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Vehicle and Robotics Engineering Laboratory 

The Home of Mechatronics


Strategic Vision

The ASME Global Summit on the “Future of Mechanical Engineering: 2008 - 2028” emphasized a need to develop “Multi-Disciplined and Systems Engineering Approaches to Multi-Scale Systems” (see full report here). 
The Vehicle and Robotics Engineering Laboratory (VREL) develops a multi-disciplined and multi-domain systems engineering approach to engineer vehicle and robotic mechatronic systems in partnership with academia, industry, governmental research agencies, and intergovernmental international organizations.


VREL provides conditions and equipment and facilities for postgraduate, graduate, and undergraduate research, works on contract projects with industry, and develops advanced academic and professional development courses and certificate programs at all educational levels in the area on vehicle and robotic mechatronic systems engineering.

R&D Directions

isvts2Click on the image above for more information about the 2016 event.Basic Research

  • Inverse and direct problems in modeling and control of multi-physics dynamical systems
  • Agile dynamics of reconfigurable systems with variable mass and inertia
  • Intelligent mechatronic and innovative mechanical/robotic systems
    • inverse dynamics-based system/component modeling and performance optimization
    • energy conversion and utilization
    • sensors and actuators, modeling and hardware implementation

Applied Research

Conventional vehicles (with driver) and unmanned ground vehicles and systems

  • Inverse and direct vehicle dynamics
  • Agile vehicle dynamics
  • Coupled and interactive dynamics of open architecture vehicle systems
  • Cyber security and safety of in-vehicle and inter-vehicle systems  
  • Vehicle performance and mission fulfillment optimization and control
  • Vehicle energy and fuel efficiency
  • Stability of motion and turnability
  • Mobility and survivability  
  • Vibration protection

Multi-wheel vehicle driveline systems: optimization, control, and design

  • Autonomous agile wheel power management systems
  • Hybrid/electric/hydraulic driveline systems
  • Limited slip and e-locking differentials; transfer cases and drive axles
  • Wheeled amphibious propulsion systems
  • Intelligent tire and wheel-leg combination

Robotic Manipulators: mechanical/ mechatronic design, dynamics and control

  • Inverse problems in multi-physics dynamical systems
  • Mechatronic, innovative mechanical and robotic systems (design with TRIZ):
    • Inverse dynamics-based system/component modeling and performance optimization
    • Energy conversion and utilization
    • Sensors and actuators
  • Biomechatronics, mechatronically sustained biological units, biorobotics (inverse approach)


Main R&D Directions

Conventional/autonomous ground and wheeled amphibious vehicles

  • Inverse and direct vehicle dynamics
  • Energy and fuel efficiency
  • Terrain mobility and survivability
  • Vehicle performance and mission fulfillment optimization and control
  • Orientation in 3D-space, stability of motion, turnability
  • Vibration protection

Vehicle driveline/propulsion systems: optimization, control, and design

  • Autonomous wheel power management systems
  • Multi-wheel, hybrid-electric, and hydraulic driveline systems
  • Limited slip and e-locking differentials; transfer cases and drive axles
  • Wheeled amphibious propulsion systems
  • Intelligent tire and wheel-leg combination


Papers and Articles: Education in Mechatronics Engineering

V. V. Vantsevich, Chapter “Education in Mechatronics” in technical book “Mechatronics in Action. Case Studies in Mechatronics Education and Applications”, Springer, 2010, 259 pages.

V. V. Vantsevich, “Integration of Education and Research in Mechatronics Engineering Programs, DETC2013-12387, ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences, IDETC/CIE 2013, August 4-7, 2013, Portland, Oregon, USA (submitted)

V.V. Vantsevich, E. I. Rivin “Innovative Graduate Program in Mechatronics Engineering to Meet the Needs of the Automotive Industry”, 2010-01-2304, SAE Convergence Conference, October 19-20, 2010.

