University of Evansville

Mechanical Engineering

Through internships and cooperative education opportunities, UE's mechanical engineering students gain real world experience, making them better prepared to succeed in the professional arena after graduation


Heritage Federal Credit Union Awards Scholarships

Posted: September 30, 2014

Heritage Federal Credit Union honored soccer players Bronwyn Boswell and Kevin Schafer with its annual scholarship at last week's Student-Athlete Academic Honors Breakfast.

Given out each year, the scholarship is given to a male and female who meet four specific criteria.  They must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 while participating in at least 20 hours of community service for three or more non-profit service organizations.
The recipients must hold a campus leadership position and also assume a leadership role on their team, which is based on a letter of recommendation from their head coach.
Bronwyn Boswell of the women's soccer team has earned a 3.952 GPA as a direct admit into the Physical Therapy Program.  She has accumulated 40 community service hours while helping out 10 different organizations.
Mechanical Engineering major Kevin Schafer has worked hard to achieving a 3.9 GPA in his first three years.  In the community, Schafer has worked 20.5 hours across eight different organizations.

Mechanical Engineering Students' Research Featured on Cover of National Publication

Posted: September 17, 2014

The research work of mechanical engineering students Brandon Causey, Efoise Eigbobo, and Kevin Schafer was recently featured on the cover of the national quarterly CURQ on the Web, a digital publication of the Council for Undergraduate Research. Other mechanical engineering students, including Ajanwachuku Okike, Nick Ueblehor, Kyle Schwinghamer, and Alex Miller, were involved in the research to improve the performance of a solar-powered thermosiphon.

UE Engineering Students Invite the Public to First “Fast Friday”

Posted: April 22, 2014

The first University of Evansville Fast Friday is set for Friday, April 25 from 1:00-5:30 p.m. on UE's Memorial Plaza. Vehicles designed and built by UE engineering student teams will be on display, including the Baja Buggy, Formula Car, Super Mileage Car and Solar Car.

The student team members will also be on hand to explain their process for designing and building the vehicles.

The public is invited to this free event which will also include tours of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

For more information, contact UE student Rory Moran at or 260-499-1783

44th Annual Balsawood Bridge Competition Set for Saturday, February 15

Posted: February 11, 2014

The University of Evansville student section of the American Society of Civil Engineers will conduct the 44th annual balsawood bridge competition on Saturday, February 15. Approximately 200 kindergarten through high school aged children will participate in the event which will take place in Eykamp Hall in Ridgway University Center on UE’s campus from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The top junior winner will be awarded a scholarship to study engineering at UE.

UE Associate Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Mark Valenzuela, co-advisor for the competition, says the event was created to be a “fun activity that gets kids excited about engineering, math and science.”

He explains that preparations for the event began a few months ago when participants were given balsawood kits to build their bridges.

The completed bridges will be brought to UE for the competition where, says Valenzuela, “our civil engineering students will inspect them for compliance with the rules and test their strength by seeing how much lead shot each bridge can carry in a bucket. The bridge that holds the most shot but uses the least amount of balsawood wins in different age groups.”

UE civil engineering student Christina Bernauer is the competition’s project manager. Valenzuela notes that Christina was herself a contestant in one of the annual balsawood competitions when she was in grade school.

UE’s 17th Annual Engineer's Week Banquet Planned for February 19

Posted: February 10, 2014

The 17th annual Engineer’s Week Banquet, sponsored by the Dean’s Advisory Council of the University of Evansville College of Engineering and Computer Science, will be held February 19 at 6 p.m. in Eykamp Hall in Ridgway University Center. The community is invited to attend.

The $20 ticket price includes a buffet meal. To make reservations and purchase tickets, call Tina Newman at 812-488-2651.

Hosted by the student chapter of IEEE, the banquet celebrates National Engineer’s Week.
The guest speaker this year is Sam Giesting, associate and member of the Intellectual Property Department in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Giesting received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UE in 2005. He earned his J.D. cum laude from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, where he was president of the Intellectual Property Association. While at UE, he was selected to the Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society and served as ombudsman for the student government association. As an engineering student, Giesting co-invented a wheelchair design for which he holds a patent.

Giesting’s current practice focuses on patent preparation and patent prosecution. He also counsels clients on foreign patent protection, patent infringement and invalidity, and various other intellectual property matters.


UE Students Win Innovative Design Competition

Posted: October 22, 2013

For the second year in a row, an interdisciplinary team of five UE students brought home first-place honors in the Lawrence Technological University Innovation Encounter competition, held October 18-19 in Southfield, Michigan. The UE team included students from engineering, business, and physical therapy.

