The 2019-20 academic year brings 12 new faculty members to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder, making CU Boulder home to 58 full-time mechanical engineering instructors and professors. Meet the team and see why the department is so excited about these talented new hires.
Meet Our Talented New Faculty Members
Chunmei Ban will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in August 2019 as an associate professor. She joins from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech where she was an associate professor and has been leading projects related to electrochemical materials research. Ban also has 10 years of experience working at NREL where she developed next-generation, high-energy electrochemical materials including silicon, metal oxides and phosphates, magnesium metal anodes and organic radical materials.
Francois Barthelat will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in August 2019 as a professor after 13 years at McGill University in Montreal as a professor and the Chwang-Seto Faculty Scholar. Barthelat's Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Bioinspiration explores key structures and mechanisms in natural materials and develops bioinspired, high-performance materials. He has discovered new deformation and fracture mechanisms in bone, mollusk shells and fish scales with engineering applications.
Nick Bottenus is excited to join the faculty in mechanical engineering at University of Colorado Boulder as an assistant professor in January 2020 after spending his last 12 years at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Bottenus’ research is focused on developing system-level solutions to problems in diagnostic ultrasound imaging. He has worked with clinicians in the Duke University Hospital across fetal, cardiac and liver clinics and spent six months as an intern at Siemens Healthcare in Mountain View, California.
Sarah Calve will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in January 2020 as an associate professor after 7 years at Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. Her research group, the Musculoskeletal Extracellular Matrix Laboratory, develops tools to quantify how the composition, turnover, organization and mechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system change during scar-free tissue assembly. The goal is to understand how different components integrate to form functional tissues during normal development and to identify parameters that will guide the design of regenerative therapies.
Longji Cui will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program at University of Colorado Boulder in January 2020 as an assistant professor. Since August 2018, he has served as Visiting Assistant Professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been the Evans Attwell-Welch Fellow of Rice University, and has performed postdoctoral research in Smalley-Curl Institute and Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice. Cui’s research lies at the intersection of thermal science and micro/nano-scale engineering.
Kaushik Jayaram will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in January 2020 as an assistant professor after working as a post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University. Jayaram obtained his doctoral degree in integrative biology in 2015 from the University of California Berkeley. Jayaram’s research combines biology and robotics to uncover the principles of robustness that make animals successful at locomotion in natural environments which inspires the design of novel, next-generation robots for effective, real-world operation.
Hope Michelsen will join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in August 2019 as an associate professor after working with Sandia National Laboratories and starting a climate science program that focuses on the impact of combustion emissions on climate. This program has taken her as far as the Arctic to make measurements of greenhouse gases and particles. Before Sandia, Michelsen received an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to study stratospheric ozone loss at Harvard University and worked closely with scientists at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on an experiment that flew on the space shuttle.
Debanjan Mukherjee joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder in January 2019 as an assistant professor. In his new role, Mukherjee is forming an interdisciplinary research group that studies complex flow physics underlying physiological and biomedical phenomena. His research group employs engineering principles to understand basic mechanisms of severe diseases like stroke and heart attack. He aims not only to understand why and how such diseases occur but also how better treatment plans or medical devices could be developed to improve patient health.
Derek Reamon is joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder as a teaching professor in August 2019 after serving as the Co-director of CU Boulder's Integrated Teaching and Learning Program for 12 years and Engineering Plus degree program for 6 years. Reamon conducts research in engineering education, focusing on hands-on engineering curriculum. He has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award, the Sullivan-Carlson Innovation in Teaching Award, and the Charles Hutchinson Outstanding Teaching Award, among others.
Massimo Ruzzene will be joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder as a professor in August 2019, coming from Georgia Institute of Technology where he was the Pratt & Whitney Professor of Aerospace Engineering and held a courtesy appointment in mechanical engineering. Ruzzene also served three years as Program Director with the National Science Foundation. Ruzzene's current research projects investigate the vibro-acoustic behavior of the human skull and the coupling of acoustic waves with the brain to assess the feasibility of ultrasonic-based imaging. Another project investigates wave interaction with structural defects.
Janet Y. Tsai began as an instructor of mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering design in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder in January 2019. As a former manufacturing and design engineer for iRobot Corporation, Tsai brings Roomba stories to her courses to illustrate the ups and downs of new product development, overseas collaborations and high-volume consumer product manufacturing and distribution. Tsai’s research focuses on ways to encourage more students, especially women and those from nontraditional demographic groups to pursue interests in the world of engineering.
Michael (Mike) Walker joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in January 2019 as an instructor and is the Director for the Energy Engineering minor in the college. Walker has researched the economic impact of increased condenser fouling in thermoelectric power plants that utilize municipal wastewater for cooling, the development of a coal conversion process that can achieve carbon capture and sequestration with decreased water consumption and increased thermal efficiency, energy consumption in food manufacturing systems, and energy-water relationships in industrial steam systems. Walker holds multiple teaching awards.