University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

News and Events

ME News - Department Newsletter

Robot Show Information

Senior Design Show (ME4054W) Information



View CSE Events Page for upcoming events at the University of Minnesota.

View Mechanical Engineering Alumni Page to see upcoming and past events.



View Upcoming and Past Graduate Seminars here>

JUNE 2018

Gaurav Nayak (advisor Prof. Peter Bruggeman) was invited to present at the 45th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS 2018) held June 24-28, 2018 in Denver, CO. His research topic was "Interaction of Plasma with Liquid Micro-Droplets: a Model for Plasma-Induced Reactivity in Liquid Water."



Eveline van Doremaele received the Best Poster Presentation Award at the 7th International Conference on Plasma Medicine, held in Philadelphia, June 17-22, 2018. She presented her research conducted in the group of Professor Peter Bruggeman as part of her master degree studies at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. (Pictured L-R: Prof. Fridman, Eveline van Doremaele, Professor Zdenko Machala)



Science and engineering merge, as shared by Associate Professor Michael McAlpine in the Spring 2018 issue of Legacy magazine. The research of Professor McAlpine and The McAlpine Group involves 3-D printing directly on the skin with limitless possibilities. More>





The research of Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Michael McAlpine and The McAlpine Group was recently featured on the covers of Extreme Mechanics Letters and Advanced Materials. The Extreme Mechanics Volume 21, May 2018 cover image depicts a fully 3D printed electrically-driven soft actuator. The Advanced Materials Volume 30, No. 23, June 6, 2018 cover depicts 3D electronics printed directly on the skin.



The Gopher Motorsports - UMN Formula SAE Team took home the 4th place trophy at the Formula SAE competition in Lincoln, NE, while also finishing 3rd in the endurance race!





"Our Department Head, Professor Uwe Kortshagen, leads by example, including bike commuting!" The Engineering Wheelers Team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering was awarded 2nd Place in Division 3 of the Spring Commuter Challenge. Pictured L-R: Hokan, Sarah Chapman, Professor Uwe Kortshagen, Professor Sue Mantell, and Researcher Brandon Hathaway. Unavailable for photo: Professor Tom Chase and Professor Steven Girshick. Learn more about joining the team - email: and Twitter: @UMN_Zap




The Department of Mechanical Engineering mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus Edward A. Fletcher. More>


The Mechanical Engineering Alumni Network (ME-AN) held an Open House/Meet & Greet Event for the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). Event hosts were Professor Kim A. Stelson and Professor Zongxuan “Sunny” Sun. Professor Stelson is the current CCEFP Director, and Professor Sun is the incoming Director of CCEFP.

MAY 2018

As rookie contenders, the UMN Northstar Robotics Team student group had great success at the 2018 NASA Robotics Mining Challenge held at Kennedy Space Center. They brought home an Honorable Mention and a Golden E-stop Award! Mechanical Engineering Professor Perry Li is the team adviser. Pictured from L-R: Badriya Mohammed, Laura Irvine, Jimmy (James) Donadio, Ryan Reich, Eric May, Molly (Amalia) Schwartzwald, Karl Olson, Jude Suave, and Logan Jones. View the challenge here: View Northstar Robotics site here>

A group of graduate students - the Aelios Technology team - will compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Cleantech (UP) startup competition in Washington, DC in June. Aelios Technology develops intelligent switches to maintain critical infrastructure in developing nations. Pictured are (L-R): UMN CSE graduate student Shreyas Bhaban, electrical engineering; MBA student Atul Fotedar, Carlson School of Management; CSE graduate student Saurav Talukdar, mechanical engineering; and CSE graduate student Sourav Patel, electrical engineering. Learn more>

Mechanical Engineering Professor and Director of the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center, Art Erdman, who coached the UMN men's crew club team for three years in the mid 70s, had an 8-person crew shell named in his honor at the May 18th christening. The group photo includes UMN crew team members who were on the maiden voyage of the Dr Art Erdman. Years ago Prof. Erdman was an essential part of building the beautiful Minnesota boathouse, now the Irene Claudia Kroll Boathouse.

Congratulations and thank you to these CSE Retirees for their dedication and commitment to the University of Minnesota. (Photo on left, L-R) Christopher Ellis - St. Anthony Falls Lab, Albert Marden - School of Mathematics, Arkady Vainshtein - School of Physics and Astronomy, ME Regents Professor Richard Goldstein, and Terry Jones - School of Physics and Astronomy. (Photo on right) Center - ME Retiree Professor Goldstein, with ME Department Head Uwe Kortshagen, and CSE Interim Dean Mos Kaveh.

