Letter From The Chair
The spring and summer 2021 terms have been full of exciting activities for our students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho. We continue to perform at traditional levels of excellence in teaching, research, and service activities. I invite you to read about some of these activities by browsing the web links below or downloading a printable copy of our fall 2021 newsletter.
Thank you for your readership and ongoing support of our unique program
Professor and Chair
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NEW ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP — Pages 1-2
- Strengthening Research — Professor Eric Wolbrecht named Dean and Cindy Haagenson Mechanical Engineering Endowed Professor.
TEACHING INNOVATIONS — Pages 3-4
- Improving the First-Year Experience — During the Fall 2021 semester, our department piloted a new 2-credit First Year Engineering (FYE) course featuring hybrid development of technical skills needed in early STEM courses and professional skills needed for academic and career success.
- Manufacturing experiences in the classroom — Lean manufacturing is back in-person for 2021. Students in the course formed teams to make block projects and get some machine shop experience.
- Capstone Tackles Impactful Project List — Strong tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration continues. This year’s projects have common interests and themes, with objectives that address real societal challenges.
INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS — Pages 4-6
- Engineering Summer — Two Decades of Vandal Innovation - McKenzie Reid spent her summer breaking down machine equipment and sorting it into recyclable parts.
- Wind Tunnel Facility and Improvements — Open-loop and bench-scale wind tunnels expand industry prototyping and student research capabilities.
- Capstone Suite Remodel Update — Student space improvements to start over winter break.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT NEWS — Pages 6-7
- First-Year Students Compete in FFA Ag Mech Nationals — Incoming ME students, Michael Weber and Nico Johnson competed in Indianapolis in October 2021, finishing fifth as a team. Individuals on the team placed 13th, 14th, 32nd, and 36th.
- New Summer Hobby: Knitting — Coming soon to Palousafest and a Vandal football game near you: Knit your own 4 ½-foot scarf in five minutes!
- Advisory Board Scholarships Awarded — Seniors Lindsay Guthrie and Garrett Potts receive $2,000 scholarship.
GRADUATE STUDENT NEWS — Page 8
- Rodrigo Padilla, Ph.D. — Graduate Student Highlight
- Doctoral Student Earns ASA Scholarship — Yusuf Oduntan honored for African Student Association leadership
- Kaitlin Tabaracci, Ph.D. — Graduate Student Highlight
FACULTY & STAFF NEWS — Pages 9-11
- Crepeau Named Interim Dean of College — Our college has named John Crepeau as interim dean of college. His appointment began June 28, 2021.
- Maughan Earns $4M to Build 3D-Printing Technology — U of I is developing technology to turn Idaho wood waste into one the most sustainable building construction materials on the market — by using it as a medium for 3D-printing building construction materials.
- CER Adding Cutting-Edge Measurement System — U of I faculty have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a cutting-edge measurement system that will help better understand natural phenomena at the surface of and within sediment beds in bodies of water.
- Fluid-Structure Interaction Study Earns NASA-EPSCoR Grant — Study outlines critical role of fluid-structure interactions (FSI) play in aerodynamic instabilities.
- ME Faculty Career Highlights — Three faculty earn recognition.
ALUMNI NEWS — Page 11
- New Advisory Board Member — Matt Soden
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR — Page 12
- Professor Gabriel P. Potirniche — Letter from Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department