Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) is the largest in the Swanson School of Engineering in terms of students and faculty. All of our programs are ABET-accredited. The Department's core strengths include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Design
  • Materials for Extreme Conditions
  • Biomechanics and Medical Technologies
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Energy System Technologies
  • Quantitative and In Situ Materials Characterization

MEMS faculty are not only world-renowned academicians, but accessible teachers 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.

Each year, the Department graduates approximately 90 mechanical and materials science engineers, with nearly 100% placed in excellent careers with industry and research facilities around the globe.


Read our latest newsletter below



Nov
1
2018

Accelerated Insertion of Materials for Additive Manufacturing

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (November 1, 2018) … Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, presents a game-changing opportunity for the space industry to produce complex components with greater efficiency at a lower cost. However, the trial-and-error method currently used to create such parts with limited materials is not suited for components that would need to survive the harsh environment of space. Thanks to a $750,000 award from NASA, researchers from QuesTek Innovations and the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering will utilize new computer modeling and optimization techniques, combined with a nickel-iron super-alloy, to enable faster adoption of additive manufacturing in various NASA missions.The principal investigator of the project, “Integrated Computational Material Engineering Technologies for Additive Manufacturing,” is Jiadong Gong, PhD, technical fellow at QuesTek in Evanston, Ill. Collaborators from the Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science are Assistant Professor Wei Xiong, PhD and Associate Professor Albert To, PhD. The project is one of 20 research and technology proposals funded through Phase II of NASA’s competitive Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which supports NASA's future missions into deep space and benefits the U.S. economy. Selected proposals will support the development of technologies in the areas of aeronautics, science, human exploration and operations, and space technology. “For as promising as AM is to modern manufacturing, its acceptance by major commercial or government industries like NASA comes down to a lack of confidence in the quality of the part,” Dr. Gong said. “The majority of systems are based largely on hand-tuned parameters determined by trial-and-error for a limited set of materials, which is ineffective, costly and can contribute to mission failure.” To offset these problems, QuesTek and Pitt will work together to develop an Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) framework for Inconel 718, a commonly used super-alloy preferred for high-temperature environments in aerospace applications. Processing of Inconel will be further designed, and thus better suited for additive manufacturing versus traditional industrial manufacturing techniques, with reduced costs and greater structural integrity than traditional metals. Drs. Xiong and To will contribute Pitt’s expertise in integrated computational mechanical and materials design, supported by AM resources in the Swanson School’s ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory and Nanoscale Fabrication & Characterization Facility. To advance NASA’s goal to make these new technologies available commercially, the Pitt/QuesTek team will develop a software tool that can be used by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to reduce costs and improve AM techniques for other industries such as automotive, biomedical and energy. “Research partnerships between industry and universities such as Pitt can truly help to advance new technologies, thanks to programs such as those funded by NASA,” Dr. Xiong said. “At Pitt, we have focused on process-structure-property optimization and improved computer modeling with advanced alloys to mitigate these issues and improve quality control. Combined with QuesTek’s expertise in Materials by Design®, we can accelerate the insertion of materials not only for NASA but for commercial industries as well.” ### Dr. To (left) and Dr. Xiong with an image of a microstructure produced by additive manufacturing.

Oct
16
2018

Swanson School Undergraduates Recognized for Developing a Kid-Friendly Pill Dispenser

Bioengineering, MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (October 16, 2018) … Two undergraduate students from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering participated in the Hack This. Help Kids pediatric healthcare hackathon on October 5-6, 2018. The Swanson School team, along with another Pitt undergraduate, won the Kids’ Choice Award for their prototype pill dispenser. The event was hosted by UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation and presented by the Citrone Thirty Three Foundation and Tulco. The hackathon participants spent 24 hours working in teams to solve a unmet pediatric problem identified by the hospital’s community. The team, called Sailbot 2020, included Kaylene Stocking, a senior bioengineering and computer engineering student; Jay Maier, a senior mechanical engineering student; and Andrew Lobos, a senior computer science student. Each group tackled a “pain point” topic for their project. The Sailbot 2020 team chose the “stick to the medicine schedule” option and decided to prototype a smart, kid-friendly pill dispenser. This “pain point” addresses the issue that pediatric patients, who may leave the hospital with a strict regimen, often have difficulty following a medication schedule. “Our idea was that a physician could enter what medications need to be taken at what time into our device, and it will track the medication schedule, alerting the patient and dispensing a pill at the appropriate times,” said Stocking. “The prototype can accommodate up to five pills for four different medications. The onboard screen also provides real-time instructions for parents on how to load the pills into each slot.” The team added additional features to target their main demographic - pediatric patients. “We utilized a touch screen and lights to make it attractive for kids, and our thought was to later develop games that would appeal to kids and make the process more fun,” said Stocking. The prototype was successful in this regard because it proceeded to the competition finals and was awarded the Kids Choice Award by a panel of adolescent judges. Regarding their success, Stocking said, “We built the prototype in under 20 hours, so we were pretty happy with the result!” ###

