Pitt | Swanson Engineering
News Listing

Jun

Jun
19
2017

Minking Chyu Appointed Distinguished Service Professor

MEMS

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 19, 2017) … In honor of significant contributions to the University of Pittsburgh, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has appointed Minking Chyu as Distinguished Service Professor, effective September 1, 2017. Dr. Chyu is currently the Leighton and Mary Orr Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Associate Dean of International Initiatives, and the inaugural Dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) in China. After officially opening its doors in fall 2015, SCUPI has already grown freshman enrollment from 100 to 160 students this past year. There are currently 22 faculty and staff members and a new 300,000 square-foot building is currently under construction.“Dr. Chyu conceived the idea of creating a joint institute that would offer three University of Pittsburgh engineering degrees in China, led a team from the Swanson School to find a suitable partner, convinced the leadership of Sichuan University—a top 10 Chinese institution—to partner with Pitt, and persuaded the Pitt administration and the Chinese Ministry of Education of the merits of the joint venture. Dr. Chyu’s vision will have an immeasurable impact on future engineers for generations to come,” said Gerald Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering.Dr. Chyu received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, he was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University for 13 years. His primary research interests are in thermal and material issues relating to energy, power, and aero propulsion systems. Dr. Chyu is a recipient of four NASA Certificates of Recognition for his contributions on the US space shuttle main engineer program. He has served as an Air Force Summer Research Fellow, Department of Energy Oak Ridge Research Fellow, and DOE Advanced-Turbine-System Faculty Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aerospace and Aeronautics (AIAA), and a member of the Scientific Council of the International Center of Heat and Mass Transfer (ISHMT). Dr. Chyu has published more than 300 technical papers in archived journals, books, and conference proceedings. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Jun
16
2017

Pitt to recognize engineering alumna Elayne Arrington at 2017 AAAC Distinguished Alumnus Awards

MEMS, Diversity

University of Pittsburgh News Release PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (AAAC) will honor five Pitt alumni at a ceremony at 3 p.m. June 17 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, 100 Lytton Ave., Oakland. The AAAC Distinguished Alumnus Awards are given to outstanding African American Pitt alumni for their professional accomplishments as well as their community stature.Elayne Arrington (ENGR ’61) cleared many hurdles in her quest to become an aeronautical engineer. She earned the second-highest SAT score in mathematics the year she graduated from Homestead High School as class valedictorian. But that year, for the first time in school history, the valedictorian did not deliver the address. Instead, it was given by the class president. Pitt recommended that Arrington receive the Mesta Machine Co. scholarship for employees’ top performing children to study mechanical engineering. But Mesta refused to give the scholarship to a woman. Despite that, in 1961 Arrington became the first Black female to graduate from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. She worked as an aerospace engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Foreign Technology Division. She earned a PhD in math in 1974, the 17th Black woman in the country to do so, and returned to Pitt to teach mathematics for the next 40 years.Martha Richards Conley (LAW ’71) was Pitt Law's first Black female graduate and the first Black female lawyer admitted to practice in Allegheny County. She was employed by the U.S. Steel Corporation for 27 years and retired from there as senior general attorney. A longtime opponent of the death penalty, she was chair of the Pittsburgh chapter of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. She is a longtime member of the historic Aurora Reading Club in Pittsburgh. She is an official visitor with the Pennsylvania Prison Society and escorted Cape Town Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on a prison visit in 2007.Robert “Bobby” Grier (BUS ’57) broke the color barrier when the Pitt Panthers fullback became the first African American college football player to play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2, 1956, when Pitt faced Georgia Tech. The governor of Georgia strongly opposed Grier’s participation in the game, as did the Georgia Tech Board of Trustees, whose members said Georgia Tech would forfeit the game if Grier was not benched. But Grier had strong support of his teammates and Pitt, who vowed “No Grier, no game.” Support for Grier also came from students and football players from Georgia Tech, who strongly protested against a forfeit. Pitt lost the game, 7-0, on a controversial pass interference call on Grier. Later, evidence appeared to show it was a bad call. Pitt won a major victory off the field that year, thanks to Bobby Grier and his Pitt teammates. DAME Vivian Hewitt (SIS ’44) received her library science degree from Pitt’s School of Library and Information Sciences. She began her career as the first Black librarian for the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. Later, she became the first Black chief librarian at the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations. Hewitt and her husband began buying works of Haitian and African American art while still a young couple, and now the Hewitt Collection is regarded to be one of the finest collections of its type in the world. It was purchased by Bank of America and gifted to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina. The collection is on display at Pittsburgh’s August Wilson Center through June 30.Cecile M. Springer (GSPIA ’71) holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt. She achieved professional distinction in a number of fields throughout her diverse career, which has included positions as a research chemist for Bristol Myers Laboratories in New York, a principal planner for the Southwest Regional Planning Commission, president of the Westinghouse Foundation and founder of her own firm, Springer Associates, which provided comprehensive strategic planning. She has been recognized as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, a Carlow University Woman of Spirit and a Legacy Laureate of the University of Pittsburgh — the highest honor for an alumnus. Springer is a past president of the Pitt Alumni Association. ### Pictured above: Dr. Arrington (center) is recognized by the Swanson School "for exemplary leadership and resilience as the University of Pittsburgh's first African American female engineering graduate" during Black History Month on February 28, 2017. With her are (left) Sylvanus Wosu, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity; and Gerald D. Holder, Distinguished Service Professor and U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering.
Joe Miksch, News Director, University of Pittsburgh News Services
Jun
13
2017