Congratulations to these ME Fellowship Recipients. Gaurav Nayak (advised by Prof. Bruggeman) is the recipient of the Kermit and Ione Ebeltoft 2017-18 Interdisciplinary Fellowship. The title of Gaurav's research is, A Novel Technology to Prevent the Spread of Airborne Infections. Mark Gilbertson (advised by Prof. Kowalewski and Prof. Van de Ven) received a 2017-18 Interdisciplinary Fellowship. The title of Mark's research is, Inverse Design of Soft Robotic Actuators with Application in Medicine. Kevin Mallery (advised by Prof. Hong) received a 2017-18 MNDrive Informatic Fellowship. The title of Kevin's research is, Holographic Image Processing for Robotics Applications. (L-R - Nayak, Gilbertson, Mallery)

The Mechanical Engineering Graduation Recognition Event was held late in the afternoon on May 11th in Mayo Memorial Auditorium. The College of Science and Engineering Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony was held in the evening at the 3M Arena at Mariucci. Visit the CSE website for information, view commencement video here, and view commencement photos here. The Mechanical Engineering Department graduation recognition event provides a smaller venue to honor the graduating seniors. Photos from the ME Recognition Event can be viewed here>



An impressive exhibition of work at the ME4054 Senior Design Show, held May 1st in the Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall. View photos here>

A HumanFIRST quest - Based on averages provided by St. Paul Police, every other day a pedestrian or cyclist is struck in St Paul. The UMN Center for Transportation Studies & the CSE Mechanical Engineering HumanFIRST lab, along with Director Nichole Morris and team, are on a quest for solutions. View Kare 11 news feature here>



The Gopher Motorsports - UMN Formula SAE team is at Michigan International Speedway May 9-13th competing against 120 teams from all over the world! What an experience! More to come!



Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine will be a keynote at the American Urological Association 113th Annual Meeting. ME Assistant Professor Tim Kowalewski and Department of Urology Associate Professor Rob Sweet are Chairs of the event.


Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Guanglin Yu received the WITec Bronze PaperAward. This award recognizes exceptional scientific publications based on results acquired with a WITec microscope. Learn more about award here> The research of Guanglin Yu and Mechanical Engineering Professor Allison Hubel was also featured on the cover of Biophysical Journal here.

The UMN Doctoral Research Showcase was held last month and two mechanical engineering fellows participated. Xuewang Wu presented on "Thermal Management and Solid-State Energy Conversion Enabled by Micro/Nanostructured Materials" and Zhijie Zhu presented "3D Printing Functional Materials on Moving Freeform Surfaces." 

The goals of the showcase are to help doctoral fellows share research presentations outside of their disciplines, and share innovative university research with the community. Learn more about the 3D Printing Research here>, featured on KARE11 here> and in Nature here>

(Photos are representational of showcase): L-Xuewang Wu with his poster / Right: Zhijie Zhu with his poster


Congratulations to six PhD students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering who received Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for the 2018-19 academic year. Qingfeng Cao (advised by Professors Pui and Shen) - research topic: "SALSCS - A Pollution Cleaning System for Urban Air Remediation". Jesse Fosheim (advised by Prof. Davidson) - research topic: "Solar Fuels via Solar Chemical-Looping Methane Reforming". Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani (advised by Prof. McAlpine) - research topic: "3D Printing Soft Electromechanical Transducers and their Application in the Development of Organ Models with Integrated Functionalities". Vighneswara Siva Santosh Kondeti (advised by Prof. Bruggeman) - research topic: "A Novel Plasma Approach to Green Chemical Processing, Synthesis and Wound Healing". Yunli Shao (advised by Prof. Sun) - research topic: "Integrated Vehicle Dynamics and Powertrain Operation Optimization for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles". Everett Wenzel (advised by Prof. Garrick) - research topic: "Developing Sufficiently Affordable and Accurate Spray Simulation Techniques for use in Fundamental Research and Engineering Applications".

APRIL 2018

The 2018 Gopher Motorsports UNVEIL was April 27th! Visit the UMN Gopher Motorsports FSAE Facebook page here to learn more!



Professor Peter Bruggeman received the 2018 AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award. The award was established in 1979 as a memorial to Dr. Peter Mark, who served as Editor of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology from 1975 until his death in 1979, and recognizes the outstanding theoretical or experimental work by a young scientist or engineer. The award consists of a cash award, a plaque, and an honorary lectureship at the AVS International Symposium.


Corey Cruttenden has been selected to receive a MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Graduate Fellowship for 2018-2019. This fellowship is awarded to outstanding doctoral students working in the area of neuromodulation. Corey's research focuses on development of neural sensors and estimation algorithms for improved understanding of brain function. Corey is co-advised by ME Prof. Rajesh Rajamani and Professor Wei Chen from the UMN Department of Radiology.

U.S. Army could enlist robots inspired by Invertebrates and UMN Research. The research of Associate Prof. Mike McAlpine, lead author and graduate student Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani, and post doctural student Sung-Hyun Park, was featured in ARL News, ScienceDirect and c|net sci-tech.


CSE Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, Kim Stelson, was awarded Fellow of the ASME, an organization promoting the art, science, and practice of mechanical engineering.

