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Former ASME president tells engineering students 'the sky is the limit'


Charla Wise, former president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and retired vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, recently visited the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering to share her insights on the future of mechanical engineering and how today’s students are poised to change the trajectory of the field.

Penn State to study integration of automated driving systems into work zones


The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (LTI) will lead a group of Penn State researchers studying how to safely integrate automated driving systems into work zones.

Civil engineer leads $3M project to study eroding Alaskan coastline


The Arctic sea is consuming Alaska's coastline. Since 1955, the rising water has eroded more than 300 meters of permafrost -- the frozen soil that helps protect the Arctic's delicately balanced ecosystem. It also serves as the foundation upon which hundreds of villages and thousands of people exist.

Hovering closer to the secrets of hummingbird flight


The extraordinary ability of hummingbirds to perform complex escape maneuvers will be explored for its potential to enhance the field of robotics and micro aerial vehicles, thanks to a $923,483 grant from the Office of Naval Research.

Teaching and Learning with Technology faculty fellows focus on learning spaces


Four new faculty fellows have joined Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) for the 2019-20 academic year: Ed Glantz, Siu Ling "Pansy" Leung, Pierce Salguero and Priya Sharma. Each member of the cohort will undertake a project intended to enhance unique spaces where students learn.

Mechanical engineering professor sets new course with NSF ocean expedition


Matthew Rau, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, spent 10 days cruising north of Oahu, Hawaii, in the summer of 2019. But it wasn’t for a vacation -- Rau was conducting foundational research that could aid the understanding of carbon dioxide absorption within the Pacific Ocean and its potential impact on climate change.

Engineers Without Borders partners with Namutamba community in Uganda


Undergraduate students from the Penn State chapter of Engineers Without Borders have launched a collaboration with the Namutamba community in Uganda to improve the community’s access to potable water.

Social venture provides localized, distributed manufacturing in Kenya


As a Peace Corps teacher in Tanzania, Ben Savonen, who received his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State in 2019, found he didn’t have access to the lab equipment he needed to teach chemistry.

Student awarded first Thole scholarship to support diversity in engineering


Haylee Womer, a first-year Penn State student from Owings, Maryland, has been selected as the first recipient of the Professor Karen A. Thole Annual Scholarship for Diversity in Engineering.

Mechanical engineering alumnus and spouse pledge $250,000 to support scholarship


Penn State mechanical engineering alumnus Clyde Shuman and his wife, Nancy, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, have committed an additional $250,000 to the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering to support the existing Clyde W. Shuman Jr. Family Trustee Scholarship in Engineering.

Researchers explore fish movement to enhance underwater robots


To understand the sensing, control and physics of fish-swimming with the goal of mimicking their performance in advanced robotics, researchers in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration with the University of Houston and the University of Virginia, have recently been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Mechanical engineering professor recognized for outstanding teaching


Paris Von Lockette, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, has earned the 2019 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Outstanding Teaching Award.

Mechanical engineering welcomes director of online pedagogy and credentialing


Andrea Gregg has joined the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) as the director of online pedagogy and credentialing and assistant teaching professor.

Engineering thought leader looks to the future with public lecture


On Sept. 9 at Penn State's University Park campus, Mote addressed faculty, students and staff in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), reflecting on the past achievements of engineering while largely casting a gaze to the goals of the future.

Engineering research scholarship aims to "rise" aircraft safety, efficiency


Chandrachur Bhattacharya, a doctoral student studying mechanical engineering at Penn State, was awarded a Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) Scholarship from Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum. During the summer of 2019, he conducted collaborative research in India at Jadavpur University.

Mechanical engineering professor to forge frontier of biomolecular computing


Joseph Najem has joined the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering as an assistant professor, where he will continue his work researching and developing multifunctional biomolecular materials.

Penn State mechanical engineering rises in undergraduate rankings


U.S. News and World Report has ranked Penn State's mechanical engineering undergraduate program as No. 14 in the country for 2020.

START Lab awarded $6 million to develop national experimental turbine


With industry support, the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Lab (DOE-NETL) has awarded the Penn State Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Lab $6 million to spearhead the development of a National Experimental Turbine (NExT) rig, an initiative to help modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Using prototypes to improve undergraduate engineering communication skills


Prototypes serve as more than the first model of a product -- they also are valuable communication tools between team members, external stakeholders and end-users. While prior work has demonstrated that professional engineers frequently rely on prototypes to communicate, preliminary data suggests that undergraduate engineering students struggle to use prototypes effectively.

