University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

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ME News - Department Newsletter

Mechanical Engineering Robot Show (previous show information)



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

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MAY 2017

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


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.)


gao meng natesanThis past semester numerous ME researchers and students received awards. The following are three awardees who received poster awards at the 2016 IEM Annual Conference & Retreat: Post Doctoral Associate Zhe Gao won 1st place in the Post-Doc category for "Nanowarming of Arteries." Post Doctoral Associate, Fanben Meng won 2nd place in the Post-Doc category for "Guide Vascularization via 3D Printed Programmable Release Bionic Capsules." Graduate Student Harishankar Natesan won 1st place in the Cardiovascular Engineering theme with his poster, "A microthermal sensor for Pulmonary Vein (Pv) Ablation."

kulackiProfessor Francis Kulacki is the recipient of the Edwin F. Church Medal. In his 46 year career Professor Kulacki has exemplified outstanding and continuous contributions in mechanical engineering education, research and service. His work has impacted all facets of mechanical engineering education including thermal engineering, the engineering curriculum, and design modalities. Through innovative initiatives, he was a pioneer in establishing and embedding computer-aided design and education in mechanical engineering at three universities. This medal is awarded for eminent service in increasing the value, importance and attractiveness of mechanical engineering education. The ASME International Mechanical Engineering Education Leadership Summit award presentation will be held during the month of April 2017 in Washington, DC.


On behalf of the Council of University Transportation Centers, a PhD dissertation by Professor Donath’s student Chen-Fu Liao was recognized as the winner of the CUTC Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for his dissertation prepared as part of his studies at the University of Minnesota.

The Mechanical Engineering Fall 2016 Senior Design Show was held December 13th at Coffman Memorial Union. The Mechanical Engineering Facebook page has many photos to view:

The Mechanical Engineering 2016 Robot Show was held December 12th at McNamara Alumni Center. View Robot Show photos at the Mechanical Engineering Facebook page:

The departmental Mechanical Engineering Graduation Recognition Event was held on December 9th at Mayo Memorial Auditorium. Please view the ME Facebook page to see photos!


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine earned the title of 'NAS Kavli Fellow' for his presentation "3D Printing Functional Materials & Devices" at the 2016 National Academy of Sciences' fifteenth Japanese-American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium at the Beckman Center in Irvine, California, December 2, 2016. Learn more>

Associate Professor Michael McAlpine, in collaboration with Ann Parr, MD, PhD, Director of Spinal Neurosurgery U of MN Medical School, and James Dutton, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, received a '2016 $100K Conquer Paralysis Now' grant for their on-going research conquering paralysis using 3-D printing.

The goal of the Conquer Paralysis Now (CPN) Challenge is to accelerate the development of treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) in order to provide significant improvements in patients' quality of life. CPN started in 2000 as the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation after Sam sustained a paralyzing SCI as a race car driver. The ultimate goal of CPN is to fund research, provide advocacy, and find a cure for paralysis. Learn more here> and here>


Professor Allison Hubel invented a "microfluidics" device that "washes" thawed blood! Learn more in this Twin Cities Business article:



A groundbreaking research by Ph.D. students Vu Nguyen and co-authors in Professor Rusen Yang's group has just been published in the journal Nature Communications. The paper, titled "Self-assembly of diphenylalanine peptide with controlled polarization for power generation," discovered that bio-based peptide microstructures can be engineered to convert mechanical energy into useful electricity. This break-through discovery promises to create novel piezoelectric devices and open new biomedical applications. More about this work can be viewed at




As part of a new $317 million dollar national initiative, and the Legacy cover story, Assistant Professor Julianna Abel and Professor David Pui are the U of M's lead researchers who will advance innovations in fibers and fabrics for this nationwide "smart fabrics" initiative. View the article here>




The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) recently profiled the outstanding research underway by university faculty, and their position surrounding community engagement around grand challenges. ME Professor Sean Garrick was featured as a new IDEA Faculty Development Fellow in an impressive article. Learn more>

kortshagen bruggemanProfessor and ME Department Head Uwe Kortshagen and Associate Professor Peter Bruggeman co-authored a paper selected as one of the most influential papers of this era by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

The IOP selected the 50 most influential papers published in the Journal of Physics series on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the journal series. The series consists of five journals covering the entire field of physics. One of the selected papers is the 2012 Plasma Roadmap that was co-authored by professors Bruggeman and Kortshagen. With more than 130 citations and almost 22000 downloads in 4 years, it is recognized as one of the most successful and influential papers of this era. Professor Bruggeman has co-authored with professor Czarnetzki (Ruhr University Bochum) a viewpoint on the importance and impact of this paper that can be found at