Professor Yoshio Otani from Kanazawa University visited the Mechanical Engineering department as a lecturer for the 15th Annual Fingerson/TSI Distinguished Lecturer Series. Professor Otani received the Fingerson/TSI Distinguished Lecturer Award. Pictured left-right: TSI representative Beau Farmer, CSE Interim Dean Mos Kaveh, Professor Yoshio Otani, ME Department Head Uwe Kortshagen, TSI representative Jerry Bark, and ME Professor David Pui.



Congratuations to Mechanical Engineering undergraduate sophomore Judith Dominguez who received the 2018 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarship.


Mechanical Engineering Professor and Department Head Uwe Kortshagen was awarded a $6.4M Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant funded by the Department of Defense, for the project "New Materials from Dusty Plasmas." Learn more>

MARCH 2018

Patent Roll Call — Spring 2018 - Professor Aksan, Professor Bischof, Professor Erdman, Assoc. Prof. Hogan, Professor Rajamani, and researcher Harishankar Natesan recently received patents for their discoveries. Learn more about these patents and view all patents received>

Mechanical Engineering Professor David Pui and PhD student Qingfeng Cao presented the Solar-Assisted Large-Scale Cleaning System (SALSCS) concept and it's predicted performance over the Beijing urban area in a series of two papers (Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 2015; Science of the Total Environment, 2018). The prototype model with 60 meter high tower set up by Prof. Junji Cao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has received wide coverages in dozens of TV news and newspapers. Recently, it was reported by Nature, U.K. Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report, Digital Trends, and NBC Universal." Learn more about the SALSCS>


Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Xiaojia Wang was selected for the 2018 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award. This award is administered by 3M Research and Development in partnership with the Corporate Giving Program. It recognizes outstanding junior faculty and encourages the pursuit of new ideas among non-tenured professors, giving them the opportunity to interact with their peers and 3M scientists.

Aelios Technology
, a team comprised of UMN graduate students, received grand prize in the Acara Challenge graduate division. The Acara Challenge is a business venture competition that highlights UMN student ideas that have potential to change the world. Their device, iPlugD, is intended to help hospitals extend power life by redirecting supply from non-critical devices to more critical ones. Learn more>

mcalpineBenjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine has won the George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research. This award recognizes younger faculty members who have shown outstanding ability in research.

Professor Michael McAlpine will be a featured speaker at the upcoming DEVICETALKS Minnesota conference June 4-5, 2018. DEVICETALKS is a networking event for industry leaders. This event provides exclusive insights in medicine coupled with a technology showcase featuring the hottest med tech companies in the marketplace. Registration information>

The research of Associate Professor Michael McAlpine and team was featured on the cover of Advanced Materials Technologies. The feature article is titled "Bioprinting: 3D Printed Organ Models with Physical Properties of Tissue and Integrated Sensors." Learn more>

Two major research grants were awarded to Mechanical Engineering faculty. Professors James Van de Ven, Thomas Chase and Perry Li, along with a team from Milwaukee School of Engineering, Eaton, and Bobcat, were recently awarded a $1.85M grant from the Department of Energy to develop a variable displacement hydraulic motor to improve the efficiency of off-highway vehicles. Professor William Northrop won a $1.1M grant to study higher efficiency natural gas engines. Learn more>

A Sea Life care team worked with a team of UMN students, led by Mechanical Engineering graduate student Davis Fay, and used data collected from the U’s Veterinary Hospital to create an exoshell for Seemore, a 100-pound turtle. They used equipment from the U’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine 3-D Printing Core to print a 3-D prototype exoshell. Learn more>

Mechanical Engineering doctoral candidate Woongsun Jeon, advised by Professor Rajesh Rajamani, received the Matthew J. Huber Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education, demonstrating outstanding achievements in engineering, science, and technology fields.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Zongxuan "Sunny" Sun has been appointed to become Director of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) effective July 1, 2018. Professor Sun will succeed the current director, Professor Kim Stelson, who has led the CCEFP since it's founding in 2006.

Professor Sun has been active in highly innovative research projects in fluid power including free-piston engine pumps, hydrostatic dynamometers, rapid compression and expansion machines, and connected vehicles. He has led the successful effort to create a DOE program in fluid power systems research for commercial off-road vehicles.

february 2018

The Aelios Technology team was named one of two runner-up startup companies in the 2018 Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) Midwest Showcase in Chicago. This honor wins a place in upcoming national competitions! Aelios Technology develops intelligent switches to maintain critical infrastructure in developing nations. Pictured are (left to right): UMN CSE graduate students Shreyas Bhaban, electrical engineering; Saurav Talukdar, mechanical engineering; and Sourav Patel, electrical engineering. The fourth member of Aelios Technology, Atul Fotedar, MBA student in the Carlson School of Management, is not pictured. Learn more>

TSI Incorporated has entered into an agreement with the UMN Foundation and Regents to endow a fund establishing a Chair in the Mechanical Engineering Department. The Benjamin Y.H. Liu - TSI Applied Technology Chair in Mechanical Engineering recognizes University alumnus Dr. Benjamin Liu. Dr. Liu is an award-winning researcher and entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to aerosols and particles research. Learn more>

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Tianhong Cui was awarded Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his distinguished accomplishments on micro and nano electro mechanical systems (M/NEMS).