Man(ufacturing) of Steel

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (June 13, 2017) … The advantages of additive manufacturing (AM) – from building complex structures for specific environments to repairing damaged components – continue to be grow as the technology matures. However, there has been limited research in developing new metals and alloys that would further enhance AM processes. Thanks to a three year, $449,000 award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering will explore next-generation metals, especially steel, for use in additive manufacturing. The research, “Integrated Computational Materials Design for Additive Manufacturing of High-Strength Steels used in Naval Environments,” is led by Wei Xiong, PhD, assistant professor in the Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. The research team also includes Esta Abelev, PhD and Susheng Tan, PhD as the senior personnel supporting materials microstructure characterization and corrosion tests. Funding is provided by the ONR Additive Manufacturing Alloys for Naval Environments (AMANE) program to design, develop and optimize new metallic alloy compositions for AM that are resistant to the effects of the Naval/maritime environment. “There are several metals, from nickel alloys to aluminum and titanium, which are the foundation for AM production of complex parts with properties that could not be developed via traditional, or subtractive, manufacturing. However, many of these materials are not as strong or reliable in the harsh environment of the sea, and that’s a disadvantage for the Navy and other maritime agencies,” Dr. Xiong said. “Steel and its alloys are still the best, most versatile and structurally sound metals for naval construction and repair, and so our research will focus on developing new toolkits to leverage the use of new steel prototypes in AM that will benefit the U.S. Navy." In particular, the Physical Metallurgy and Materials Design Laboratory led by Dr. Xiong will design a new type of high-strength low-alloy steel, which can be widely used in naval construction. The ONR proposal’s objective is for the Pitt researchers to apply the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) tools to design both the composition of these allows and the direct metal laser sintering process, which is used in AM to fuse the metal powders into components. The research will also focus on post-process optimization, which can further improve the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of these specialty steels. “Additive manufacturing presents a transformative opportunity for the Navy and Department of Defense to develop complex structures that are stronger, more reliable and yet cost-effective,” Dr. Xiong said. “Through the integrated computational materials design, from metal development to production and final optimization, we believe we will design new types of steel that will greatly benefit the Navy and the women and men who serve.” ### Photo above: Dr. Xiong in the Swanson School's ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Laboratory. About Wei Xiong Dr. Wei Xiong is assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. He serves as the associate editor of the journal STAM: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. His research interests include advanced materials and processing design based on methodologies of Materials by Design and Accelerated Insertion of Materials; predictive-science based model development for process-structure-property relation in advanced manufacturing; and additive manufacturing of high performance alloys using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) techniques. Previously a research associate in materials science at Northwestern University, Dr. Xiong earned his PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and Doctor of Engineering from the State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy at the Central South University, China.

May

May
15
2017

Pitt PhD Student Lin Cheng captures first place in poster competition at international additive manufacturing conference

MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (May 15, 2017) … With its growing research focus in additive manufacturing, the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering made an impact at RAPID + TCT, the international additive manufacturing and 3D printing event held in Pittsburgh, May 8-11. Lin Cheng, a PhD student in the Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, won first place for at the conference poster session for his research, “Efficient Design of additive manufacturing lattice structures by integrating micromechanics modeling and topology optimization.”The RAPID + TCT Competition featured projects or research in the areas of 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and 3D imaging from Pitt, Carnegie Mellon University, York College, and The Pennsylvania State University. “This was an incredibly competitive event, and I couldn’t be more proud of Lin’s success,” said Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, CNG Faculty Fellow, and Mr. Cheng’s advisor. “Our students are making an impact in additive manufacturing research, especially related to topology optimization and process-microstructure-property relationship, and so it’s an honor for one of our students to be recognized at this international gathering.”Mr. Cheng’s research interests include AM cellular structure, artificial intelligence, computational fluid mechanics, heat transfer and topology optimization. He earned a bachelor’s in power and energy engineering from Xi'an Jiao Tong University, and master’s degree in turbomachinery engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. ### Photo above: Mr. Cheng with his poster and the EOS M290 in the Swanson School's ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Lab.

