Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) is the largest in the school in terms of students and faculty. The department has core strengths in the traditional areas of bioengineering, manufacturing, microsystems technology, smart structures and materials, computational fluid and solid dynamics, and energy systems research. Key focus is reflective of national trends, which are vying toward the microscale and nanoscale systems level.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science houses ABET -accredited mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering programs that provide the solid fundamentals, critical thinking, and inventive spark that fires up our graduates as they design the future.
The department graduates approximately 90 mechanical and materials science engineers each year, with virtually 100% of being placed in excellent careers with industry and research facilities around the globe.

The department houses faculty who are world-renowned academicians and accessible teachers, individuals of substance who seek to inspire and encourage their students to succeed. The department also has access to more than 20 laboratory facilities that enhance the learning process through first-rate technology and hands-on experience.

That experience is integrated into every aspect of the department. Events such as the SAE Formula Car Program add to students' real-world knowledge; each year, students construct their own vehicle and compete with students from other universities nationwide and internationally on the strength of their design and racing. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science also is involved in the Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program, bringing students together with industry for three terms of professional work.

Jul
21
2016

Pitt engineers receive $503,000 NSF grant to study how aluminum alloy microstructures form in real time

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (July 21, 2016) … A grant from the National Science Foundation will enable researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to utilize a one-of-a-kind transmission electron microscope developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to examine in real time how microstructures form in metals and alloys as they solidify after laser beam melting.  The proposal, “In-situ transmission electron microscopy of microstructure formation during laser irradiation induced irreversible transformations in metals and alloys” was awarded a three-year, $503,435 grant from the NSF Division of Materials Research. Principal investigator is Jörg M.K. Wiezorek, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. The grant will also fund educational outreach and enhance the materials science curriculum at Pitt.Dr. Wiezorek and his research group will utilize the dynamic transmission electron microscope (DTEM) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which unlike a traditional electron microscope taking before-and-after images, can record nanoscale transformations in materials with nanosecond time-resolution. The researchers will study rapid solidification processes in aluminum alloys that are associated with laser or electron beam processing technologies used in welding, joining and additive manufacturing. “Predicting microstructure formation during rapid non-equilibrium processing of engineering materials is a fundamental challenge of materials science. Prior to advent of the DTEM we could only simulate these transformations on a computer,” Dr. Wiezorek explained. “We hope to discover the mechanisms of how alloy microstructures evolve during solidification after laser melting by direct and locally resolved observation. Thermodynamics provides for the limiting constraints for the transformations of the materials, but it cannot a-priori predict the pathways the microstructures take as they transition from the liquid to the final solid state.”Dr. Wiezorek expects the research to help validate computer models and determine how composition changes and temperature gradients affect the microstructure. The data will assist in providing a stronger scientific underpinning for establishing relationships between the processing conditions, structure and properties of the alloys obtained by laser processing. “We are hoping to unravel details of the kinetic pathways taken from the liquid to the final solid structure,” Dr. Wiezorek said. “This research will help us to refine solidification related manufacturing processes and to identify strategies to optimize how materials perform.”About Jörg WiezorekDr. Wiezorek’s research group studies advanced materials and materials processing using and developing methods for the quantitative characterization by electron, ion and X-ray beam methods and other modern micro-characterization techniques. Combining experiments and appropriate computer simulations with the principles and practice of physical metallurgy and metal physics leads to the discovery of novel materials, materials behaviors and explanations of their properties, with an emphasis on intermetallic and metallic systems.  Recent research thrusts include: (1) Determination of the electron density and nature of bonding in transitional metal based materials including intermetallics by quantitative electron diffraction and validation of density functional theory calculations; (2) Surface modification of structural alloys for enhanced performance by severe plastic deformation and grain-boundary-engineering; (3) In-situ studies of rapid irreversible transients, e.g. solidification, in pulsed laser processed metals and alloys using Ultrafast (nanosecond) TEM imaging and diffraction.Dr. Wiezorek joined the Swanson School of Engineering in the fall of 1998 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2014. He received a PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge, UK (1994) and obtained a Physics degree from the University of Münster, Germany (1991). He conducted high-temperature materials research using advanced transmission electron microscopy at The Ohio State University prior to his faculty appointment. ### Figure of DTEM below and above created by Ryan Chen of the Technical Information Department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Jul
19
2016

