University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

News and Events

ME News - Department Newsletter


Photos from the Mechanical Engineering Fall Graduation Ceremony are posted on our Facebook page. Congratulations graduates on your hard work! View photos and 'like' the ME Facebook page to stay in contact with us:

CONGRATULATIONS to Mechanical Engineering Students Dustin Johnson, Daniel Nigon, and Chao Zhang, who were finalists in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA). The Institute on Environment (IonE), and the Dow Chemical Company recognizes and rewards students and universities for innovation and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. The recognition event was held December 4th, 2014, at the U of MN's IonE in St. Paul.

Senior Design Show - (Course ME 4054W) - Tuesday, 12/9 in the Great Hall Coffman Memorial Union. Judging begins @1:30pm • Open to public 2:30-4:30 See photos from last year. View photos and 'like' the ME Facebook page here:

Mechanical Engineering Robot Show - Monday, 12/8, 2:40-4:30pm – McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street S.E., Mpls. (on U of MN East Bank Campus). View photos on our Facebook page here:

The student designed, LED Winter Light & Laser Projection Show begins Friday, December 5th. Shows start at 5:30pm. Other shows run December 11-13th, 5:30, 6 and 6:30pm. Learn more •


CONGRATULATIONS Mechanical Engineering Professor and Director of the Roadway Safety Institute, Professor Max Donath, who was awarded the 2014 Kathy Swanson Outstanding Service Award for his contributions in transportation safety research! Read more •


PLEASE SAVE THE DATE! - Fall Semester 2014 Mechanical Engineering graduation recognition event will be held Friday, December 5th, 2014, 3:30pm, Mayo Auditorium Building.


Professor Art Erdman was an invited keynote speaker at the 26th International Conference of the Society for Medical Innovation and Technology (SMIT) on September 20th, 2014 in Shanghai, China. He delivered the Gerhard Buess Lecture on "Helping Solve Our Health Care Dilemma-Physical and Virtual Medical Device Prototyping." Learn more!

A paper by Associate Professor Traian Dumitricǎ, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Yuxiang Ni, and their collaborators from École Centrale Paris, was featured on the cover of the prestigious Physical Review Letters journal. The work presents a new way to phonon engineer thermal properties of materials. Their findings are theoretically exciting and have implications for designing advanced materials for high-temperature electronics and thermoelectric applications. A link to the paper titled “Thermal Transport Along the Dislocation Line in Silicon Carbide” is here.

The Engineering Co-op Program Job Fair will take place Wednesday, September 17th, from 10am-2pm, in the Architecture Courtyard of Rapson Hall. This is a great chance to meet some of the employers who will be hiring for the spring and summer semesters. Join the Co-op Program and earn technical elective credits, a salary, and experience! FREE pizza and pop! • More information is available in ME1120.

Dr. Frank Kulacki will present the invited Keynote Lecture "Boiling of Emulsions. A New Heat Transfer Mechanism" at the 15th Brazilian Congress of Thermal Sciences and Engineering (2014 ENCIT), November 12, 2014. Learn more!

august 2014

The 39th offering of the annual MN Aerosol and Particle Measurement Short Course, sponsored by the Particle Technology Laboratory, the Mechanical Engineering Department, and the U of M (see:, began August 18th, and was attended by more than 2,300 participants from industry, government and academia. The 43 registrants include 8 from Austria, China, Canada, Denmark, France, and Germany.

As the only consortium of its kind in N. America, the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) will hold the first annual Fluid Power Innovation & Research Conference 2014 (FPIRC14) October 13-16, 2014 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, to engage with the best and the brightest research faculty, trained students, and practitioners in the field! Learn more:

ME Professor Allison Hubel has developed technology behind a device used during transplants or medical procedures for Minneapolis based Meso-Flow - One of 15 startup companies launched over the past year, fueled by UMN research!

CONGRATULATIONS to ME Professor Art Erdman, as well as ECE Professor JIAN-PING WANG, who have each won a TITANS OF TECHNOLOGY AWARD from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Just published - read more:

ME Professor David Pui, along with UMN faculty, are helping China combat pollution. Excellent work!

July 2014

A recent SCIENCE NATION video profiled Professor Jane Davidson, along with Caltech Chemical Engineer Sossina Haile, and shares their contributions on how to expand the nations renewable energy source!

Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Andrew Metcalf received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. The two year fellowship, which will begin this September 1st, will support his postdoctoral research efforts toward building a microfluidic platform to study atmospheric aerosols. Andrew is advised by Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher.

