Two Tenure-Track Faculty Positions in System Dynamics & Control and in Aerospace Design

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California at Davis has a tenured position available in the area of System Dynamics and Control. For further details or to submit your application please follow these links for System Dynamics & Control position and for Aerospace Design position.


Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in Thermal Fluid Engineering

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California at Davis has a faculty position available in the area of Thermal Fluid Engineering. For further details or to submit your application please click here.


A Gestural Interface for Smart Watches

Research by Professor Dave Horsley and his group on gesture recognition interfaces for computers is receiving significant attention as noted by the following recent articles: Technology Review | TG Daily |


Shiqiao Li's Exit Seminar

One of our graduating PhD students, Shiqiao Li, is giving his exit seminar on Thursday, September 12th, at 2pm in 2130 Bainer. Shiqiao's Dissertation is titled "Optimal Control of Tool/Workpiece Orientation for 5-axis CNC Milling with a Ball-end Cutter".

For Shiqiao Li's Abstract: Optimal Control of Tool/Workpiece Orientation for 5-axis CNC Milling with a Ball-end Cutter

Please attend Shiqiao's exit seminar if you can and show your support!

Thank you!


UC Davis Camp Encourages Tomorrow's Female Engineers

The C-STEM Center hosted its first annual C-STEM/NCWIT Girl's Leadership Camp for Computing and Robotics for middle school girls on July 22-26, 2013. Read more: ABC News.


2013 Japan-US Innovation Award: Mori Seiki, Gold Award recipient

DMG/Mori Seiki USA Digital Technology Lab (DTL), Adam Hansel and Kazuo Yamazaki shared the spotlight as Mori Seiki received the Gold Award at the Third Annual 2013 Japan-US Innovation Awards Symposium. The event was held on July 26 at Stanford University. Read more:

Also, visit the College Facebook and Twitter:



Raissa D'SouzaRaissa D'Souza leads a research team selected for a DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award. The award is for a 5-year period, with anticipated funding of $6.25 million. The project involves control of collective phenomena in complex systems and is entitled "Predicting and controlling systems of interdependent networks: Exploiting interdependence for control". Raissa is the PI on the project, with collaborators from UC Davis, Rice, U Washington, Caltech and U Wisconsin. The highly competitive MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that intersect several traditional science and engineering disciplines in order to accelerate research progress. For more information on the MURI program see the DoD press release. For more information on Professor D'Souza's project: click here.




STEM Conference

The 3rd Annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education was held on Saturday, May 31, 2014

The conference provided a forum for K-14 STEM teachers, researchers, educators, policy makers, and industry partners to discuss and influence the future direction of integrated computing and STEM education.  The keynote address was given by Dr. Ralph J. Hexter, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Davis.  Plenary speakers included Dr. Debra Richardson, Professor of Informatics and founding dean of Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD).  C-STEM partner teachers, their district and school administrators, as well as researchers, educators, policy makers, and industry partners shared their experiences, best practices, and ideas on integrated computing and STEM education in breakout sessions.  Mafe Aguilar, Dylan Besk, Clayton Dagler, Liliana Lazo, and Ryan Mangan were recognized with the C-STEM Teacher of the Year award for their dedication and achievement on integrated computing and STEM education.  The School of Engineering and Sciences SCUSD was awarded the C-STEM School of the Year certificate for achieving excellence in integrated learning of computing and STEM subjects, and provide all students in the school with multi-year computing experience in C/C++.


Sarah D'SouzaThe following students received the Aerojet/GenCorp travel award for Spring 2013:

Sarah D'Souza: Presenting a paper on the "Investigation of Apollo-Derived Guidance Performance for Various Mars Entry Ellipsled-Class Vehicle Shapes"
Akshay Nanjangud: Presenting a paper on the "Low-Order Simultaneous Stabilization of Linear Bicycle Model at Different Forward Speeds"
Alan Williamson: Presenting a paper on the "Numerical Study of Contact Resistance in Process Scale-Up for Spark Plasma Sintering of Alumina"




Jose A. VelazquezThe 2013-14 recipient of the Dean Karnopp Fellowship is Jose Alcantar Velazquez. Jose is a current undergrad in our department who will begin his MS here in the fall. Go here for more information on the Dean Karnopp Endowed Fellowship.




