Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering



EMAE Faculty, Professor Bo Li Awarded NSF CAREER Grants

Three Case Western Reserve University junior faculty members have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grants, totaling nearly $1.7 million.

The five-year grants support research into:

  • Movements of nanoparticles through confined spaces, with applications to food source security and water purification;
  • The formation and regulation of protein bonds between cells; and
  • A deep look into the physics and variables in 3-D printing processes of metal parts.

The research projects also include education, mentorship and outreach to graduate, undergraduate and K-12 students.

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Posted on April 3/2017


CWRU places two of top three finishers in national student startup competition at South by Southwest

Having two of the nation’s top eight qualifiers for the final round of South by Southwest’s (SXSW) “Student Startup Madness” competition was already impressive.

To have both student entrepreneurial teams from Case Western Reserve University finish among the top three in the country this week was beyond special.

“Stunning results,” said Bob Sopko, director of CWRU LaunchNet, who accompanied the student teams to Austin and admitted getting “a little choked up” when the results were announced. “The CWRU teams did an outstanding job connecting their tech innovations to real human needs. We were honored to make it to the top eight, and stunned to have two of the top finishers. The competition was very difficult.”

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Posted on March 16/2017


Applied Mechanics Reviews Audio Interview: Prof. Emeritus Simon Ostrach

Recognized by NASA as a giant in heat transfer research, Prof. Simon Ostrach received the inaugural ASME Heat Transfer Division Memorial Award in 1975 and attained membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1978 for his fundamental discoveries in the field of buoyancy-driven convection. This AMR audio interview paints a remarkable picture of six decades of intellectual leadership and advocacy, including his work as principal investigator on two NASA Spacelab missions in 1992 and 1995 that investigated surface-tension driven convection under microgravity conditions, his commitment to the rigorous integration of research and design, and his, at one time, insatiable appetite for the thrills of weightless flight on the NASA “Vomit Comet.”

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Posted on March 13/2017


Case Western Reserve University brought home the 1st place prize from the 7th annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition, held in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path, while avoiding obstacles. The objectives of this competition include encouraging students to utilize the state of the art in navigation and control technologies to rapidly, accurately, and safely clear a path of snow.

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Posted on March 13/2017


CWRU researchers secure $2 million NIH grant to test portable sickle cell monitor

Device designed to personalize treatments and help patients better manage their disease

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University will use a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test a small, portable blood-adhesion monitor for sickle cell disease patients.         

The engineers and doctors hope to make the device as useful as the at-home insulin monitors diabetes patients use to manage their disease.


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Posted on February 22/2017


Congratulations to Prof. Clare Rimnac on receiving the ORS/OREF Distinguished Investigator Award!

The award recipients will be honored during the ORS 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego.    

Clare Rimnac, PhD
Case Western Reserve University

The ORS/OREF Distinguished Investigator Award will honor an individual with a long-standing, productive career in orthopaedic research. The awardee will have compiled a record of innovative research as evidenced by publications, presentations and sustained research support. He/She will have demonstrated outstanding mentorship of research trainees, service to the professional community and exemplified academic collegiality.

Posted on February 1/2017


Brilliant is beautiful: Students create video series to offer a new view on engineering

Engineering students Andrew Dupuis and Xyla Foxlin want to disrupt traditionally held beliefs on engineering. So they launched a YouTube channel, “Beauty and the Bolt,” to share their own message: Anyone can be an engineer, and there isn’t a certain way an engineer should look, act or dress.

Their channel features tutorials to give an introduction to basic tools—referred to as the “Zero to Hero” series—with matching project videos for viewers to flex their newfound skills. They also offer informative videos about the technology industry and complete high-level “don’t-try-this-at-home” projects to show a full range of what engineering can do.

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Posted on January 11/2017

Filling need for fast and accurate assessment of blood’s ability to clot

Professors at Case Western Reserve University including Drs. Pedram Mohseni, Evi Stavrou, Michael Suster and Umut Gurkan have developed a portable sensor that can assess the clotting ability of a person’s blood 95 times faster than current methods—using only a single drop of blood.Even better, the device provides more information about the blood than existing approaches.

