University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Ephraim M. Sparrow

Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and
College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor

Office: ME 238
Phone: 612-625-5502

Ph.D. 1952, M.A. 1950, Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University
M.S. 1949, B.S. 1948, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Member of the National Academy of Engineering


Eph Sparrow is a generalist who works on a very broad range of problems which encompass all of mechanical engineering and is both focused and motivated by industrial applications. He has guided 87 PhDs and 215 MSs to completion and has published 750 papers in archival journals. He believes that there is no facet of mechanical engineering that should not be investigated.

He is also in charge of the Laboratory for Engineering Practice whose function is to undertake both industrially based and fundamental problems. The lab is well equipped with instrumentation and other equipment sufficient to deal with virtually any project in mechanical engineering. He believes that the optimal approach to complex problems is a synergistic interaction between experimentation and numerical simulation.

Sparrow also teaches computationally based courses which are highly effective in solving problems of a highly complex nature. These include fluid flow, heat transfer, structures, particle flows, fluid-structure interactions, and fluid-thermal-structure interactions. He and his team use these skills across the board in all manner of research and development projects.

He believes that the key feature in learning is continuous interactions between himself and students and between students who work on diverse projects. These interactions enhance learning for all concerned. A sample of the types of projects that are and have been solved by Sparrow and his team are as follows:

New fuels
Conveyence of nanoparticles
Lubricity for biomedical devices
Wind engineering
Biomedical devices and therapies
Biomedical device development
Drug delivery
Blood flow analysis
Biomedical thermal management
Urether stents
Temperature based therapies
Assessment of necrosis
Mass transfer processes

Interactions with fluid flow
Interactions with structures
Modeling and numerical simulation
Heat exchangers
Heat sealing
Thermal conductivity measurements
Temperature control
Electronic equipment thermal management
Heat conduction analysis
Temperature measurement
Jet cooling and heating
Furnace design
Heat transfer laboratory

Turbulence modeling
Computational fluid dynamics
Fluid-structure interactions
Fluid-thermal interactions
Velocity instrumentation
Pressure instrumentation
Fluid flow control
Flow visualization
Numerical simulation
Fluid flow laboratory
Two-phase flow
Piping systems
Friction stir welding
Polymer processing
Web-based processing
Total energy wheels

Sparrow and his team are eager to undertake and to solve all industrially based projects.


Laboratory for Engineering Practice