News

Putting air in airfoils

July 06, 2020

Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Case van Dam and his team are developing new ways to generate lift in aircraft using microjets to blow air out at the trailing edge of an airfoil. With new funding from NASA Ames and interest from Boeing, the team, including recent Ph.D. graduate Seyedeh Sheida Hosseini, will prototype and refine their design and conduct wind tunnel tests at Texas A&M university to bring their technology closer to use in the field.

Decoding battery health

May 26, 2020

With the advent of autonomous vehicles, smartphones and drones, lithium-ion batteries have become the device of choice for powerful and long-lasting energy. However, to ensure that the batteries are safe and effective, researchers need to find out what’s happening on the inside to make sure they’re healthy.

UC Davis engineering projects fight COVID-19

May 20, 2020
With new seed grants from the UC Davis Office of Research’s COVID-19 Research Accelerator Funding Track (CRAFT), three teams of UC Davis engineers are applying their expertise toward the pandemic response to help people become safer, healthier and better-tested.

Kelly Kissock Appointed as New Energy and Efficiency Institute Faculty Director

May 20, 2020
The UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kelly Kissock as its new Faculty Director. Kissock’s faculty appointment is in the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where he will serve as a professor. He will start his new positions in July. Kissock will also hold the Chevron Endowed Chair in Energy Efficiency.

Ph.D. student Leslie Simms receives NSF Fellowship

May 06, 2020

Second-year mechanical and aerospace engineering Ph.D. student Leslie Simms has received a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship program recognizes and supports 2000 outstanding graduate students across the U.S. every year. The award covers three years of tuition and researcher salary.

The program, which was founded in 1951, is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind. In almost 70 years, the fellowship has supported 42 future Nobel laureates and over 450 members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Seongkyu Lee receives NSF high-performance computing grant to study drone noise

May 01, 2020

Anyone who has seen a small drone flying knows loud buzzing sound it makes as it flies. This sound—the result of air flowing around the vehicle, through the blades and between the rotors—is a barrier to wider acceptance of drones and a problem mechanical and aerospace engineering assistant professor Seongkyu Lee hopes to help solve.

Alumni Spotlight: Matt Sorgenfrei ‘13

March 24, 2020

From space to the streets of San Francisco, mechanical and aerospace engineering alumnus Matt Sorgenfrei is using his control systems engineering expertise to change the way machines interact with the world.

Student Spotlight: Ruby Zoom Houchens

February 24, 2020

Second-year mechanical engineering major Ruby Zoom Houchens takes every opportunity in stride. From working in professor Stephen Robinson’s lab, to serving as a shop tech and photographer, to being involved with multiple campus organizations, she brings a unique and well-rounded approach to engineering that’s already made her a staple of the College of Engineering.

A computer cursor that moves without being touched

February 12, 2020
Imagine turning on your computer and moving the cursor without ever touching it. Sanjay Joshi, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Davis, and his lab are working with people in the medical, engineering, and disability communities to improve the capabilities of machines to assist people with physical limitations.

Wolfgang Kollmann publishes new book on turbulent flow

February 11, 2020

The culmination of over 20 years of teaching and research, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor emeritus Wolfgang Kollmann’s new book lays out different mathematical approaches to analyzing and solving the problem of turbulent flows for graduate students in engineering and applied science. The book, Navier-Stokes Turbulence: Theory and Analysis, was published this December by Springer International Publishing.

Giving humanity a hand with supernumerary robotics

February 06, 2020

A team of UC Davis researchers look to give humanity an extra hand—literally. A new, NSF-funded collaboration between the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior (NPB) plans to develop and test a robotic fifth limb to give humans extra capabilities in extreme environments.

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Hector Baldis

January 30, 2020

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) mourns the loss of professor emeritus Hector Baldis, who passed away on January 1. He is known for his distinguished research career in plasma physics, high-energy density science and inertial confinement fusion and his enthusiastic mentorship as a faculty member at UC Davis.

Seongkyu Lee partners with Hyundai to develop low-noise air taxis

January 09, 2020

Urban air mobility (UAM), or the use of air taxis, is poised to be the next big thing in transportation. Companies are already promising fleets in traffic-congested cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas as early as 2023, and Morgan Stanley estimates that the UAM business will create a $1.5 trillion market in the coming decades.

