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.

May
18
2016

NIH grant to support continuation of joint regenerative medicine program between Pitt and Carnegie Mellon

Bioengineering, Civil & Environmental, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (May 18, 2016) … With the goal of advancing regenerative medicine therapies, a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has received a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide training in biomechanical engineering principles and biology to students pursuing a doctoral degree in bioengineering. “Training in Biomechanics in Regenerative Medicine” (BiRM) is funded through the NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering’s T32 grant program. The program director and principal investigator is Savio L-Y. Woo, PhD, D.Sc., D.Eng., Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and the founder and director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center (MSRC) at Pitt. He is joined by co-investigators, James Antaki, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and David Vorp, PhD, Associate Dean for Research and the William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering at the Swanson School. According to Drs. Woo, Antaki and Vorp, regenerative medicine uses methods including tissue engineering, cellular therapies, biosurgery and artificial and biohybrid organ devices, to address tissue/organ insufficiency. Yet despite several early successes, bioengineers have faced challenges in repairing or replacing tissues that serve a predominantly biomechanical function. The Pitt-CMU program aims to bridge that gap by training students in both biomechanical engineering principles and biology. “Regenerative medicine is at a critical juncture in its evolution, and Pitt and CMU are uniquely positioned to create an interdisciplinary program to benefit our graduate students,” Dr. Woo said. “Since the BiRM program is not central to any one department, it provides students with both fundamental knowledge and problem-solving skills as well as inter-departmental didactic and research experiences, and specialized training in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship.” To develop these diverse skills, BiRM incorporates faculty from Pitt’s departments of Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in the Swanson School of Engineering; Carnegie Mellon’s departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering; and Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences, including the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and Division of Cardiology. BiRM faculty also have appointments in the joint Pitt-CMU Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Woo noted that during BiRM's first two cohorts, 30 students gained a solid foundation for productive and independent careers in academia, industry, and medicine spanning a wide range of physiological systems including orthopedics, vascular surgery, dentistry, urology, and others. Over the next five years, the Pitt-CMU partnership seeks to sponsor six pre-doctoral fellowships per year corresponding to approximately 14 additional fellowships over the course of the program, as well as to allow further development of the curriculum and increase the emphasis on clinical translation of biomechanics and regenerative medicine research. ###

Apr
18
2016

Ten current and former Pitt engineering students awarded 2016 National Science Foundation Fellowships

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH—Four University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering students and six alumni were awarded the 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Nine engineering students and three alumni received honorable mention. Overall, the recipients were among the ten Pitt students and eight alumni awarded fellowships, and 14 Pitt students and 10 alumni who received honorable mentions. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is designed to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees. Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees. The fellowship program has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The support accorded NSF Graduate Research Fellows nurtures their ambition to become lifelong leaders who contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Current Pitt students who were awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship include: seniors Emily June Crabb (physics and astronomy, computer engineering) and Trent Maxwell Dillon (civil engineering); and graduate students Donald Edward Kline (electrical engineering) and Michael Gilbert Taylor (chemical engineering). Alumni include Kenechi Aretha Agbim (mechanical engineering, Georgia Tech), Emmeline Blanchard (bioengineering, Georgia Tech), Jann Albert Grovogui (materials science engineering, Northwestern University), Lauren Ann Hapach (bioengineering, Cornell University), David William Palm (chemical engineering, Stanford University), and Christopher James Siviy (mechanical engineering). Current students who received an honorable mention are seniors Christian Gerald Bottenfield (electrical engineering), Stephanie Paolo Cortes (electrical engineering), Luke Drnach (computer engineering), Alexander Danels Josowitz (bioengineering) and Saundria Michelle Moed (bioengineering); and graduate students Patrick Andrew Cody (bioengineering), Daniel Ward Long (bioengineering), and Stephanie Anne Wiltman (bioengineering). Alumni include Olivia Annette Creasy (bioengineering, University of California-San Francisco), Kevin Andrew Day (bioengineering, Johns Hopkins University), and Andrew Head (computer engineering, University of California-Berkeley). Visit https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/grfp/Login.do for a full list of fellows and honorable mentions and to learn more about the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. ###
Joe Miksch, News Director, University Communications
Mar
28
2016

Junior engineering student Rachel Lukas awarded Ellwood Group Metallurgy Scholarship

