University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


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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 >

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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>

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


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>

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.


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.

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 >

How 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 >

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.

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