September 2016

bruggemanAssociate Professor Peter Bruggeman edited a review and roadmap paper on plasma-liquid interactions with colleagues from the U of MI and FSU that is published in Plasma Sources Science and Technology. The document reviews the state of the art of this increasingly important area in plasma science and technology that is extensively investigated due to its potential for emerging applications in the field of medicine, environmental stewardship and material synthesis. The origin of this discussion was co-organized by Professor Bruggeman and originally held at the Lorentz Center, University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 2014. The 41 attendees of that meeting who co-authored the paper are experts from 10 different research fields and represent 14 different countries. Professor Sean Garrick of the ME department contributed with his expertise in multiphase modeling.

rajamani donath morris

Professor Rajesh Rajamani
, Professor Max Donath and Research Associate Nichole Morris, together with Professor Loren Terveen from Computer Science received a $1 million research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a smart bicycle that monitors distances to nearby vehicles and alerts them to the presence of the bicycle, in the event of danger of a collision. The 3-year project is funded through the 'Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity' program at NSF.


Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor Susan Mantell, an accomplished scholar with 95 refereed publications on design of structures utilizing nontraditional materials, was awarded Fellow of the ASME for distinguished accomplishments in leadership, teaching, and research. Her extraordinary passion has provided innovative excellence in educational leadership, strengthening the engineering curriculum through training of graduate teaching assistants, course design and new infrastructure for experiential learning.

Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine participated in a multidisciplined plenary session held at the Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) 2016 Week in Boston, MA 8/31-9/3 titled "3D Printed Dynamic Engineering." McAlpine also presented a keynote address titled "3D Printing Functional Materials & Devices."


University of Minnesota has a record 17 start-ups in FY16! ME Professor Allison Hubel / MesoFlow, ME Professor John Bischof / Vigilant Diagnostics, Minnepura led by Paul Hansen, Professor Wackett & ME Professor Al Aksan, and Innotronics led by Mike Gust, Ryan Madson, & ME Professor Rajesh Rajamani. Learn more >

PLUS, Innotronics and Minnepura were named among the "Best University Start-ups 2016" by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2), an association of university start-up officers. Learn more >


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael McAlpine discusses the exciting future of 3D printing and engineering involved with the regeneration of motor function and sensory information in an ASME article, a 3D MedNet podcast interview, a PLASTICS TODAY article, and a QMed / MEDICAL PRODUCT MANUFACTURING NEWS article.

Distinguished McKnight University Professor & Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering Professor John Bischof was elected Fellow of the Society for Cryobiology and Recipient of the 2016 Luyet Medal at the 2016 Society for Cryobiology meeting on July 26th. He was nominated by the Board of Governors on the basis of his research and continued service to the society. The Society for Cryobiology exists to bring together those with a shared goal of applying scientific research of low temperature biology for the benefit of mankind.

JULY 2016


Professor Tianhong Cui
was awarded the Outstanding Editor Award from Nature Publishing Group and Chinese Academy of Sciences at Light Conference on July 4, 2016. As an executive editor-in-chief, Professor Cui was the founder for two Nature journals: Microsystems & Nanoengineering and Light: Science & Applications (Impact Factor of 13.6 in 2016)


Professor Jane Davidson
delivered the opening plenary at the ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference in Washington DC. Her lecture addressed the global challenge of developing sustainable fuels for transportation using sunlight.


ME graduate students Vahhab Zarei (Barocas lab) and Yiru Wang (Bischof lab) placed 2nd and 3rd in their respective categories of the Student PhD Paper Competition at this year's Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference ( They were selected from roughly 20 entries in each category.