May
12
2017

Three Swanson School faculty recognized at 2017 Carnegie Science Awards

Electrical & Computer, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (May 12, 2017) … Three faculty members of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering were among those recognized at the Carnegie Science Center’s 2017 Carnegie Science Awards, sponsored by Eaton. The program honors awardees from more than 20 categories, including Corporate Innovation, Emerging Female Scientist, Entrepreneur, Leadership in STEM Education, and others. According to the Science Center, “these individuals and companies have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines.” Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. “There’s a common thread among our award winners this year: They’re all problem-solvers who are dreaming big dreams,” said Ann Metzger, the Henry Buhl, Jr. Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “They’re using critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems and to make a difference. Those are crucial skills for all 21st –century learners, and that’s why problem-solving skills are a hallmark of all our Science Center programming.” Recipients from the Swanson School include: Information Technology AwardAlex Jones, PhDAssociate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School of EngineeringDirector of the Computer Engineering ProgramDr. Jones is internationally known for his research in “green computing.” His research led to the creation of GreenChip, a tool that provides detailed estimates about manufacturing and operational-phase metrics, such as energy consumption and carbon emissions. Innovation in Energy Award Kevin Chen, PhD The Paul E. Lego Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School of EngineeringDr. Chen is driving innovation with his research on fiber optical sensing technology. The innovations and technologies developed by Dr. Chen's team have critical applications to improve efficiency of energy production and safety of transportation infrastructures across all aspects of the energy industry. Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Award Paul Ohodnicki, PhD, and the Materials Science and Functional Materials Team, National Energy Technology Laboratory University of Pittsburgh Team Members: Kevin Chen, PhD, Aidong Yan, Sheng Huang The extreme environments of power generation systems and advanced manufacturing processes are too harsh for traditional sensors, limiting the ability to optimize efficiency and minimize environmental impacts. This team demonstrated a cutting-edge sensor technology capable of measuring temperature and gas composition inside solid oxide fuel cell systems, holding promise for commercialization and job growth. Honorable Mention - University/Post-Secondary Educator Peyman Givi, PhD Distinguished Professor and the James T. MacLeod Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Swanson School of EngineeringCo-Director of the PhD Program in Computational Modeling and SimulationDirector of the Laboratory for Computational Transport Phenomena Known as a modern-day “Rocket Scientist,” Dr. Givi is widely recognized as the leader and a first ranked researcher in the field of high-performance computing for propulsion, combustion, rockets, and energetic fluids simulation. He is also highly regarded for his effective mentoring of students. He has made a remarkable impact in engineering & computing education by training the next generation of outstanding scholars. All of his former postgraduate students are now in highly visible positions in academia, government laboratories and private industry across the globe. About Carnegie Science Center Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs. About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events. ###

May
10
2017

Following two decades as Dean, Gerald Holder to return to faculty at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Diversity

PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2017) ... Marking the culmination of more than two decades of dynamic leadership, Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has announced his intention to step down from his position to return to the faculty in the fall of 2018.Holder, Distinguished Service Professor of chemical engineering, has been dean of the Swanson School since 1996 and a member of its faculty since 1979.“Two words come to mind when I look back on Jerry’s incredible career as dean of our Swanson School of Engineering: tremendous growth,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Under Jerry’s leadership, our Swanson School has seen record enrollment levels and total giving to the school has topped $250 million. “The school has also expanded academically to support new knowledge in areas like energy and sustainability — and also new partnerships, including a joint engineering program with China’s Sichuan University. And while I will certainly miss Jerry’s many contributions as dean, I am grateful that he will remain an active faculty member and continue to strengthen our Swanson School’s bright future,” Gallagher said.       “Through a focus on innovation and excellence, Dean Holder has led a transformation of the Swanson School of Engineering into a leader in engineering research and education,” said Patricia E. Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor. Beeson added, "From the establishment of the now top-ranked Department of Bioengineering to the integrated first-year curriculum that has become a national model, the Swanson School has been a change maker. And with nearly three-quarters of the faculty hired while he has been dean, the culture of success that he has established will remain long after he steps down.” The University plans to announce the search process for his successor in the coming months. Holder’s Many Accomplishments In his 21 years as dean, Holder has overseen school growth as well as increases in research awards and philanthropic gifts. Enrollment has doubled to nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and the number of PhDs has increased threefold. Holder also has emphasized programs to nourish diversity and engagement — for example, in 2012 the Swanson School had the highest percentage in the nation of engineering doctoral degrees awarded to women. Co-curricular programs also have prospered during Holder’s tenure. The school’s cooperative education program, which places students in paid positions in industry during their undergraduate studies, has increased to approximately 300 active employers. International education or study abroad has also become a hallmark of a Pitt engineering education, with 46 percent participation in 2015 versus a 4.6 percent national average for engineering and a 22.6 percent national average for STEM fields. The school’s annual sponsored research has tripled during Holder’s years as dean, totaling a cumulative $400 million. Alumnus John A. Swanson’s landmark $43 million naming gift came in 2007, the largest-ever gift by an individual to the University at the time.University-wide initiatives developed during Holder’s tenure as dean include the Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering; the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, founded with support of alumnus John C. “Jack” Mascaro; and the Center for Energy.Holder is likewise held in high regard by his peers. "As a dean of long standing, many of us refer to Dean Holder as `the Dean of deans,’ not just because of his years of service but also because of the respect that we have for his leadership, mentorship and impact on the engineering profession,” said James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.“He is an accomplished academician, an exceptional academic leader and a tremendous human being.” Holder, a noted expert on natural gas hydrates and author of more than 100 journal articles, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College and bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He was a faculty member in chemical engineering at Columbia University prior to joining the Pitt engineering faculty in 1979. He served as chair of the chemical engineering department from 1987 to 1995 before being named dean of engineering.Among many professional accomplishments, he was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2003. In 2008 he was named an American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow and was awarded the William Metcalf Award from the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania for lifetime achievement in engineering. In 2015 he was elected chair of the American Society of Engineering Educators’ (ASEE) Engineering Deans Council, the leadership organization of engineering deans in the U.S., for a two-year term. The council has approximately 350 members, representing more than 90 percent of all U.S. engineering deans and is tasked by ASEE to advocate for engineering education, research and engagement throughout the U.S., especially among the public at large and in U.S. public policy. ###
Author: Kimberly Barlow, University Communications
May
4
2017

Two MEMS Graduate PhD Candidates Named Department of Defense Fellows

MEMS, Diversity, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 4, 2017) … The United States Department of Defense (DoD) announced that Emily Cimino and Erica Stevens, PhD candidates in the Materials Science and Engineering PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh, were awarded National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships. The award covers the fellows’ full tuition and required fees, not including room and board, and $153,000 in stipend funds over the course of the 48-month program tenure.Ms. Cimino is working in the research group of Brian Gleeson, the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS). She is researching the hot corrosion of a second generation nickel-based superalloy supplied by Pratt & Whitney, an aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. The goal of her research is to understand the mechanism of hot corrosion as a function of temperature and sulfur dioxide content and to establish methods that may reduce alloy degradation via hot corrosion. Ms. Cimino earned her bachelor’s degree at the Pennsylvania State University. “Being awarded the DoD fellowship is a huge plus because I have a source of funding until I graduate, and I can solely focus on research,” said Ms. Cimino. “I hope to advance current understanding of hot corrosion, and I hope to take full advantage of the resources I have at Pitt, namely characterization equipment necessary for this research as well as knowledgeable faculty.”Ms. Stevens received funding for her research into additive manufacturing magnetocaloric materials, or materials that change temperature with magnetic field changes. She is pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Markus Chmielus, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. She received her undergraduate degrees in materials science and engineering at Pitt as well as a bachelor of philosophy degree through the University Honors College.“Magnetic refrigeration, or refrigerators that use magnetocaloric materials, is currently being developed, but their highest reported efficiency is around 20 percent, while theoretical is 30 percent,” said Ms. Stevens. “During the fellowship, I could be integral in increasing the efficiency of refrigerators by another 10 percent, saving consumers on electricity bills and contributing to lowering emissions from power generation. A large portion of our electricity generation as a nation goes to refrigeration.”The selection process for NDSEG fellows consists of a panel evaluating the candidate as a whole and review of the candidate’s research project by the DoD. The Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office sponsor NDSEG fellowships; and the American Society for Engineering Education administers the award. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Apr

