Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

479C Glennan Building (7222)
Phone: 216.368.6045; Fax: 216.368.6445
Robert X. Gao, Cady Staley Professor of Engineering and Department Chair

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of the Case School of Engineering offers programs leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. It administers the programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in Mechanical Engineering. Both curricula are based on four-year programs of preparation for productive engineering careers or further academic training. 


The mission of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department is to educate and prepare students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for leadership roles in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering and to conduct research for the benefit of society.

The undergraduate program emphasizes fundamental engineering science, analysis and experiments to ensure that graduates will be strong contributors in their work environment, be prepared for advanced study at top graduate schools and be proficient lifelong learners. The graduate programs emphasize advanced methods of analysis, mathematical modeling, computational and experimental techniques applied to a variety of mechanical and aerospace engineering specialties including, applied mechanics, dynamic systems, robotics, biomechanics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, propulsion and combustion. Leadership skills are developed by infusing the program with current engineering practice, design, and professionalism (including engineering ethics and the role of engineering in society) led by concerned educators and researchers.

The academic and research activities of the department center on the roles of mechanics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, robotics, mechatronics, data analytics, sustainability in manufacturing, and engineering design in a wide variety of applications such as aeronautics, astronautics, biomechanics and orthopedic engineering, biomimetics and biologically-inspired robotics, energy, environment, mechanics of advanced materials, and nanotechnology. Many of these activities involve strong collaborations with the Departments of Biology, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, and Orthopedics of the School of Medicine.

The significant constituencies of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department are the faculty, the students, the alumni and the external advisory boards. The educational program objectives are established and reviewed continuously, based on the feedback from the various constituencies as well as archival information about the program graduates. The faculty engages in continuing discussions of the academic programs in the regularly scheduled faculty meetings throughout the academic year. Periodic surveys of alumni provide data regarding the preparedness and success of the graduates as well as guidance in program development. Archival data include the placement information for graduating seniors, which provides direct information regarding the success of the graduates in finding employment or being admitted to graduate programs.

Mastery of Fundamentals

  • A strong background in the fundamentals of physics, mathematics and chemistry
  • Methods of mechanical engineering analysis, both numerical and mathematical, applied to mechanics, dynamic systems and control, design, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer
  • Methods of modern experimental engineering analysis and data acquisition


  • Ability to identify, model, and solve mechanical and aerospace engineering design problems
  • Ability to design experiments to resolve mechanical and aerospace engineering issues
  • Ability to perform an individual senior project that demonstrates original research and/or design content

Societal Awareness

  • Issues of environmental impact, efficient use of energy and resources, benefits of recycling
  • An awareness of the multidisciplinary nature of mechanical and aerospace engineering
  • Impact of economic, product liability and other legal issues on mechanical and aerospace engineering manufacturing and design

Leadership Skills

  • An ability to work in teams
  • Ethical considerations in engineering decisions
  • Proficiency in oral and written communication
  • Professionalism
  • Students are encouraged to develop as professionals through participation in the student chapters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
  • Students are encouraged to augment their classroom experiences with the cooperative education program and the strong graduate research program of the department.
  • Students are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination as the first step in the process of becoming a registered professional engineer.
  • The bachelor’s candidate must complete an independent design or research project with an oral and written final report.
  • The master’s candidate on the thesis or project track must demonstrate independent research suitable for publication and/or presentation in peer-reviewed journals and/or conferences.
  • The doctoral candidate must complete a rigorous independent thesis containing original research results that they must publish in archival journals.

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering has grown dramatically with the rapid development of the computer in experiments, design and numerical analysis. The wealth of scientific information developed as a result of aerospace activity forms the foundation for the aerospace engineering major.

Scientific knowledge is being developed each day for programs to develop reusable launch and interplanetary vehicles, the International Space Station (ISS), supersonic and hypersonic flight vehicles, crewed and robotic space missions, and micro-electro-mechanical sensors and control systems for advanced flight. New methods of analysis and design for structural, fluid, and thermodynamic applications are required to meet these challenges.

The aerospace engineering major has been developed to address the needs of those students seeking career opportunities in the highly specialized and advancing aerospace industries.

Mechanical Engineering

Civilization, as we know it today, depends on the intelligent and humane use of our energy resources and machines. The mechanical engineer’s function is to apply science and technology to the design, analysis, development, manufacture, and use of machines that convert and transmit energy, and to apply energy to the completion of useful operations. The top ten choices of the millennium committee of the National Academy of Engineering, asked to select the 20 top engineering accomplishments of the 20th century, was abundant with mechanical engineering accomplishments, electrification (large scale power generation and distribution), automobiles, air travel (development of aircraft and propulsion), mechanized agriculture, and refrigeration and air conditioning.


Aerospace Technology and Space Exploration

Pressure gain combustion, hypersonic aerodynamics, shock wave boundary layer interactions, two phase flow, supersonic combustion and propulsion, thermoacoustic refrigeration, in-situ resource utilization from space. Gravitational effects on transport phenomena, fluids and thermal processes in advance life support systems for long duration space travel, interfacial processes, g-jitter effects on microgravity flows, two phase flow in zero and reduced gravity. Aerospace vehicle design and mission analysis.

