MechE news and highlights @LehighU
Spring 2022
Dear friends and colleagues:
I am happy to share exciting news on behalf of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) department at Lehigh University. Last year, our faculty secured 27 new research grants, authored over 140 peer-reviewed publications, and won several major awards from professional societies. You may read more about those accomplishments in this newsletter.
We welcomed a new faculty member, Dr. Ebru Demir, in the past year. Ebru’s research focuses on the design and engineering of micro-swimmers for biomedical applications. She is also actively involved in re-envisioning our undergraduate Mechatronics laboratory.
MEM also completed a faculty search this Spring, and we are proud to announce the hire of Dr. Parisa Khodabakhshi from UT-Austin/Texas A&M. Parisa will be joining MEM in the Fall. MEM will have 25% female representation in our tenure-track faculty body with her arrival.
The department has been a great place to learn and work for many of us. Last year, our department awarded 16 Ph.D., 30 M.S., and 75 B.S. degrees. Based on a recent report from Georgetown University on return-of-investment (ROI), Lehigh was ranked #29 in the nation regarding ROI on investment based on 20+ years of the net present value of costs.
We hope you enjoy these updates on our progress. We are always seeking new ways to connect with alumni and friends of MEM at Lehigh. If you have news to share or ideas for creative educational programs or research collaborations, we would love to hear from you.
Arindam Banerjee, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, MEM
MEM faculty win funding, lead innovative research program
Associate Professor Keith Moored will lead a team of researchers from Lehigh, University of Virginia, Harvard, and Princeton. The team aims to discover and demonstrate the hydrodynamic principles behind high-speed, high-efficiency fish and bio-robotic schooling. Read More >>
At Lehigh's ATLSS Engineering Research Center, an interdisciplinary team takes a holistic approach to the design of offshore wind power systems. Professor Arindam Banerjee and Associate Professor Justin Jaworski provide expertise on wind aerodynamics and wave hydrodynamics. Read More >>
Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research John Coulter was elected as a Fellow of the ASME for transformational research on polymer-based manufacturing and a career defined by academic leadership.
Professor D. Gary Harlow was honored with the Citizenship Award at the 2022 Rossin College Awards. Arindam Banerjee and Keith Moored received awards for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Leadership.
2021 Year in Review: Research Productivity
Robot versatility workshop May 27
The Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (AIRLab) at Lehigh University is set to host its first Workshop on Robot Versatility on May 27, 2022. This free in-person event will feature scientific talks, a poster session, and AIRLab demos. Invited speakers include:
  • Dr. Dylan A. Shell (Texas A&M)
  • Dr. Alyssa Pierson (Boston University)
  • Dr. Fumin Zhang (Georgia Tech)
  • Dr. Herbert Tanner (University of Delaware)
  • Dr. Kostas Bekris (Rutgers)
Lehigh Robot Learning Workshop
“This event will create a space for participants to share ideas about robot versatility,” says AIRLab Director Nader Motee. "We are especially pleased to be involving students in this conversation and we have created travel grants for students from outside Lehigh who want to participate." Learn more and register to attend >>
Spotlights on students, alumni, and faculty
“I feel privileged to have been able to support the efforts that our DEI working groups lead,” says associate professor Natasha Vermaak, who was recently honored for leadership of the TMS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Read More >>
This spring, we have continued our celebrations of Black History Month and Women's History Month through interviews with students and campus leaders. Be sure to catch all our interviews and profiles throughout the year at our department news page.
Philip Good '83, a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, is leading the guidance, navigation, and controls (GN&C) for NASA's Lucy mission, which launched in October 2021. Lucy will be the first spacecraft to explore the asteroids orbiting in Jupiter's path. Good's 37-year career in the aerospace industry began as undergraduate student at Lehigh. Read More >>
Attention MEM alumni: If you have news to share for a future issue of our newsletter, email us today!
Harrison Jenkins '25 is one of just 39 undergraduates nationwide to be selected for the 2022 fellowship. This summer, he will be interning for iSpace, a lunar exploration company in Denver. Read More >>
“It was an amazing experience,” says mechanical engineering junior Yafet Menjetta ’23. “We had the chance to have formal and personal conversations with employees from the top engineering companies in the world, network with many talented students, and meet Lehigh alumni." Read More >>
Bailey Brown '18 will spend the summer working at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD). Read More >>
“I was drawn to NRL because of Dr. Rodriguez's research," says MEM PhD student Liam Magargal, reflecting on his experience in the Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program. Read More >>
Chris Ruhl '16 '17G was selected as one of three graduate students nationwide to conduct research through the program. He will spend six months at Sandia National Labs before returning to Lehigh to finish his PhD on tidal energy harvesting. Read More >>
We are always seeking new ways to connect with alumni and friends of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Lehigh. If you have news to share, or ideas for creative educational programs or research collaborations, we would love to hear from you.