University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

News and Events

ME News - Department Newsletter



Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine was part of a team included in the (NIH) National Institutes of Health - Research Highlights for 2015, showcasing 3-D printed nerve scaffolds that induced improvement in both motor and sensory nerve regeneration in laboratory tests.


Regents' and James J. Ryan Professor Richard Goldstein was elected to become an Active Member of Class VI - Technical Sciences of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. This 1,800 member 'Think Tank' is a transnational, interdisciplinary body, comprised of 5 Nobel Prize winners, as well as Pope Benedict XVI.


Professor Frank Kulacki was an invited keynote speaker at the 23rd National Heat and Mass Transfer Conference of the Indian Society for Heat and Mass Transfer held at Trivandrum in December. He presented "Boiling of Dilute Emulsions - A New Heat Transfer Mechanism" which summarized advances in the field over the past 35 years as well as new developments obtained at Minnesota.

The Mechanical Engineering (ME4054W Senior Design Show) was opened to the public and held on December 15th at Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall. Please visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering Facebook page to view photos of the event. Great work!

The Mechanical Engineering Robot Show was held on December 14th at McNamara Alumni Center. Free and open to the public. Please visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering Facebook page to view photos of the largest robot show in the Twin Cities!

The Fall Semester 2015 Mechanical Engineering graduation recognition event was held December 11th 2015 at Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower. Please visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering Facebook page to view photos of the event. Congratulations graduates!

Wei Yang, Principal Research Scientist from Honeywell, was an ME guest seminar speaker on December 9th. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Silicon-Micromachined Turbomolecular Pump"

Professor and Department Head Donald L. Fisher, from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, was an ME department guest speaker on December 2nd. Learn more about the seminar topic: "User and Machine: Secrets to a Harmonious Marriage - The Eyes Have It"


The University of Minnesota has selected finalists for the $10,000 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA). The Mechanical Engineering Department recognizes graduate students Hao Tian, Peter Krenzke, and Stephen Sedler as finalists. SISCA recognizes and rewards graduate student innovation and research on sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. Winners will be announced December 3rd at a Dow SISCA 2015 reception and awards ceremony. Congratulations!


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine is a recipient of the 2015 Extreme Mechanics Letters Young Investigator Award. (This award was presented at the EML reception at the MRS fall meeting held on December 2nd, 2015.)


Professor Tianhong Cui, Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of MN, presented "Polymer-Based Graphene Biosensors for Biomedical Analysis," the first plenary talk given on November 23rd in Nagoya, Japan at the 26th 2015 International Symposium on Micro-Nano Mechatronics and Human Science (MHS2015). Learn more:


A paper by Associate Professor Traian Dumitricã and his graduate students was featured on the cover and in the journal Langmuir (November 17 issue). The cover image depicts their simulated twisted ropes exhibiting packing rearrangements, dwindling down in profile, and helical coiling. Learn more about the paper: "Twisting Carbon Nanotube Ropes with the Mesoscopic Distinct Element Method: Geometry, Packing, and Nanomechanics"

Professor and Department Head Greg Jackson, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, was an ME department guest speaker on November 18th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Capturing the Sun's Energy in reactive Rocks" 

Professor Z. Hugh Fan, from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, University of Florida - Gainsville, was an ME department guest speaker on November 11th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Microfluidics and Enabling Components" 

Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine was a guest speaker this month at Iowa State University. His presentation titled "3-D Printed Bionic Nanomaterials" was discussed in the Iowa State Daily.

Learn more about Healing Nerves with 3-D Printing, and the research Professor McAlpine and his team are doing to help nerve regeneration.

Professor Judy M. Vance, from the Mechanical Engineering Department, Iowa State University, was an ME department guest speaker on November 4th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Virtual Reality: Hype or a Technology that Can "Do Real Work"?" 


A U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory Award has been accepted by the University on behalf of Assistant Professor Will Northrop, in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and BP, on a 3-year sponsored project to find combinations of fuels, catalytic cleanup technologies and combustion strategies that reliably reduce particle emissions from GDI engines. This research project involves understanding and improving nanoparticle emissions from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines; a rapidly growing technology used by automakers to increase fuel economy. The project is made possible through the recent commissioning of our state-of-the-art TE Murphy Engine Research Laboratory at the University of MN. 