V. V. Vantsevich, S. Henke (M.Sc. Mechatronics student) “Modeling and Simulation of Direct/Inverse Dynamics of a Wheel”, 11PthP Mechatronics Forum-Conference, IMechE and University of Limerick, Ireland, June 23-25, 2008.

V. V. Vantsevich, S. K. Howell “Development of a New Master of Science in Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program”, 10PthPMechatronics Forum-Conference, IMechE and PennState Great Valley, June 19-21, 2006.


October 14, 2015

Mostafa Salama Dissertation Defense


With dissertation title “Unmanned Ground Vehicle Dynamics and Energy Efficiency Control”, Mostafa Salama defended his dissertation on October 14th 2015.

mason way2015From left to right, George Mason (guest), Thomas Way (committee member), Mostafa Salama, Vladimir Vantsevich (committee chair)

June 2015

NSDL Research Collaboration

mostafa way vantsevich webFrom right, Vladimir Vantsevich, Thomas Way, and Mostafa SalamaMostafa Salama, A Ph.D. candidate and VREL supervisor visited National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, AL to conduct some soil field tests with Unmanned Ground Vehicle in order to develop new lab manuals for electric vehicles power losses due to tire-terrain interaction. Soil tests were conducted under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Way and UGV tests were conducted under the supervision of Dr. Vladimir Vantsevich. In this regard, VREL would like to thanks NSDL for the collaboration and for using NSDL facilities.

May 26, 2015

Guest Lecture on Vehicle Dynamics Prof. Georg Rill

RillFor a collaborative research work with OTH university in Germany, Prof. Rill gave a talk on Vehicle dynamics. The title of the lecture is “Vehicle Modeling by Subsystems”.




May 2015

International Summer Internship
As a part of his scholarship from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, Evaristo Neto a sophomore student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, spent his summer internship in VREL. He worked in developing new lab manuals for DC motor control and power losses evaluation.


March 2015

Jeremy Gray Dissertation Defense
With dissertation title Unmanned Ground Vehicle Terrain/Road Mobility Foundation and Its Algorithmic Formulization for Wheel Power Management to Improve Leader and Follower Capabilities, Jeremy Gray defended his dissertation on March 7th 2015.



February 2015

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi initiation ceremony for Mostafa Salama

Ph.D. candidate Mostafa Salama was selected to be a member in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. The initiation ceremony was held by the UAB Phi Kappa Phi Chapter on Friday Feb 27th.

 mostafa floydMostafa Salama receives his initiation material from UAB Honors College Associate Directoor Ashley Floyd.

Mostafa Salama received the Interdisciplinary Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Engineer of the Year 2014-2015

mostafa fouad

Ph.D. candidate Mostafa Salama received the Engineering Council of Birmingham's (ECOB) Interdisciplinary Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Engineer of the Year for 2014-2015.

Mostafa Salama was presented the award by UAB Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department Chair Fouad Fouad, Ph.D.

In addition, he received a certificate for being Candidate for Young Engineer of the year Award 2014-2015 nominated by ASME.
The award ceremony was held by ECOB on Thursday Feb 26th in Cahaba Grand Conference Center.

mostafa ecob

January 2015

Introduction to Mechatronics Course Pictures
In spring 2015 semester, VREL introduced a new course (Introduction to Mechatronics ME360) for mechanical engineering students as a first step for implementing mechatronics program in UAB.

mechatronics web1 mechatronics web2

January 2015

Adam King Undergraduate Research Grant

Adam King and Mostafa Salama won UAB undergraduate research grant for the second time in a row. The first grant was in 2014 with Marc Parker. The project is studying tire deflection estimation in real-time.

“Terrain Vehicles: Wheel Power Optimization and Driveline System Design”, is the title of lecture Dr. Vantsevich conducted in Developments in Transmissions and Driveline Technology web-Seminar, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Coventry, UK, January 27, 2015

Nov 2014

Mostafa Salama, a PhD candidate and VREL supervisor, was inducted as a member in The UAB chapter of tau Beta Pi (The Engineering Honor Society). Tau Beta Pi is the world’s largest engineering honor society and is the only engineering honor society that encompasses the entire profession.