Apr
25
2017

Pittsburgh Biodiesel Project Stands Out in a Crowd

MEMS

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today presented Pittsburgh-based Optimus Technologies and 20 other organizations from across the state with the 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. According to DEP, their projects “represent the very best in innovation, collaboration, and public service in environmental stewardship.” Optimus partnered with Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities and the City of Pittsburgh to equip 25 of the city’s vehicles with their Vector System technology. The system optimizes vehicle performance and emissions reductions using 100 percent biodiesel (B100). “We are honored to have been selected for this prestigious award and proud that we helped the City of Pittsburgh reduce vehicle emissions,” said Optimus CEO Colin Huwyler. “Our technology allows fleets to run seamlessly on B100, dramatically reducing both tailpipe and lifecycle emissions.” Huwyler noted that the 25 vehicles used for the project represent 7.2 percent of GHG emissions for the entire city fleet of 1,038 vehicles. The use of the Vector System reduced GHG emissions by 6.4 percent fleet-wide. “Every year we’re impressed anew by the ingenuity and commitment Pennsylvanians bring to environmental stewardship,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It’s exciting to see the interest is growing.”About OptimusFounded in 2010, Optimus Technologies is the market leader in high performance biodiesel conversion solutions that utilize biodiesel and diesel for medium- and heavy-duty truck fleets. With Optimus, fleet operators have a simple way to significantly reduce fuel costs and emissions, while addressing renewable fuel targets. Optimus was built on the vision and the knowledge that other alternative fuel solutions are prohibitively expensive and do not provide the same results as biodiesel. For more visit: https://www.optimustec.com/ About biodieselMade from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the first commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the EPA’s definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the EPA has determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. For more visit: http://biodiesel.org/ ### Photo above: (left to right): Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn (Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), Patrick McDonnell (Acting Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection), Colin Huwyler (CEO, Optimus Technologies), and Davitt Woodwell (President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council).
Author: Ian Winner, Optimus Technologies Inc.
ian.winner@optimustec.com
Apr
21
2017

Four MEMS undergraduates win "Best Overall" at Spring 2017 Design Expo

MEMS, Student Profiles

Four students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Science captured one of the top awards at this year's Design Expo, presented by the Swanson School of Engineering.Undergraduates Shweta Ravichandar, Katriona Blezy, Kelly Appleton, and Roy Tan Park Sung (left to right) won the “Best Overall Project Award” at the 2017 Spring Design Expo, April 19 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. “A Robust Biomechanical Culture System for Tissue Engineered Corneas” was advised by Ian Sigal, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. David Schmidt, PhD, MEMS assistant professor, directed the senior design class with 22 projects this semester. "The Design Expo allows our students to take an idea and create a tangible solution to a problem, and I couldn't be more proud of this year's winners," said Brian Gleeson, PhD, the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Department Chair. "The team's interdisciplinary approach to both a mechanical and biological system is superb, and I especially want to thank Ian and David for their mentorship and support of our students." The Swanson School’s Design Expo provides an opportunity for student teams, many from the School’s Capstone Design Courses, as well as concepts and prototypes from students in product realization courses. Projects transverse the design space from problem identification, specification of objectives and constraints, conceptual development, resulting in an actual prototype in many cases. Judges from industry select the best project from each of the participating courses. ###

