Sergey Nersesov, PhD, and Hashem Ashrafiuon, PhD, in the lab with autonomous vehicles.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is a dynamic scholarly community of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty immersed in mechanics and materials, thermal fluid systems, and dynamics and controls.

Our highly-acclaimed professors excel in both the classroom and laboratory in specialties including biomechanics, mechatronics, nanomaterials, renewable energy and more.

At a Glance

  • 23 Full-time faculty members
  • 300 Undergraduates
  • 64 Master's students
  • 42 PhD students

All students enjoy small class sizes, practical, hands-on experiences and the attention of professors who are fully committed to your success.



The Mechanical Engineering Department is associated with three of the College’s six research centers:

Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC)

CENDAC is distinguished by its strong interdisciplinary teams working on real-world applications—including security, mobility and healthcare—of nonlinear dynamic systems and control theory.

The Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2)

A National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, ES2 develops methodologies, tools and systems to maximize energy efficiency for the operation of data centers.

Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems (VCADS)

VCADS develops new tools and techniques for analytics of dynamic systems with applications in engineering, medicine and finance.


Students at all levels are encouraged to pursue research opportunities with Mechanical Engineering faculty in the areas of:

  • Novel nanomaterials
  • Data center efficiency
  • Dynamic control of unmanned vehicles
  • Swarm robotics
  • Advanced energy storage
  • Biomimetic materials



Agrivoltaics Greenhouse Addresses Debate Over Land Use for Renewable Energy versus Food Production

Agrivoltaics Greenhouse Addresses Debate Over Land Use for Renewable Energy versus Food Production

Mechanical Engineering graduate student Michael Evans has developed the prototype of an agrivoltaics greenhouse that uses waste heat generated by photovoltaic panels to warm the air and expand the traditional growing season for crops.

Dr. Bo Li

Pushing the Envelope | Plastics Engineering, February 2021

Growing use of composites signals a new direction in 3D printing that expands the technology’s suitability for high-performance and specialty parts. In this article, Mechanical Engineering’s Dr. Bo Li, an expert in hybrid nano-architectures and advanced manufacturing, speaks to enhanced strength as a fundamental driving force for their use.

Dr Chengyu Li

Dr. Chengyu Li Awarded NSF CAREER Grant for Study of Odor-Guided Flapping Flight

In GPS-denied environments, miniature unmanned aerial vehicles risk losing the capability to locate unseen targets during important surveillance and detection missions. Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Chengyu Li has found a promising potential solution in nature—specifically, in insects’ ability to detect and locate distant targets by tracking odor plumes in complex flow environments. His  research has been awarded a $500,000 NSF CAREER grant.