In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, exciting opportunities exist for students and faculty at all levels to address some of the Earth's greatest challenges. We consider it our mission as engineers to serve the common good, encompassing humanity and the natural world.



Mechanical Engineering faculty are modeling, developing and testing robots and autonomous vehicles (unmanned systems)—ground, marine and air—and their cooperative missions. They are also developing advanced modeling techniques integrating machine learning and physics for complex dynamic systems.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon, Dr. Garrett Clayton, Dr. C. Nataraj, Dr. Sergey Nersesov

Research involves the modeling of cells, tissues and biomaterials; cryopreservation; cardiovascular engineering; computational bone mechanics and solid mechanics; brain biomechanics; cellular biomechanics and biofluid dynamics.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Jens Karlsson, Dr. Ani Ural, Dr. Qianhong Wu, Dr. Chengyu Li

Faculty are engaged in nanomechanical characterization and modeling and the design of nanomaterials and nanostructures for a variety of applications. They are also investigating the mechanical response of advanced materials.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. David Cereceda, Dr. Gang Feng, Dr. Bo Li, Dr. Sridhar Santhanam

Research involves thermal and flow management and architecture design, heat transfer, computational fluid dynamics, systems engineering, biomimetic and bioinspired flows, and engineering for sustainability. Constructal theory is also an area of specialization.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Gerard Jones, Dr. Calvin Li, Dr. Chengyu Li, Dr. Sylvie Lorente, Dr. Alfonso Ortega, Dr. Aaron Wemhoff, Dr. Qianhong Wu





Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems is developing methodologies, tools and systems to maximize energy efficiency and productivity in the operation of data centers, creating a greener industry

Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control is working on real-world applications—including security, mobility and healthcare—of nonlinear dynamic systems and control theory

Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems is making use of "big data" to uncover the underlying dynamics for analysis, diagnostics, prognostics and health management




Mechanical Engineering research funding comes from:

Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Department of Energy



Manufacturing PA

NASA Small Business Technology Transfer

National Science Foundation

Office of Naval Research

National Institute of Health


Villanova Secures Cutting-Edge Confocal Raman Microscope Facility with Collaborative $523,333 NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant

Villanova Secures Cutting-Edge Confocal Raman Microscope Facility with Collaborative $523,333 NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant

A $523,333 National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant will fund a new confocal Raman microscope facility that goes beyond high resolution imaging to provide a better understanding of biological and chemical processes under native conditions. The instrument will greatly advance knowledge and promote interdisciplinary research in nanomaterials, thermal and chemical engineering, and bioengineering/biology.

Dr. Ani Ural

Villanova Mechanical Engineering Professor to Lead NSF Research on Atypical Femoral Fracture

Dr. Ani Ural, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Computational Biomechanics and Solid Mechanics Laboratory, has been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation collaborative research grant to uncover the factors that contribute to atypical femoral fracture, which is a rare side effect of long-term use of some drugs to treat osteoporosis.

Liver Research Reveals Structure of Blood Flow Architecture, Holding Promise for Transplants

Liver Research Reveals Structure of Blood Flow Architecture, Holding Promise for Transplants

The liver is not only the largest organ in the body but also plays one of the most important roles in human metabolism as it transforms toxic substances in the body. Understanding the way its blood vasculature works is crucial, particularly during organ transplant. College of Engineering Chair Professor Dr. Sylvie Lorente, Mechanical Engineering, is part of an international team whose research shows that the challenge of predicting the liver vessel network can be met thanks to the constructal law of design evolution.