Mechanical Engineering Department Head Professor Uwe Kortshagen was awarded the Plasma Prize (The Plasma Science and Technology Division, American Vacuum Society (AVS)), presented at the AVS 62nd International Symposium & Exhibition, for his pioneering work on plasma synthesis of luminescent silicon nanocrystals.

Associate Professor Christopher Zappa, from Ocean and Climate Physics, Columbia University, was an ME department guest speaker on October 28th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Marginal Ice Zone Processes Observation From Unmanned Aerial Systems" 


Congratulations to Research Associate Mark Stolzenburg, awarded the 2015 Benjamin Y.H. Liu Award. Mark has made contributions to aerosol instrumentation and experimental techniques that have significantly advanced the science and technology of aerosols. Mark was co-inventor of the laminar flow, water-based condensation particle counter, as well as the developer of the first condensation particle counter (CPC) that enabled measurements in the 3nm size range.

Assistant Professor Carmel Majidi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, was an ME department guest speaker on October 14th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Materials, Mechanics and Prototyping Methods for Softer-than-Skin Electronics" 

Associate Professor Jonathan A. Malen, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, was an ME department guest speaker on October 21st, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Materials, Mechanics and Prototyping Methods for Softer-than-Skin Electronics" 

Professor Linda Ng Boyle, Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, was an ME department guest speaker on October 7th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Human Factors Research for Increasingly Autonomous Systems"  

ME-AN held a tour and a Meet & Greet of the Medical Devices Center located in the Mayo Building, East Campus, on October 1st, 2015.


Assistant Professor Austin J. Minnich from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, was an ME department guest speaker on September 30th, 2015. Learn more about the seminar topic: "Heat Under the Microscope: Uncovering the Microscopic Processes that Govern Thermal Transport"

The U of MN TC Homecoming Week was September 20-26, 2015. Visit or email: for news on future events!

The Engineering Co-op Program Job Fair was held mid September, 2015. Visit the new website for the ME Co-op Program at:

The CSE Career Fair was held September 22nd and 23rd, 2015, at Mariucci Arena, with more than 250 companies and organizations. This was the largest EVER Fall CSE Career Fair on record. Learn more about the event here:

Associate Professor Raúl Bayoán Cal from the Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering, Portland State University, was an ME department guest speaker on September 23rd, 2015. Seminar topic: "Description and Truncation of the Canonical Wind Turbine Arrary Boundary Layer Wake"

Associate Professor Henry A. Sodano from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science, University of Michigan, was an ME department guest speaker on September 16rd, 2015. Seminar topic: "Towards a Paradigm Shift in Multifunctional Materials"


Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine discusses nanogenerators in a September 1st Science News feature, regarding harvesting energy from the body to power devices. Learn more —


puiProfessor David Pui, directed the Aerosol and Particle Measurement Short Course
August 24-26, 2015

Learn more —


dongyang liProfessor Dongyang Li, from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, was a department guest speaker on August 19th. In this talk, the correlation between electron work function (EWF) and material properties was discussed, as well as the applications of EWF in fundamental understanding of nanostructured materials, with a few case studies including interfacial phenomena, enhanced resistances to corrosion and wear, surface nanocrystalization for bacterial biofilm control, and issues related to energy conversion of phtocatalytic TiO2 nanotubes.

JULY 2015

Nano Letters, an ACS journal, featured a publication from ME - Nicolaas Kramer, Katelyn Schramke, and ME Department Head and Professor Uwe Kortshagen, regarding the research of Plasmonic Properties of Silicon Nanocrystals Doped with Boron and Phosphorus. Learn more —


Congratulations to Professor Uwe Kortshagen, appointed as a James J. Ryan Professor of Mechanical Engineering, concurrently with his appointment as ME Department Head. This professorship is retained for distinguished faculty who are outstanding in their teaching and research capabilities. The holder of this professorship is awarded a financial grant intended to support the research efforts of the individual faculty member. Please congratulate Professor Kortshagen on this well-deserved honor!



ME PhD student Ms. Sampreeti Jena won the most prestigious Timasheff Award given to the best poster in the 2015 Protein Stability Conference. The award is established in honor of Professor Serge N. Timasheff, whose creative, rigorous research has provided understanding fundamental issues in biology and biophysical chemistry.


