University of Maryland Department of Mechanical Engineering
Newsletter | February 2015
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Welcome to the Inaugural
Mechanical Engineering eNewsletter!

2014 was an exciting year for the department, and we are pleased to kick off the 2015 Spring semester with our first ever electronic newsletter, so we can connect with you, our alumni and friends, and keep you up-to-speed on all the amazing accomplishments and success of our alumni, faculty, researchers, students and friends!


In This Issue

Feature Stories
Research News
New Faculty & Staff

Connect With Us!

Mechanical Engineering alumni and Zoosk co-founder Alex Mehr (Ph.D., '03) was selected for an inaugural A. James Clark School of Engineering Early Career Award. Pictured with Dean Darryll Pines and Department Chair Balakumar Balachandran. Read more.
DeWALT continues to support Mechanical Engineering at Maryland through their generous donations. Thank you to alumnus Aris Cleanthous (B.S., '96) for organizing the donation. Read more.
Thank you to all of our Design Day judges who volunteered for the fall 2014 Design Day. Design Day highlights the talents and creativity of our mechanical engineering students in the Integrated Product and Process Development Course. Teams of senior level students present project prototypes built to solve selected engineering problems, while guest judges and faculty evaluate the projects. Visitors get the opportunity to participate by voting for their favorite project for the 'People's Choice Award.' Read more.
Alumni Help Students Explore Career Paths in Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering would like to thank all of the alumni who participated in the Fall 2014 semester of Mechanical Engineering’s ENME 201 course, Careers in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Dan Diehl (B.S. ’90, Mechanical Engineering), CEO, Aircuity
  • Kyle R. Carson (B.S., '08, Mechanical Engineering)
    Senior Engineer, Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Kristin E. Kern (B.S., '12, Mechanical Engineering)
    Engineer I, Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Chris Straight (B.S. ’84, Mechanical Engineering)
    Director, Product Development, K2M, Inc.
  • Scot Johnson (B.S. ’94, Mechanical Engineering)
    Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, i3solutions
  • Michael Branson (B.S. ’94, Engineering) Chief Operating Officer, i3solutions
  • Kandice Fields (B.S. ’10, Mechanical Engineering)
    Mechanical Design Engineer, W.L. Gore & Associates
Interested in participating as a Career Paths speaker? Contact:
Kenneth Kiger, professor and director of undergraduate studies;

News from Around the Department


Saving Energy with ‘Personal HVAC Systems’
Researchers receive over $5 million to explore personal technologies for keeping individuals comfortably cool or warm, while shrinking the energy needs of the buildings they occupy.

Das Publishes Work on Microfluidic Bacterial Biofilm Streamer Formation
in Scientific Reports

Assistant Professor Siddhartha Das has teamed with Dr. Aloke Kumar of University of Alberta, Canada to explain why biofilms degenerate into filamentous structures called streamers in low Reynolds number microfluidic transport. Their research article, 'Formation and post-formation dynamics of bacterial biofilm streamers as highly viscous liquid jets,' appeared in the journal Scientific Reports of Nature Publishing Group.

UMD Researchers Use Artificially Engineered Materials to Create Breakthrough for Sound Sensors
A research team led by Associate Professor Miao Yu developed breakthrough technology to improve sound sensor capabilities through the use of artificially engineered materials.


Visiting Professor Jerry W. Forbes Receives APS 2015 George E. Duvall Shock Compression Science Award

Professor Abhijit Dasgupta Awarded the Jeong H. Kim Professorship

Professor Mohammad Modarres Awarded the Nicole Y. Kim Eminent Professorship


Mechanical Engineering Welcomes New External Relations, Development & Communications Staff

The department is excited to announce several new staff who are serving donor, development and communications roles across the department.

Natalie Grandison joined Mechanical Engineering in October 2014 as Mechanical Engineering's new Director of External Relations, Rebecca Kier began in December 2014 as the New Associate Director of Development working jointly with Aerospace Engineering, and Jennifer Figgins Rooks is the department's Communications Coordinator.

Mark Fuge Joins Mechanical Engineering
as New Assistant Professor

Fuge comes to UMD from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a member of the Berkeley Expert System Technologies Lab and the Berkeley Institute of Design. His research lies at the intersection of mechanical engineering, machine learning and design—an area he refers to as "Design Informatics."

Droguett Returns to UMD as Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering welcomes alumni Enrique López Droguett back to the University of Maryland (UMD) as a new associate professor in the department. Droguett received both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Reliability Engineering from UMD, and he will be working with Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Monifa Vaughn-Cooke in the Hybrid-System Integration and Simulation (HSIS) Lab.

Support Mechanical Engineering
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