University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

News and Events

News Archive 2011

November 2011

Joshua Quinnell, who is a PhD candidate working with Professor Jane Davidson, received the Research Poster Award at the E3 2011 Annual Conference, for his poster entitled "Thermochemical Seasonal Energy Storage using Calcium Chloride."

October 2011

Professor Allison Hubel and BioCoR, and her new initiative, The Biopreservation Resoucr Consortium, were featured in genomeweb, an online and print publisher dedicated to molecular biology research and molecular diagnostics. Read the article here (pdf).

Prof. Benjamin Liu (Regents’ Prof Emeritus) and his faculty colleagues (Prof. Virgil A. Marple, Peter H. McMurry, Thomas H. Kuehn, and David Y. H. Pui) in the department have co-authored an article “History of Aerosol Research at the University of Minnesota Particle Technology Laboratory.” The article appears as Chapter 7 in the book, “Aerosol Science and Technology: History and Reviews.” It summarizes aerosol and particle research in the department dating back to the 1920s.  The entire 100-page article is available for viewing at (

Saber Taghvaeeyan and Prof. Rajamani's research on analyzing vehicle magnetic signatures for position measurement has been featured on the PhyOrg website.

Professor Thomas Kuehn gave an invited lecture "Bioaerosol Measurements in Airports and Aircraft Cabins" presented at the First Boeing Workshop on Rates and Routes of Disease Transmission, October 4-6, Seattle, WA.

Professor Zongxuan Sun presented a talk "Clean and Efficient Automotive Propulsion Systems: A Mechatronic Approach" at the SAE Twin Cities Section's October program.

September 2011

ME Undergraduate student, Brett Neubauer, received the 2011 Astronaut Scholarship. The $10,000 award is granted to outstanding undergraduate students in engineering or the natural or applied sciences who have shown initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.

july 2011

Pulkit Agarwal, a current PhD student advised by Prof. Steven Girshick, won the Best Student Paper Award at the 20th International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, held in Philadelphia, July 24-29, 2011. Pulkit's paper, "Numerical and Experimental Investigations of Dusty Plasma Behavior,"  was coauthored by Adam Boies, who received his PhD from the Department in January 2011, and who currently holds the position of Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK, and by collaborators at the University of Orléans, France.

Professor Wojciech Lipiński has received the Early Career Grant Award by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment to conduct research on solar thermochemical CO2 capture.

Congratulations to a former PhD student: Professor Jayathi Murthy (PhD 1984) will take the position of Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin in January 2012.

JUNE 2011

Congratulations to Evgeniya  Akatyeva and Brandon Jay Hathaway who both received a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Ms. Akatyeva, advised by Prof. Traian Dumitricã, is developing atomistic models of nanoscale structures.  Mr. Hathaway, advised by Prof. Jane Davidson, is developing a solar reactor for gasification of biomass. 

The Solar Energy Laboratory's research on solar fuels is featured in Scientific American. More...

May 2011

University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project team came away with a first-place finish in the 2011 Formula Sun Grand Prix May 7 and 8 at the famous "Brickyard" track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The American Solar Challenge event was part of the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The University team had one of the fastest laps at 1 minute 24 seconds. More...

ME Graduate Student Josh Quinnell is the recipient of an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship. During the 2011/12 academic year he will work as a fellow in the University's Institute on the Environment as part of his doctoral research with Prof. Jane Davidson.

APRIL 2011

Professor Will Durfee received the 2011 President's Award for Outstanding Service.

Professors Al Aksan and Wojciech Lipinski have been awarded the CSE 2010-11 Outstanding Professor Award. Al and Wojciech were determined as award winners through a confidential vote by our undergraduate students. The award reflects both their commitment to undergraduate teaching and the rigor of their instruction.

Prof. Rajamani will be a keynote speaker at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics to be held in Istanbul, Turkey between April 13-15, 2011.  Prof. Rajamani will speak on "Novel Sensors, New Estimation Algorithms and Active Controls: Technologies for Improving Highway Vehicle Safety and Mobility."

ME graduate students Coty Jen and Peter Krenzke won NSF Fellowships. Masanori Honda and Dominic Triana were honorable mentions.

ME graduate student Evgeniya Akatyeva won first prize in the poster competition organized at the DOE Conference on Materials for Energy Application – Experiment, Modeling, and Simulations, Palos Verde, California. The title of her poster presentation is “Edge-mediated Dislocation Processes in Carbon Nano-onions?” by E. Akatyeva, J.Y. Huang, and T. Dumitrica.

March 2011

Professor Saif Benjaafar was named Distinguished McKnight University Professor for his outstanding work in the area of operations research and his leadership for the Industrial and Systems Engineering program.

Professor Sue Mantell was awarded the Morse Alumni Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.

Assistant Professor Zongxuan Sun has been selected as a recipient of the 2011 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

January 2011

The University of Minnesota will award Assistant Professor Chris Hogan the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a two-year appointment starting July 1, 2011. Hogan's research focuses on design of new instrumentation for measuring and simulating the behavior of environmental nanoparticles. More...

Professor Caroline Hayes attended a grant signing ceremony in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, January 27th for a collaborative "Minnesota Job Skills Partnership" grant between University of Minnesota, Itasca Community College, Blandin Paper Corporation and MN Power's Rapids Energy Center.  U.S. Representative Chip Carvaack and MN Senator Tom Saxhoug also attended, as well as representatives from U.S. Senator Al Franken's office.  The grant will focus on developing a "teaching the teachers" training program in ergonomic methods to improve safety and reduce injuries in the work environment.

News archive 2010