Great things are in store for our Department. Please consider making a gift in support of the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Design Projects and Labs endowment. Thank you for sharing our vision.
Welcome to the Mechanical Engineering
Department at UCSB!
It is my great pleasure to share with you just some of the exciting news coming out of the Mechanical Engineering Department this season. After a period of budget cuts in the late ‘00s, we have now been able to enhance our Department with a slew of highly skilled educators and researchers. Over the past year, our new lecturer Dr. Tyler Susko has worked tirelessly to enhance our Capstone Design course, and Prof. Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz has already helped secure a grant with Prof. Meiburg to conduct research on the International Space Station. Profs. Sam Daly and Irene Beyerlein will join us for the coming fall quarter, and Prof. Elliot Hawkes will come aboard the following year. We cannot wait to see what they have in store. I am honored to welcome such an outstanding cast, and I encourage you to read their bios and become acquainted with them.
These new arrivals join a team already bursting with ingenuity. For example, this year Profs. Turner and Valentine collaborated with Bioengineering’s Dr. Adele Doyle to secure a highly-competitive NSF BRAIN Initiative grant to develop a novel device the "μHammer", Prof. Linda Petzold led ground-breaking research to reveal how circadian rhythm is established on the neural level, and Prof. Sumita Pennathur developed innovative outreach projects to improve STEM education in local K-12 schools. It’s no small wonder that UCSB’s College of Engineering is listed by the 2016 Leiden Rankings as the No. 1 public university in the country for scientific research impact.
Our Department has also undertaken substantial efforts to reinvigorate our Capstone Design program with a new lineup of instructors and a novel interdisciplinary approach. This year we held our first joint “Design Fair and Year-End Celebration” event with the Electrical and Computer Engineers; much has been done to create new learning opportunities by encouraging collaboration across departmental lines. A perfect example of this partnership in action is our outstanding UCSB Hyperloop project, which has pulled together mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering students to design and craft a high-speed transit capsule that promises to revolutionize the way we move.
Looking back over the past year, I find I have much to be grateful for. We have been joined by a talented new group of educators and researchers, our existing faculty have continued to produce top-notch research, and our Capstone Design program is growing to encourage collaboration with other departments.
I am extremely thankful for our generous alumni and donors, whose support has been so important to achieving these goals. Thank you! With the success of our first ever Give Day, this past year has shown me what a culture of generosity can do to advance knowledge and encourage learning. In this endeavor, every contribution counts. Looking forward, we are first and foremost dedicated to raising funds for our Undergraduate Design Projects and Labs endowment. Our undergraduate laboratories and capstone projects are the bread and butter of the undergraduate experience, and their value is our top priority. We are also committed to providing Graduate Fellowships, and we welcome unrestricted support to the department through the ME General Fund, which allows us to meet needs as they arise. The personal philanthropy of our alumni and friends continues to be a vital component of maintaining our academic excellence and funding new initiatives.
With warmest wishes,
Professor & Chair
To download communications from the Chair, please see the linked PDFs.