The Department of Mechanical Engineering mourns the passing of Professor Barney Klamecki. A highly respected teacher, scholar, and expert in manufacturing processes, Professor Klamecki is remembered for his positive personality, inspiring humor, and willingness to serve his department. Learn more>


The Department of Mechanical Engineering has acquired a 23' Wind Tunnel donated by WinField United, greatly expanding research capabilities for the department and the work of Associate Professor Hogan and team.

Mechanical Engineering Professor
Rajesh Rajamani was one of three plenary speakers at the 2018 Indian Control Conference held in IIT Kanpur, India, January 4-6th. This is an annual conference co-sponsored by the IEEE Control Systems Society. Learn more>


Mechanical Engineering PhD student Samantha Hill and materials science PhD student Ryan Connell received a $10,000 grand prize in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award with energy-collecting windows. This University-wide, solutions-driven competition for graduate and professional students, hosted by the Institute on the Environment, recognizes and rewards students for their innovation and research. Their invention uses novel materials and light-management techniques, to harvest solar energy on the entirety of a building’s exterior without sacrificing its aesthetics or functionality. Learn more>


In a recent Advanced Functional Materials article, ME PhD student Xuewang Wu (advisor: Xiaojia Wang) and co-workers demonstrated discoveries and opened possibilities for tuning the thermal properties of perovskite thin films by manipulating heat carriers via structural/defect engineering at the atomic level. This work has been highlighted as the cover art of the Advanced Functional Materials journal. View article>

The Mechanical Engineering Graduation Recognition Event was held on December 8th, 2017, at Mayo Memorial Auditorium.
Recognition Event photos, Robot Show photos, and Sr. Design Show photos can be viewed on the ME Facebook page>


The Handbook of Thermal Science and Engineering - “I cannot think of an area of human activity that does not involve either the removal of thermal energy or the addition of thermal energy to an engineering process or manufactured product.” This rational led ME Professor Francis Kulacki to become editor of “The Handbook of Thermal Science and Engineering,” an ideal reference first in the field by Springer Nature intended as an introduction for researchers, practitioners, and graduate students. The handbook is due on the market April 2018. It includes new and developing technologies in thermal science and engineering and how these processes and systems affect the near-atomic scale to the familiar macro-scales of industry and the environment. Learn more>

KARE11 story - UMN researchers look to tune up UPS trucks
and other fleet vehicles as they work on a range of engine, emissions and energy research projects to optimize engine efficiencies of hybrid electric UPS delivery trucks by 20% thanks to a 1.4M grant from the U.S. DOE. This cloud-connected technology would send data back to the vehicle to diagnose failures and faults in real-time, to command the engine and optimize fuel economy. Learn more>

october 2017



Daeha Joung, a Postdoctoral Research Associate for Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Michael McAlpine, received the Biomedicines 2017 Travel Award to use toward travel expenses to attend an academic conference. His research focuses on 3D printing for spinal cord injury repair.

Mechanical Engineering PhD student Santosh Kondeti (advisor: Professor Bruggeman) was awarded a Young Investigator Award at the International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, one of the major biannual conferences in the field of plasma science and technology. This award recognizes the outstanding quality of the symposium contribution and early career trajectory of a graduate student/postdoctoral researcher. Santosh has presented two oral presentations at the meeting on the topic of synthesis of silver nanoparticles and plasma-polymer interactions. He also presented his work on plasma based inactivation of bacteria as a poster. Photo left to right—Prof. Jocelyn Veilleux-Université de Sherbrooke (chair of the international award committee), Prof. Luc Stafford-Université de Montréal (co-chair of meeting) Santosh Kondeti, Prof. Sylvain Coulombe-McGill University (chair of meeting)

Mechanical Engineering Professor Rajesh Rajamani and Mechanical Engineering student Kalpesh Singal were awarded US Patent 9,797,819 titled “Sensor for Measurement of Tension,” on October 24, 2017.  The patented sensor is being commercialized through a start-up company Focus Start led by CEO Daniel Sigg, a former Medtronic and medical device industry executive. The sensor is used to measure tension in soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and muscles during orthopedic surgeries. (Photo: L-Rajamani, R-Singal)


Mechanical Engineering PhD student Qingfeng Cao (Advisors: Professor David Pui & Professor Lian Shen) received the Best Student Poster Competition Award for the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) conference held at Raleigh, NC, on Oct 16-20, 2017. This reward is for the most outstanding poster presentations of graduate students in the AAAR conference.


Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher was awarded the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Kenneth T. Whitby Award. This award recognizes outstanding technical contributions to aerosol science and technology by a young scientist. Learn more:


Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Rusen Yang was a recent winner of the 2017 Nano Energy Award. Professor Yang will give a plenary presentation during the 3rd International Conference on Nanoenergy and Nanosystems 2017 (NENS2017). This award is given to an Early Career outstanding researcher whose work reflects the interdisciplinarity of this field, impactfully contributing to solve the major energy problems facing society.