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 28, 2016) ... Rachel Lukas, a junior in the Swanson School of Engineering majoring in Materials Science and Engineering, was recently named the winner of the ninth annual Ellwood Group, Inc. Metallurgy Scholarship. The scholarship is open to undergraduate college students in their junior year currently majoring in the field of metallurgy/material science at selected and accredited four-year colleges and universities. According to the Ellwood Group selection committee, Rachel possesses previous internship experience working as a Process Engineer. She provided metallurgical and metallographic support for a new alloy’s process development, and performed other research and development projects. Rachel is self-driven and possesses a raw enthusiasm for metallurgy. Along with the scholarship support, Rachel will complete an internship at an Ellwood business unit in summer 2016. Photo from left: Brian Gleeson, PhD, Harry S. Tack Chair Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; Ms. Lukas; Brendan Connolly, EQS Operations Engineer, and Swanson School alumnus (MSE 2006, MSMSE 2009, current PhD candidate) ###

Mar
23
2016

Pitt and WHEMCO team recognized by Association for Iron & Steel Technology for research into microscale modeling of high speed steel

MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 23, 2016) … A research group led by the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering selected by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST)to receive its 2016 Jerry Silver Award for the paper, “Microscale Image-Based Finite Element Modeling of High Speed Steel Microstructure.” The award will be presented at the AIST Metallurgy – Processing, Products and Applications Technology Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in Salt Lake City. The research group was led by C. Isaac Garcia, PhD, research professor in the Swanson School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Director of the Ferrous Physical Metallurgy Group. Corporate partners include Christopher M. Hrizo (BSE ’99, MBA ’05), director of product development at WHEMCO, Inc., Homestead, Pa. and Konstantine V. Redkin (MSMSE ’09, PhD ’14), research metallurgist at WHEMCO. Originally established in 1991, then re-established as an AIST award in 2005, this award was named in honor of Jerry Silver in recognition of his leadership in the development of student affairs and programs for the Iron & Steel Society. The award is presented to the author of a process metallurgy or product applications technical paper judged to be the best of class by the AIST Metallurgy Technology Division. ###

Mar
23
2016

Swanson School's Prashant Kumta and Medicine's Rocky Tuan among this year's Carnegie Science Award winners

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 23, 2016) ― Two professors from the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering are among ten Carnegie Science Award winners in science and technology announced today by the Carnegie Science Center. Prashant N. Kumta, PhD, the Edward R. Weidlein Chair Professor and Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Oral Biology, will be recognized with the Advanced Manufacturing & Materials Award. Rocky S. Tuan, PhD, Distinguished Professor Orthopaedic Surgery, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Chair Professor in Sports Medicine, and Professor of Bioengineering, will be presented with the Life Sciences Award. Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Friday, May 6, 2016. Also at the Science Awards ceremony, Carnegie Science Center will recognize the Allegheny Conference on Community Development with the 2016 Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor conferred at the event and will recognize the Conference for its unparalleled impact in transforming the Pittsburgh region. Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 20thyear in 2016, Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 500 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology. Eaton has supported Carnegie Science Awards for more than a decade as presenting sponsor. Chevron is the Awards’ prime sponsor. Advanced Manufacturing & Materials AwardPrashant N. Kumta, PhD University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of EngineeringAt the cutting-edge of platform technology, Prashant Kumta and his colleagues have developed a family of biodegradable materials to repair severely damaged bones. Instead of repairing complicated fractures with bio-inert and non-degradable metal screws or plates, Kumta has developed a biocompatible and biodegradable metallic “fixation device” and injectable as well as 3-D printable “bone putty” that will resorb into the body after the bone has healed. Pending FDA approval, “bone putty” will be used to repair military and civilian injuries and debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis and bone cancer. Life SciencesRocky S. Tuan, PhD University of Pittsburgh School of MedicineRocky Tuan’s research in musculoskeletal biology and tissue regeneration cover basic science and engineering, as well as translation and clinical applications. His interests range from skeletal patterning and embryonic cartilage development to the biology of adult stem cells and reprogrammed stem cells. He has extensive experience in applying adult stem cells for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For more information, visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org/Awards. About Carnegie Science Center Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs. About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Founded by Andrew Carnegie 120 years ago, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events. ###
Rossilynne Culgan, Carnegie Science Center

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