Students representing UE were Vaughn Ahlf (mechanical engineering), Laura Best (mechanical engineering), Andrey Biryuchinskiy (finance and economics), Jawad AlDhalemi (computer engineering), and Annie Wooten (physical therapy). Immanuel Selvaraj, UE assistant professor of civil engineering, coached the team.

The competition challenged teams to create a business-level solution for a real-world client’s (Reverie) problem statement in a two-day event. The event engaged students from eight universities in both competition and the appreciation of the skills learned during their academic careers. The competition included educational components, networking opportunities, and valuable feedback. The LTU “Innovation Encounter” provided students the opportunity to work on a real-world problem that required teamwork, business planning, critical thinking, and innovation.

In addition to UE, the universities that competed were Gonzaga University, Ohio Northern University, Lawrence Technological University, Villanova University, Saint Louis University, Kettering University, and Widener University.

UE to Host Webelos Scouts Engineering Pin Day

Posted: October 18, 2013

The University of Evansville's College of Engineering and Computer Science will host an engineering pin day for local Webelos Scouts and their leaders. From 7:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Saturday, October 26, Webelos Scouts will rotate through hands-on activity stations led by UE engineering and computer science students. The activities can be applied toward earning the Webelos Scout engineering pin.

Advance registration with payment of $6 per scout is required. Webelos Scout leaders may obtain forms and information from Tina Newman in UE's College of Engineering and Computer Science, 812-488-2651, or Jennifer Whitaker with the Boy Scouts of America Buffalo Trace Council, 812-423-5246.

UE to Offer Review Course for Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

Posted: September 17, 2013

This fall, the University of Evansville’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will offer a review course for students and community members preparing to take the 2014 Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

The eight-hour FE exam, which will be offered at computer testing centers nationwide beginning in January, is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. It is typically the first step in the process to becoming a licensed professional engineer.

The review class is taught by University of Evansville faculty members and offered only once a year. Classes will take place on Thursday nights from 6:30-9 p.m. in UE’s Koch Center for Engineering and Science.

This year, classes will be divided based on specific majors: civil engineering (classes run September 26-January 23), electrical and computer engineering (classes run October 31-November 21), and mechanical engineering and other disciplines (September 26-December 5). 

The deadline to register for the review course is September 25. For more information or to register, please contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 812-488-2651.

UE Students to Help Nonprofit Organization Launch Medical Facility in Dominican Republic

Posted: July 22, 2013

As part of an intensive summer course in applied process development – and an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in a developing country – 15 University of Evansville students will spend the next two weeks in the Dominican Republic.

From July 23-August 6, UE business, communication, engineering, and nursing students will work with the nonprofit organization G.O. Ministries to develop plans for the organization’s new medical facility, currently under construction in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

UE’s interdisciplinary, faculty-led team is tasked with creating process developments (such as determining efficient patient flow, how to secure medications and archive patient medical records, and more), business plans, and equipment and supply recommendations consistent with accepted United States practices.

The two-week course, for which students will receive three hours of academic credit, includes a classroom portion taught by UE professors, as well as fieldwork and observation at the existing G.O. Ministries medical clinic and other relevant sites in the Dominican Republic. The students will receive instruction in health administration, process development, and business plan development.

At the conclusion of the course, students will present their findings to G.O. Ministries for implementation in the new medical facility, scheduled for completion in Summer 2014.

“I think I’ll grow as a result of this opportunity through the application of what I’ve learned in class, but I’ll also have my eyes opened to another culture,” said Jacquelyn Ballard, a business administration and international studies student from St. Louis, Missouri, United States. “I hope that this changes my perspective in how I view the world and my own values. On a professional level, I believe this will expose me to many different aspects of business in a very hands-on way, helping me understand exactly where I would like to focus or specialize.”

“Working with a multidisciplinary team provides me with new thought processes and chances to see the world through the eyes of other people,” said Brenna Siscoe, a nursing student from Dugger, Indiana, United States. “With new ways to view the world and all we have, I am able to be a more well-rounded worker and human being.”

"I decided to take part in this opportunity because I felt that I had a lot to offer this organization and that it would be a life-changing experience for me personally," said Vaughn Ahlf, a mechanical engineering major from Evansville. "Through the University, I participated on a team that took first place at the Lawerence Tech Innovation Encounter competition, where I learned problem-solving techniques and gained experience working with a multidisciplinary team. I also feel that my experience working as a mechanical engineering intern at the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center would help me with the medical aspect of this project."

UE faculty members accompanying the group are Amy Hall, White Family Endowed Professor and chair of the Dunigan Family Department of Nursing and Health Sciences; Richard Deer, director of UE’s Center for Intensive Experiential Education; and Jill Griffin, director of the Global Assistance Program in UE’s Institute for Global Enterprise. John Layer, associate professor of mechanical engineering, will deliver online course components.