Materials Engineering/Distance Learning Non-Tenure Stream Faculty Position

MEMS, Open Positions

The Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh is seeking an outstanding candidate to fill a non-tenure stream faculty position in the Materials Science field in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) Department with the principal duties of coordinating distance learning, organizing graduate courses, and teaching. The successful candidate is expected to interact with the Distance Learning Coordinator for the school in initiating a distance learning curriculum in the area of physical metallurgy, to arrange for lecturers from both the core faculty and guest lecturers, and to teach several courses per semester in either the On-site Curriculum or the Distance Learning Curriculum. For full consideration, applicants must possess a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering or equivalent.  Applicants with prior teaching experience in an engineering materials program are particularly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate should be able to teach a variety of core courses in the MSE Stream of the MEMS Department, including, but not limited to, thermodynamics, phase equilibria and phase diagrams, phase transformations, strengthening mechanisms, annealing phenomena, mechanical properties, corrosion and failure analysis. The ability to develop and teach upper level electives and graduate courses is an added benefit. The position is for the academic year, with the potential of summer teaching, and is eligible for renewal on an annual basis. The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department 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 various areas including energy, high temperature materials, biomechanics, additive manufacturing, smart structures, advanced steels, system dynamics and controls, and materials characterization. Interested applicants should submit one PDF file that includes: a cover letter, a detailed resume, statements describing teaching and research interests and plans, and at least three references, to pitt-mems-search@engr.pitt.edu for the Materials Science and Engineering position. Review of applications will begin on July 15, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

Materials Science and Engineering position
Jul
12
2016

Postdoctoral Position - Materials Micro - Characterization Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh

All SSoE News, MEMS, Open Positions

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position in the Materials Micro-Characterization Laboratory (MMCL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh. The MMCL offers shared-user access to electron-, ion- and X-ray-beam based micro-analysis resources and serves the diverse needs of a growing community of currently over 80 academic and industry users. The MMCL instruments include transmission electron microscopes (TEM) and scanning electron microscopes (SEM), which are equipped for composition and crystal orientation analyses, as well as X-ray-diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy and nano-mechanical testing equipment, and features a suite of state-of-the-art instruments for advanced electron microscopy specimen preparation. The post-doctoral associate will perform materials science and engineering research with a focus on metals, ceramics and composites using primarily the MMCL electron and X-ray tools. Additionally, he/she will conduct user training and assist with operational needs of the MMCL. The successful candidate is expected to perform quantitative experiments for a range of materials by EM and XRD methods, inclusive of sample preparation, under the guidance of the MMCL Director, Prof. Jorg Wiezorek, and collaboratively engage with select MMCL user research projects. Duties will also include interpretation of the EM and XRD results, as well as preparation of reports, publications in peer-reviewed journals and participation at technical and scientific meetings for dissemination of research results and to promote the MMCL. A PhD in materials science, physics, chemistry, or a related field, and at least two years of documented hands-on experience with modern EM and XRD instrumentation use in high-level research of crystalline materials are required. Apart from good communications and interpersonal skills, the qualified candidate has acquired excellent competency with the relevant theoretical knowledge. Familiarity with modern computer programming and optimization techniques, simulations of EM and XRD data and post-acquisition data processing and analyses using popular software is desirable. The position is available as early as September 1, 2016, with an initial appointment for one year and the possibility of extension for subsequent years, depending on performance and availability of funding. Applicants should submit a cover-letter, CV and contact information for at least two (2) references electronically to the attention of Professor Wiezorek at Wiezorek@pitt.edu. The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

