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.

Jan
27
2016

Pitt establishes $1.8 million partnership with Fischione Instruments for new sample preparation lab at Swanson School of Engineering

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (January 27, 2016) … Citing the need for “excellence and innovation” in preparing samples for materials research with its suite of electron microscopes, the University of Pittsburgh announced the creation of a new Laboratory of Excellence in the Swanson School of Engineering. The Fischione Instruments Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation Laboratory was established through a public/private partnership with E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc. (Export, Pa.), a company that designs and manufactures sample preparation technologies for electron microscopy and microanalysis research. The five-year partnership will house the Fischione Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science’s  Micro Materials Characterization Lab and will enable collaborative research between Pitt and Fischione Instruments. The partnership value includes equipment purchased by Pitt from Fischione Instruments, as well as engineering support and expertise from the company. “This new lab will enhance both the use of our materials characterization instruments and the quality of the work done with those instruments,” noted Brian Gleeson, PhD, the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. “Controlled and efficient preparation of samples is critical to electron microscopy research, and thanks to this partnership with E.A. Fischione Instruments, Pitt will have a world-class facility.” The public/private partnership creates a collaborative environment for Pitt faculty, staff and student researchers, Fischione Instruments’ applications scientists and engineers, and researchers within the region. “This is a win-win partnership that enables our company and Pitt to leverage our skills and provide access to next-generation characterization and analysis instrumentation,” added Fischione Instruments CEO Paul E. Fischione, an alumnus of Pitt’s mechanical engineering program. “As the CEO of a company with a 50-year history of providing technology and manufacturing jobs in western Pennsylvania, I believe that it is vital that we invest in our region’s economy and people – which includes providing tools and support for emerging scientists and engineers. Giving undergraduates and graduates access to this equipment will expand their technological skills and improve their research results. It supports their growth as scientists, as well as increases their marketability to prospective employers.” According to Professor Jörg M. Wiezorek, PhD, who directs the Materials Micro-Characterization Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the ability to conduct high-quality research involving microstructural and micro-analytical studies by electron microscopy and ion- and X-ray beam methods relies on the ability to prepare clean, artifact-free specimens. “When you are studying surfaces and materials at a nanometer scale, it is imperative that the samples be free of contaminants and prepared efficiently and reproducibly to yield superior results,” Dr. Wiezorek said. “This new lab and partnership allows us to prepare samples on-site in a state-of-the-art environment. It serves a critical role in our research into the internal structure, composition and chemistry of engineered and naturally-occurring materials and facilitates meaningful and mutually beneficial engagement of communities here at Pitt with a well-known high-tech manufacturing company located right here in our region.” About Pitt’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science The Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) 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. The department has access to more than 20 laboratory facilities that enhance the learning process through first-rate technology and hands-on experience. With the largest population of faculty and students in the Swanson School, MEMS offers traditional bachelor’s degree programs in materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and engineering science, as well as master’s degrees and certificates in mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, and nuclear engineering, and PhD degrees in materials science and engineering and in mechanical engineering. About Fischione Instruments E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc. is a privately held corporation located in Export, Pa., that designs, manufactures, and supports sample preparation instrumentation for advanced materials and nanotechnology applications. For 50 years, Fischione Instruments products have been used around the world in electronics, energy, industrial, life science, and research laboratories. The company’s mission is to provide the highest quality, most innovative instrumentation to the microscopy community. Pursuit of this mission has yielded three innovation awards from the industry journal Microscopy Today and numerous U.S. and international patents. ### Pictured above from left: Jörg Wiezorek, Paul Fischione, Brian Gleeson