Apr
10
2017

Pitt Names Senior Vice Chancellor for Research

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH—Rob A. Rutenbar has been named the University of Pittsburgh’s senior vice chancellor for research. In this newly established position, he will lead the University’s strategic vision for research and innovation, enhancing existing technological partnerships. “I am delighted to welcome Rob to the University of Pittsburgh as our inaugural senior vice chancellor for research,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “His experience as a researcher, innovator, collaborator and entrepreneur — both inside and outside of the university — make Rob uniquely qualified to support our faculty’s research and innovation efforts and to champion Pitt research on a local, national and global scale.” Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said Rutenbar is exceptionally well-suited for the role. “His administrative, entrepreneurial and research experiences align well with our vision for a leader who drives excellence and will serve as a champion for the University of Pittsburgh,” she said. “Rob’s experiences and expertise in both the academic world and the private sector make him the perfect individual to fully integrate and expand upon Pitt’s University-level research and medical school endeavors,” said Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine. “In the coming years, we hope to be an internationally recognized model for how the various divisions of an educational institution can communicate and work together. Rob Rutenbar is precisely the type of professional needed to accomplish that goal.” Working with other senior University officials, the senior vice chancellor for research is responsible for establishing and implementing a long-term plan for research infrastructure. The position manages the University’s Center for Research Computing, Economic Partnerships, the Innovation Institute, the Office of Export Controls, the Office of Research, the Research Conduct and Compliance Office and the Radiation Safety Office. Additionally, Rutenbar will have an active role with the University's Swanson School of Engineering. “Dr. Rutenbar is an internationally=acclaimed scholar in computer engineering, and we are most excited that he is joining the faculty of our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering here in the Swanson School of Engineering," saidAlan George, chair of the Swanson School's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We are looking forward to his contributions to and collaboration with our ECE research programs." Rutenbar brings nearly 40 years of experience in innovation and technology to Pitt. His research focuses on three broad categories: tools for a wide variety of integrated circuit design issues, methods for managing the statistics of nanoscale chip design and custom computer architectures for perceptual and data analytics problems. Rutenbar currently serves as the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and heads the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this role, he oversees a department composed of 70 faculty members and more than 2,400 students that is currently ranked as the No. 5 computer science program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Prior to assuming that position in 2010, Rutenbar was a faculty member within Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 25 years. As an entrepreneur, Rutenbar founded the tech firms Neolinear Inc. and Voci Technologies, Inc. in 1998 and 2006, respectively. He was the founding director for the Center for Circuit and System Solutions, a multi-university consortium that focused on next-generation chip design challenges. The recipient of 14 U.S. patent grants, his endeavors have been funded by such notable entities as AT&T, Google, IBM, the National Science Foundation and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance. Rutenbar is the author of eight books and 175 published research articles. In recognition of his career accomplishments, Rutenbar was elected a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He has twice won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ coveted Donald O. Pedersen Best Paper Award. He was recognized with distinguished alumnus awards from both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. In 2002, Rutenbar was named Carnegie Mellon’s Stephen J. Jatras Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an endowed professorship position he held until leaving that university in 2010. Rutenbar earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Wayne State University in 1978. He earned master’s and doctorate degrees in computer, information and control engineering at the University of Michigan in 1979 and 1984, respectively. Rutenbar will join Pitt’s senior leadership team in July. ###
Anthony Moore, University Communications
Apr
3
2017

MCSI Seed Grants Fund New Round of Sustainability Research

Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 3, 2017) … The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) has announced the recipients of 2017-2018 MCSI seed grant funding. The annual seed grant program engages a core team of researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants support graduate student and post-doctoral fellows on one-year research projects. The University of Pittsburgh projects and faculty members to receive funding include:• “Protein lithograph: a sustainable technology for sub-5-nm nanomanufacturing.” Mostafa Bedewy, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering.• “High efficiency refrigeration and cooling through additive manufactured magnetocaloric devices.” Markus Chmielus, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.• “Toward machine learning blueprints for greener chelants.” John Keith, Assistant Professor, Inaugural Richard King Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.• “H2P: HydroPonics to Pyrolysis: An enclosed system for the phytoremediation and destruction of perfectly persistent emerging contaminants in our water.” Carla Ng, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; David Sanchez, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.MCSI developed the research seed grant program to provide faculty with funding support to allow students to participate in high-quality research, teaching, outreach and creative endeavors. The goals of the grants are: (1) seed funding to develop ideas to the point where external funding can be obtained; (2) awards to support scholarship in areas where external funding is extremely limited; (3) resources to introduce curricular innovations into the classroom; or (4) tools or techniques to encourage community outreach and education. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Mar

Mar
30
2017

Rapid Ready Tech Interviews Assistant Professor Wei Xiong: A Deeper Look into Metal Additive Manufacturing Material Properties

MEMS

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have been working with ANSYS to create a simulation technique that can evaluate the effects of additive manufacturing (AM) on the microstructure and material properties of parts produced for high-temperature applications. Up to this point, the only way to certify the quality of these parts has been to perform comprehensive physical tests. Unfortunately, these procedures have proven to be too costly and time-consuming. View the full article at Rapid Ready Tech.
Author: Tom Kevan, Digital Engineering
Mar
22
2017

