplinary nature of biomaterials science, students are expected to develop broad understanding of the field while also developing deep expertise in specific areas of the field.

The group of Professor Bennewitz studies the mechanical properties of materials. In particular, we aim to understand microscopic mechanisms of friction and wear through dedicated experiments. How exactly is the kinetic energy transferred into heat? What is the role of the molecular bonds? What is the role of the surface structure? In addition, liquid environments are of great importance for many frictional processes. We look into the molecular mechanisms of these processes by means of a friction force microscope which is built into an electrochemical cell. For example, we study the interplay of mechanical stress and corrosion.