Instructional Support

Instructional support of several courses is one if the important functions of the AE Machine Shop.

Materials Testing Instructional Lab (MTIL)

Test specimens are prepared in the AE Machine Shop for the Materials Testing Instructional Laboratory, also located in Talbot Laboratory. This facility serves students throughout the College of Engineering.

An array of tension, compression, bending, torsion, impact, and other specimens is used by the students throughout the semester.

Compact tension specimens, used to determine the fracture toughness (KIC) of engineering materials, are now prepared by the wire EDM in the AE Machine Shop.

Lab Support

Machines are serviced regularly.
Machines are serviced regularly.
General laboratory support is available for other instructional laboratories in Talbot Laboratory.

A wide variety of equipment is maintained and serviced regularly.

TAM 195

Testing Newton's laws on a merry-go-round.
Testing Newton's laws on a merry-go-round.
Students in an introductory mechanics course learn that Newton’s laws do not hold in a noninertial reference frame, by tossing tennis balls back and forth on a rotating merry-go-round in Carle Park, Urbana. The two-seated accessory with videocamera mount was constructed in the AE Machine Shop and is transported and assembled each year onsite.

Later in the semester, teams of students in the class design and build wooden frames to be failure-tested in the department’s 3,000,000-lb testing machine. AE Machine Shop staff cut the 2x4s according to the students’ drawings and assist with construction.

TAM 252

A specimen is strain-gaged.
A specimen is strain-gaged.
In a sophomore-level design class, a large test specimen is strain-gaged and loaded in tension in one of the department’s universal testing machines. Concepts of elasticity, plasticity, stiffness, Poisson’s ratio, and ductility are illustrated. The AE Machine Shop is involved throughout the learning exercise.

Details of the cup-and-cone failure of ductile materials are quite evident in this textbook-quality test sample of 6061-T6 aluminum.


Students introduced to techniques.
Students introduced to techniques.
A popular technical elective course on experimental stress analysis introduces students to strain gages and other stressanalysis techniques. AE Machine Shop personnel assist students with laboratory exercises.

Photoelastic stress models are prepared by routing and drilling in the Materials Testing Instructional Laboratory with assistance from AE Machine Shop personnel. The specimens are then loaded in a polariscope, and stress distributions are compared with theoretical predictions.


Contact Us

The Aerosopace Engineering Research Machine Shop serves
faculty, staff, and students throughout the College of Engineering and across the UIUC campus.

4 Talbot Lab
104 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
+1 (217) 333-3515

Shop Hours:
8:00am to 4:00pm

Gregory S. Milner
AE Shop Supervisor
milneratillinois [dot] edu

Lee Booher
Senior Laboratory Mechanic
booheratillinois [dot] edu

Steve Mathine
Instrument Maker
smathineatillinois [dot] edu