Why Drones Are Important in Sustainable Agriculture in the 21st Century

December 10, 2019
The work of a four-member international team of scientists including UC Davis mechanical and aerospace engineer Zhaodan Kong, a newly-published review paper in the Journal of Economic Entomology is one of the first of its kind to summarize scientific literature on the use of agricultural drones for pest management.

Alumni Spotlight: Class of 1969

December 03, 2019

By Rachel Steere

The UC Davis College of Engineering Class of 1969 was a dynamic class of tight-knit engineers and several of them have stayed in contact since graduating nearly 50 years ago.

Cristina Davis named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

December 03, 2019

Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and chair Cristina Davis was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Being named a fellow recognizes academic inventors with a “highly prolific spirit of innovation” who have created or facilitating inventions that have had a major impact on society, says the NAI website.

Cristina Davis elected AAAS Fellow

November 27, 2019

Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and chair Cristina Davis was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She was cited for, “distinguished contributions to non-invasive chemical and biological sensing tools, algorithms, and applications for human and agriculture diagnostics and monitoring.”

AAAS fellows are recognized for outstanding achievements in advancing science through research, teaching, service, administration and/or science communication.

Ph.D student Dane Sterbentz receives prestigious Department of Energy fellowship

November 20, 2019

Third-year mechanical and aerospace engineering Ph.D. student Dane Sterbentz is a recipient of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA LRGF). Sterbentz, part of professor J.P. Delplanque’s research group, is one of just four doctoral students across the country to receive the fellowship.

Mohamed Hafez’s new book introduces first-year students to computer simulations

November 15, 2019

Professor Mohamed Hafez’s latest book, Introduction to Computer Simulations for Integrated STEM College Education, was published by World Scientific Publishing Co. in October 2019.

The book, aimed at high school senior students and first-year undergraduate students, gives a background in basic physics and basic mathematics—including differential equations and numerical methods, among other areas—while showing the students how to use computers to solve problems in STEM fields.

Space Engineering at UC Davis

October 30, 2019

If space is the final frontier, UC Davis is taking giant leaps to reach it. With expertise in human-machine cooperation, control systems and materials under extreme conditions, the university aims to make itself a rising star in space engineering and play a crucial role in the next generation of space exploration.

Francis Assadian brings vehicle dynamics expertise to new $7M Department of Transportation project

October 14, 2019

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering professor Francis Assadian is a co-PI on a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to study cooperative automated vehicles (CAVs) in rural and multimodal environments. Led by at Texas A&M University, the four-year project titled, “AVA: Automated Vehicles for All” involves collaborators at George Washington University, General Motors, NVIDIA and National Instruments.

Modeling small cigar smoke in the lungs

October 07, 2019
Young people are adopting new nicotine products faster than they can be researched or regulated, though the health effects are still unknown. MAE distinguished Professor Tony Wexler looks to change this by studying smoke deposition in the lungs through a three-year grant from the UC Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP).

A Breath Test for Opioids

October 03, 2019

By Andy Fell, originally posted on UC Davis News.

A test to detect opioid drugs in exhaled breath has been developed by engineers and physicians at the University of California, Davis. A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use. 

Bahram Ravani and Stephen Robinson receive College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Awards

September 24, 2019

Distinguished Professor Bahram Ravani and Professor Stephen Robinson received Outstanding Faculty Awards from the UC Davis College of Engineering for their outstanding work during the 2018-19 academic year. Ravani received the Outstanding Senior Faculty Research Award and Robinson received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award. These awards are the college's highest honors given to faculty.

Giving Electric Car Batteries a Second Life

September 20, 2019

Though electric cars are great for the environment, the batteries they use are not. Because recycling is extremely expensive, they end up thrown into storage at car dealerships or buried in landfills. As electric cars become an increasingly large part of the market, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Jae Wan Park and his lab have found an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly solution to this problem by giving these batteries a second life in electrical energy storage systems for renewable energy power grids.

Microbes Make Chemicals for Scent Marking in a Cat

September 16, 2019
Domestic cats, like many other mammals, use smelly secretions from anal sacs to mark territory and communicate with other animals. A new study from the University of California, Davis, shows that many odiferous compounds from a male cat are actually made not by the cat, but by a community of bacteria living in the anal sacs.

Becoming a community leader by philanthropy

August 30, 2019

By Trevor Stewart

Hope is a powerful emotion –– it can get us through tough times, it can help us persevere trials and tribulations until we reach our goal. Third-year mechanical engineering student Martin Vega-Martinez ‘20 is the perfect embodiment of what hope, combined with hard work, looks like.