Layer facilitated the relationship between UE and G.O. Ministries after he traveled to Haiti and the Dominican Republic with the organization. He saw opportunities for UE students to be involved in the design and planning phase of the organization’s projects.

Since then, University of Evansville students have assisted G.O. Ministries on projects in the Dominican Republic (assessing a 40-acre potential building site and designing a three-story building in 2008 and developing a solar water heater in 2010) and Mongolia (designing two new buildings and creating business plans for craft businesses in 2012).

“Over the last five years, the relationship with G.O. Ministries has led to transformational experiences for many of our students,” said Layer. “When students travel to developing countries, they often return home with a new sense of purpose and desire to make an impact. In addition, they benefit from working with an interdisciplinary team to address real-world problems and create solutions.” 

UE students traveling to the Dominican Republic are Vaughn Ahlf, Jacquelyn Ballard, Ryan Bassemier, Laura Best, Brandi Blosl, Abby Browder, Mathew Brown, Heather Browning, Renee Croce, Gaby Fifer, Rachel Mendoza-Santiago, Shannon Osiecki, Breianna Simpson, Brenna Siscoe, and Brynne Thompson.

The University of Evansville wishes to thank the Institute for Global Enterprise, the Center for Intensive Experiential Education, and the Lilly Endowment for their generous support of this educational experience.

Past OPTIONS Participant to Serve as Mentor-in-Residence for High School Girls

Posted: May 20, 2013

Kelsey Smith, a 2006 OPTIONS for High School Girls summer camp participant, will serve as mentor-in-residence for girls attending this year’s OPTIONS experience, which explores the vast career possibilities in engineering and computer science.

Smith, a resident of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, will provide guidance and advice to this year’s OPTIONS for High School Girls attendees as well as teaching.

Smith, a Montana native, learned about OPTIONS through the Internet and attended the program before her junior year of high school. She credits the experience for deepening her understanding and interest in the diverse career opportunities in engineering.

“OPTIONS gave me incredible exposure to the different fields of engineering and the roles that women play in them. Being in an all-girls camp gave me the confidence to ask questions and explore more about the ‘how,’” Smith said. “There were so many opportunities offered – we were able to visit a wide range of plants and factories, and really see the in-depth functioning of different systems. In addition, I met some amazing women mentors.”

Smith graduated from high school in Bigfork, Montana, in 2008. There, she received varsity letters in soccer, track, and cheerleading; held leadership positions as speech and debate team captain, student council vice president, and newspaper editor-in-chief; and played first-chair flute.

Smith graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2012, where she majored in behavioral science with minors in Arabic and Spanish. Upon graduation from the Academy, Smith was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. She currently attends the Air Force Institute of Technology and is studying engineering management – human factors engineering. After graduation in 2014, Smith plans to work as a researcher in the Air Force.

Openings are still available in both OPTIONS for High School Girls, June 9-14, and OPTIONS for Middle School Girls, June 16-20. Thanks to the Alcoa Foundation, a limited number of scholarships are available for girls from Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Attendees are welcome from all states and counties.

For more information, please contact Tina Newman, OPTIONS program coordinator in the University of Evansville’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, at 812-488-2651.

Mechanical Engineering Students Design Aquatic Wheelchair for Easter Seals

Posted: May 14, 2013

This year, a group of University of Evansville mechanical engineering students infused their senior design project with a spirit of giving: They designed, built, and donated an aquatic wheelchair for local children and adults with disabilities.

Three senior members of the team, along with faculty advisor Doug Stamps, UE professor of mechanical engineering, presented the chair to Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center therapists and clients this morning at the Evansville center’s therapeutic pool.

The presentation marks the completion of a senior design project that began last fall, when a 10-person team of mechanical engineering students accepted a unique challenge: Design and fabricate an aquatic wheelchair to enable individuals with disabilities to safely enter and exit the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center’s therapeutic pool, using an existing wheelchair-accessible ramp.

The UE students obtained donations of funding, products, and services for the project, and spent months researching, designing, fabricating, building, testing, and refining the chair.

Compared to commercially available chairs and one built eight years ago by a different team UE students, this chair features redesigned brakes, a new retractable footrest mechanism, armrests that fold up, and a different wheel placement to add stability. All of the improvements, developed in consultation with Easter Seals therapists and rehabilitation engineer, contributed to the students’ goal of making the chair as safe and user-friendly as possible.

According to Easter Seals pool manager Molly Mackey, up to two or three Easter Seals clients per day will use the chair in their aquatic therapy sessions.