Mechanical Engineering Professor John Bischof has been named Interim Director for Engineering in Medicine. His one-year, half-time appointment continues through August 2018. Bischof is a renowned researcher in thermal bioengineering having contributed to applications in therapeutics, regenerative medicine, and diagnostics. More recently, Bischof received international attention for his research in the area of nanomedicine focusing on biodistribution and heating properties of gold and iron oxide nanoparticles for cryoperservation of zebrafish embryos and tissues for transplantation. Learn more:

bruggemanProfessor Peter Bruggeman has been appointed as Director of the High Temperature & Plasma Laboratory. He succeeds Professor Steven Girshick, who served as HTPL director since 2005.

The High Temperature & Plasma Laboratory is widely considered one of the preeminent plasma research laboratories in the world. The lab was founded in 1964 by Professor Emil Pfender, who was recruited to the ME Department by Professor Ernst Eckert. The lab grew as it was joined by Professors Steven Girshick (1985), Joachim Heberlein (1989), Uwe Kortshagen (1996), and Peter Bruggeman (2013). The HTPL, which for many years has regularly included over 20 graduate student research assistants, several postdocs and visiting scientists, and its own regular seminar series, constitutes one of the important centers of excellence within the ME Department.

Mechanical Engineering Professor William Northrop has been appointed as Director of the Thomas E. Murphy Engine Laboratory. He succeeds Professor David Kittelson as Director.

Professor Thomas E. Murphy joined the Mechanical Engineering Department after the end of World War II, after having performed engine research at the Naval Research Laboratory. He established a piston engine and gas turbine research and teaching laboratory on the fourth floor of the old ME building. Professors Perry Blackshear and Edward Fletcher became connected to the laboratory for their combustion related research activities. In 1970, Professor David Kittelson joined the group and, in collaboration with the Particle Technology Laboratory, brought engine emission and air pollution research to the lab. This led to formation of the Center for Diesel Research in 1994, in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. 
Professor Will Northrop arrived in Minnesota in 2011, during this time he was instrumental in the fundraising, design, construction, and commissioning of a new $5M state of the art engine research laboratory off Como Avenue. The Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory was completed in 2014 and named in recognition of Professor Murphy’s pioneering contributions.

The Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory received a $1.4M grant to improve delivery vehicle energy efficiency. The funding was received from the NEXTCAR Program of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to research ways to boost the energy efficiency of cloud-connected delivery vehicles. Learn more:


U of MN engineers and doctors collaborated to successfully separate infant twins conjoined at the heart and liver using 3D technology. Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were joined from the lower two-thirds of where the breast bone would be, to the belly button. Physicians from specialty areas all across the U of MN hospital met weekly in preparation for the surgery. A key component of this grand orchestration was the expertise and collaboration of faculty and researchers at the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center. The MDC houses one of just five 3D virtual reality imaging devices in the world.

“When you get into complex situations, even the most skilled radiologists and surgeons can benefit from being able to scan through the anatomy in whatever direction they want in real time,” said Art Erdman, Mechanical Engineering professor and director of the MDC. “They can enlarge it, turn it around and try to understand the complexities.” Learn more>

Mechanical Engineering students Rachel Anderson and Audrey Sebastian are involved in a unique yearlong internship and development program that provides an ‘experience of a lifetime’ to help solve the world’s food security crisis. They are two of only 11 university students from the Midwest who were chosen to be part of the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship. Students are presenting their projects at Land O’Lakes at the end of August and will return to campus in the fall, where they will continue to serve as ambassadors for food security and the agriculture industry. Learn more:

Solar Energy: The International Journal awarded Professor Jane Davidson and Dr. Adam Gladen the Best Paper Award for 2016 in Concentrating Solar Power. Their paper entitled “The morphological stability and fuel production of commercial fibrous ceria particles for solar thermochemical redox cycling” is available at Dr. Gladen received his PhD at the University of Minnesota and is currently an Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University.



This summer the Mechanical Engineering department wished two retirees well on their new adventures. Congratulations to Professor Peter McMurry on his retirement, as well as Student Support Services Associate Jeanne Sitzmann.



Visiting Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students held a small Poster Show gathering in the mechanical engineering building atrium, as well as at the Summer Undergraduate Research Expo at McNamara on August 10th, where all College of Science & Engineering REUs presented their work. Photos>


Videos by students from Xi'an Jiaotong University who were enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering 4090 Introduction to High-Power Rocketry and Stratospheric Ballooning class this summer have created some really great videos to share on YouTube. View>

JULY 2017

The University of Minnesota will lead a team to develop technology to improve the fuel efficiency of delivery vehicles through real-time vehicle dynamic and powertrain control optimization using two-way vehicle-to-cloud (V2C) connectivity. If successful, developments will enable at least an additional 20% reduction in energy consumption of future connected and automated delivery vehicles. This will also lessen dependence of imported oil, decrease the sector’s carbon footprint, and solidify the United States’ status as global leader in the industry. The project team is comprised of Mechanical Engineering Professor Will Northrop, ME, PI, Computer Science faculty member Shashi Shekhar, and Mechanical Engineering Project Manager and Technology-to-Market Lead Shawn Haag. Learn more>