2013 UC Davis C-STEM Day2013 UC Davis C-STEM Day:  RoboPlay Competition and Math Programming Competition

The 3rd UC Davis C-STEM Day, which was  held at the UC Davis Conference Center and the Alumni Center on Saturday, May 4, was another success. Harry Cheng organized the RoboPlay competition and the Math Programming Competitions, with help from the UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM), the College of Engineering’s UC Davis Computing and Robotics Outreach Club and 16 HP volunteers who served as judges for the RoboPlay Competition. 

For competition videos and more information 


AMAT Team places secondAMAT team placed second overall in the Advanced Class at the SAE Aero Design West competition in Van Nuys, April 12-14, 2013.

AMAT, a multidisciplinary team of students from MAE, CS and EE, won the best technical report and the second best oral presentation. Due to the complexity and the lack of clarity of the rules, AMAT team was unable to score flights.  Team participants had to drop a humanitarian package, a 3-pound sandbag, from 100 feet on a ground target. The airplanes were equipped with altimeter and camera with transmission to a laptop on ground to activate the drop. During the team’s first attempt, the pilot and laptop controller lost contact with the airplane at takeoff (for unknown reason) and the airplane had a hard landing, requiring to rebuild the front landing gear. During the last round, the AMAT airplane made a nice takeoff, climbed to 100 ft and dropped the package too far from the target, then landed safely. Of the 10 or so teams at the East competition, none succeeded in scoring a flight. This weekend, only the team from Poland was successful with their airplane (from last year). Congratulations, AMAT Team!
-Jean-Jacques Chattot, Stephen K. Robinson
AMAT faculty advisors


Temporary Lecturer Positions:

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California - Davis anticipates openings for temporary lecturers for 2013-2014 academic year to instruct courses in mechanical and aerospace engineering. For further details or to submit your application please see: Temporary Lecturer Positions


Students' Rocket to Fly in NASA Competition

A team of UC Davis students aims to fly their rocket exactly one mile high April 20 during NASA's Student Launch Projects competition near Huntsville, Alabama. This is the first [NASA Student Launch Projects 2013] year the UC Davis SpaceED rocket team has taken part in the national competition.

The aim of the competition is to design, build and launch a rocket that can fly to an altitude of exactly one mile carrying a scientific payload, said team member Dan Berman, a fourth-year undergraduate majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. Teams lose points for every foot of altitude above or below the one-mile mark.

The team of about 15 mostly undergraduate students has been working on the project since last August, including submitting regular reports to NASA and teleconferences with NASA engineers.

Video: Watch some of the team talk about the project.

"They get to see how a real project is run, communicating with real engineers and fulfilling real design requirements," said Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and one of the faculty advisors to the team.

"They have all the challenges and all of the rules of a 'real' rocket," she said.

The team has already carried out two successful test launches at the Snow Ranch launch site near Livermore.

Also advising the team are Mohammed Hafez and Fidelis Eke, both professors in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Marti Sarigul-Klijn, lecturer in the College of Engineering. The UC Davis SpaceED Rocket Team is associated with the Space Engineering Research and Graduate program, established in 2001, which offers courses related to space flight.

The Student Launch Projects competition is sponsored by NASA and ATK.

More information: NASA video about Student Launch Projects.


Two of our graduate students were recognized at last weekend's UC Davis Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Student Symposium

Yuriy Zrodnikov won the Dean's Prize for Best Oral Presentation in Engineering for "Microscale High Asymmetric Longitudinal Field Ion Mobility Spectrometer (HALF---IMS) Chemical Detection Device". Stephanie Pulford earned the second place Award for Best Written Paper for "Story in Science: Narrative Structure as a Tool for Technical Communication". Please join us in congratulating them both!

For more information: Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Student Symposium


Warren and Leta Giedt Lecture Series

Current research interests of Dr. Batten include computational methods for controlling and optimizing distributed parameter systems, mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, and dynamics and control of autonomous vehicles and wave energy devices. Dr. Batten's research has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In addition to her faculty appointment in the School of MIME, Dr. Batten directs the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), a collaboration between Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) supporting wave and tidal energy development for the United States.

The late Warren and Leta Giedt established an endowment in support of the teaching, research, and service activities of the Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The Lectureship is funded by the endowment and provides for a series of thought-provoking speakers on current issues and research in engineering.

For more information: Seminars and Events


From left to right: Michael, Kierstin, and RolandCareers in Energy Week: Awards Ceremony & Reception
Friday, March 22, 2013 (4:30 pm – 6:30 pm)

At Friday's award ceremony, Roland Tejeda, Kierstin Altom and Michael Ford won an award for their entry in the Idea Innovation Contest organized by SMUD and PG&E. 

