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.

Aug
26
2015

William Clark recognized by ASME with lifetime service award

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (August 26, 2015) … William W. "Buddy" Clark, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, was recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers with its Robert E. Abbott Award. Dr. Clark received the award at the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Boston this August from ASME's Design Engineering Division. The Abbot Award recognizes Dr. Clark "for his outstanding and sustained service to the division, technical committees, conferences and journals in support of the international design engineering community and profession." Dr. Clark's primary research interest is in the area of smart structures and microsystems, particularly structural vibration control, novel actuators and mechatronics, variable stiffness/damping materials, morphing materials and systems, energy harvesting, and integrated mechanical-electrical systems for communications and signal processing. Much of his current research focuses on piezoelectric systems for actuators, valves, resonators, mechanical filters, biosensors, or energy sources. Examples of current research includes the use of piezoelectric microvalves for improved fuel management in energy systems, the development of piezoelectric energy harvesting devices for wireless sensor systems, and development and use of materials that exhibit controllable change in mechanical properties. He also is the co-founder of Diamond Kinetics, a Pittsburgh startup company that produces SwingTracker, a sensor-app package that allows baseball and softball players to accurately measure several parameters of a swing. The small half-ounce device and mobile application replicates data gathering previously required by expensive motion-capturing cameras and computers, and can measure bat and hand speed; quickness, or time to impact; power, or momentum generated; and control of the bat during the swing. Dr. Clark earned his bachelor's, master's and PhD in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. ###
Paul Kovach
Aug
11
2015

Additive manufacturing research groups led by Pitt engineers receive more than $1.7 million in latest funding from America Makes

Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (August 11, 2015) … Two separate University of Pittsburgh research projects to improve design development for structures in in additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, were among nine contracts funded by America Makes , the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The two projects, directed by faculty in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, will receive more than $1.7 million in America Makes' Project Call #3. To date, Swanson School faculty have been awarded more than $2.3 million in contracts toward additive manufacturing research from America Makes, the National Science Foundation , and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania . Principal investigator for "Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications" is Albert To, PhD , associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, in conjunction with Aerotech , ANSYS , EOS of North America,   ExOne , Honeywell , Marcus Machinery,Materials Sciences Corporation , RTI International Metals (Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products) , United Technologies Research Center , and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center . This $961,112 contract is in support of an extension of the research previously awarded to Dr. To by America Makes.  "AM technologies are capable of producing very complex geometries and topologies, tremendously expanding the limited design space allowed by traditional manufacturing methods. However, existing CAD/CAE software packages to date have not taken full advantage of this enormous design freedom," Dr. To explained. "We plan to create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, thereby helping industry minimize design time, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development." M. Ravi Shankar, PhD , associate professor of industrial engineering, is principal investigator of "Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks." Collaborators on the $805,966 contract include ITAMCO , Johnson & Johnson , and the University of Notre Dame . "Support structures play two important roles in additive manufacturing - holding a part in place, and dissipating heat during manufacturing. However, these structures are very simple and few rules exist for designing them," Dr. Shankar said. "We want to codify the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to inform and then automatically recommend the optimal part orientation and the designs for optimized supports. Also, by better controlling the design, we can more effectively draw away the heat during manufacturing and minimize distortion." Led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes' Project Call #3 for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects provided up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with $11 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19 million. The Institute's third project call, which was released in February 2015, was focused on five technical additive manufacturing topic areas-design, material, process, value chain, and genome-each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria. About America Makes America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation's leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation's global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the flagship Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure of up to 45 Institutes to follow and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit http://americamakes.us. About NCDMM The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at ncdmm.org. ###
Paul Kovach
pkovach@pitt.edu
May
27
2015

Research paper earns grad student a Microscopy and Microanalysis Presidential Scholar Award

MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (May 27, 2015) ... Kai Zweiacker, a graduate student in mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, has been named a recipient of the 2015 Presidential Scholar award from the Microscopy Society of America . Mr. Zweiacker's winning research paper, "Quantitative Phase Analysis of Rapid Solidification Products in Al-Cu Alloys by Automated Crystal Orientation Mapping in the TEM," was selected from more than 300 proceedings papers. Zweiacker will present his paper at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2015 conference , August 2-6, where he will receive the award. Mr. Zweiacker's research paper analyzed the formation of nano-scale crystals from an aluminum-copper alloy after laser melting. Laser-assisted fabrication has applications in electronic, electromagnetic and electro-optical micro-devices, as well as in bio-medical, petrochemical, energy generation and transportation technologies. "I am very pleased for Kai receiving this award. It represents recognition of the high quality and relevance of his unique research," said his adviser, Dr. Jörg M.K. Wiezorek . "It uses cutting edge in-situ transmission electron microscopy techniques to reveal details of melting and crystallization in metals and alloys after laser irradiation. "Understanding the mechanisms of how alloy microstructures evolve after laser melting is scientifically interesting," continued Dr. Wiezorek, "and is important to many advanced laser-based processing technologies for joining, sintering and additive manufacturing of materials. I look forward to Kai's presentation and award ceremony in Portland, OR, in August." Born and raised in Cologne, Germany, Mr. Zweiacker received his Diplom-Ingenieur (MS) degree from the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen in 2009. He joined Dr. Wiezorek's research team at the University of Pittsburgh the following year. The Microscopy Society of America is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of microscopy and microanalysis in all relevant scientific disciplines. ###
Paul Kovach
Mar
30
2015

