University of Maryland Department of Mechanical Engineering
Newsletter | Summer 2018
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Summer 2018 Newsletter

The Department of Mechanical Engineering wishes to thank all of our faculty, alumni, students and peers who have supported the education and cutting-edge research that takes place here in College Park. This issue highlights a variety of news, including the Design Day competition, IBM’s collaboration with UMD, unmanned vehicle research, Dan Mote’s Roy V. Wright Lecture, and the Capstone Design Enhancement Fund. We are thankful for your continued support of the Department and hope you take the time to visit with us if you are ever in the area.

News and Events


Design Day Spotlights Sustainability
More than 30 teams of senior-level students presented project prototypes built to solve selected engineering problems. Seniors Chris Buckley, Patrick O’Shea, Steve Powers, Noah Suttner, Noah Todd, and Kyle Thibeault won the Design Day Sustainability Award for a dredge detection device they built. This device makes use of sensors to detect illegal dredging and alerts authorities when thieves are stealing oysters. Their project was recently highlighted in the Chesapeake Bay MagazineTo see the video, click here. Hands-on design and build projects are fundamental to the educational experience in mechanical engineering. You can support our efforts to provide exceptional project based learning by making a gift to the Capstone Design Enhancement Fund.

Empowering Experience and Innovation
Working together, the University of Maryland and IBM encourage students and faculty to think big and leverage technology. UMD's partnership with IBM includes the QUEST program, a multidisciplinary, reality-centered program for UMD undergraduates, and a podcast series, aimed at connecting research to practice, that recently featured Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professors Mark Fuge, Jin-Oh Hahn, and Monifa Vaughn-Cooke. 

Building Together at the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference
The 2018 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition will be held June 24-27, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Department of Mechanical Engineering will be represented well at this event, showcasing an exhibit featuring a robot from Associate Professor Nikhil Chopra's Semiautonomous Systems Laboratory

Research Highlights

Nikhil Chopra’s research in the automotive domain aims to advance networked control for connected semiautonomous vehicles and virtual reality-based multimodal learning in self-driving cars.

Haptic Safety for Unmanned Vehicles
Even as fully automated vehicles continue to be tested and driven on roadways, there will likely still be a need for human involvement. Anticipating this need, Associate Professor Nikhil Chopra is working on in-vehicle technology that will summon help in certain environments.

Cuff, Scale, and Smartphone
New research by Jin-Oh Hahn, who is a recently promoted associate professor, is paving a way towards new affordable, ultra-convenient, and patient-specific approaches to monitor blood pressure and cardiovascular risk predictors. Hahn worked in collaboration with Professors Ramakrishna Mukkamala of the Michigan State University and Omer Inan of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Raising the Bar on Precision
Assistant Professor Axel Krieger discusses the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR. The robot has performed better at cutting soft tissue and stitching it up than experienced surgeons, who deviated more from the ideal cut line and caused more char. The STAR not only has tools for suturing, but also for fluorescent and 3D imaging, force sensing, and submillimeter positioning. It also has demonstrated that it can make precise cuts in irregular soft tissue.

Faculty Achievements 

C.D. Mote, Jr. Delivers Roy V. Wright Lecture
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) recently recognized Regents Professor and Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. (former president of the University of Maryland), with the ASME Roy V. Wright Lecture and Award. Established in 1949 in honor of Roy V. Wright, ASME’s 50th president, the lecture is a way to impress on engineers and all young people, the duties, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship in our democracy.

Hahn Receives NSF CAREER Award
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Jin-Oh Hahn a 2018 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his project “Enabling ‘White-Box’ Autonomy in Medical Cyber-Physical Systems.” This award will support Hahn’s research into autonomous healthcare (in particular, physiological closed-loop control), conducted in the Laboratory for Control and Information Systems.

Srebric Elected Fellow of ISIAQ
Professor Jelena Srebric was recently named a Fellow of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) by the Academy of Fellows of ISIAQ. Srebric, who is the director of the Cluster for Sustainability in the Built Environment, earned the recognition for demonstrating “distinguished and significant contributions to the indoor air sciences.”


Han Named Associate Editor of Microelectronics Reliability
Keystone Professor Bongtae Han was recently named an associate editor of Microelectronics Reliability. The journal publishes papers on the reliability of microelectronic devices, circuits and systems, from materials, process and manufacturing, to design, testing and operation. Han has previously held positions as associate technical editors for both the Journal of Electronic Packaging and Experimental Mechanics.

Gupta Awarded ASME Soichiro Honda Medal
Distinguished University Professor Ashwani Gupta has been named the 2018 recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Soichiro Honda Medal. The award recognizes an individual for an outstanding achievement or a series of significant engineering contributions in developing improvements in the field of personal transportation. It is named in recognition of Soichiro Honda's exemplary achievements in the field of personal transportation.


Featured Fund: Capstone Design Enhancement Fund

         The ReStruders: the Design Day team that won first place in the People’s Choice Award.

Capstone Design Enhancement Fund
"I graduated in the Class of 2011 and really enjoyed every year here," said Eric Matthew Glazer. "I want to give back to help future students have all of the wonderful experiences that I was able to have." To contribute to this fund today, click here. 

We invite mechanical, reliability and nuclear engineering alumni every semester to serve as judges for Design Day. Please email us if you're interested in volunteering in the future. 

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