For more information: Careers in Energy Week Program




Boeing, Chevron and GenCorp/Aerojet Scholarships for 2013

Scholarships from Boeing, Chevron and GenCorp/Aerojet are now available for Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering students for 2013. The deadline to apply for each of these scholarships is Friday, April 5, 2013. See links below for requirements and the application.

Boeing Scholar Award

Gencorp/Aerojet Scholar Award

Chevron Scholar Award


Barbara Linke is the recipient of 2013 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineering Award which is conferred in recognition of her notable achievements in manufacturing.

For further details:


Mont Hubbard and his colleagues won the Sports Engineering Best Paper Award for their article entitled "Designing tomorrow's snow park jump" which appeared in Sports Engineering, March 2012, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1-20. Good jump and congratulations, Mont!




Niels Gronbech-Jensen, in collaboration with UC Berkeley and Los Alamos National Lab, receives a $750,000 DOE grant to investigate alternate nuclear reactor steel.

Full article: Grant to allow UC Davis researchers to investigate alternate nuclear reactor steel


Cristina Davis' breath analysis technology is notably mentioned and quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

Full article: What Your Breath Reveals


Sanjay Joshi collaboration receives $1.21 million NSF grant

Sanjay Joshi and his collaborators at Columbia University received a NSF grant in the amount of $1.21 million for the effort entitled "Assistive Robotics for Grasping and Manipulation using Novel Brain Computer Interfaces." The effort focuses on the development of systems that allow advanced robotic manipulators to be controlled by the human nervous system, in order to assist individuals who are paralyzed or otherwise immobilized. Under the NSF collaborative research grant mechanism, UC Davis will receive a direct grant for $430,000 of the total funds. Congratulations, Sanjay!



UC Davis C-STEM Center Receives NSF Grant

The UC Davis C-STEM Center has received a grant of $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to study collaborative mathematics learning with robots. This two-year project aims to transform math education by integrating computer programming, robotics, and handheld computing into middle and high school math classrooms. 

The UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) aims to improve computing, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in both formal and informal K-14 education. The C-STEM Center is actively engaged in technology innovation, curriculum development, professional development for K-12 STEM teachers, and classroom implementation. 

Full article:


Grants to study robotics as teaching tool in schools

Two new grants totaling $1.25 million awarded to the University of California, Davis, by the National Science Foundation will support studies of the impact of robotics in teaching science, technology, engineering and math from elementary to high school.

Both projects are led by Harry Cheng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education.

Full article:



Hyundai Motor launches a R&D agreement with UC Davis and UC Berkeley.

Hyundai signed a MOU with UC Davis to study vehicle dynamics systems and with UC Berkeley to study integrated safety systems and control. The UCD's multi-year effort for the "Hyundai Center of Excellence Vehicle Dynamic Systems and Control" will be housed in MAE and led by Don Margolis, Dean Karnopp, and Jaewan Park. Congratulations Don, Dean and Jaewan!

For further details, visit these links:,c9299794


Mont Hubbard is elected ISEA fellow.

At last month's ISEA's 9th International Sports Engineering Conference in Lowell Massachusetts, Mont Hubbard was elected one of the first two Fellows, the other being Steven Haake, the ISEA founder. He was elected in large part based on his large and influential body of research papers, most of which have been devoted to the mechanics of sport including athlete feedback in training, and his close involvement with ISEA throughout most of its existence. Congratulations Mont!





MOBOTRon Hess receives 2012 AIAA honor.

Ronald Hess, a Mechanical and Aerospace faculty, received recently a major honor at the 2012 AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Conference and Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His two papers entitled "A Pilot Modeling Technique for Handling Qualities Research" (1980) and "Cross-Coupling in Pilot/Vehicle Systems" (1985) were named as "Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Most Influential Papers of the 1980s." Congratulations, Ron!




MOBOTMAE Department welcomes new faculty Stephen K. Robinson, former NASA astronaut and UCD alumnus.
Dr. Stephen (Steve) K. Robinson joins the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty as a full time professor this coming Fall 2012, after retiring from NASA. His 36 years of distinguished service at NASA include numerous honors and awards--four shuttle missions, three spacewalks--and extensive expertise in spacecraft systems, space robotics and scientific payload operations. As a research scientist, his areas of interest include turbulence flow physics and modeling, experimental techniques, instrumentation, 3D scientific visualization, applied aerodynamics, safety engineering and applied cognitive psychology.

Welcome home, Steve!