JUNE 2016

Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher
was awarded the Doctoral New Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for her proposal titled: “Polyelectrolyte – Clay Dynamics and Assembly in Taylor Couette Flows for Applications in Improved Oil Production." The Doctoral New Investigator grants program aims to promote the careers of young faculty by supporting research of high scientific caliber, and to enhance the career opportunities of their undergraduate/graduate students, and postdoctoral associates through the research experience. Learn more >

morrisHow can we address the problem of teenage related automobile accidents? Research Associate Nichole Morris and the HumanFIRST lab are looking for solutions. The HumanFIRST lab employs the tools and methods of psychology and human factors engineering to improve scientific understanding of driver performance and cognitive functions. In a New York Times article the dangers of teenage driving are discussed. Passengers may be a greater threat than cell phones. Learn more >


Associate Professor Peter Bruggeman
was awarded the prestigious Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Early Career Award. Professor Bruggeman is one of only 27 winners from universities across the U.S. to receive significant funding for research. Learn more >

MAY 2016

jenCoty Jen, Mechanical Engineering PhD, 2015, received Honarable Mention in the University of Minnesota Best Dissertation Competition. Coty was advised by Professor Peter McMurry, and her dissertation, “Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry Study of Sulfuric Acid and Amine Chemical Nucleation Processes Pertinent to the Atmosphere,” examined fundamental processes by which vapor phase species form particles in the ambient atmosphere. Coty is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management at the University of California-Berkeley.


A paper by Assistant Professor Xiaojia Wang and her colleagues was a featured cover image of the journal Advanced Electronic Materials (Vol. 2, No. 5, May 2016). Their study on the thermal conductivities of black phosphorus (BP) along three primary crystalline orientations using the ultrafast time-resolved magneto-optical Kerr effect (TR-MOKE) is depicted on the journal cover image. More about this work: “Revealing the Origins of 3D Anisotropic Thermal Conductivities of Black Phosphorus” can be viewed here>

Spring Semester 2016 Mechanical Engineering departmental graduation recognition event was held May 13th in the Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower Auditorium, +PLUS later in the evening graduates attended the CSE Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at Mariucci! ME recognition event photos are posted on our ME Facebook page at:

2016 Mechanical Engineering Spring Senior Design Show was held May 3rd in Coffman Memorial Union. View photos here>


van de ven

The Board of Regents approved the promotions of two Mechanical Engineering faculty members. The two professors are Professor Zongxuan Sun and Associate Professor James Van de Ven.


Professor Kim Stelson was selected to receive the 2016 ASME Robert E. Koski Medal. The Koski Medal, established in 2007, recognizes individuals who have advanced the art and practice of fluid power motion and control through education and/or innovation.

APRIL 2016

doc dis fel aw 5upFive Mechanical Engineering PhD Students received the 2016-17 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award. The recipients are: Sangyoon Lee (adviser Li), Harishankar Natesan (adviser Bischof), Katelyn Schramke (adviser Kortshagen), Alexander Yudell (adviser Van de Ven), and Song Zhang (adviser Rajamani). This 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 & write a dissertation during the fellowship year.


Professor David Pui
and Assistant Professor Julianna Abel are part of a $317 million national initiative to develop 'smart' fabrics. The goal of this partnership, named Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), is to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing and development of "smart" fabrics that can see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, or monitor health. Learn more >


Mechanical Engineering PhD Students Samantha Ehrenberg (adviser Kortshagen), Gillian McDonald (advisor Kowalewski), and Trevor Stephens (advisor Kowalewski), were each awarded the 2016-17 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award. This award supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

MARCH 2016

Sang-Gook Kim, MIT, was an ME guest seminar speaker on March 23rd. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Design Solutions to Engineering Challenges in Energy Harvesting"


A Mechanical Engineering Alumni Network (ME-AN) Spring Event MEET & GREET was held for Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine on March 22nd to welcome one of our newest faculty members. Associate Professor McAlpine discussed his cutting-edge research focused on 3D-printed bionic nanomaterials, which is the three-dimensional interweaving of biological and electronic nanomaterials using 3D printing.

Srikanth Singamaneni, Washington University, St. Louis,was an ME guest seminar speaker on March 9th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Plasmonic Engineering in Nanomedicine"


Assistant Professor Jiarong Hong
received the prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. This program seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent academic appointment and for FY16, have begun their first appointment on or after Nov. 1, 2010. This award encourages teaching careers, and recognizes those who show exceptional promise for conducting creative research.

