25 Top Professors of Mechanical Engineering

Find schools

Sunil Agrawal

Dr. Sunil Agrawal obtained a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1990, and currently directs the Robotics and Rehabilitation Laboratory (ROAR) and Robotic Systems Engineering Laboratory (ROSE) at Columbia University. His work has led to nearly 350 refereed journal and papers, as well as eight patents and 10 pending patent applications.

Mohamed Abdou

Dr. Mohamed Abdou is a professor of mechanical engineering at UCLA and is the director of the Fusion Science and Technology Center. He is also the founding president of the U.S. Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL), the director of the Center for Energy Science and Technology Advanced Research (CESTAR) since 2003, and the leader of the U.S.-Japan Collaboration on Thermofluids and Thermomechanics since 1995.

J. Keith Nisbett

Dr. J. Keith Nisbett has been working in the mechanical engineering department at the Missouri Institute of Science and Technology since 1989, and is currently an associate professor and associate chair. He has received significant recognition for his work throughout the past three decades, is a coauthor of Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design textbook, and works in the fields of kinematics, mechanical design, and mechanism synthesis.

William Dunn

Dr. William Dunn is the department head and Steven M. and Kay L. Theede chair in engineering at Kansas State University, whose research includes both mechanical and nuclear engineering. He has been the treasurer of the International Radiation Physics Society since 2012 and has held numerous other positions in other organizations; he also holds a number of patents and has been widely published since at least 1992.

Cyrus K. Aidun

Dr. Cyrus K. Aidun has been working at Georgia Tech since 1988, and began working therein 2003 as a professor. He has pioneered the development of the Lattice-Boltzmann (LB)method for suspension hydrodynamics and nonlinear dynamical systems, and his research focuses on fluid mechanics.

Ali Beskok

Dr. Ali Beskok has been a professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department at Southern Methodist University since 2013. He received a Best Paper Award, MEMS Division of the IMECE 2012 conference, an ODU Shining Star Award in 2011 and 2010, and numerous other accolades beforehand. He has also received 4,000 citations as of September 20th, 2013, according to Google Scholar.

Gregory S. Chirikjian

Dr. Chirikjian is a professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and was the program director for the National Science Foundation from September 2014 to September 2015. Awards bestowed upon him include the NASA Certificate of Recognition, the 2014 A.T. Yang Memorial Award, the 2014 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, and a number of others since the 1980s.

Jeffrey S. Allen

Dr. Jeffrey S. Allen is the John & Joan Calder Professor of mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech. He is an “experimentalist interested in the study of two-phase flow in capillary systems; such as found in the gas flow channels and diffusion media of PEM fuelcells.”

Radovan Kovacevic

Dr. Radovan Kovacevic is the Herman Brown Chair Professor of mechanical engineering at Southern Methodist University, and is the director of the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Center for Laser-Aided Manufacturing. He has been credited with over 580 publications that were cited over 7,000 times as of Dec. 31, 2015. He is a Fellow of ASME, SME and AWS. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal presented by SME “for significant published research leading to a better understanding of materials, facilities, principles and their application to improve manufacturing processes”. Among a number of recognitions and awards, he has been awarded fellowships by the Fulbright Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Carl Duisberg Foundation.

Nagaraj K. Arakere

Dr. Arakere is a professor and the associate department chair of the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida. His teaching interests include failure of materials in design, fatigue, fracture mechanics, contact mechanics, vibrations, and rotor dynamics. His research interests span surface engineering and tribology, fatigue, fracture, monotonic and cyclic deformation response, microstructural design of high strength bearing steels, fatigue spall propagation, and related constitutive and finite element model development. The interdisciplinary nature of his research requires working at the intersection of mechanics of materials and materials science. His research is supported by the NSF, NASA, AFRL and industry. He has published widely in the International Journal of Fatigue, International Journal of Plasticity, Journal of Tribology, Tribology Transactions, and Engineering Fracture Mechanics.

Jonathan Cagan

Dr. Jonathan Cagan is the George Tallman and Florence Bartlett Ladd Professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the associate dean for strategic initiatives in the college of engineering. He is also the co-director of the Integrated Innovation Institute, and has received a host of awards, including the Best Paper Award multiple times from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mica Grujicic

Dr. Mica Grujicic is the Wilfred P. and Helen S. Tiencken Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University, where he has worked since 1988. In 2007 he received the McQueen Quattlebaum Research Award, which “recognizes outstanding accomplishments in research and engineering within the College of Engineering and Science.” He is also a member of the American Carbon Society, as well as the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.

B. Terry Beck

Dr. B. Terry Beck has been with Kansas State University since 1979; he is currently a full professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering. He is a member of ASME, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and a number of other professional organizations. He has also received the Outstanding Advisor Award (2009), Snell Distinguished Career Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2008), and numerous other recognitions.

Ezra Bar-Ziv

Dr. Ezra Bar-Ziv focuses his research on emissions from coal power plants, simulation of operation of coal power plants, and kinetics of torrefaction and pyrolysis of biomass. His recent co-authored publications include “Firing Tests of Biocoal” (July 2014), “Torrefied-Biomass from Municipal Solid Waste for Power Production” (2013), and many more.