Read more:,


Modular robot "Mobot" received a second round of NSF SBIR Phase II funding.
A two-year grant of $500,000 is awarded to Barobo, which is a startup company based on the patented technology invented by Professor Harry Cheng and his former graduate student, Graham Ryland. Barobo received their NSF SBIR Phase I of $150,000 last year. Both Cheng and Barobo continue their collaboration with regional middle and high schools to design and build new prototype parts for the robot.


Seyedeh Sheida Hosseini,
Sheida, a mechanical and aerospace science double major, is one of the three recipients of the 2012 Margarita Robinson Student Leadership award in recognition for "outstanding service and leadership through involvement in recognized student groups and activities." Dedicated, enthusiastic and energetic, Sheida is one of the co-captains of the Advanced Modeling Aeronautics Team (AMAT) and the current president of the UCD AIAA student chapter. The award recipients were honored by Chancellor Katehi at a special lunch on May 21. Congratulations, Sheida!


MAE Formula HybridOur UC Davis Formula Hybrid SAE Team is gearing up for the Formula Hybrid International Competition on April 30-May 3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in London, NH.   This highly motivated and dedicated team of mechanical engineering students, along with their faculty advisor Dr. Jae Wan Park, has been working tirelessly to complete their ‘Green Machine’ with an eye toward the 2012 Hybrid title.  Read more in the Sacramento Bee:


MAE students receive Best Student Paper Award

Please join us in congratulating graduate students David Ko and Nalaka Kahawatte and Professor Harry Cheng. Their paper titled "Controlling Modular Reconfigurable Robots with Handheld Smart Devices" was awarded the Best Student Paper Award at the 2011 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Washington, DC, August 29-31, 2011. Currently, David Ko is a PhD student and Nalaka Kahawatte is an MS student. David attended the conference and received the award.

Nice job David, Nalaka and Prof. Cheng!


MAE alumnus becomes head of DOE Wind & Water Power program

Recently, Jose Zayas became manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Wind & Water Power program. Zayas received his master's degree in MAE in 2002. Before moving to DC, he was the senior manager of the Renewable Energy Technologies group at Sandia National Laboratories.

Nice to see our alumni doing well.


Andy Frank - Courtesy Efficient Drivetrains, Inc.Andy Frank honored by Automotive News
Professor Andy Frank is being honored by Automotive News. During a gala at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on June 13, Andy will be named to the first-ever list of 100 of the most influential people globally who are driving the world toward vehicle electrification.

Congratulations Prof. Frank!


iMobot crawling Cristina Davis Recipient of The Hartwell Foundation Award
The Hartwell Foundation announced that it has selected Associate Professor Cristina Davis for its 2010 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award for "Point-Of-Care Breath Sensor to Improve Childhood Asthma Control." This award provides support for three years to fund early-stage, innovative, and cutting-edge biomedical research to benefit children. (This is the second Hartwell award for an MAE faculty member; Associate Professor Joshi received this award last year for "New Human-Computer Interface for Severely Paralyzed Children.") See UCDavis Dateline article from 29 April 2011.

Congratulations Prof. Davis!


iMobot crawling iMobot makes public debut
iMobot, an intelligent, reconfigurable modular robot invented by Graham Ryland, a UC Davis alumnus, and MAE Professor Harry Cheng is headed for commercial development with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation. iMobot technology could be used in industrial applications for rapidly prototyping complex robotics - and may eventually form the basis of robots for search-and-rescue operations in difficult terrain. Also see this news story from San Fransisco's KGO.

Congratulations Prof. Cheng and Graham!


2011 FIRST Competition MAE students mentor student robotics teams
Mechanical Engineering student Michael Corsetto mentored the Citrus Circuits team from DaVinci High School in Davis. Citrus Circuits took first place at the Sacramento Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held at UC Davis in March. They will compete at the FIRST Robotics national championship in St. Louis, April 27-30.

Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering graduate student Kevin Gucwa mentors West Sacramento's River City High School Robotics Team. It placed second in its debut competition, the Bay Area Regional Robotics Challenge, held in San Jose in January. Gucwa provided his mentoring through the K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education, or CSTEM.

Congratulations Michael and Kevin and to your respective teams!


letter A I A A in blue Ron Hess announced AIAA Fellow
In December 2010, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced the election of 29 new Fellows, one of them being Mechanical and Aerospace professor, Ron Hess. Hess joins Mohamed Hafez, becoming the second AIAA Fellow in the MAE department. One new Fellow is elected each year for each 1,000 voting members of AIAA.

Congratulations Dr. Hess!