University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Thomas R. Chase

Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Office: ME 305
Phone: 612-625-0308

Ph.D. 1984, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota

M.S. 1983, B.S. 1977, Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology



Major research interests are in engineering database design, computer-aided engineering, mechanism design, and stress analysis of rolled webs.

Improved models for representing mechanical parts in computer-integrated manufacturing databases are being developed. The goal is to develop models that enable full automation of CIM procedures, such as design retrieval, process planning, and inspection. The models are being designed to be compatible with the evolving STEP international standard for product data exchange where practical. The models are implemented in C++ based object-oriented and relational database managers.

The best mechanism simulation packages available today are hampered by the inability to generally represent continuous regions of motion of mechanisms, accurately described as "circuits" and "branches". One mechanisms research project consists of improving the representation of circuits and branches for automated mechanism analysis programs. The second consists of applying these improved definitions to the synthesis of six-bar linkages.

Rolled webs are utilized for manufacturing magnetic tape, film, paper, adhesive tape, and metal foils. A new non-linear in-roll stress model is being derived to address discrepancies observed between stresses predicted by existing non-linear models and experimental measurements. A better understanding of the in-roll stresses would enable winding rolls to withstand better the adversities of transport and storage.