The 2016 State of the University Address from President Eric Kaler was held on March 3rd at Coffman Memorial Union Theater. Address can be viewed online >

Shashi Murthy, Northeastern, was an ME guest seminar speaker on March 2nd. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Hydrogels for Cell Purification: From Laboratory to Commercialiation"


Christopher Tyler, Cargill, was an ME guest seminar speaker on February 24th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Applying CFD in Industrial Mixing"

The UMN 2016 Job & Internship Fair was held February 19th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 300+ companies and organizations were in attendance. Learn more regarding event:

Ajay Agrawal, University of Alabama, was an ME guest seminar speaker on February 17th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Fuel Atomization for Clean, Fuel-Flexible Combustion of Liquid Fuels"

Ryan Sullivan, Carnegie Mellon, was an ME guest seminar speaker on February 10th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Exploring the Morphology and Ice Nucleation Properties of Complex Atmospheric Aerosols Using Individual Particle Techniques"


ME Professor David Y.H. Pui has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as a new member. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer. The NAE elected only 80 new members and 22 foreign members this year. Dr. Pui, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and L.M. Fingerson/TSI Inc. Chair in Mechanical Engineering, is a world-renowned researcher in the field of aerosol and nanoparticle science. He is recognized for his recent efforts to combat air pollution issues worldwide, particularly in China. Learn more regarding Dr. Pui and his election to the NAE.


ME Assistant Professor Will Northrop
has won the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to SAE's engineering education initiatives. Professor Northrop is recognized and honored as a young educator preparing engineers to successfully meet the challenges that face society.


ME Professor Sean Garrick was selected as a 2017 Fulbright Scholar. The award by the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences is to study atmospheric aerosols and specifically the effects of turbulence on aerosol formation in the atmosphere.


dutcherBenjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher received the National Science Foundation Career Award. Her proposal is entitled "CAREER: Understanding Multiphase Atmospheric Aerosol Particle Thermodynamics using Models, Mimics, and Microfluids." This prestigious award is in support of junior faculty who exemplify their role through the integration of education and research.


ME PhD Student Rodney Dockter has been awarded an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year due to his excellent academic record and professional promise. The IDF provides a unique opportunity for outstanding doctoral students to interact with university faculty within an interdisciplinary research center or institution. Congratulations Rodney!

Samuel Graham
, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, was an ME guest seminar speaker on February 3rd. Learn more about the seminar topic: "The Development of GaN Electronics from a Thermal and Mechanical Perspective"

The CSE Career Fair was held February 2nd at Mariucci Arena where more than 170 companies and organizations were welcomed to campus for the largest-ever Spring CSE Career Fair! Employers who attended the Career Fair included many top national and regional companies. In addition, several employers hosted information sessions and on-campus interviews for undergraduate and graduate students. Visit the CSE Career Fair page to learn more about these recruiters and receive the career fair app, or contact or 612-624-4090 regarding future information.



The ME community mourns the passing, on January 28, 2016, of Emeritus Professor Emil Pfender after a brief illness. Professor Pfender was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, among many other honors. He joined the department as Associate Professor in 1964 when he was recruited by Professor Ernst Eckert to direct the High Temperature Lab, (now the High Temperature and Plasma Lab), one of the most highly regarded plasma research labs in the world. Professor Pfender was known as a true gentleman, and will be deeply missed by many people. Mass info and more on the life of Emil Pfender.

van de ven

Assistant Professor James Van de Ven
, was selected for the George Taylor Career Development Award. This award recognizes exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure during the probationary period.



It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Mark Erickson. Mark started in ME on April 21, 1980. He was part of the ME Shop and ran the ME's Tool Crib until his retirement in 2013. He was with the department for 33 years and will be missed.

Deanna Thompson, Associate Professor from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was an ME guest seminar speaker on January 27th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Biophysical Stimuli in Neural Engineering"


Assistant Professor Jiarong Hong was elected to the 2016-18 class of McKnight Land-Grant Professors, which recognizes the most promising junior faculty members who are at the beginning stages of their professional careers. Focus: Understanding Fundamental Flow Physics with Innovative Imaging Techniques for Energy and Transportation Applications.

These ME professors were part of a team of collaborators and inventors who recently received patents in 2015. Professor Thomas Kuehn - Carbon dioxide-based geothermal energy generation systems and methods related thereto, Professor and ME Department Head Uwe Kortshagen - Silicon nanocrystal, inks, films and methods, Professor Art Erdman - Micro-orifice surgical access system, Professor Art Erdman, Professor Rajesh Rajamani - Sensing tissue properties


The Mechanical Engineering Department mourns the passing of Emeritus Professor Darrell Frohrib who passed away on January 10th, 2016. Professor Frohrib joined the ME faculty in 1967. He was the driving force behind the creation and growth of the Design Division in the department, and also a pioneer in the field of the design of medical devices. Professor Frohrib will be missed by many people. Obituary notice can be found here.

FYI — The CSE Shop is now open for faculty and student use, with an open house planned for this month. If you have a work order request, please stop by to visit the new location in ME161. Please contact if you have any questions or concerns.

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