Rear Admiral Frederick J. “Fritz” Roegge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Mechanical Engineering graduate, made a visit to campus during Navy Week. Admiral Roegge met with ME Department Head Uwe Kortshagen and two ME professors, Lian Shen and Jiarong Hong, who have research projects with the Office of Naval Research. According to Kortshagen, "It was an honor and pleasure to meet Admiral Roegge. I was impressed by the Admiral's deep technical knowledge and his enthusiasm for engineering and science education. Our department can be proud to count Admiral Roegge among the ME distinguished alumni." Roegge has been nominated for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and for assignment as president of the National Defense University, in Washington, D.C., pending Senate confirmation. Currently stationed at Pearl Harbor, he visited the ME Department in July as part of his visit to the Twin Cities for Navy Week. With the 10th anniversary of the deadly I-35W bridge collapse, part of the week’s events included a wreath laying ceremony on the Mississippi River. Learn more>

The University of Minnesota’s HumanFIRST Laboratory has received a 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program award of just over $186,000 from the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research. One-to-one match funding will be provided by the lab’s own accumulated funds gathered through usage fees. The HumanFIRST Lab is a facility of the U of M’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. It conducts and analyzes research generated during driving simulation studies and field tests of enhanced human-machine interfaces designed to reduce risky driving behaviors. Two advanced driving simulators are housed within the lab and host most of the research experiments. 

“When it was originally installed, the immersive simulator was state-of-the-art and among the best in the country,” says Mechanical Engineering Professor Max Donath, who, with HumanFIRST Lab Principal Researcher Nichole Morris, submitted the funding request. “However, competing institutions have now surpassed our capabilities and many primary components of both simulators were nearing the end of their life.” Morris says the lab’s simulators will allow her research team to safely test impaired driving performance to better understand and deal with drivers who may be fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have mild cognitive impairment. Funds from the award will be used to overhaul components of both simulators.

The Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center at the U of MN, under the direction of Mechanical Engineering Professor Art Erdman, PhD, is also a recipient of the 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program award. Funding supports an upgrade of the current Stratasys Objet Connex260 3D printer to the new Stratasys J750 machine to expand the research support services the center can provide to AHC, CSE, and other units at the U. The upgrade would enable printing of colored anatomical and non-medical models that require high resolution and variable durometer (stiffness) to replicate natural and envisioned systems.

JUNE 2017



The research of Mechanical Engineering Professor Rajesh Rajamani and lab members Yan Wang, Garrett Nelson and Ryan Madson was featured on the cover of the June 2017 issue of the IEEE Control Systems Magazine. The feature article is titled "Observers with Dual Spatially Separated Sensors for Enhanced Estimation."


Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Professor and College of Science and Engineering, UMN Mechanical Engineering Alum Ronald Adrian received an Outstanding Achievement Award! Learn more>

The research of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher and graduate student Hallie Boyer (PhD received May 2017), was featured on the cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. The feature article is entitled "Atmospheric Aqueous Aerosol Surface Tensions: Isotherm-Based Modeling and Biphasic Microfluidic Measurements." Learn more>

Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Director of Medical Devices Center, Art Erdman was presented with the 2017 ASME Savio L.-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal for "translating meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice through research, education, professional development, and with service to the bioengineering community," at the 3rd Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference June 21-24th in Tucson, Arizona. Learn more>


Mechanical Engineering Professor Lian Shen has been selected as the new director of the University of Minnesota's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL). Shen took over as SAFL's associate director for research in 2014. This five-year appointment is effective September 1st, 2017. Learn more here>


MAY 2017


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine and fellow engineering researchers have developed a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment. The research will be published in the next issue of Advanced Materials and is currently online, is presented online in the College of Science & Engineering article here, and is also featured in a Newsweek Tech & Science article found here>

Mechanical Engineering Professor and BioCoR Director Allison Hubel received the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking. This award is designed to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of biobanking. Professor Hubel is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award, as her leadership in the cryopreservation field has proven to be momentous.

Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and Mechanical Engineering Associate Department Head, William Durfee and Richard C. Jordan Professor, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Director of Medical Devices Center, Art Erdman received the 2017 Entrepreneurship Faculty of the Year Award at the Founder’s Day event for the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Carlson School, University of Minnesota, on May 16, 2017.

The CSE Commencement Ceremony was held May 12, 2017 at Mariucci Arena. The Departmental Mechanical Engineering Graduation Recognition Event was held earlier the same day in the Phillips-Wangensteen Bldg. View photos of the recognition event on the ME Facebook page at: or here>


Mechanical Engineering PhD Students Handol Lee (adviser Professor David Pui) and Xuewang Wu (adviser Asst. Professor Xiaojia Wang) are the recipients of the 2017-18 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award. The fellowship gives the University's most accomplished PhD candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.

