Interpore 2017

Interpore 2017

October 19, 2016 - Interpore 2017 - International Society for Porous Media            
MechSE's annual event drew top students from around the state and region.

Photo gallery: MechSE Open House and High School Visit Day 2016

October 17, 2016 -   On Friday, October 14, the MechSE Department hosted its annual Open House and High School Visit Day in Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. Prospective MechSE students—top high school students from around the state—visited to discover many of the exciting educational experiences the department offers, hands-on lab demonstrations, and opportunities to talk with current students and faculty.
Taylor teaches us the science behind the colors of leaves.

If trees taught coloring

October 13, 2016 -   Illinois Arboretum, fall 2014.I like to press fall leaves so that they dry out and keep their color. Every year I’ll pick up leaves that are especially striking and stuff them in heavy books until further notice. Sometimes at the end of the school year I’ll find some still hidden in the back of a textbook.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In this continuation of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: September gallery

October 2, 2016 - Lightning over Beckman at sunset.   Someone left a friend for the engineer.  
Undergraduate, Taylor
Fall semester is full of activity!

Updates from the Graduate Programs Office

October 2, 2016 - We have a lot of updates from the MechSE Graduate Programs Office!
Taylor explains the science and theory of aeroacoustics.

Songs over water

September 21, 2016 -   Air flowing over an airfoil and cavity behaves differently when a spoiler is present.If you’ve ever blown over the top of an open water bottle and heard the bottle make a humming noise, you have produced what’s called an Aeolian tone.  Aeolian tones are sounds made by wind passing over or through objects.
Undergraduate, Taylor
MechSE Grad will be at the following events this year - please stop by and say hello!

MechSE Grad Recruiting 2016-2017

September 18, 2016 - MechSE Grad will be at the following events this year - please stop by and say hello!
Take advantage of these great opportunities!

Industry Career Prep Opportunities for Graduate Students

September 11, 2016 - Students - in case you missed the schedule we emailed you earlier this semester, here's a list of industry career prep opportunities available this semester. Make the most of it!
Headed for a career in academia? Check out these resources.

Academic Career Prep Opportunities for Graduate Students

September 11, 2016 - Students preparing for the academic job search: in case you missed the schedule we sent you, here are the academic career prep opportunities available this semester to assist with your applications. These are great opportunities!
Check out these resources to help you prepare your application.

Are you applying for a National Science Foundation Fellowship?

September 7, 2016 - We encourage eligible students to apply for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRF).  The NSF-GRF is one of the nation’s premier fellowships for graduate study.  It provides three years of support, with a $34,000 annual stipend, coverage of tuition, and access to international research opportunities.     There are two great services available for MechSE students who are applying – past winners have utilized both of these opportunities.
Ritu shares her experiences introducing 3D printing with the Young Engineers Initiative to young students in Kenya.

Urbana-Champaign to Kenya

September 6, 2016 -   Hello World!   I’d like to take a break from the traditional Mechanics of Motion conference/travel/study abroad style post to talk about something that is very important to me, and that has occupied my spare time for most of this year: The Young Engineers Initiative in Kenya.
Looking for things to do this month? Taylor's got the scoop.

Jump in

September 5, 2016 -   To all our new MechSE students: welcome to Illinois! And for those returning, welcome back!     We’re two weeks into the semester and, for many of us, right back in the swing of things.  Here are some upcoming events to think about planning ahead for:      
Undergraduate, Taylor
Where to start?

How does a graduate student look for an advisor?

August 31, 2016 - Hello everyone!  I'm re-posting an old blog entry today on how students can start the process of looking for an advisor.  Current students should find a permanent advisor by the end of the first semester on campus.  When you've found a permanent advisor, contact Kathy Smith, smith15illinois [dot] edu, to update your status in our database.  If you are an applicant, please wait to contact faculty until after you have received an offer of admission. ----------------------------------
Ritu has a blast and learns a lot at the annual ThinkChicago | Lollapalooza.

ThinkChicago | Lollapalooza

August 30, 2016 -   Hello World!   I attended the most non-traditional conference of my graduate career this past month and, since it’s an opportunity open to every student at Illinois, I wanted to share my experiences on this blog.    The Technology Entrepreneur Center at Illinois (TEC), in collaboration with the Ch
Hundreds of engineering freshmen, including MechSE students, were welcomed on the Bardeen Quad to celebrate their first days at Illinois.

FreshmanFest welcomes class of 2020

August 22, 2016 - The College of Engineering hosted its annual FreshmanFest on Saturday, August 20 for all new engineering undergraduate students. The event serves to welcome the class of 2020 to the Illinois family. Students enjoyed food, inflatables, and music on the Bardeen Quad.
Welcome, new students!

New Graduate Student Orientation Events

August 7, 2016 - It's so exciting to have our new students arriving on campus, and we look forward to working with you.  Here are the details on available orientation sessions.  Please note that if you are a new TA, you also need to attend the orientation for new TAs, and you should have already received that information via email with your assignment notification. College of Engineering GradFest 2016August 18, 2:00-6:30 p.m.Foellinger, Lincoln, and Engineering Hall.  Check in is at Foellinger Auditorium.
The revised handbook is available anytime, anywhere.

