Mark Rentschler
Professor • Sylvia Norviel Cancer Research Faculty Fellow
Mechanical Engineering

Office: ECES 150
1111 Engineering Drive, 427 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0427

Mark E. Rentschler is a professor, entrepreneur, inventor, program director, design engineer, roboticist, expert witness, and seasoned engineering consultant. He has over 15 years of leadership in mechanical and biomedical engineering consulting and intellectual property development. Dr. Rentschler is a published subject matter expert focused on medical devices, surgical robotics, mechanical design and mechatronic design and control.

Dr. Mark E. Rentschler is a tenured professor of mechanical engineering, and the Sylvia Norviel Cancer Research Faculty Fellow, at the University of Colorado. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a Senior Member the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Member of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and a licensed professional mechanical engineering in the State of Colorado (PE.0042566). Dr. Rentschler holds degrees from the University of Nebraska (BS in mechanical engineering, 2001; PhD in biomedical engineering, 2006) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS in mechanical engineering, 2003).

Dr. Rentschler joined the faculty at the University of Colorado in 2008. He also hold a secondary appointment in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Aurora, CO) and an affiliate position in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver (Denver, CO). He was the founding director of the Graduate Design Program in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado (2010-2020). This program immerses 50 graduate students annually in industry sponsored design projects. In 2012, he co-founded Design Center Colorado that brought both the Graduate Design Program and Senior Design Program together.

In 2018, Dr. Rentschler became the founding CEO of Aspero Medical, a spin-out company that is focused on gastroenterology device technologies. He has also held commercialization leadership positions as Senior Engineer and Director of Operations with Virtual Incision Corporation, a start-up company in robot-assisted surgical technologies. Dr. Rentschler has also performed research at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD), Cessna Aircraft Company (Wichita, KS), and the Union Pacific Railroad (Omaha, NE).

Dr. Rentschler’s research laboratory at the University of Colorado focuses on key questions to enable intelligent medical devices and surgical robotics which are, in turn, setting a foundation for patient-specific medical care and ultimately leading toward an operating room of the future. These efforts include design of novel surgical tools, devices, and robotics; characterization and modeling of how these tools, devices, and robots interact with the patient; and optimization based on these models. Research activities in his lab have been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Conmed Electrosurgery, Medtronic, The Children’s Hospital, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. His research has been well received by the scientific community, resulting in over 75 published peer-reviewed journal papers (in both medical and engineering top journals), over 100 conference contributions, over 40 issued patents, and receiving national and international research awards. For these efforts, he has been awarded department (Woodward Outstanding Faculty Award), college (Dean’s Performance Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty), campus (Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award), and university-wide (New Inventor of the Year) research awards.

Dr. Rentschler’s teaching focuses on mechanical component and systems-level design. He has taught courses in Machine Component Design, Senior Capstone Design, Medical Device Design, Advanced Product Design, Graduate Design, and Design Thinking. Since 2008, he has taught over 800 undergraduate and graduate students in mechanical engineering, with his courses consistently rated near the top in the department and college in terms of overall course and course instructor. For these efforts, he has been awarded department (Outstanding Graduate Education Award, Outstanding Graduate Educator, Outstanding Undergraduate Educator), college (Charles Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award), and campus (Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Faculty Award) education awards.