Experimental Fluid Dynamics

Turbulence, transition, separated flows, imaging diagnostics for fluids, advanced velocimetry techniques, biological flows.

Combustion and Fire Engineering

Solid pyrolysis, ignition, flame spread, material flammability, wild land fire, battery fire, fire dynamics, fire modeling, combustion in micro- and partial gravity.

Data Analytics

Multi-domain signal decomposition and analysis, wavelet transform and other transformation methods, multi-scale analysis, data fusion, stochastic modeling and statistical methods for defect detection, root cause diagnosis, and remaining service life prognosis.

Electromechanical Systems

Fundamental and applied research on physics-based sensing for improved observability and controllability of dynamic systems, vibration analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning for data analytics, energy harvesting, smart materials and structures, and energy-efficient wireless communication methods based on radio frequencies, acoustic waves, and magnetic field coupling.

Engineering Design

Optimization and computer-aided design, feasibility studies of kinematic mechanisms, control systems, experimental stress analysis, failure analysis, development of biologically inspired methodologies.

Heat Transfer

Analysis of heat transfer in complex systems such as biological organisms, multi-functional materials and building enclosures.

Sustainable and Additive Manufacturing

Modeling, characterization and manufacturing of next-generation lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and perovskite solar cells for low-cost solar power generation, multiphysics electrochemistry modeling, atomic layer deposition, scalable nano-manufacturing, life cycle assessment of lithium ion batteries on environmental sustainability, agile manufacturing work cells based on coordinated, multiple robots, additive manufacturing, in-process sensing and control.

Advanced Materials

Development of advanced materials with unprecedented properties and functionality for extreme environment conditions. Modeling of nonlinear deformations, instability, and failure of multi-functional materials and structures. Design, fabrication, and optimization of advanced composite materials, bio-inspired materials, and meta-materials. 3D/4D printing of functional materials and structures.

Multiphase Flow and Laser Diagnostics

Application of non-intrusive laser based diagnostic techniques and ultrasound techniques including pulsed ultrasound Doppler velocimetry to study solid-liquid, solid-gas, liquid-gas and solid-liquid-gas, multiphase flows encountered in slurry transport and bio-fluid mechanics.

Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology

Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for high-performance nanoelectronics (transistors, sensors, photodetectors, memristors, etc.), energy conversion/generation/storage devices (batteries, supercapacitors, nanogenerators). Nanostructured materials and nanocomposites. Mechanical, thermal, optical, and electrical properties of nanomaterials. Surface and interface properties of nanomaterials. Solution processing and printing of novel nanomaterials.

Musculoskeletal Mechanics and Materials

Design, modeling, and failure analysis of orthopaedic prostheses and material selection; mechanical properties of, and transport processes in, bone and soft tissue; tribology of native and tissue engineered cartilage; nondestructive mechanical evaluation of tissue engineered cartilage.


Biologically-inspired and biomimetic design and control of legged robots, crab-like robots, and soft worm-like robots. Controls via synthetic nervous systems, motion primitives and stable heteroclinic channels. Autonomous robots. Small fixed-wing drones. Dynamics, control and simulation of animals and robots.

Sensing and Metrology

Signal transduction mechanisms, design, modeling, functional characterization, and performance evaluation of mechanical, thermal, optical, and magnetic-field sensors, multi-physics sensing, and precision instrumentation.

Soft Machines and Electronics

Development of soft/hybrid robotics for broad applications, such as biomedical treatment, elderly care, rehabilitation, prosthetics, agriculture harvesting, and infrastructure inspections. Development of self-powered soft electronic systems for wearables, implantable, prosthetics, artificial skins, and smart agriculture systems. Printed electronics and technologies. Scalable manufacturing technologies for flexible/stretchable electronic system.


Robert X. Gao, PhD
(Technical University of Berlin, Germany)
Cady Staley Professor of Engineering and Department Chair
Multi-physics sensing and stochastic modeling methods for improving observability in dynamical systems

Ozan Akkus, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering
Biologically active and mechanically functional tissue repair systems, and chemical imaging instrumentation for noninvasive biomedical and hazard diagnostics

Richard J. Bachmann, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Associate Professor
Biologically inspired robotics

Paul Barnhart, PhD, PE
(Case Western Reserve University)
Professor and Associate Chair for Undergratuate Education
Aerospace system design, propulsion, gas dynamics, shock wave boundary layer interactions and fluid/thermal systems modeling

Changyong (Chase) Cao, PhD
(Australian National University)
Assistant Professor
Mechanics, designs, and manufacturing of smart multifunctional materials, soft robotics, soft electronics, and self-powered sensing systems

Sunniva Collins, PhD, FASM
(Case Western Reserve University)
Professor and Associate Dean of Professional Programs
Metallic surfaces for improved performance, material and design manufacturing processes for innovative outcomes

Kathryn Daltorio, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Assistant Professor
Robots that can traverse and operate in new environments, inspired by biological models of smart physical systems