Rapid and accurate assessments are essential to ensuring that patients prone to blood clots—as well as those who have difficulty clotting—receive care appropriate to their conditions.

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Posted on January 11/2017

Gomez del Campo, EMAE Student, One of Four Innovators Chosen for Energy Department’s New Entrepreneurship Program

He’s been recognized as a rising energy innovator in Forbes “30 under 30” and honored at the White House as an emerging global entrepreneur by President Barack Obama.

Next up for Case Western Reserve University graduate student Felipe Gomez del Campo: He’ll be one of four innovators nationally to participate in a new two-year entrepreneurship program at the U.S.

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Posted on December 21/2016 

Robert Gao Elected to Fellowship in the International Academy for Production Engineering

Robert Gao, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Cady Staley Professor of Engineering, has been elected to the Academy of Fellows of the International Academy for Production Engineering.
Known as CIRP, the French acronym of the organization, the College International pour la Recherche en Productique is the world leading organization in manufacturing-related research. The academy has restricted membership based on demonstrated excellence in research and has some 600 academic and industrial members from 50 industrial countries. 
Fellows are internationally recognized scientists elected to be CIRP members for life, joining an elite group of no more than 175 of the world’s scholars. The maximum number of fellows per country is 15.
Gao joined this year’s class of fellows in August during the 66th General Assembly of CIRP in Portugal.


Posted on September 26/16

EMAE PhD Student Mustafa Unal Wins Prestigious Award

Mustafa Unal, a doctoral candidate in mechanical and aerospace engineering, recently was selected to receive the prestigious Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) Student Award.Unal was selected based on his academic achievements and quality of submitted research paper at SciX conference.He works in the lab of Ozan Akkus, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

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FACSS Awards

Posted on September 8/2016 

PhD Student Peng Wang Won IEEE CASE Best Student Paper Award

EMAE PHD student Peng Wang in the Electromechanical Systems Laboratory directed by Prof. Robert Gao, has won the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE).  The conference was organized by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and held in Gothenburg, Sweden during August 24-28, 2015. The title of the paper is "Automated Performance Tracking for Heat Exchangers in HVAC". 

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Posted on June 28/2016


EMAE PhD Candidate Mustafa Unal’s project has been selected as finalist in the 2016 CIMIT Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare Competition

A project, led by EMAE PhD Student Mustafa Unal, has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the Annual Student Technology Prize for Primary Health Care, a national and highly selective competition aimed to encourage graduate and undergraduate engineering students to direct their creative skills toward the needs of primary care. 

The new technology, which has been developed over the past few years in Professor Ozan Akkus’s lab, will enable diagnosis of two common crystals induced arthropathies: gout and pseudogout by a Raman spectroscopy based device. This device will provide a precise, user friendly, expert independent and more informed decision about the presence or absence of crystalline arthritis which is essential for timely inception of therapy or help avoid unnecessary treatments.

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Posted on May 23/2016


2016 CWRU Baja SAE Season

Baja SAE is an intercollegiate competition, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, where students design, build, test, and race an off-road vehicle.  National competitions are held every summer, where teams from every state and countries around the world put their vehicles through rigorous events.

Read more about the competition


Posted on April 29/2016


CWRU Researchers Make Biosensor 1 Million Times More Sensitive

Physicists and engineers at Case Western Reserve University, including   Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, have developed an optical sensor, based on nanostructured metamaterials, that’s 1 million times more sensitive than the current best available—one capable of identifying a single lightweight molecule in a highly dilute solution.

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Posted on April 9/2016


$1.4 Million ARPA-E Grant Aims to Boost Energy Efficiency Nationally

CWRU researchers were awarded a $1.4 million Department of Energy grant to develop software to perform virtual energy audits of light commercial buildings. In addition, the program will enable a building owner to assess energy efficiency and elicit the most cost-effective solutions to energy waste. “Before big data analytics, to pinpoint a building’s efficiency problems, we had to walk through a building, read sensors and conduct blower door and smoke tests,” said Alexis Abramson, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “By analyzing at least two years of whole building energy use data, we can uncover some of the same information.”

