News Briefs

Welcome to the University of Virginia's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering news briefs, a place to find quick notes and posts from the faculty, students, staff and alumni.

    Baoxing Xu Wins Two Competitive and Prestigious Research Awards

    May 21, 2020


    Congratulations to assistant professor Baoxing Xu at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who has recently received a 2020 ONR Young Investigator Award and the 2020 ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award.

    According to The Office of Naval Research (ONR), the ONR Young Investigator Program (YIP) is one of the nation’s oldest and most selective basic research early career awards in science and technology. Its purpose is to fund tenure-track academic researchers, or equivalent, whose scientific pursuits show outstanding promise for supporting the Department of Defense, while also promoting their professional development. Xu is among the 25 scientists who have been selected to receive a 2020 YIP grant from 260 applicants nationwide.

    Xu was also selected for the 2020 ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award “for the development of multiphysics interface mechanics for creative applications in the novel design and assembly of heterogeneous structures, film electronics and soft–hard integrated materials.” This award recognizes early career research excellence in the areas of experimental, computational, and theoretical mechanics and materials by young investigators who are within ten years after their Ph.D. degree. To read more about the award, click here.

    Because Engineers are Innovative

    May 21, 2020

    From Assistant Professor Dan Quinn: "Since the second half of my class was supposed to be a hands-on robotics final project, I thought Covid-19 would ruin the whole thing. Instead, one student volunteered to take one of the robotics rigs back to her apartment and set up a webcam + remote access so that other students could run tests remotely. It was pretty cool." [VIDEO]



    Winners at the 15th Annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium

    May 21, 2020


    Graduate student Sebastian Giudice (left), from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace’s Center for Applied Biomechanics, won first place in the podium presentation category at the (virtual) 15th annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium. The event highlights the research achievements across all UVA Engineering’s graduate student body. Research scientist Bronek Gepner (right) who is also from the department’s Center for Applied Biomechanics, won the Research Mentor of the Year award. This award is given to a non-faculty, non-student research-focused employee who is indispensable to many students' work.

    Giudice presented his research on a new technique that he has developed to automatically generate patient-specific brain models using advanced image processing techniques. Using this technique, he is developing a dataset of brain models that will shed light on how the brain’s normal anatomical variation affects traumatic brain injury (TBI) risk and how the biomechanics of the brain during impact relates to the changes in the brain structures of TBI patients. Ultimately, he hopes that these patient-specific models will help improve the diagnosis and treatment of TBI. 

    “The work that Sebastian is doing is building the bridge that will link computational biomechanics and 3D medical imaging. The tools he has developed will first provide new insights into the mechanisms and outcomes of concussion in individual patients, but I think we will be able to extend these tools to other body regions and clinical applications where digital human body models are needed to develop optimal and personalized solutions for the patient,” said Matthew B. Panzer, deputy director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering and Sebastian’s advisor.

    Gepner’s research focuses on finite element modeling, numerical support of experiments, and massively parallel computing. His areas of interest are occupant safety, human body modeling and vehicle crashworthiness.

    “Because Bronek is both a leader in the field of computational biomechanics and an outstanding educator, he is a critical resource for our student engineers. He is patient, greatly interested in the student projects and makes himself available literally all the time.  The whole team values his skills and expertise, not just the students,” said Jason R. Kerrigan, director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics and associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and orthopaedic surgery.