Mechanical Engineering PhD student Woongsun Jeon's research paper on "A Novel Collision Avoidance System for Bicycles" won the first place award for the Best Transportation Systems Paper presented at the 2016 American Control Conference. The award was presented by the ASME DSCD Technical Committee on Automotive and Transportation Systems. The paper was co-authored with Professor Rajesh Rajamani.

APRIL 2017

Students Daniel Ross, Robert Belar, Elizabeth Vertina, Luke Bromback, Kevin Reddy and Ethan Brownell teamed up for their Mechanical Engineering Senior Design 4054 course where they created a device that will help farmers in Malawi extract oil from peanuts, while improving the farmer's income stream through efficient labor. Learn more in this Star Tribune article>


Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Everett Wenzell wins Grand Prize in Physical Sciences & Engineering at the 2017 Minnesota Supercomputing Institute Research Exhibition. The poster titled, Computation of Multiphase Breakup With a Lagrangian Volume of Fluid: Toward High-Fidelity and Affordable Simulation of Primary Atomization, is coauthored by Professor Sean Garrick. Everett is holder of the Abplanalp Fellowship and his research focuses on developing spray simulation methods that are accurate and affordable for use in industrial and scientific applications.

Professor Lian Shen
, Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and his collaborators at the Naval Postgraduate School and University of Central Florida have been awarded $3M by the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO) to study atmospheric turbulence and its effect on optical propagation. The project is part of the HEL-JTO Multidisciplinary Research Initiative program. In this research, Prof. Shen and his collaborators will use computer simulations and field measurements to study the effect of land and water surfaces on atmospheric turbulence and the turbulent transport of heat and moisture, and model their effect on the light propagation in the atmosphere over various complex earth surfaces.


The May 2017 issue of the journal Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing is a special Issue in memory of Professor Emeritus Emil Pfender. Professor Pfender joined the ME Department faculty in 1964, formally retired in 2000, and held the position of Emeritus Professor until his death in 2016. The special issue comprises 385 pages, including a forward by the co-editors, M. Boulos and P. Fauchais, and 18 original research articles. For more information about Professor Pfender, see

MARCH 2017


MSI PI and Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Traian Dumitricã was named a Fellow in the Energy area at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) (Institute of Advanced Studies). Learn more:


Professor Tianhong Cui was selected for the 2017 class of Distinguished McKnight University Professors. The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status. Recipients hold the title for as long as they remain employed at the University of Minnesota.



Professor Peter McMurry
to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Helsinki for his behind-the-scenes support of Finnish aerosol research.

shenSimulator testing is being done to improve oil tracking fate under hurricane conditions. Professor Lian Shen is Co-Principal Investigator on a Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GMRI) exploring tracking processes essential to studying ocean wave-field dynamics. The project researchers are Shen and Dr. William Drennan, U of Miami Department of Ocean Sciences. The GMRI recently awarded a grant to study how wind-wave-current interactions affect oil transport under significant wave influences, such as hurricanes. The researchers are taking a two-step approach that combines model simulations with parameters derived from laboratory wave tank experiments. Their goal is to improve our ability to monitor and contain oil in the event another spill occurs under high-turbulent conditions. More:

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony was held March 2nd with a grand opening celebration of the Anderson Student Innovation Labs. With a generous donation by Clifford I. (BSB'62) and Nancy C. Anderson, and the vision of former CSE Dean Crouch, all labs are now open to students and their creativity. Students' ideas are turned into reality with hands-on learning and state-of-the-art equipment. The 10,000 square foot space includes a waterjet cutter, computer-controlled milling machines, and the largest bank of 3D printers on campus. The Design Lab was designed primarily for prototyping and is located in ME2134. The Student Machine Shop is located in ME176, and the Student Shop is located in the Civil Engineering building, room 335.

bischof 3 in lab

Groundbreaking technology successfully rewarms large-scale tissues preserved at very low temperatures. This research study, led by the University of Minnesota, is a major step forward in saving millions of human lives by increasing the availability of organs and tissues for transplantation through the establishment of tissue and organ banks. UMN study authors include postdocs/researchers Zhe Gao, Navid Manuchehrabadi, Hattie Ring, Qi Shao and Jin Jin Zhang; graduate student Feng Liu; Undergraduate student Michael McDermott; Dentistry Professor Alex Fok; Radiology Professor Michael Garwood; Chemistry Professor Christy Haynes, and Distinguished McKnight University Professor & Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering, John Bishchof. Learn more:


3updowsiscaThree Mechanical Engineering students received finalist recognition for the 2016 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award. The Dow SISCA recognizes the work of graduate students with innovative ideas and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. Finalists — graduate students Kory Jenkins and Vu Nguyen - Bio-inspired peptide with controlled microstructures for piezoelectric devices, and graduate student Kanav Khosla - Development of a universal platform for aquatic germplasm cryoperservation for species conservation.

