Department of Mechanical Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering News

Eastman Committing $2 Million to College of Engineering

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The College of Engineering and Eastman Chemical Company have announced plans to provide for three new professor of practice positions, improve and renovate lab space and construct a new student lounge. Taking all areas into account, Eastman’s support for the college will total $2 million over a five-year period.

DOT Offers Aerospace, Transportation Engineers Chance at Award, Mentoring

Graduate students interested in the public sector of aviation can apply for a shot at a $10,000 award thanks to a program sponsored by the US Department of Transportation and run by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. The Graduate Research Awards in Public Sector Aviation Issues pairs up to ten winners with faculty mentors to help guide them on transportation projects related to public aviation.

Faculty News and Notes

Honors and awards for the university’s faculty and graduate students.

Professors Receive NSF’s CAREER Award

Three professors at UT have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards. David Jenkins, an assistant professor in chemistry; Jaan Mannik, an assistant professor in physics; and Jeff Reinbolt, an assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, will use the monetary awards to support their research and educational activities.

UT Researchers Find Fungus Has Cancer-Fighting Power

Arthrobotrys oligospora grown in drop culture system.

Arthrobotrys oligospora doesn’t live a charmed life; it survives on a diet of roundworm. But a discovery by a team led by Mingjun Zhang, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, could give the fungus’s life more purpose—as a cancer fighter.

Engineering Professor Looks to Whirligig Beetle for Bio-Inspired Robots

Whirligig beetles are named for their whirling movement on top of water, moving rapidly in and taking off into flight. While many may have found the movements curious, scientists have puzzled over the apparatus behind their energy efficiency—until now, thanks to a study performed by a team led by Mingjun Zhang, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering.

BBC: Insect-eating Sundew Plant Heals Wounds

The BBC featured the research of the sun dew plant by Mingjun Zhang, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering. The sundew plant is covered in a sticky adhesive which Zhang’s research has shown may be suitable for a variety of cutting-edge medical procedures, including tissue engineering and chronic wound healing.