Jan
4
2016

MEMS - Faculty Position in Thermal-Fluid Sciences

MEMS, Open Positions

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) invites applications for two positions in the Thermal-Fluid Sciences at the tenure ­track or tenured level. Successful applicants should have the ability to build an externally funded research program as well as contribute to the teaching mission of the Mechanical Engineering programs. Applicants should have a PhD or ScD in mechanical engineering or a related field. Applicants with outstanding track records at the associate professor level are encouraged to apply. We are seeking applicants who have strong interdisciplinary interests and can collaborate across engineering disciplines. We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in one or more of the following areas: transport phenomena thermal-hydraulics multi-physics modeling sustainability high performance computing While not a requirement, it is anticipated that one position will be aligned with the Department’s Stephen R. Tritch Program in Nuclear Engineering, while another will be linked to sustainable engineering. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science 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, micro/bio fluidics, biomechanics, computational mechanics and fluid dynamics, smart structures, system dynamics and controls, and materials science and engineering. The successful candidates for these positions will benefit from the resources, support, and multidisciplinary research environment fostered by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (http://www.mascarocenter.pitt.edu), Center for Energy (http://www.energy.pitt.edu),  Center for Simulation and Modeling (http://www.sam.pitt.edu), as well as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (http://www.psc.edu). Qualified applicants should submit their applications electronically to pitt-mems-search@engr.pitt.edu.  The application should include the following material in pdf format: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and teaching philosophy, and a list of at least three references. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2016, and continue until the positions are filled. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to diversity and must be committed to high quality teaching for a diverse student body.  Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. The University of Pittsburgh is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Dec
18
2015

Tenure-track or tenured faculty position in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials

MEMS, Open Positions

The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) Department at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) invites applications for a tenure ­track or tenured position in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials.  Particular emphasis will be placed on advanced manufacturing processes (including, but not limited to, additive manufacturing, forming, bonding/joining, and laser processing) and physical metallurgy as it relates to process-structure-property relations.  Successful applicants should have the ability to build an externally funded research program, as well as contribute to the teaching mission of the MEMS programs. Applicants should have a PhD or ScD in Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or a related field.  While the position is primarily for junior faculty, applicants with outstanding track records at the associate professor level will also be considered.     The MEMS Department currently 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 in the top 20 among public universities.  The Department maintains cutting edge experimental and computational facilities in various areas in manufacturing, energy, micro/bio fluidics, biomechanics, computational mechanics and fluid dynamics, system dynamics and control, and materials science and engineering.  The Department also houses several state-of-the-art metal additive manufacturing systems which include the EOS M290, ExOne M-Flex, and Optomec LENS 450 systems.    The successful candidate for the position will benefit from the resources, support, and multidisciplinary research environment fostered by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Energy (http://www.energy.pitt.edu), Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (http://www.mascarocenter.pitt.edu), Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering (PINSE) (http://www.nano.pitt.edu), and Center for Simulation and Modeling (http://www.sam.pitt.edu), as well as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (http://www.psc.edu).  The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to diversity and inclusive excellence, and must be committed to high quality teaching for a diverse student body at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply.     Qualified applicants should submit their application electronically to pitt-mems-search@engr.pitt.edu. The application should include the following materials in pdf form: a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and teaching philosophy, and a list of at least three references. Review of applications will begin on January 4, 2016, and continue until the positions are filled.   The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. We especially encourage applications from under-represented groups.  

Dec
14
2015

Hybrid material that responds to heat and light presents future potential for 4D-printed adaptive devices

Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (December 14, 2015) … Combining photo-responsive fibers with thermo-responsive gels, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and Clemson University have modeled a new hybrid material that could reconfigure itself multiple times into different shapes when exposed to light and heat, allowing for the creation of devices that not only adapt to their environment, but also display distinctly different behavior in the presence of different stimuli.    Computational modeling developed by Anna C. Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at Pitt, and Olga Kuksenok, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Clemson's College of Engineering and Science, predicted these composites would be both highly reconfigurable and mechanically strong, signaling a potential for biomimetic four-dimensional printing. Their research, “Stimuli-responsive behavior of composites integrating thermo-responsive gels with photoresponsive fibers,” was recently published in the journal Materials Horizons, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (DOI: 10.1039/C5MH00212E). “In 4D printing, time is the fourth dimension that characterizes the structure of the material; namely, these materials can change shape even after they have been printed.  The ability of a material to morph into a new shape alleviates the need to build a new part for every new application, and hence, can lead to significant cost savings,” Dr. Balazs explained. “The challenge that researchers have faced is creating a material that is both strong and malleable and displays different behavior when exposed to more than one stimulus.” Drs. Balazs and Kuksenok resolved this issue by embedding light-responsive fibers, which are coated with spirobenzopyran (SP) chromophores, into a temperature-sensitive gel. This new material displays distinctly different behavior in the presence of light and heat.“If we anchor a sample of the composite to a surface, it will bend in one direction when exposed to light, and in the other direction when exposed to heat,” Dr. Kuksenok said. “When the sample is detached, it shrinks like an accordion when heated and curls like a caterpillar when illuminated. This programmable behavior allows a single object to display different shapes and hence functions, depending on how it is exposed to light or heat.” The researchers note that by localizing the SP functionality specifically on the fibers, the composites can encompass “hidden” patterns that are only uncovered in the presence of light, allowing the material to be tailored in ways that would not be possible by simply heating the sample. This biomimetic, stimuli-responsive motion could allow for joints that bend and unbend with light and become an essential component for new adaptive devices, such as flexible robots.“Robots are wonderful tools, but when you need something to examine a delicate structure, such as inside the human body, you want a “squishy” robot rather than the typical devices we think of with interlocking gears and sharp edges,” Dr. Balazs said. “This composite material could pave the way for soft, reconfigurable devices that display programmed functions when exposed to different environmental cues.” As Dr. Balazs points out, “the real significant of the work is that we designed a single composite that yields access to a range of dynamic responses and structures. On a conceptual level, our results provide guidelines for combining different types of stimuli-responsive components to create adaptive materials that can be controllably and repeatedly actuated to display new dynamic behavior and large-scale motion.”Future research with this discovery will focus on tailoring the arrangements of the partially-embedded fibers to create hand-like structures that could serve as a type of gripper. ### Photo (inset and below): Computational model of the composite bending in response to light.