Can Science Save Citrus?

August 27, 2019
Farmers and researchers, including MAE Professor Cristina Davis, try to hold off deadly citrus greening long enough to find a cure

Ph.D. student Peng Wei wins 2019 N&M Sarigul-Klijn Flight Research/Space Engineering Award

August 07, 2019

Ph.D. student Peng Wei has been named the recipient of the 2019 N&M Sarigul-Klijn Flight Research/Space Engineering Award. The award is given every other year to top graduate students in the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering pursuing flight-related research.

Wei, a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Assistant Professor Zhaodan Kong’s lab, studies aerodynamic effects on multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), colloquially known as drones.

Jonathon Schofield: Human-machine translator

August 06, 2019

Humans and machines communicate using different languages, and like any language barrier, it can be reduced through mutual understanding and translation. New mechanical and aerospace engineering assistant professor Dr. Jonathon Schofield aims to break down this barrier by improving communication between humans and robotic rehabilitation technologies. 

Destined for success

July 18, 2019

By Aditi Risbud Bartl

Originally posted by the UC Davis College of Engineering.

Destiny cannot be contained. After a decade in the College of Engineering, Destiny Garcia is now mere months away from earning her Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering. An energetic and warm young woman, she is finally taking a moment to reflect on her experiences at UC Davis. 

Ralph Aldredge: Engineering success for all students

July 10, 2019

By Brady Oppenheim

When Dr. Ralph Aldredge begins his new position as the UC Davis College of Engineering’s Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in summer 2019, he will bring a long history of student advocacy to his latest role.

Student Spotlight: Shail Trivedi

June 28, 2019

Originally posted on the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship website.

Making electric vehicles, autonomous fleets ubiquitous

Shail Trivedi is a third-year mechanical engineering student who hopes to work with mechatronics/robotic systems or mechanical design of devices. “I love to learn,” he says, “and I find myself curious to learn more about the types of roles mechanical engineers play in today’s world and where I can best find my fit.”

MAE Energy Startup Wins Big at 2019 Big Ideas Contest

May 16, 2019

UC Davis mechanical and aerospace engineering startup, RePurpose Energy, won big at the 2019 Big Ideas contest, taking home first place in the Energy and Resources category and winning grand prize at the competition’s Pitch Day.

Students Design Greenhouse for Mars

April 30, 2019
A student team from the UC Davis Space and Satellite Systems Club was one of five university teams invited to present their plans for a Mars greenhouse at the NASA Langley Research Center.

Exotic Synchronization Patterns Emerge in a Simple Network

March 07, 2019
In a new paper published March 8 in Science, a team led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the California Institute of Technology show how complicated and surprising behavior can emerge in a very simple experimental network.

At the Interface Between Robots and Humans

February 15, 2019
UC Davis MAE doctoral student Sarah O'Meara's ultimate goal is an assistive robot that a person can control by contracting a muscle or making a gesture.

COSMOS Aims to Inspire Future Scientists, Engineers

February 15, 2019
The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) is a four-week statewide program for the most talented high-school students in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

MAE Alumnus Adam Davis: Building an Engineering Career

February 14, 2019
Adam Davis graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He is a Principal Engineer at Weston & Associates Mechanical Engineers, Inc., a full-service design engineering firm providing mechanical engineering services to architects and owners for projects throughout California.

Aerospace Engineers Explore Infinity and Beyond

February 08, 2019
As a UC Davis aerospace science and engineering major, you will learn core mechanical engineering concepts and applications, and practice computational analysis. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of design, propulsion and aerodynamics.

Vinod Narayanan Receives $2.2M Department of Energy Grant

October 25, 2018
Narayanan’s project, “Additively-Manufactured Molten Salt-to-Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Heat Exchanger,” received $2.2 Million from the Department of Energy to create a high-pressure heat exchanger for concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) systems.

MAE Senior Design Teams Win NASA’s Aeronautics University Design Challenge

October 01, 2018

Three UC Davis mechanical and aerospace engineering senior design teams received top honors in NASA’s 2017-18 Aeronautics University Design Challenge. One MAE team tied for first, another placed second and another tied for third. The fifteen undergraduates involved presented their designs at a symposium on September 20 at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and were treated to a private tour of the facilities and the Capitol building.

Drone Versus Spider Mite

January 01, 2018
UC Davis MAE researchers are rescuing strawberry growers from the spider mite using drone technology.