“This service-learning project truly brings engineering design to life, and the team’s dedication to serving the community was key to helping them overcome the challenges that naturally arise during a design project,” said Stamps. “I’m very proud to see them emerge with a high-quality product that will make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities.”

UE students involved in the project include seniors Kenneth Kaufmann (team leader), Kelly Esser, Clint Hoskins, and Sam Mires; and underclass students Melissa Thompson, Luke Zarnoth, Gaby Fifer, Nolan Eliason, Ian Kendrick, and Jessa Ward.

UE Students Win Inventive Problem Solving Competition

Posted: October 23, 2012

A UE inter-disciplinary team of five students brought home first place honors in the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) “Innovation Encounter” competition held on October 19-20, 2012 in Southfield, Michigan.   The UE team included students from engineering, nursing and business.  

In the competition, teams were challenged with creating a business level solution for a real-world client (MASCO Bath) problem statement in a two day event.  The event engaged innovative students from seven universities in both competition and the appreciation of the skills learned during their academic careers.  The competition included educational components, networking opportunities, and valuable feedback.  The LTU “Innovation Encounter” provided students the opportunity to work on a real-world problem that required teamwork, business planning, critical thinking, and innovation.

The seven universities competing included Gonzaga, Ohio Northern, Lawrence Tech, Villanova, Saint Louis University, Kettering, and UE.  

Students on the UE team included Lan Do (Accounting), Andrea Cadavid (Global Business), Brenna Siscoe (Nursing), Vaughn Ahlf (Mechanical Engineering), and Justin Jackman (Mechanical Engineering). 

The UE team was coached by Dr. Jerrilee Lamar, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Mr. Rick Deer, Director of the UE Center for Intensive Experiential Education.

OPTIONS Program Receives $30,000 Grant from Alcoa Foundation

Posted: September 24, 2012

The University of Evansville is proud to announce that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation in support of OPTIONS, a summer program that introduces middle and high school students to the vast career possibilities in engineering and computer science.

The grant will provide scholarships for middle and high school girls to attend OPTIONS in 2013 and 2014, opening up STEM opportunities (science, technology, engineering, and math) to a population that is underrepresented in these career fields. Scholarships will also be available to OPTIONS graduates who enroll in a four-year degree program at UE.

During OPTIONS programs, students stay on UE’s campus in a residence hall, complete hands-on projects, take classes taught by UE faculty members, and meet local professional women in the engineering and computer science fields.

“We started OPTIONS for High School Girls in 1992 — and OPTIONS for Middle School Girls in 2004 — as residential summer programs to help young women with an aptitude for math and science learn about the exciting career opportunities in engineering and computer science,” said Phil Gerhart, dean of UE’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Today, we’re very grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for providing scholarship support to this program, which will allow a greater number of talented, motivated young women to experience OPTIONS.”

“Alcoa Warrick Operations is excited to be able to help support this program through the plant’s annual allocation from the Alcoa Foundation,” said Royce Haws, the location manager for the Primary Metals Division at Warrick Operations. “Most of our community investments from the Foundation are focused on education, recognizing that changes in the economy require upgraded skills that will help keep Warrick Operations globally competitive — investments in science, technology, engineering, and math are a key community and business need.”

The University of Evansville wishes to thank the Alcoa Foundation for its generous support of OPTIONS, in addition to other programs and projects at UE. Past Alcoa Foundation grants to the University of Evansville have supported the development of the LEED-certified Ridgway University Center, development of TWICE (the Tri-State Women in Computing and Engineering professional network), student scholarships, and the community-wide RecycleMania initiative.

For more information on OPTIONS, please visit or contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 812-488-2651.

UE to Offer Review Course for Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

Posted: September 5, 2012

Beginning this fall, the University of Evansville College of Engineering and Computer Science will offer a review course for those preparing to take the 2013 Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

The eight-hour FE exam, to be held April 13, 2013 in Hyde Hall on the UE campus, is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. It is typically the first step in the process to becoming a licensed professional engineer. Information about the exam is available here.

The review class is taught by University of Evansville faculty members and offered only once a year. It covers information required for the exam, including mathematics, materials science, chemistry, statics, mechanics of materials, dynamics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, probability and statistics, and engineering economics.

Most classes will take place on Thursday nights (with occasional Wednesdays) from 6:30-9 p.m. in UE’s Koch Center for Engineering and Science. Those who are reviewing for the civil engineering portion of the exam should plan to attend from October 18 to March 28; all other disciplines will attend classes through February 21. No classes will be held between November 28 and January 10.

The review class costs $100 for current UE students, $250 for non-UE college students, and $400 for the general public. Required texts will be provided in the fee.

The deadline to register for the review course is October 15. For more information or to register, please contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 812-488-2651.