Earlier this year Associate Professor Peter Bruggeman was appointed Section Editor of the Low-temperature plasmas and plasma-surface interactions section for "Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics." The journal is considered one of the leading journals in the field of plasma science and technology. An interview was conducted for their July 3rd issue, and the research, interests and advice shared by Professor Bruggeman is featured in this months article. View the article here:

kuehnkuehn awardProfessor Thomas Kuehn was recognized as an ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Distinguished Service Award recipient. The award was presented in Atlanta this past week by ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix. Gene Kranz, who was the Flight Control Director in Houston and led the efforts to save the Apollo 13 crew in 1970, was an invited keynote speaker. The Distinguished Service Award salutes members of any grade who have served the Society faithfully with distinction, and who have given freely of their time and talent in chapter, regional and Society activities.

JUNE 2015

doc dis awardMechanical Engineering Ph.D. students Yongxin Chen (adviser Georgiou), Narula Bilik (adviser Kortshagen), Ashish Karn (adviser Hong/Arndt), Mahdi Ahmadi (adviser Rajamani), and Baris Mutlu (adviser Aksan) were each awarded a 2015-2016 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award. The Doctoral Dissertation 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.

nsf awardMechanical Engineering Ph.D. students Katharine Hunter (adviser Professor Kortshagen) and Jesse Fosheim (adviser Professor Davidson) were each awarded the 2015-2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award. This award recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. 16,000 applications were received and 2,000 fellowship awards were offered.


The Mechanical Engineering department would like to welcome our newest faculty member, Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor Michael C. McAlpine. Professor McAlpine will be joining us within the next month, and his research will be focused on 3D Printed Bionic Nanomaterials. Very recently Professor McAlpine coauthored an article, "3D Printed Programmable Release Capsules," which was published in Nano Letters, an ACS journal. Please view the article here —


In a June article from WIRED, learn how Professor John Bischof and his colleagues have proposed a solution to the preservation of organs during vitrification:

MAY 2015


Professor Frank Kulacki was awarded the 2015 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award for fundamental contributions to the understanding of convective heat transfer in porous media, and natural convection in volumetrically heated fluids and in tube bundles; particularly that resulted in the development of heat transfer correlations and data sets that have proved important to both modelers and designers, and that have impacted engineering for nuclear reactor safety and geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste.



The Board of Regents recently approved the promotion of Professor Chris Hogan from the rank of Tenure-Track Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure, effective August 31, 2015. With equally deserving recognition, Professor Hogan will assume responsibilities as the NEW Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Mechanical Engineering effective July 1st, 2015.

The Energy and U Shows are being held this week with flames, explosions and dancing - bringing 6,000 kids to campus! View photos here: Plus learn more here —


Professor Kim Stelson, Professor and Director of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, was elected College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor! The College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professorship honors exceptional faculty for their efforts in and contributions to teaching and scholarly research, and for their genuine commitment to the College of Science and Engineering and its activities.

Spring Semester 2015 Mechanical Engineering departmental graduation recognition event was held on Friday, May 15th in the Mayo Memorial Building Auditorium, +PLUS later in the evening graduates attended the CSE Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at Mariucci! ME event photos are posted on our ME Facebook page at: & CSE graduation photos here:


Professor Tianhong Cui was appointed as an editor-in-chief for Microsystems & Nanoengineering, the first engineering journal from Nature Publishing Group in UK. The new journal will be launched on May 28, 2015. Another two editors-in-chief are Ian White, Professor at University of Cambridge and Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering in UK, and Yirong Wu, Professor and Academician at Chinese Academy of Sciences.




The University of Minnesota Gopher Motorsports' Formula SAE Car beat their goal of 15th overall by placing 13th out of 120! Learn more:



The 2015 #MNDRIVE Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing Spring Symposium, was held Monday May 4th, 2015 in Walter Library. Mechanical Engineering speakers included: Assistant Professor Julianna Abel, Assistant Professor Tim Kowalewski, Professor Rajesh Rajamani, and Assistant Professor Suhasa Kodandaramaiah. Information:

april 2015

The ASME 2015 4th Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology was held April 19-22, 2015 at the McNamara Alumni Center and The Commons Hotel on the Twin Cities campus. The conference focused on nanoscale materials, methods, and devices for the study of biology and the treatment of disease. Dr. John C. Bischof, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department, was a Conference Chair.