Umut A. Gurkan, PhD
(Purdue University)
Human health via research in cell mechanics to develop biosensors and point-of-care systems

Steve Hostler, PhD
(California Institute of Technology)
Assistant Professor
Development and characterization of novel thermal management materials

Chirag Kharangate, PhD
(Purdue University)
Assistant Professor
Thermal management of electronics and computational fluid dynamics

Ya-Ting T. Liao, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Associate Professor
Computational models of combustion, fire behavior and fire-resistant structures

Brian Maxwell, PhD
(University of Ottawa, Canada)
Assistant Professor
Next-generation propulsion systems and advanced theory of supersonic and reactive systems

Roger D. Quinn, PhD
(Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering
Neural and mechanical models of animals and data to design and control robots and exoskeletons

Majid Rashidi, PhD, PE
(Case Western Reserve University)
Machine and medical device design

Bryan E. Schmidt, PhD
(California Institute of Technology)
Assistant Professor
Turbulent and unsteady flows from low-speed to hypersonic using advanced imaging methods

Yingchun (Chris) Yuan, PhD
(University of California at Berkeley)
Design, manufacturing and sustainability science of lithium ion batteries, solar cells and nanotechnologies

Research Faculty

R. Balasubramaniam, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Research Associate Professor
Enables the development and understanding of thermal and fluid systems to advance space exploration

Uday Hegde, PhD
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Research Associate Professor
Develops supercritical water oxidation technologies for waste management and water reclamation for extended duration space missions

Olga Kartuzova, PhD
(Cleveland State University)
Research Assistant Professor
Studies and develops computational models for cryogenic storage tanks, and investigates zero boil-off tanks

Mohammad Kassemi, PhD
(University of Akron)
Research Professor
Researches microgravity fluid physics and combustion research, including ZBOT, cryogenic fluid management, propellant tank models and gravity’s impact on systems

Jun Kojima, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Laser diagnostics and combustion code validation

Kenneth Moses, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Research Assistant Professor
Project manager for NSF NeuroNex Network grant on Communication, Coordination and Control in Neuromechanical Systems

Vedha Nayagam, PhD
(University of Kentucky)
Research Associate Professor
Low gravity combustion and fluid physics

Associated Faculty

Alexis Abramson, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Adjunct Professor
Macro/micro/nanoscale heat transfer and energy transport

Jennifer W. Carter, PhD
(The Ohio Stage University)
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Processing-structure-property relationships of crystalline and amorphous materials, multi-scale material characterization methods

M. Cenk Cavusoglu, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Robotics, systems and control theory, and human-machine interfaces; with emphasis on medical robotics, haptics, virtual environments, surgical simulation, and bio-system modeling

Mario Garcia Sanz, DrEng
(University of Navarra)
Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Systems and control, spacecraft controls, automated manufacturing

John J. Lewandowski, PhD
(Carnegie Mellon University)
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical behavior of materials, fracture and fatigue, micromechanisms of deformation and fracture

Kenneth Loparo, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Control, robotics, stability of dynamical systems, vibrations

João Maia, PhD
(University of Wales Aberystwyth, U.K.)
Associate Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Polymer rheology: extensional rheology and rheometry, micro- and nano-rheology, bio-rheology

David Matthiesen, PhD
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Microgravity crystal growth

Wyatt S. Newman, PhD
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Mechatronics, high-speed robot design, force and vision-bases machine control, artificial reflexes for autonomous machines, rapid prototyping, agile manufacturing

Ravi Vaidyanathan, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Adjunct Associate Professor
Robotics and control

Xiong Yu, PhD, PE
(Purdue University)
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical engineering, non-destructive testing, intelligent infrastructures

Christian A. Zorman, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Materials and processing techniques for MEMS and NEMS, wide bandgap semiconductors, development of materials and fabrication techniques for polymer-based MEMS and bioMEMS

Emeritus Faculty

Dwight T. Davy, PhD, PE
(University of Iowa)
Professor Emeritus
Musculo-skeletal biomechanics, applied mechanics

Isaac Greber, PhD
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Professor Emeritus
Fluid dynamics, molecular dynamics and kinetic theory, biological fluid mechanics, acoustics

Jaikrishnan R. Kadambi, PhD
(University of Pittsburgh)
Professor Emeritus
Experimental fluid mechanics, laser diagnostics, bio-fluid mechanics, turbomachinery

Yasuhiro Kamotani, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Professor Emeritus
Experimental fluid dynamics, heat transfer, microgravity fluid mechanics

Joseph M. Mansour, PhD
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Professor Emeritus
Biomechanics and applied mechanics

Eli Reshotko, PhD
(California Institute of Technology)
Kent H. Smith Emeritus Professor of Engineering
Fluid Dynamics, heat transfer, propulsion, power generation

Clare M. Rimnac, PhD
(Lehigh University)
Wilbert J. Austin Emeritus Professor of Engineering
Biomechanics, fatigue and fracture mechanics

Fumiaki Takahashi, PhD
(Keio University)
Professor Emeritus
Combustion, fire science and engineering

James S. Tien, PhD
(Princeton University)
Professor Emeritus
Combustion, propulsion, and fire research