Salama also published a conference paper in UAB Early Career Technical Conference UAB-ECTC 2014. The conference was organized by UAB Mechanical Engineering Department in Nov. 2014. In addition, he participated in organizing the conference.

Prof. Vantsevich conducted a seminar at General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, MI in October 28, 2014. The seminar title is “Multi-Wheel Terrain Vehicles: Design, Research, and Teaching” and “Multi-Wheel Terrain Vehicles: Mobility, Energy/Fuel Efficiency Enhancement through Agile Dynamics, Optimization and Control of Wheel Power Distribution”.

Sept 2014
Altec General Manager of southern manufacturing, Chris Harned, presented a pair of checks to the School of Engineering totaling $10,000.
The gifts are designated for the SOE Undergraduate Design Lab and the Mechatronics Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

NATO Advanced Study Institute, Coventry, UK, July 13-18, 2014, Initiator and Co-Director prof. Vladimir Vantsevich (NATO Grant, 98K Euros)

Jointly organized by UAB, Coventry University in UK and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and supported by NATO, this Advanced Study Institute (ASI) provided an avenue to meet with world class professionals, learn and discuss leading-edge research and engineering accomplishments and future trends for advanced autonomous vehicle design for severe environments.

In June 11, 2014, Prof. Vantsevich presented a seminar at Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan with title “Model-based Design of AWD Systems”.

In June 10, 2014, Prof. Vantsevich presented a seminar at US Army TARDEC, Warren Michigan with title “Real-Time Mobility Estimation of Unmanned Vehicle Convoy”.

Prof. Vantsevich visited Supeléc University, France to conduct a seminar in May 27, 2014. The seminar title is “Vehicle Mechatronics: Multi-Discipline and Systems Engineering Approach to Multi-Domain Systems”.

Prof. Vantsevich conducted a seminar at Warsaw, University of Technology, Poland in February 17, 2014. The seminar title is “Inverse Vehicle Dynamics in Multi-Wheel Vehicle Mobility and Energy Efficiency Analysis”.

Prof. Vantsevich conducted a 3-day course with title “Intelligent Vehicle-and-Tire Systems for Energy Efficiency & Safety”, at Tire Technology Expo, Cologne, Germany, February 10-12, 2014.

Prof. Vantsevich conducted a seminar at US Army Research Lab, Aberdeen Proving Ground in November 15, 2013. The seminar title is “Perspective R&D Directions in Hyper-dynamics and Performance Optimization of Multi-Domain Vehicle Systems”.

May 20-22, 2014
Professor Mike Blundell from Coventry University, UK is visiting the VREL with a guest lecture: “Vehicle Dynamics and Safety Research at Coventry University.” The lecture will be in the conference room of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Download Abstract and Biography

April 25, 2014

salamaMostafa Salama, Ph.D. student and research assistant at VREL, is recognized as a recipient of UAB International Graduate Student (Doctoral) Academic Excellence Award (2014), UAB National Alumni Society License to Learn Scholarship (2014), UAB Caroline and Charles W. Ireland International Student Scholarship (2014), and UAB Volker International Scholarship for International Students (2013).salama2Mostafa Salama receiving the award from UAB President Ray Watts, M.D.

March 10, 2014

Professor Vladimir Vantsevich received a NATO Award of Euro 98,000 to establish the NATO Advanced Study Institute “Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Design for Severe Environments”. Click on the following links and see if you are eligible for the full or partial coverage of your participation in the ASI:
Download the ASI Flyer
Download the Registration Form

 February 13-18, 2014
Dr. Vladimir Vantsevich presents a technical seminar “Multi-Wheel Ground Vehicles: Inverse Dynamics, Energy Efficiency and Mobility" at Warsaw University of Technology.

February 10-12, 2014
Tire Technologies Expo 2014, Cologne, Germany.
Dr. Vladimir Vantsevich and Dr. Mukul Verma present a new course “Intelligent Vehicle-and-Tire Systems for Energy Efficiency & Safety"