Nov
6
2015

BIONIC Lab NIH R01 Open Positions

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Electrical & Computer, MEMS, Open Positions

The B.I.O.N.I.C. Lab in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh supported by three newly funded NIH R01s ($~8.5million ) and has multiple positions ( Postdoc, Lab Tech/Research Scientist, and Graduate Student ). For Postdoctoral Candidates , he/she should possess a Ph.D. degree in a related field including but not limited to Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Molecular/Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Optics, Material Science, and Mathematics. The candidate should have a strong research background in neural engineering, electrophysiology, or two-photon microscopy. Experience with biomaterial fabrication, electrochemistry, material characterization, neural tissue histology, functional/evoked electrophysiology/imaging, functional electrical stimulation, neurochemical sensing, and advanced biological imaging (two-photon and confocal microscopy) are desired. Successful candidate will work on the chronic neural interface with special focus on implant-tissue interaction. He/she will be working with an interdisciplinary team of neural engineers, neuroscientists, neurosurgeon, biologists, and material scientists. Interested candidates should submit curriculum vitae, the names of three references, a statement of research experience, and date of availability to professor Takashi Kozai ( tdk18@pitt.edu ).   Prospective Graduate Students, should apply here by the December 31st deadline. It is recommended that you select the Neural Engineering Track and contact Professor Takashi Kozai ( tdk18@pitt.edu ) early. As this is a multidisciplinary lab, we also accept motivated and ambitious candidates with BA/BS or in Graduate Programs of other related majors including, but not limited to: Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Molecular/Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Optics, Material Science, and Mathematics.   Lab Tech/Res Sci, The Lab tech will perform small rodent care, fixation, embedding, microtomy, slide mounting and staining to include H&E staining, enzyme histochemical stains, and immunohistochemical stains, maintain equipment and instruments used in pathology, and assist with surgery, advanced microscopy, and gross pathology. The successful candidate has the necessary interpersonal skills to work effectively with faculty and other members of the laboratory. This position will provide opportunities for contributing to publications, project management, grant applications and would be ideal for someone considering a future application to graduate, veterinary, or medical school. Lab Tech/Res Sci, Training will be provided to develop proficiency in operating electrophysiology, electrochemistry, and microscopy equipment in the acquisition of data from specimens. Duties include acquiring data from subjects, processing, archiving and performing analysis of imaging and electrophysiology data, and maintaining related records for several NIH-funded studies. Experience with computer systems management and MATLAB and/or Labview programming is desired. The successful candidate has the necessary interpersonal skills to work effectively with faculty and other members of the laboratory. This position will provide opportunities for contributing to publications, grant applications, and project management.  Undergraduate Students from all academic options are encouraged to apply. A minimum commitment of 12 hrs/wk in the lab is expected. Please send the lab a resume and a one-page letter stating why you are interested in joining the lab, and what you hope to gain from the experience.  

tdk18@pitt.edu
Mechanical & Materials Science

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