NASA Selects Proposals for First-Ever Space Technology Research Institutes. Associate Professor Traian Dumitricã is part of the “Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP),” a first-ever research institute funded by NASA. The institute focuses on the rapid development of technologies critical for extending human presence deeper into our solar system. Professor Dumitricã will use novel computational methods to design lighter and stronger materials than those currently used, even in the most advanced aerospace structures. Learn more:

uweehrenberg lab
"Dream of Energy-Collecting Windows is One Step Closer to Reality"
- The research of Professor Uwe Kortshagen, Mechanical Engineering Department Head, and PhD student Samantha Ehrenberg, was recently published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Photonics titled "Highly efficient luminescent solar concentrators based on earth-abundant indirect-bandgap silicon quantum dots." PLUS view Kare11 news segment here: Learn more: and

bruggemanThe latest research on food decontamination with cold plasmas, by Associate Professor Peter Bruggeman and College of Veterinary Medicine Professor, Sagar Goyal, PhD, was discussed in ScienceNews. The article: “Cold Plasma Puts the Chill on Norovirus” was presented at the "2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy" meeting in Washington, DC, February 7, 2017. Learn more: &


kuehnProfessor Emeritus Thomas Kuehn is the recipient of the ASHRAE E.K. Campbell Award. This annual award is given to a current ASHRAE member in good standing who is associated with an institution of learning and teaches courses or conducts research in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning or refrigeration at the graduate and/or undergraduate level in an engineering or engineering technology program. Learn more:

january 2017

4upPhdsCongratulations to four PhD students from the department of Mechanical Engineering who received fellowships or assistantships. Diego Escalante (advised by Professor Aksan), received a MNDrive PhD Graduate Assistantship. Focus: Development of computational tools, based on thermodynamic principles, to predict biodegradation / biocatalysis of chemicals (industrial waste / pharmaceuticals / emerging pollutants. Leila Ghanbari (advised by Professor Kodandaramaiah), received a MNDrive PhD Graduate Assistantship. Focus: A unique interdisciplinary research that combines three MnDRIVE thrust areas - robotics and sensing; brain conditions and informatics. Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani (advised by Professor McAlpine), received an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for 2017-18. Focus: 3D printing electromechanical transducers that can fit various soft-matter applications for integrated actuation and sensing, such as development of dynamic cardiac models. Zhijie Zhu (advised by Professor McAlpine), received an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for 2017-18. Focus: Developing smart 3D printing system to fabricate remote sensors specific to insect morphologies in non-invasive / fully autonomous manner, to benefit research in basic / applied insect ecology.


Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher was awarded the 2017-19 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. Focus: Understanding Atmospheric Aerosol Particles through Models, Mimics, and Microfluidics. Learn more>

delegationCSE Dean Samuel Mukasa’s delegation went to Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) January 8-10th to sign Joint-Lab agreement and discuss student exchanges. The delegation members consisted of Head of Mechanical Engineering Department Uwe Kortshagen, Professor David Pui, Professor Thomas Kuehn, and Charles Lo. The delegation attended the inaugural International Academic Committee meeting for the International Joint Research Laboratory of Thermo-Fluid Science and Engineering, signed the Joint Lab agreement, discussed the student exchanges, and delivered two seminars. Dean Mukasa gave a seminar on “Importance of University Partnerships to Address the Global Grand Challenges,” and Professor Kortshagen gave a seminar on “Highlights of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Research at the University of Minnesota.” They also visited the site of the Solar Assisted Large Scale Cleaning System (SALSCS), which was a collaboration between UMN (Pui), IEECAS (Cao) and XJTU (Tao). The SALSCS was completed in August, 2016 and is currently under evaluation for cleaning the surrounding area of one square kilometer. Computational fluid dynamics and weather research and forecasting calculations were performed to assess its effectiveness for cleaning large urban areas. Dean Mukasa and Profs. Kortshagen and Kuehn also visited the Institute of Earth Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where Mukasa discussed geochemistry with Academicians ZHOU Weijian and AN Zhi Sheng. (pictured from L-R — Kuehn, Kortshagen, Dr. Shuguo Wang-President of XJTU, Mukasa, Pui and Lo)


Professor Arthur Erdman, Richard C. Jordan Professor, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Director of UMN Medical Devices Center, will be presented with the 2017 ASME Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal, for "translating meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice through research, education, professional development, and with service to the bioengineering community," at the 3rd Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference June 21-24th in Tucson Arizona.


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Learn more:

Associate Professor Michael McAlpine, along with Associate Professor Brenda Ogle, Department of Biomedical Engineering, received a National Institutes of Health R01 Grant for the project titled: Extracellular matrix regulation of differentiation via modulation of ILK: application to 3D bioprinting of cardiac tissue. (Any research reported in regard to this grant was supported by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HL137204. All research content regarding this grant is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.)


News Archive 2015

News Archive 2014

News Archive 2013

News archive 2012

News archive 2011

News archive 2010