Department of Mechanical Engineering

Commitment to excellence in its teaching, research, scholarship, and service missions.

Jobs at Mechanical Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty Positions. The department invites applications for five positions in the general areas listed below. These are tenure-track at the levels designated below.

  1. Faculty Positions in Design, Materials and Manufacturing (3 positions)  Applicants must clearly indicate in their cover letter which one of the three subareas of DMM they are applying.
    1. Design, Materials and Manufacturing - DMM (Design) with emphasis across all areas of design theory and methodology, design automation, and multi-scale modeling; seeking candidates that integrate strongly with an interdisciplinary team of faculty engaged at the intersection of advanced manufacturing and materials research (multidisciplinary design analysis, topology optimization, design for manufacturing, computer-aided design, systems engineering, materials modeling and design.)
    2. DMM (Manufacturing) with emphasis across all areas of advanced manufacturing and materials processing technologies (metals, ceramics, and composites); seeking candidates with expertise in metal Additive Manufacturing processes, hybrid manufacturing processes, and design and fabrication of metamaterials.
    3. DMM (Materials) with emphasis in areas related to modeling, manufacturing , and materials for energy systems; seeking candidates with expertise in energy storage technologies, battery technology from a manufacturing perspective that encompasses the automation of the materials, mechanical, and chemical processes involved, and structure-property-process relationships of materials for energy applications. Search committee chair, Prof. Christopher Williams,
  2. Open Area and Rank Faculty Position - Inviting applications for an endowed/chaired full professor - an exceptionally accomplished scholar with a demonstrated record of extraordinary scholarly achievements, substantial sponsored research, and excellent teaching/advising and service who will create new initiatives within the department and will align the department's research expenditure with top tiered peer institutions. This position is open to all areas of Mechanical or Nuclear Engineering. Joint or courtesy appointments with other departments such as Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, or Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics are possible depending on qualifications. Search committee chair, Prof. Saied Taheri,
  3. Faculty Positions in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (Assistant/Associate level) - Candidate will have expertise in emerging field of Robotics and Autonomous systems with emphasis on areas including, but not limited to, surgical, micro-nano robotics, human-machine interaction, machine learning, bio-inspired and bio-hybrid robotics, social robotics, and synthetic biology, just to mention a few, which are complementary to already existing expertise in the department. Selection criteria will place more emphasis on strength of scholarship and less on the specific area. We are looking for the strongest candidate with experience in theory, modeling, computation, experimentation, or a combination thereof. Search committee chair, Prof. Alexander Leonessa, aleoness@vt.ed


The department is also engaged in a search for two Collegiate Faculty. These will be non-tenure track contract positions at Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor level depending upon the qualifications of the candidate.

These positions will be filled under posting number 511001. Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV including a list of published journal articles and pedagogical achievements, a one-page teaching statement with an indication of teaching preferences, a brief research statement as applicable, and the names of five references. Applications should be received by Nov. 15, 2019, but applications will be considered until the positions are filled. Inquires should be addressed to the search committee chair, Prof. Clint Dancey, For assistance submitting the application, contact Ms. Diana Israel, or (540) 231-6424.

‘Sneezing’ plants contribute to disease proliferation

In an article published June 19 on the cover of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Virginia Tech researchers have found that wheat plants ‘sneezing’ off condensation can vastly impact the spread of spore-borne diseases such as wheat leaf rust which can cause yield losses of up to 20 percent or more in the United States, and higher average losses in less developed agricultural nations.

The study is part of a three-year grant obtained in 2017 from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the dispersal of wheat pathogens by rain splash and jumping-droplet condensation. Jonathan Boreyko, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering is a co-PI on the grant. David Schmale, professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the primary investigator of the nearly $500,000 project.

Read entire article

Research gives robots bio-inspired gaits

Two years ago, Kaveh Hamed saw his son Nikaan take his first steps on his own. He watched Nikaan’s one-year-old body teeter on wobbly legs as the baby walked. Nikaan would go from crawling on his belly to standing with a sway, to the first walks, to taking off across the room on two sure feet.

These memories make Hamed think about math, as he does when he watches his dog Telli run. When he sees her bound toward him and switch to a trot, he starts to wonder again about the ways he might impart her agility to a robot. For more than 10 years, Hamed has developed control algorithms that enable legged robots to walk and run more like humans and animals.

Read entire article

PhD student Davaria takes Torgersen prize for graduate research

For the second time in three years, a mechanical engineering doctoral student has earned the Paul Torgersen Graduate Student Research Excellence Award. The award recognizes the top research done by a graduate student.

The first place award, presented in the spring, was given to Sheyda Davaria, a student working in the Vibration, Adaptive Structures and Testing Lab with advisor Pablo Tarazaga, associate professor of mechanical engineering and John R. Jones III Faculty Fellow.

Read entire article

ME Lab testing new panel-bed filters

The U.S. Department of Energy has a goal of carbon filtration using solid sorbents by 2030. In June, Virginia Tech’s Advanced Power and Propulsion Laboratory became home to a proof-of-concept experiment that could help launch a billion-dollar business that will have enormous implications for fossil fuel burning power plants, specifically how pollutants are collected and recycled, and thus impact the long-term goal.

Partnering with MOVA Technologies based in Pulaski, Virginia, Joseph Meadows, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering will analyze the company’s panel-bed filters at his test cell in the lab.

Read entire article

Jess Gannon