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


Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Bo Li and Associate Professor Dr. Qianhong Wu

When Fluids Meet Nanomaterials: Establishing a Fluid-Assisted Nanomanufacturing

As the United States aims to revive its manufacturing industry, Mechanical Engineering professors Drs. Bo Li and Qianhong Wu have received a $499,957 NSF grant to develop a new field of fluid-assisted nanomanufacturing with applications in flexible electronics.

PhD students and former roommates Ji Lang and Dong Zhou

Former Roommates “Cook” Nanomaterial Together

Mechanical Engineering PhD students Dong Zhou and Ji Lang have discovered the mysterious role of fluids in nanomaterial growth. Their research has the potential to revolutionize the chemical vapor deposition process, leading to new strategies to design the CVD setup and achieve controllable nanomaterial synthesis.

Dr. Jens Karlsson speaks with students

Karlsson Tapped to Lead Industry-Sponsored Research on Cryopreservation of Immune Cells

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered into research contract with Villanova for $97,000 for work that will be supported by Dr. Jens Karlsson, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Villanova University's Biothermal Sciences Laboratory, to improve the cryopreservation process for a new cancer-targeting cell therapy product. The work is associated with NovaCell, Villanova’s Center for Cellular Engineering.