The Swanson School Presents Alumnus Jay Nunamaker with 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 22, 2017) … Collectively they are professors, researchers and authors; inventors, builders and producers; business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry pioneers. The 53rd annual Distinguished Alumni Banquet brought together honorees from each of the Swanson School of Engineering’s six departments and one overall honoree to represent the entire school. The banquet took place at the University of Pittsburgh's Alumni Hall, and Gerald D. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering, presented the awards.This year’s recipient for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science was Jay Nunamaker, Jr., PhD, BSME ’60, MSIE ’66, Regents and Soldwedel Professor of MIS Computer Science and Communications, University of Arizona.“Jay’s expertise in information technology is recognized around the world, and he has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of eight key innovators in information technology,” said Dean Holder. “To call his research production and citations ‘impressive’ would be a disservice, especially since this January, he was named the most prolific author of the past half-century by the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. He has over 25,000 citations and 400 publications. I also might add that he had over $100 million in research funding.”About Jay NunamakerDr. Jay Nunamaker, Jr. received his BS degree in mechanical engineering and MS degree in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating as a mechanical engineer, he worked at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station as a test and design engineer for 3.5 years. He received a BS from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD in operations research and systems engineering from Case Institute of Technology of Case Western Research University. He continued his academic career as a research assistant on the ISDOS project at the University of Michigan and then became an associate professor of computer science and industrial administration at Purdue University. Nunamaker is currently the Regents and Soldwedel Professor of MIS, Computer Science and Communication and the Director of the Center for the Management of Information at the University of Arizona. He founded the MIS department at the University of Arizona in 1974 and served as department head for 18 years. He received his professional engineer’s license in 1965.Forbes Magazine featured Nunamaker in the July 1997 issue as one of eight key innovators in information technology. He is widely published with more than 25,000 citations to his research. He has produced more than 400 journal articles, book chapters, books and refereed proceedings. The Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences recognized Nunamaker in January 2017 as the most prolific author over the past fifty years. ### Photo Above: Dean Holder (left) with Jay Nunamaker and MEMS Department Chair Brian Gleeson.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Mar
14
2017

Pitt’s Bioengineering and Industrial Engineering programs move up in 2018 U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Rankings

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 14, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has moved up one slot among engineering programs in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” which will be available on newsstands April 11. The Swanson School is tied 42nd overall among university engineering programs, and 21st among all Association of American Universities (AAU) members. Two of its programs, bioengineering and industrial engineering, made significant gains over 2017. Bioengineering jumped from 18th in the nation to 12th overall, and remains at 6th among public AAU university programs. Industrial moved from 23rd to 17th overall, and from 13th to 10th among AAU publics. Other department rankings include: Chemical engineering: 33rd overall, 18th among AAU publics Civil engineering: 60th overall, 27th among AAU publics Computer engineering: 43rd overall, 20th among AAU publics Electrical engineering: 55th overall, 26th among AAU publics Materials science: 43rd overall, 22nd among AAU publics Mechanical engineering: 57th overall, 26th among AAU publics Complete rankings and information about the process can be found online in the U.S. News Grad Compass. ###

Mar
7
2017

One Step at a Time: Pitt engineering and medical programs receive NSF award to develop ultrasonic sensors for a hybrid exoskeleton

Bioengineering, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 7, 2017) … The promise of exoskeleton technology that would allow individuals with motor impairment to walk has been a challenge for decades. A major difficulty to overcome is that even though a patient is unable to control leg muscles, a powered exoskeleton could still cause muscle fatigue and potential injury. However, an award from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program will enable researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to develop an ultrasound sensor system at the heart of a hybrid exoskeleton that utilizes both electrical nerve stimulation and external motors. Principal investigator of the three year, $400,000 award is Nitin Sharma, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. Co-PI is Kang Kim, associate professor of medicine and bioengineering. The Pitt team is collaborating with researchers led by Siddhartha Sikdar, associate professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering at George Mason University, who also received a $400,000 award for the CPS proposal, “Synergy: Collaborative Research: Closed-loop Hybrid Exoskeleton utilizing Wearable Ultrasound Imaging Sensors for Measuring Fatigue.”This latest funding furthers Dr. Sharma’s development of hybrid exoskeletons that combine functional electrical stimulation (FES), which uses low-level electrical currents to activate leg muscles, with powered exoskeletons, which use electric motors mounted on an external frame to move the wearer’s joints. “One of the most serious impediments to developing a human exoskeleton is determining how a person who has lost gait function knows whether his or her muscles are fatigued. An exoskeleton has no interface with a human neuromuscular system, and the patient doesn’t necessarily know if the leg muscles are tired, and that can lead to injury,” Dr. Sharma explained. “Electromyography (EMG), the current method to measure muscle fatigue, is not reliable because there is a great deal of electrical “cross-talk” between muscles and so differentiating signals in the forearm or thigh is a challenge.” To overcome the low signal-to-noise ratio of traditional EMG, Dr. Sharma partnered with Dr. Kim, whose research in ultrasound focuses on analyzing muscle fatigue. “An exoskeleton biosensor needs to be noninvasive, but systems like EMG aren’t sensitive enough to distinguish signals in complex muscle groups,” Dr. Kim said. “Ultrasound provides image-based, real-time sensing of complex physical phenomena like neuromuscular activity and fatigue. This allows Nitin’s hybrid exoskeleton to switch between joint actuators and FES, depending upon the patient’s muscle fatigue.” In addition to mating Dr. Sharma’s hybrid exoskeleton to Dr. Kim’s ultrasound sensors, the research group will develop computational algorithms for real-time sensing of muscle function and fatigue. Human subjects using a leg-extension machine will enable detailed measurement of strain rates, transition to fatigue, and full fatigue to create a novel muscle-fatigue prediction model. Future phases will allow the Pitt and George Mason researchers to develop a wearable device for patients with motor impairment. “Right now an exoskeleton combined with ultrasound sensors is just a big machine, and you don’t want to weigh down a patient with a backpack of computer systems and batteries,” Dr. Sharma said. “The translational research with George Mason will enable us to integrate a wearable ultrasound sensor with a hybrid exoskeleton, and develop a fully functional system that will aid in rehabilitation and mobility for individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries or strokes.” ### Photo above: Dr. Kim (left) with Dr. Sharma and a hybrid exoskeleton prototype in the Neuromuscular Control and Robotics Laboratory at the Swanson School of Engineering.