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Professor to Build Much-Desired Chemical Imager

Ozan Akkus, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is turning a Raman microscope—one of the workhorses of chemical analysis—into FastRAM, a device that can provide images of materials in seconds to minutes instead of hours to days. The instrument would also allow researchers to analyze dynamic processes such as chemical reactions as they occur, which current technology cannot.

The new technology would reduce the time it takes to make discoveries and the cost of analysis and may provide the first look at a host of dynamic systems, yielding fundamental knowledge of how they operate and insight into how they may be modified to improve output, safety and more.

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Posted on January 13/2016


EMAE Student, Felipe Gomez de Campo Makes Forbes “30 Under 30” List

Forbes selected Felipe Gomez de Campo, a senior aerospace and mechanical engineering major, in its annual list of the brightest young minds in the country.  Felipe is part of the Forbes 2016 “30 Under 30” list.

Read more about Felipe’s accomplishments 

Posted on January 7/2016


Announcing our new EMAE GAANN PhD Fellowship program 

We are seeking applicants to our new GAANN Fellowship PhD program in Additive Manufacturing and Robotics.

The United States Department of Education has awarded the Case Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship program. The GAANN program provides PhD fellowships to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need at the institution in a field designated as an area of national need.

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Posted on January 6/2016

Umut Gurkan, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, selected to receive "Rising Star" Award at the 2016 Biomedical Engineering Society 

Assistant Professor Dr. Umut Gurkan has been selected to receive the "Rising Star" Award at the 2016 Biomedical Engineering Society - Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) and Advanced Biomanufacturing (ABioM) Joint Conference, which will be held January 6-10, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The "Rising Star" award designates exceptional junior principal investigators and the awardees are invited to give a podium presentation in a special session at the conference. Dr. Gurkan is one of six awardees selected internationally.


Congratulations to Professor Roger Quinn!

It is our pleasure to inform you that ASME has elected Professor Roger Quinn as an ASME Fellow. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Quinn on this well-deserved honor!

What is a Fellow?

Dr. Quinn has the privilege of being one of only 3,437 Fellows out of 123,857 ASME members.

Being a Fellow is truly a distinction among ASME members.

By continuing to honor its members by elevating them to the grade of Fellow, ASME ensures its commitment to its vision to “be an essential resource for mechanical engineers and other technical professionals throughout the world for solutions that benefit humankind.”


Visit ASME


Posted on December 20/2015

James T'ien, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, honored by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

James T’ien, the Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has received the 2015 Space Processing Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

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Posted on November 10/2015


Congratulations to Biologically Inspireed Robotics Team!

A CWRU team of neuroscientists and engineers from Biology and Biorobotics, led by
Professor Roger Quinn and Professor Hillel Chiel, presented posters on their research at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Chicago.There were more than 28,000 registrants at the meeting.    

A news article was written on the team’s worm robot:

The Earthworm's Surprising Superpowers Inspired This Biomimetic Worm-Bot

Congratulations to the Biologically Inspired Robotics team!

Posted on October 28/2015


EMAE’s Umut Gurkan and Team Receive Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership Award

A research team led by Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership award to validate and field test HemeChip technology for point-of-care diagnosis of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in newborns in resource-limited countries.

With this award, the team will validate the HemeChip technology by screening up to 5,000 babies over the next year in collaboration with Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in Accra, Ghana.

Scientific illustration credit: Grace Gongaware,
Cleveland Institute of Art Student

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CWRU, NASA and Fire Departments Team to Protect Firefighters

Dr. Fumiaki Takahashi: who has recently joined EMAE department, has been awarded a $1.5 million Assistance to Firefighters/Fire Prevention and Safety grant by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  His research team will build prototype sensors to alert structural and wildland firefighters of hazards in the air.  Dr. Takahashi has already conducted a FEMA-supported one-year preliminary study of the subject.    

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CWRU Research Team Led by Dr. Akkus won a $400,000 National Science Foundation Instrument Development Award

The research team consisting of CoPIs Drs. Dan Scherson, Ken IshidaAndrew Rollins will integrate a novel Raman imaging instrument that will reconstruct chemical images of materials at an order magnitude faster speed than standing chemical imaging systems. Applications from CSE, CAS, Schools of Dentistry and Schools of Medicine will benefit from this novel Raman imaging system. 


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