Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Balas, Gary
Department Head, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

BalasGary Balas Under the direction of Department Head Gary Balas, undergraduates have the opportunity to develop theory that could make the world of flight safer. Balas regularly works with undergraduates interested in creating and testing control theory through the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle research group. Click here for more info. More...

Candler, Graham
Distinguished McKnight University Professor


Elliott, Ryan
Associate Professor

 Ryan Elliott caption As technology advances, engineers are being asked to design smaller, more efficient, and more reliable structures and devices. One strategy for achieving these goals is to replace old multiple-piece systems with new one-piece systems made from high-tech. "shape-memory materials." For example, currently the shape of a jet engine's exhaust nozzle is controlled by a system of hydraulic actuators, but if the exhaust nozzle were constructed from a shape-memory material there would be no need for the hydraulic actuators. More…

Fosdick, Roger


Garrard, William
Professor and Director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium

 William Garrard captionDecember of 2007 marked Professor William Garrard's 40th year in the department. During his time as Department Head, Garrard helped guide the department from one with a heavy emphasis on applied math to what he sees as more a balance between theory and engineering. He served as Department Head for 15 years, beginning in the 1990s and the advent of the internet age. What follows is a conversation with Garrard about his current research and time at AEM, as well as how technology has impacted research over the past several decades. More…

Gebre-Egziabher, Demoz
McKnight Land-Grant Professor

 Demoz Gebre-Egziabher caption Calls to 911 are often unnerving, made worse by the fact that many times GPS signals transmitted by cell phones that could help authorities locate the caller’s exact position often fail. Research conducted by AEM faculty member Demoz Gebre-Egziabher aims to change some of that. More…

James, Richard
Russell J. Penrose Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor


 Richard James caption When an engineer creates a new bridge design, reference tables are consulted. AEM Professor Richard James seeks to create such a reference on a slightly smaller scale, that of atoms and molecules. More…

Ketema, Yohannes
Associate Professor

Yohannes KetemaThe study of human locomotion and gait analysis is often done in the medical setting, sometimes as a diagnostic tool.AEM Associate Professor Yohannes Ketema, is currently using his background in dynamics to develop an alternative method of analyzing gait that is not limited to in-lab use. More...

Leo, Perry
Professor, Associate Dept. Head, Director of Graduate Studies

 Perry Leo caption In the human body, cartilage will undergo tens of millions of cycles of pressurization over its lifetime. AEM Professor Perry Leo believes learning more about the structure of cartilage and replicating it in a lab could have profound implications in the world of man-made materials. More…

Longmire, Ellen

 Ellen Longmire caption Though they hold potential to treat many diseases, embryonic stem cells have considerable ethical baggage. There may be a less-controversial alternative in the form of umbilical blood stem cells. AEM Professor Ellen Longmire is researching a method that could effectively increase the usable amount of such cells. More…

Mahesh, Krishnan

Krishnan Mahesh

In the event of an emergency, a submarine may reverse its propellers. While traditional methods can accurately predict the constant, forward movement of fluid around this propeller, that sudden reversal creates a mess beyond what many methods can handle. This is where Prof. Krishnan Mahesh comes in. More…

Mettler, Bérénice
Assistant Professor


After driving the same route home time and again, an autopilot of sorts tends to set in, yet it allows the driver to snap to awareness should the situation demand it. Bérénice Mettler hopes to bring insight of these phenomena into the world of autonomous vehicle through her study of the pilot-vehicle interaction. More…

Schwartzentruber, Thomas E.
Assistant Professor

Tom Schwartzentruber

Government and industry are increasingly utilizing computer-based simulations as processing power and method sophistication grow. AEM is a leader in fluid computational methods, and AEM Assistant Professor Thomas Schwartzentruber hopes to bring a new capability and perspective to the mix. More…

Seiler, Peter
Assistant Professor

Pete Seiler

Control theory is used broadly in industry – aerospace and beyond – and is applied to design systems that have predictable behaviors. AEM Assistant Professor Peter Seiler plans to apply his knowledge of controls to improve the reliability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other areas such as wind turbines. More…

Shield, Thomas W.
Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

 Tom Shield captionExperiments on active materials are very challenging due to the non-uniform nature of the deformations. Traditional materials, such as aircraft aluminum, deform uniformly elastically and plastically (permanent deformation) most of the way until failure. However the fact that active materials have microstructure (regions of different crystal structure) makes their testing quite different. More…

Tadmor, Ellad

Ellad Tadmor

To understand traffic flow in a city full of people, individual motivations need to be surveyed, but may be impractical city-wide. This creates a conundrum analogous to a common problem in solid mechanics, and AEM Professor Ellad Tadmor has developed a theory to address it: the Quasicontinuum Method. More…