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






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 Institutes of Health


Reactions of the egg yolk under the translational impact.

Researchers Use Eggs To Model Concussion and to Better Understand Sudden Impact Brain Injuries

Picked up by the American Institute of Physics,,, the DailyMail and other sites, novel research by Dr. Qianhong Wu and PhD student Ji Lang used an egg yolk to shed light on what specifically happens to the brain of a patient who experiences traumatic brain injury. Their findings provide a new perspective on the response of a membrane-bound soft object to sudden external impacts, helping to better understand flow physics of head injury.

Villanova Professor Addresses Energy Efficiency Issues in the Cannabis Industry

Villanova Professor Addresses Energy Efficiency Issues in the Cannabis Industry

Mechanical Engineering’s Dr. Aaron Wemhoff is partnering with HVAC equipment design firm, Surna Inc., to advance efficiency in dehumidification technology in cannabis grow facilities, which is a major contributor to the growing industry’s substantial energy usage. This project does not focus on promoting cannabis use or advancing the cannabis industry, but rather identifying opportunities for energy and carbon savings.

NSF Grant Supports Chengyu Li’s Research on Flow Across Scales

NSF Grant Supports Chengyu Li’s Research on Flow Across Scales

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Chengyu Li was awarded nearly $184,000 to study how flexible structures generate flow across the viscous-inertial transition with the goal of developing broadly applicable scaling principles to guide future technology development including bioinspired devices, sensors, and robots.