University of Maryland Department of Mechanical Engineering
Newsletter | Fall 2017
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Fall 2017 Newsletter

With students back in College Park after the summer break, we here at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are excited to share another issue of our eNewsletter. Over the almost 125 years since the department was established, Mechanical Engineering has graduated Terps who have entered into countless disciplines and traveled around the world. For this issue, in addition to our exciting new research publications, faculty awards and hires, and student stories, we reached out to a few alumni to talk about their careers and where they see the field of engineering heading in the future.

Research News


UMD-Led Research Predicts Dangerous Blood Pressure Drops in ICU Patients
A team led by Assistant Professor Jin-Oh Hahn published new blood pressure modeling in Nature Scientific Reports. This model predicts hypotensive periods up to 15 minutes before they occur, giving clinical staff time to respond.


ME Researchers Publish Findings on Biological Cell Membranes
Assistant Professor Siddhartha Das and graduate students shed light on possibility of making the plasma membrane of a biological cell positive. Their research was published in Applied Physics Letters.


Department News


Mechanical Engineering Welcomes New Faculty Member Katrina Groth
Before becoming a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Groth was Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, where she worked from 2010.

Yu Named Director of Maryland Robotics Center and ASME Fellow
Associate Professor Miao Yu has been named the new Director of the Maryland Robotics Center. She was also named a Fellow by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers.

Smela Named Clark School Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Graduate Programs
Clark School Dean Darryll Pines named Professor Elisabeth Smela to become the college’s next Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Graduate Programs. It was effective Sept. 1, 2017.


Alumni Feature

These alumni span the globe and the fields of mechanical, nuclear, and reliability engineering, and truly highlight the endless possibilities of an education here at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Maria Korsnick

Degree: B.S. Nuclear Engineering '86
Current Occupation: President and Chief Executive Officer, NEI
What excites you about engineering at the moment?
It’s a challenging and exciting time for the nuclear industry right now. We are working to get our current fleet of reactors recognized for the value they bring – very reliable, emissions- and carbon-free, ‘round-the-clock generation. Reduce regulatory burden to help sustain the fleet. Innovate and bring new reactors to the market – small modular and advanced designs.

Nathan Sniadecki

Degree: Ph.D. '03
Current Occupation: Professor and Associate Chair, Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington
What excites you about engineering at the moment?
Mechanical engineering is making tremendous impact in medicine and biology. More and more of our innovations in mechanical engineering are being translated for use in the medical fields to help improve human health.  

Stefan Pototschnik

Degree: B.S. '99, M.S. '01
Current Occupation: Manager, Electrified Powertrain Engineering in Asia Pacific for Ford Motor Company
What excites you about engineering at the moment? This is the greatest time to be an engineer in the automotive industry. There are many social and technical issues and trends impacting the field right now and we have the chance to make a real difference.

Moniesha Jackson

Degree: B.S. '96
Current Occupation: Director, Client Solutions for 10Pearls
What excites you about engineering at the moment? Improving the quality of life for many, as well as making a difference in the world. As a passionate advocate for women in engineering, I am glad to see more women entering the field... I am proud to work for a company that is also committed to these same values.

Steve Schrantz

Degree: B.S. '84
Current Occupation: Principal Engineer, Advanced Design Tools for GE Aviation
What excites you about engineering at the moment? Our design process is evolving through the greater availability of data from the manufacturing and operation of our engines... The GE Digital Initiatives are transforming our business in many ways.

Suzanne Dennis

Degree: M.S. Reliability Engineering '12
Current Occupation: Risk and Reliability Engineering, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
What excites you about engineering at the moment? The thing that excites me most is seeing the increased conversations around diversity in engineering. There’s still work to be done, but increased awareness will hopefully lead to workplace cultures that are more friendly to people of all different backgrounds.
Interested in hearing more about these alumni? Click here to read their full responses: and to share your own story, email Natalie Grandison, Director of External Relations at

ME Alumnus Wins DOE Early Career Award
Alumnus Stephen DeCaluwe (Ph.D. '09) was awarded a Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award to research active polymer interfaces in batteries.

Also headed to our alumni this month is this year's issue of Metrics, the annual department magazine. Hasn't hit your mailbox yet? Check out our electronic version online here:


Student Corner

Terps Racing Students Visit Indy 500 Time Trial Practice Session
In May, Terps Racing students were invited to the Indy 500 Time Trials. Four students, including Ben Strobel from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Michael Dipalo, Konrad Anderson and Sean Stanley from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, made the trip to Indianapolis, Ind. to gain valuable knowledge about IndyCar racing and watch the time trial practice sessions.

UMD Team in Top Six at 2nd Hyperloop Competition
UMD Loop was one of only six teams selected to complete an open air run in the Hyperloop tube.

Tuesday, October 17
6:00-8:00 PM

The Center Club
100 Light Street #16, Baltimore, MD

FEATURED FUND: Department of Mechanical Engineering Gift Fund

The Mechanical Engineering Gift Fund provides resources for student activities and other departmental needs.

To contribute to this fund today, visit:
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