Assistant Professor Will Northrop was featured in Ag Innovation News from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. He is working toward providing a cheaper, cleaner diesel fuel.

Professor Peter McMurry was featured in a Department of Energy, Office of Science's article titled, "The Secret Life of Aerosols."

Associate Professor Alptekin Aksan received a grant from the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment to develop a low-cost solution to produce clean drinking water.

June 2014

Professor Kumar Tamma was awarded the 2014 IACM Fellow Award from the International Association for Computational Mechanics.

Assistant Professor Jiarong Hong, along with doctoral student Mostafa Toloui, former master's student Sean Riely, and colleagues from the Saint Anthony Falls Lab completed a research study to visualize the airflow behind a wind turbine using Minnesota a blizzard. Their work was featured in National Geographic,, Yahoo News,, Science 2.0, Nanowerk, Science Codex, and Nature Communications.

Doctoral student Shan Hu received faculty position offers from a number of universities and accepted an Assistant Professor position at Iowa State University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on carbon nanotube based technologies for active noise cancellation in a building window and was advised by Professor Rajesh Rajamani.

May 2014

Doctoral student Ranganathan Gopalakrishnan was chosen as the ME Department nominee for the University of Minnesota Best Dissertation Award. He received Honorable Mention.

Doctoral students Daniel Janssen and Garrett Nelson were awarded the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The University of Minnesota's Formula SAE Team was featured on KSTP-TV evening news on May 11, 2014.

The Board of Regents approved the promotion of Professor Sean Garrick from the rank of Associate Professor to Professor.

April 2014

Congratulations to the following ME students receiving 2014-2015 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships: Rohini Bala Chandran, Michael DiVito, Coty Jen, Nicolaas Kramer, Peter Krenzke, Hui Ouyang, Shawn Wilhelm, and Ren Zhu.

Undergraduate seniors Michael Barros and Charles Nolt won first place in Minnesota Wire's iSTRETCH College Challenge. The contest called for local engineering students to propose an innovative application of their product iSTRETCH, a stretchable electrical cable. Their idea proposed using the wires to deflate tires.

Doctoral student Andrew Kotz received the Matthew J. Huber Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education. This is given to University of Minnesota graduate students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in engineering, science, and technology fields.

Doctoral student Mostafa Toloui received an Interdisciplinary Fellowship for 2013-2014 and a MnDRIVE Fellowship for 2014-2015.

Three ME students were recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship: undergraduate Daniel Boman (advised by Jane Davidson), graduate student Ruben D'Sa (advised by Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos), and doctoral student Hallie Boyer (advised by Cari Dutcher). Ryan Madson and Alexander Yudell received honorable mentions.

Doctoral student Shawn Wilhelm was featured on the Business @ the U of M blog. He designed a highly efficient hydraulic pump and took a STARTUP course to learn how to develop a marketable product.

Undergraduate senior Samantha Ehrenberg was featured in an article and video by Giving to the U of M.

Professor Ernst Eckert's mysterious safe was cracked open on March 27. More...

MARCH 2014

Xiaojia "XJ" Wang joined the department as a Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor. Professor Wang adds expertise in energy transport and conversion at small spatial and temporal scales.

February 2014

Professors Susan Mantell and Jane Davidson did research for a specialized roofing panel that is registered under the University's Try and Buy Program, a part of Minnesota Innovation Partnerships, which helps existing University technologies get more exposure.

Two Mechanical Engineering student entrepreneurs were members of winning teams for the 2014 Acara Challenge.

In memoriam: The Mechanical Engineering Department mourns the passing of Emeritus Professor Joachim (Jockel) V. R. Heberlein on February 17, 2014 after a long battle with ALS.

Two articles by Professor Bruggeman and his co-workers have been selected as highlights of 2013 in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics and Plasma Sources Science and Technology. The paper in Journal of Physics D was in collaboration with the group of professor Annemie Bogaerts of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Links:

ME doctoral student Garrett Nelson has been selected to receive the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Only 15% of applicants in the university were selected for this honor. Garrett's research focuses on noise cancellation systems for stethoscopes to enable auscultation in highly noisy environments.

Assistant Professor James Van de Ven has been named a McKnight Land Grant Professor for 2014-16.

January 2014

An Open House celebrating a mural painting in the Solar Energy Laboratory was held on Thursday, January 23. The mural, painted by artist C. Ruth Mason, depicts a vision of the work in the laboratory devoted to conversion of sunlight to fuel.
solar lab mural
Pictured: Professor Jane Davidson, director of the Solar Energy Laboratory, and artist C. Ruth Mason