Pitt designated an Innovation Corps Site by National Science Foundation

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

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the University of Pittsburgh as an NSF I-Corps site. The award, which supports innovation activities at select academic institutions, comes with a three-year, $300,000 grant to be used to advance innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at Pitt. The University's Innovation Institute will manage the Pitt I-Corps site. (The "I" in I-Corps stands for "Innovation.") Through the I-Corps grant, 30 Pitt Innovator teams per year will receive $3,000 to participate in the Institute's Pitt Ventures program, which provides Pitt teams with hands-on commercialization and entrepreneurial education activities in partnership with entrepreneurs-in-residence, investors, and local business mentors. Pitt Innovator teams may use the $3,000 stipends for market research, customer-discovery analyses, and other development efforts.  "We're honored to receive this prestigious NSF award to support our commercialization efforts," says Marc Malandro, founding director of the Innovation Institute and associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization at Pitt. "This award builds on our efforts to instill a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire University, bringing together more faculty, staff, and student innovators with educators, mentors, and other community partners to advance our commercialization activities." The Innovation Institute's goals for the I-Corps program are to accomplish the following: Increase the number of entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, and students at Pitt through education, training, and outreach-particularly among innovators from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented academic disciplines. Enhance a recently deployed commercialization process at Pitt that includes experiential learning and customer-discovery support for Pitt Innovator teams. Improve Pitt's connection to-and support of-the Pittsburgh region's entrepreneurial ecosystem in nurturing startup companies emerging from University innovations. "Through support provided by the I-Corps program, the University of Pittsburgh now will be able to develop an even deeper pipeline of commercialization opportunities from a broader group of innovators, further enhancing our impact on regional and national economic development," Malandro says. The Innovation Institute , launched in November 2013, serves as the hub of innovation commercialization and entrepreneurship activities at the University of Pittsburgh.   ###
Joe Miksch
Mar
19
2015

Minking Chyu receives Pitt’s 2015 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement

MEMS

Pictured from left: U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering Gerald D. Holder; Associate Dean from International Initiatives Minking Chyu; and Ariel C. Armony, senior director of international programs and director of the University Center for International Studies PITTSBURGH (March 19, 2014) … Recognizing his contributions to furthering international education at the University of Pittsburgh, Minking Chyu, PhD received the 2015 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement at a reception on March 18, 2015. Dr. Chyu is the Leighton and Mary Orr Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and inaugural Associate Dean for International Initiatives at the Swanson School of Engineering, and the inaugural Dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) in China. Presented by Pitt's University Center for International Studies , the Sheth International Awards recognize international achievements by a current faculty member and by an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.  The awards were established in 2012 through the generosity of Madhu and Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth (Business '62G, '66G) and the Sheth Family Foundation.  Asha Williams (GSPIA '07) received the International Young Alumni Achievement Award, which acknowledges a Pitt alumnus for contributions to the international community through professional achievement and societal impact. "Minking Chyu is the consummate global engineering educator," says Dr. Jagdish Sheth, University of Pittsburgh alumnus (BUS '62, '66) who, with his wife Madhuri, promotes global thinking and international endeavors through the Sheth Family Foundation. "In a career spanning 30 years, he has shown a deep desire to equip students with the engineering and global skills needed for success anywhere in the world. He will bring those same talents to the first cohort of students at the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute." About Dr.Chyu Minking K. Chyu received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1986. He was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University for 14 years before joining the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 as the Leighton Orr Chair Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering. When the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering merged in 2006, Dr. Chyu helped to lead the process and was named chair of the combined MEMS Department. His primary research is in thermo-fluid issues relating to power and propulsion systems, manufacturing and material processing. Major projects conducted to date include convective cooling of gas turbine airfoils, nanofluid applications in heat transfer and oil/gas exploration, thermoelectric energy conversion and additive manufacturing. Dr. Chyu was awarded four NASA Certificates of Recognition for his contribution on the U.S. space shuttle program, and has also served as an Air Force Summer Research Fellow, Department of Energy Oak Ridge Research Fellow, and Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced-Turbine-System Faculty Fellow. He is 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 Centre of Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT). He was named the Engineer of The Year by the ASME Pittsburgh Chapter in 2002. In 2007, he was appointed as Institute of Advanced Energy Solutions (IAES) Residence Fellow by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). He served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Heat Transfer, ASME; Advisory Board Member for the International Journal of Fluid Machinery and Systems; and a Foreign Editor for the International Journal of Chinese Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He has published 290 technical papers in archived journals and conference proceedings. About Dr.Sheth Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth is a renowned scholar and world authority in the field of marketing. His insights on global competition, strategic thinking and customer relationship management are considered revolutionary. He is the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Prior to this, he was a distinguished faculty member at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Sheth is nationally and internationally known for his scholarly contributions in consumer behavior, relationship marketing, competitive strategy and geopolitical analysis. He has worked for numerous industries and companies in the United States, Europe and Asia, both as an Advisor and as a Seminar Leader. His clients include AT&T, BellSouth, Cox Communications, Delta, Ernst & Young, Ford, GE, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel, Pillsbury, Sprint, Square D, 3M, Whirlpool and many more. He has offered more than a thousand presentations in at least twenty countries. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Sheth works diligently to promote global thinking and international endeavors through The Sheth Foundation. It is because of this mission and his generosity that we accept nominations every spring for two awards that will benefit the University of Pittsburgh community and recognize commitments to the international community. ###
Paul Kovach
Mechanical & Materials Science

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