Distinguished Speaker Seminars

The Department of Mechanical Engineering hosts a series each year featuring distinguished speakers in their related fields. Speakers come from all over the country from various schools and industries to present their ground-breaking research. Some speakers have even come from other countries. A reception follows each seminar. This Fall seminars will be held on Fridays, 3:00 pm (reception @ 4:00 pm), in the Warnock Engineering Bldg. (WEB) 2230. Please help spread the word that all are invited.

September 6: Stephen Jacobsen, PhD

Emeritus Distinguished Professor; Director, Center for Engineering Design, Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah

Turning Concepts Into Realities: A High Speed Slide and Video Review of 40 Years of R&D Projects in the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Jacobsen will review a number of developments in medical, entertainment, military, and R&D areas. He will delve into how the projects began, how product targets were defined via interactions between clients and staff, and how complex projects often require dynamically adjusting planned objectives to meet schedule and budget targets.

October 25: Robert Carpick, PhD

Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), University of Pennsylvania

Atomic-scale processes in friction and wear. Professor Carpick works at the intersection of mechanics, materials, and physics to study nanotribology, the atomic-scale origins of friction, adhesion, lubrication, and wear. He will discuss the exploration of atomic-scale friction and wear mechanisms using novel scanning probe microscopy experiments.

November 15: Daniel Inman, PhD

Chair & “Kelly” Johnson Collegiate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan

Applications of Energy Harvesting. Dr. Inman will introduce the basics of harvesting energy from ambient vibrations using piezoelectric materials and explore several applications that benefit from harvested energy. The amount of harvested energy is small, but can still provide significant power for many diverse applications including: heart pacemakers, sensor systems for structural health monitoring and active gust alleviation in UAVs.

December 6: Robert Howe, PhD

Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Robot Hands for the Real World. Dr. Howe will discuss the development of a simple, inexpensive, and robust hand that capitalizes on its passive mechanical behavior to grasp objects spanning a wide range of sizes, shapes, weights, and positions, while using only one motor. He will also discuss a new hand that combines optimized passive mechanics with five motors for precision fingertip manipulation, as well as a low-cost sensor suite for these hands.