Feb

Feb
6
2017

MEMS Advanced Manufacturing Faculty Position

MEMS, Open Positions

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) invites applications for a tenure ­track assistant professor or associate professor position in the Advanced Manufacturing area, with a mechanical engineering and/or materials engineering focus. Successful applicants should have the ability to build an externally funded research program, as well as contribute to the teaching mission of the MEMS Department. Applicants should have a PhD or ScD in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering or a related field. Applicants with outstanding track records at the associate professor level are encouraged to apply. We are seeking applicants who have strong interdisciplinary interests and who can collaborate across engineering disciplines. We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in joining via techniques such as (but not limited to) laser welding, friction stir welding, ultrasonic welding, and diffusion bonding, by considering complex interactions between processing, phase change, induced stress, etc.  Also of great interest is expertise in design-manufacture-assembly of complex multi-material products through integration of process capability/modeling/control, collected metrology data, and as-manufactured materials and structural characteristics. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science has 28 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who generate over $6 million in annual research expenditures. The Department maintains cutting-edge experimental and computational facilities in its five core research competencies: advanced manufacturing and design; materials for extreme conditions, biomechanics and medical technologies; modeling and simulation; energy system technologies; and quantitative and in situ materials characterization. The successful candidate for this position will benefit from the resources, support, and a multidisciplinary research environment fostered by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (http://www.mascarocenter.pitt.edu), Center for Energy (http://www.energy.pitt.edu) and Center for Simulation and Modeling (http://www.sam.pitt.edu), as well as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (http://www.psc.edu). Qualified applicants should submit their applications electronically to pitt-mems-search@engr.pitt.edu with AM Search as an identifier. The application should include the following materials in pdf form: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests together with a listing of teaching interests, and name and contact information of at least three references. Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. The candidate should be committed to high-quality teaching for a diverse student body and to assisting our Department in enhancing diversity. The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled employer.

AM Search
Feb
6
2017

MEMS High Performance Computing Faculty Position

MEMS, Open Positions

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor or associate professor position in High Performance Computing, with a mechanical engineering focus. Successful applicants should have the ability to build an externally funded research program, as well as contribute to the teaching mission of the Mechanical Engineering programs. Applicants should have a PhD or ScD in Mechanical Engineering or a related field. Applicants with outstanding track records at the associate professor level are encouraged to apply. We are seeking applicants who have strong interdisciplinary interests and who can collaborate across disciplines of engineering. We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in high-fidelity computational modeling, multi-scale/multi-physics simulations, high-order discretization in complex geometry, or experience in incorporating (big) data into computation with broad applications in engineering. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science has 28 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who generate over $6 million in annual research expenditures.  The National Research Council (NRC) has recently placed Mechanical Engineering at Pitt as top 20 among public universities.  The Department maintains cutting-edge experimental and computational facilities in its five core research competencies: advanced manufacturing and design; materials for extreme conditions, biomechanics and medical technologies; modeling and simulation; energy system technologies; and quantitative and in situ materials characterization. The successful candidate for this position will benefit from the resources, support, and a multidisciplinary research environment fostered by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (http://www.mascarocenter.pitt.edu), Center for Energy (http://www.energy.pitt.edu) and Center for Simulation and Modeling (http://www.sam.pitt.edu), as well as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (http://www.psc.edu). Qualified applicants should submit their applications electronically to pitt-mems-search@engr.pitt.edu with HPC Search as an identifier. The application should include the following materials in pdf form: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests together with a listing of teaching interests, and name and contact information of at least three references. Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. The candidate should be committed to high-quality teaching for a diverse student body and to assisting our Department in enhancing diversity. The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled employer.

HPC Search