The 2015 Design of Medical Devices Conference was held April 13-16, 2015 at the McNamara Alumni Center and The Commons Hotel on the Twin Cities campus. The 2015 Medical Devices Industry Career Fair was also held during this time, on April 14th, for those seeking employment or internships.

March 2015

dutcher hogan kortshagenAssistant Professor Cari Dutcher, Assistant Professor Chris Hogan, and Uwe Kortshagen, ME Professor and Department Head, are part of the recently renewed UMN Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by NSF with a total budget of $17.8M. The MRSEC features three interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs). Hogan and Kortshagen (IRG-coordinator) are part of IRG-2 "Sustainable Nanocrystal Materials." Dutcher belongs to IRG-3 "Hierarchical Multifunctional Macromolecular Materials." Learn more: NSF News and MRSEC.



Professor Allison Hubel has been selected as part of a team that will lead the strategic framework promoting commercialization and technology transfer in the life sciences and biomedical technology. The University of Minnesota was selected by the National Institute of Health as one of three Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) sites nationally. Learn more:


Associate Professor Alptekin Aksan is part of a team of scientists and business experts, brought together by a ‪#‎MNDRIVE effort to clean up water pollution through remediation. Learn more in the INQUIRY


Professor Frank Kelso was awarded the Horace T. Morse Alumni Teaching Award. This award has been given out each year since 1965 to a select group of teachers who reflect the University's emphasis on the importance of outstanding contributions in high quality undergraduate education. Congratulations!



Professor Zongxuan Sun was awarded the Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award. The Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award was established in 2000 by alumnus John Bowers (Physics '76) in honor of his father, Professor Emeritus Charles E. Bowers. This award recognizes an outstanding CSE professor who has demonstrated exceptional interest and commitment to teaching.


ME Professor and Department Head, Uwe Kortshagen, was the Chair for the "Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy Technology" conference in Ventura, California February 22nd-27th. The focus of this conference is on exploring the fundamental mechanisms involved in energy conversion, storage, and transport with nanomaterials, while also illuminating novel approaches in materials design and synthesis and evaluating materials sustainability issues. Learn more:

Assistant Professor Cari Dutcher has won the prestigious 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award for her proposal entitled "Tuning Complex Fluids and Multiphase Flows for Environmental Applications." The objective of this award program is to provide financial support for non-tenured faculty in selected fields of interest to 3M, fostering relationships between 3M scientists or engineers and the non-tenured awardee.

Have you read the issue in the INQUIRY about Professor Allison Hubel? Her scientific discoveries led to the start-up MesoFlow, which manufactures a device that prepares biological cells for use in medical procedures such as bone marrow transplants and treating diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Learn more:

Researchers at the U of M's HumanFIRST Laboratory have developed a smartphone-based device mounted on the vehicle's dashboard, to provide warnings to the teen driver (and their parent) about speeding, stop sign violations, upcoming curves, and seat belt use. This device also prevents teens from using their phones to text or call (except 911) while driving. Learn more:



Assistant Professor Will Northrop has been elected to the 2015-17 class of McKnight Land-Grant Professors. He is one of eight awardees this year; five award winners are within the College of Science and Engineering.


Assistant Professor Jiarong Hong was awarded the NSF Career Award for his proposal entitled: "CAREER: Tackling Fluid Dynamics at Full Scale for Wind Energy Applications."

CRC Press recently published a book authored by Professor Zongxuan Sun and Professor G. Zhu titled "Design and Control of Automotive Propulsion Systems."

bruggemanAssociate Professor Peter Bruggeman has been elected vice-chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Plasma Processing Science 2016, which will be held at Procter Academy, Andover, NH (USA), July 24-26th, 2016.

Associate Professor Peter Bruggeman has been appointed section editor of the low temperature plasma and plasma-surface interactions sections of the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (IOP) as the successor of Professor Uwe Czarnetzki from the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. The journal is considered one of the leading journals in the field of plasma science and technology.