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


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


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.


Additive manufacturing researcher Xiayun Zhao joins MEMS


PITTSBURGH (September 5, 2018) … The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has appointed Xiayun Sharon Zhao as assistant professor. Her expertise builds upon the Swanson School’s significant research in the growing field of additive manufacturing.“Sharon’s focus on the dynamics and controls associated with additive manufacturing will be a tremendous gain for Pitt and the Swanson School as we continue to expand our expertise in the field,” said Brian Gleeson, the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and MEMS Department Chair. “She also brings experience in polymers, which will build upon our already strong research in the AM of metallic systems.”Dr. Zhao’s research focuses on real-time process monitoring, measurement science and control technology for additive manufacturing, as well as on advanced manufacturing (e.g., 3D/4D/Bio/Hybrid Printing) for multi-scale, multi-material and multi-functional structures and systems in novel applications. She received a B.S. in precision engineering from Tsinghua University, and M.S. and PhD in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. Her PhD dissertation was titled “Real-time Process Measurement and Control for Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing” and her advisor was Dr. David Rosen. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked as an instrumentation and control system engineer at WorleyParsons in Houston. Dr. Zhao has published in journals including Measurement Science and Technology, Rapid Prototyping, and Additive Manufacturing, and received the “Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research” award from the American Chemical Society (ACS). She has given over ten invited talks in academia and a dozen of presentations at conferences across disciplines of manufacturing, controls and chemistry. ###


Oberg Industries and Swanson School of Engineering Extend Additive Manufacturing Research Partnership


PITTSBURGH (August 28, 2018) … After a successful two-year inaugural collaboration, representatives from Oberg Industries and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering have agreed to extend their research partnership. Established in 2016, the agreement capitalizes on the Swanson School’s faculty expertise in computational modeling and design optimization with Oberg expertise in complex tooling and precision machined or stamped metal components. With the renewed association, Oberg will continue to provide full-time employees in the Swanson School’s ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (AMRL) to provide technical expertise to faculty and students while also engaging in corporate outreach for testing, design and prototyping. Oberg will promote the partnership to its customer partners to broaden corporate activity at Pitt while maintaining priority industrial access for its education, training, prototyping, testing, design and production uses.“Oberg was one of our first corporate partners in additive manufacturing and we are excited to continue this relationship,” said David Vorp, associate dean for research. “Our collaboration has enabled our faculty and students not only take full advantage of the AMRL capabilities but also have helped us attract outside funding.” Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and one of Pitt’s AM researchers, added that Oberg was instrumental in helping to found the Swanson School’s Modeling & Optimization Simulation Tools for Additive Manufacturing (MOST-AM) Consortium. “MOST-AM has greatly helped us expand our reach to industry leaders in additive manufacturing, creating a win-win for our research and company growth,” Dr. To said. “My colleagues and I are grateful to Oberg Industries for being an inaugural partner and allowing us to better explore the potential for additive manufacturing.” “Our partnership with the University and the AMRL continues to drive innovation and value creation for our customer partners,” said David L. Bonvenuto, CEO of Oberg. “Teams from the University and Oberg are working together to help our customers design products that leverage the latest additive technology with the ability to do prototype builds, production and post-processing at the AMRL and Oberg.”Since 2014, additive manufacturing researchers at the Swanson School have attracted more than $10 million in grants from America Makes, National Energy Technology Laboratory, National Science Foundation, and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania. ### About Oberg IndustriesHeadquartered just north of Pittsburgh, Pa., Oberg Industries is a diversified manufacturer with over 900 employees worldwide specializing in the production of advanced, precision machined or stamped metal components and precision tooling. With $150 million in sales, Oberg’s global manufacturing footprint includes operations in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Costa Rica. Each manufacturing facility is ISO certified and operates under one or more of the following standards: ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2003, and AS 9100:2009 Rev. D. Oberg is a strategic contract manufacturing partner for companies in the Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer/Industrial Products, Defense, Energy, Construction and Housing, Medical Device, Metal Packaging and Munitions markets. The company’s website is www.Oberg.com.


MEMS undergraduate Samantha Schloder receives scholarship award from Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration


PITTSBURGH (August  24, 2018) ... University of Pittsburgh undergraduate Samantha Schloder was recently awarded a WAAIME academic scholarship from the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME). Ms. Schloder, a native of Kersey, Pa., is a junior majoring in materials science and engineering at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering and also serves as an Engineering Ambassador. "Samantha is an outstanding young scholar and exemplifies our students' dedication to academic and career success," noted Brian Gleeson, the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. "Scholarships from professional organizations like SME provide important support and recognition to our students, and so we're proud of Samantha's national recognition." The WAAIME Scholarship fund provides scholarships to students pursuing earth science degrees including mining, geological sciences, metallurgy, petroleum, mineral sciences, materials science and engineering, mineral economics, chemical engineering and other related studies. WAAIME (formerly known as the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining Engineers) was created on February 20, 1917 to do philanthropic work in local mining communities where members lived, providing service to the country, to the community and to provide scholarships. In its 100-year tradition, the WAAIME Scholarship fund continues to provide financial scholarships to students pursuing earth science degrees including mining, geological sciences, metallurgy, petroleum, mineral sciences, materials science, mineral economics, chemical engineering and other related studies. Eligible students include juniors, seniors, 5th‐year seniors, and students returning to school immediately following co‐op/internship positions. Ms. Schloder recently completed a co-op rotation with Constellium in Ravenswood, W.Va., a global leader designing and manufacturing innovative and high value-added aluminum products and solutions for a broad range of applications dedicated primarily to aerospace, automotive and packaging markets. ###


Swanson School and Center for Energy Partner with Leidos on Contract Award to Provide Research Support to NETL

Chemical & Petroleum, Electrical & Computer, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (August 22, 2018) … To leverage its expertise in energy research, the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and Center for Energy will partner with Leidos on a ten-year, $365 million Research Support Services Contract awarded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). As part of the agreement, Pitt will be part of a multi-disciplinary subcontracting team for Leidos, with NETL committing $20 million per year through Leidos to the subcontracting partners, which include Pitt. The contract is in a transition phase through the rest of 2018, with a formal start date of December 31, 2018.Pitt’s Center of Energy is a University-wide endeavor that leverages the energy-related expertise of approximately 100 faculty members across campus from multiple disciplines and departments across the Swanson School of Engineering, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Law School, Business School and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The Center has a successful history collaborating with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL, especially through the former NETL Regional University Alliance.“Our multi-disciplinary research has encompassed many coal, oil, and natural gas program areas managed by FE and NETL, so this is a natural partnership for us,” noted Gregory Reed, director of the Center for Energy. “We’re excited to help NETL and Leidos access our array of talented faculty for this critical program.” “We look forward to continuing a long standing NETL relationship through Leidos,” said David Vorp, associate dean for research at the Swanson School. “This contract will be critical in helping NETL maintain best-in-class research and development operations and continue to position NETL as a world-class DOE National Laboratory.” ###

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