Victor M. Bright

Dr. Bright is the Alvah and Harriett Hovlid Professor of micro and nanoelectromechanical systems at the University of Colorado, and is the Faculty Director for Discovery Learning. From 2005 to 2007 he served as the associate dean of research, and spent 2004 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich as a visiting professor. He is a senior member of IEEE, a fellow of ASME, and he has authored over 250 journal papers, conference proceedings, and book chapters.

Gerard A. Ateshian

Dr. Gerard A. Ateshian received his PhD from Columbia University in 1991, and is currently a professor and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory. His recent publications include “Mechanics of Cell Growth” (2012), “the Role of Interstitial Fluid Pressurization in Articular Cartilage Lubrication” (2009), and many more.

S. Mostafa Ghiaasiaan

Dr. Ghiaasiaan is a professor of heat transfer, combustion, and energy systems at Georgia Tech, where he has worked in various capacities since 1991. He has received the Best PhD thesis award multiple times from Sigma Xi (the Georgia Tech chapter), has been an executive editor for Annals of Nuclear Energy from 2006 until the present, and was an American Society of Mechanical Engineers fellow in 2004.

Hashem Ashrafiuon

Dr. Ashrafiuon is a professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC) at Villanova University, where he began working in 1988. He has worked with and for a number of businesses and government institutions, including the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Brain Computer Interface, Environmental Tectonics Corporation, and more.

Narayana Aluru

Dr. Narayana Aluru is the Richard W. Kritzer Distinguished Professor and director of the department of computational science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research topics include nanomechanics and nanomanufacturing, and he has coauthored numerous publications since 1993. He is also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he was a University Scholar from 2010-2013, and he has received numerous other accolades.

James Hone

Dr. James Hone is the Wang Fon-Jen Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, and is the leader of the Hone Group, a research organization focusing on carbon nanotubes, nano-bioscience, and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). He recently coauthored “Cell Rigidity Sensing by Local Displacements” (2012), and has contributed to numerous other publications since 2000.

O. Burak Ozdoganlar

Dr. Ozdoganlar is the Ver Planck Professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems. He has been at Carnegie Mellon University for over a decade (since 2004), and has coauthored more than 55 archival journal articles and more than 75 conference articles. His recent awards include the ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award in 2011, the NSF/CAREER Award in 2006, and many more.

Richard Figliola

Dr. Figliola is the University Centennial Professor, Alumni Distinguished Professor, and David A. Brown Scholar of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. He is also a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, has served as the U.S. leader of the Leducq Foundation Transatlantic Network since 2010, and coauthored Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements – 6th Edition in 2015, which has been translated into many foreign languages.

Andrew S. Douglas

Dr. Andrew S. Douglas is a professor and the vice dean of faculty for the department of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is a recipient of the William Huggins Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2002 Wendall Dunn Award, and has authored and coauthored journal articles and other publications, as well as participated in numerous conference proceedings.

Vijay Dhir

Dr. Vijay Dhir is a professor and the dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California at Los Angeles. His areas of research include two-phase heat transfer, thermal hydraulics of nuclear reactors, and soil remediation, and he has coauthored a variety of publications, which have been featured in the Journal of Environmental Engineering, the Annual Reviews of Fluid Mechanics, and the International Journal of Heat Mass & Transfer.

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Professor Chattopadhyay is a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University and Ira A. Fulton Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She is also the Director of Adaptive, Intelligent, Materials, and Systems (AIMS) Center. She was inducted into the Georgia Institute of Technology Hall of Fame and received the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award (1995). She is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award - Excellence in Research, Arizona State University (2000).  She is active in various professional organizations. She is currently serving on the Editorial board of the Journal of Structural Durability and Health Monitoring.  She is a Fellow of ASME and a Fellow of the AIAA.


While there are certainly a number of other skilled educators in the field of mechanical engineering, these professionals were chosen for this list based on the following specific criteria:

  • Actively Teaching at Their Institution – Each of the aforementioned mechanical engineering instructors currently teach at their affiliated institution.
  • Publication – In addition to actively teaching, all of these mechanical engineering professionals have authored or coauthored publications, either in journals, books, or other mediums
  • Outside Affiliations – Along with teaching in the field of mechanical engineering, these professors have been actively involved over the course of their tenure with other organizations, either private or government-affiliated.
  • Level of Education – Finally, all of these professionals have obtained their PhD in the field of mechanical engineering, highlighting both their dedication and passion, as well as their skill and expertise.

Related Articles

10 Best Engineering Blogs for University Students

By reading a select number of engineering blogs, university students can gain access to the thoughts of some of the best engineers in the world, and get on the path to becoming one themselves.

Gifts for Mechanical Engineers in 2022

The best gifts for mechanical engineers are tools that help them activate their engineering spirit and build their own creations. Those tools can be knowledge-based, they can be practical, or they can be plain old fun. We’ve gathered a list of potential mechanical engineering gifts that fit every budget and personality.

Guide to Mechanical Engineering Internships (2022)

Bachelor’s and master’s level mechanical engineering students who secure internships will earn exceptional early work experience, learn which areas of mechanical engineering they like and dislike, and find themselves more likely to be hired by their target companies post-graduation.

Heroes in Engineering: A Spotlight on Electric Vehicles

The mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) depends on many of factors, but they all boil down to two things: 1) access to cost-efficient EVs, and 2) a power grid that can support them. This story delves into both.

Heroes in Engineering: A Spotlight on Robotics

A recent report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that global spending on robotics and related services will exceed $135 billion by 2019, and continue to grow at an annual compound rate of about 17 percent.