Jun
15
2016

University of Pittsburgh and ANSYS develop new computing tools to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (June 15, 2016) - From energy-efficient jet engines to personalized medical devices, companies can quickly and easily design and manufacture cutting-edge, safe and reliable products thanks to a new collaboration between ANSYS and the University of Pittsburgh. The partnership will further education and research to solve some of the industry’s toughest additive manufacturing problems.Advances in additive manufacturing technologies are drastically changing the industrial manufacturing landscape. Forward-thinking companies are rapidly adopting new emerging technologies to gain significant competitive advantages to produce complex and customized products that were not possible to build before the advent of additive manufacturing. While additive manufacturing holds incredible promise there are still significant hurdles to overcome before it can broadly replace existing manufacturing methods. Printing metal is particularly challenging because it involves the use of a laser. While the laser optimizes the density of the metal for the particular application, it can also melt the metal in unexpected ways, causing the product to fail. And the rapid heating and cooling causes stresses that can deform the end product. ANSYS and Pitt are working together to simulate those deformations before printing to ensure the product not only has the desired shape, but also performs as expected.As part of the partnership, the university is opening a 1,200-square-foot additive manufacturing lab in the Swanson School of Engineering. The ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory is equipped with some of the most advanced additive manufacturing devices that utilize metals, alloys, polymers and other materials to laser print components for nearly every industry.The partnership will also support faculty and students conducting collaborative research with ANSYS and other industry partners, including those in the biomedical, aerospace and defense industries. Lab workers will have access to the ANSYS portfolio, enabling them to explore, simulate and analyze solutions for stress and fatigue on critical components that go into products such as airplanes, cars and medical devices.  “Collaboration with industry leaders such as ANSYS provides us with the important insight into real-world challenges that companies face in product development and other areas,” said Mark Redfern, Pitt’s Vice Provost for Research. “These relationships guide our approach to educating our students and conducting research to ensure that the work we do is cutting edge and relevant to society. Our current additive manufacturing research will be greatly enhanced by our strengthened partnership with ANSYS.” Additive manufacturing allows for precise control in creating a component at the micro- and nano-scale level, new processes and software are required to help engineers develop parts that are designed to perform a desired function under a set of conditions. Simulation-driven product development changes the process by virtually exploring the properties of a number of design options early on, before committing to specific material and design choices. The benefit of physics-based computational tools is that they can test millions of permutations of designs, materials, flows and shapes to find the optimal design before the engineer needs to build a single physical prototype. Not only will this new approach unleash the next wave of innovative physical products, but it is a necessity to make designs more energy-efficient and sustainable. ANSYS and Pitt’s collaborative work in this area was initiated with funding from the federal government via America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute). Pitt’s research includes the development of new tools to optimize the interior construction of a manufactured part at the microscopic level and thereby improving strength and structural integrity, lowering weight, reducing costs and improving sustainable production methods. “The industry is changing, and companies can no longer innovate if they continue to do business as they have in the past,” said Jim Cashman, president and CEO of ANSYS. “By partnering with Pitt, we’re pushing the frontiers to develop advanced tools for our customers in this new era of additive manufacturing. Together we are solving some of the toughest challenges for engineers building the products of tomorrow.” Since 2014, additive manufacturing researchers at the Swanson School have attracted more than $6 million in grants from America Makes, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania. The partnership with ANSYS will enable faculty to not only benefit their research, but to help ANSYS improve its own engineering simulation software. This partnership will enable these two organizations to address key challenges that are currently is blocking additive manufacturing from realizing its full potential. “Pittsburgh has a long history rooted in traditional manufacturing, and so it’s appropriate that Pitt and ANSYS help to establish the region’s expertise in additive manufacturing,” noted Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and one of Pitt’s AM researchers. “Optimizing the tools that researchers and engineers around the country will use to improve additive manufacturing will be a game-changer.” ### Above image: If this heat exchanger was manufactured by conventional methods it would comprise an assembly of over 100 individually manufactured components. By making some minor additive manufacturing design changes and utilizing the EOS M290 direct metal laser sintering machine, the heat exchanger assembly was additive manufactured as a single component.

May
26
2016

Four Pitt students among select recipients of Department of Energy scholarships and fellowships for nuclear-related research

Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (May 26, 2016) … Two undergraduate students and two graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering have been named scholars and fellows, respectively, of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP). The students are among 57 undergraduate scholars and 33 graduate fellows to receive more than $5 million to pursue nuclear energy-related disciplines at universities across the country. Since 2009, the Energy Department has awarded over $33 million to more than 600 students for nuclear energy-related scholarships and fellowships. The undergraduate scholarship winners, Bodhisatwa “Bodhi” Biswas (chemical engineering) and Miriam Rathbun (engineering science) will receive a $7,500 scholarship. The graduate fellowship recipients, Jacob Farber and Lee Maccarone (both mechanical engineering) will receive up to $50,000 annually over the next three years. The graduate fellowships will also include $5,000 toward a summer internship at a U.S. national laboratory or other approved facility to strengthen the ties between students and the Department’s nuclear energy research programs. The selected students will study a breadth of critical nuclear energy issues, from fuel cycle sustainability to reactor efficiency and design.“The NEUP scholars and fellows program is extremely competitive, and so we’re very proud to have four recipients this year,” said Daniel Cole, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Stephen R. Tritch Program in Nuclear Engineering at Pitt. “This is the fourth year in a row that our students have been recognized, which reflects highly on both their academic excellence and our program’s strengths.”About NEUPThe U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy initiated Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) in 2009 to consolidate its university support under one program NEUP funds nuclear energy research and equipment upgrades at U.S. colleges and universities, and provides student educational support. NEUP plays a key role in helping the Department of Energy accomplish its mission of leading the nation's investment in the development and exploration of advanced nuclear science and technology. As stated in its Nuclear Energy Roadmap, the Department promotes nuclear energy as a resource capable of meeting the nation's energy, environmental and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, security, and proliferation resistance through research, development and demonstration. For more information, visit www.neup.gov.About Pitt's Nuclear Engineering ProgramPitt’s nuclear engineering program, offered through the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, is the only undergraduate and graduate program of its kind in western Pennsylvania. Established in 2006, the program develops relevant curricula in concert with industry leaders and is supported with grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Pittsburgh region hosts one of the highest concentrations of nuclear-power-related companies and expertise, including FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, which operates the Beaver Valley Power Station nuclear power plant in Shippingport; Bechtel Bettis, Inc.; and Westinghouse Electric Company. ###

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