Innovating vehicle technology possible with new mechanical engineering faculty


Herschel Pangborn, a State College native, is returning to Penn State in January 2020 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Engineering symposium highlights undergraduate research experiences


Undergraduate students from across Penn State and the world capped off their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs with a research symposium on July 30.

Research team receives grant to commercialize 3D-printed concrete system


Researchers at Penn State believe that using 3D-printing technologies to transform concrete construction processes and add new capabilities may radically transform the construction industry and reduce its carbon footprint.

International leaders convene at Penn State to map future of nuclear power


To continually support the safety and efficiency of the world’s power supply, international leaders in nuclear safety and regulation convened at Penn State on July 1 to establish and guide an upcoming research project to be conducted in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Eric and Janet Branyan endow professorship, excellence fund in engineering


New avenues for cutting-edge research and outstanding student experiences in Penn State's Department of Mechanical Engineering are being made possible thanks to a gift from Eric and Janet Tomajko Branyan.

Thole honored for technical contributions, commitment to diversity in aerospace


Karen A. Thole, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Penn State, has been awarded the 2019 Air Breathing Propulsion Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Artificial heart lab demonstrates the impact of undergraduate research


While graduate students and faculty are known for their research work, undergraduates also make significant contributions to the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering's research portfolio.

First-of-its-kind graduate course tackles legal issues in additive manufacturing


To prepare the industry’s next trailblazers, a new course in the Penn State Additive Manufacturing and Design (AMD) graduate program is seeking to address them head-on.

O'Connor presents at international conference, shares insights in laser diagnostics


On June 24, Jacqueline O'Connor, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, delivered an invited presentation at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Laser Diagnostics in Energy and Combustion Science, highlighting her work in laser diagnostics in engine technologies.

Students, professor build specialized scanner to bring paintings to life


When Yi Yang was a doctoral student, he frequented art museums but grew frustrated with the inability of patrons to closely examine paintings and the artists' techniques. After some thought, he realized that a laser imaging system like the one in his lab could be used to capture the 3D surface profiles of artwork.

ME professor awarded Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers


Tak-Sing Wong named an outstanding engineer who shows exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.

Scholarship brings student's additive manufacturing expertise to Germany


Maryam Tilton, a doctoral student studying mechanical engineering at Penn State, has been awarded a Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) Scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a prestigious opportunity to conduct research in the country funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

NSF grant unites cross-campus researchers to study and optimize flying robots


Researchers in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering recently received a $389,919 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate, explore and innovate new flying mechanisms for micro air vehicles (MAVs) to better mimic the performance and agility of flying animals.

Heat transfer, additive manufacturing powers NSF graduate research fellow


Michael Bichnevicius, recent mechanical engineering graduate, helps harness heat transfer in undergraduate research.

Measuring flying comfort: researchers investigate airplane seat accommodation


How to meet the seat needs of airline passengers isn’t something that has been quantified, so a team of researchers at Penn State set out to measure seat accommodation.

NSF Fellowship sets mechanical engineering student in motion


Claire Rodman studies mobility issues to improve wearable robotics for stroke, cerebral palsy patients.

Penn State startup, spotLESS Materials, wins $367K in pitch competition


spotLESS Materials LLC, a startup company developed from research conducted in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering, won third place and $367,500 at the 2019 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) on April 6.

Mechanical engineering student earns prestigious DoD SMART scholarship


Seth Tau’s work in optimizing off-road vehicle dynamics in uncertain environments targets increased safety, efficiency for military vehicles.

Penn State named key partner in Federal Highway Administration project to study truck platooning


Truck platoons, or groups of vehicles traveling together on a roadway in a flock, have the potential to increase both road capacity and fuel efficiency. The adoption of autonomous driving technology could boost these benefits even more.

ROTC student marshal ready to engineer military tech, systems


Being both a mechanical engineering student and an ROTC member preparing for his military service was a challenging, but rewarding, experience for Christian Stout.

Academic excellence, UAV experience propel mechanical engineering student marshal to success


Kimberly Hunt, an outstanding student at Penn State, has been selected as the student marshal representing the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the spring 2019 commencement ceremony.

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With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519