Sep
25
2018

MEMS SM 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 position in the Solid Mechanics area, 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 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 and full professor levels are also encouraged to apply, but the focus will be at the assistant professor level. 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 one or more of the following areas of solid mechanics: modeling and/or experimental methodology of deformation, fracture, structural stability, micro/nano-mechanics, biomechanics, or some combination of these. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science has 30 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who generate over $7 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 Center for Research Computing ( http://www.crc.pitt.edu ) and the Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering ( http://www.nano.pitt.edu ), located within the Swanson School of Engineering. The latter is a user facility that houses state-of-the-art materials characterization and fabrication capabilities Qualified applicants should submit their applications through Interfolio at the following link: https://apply.interfolio.com/54883 . 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 November 1, 2018, 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 equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

SM Search
Sep
25
2018

MEMS Functional Materials 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 position in the area of Functional Materials. 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 Materials Science & Engineering or a related field. Applicants with outstanding track records at the associate professor and full professor levels are also encouraged to apply, but the focus will be at the assistant professor level. We are seeking applicants who have strong interdisciplinary interests and who can collaborate across engineering disciplines. The primary hiring focus will be on candidates with demonstrated experimental research experience and a sound fundamental understanding of electronic, optical and/or magnetic properties of materials. Examples include, but are not limited to: oxide/hybrid semiconductors for artificial-intelligence devices; optically/magnetically active materials for brain and other in-situ imaging; emerging light absorbers for affordable photovoltaics; piezotronics and other sensing materials for extreme environments; and novel materials for conversion and/or storage of energy.The MEMS Department currently has 30 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who generate over $7 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 many interdisciplinary centers, including the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research Computing (http://www.crc.pitt.edu) and the Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering (http://www.nano.pitt.edu), located within the Swanson School of Engineering. The latter is a user facility that houses state-of-the-art materials characterization and fabrication capabilities.Qualified applicants should submit their applications through Interfolio at the following link:  https://apply.interfolio.com/55181. The application should include the following materials in pdf form: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching plans, and name and contact information of at least three references. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2018, 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 equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Sep
17
2018

MEMS Associate Professor Inanc Senocak elected to AIAA Class of 2019 Associate Fellows

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (September 17, 2018) ... Inanc Senocak, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh, has been elected to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Class of 2019 Associate Fellows. AIAA will formally honor and induct the class at its AIAA Associate Fellows Recognition Ceremony and Dinner on Monday, 7 January 2019, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in San Diego, California, during its 2019 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech Forum), 7-11 January. "I am proud to welcome the Class of 2019 to the ranks of Associate Fellows--which is an esteemed roster of aerospace professionals," said John Langford, AIAA president. "Their dedication to their fields has set them apart, and they have been recognized by their peers as inspiring colleagues and mentors. I look forward to honoring their achievements at the 2019 AIAA SciTech Forum in January." The grade of Associate Fellow recognizes individuals "who have accomplished or been in charge of important engineering or scientific work, or who have done original work of outstanding merit, or who have otherwise made outstanding contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics." To be selected as an Associate Fellow an individual must be an AIAA Senior Member in good standing, with at least twelve years professional experience, and be recommended by a minimum of three current Associate Fellows. "Each year, current AIAA Associate Fellows recognize the hard work, commitment, and innovative spirit of their colleagues and make them one of their own," said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. "AIAA Associate Fellows, as a group, are committed to pushing boundaries and testing new theories, resulting in the best ideas that can help transform aerospace across industry, academia, and government." Dr. Senocak is the founder and director of the High Performance Simulation Laboratory for Thermo-Fluids (HiPerSimLab) at Boise State University, where he was associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics, wind forecasting, parallel computing, turbulence modeling, cavitating flows, and atmospheric dispersion. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida at Gainesville. After graduation, he held postdoctoral research positions at the Center for Turbulence Research (jointly operated by NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University) and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he worked on large eddy simulation of atmospheric boundary layer flows and source inversion of atmospheric dispersion events, respectively. Dr. Senocak is also a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. ### About AIAA The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists, and 95 corporate members, from 85 countries who are dedicated to advancing the global aerospace profession. The world’s largest aerospace technical society, the Institute convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.

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