MechSE Grad Handbook for AY 16-17 is now online

July 7, 2016 - We've reorganized and revised the MechSE Graduate Student Handbook to serve you better.  View it anytime at this page or via the Graduate Programs section of our website.  Booklets are on order---we'll let you know when those are in!
Naira Hovakimyan's PhD student, Javier Puig Navarro, excels during his third summer at NASA's Autonomy Incubator.

Grad student continues to soar at NASA incubator

July 6, 2016 -   Javier Puig Navarro (right) at NASA's Autonomy Incubator.This is intern Javier Puig Navarro's third summer at the Autonomy Incubator (Ai), and he's wasted no time in churning out his typical extraordinary, innovative avionics research. When he pulled me aside to show me his work after lunch today, I was expecting to be amazed as usual, but something about today seemed different.
Armed with a car for the summer, Taylor takes time to venture out of Champaign-Urbana to experience what the surrounding small towns have to offer.

The world around us

July 6, 2016 -   With so much to do on campus, there might not be a lot of incentive to venture far from Champaign-Urbana, especially if you don't have your own transportation. All the same, I encourage you to explore central Illinois if you have the chance. It's always good to be familiar with the landscape where you've been living. And when you actually take a look around, you will find a lot more than corn and soybeans, as you will see in the pictures.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Bored this summer? Try these.

Lazy days of summer (maybe)

July 4, 2016 -   This print was made by pressing paper on top of shaving cream colored with food dye.If you happen to find yourself bored and need a low-key activity to pass the time, consider trying some of these.     Make miniature popsicles using an ice cube tray.  Try experimenting with combinations of pieces of fruit, fruit juice, and yogurt or pudding.
Undergraduate, Taylor


Taylor's got all your local and online options for buying and selling textbooks and more.

Spare change

June 13, 2016 -   Amazon can be a good place for selling books other than textbooks.There are numerous opportunities online and around Champaign-Urbana to make or get back a little cash. Consider trying some of these instead of buying everything new or throwing used stuff away.   Commonly used websites like Craigslist and Reddit are great ways to sell locally.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor does the searching for you and finds some interesting hidden gems across campus.


June 9, 2016 -   Analog clock in MEL lab.The campus is full of little details and secrets, many of which beg the question, “Why?”  See how many of these you’re familiar with.    In one of the labs in MEL, there is a large analog clock behind a glass panel.  MEL also has the homebuilt puzzle case, although it’s currently incognito.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Looking for inspiration or hoping to solve a problem? Taylor suggests keeping your eyes and mind open to any possible solution.

The most unlikely places

May 31, 2016 -   Missiles were kept in underground silos during the Cold War. WD-40 was created to prevent the weapons from rusting.As engineering students, it’s pretty much a given that we should be able to come up with our own ideas.    All the problem solving we do in class serves to make us better at knowing how to find good solutions.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor wraps up 2015-2016 with a reminder of all the great (and not so great) things that happened this year.

School's out for...

May 15, 2016 -   Cantaloupe in the Ike carved like a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.Good job everyone on making it through another school year!  I’d like to briefly address our graduating seniors.     Congratulations, all of you.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor's got some tips for beating the upcoming summer heat.

Surviving summer heat (if summer heat ever comes)

May 9, 2016 -   A dog tries to beat the heat by laying on an ice bed.Whether you’re staying on campus over the summer or going somewhere else hot for a few months, here are some tips for getting through the heat (especially useful if you don’t have air conditioning).  Most of these have assumed that you have access to a fridge. Make your own popsicles using fruit juice and a mold.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Learn everything you wanted to know about taking the GRE.

Introducing the GRE

May 5, 2016 -   The GRE focuses on testing your logic and reasoning skills.The GRE (“Graduate Record Examinations”) is the most common test required for admission to grad school.  It focuses on testing your logic and reasoning skills as well as your ability to construct an argument and some basic math skills.     You are given a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the GRE.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In the April edition of her blog series, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: April gallery

April 28, 2016 - Outside Altgeld Hall on a rainy day. Sunlight shines through a flowering dogwood across the street from the main Quad.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor reminds us of the most pressing issues in grammar.

Between the three of us, its not rocket science

April 20, 2016 - To address some very common grammar mistakes, here is a simple (and hopefully useful) list.  Did you catch the two errors in the title?   Its vs. It’s This may seem self-explanatory, but it comes up all the time.  “It’s” is a shorter way of saying “it is.”  “Its” is possessive.  It’s a nice day.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor brings the truth on several well-known misconceptions in engineering and physics.

Lethal pennies and other misconceptions

April 12, 2016 -   Here is a list of some common misconceptions in STEM subjects and their explanations.     Physics:
Undergraduate, Taylor
In a second edition this month of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: Farewell to March

March 30, 2016 - Looking at the Illini Union from the front of Foellinger Auditorium on a warm day in early March. A view of Jupiter, resembling a distant star, outside the Beckman Institute.
Undergraduate, Taylor
You've learned about sound waves thanks to Taylor. Now she takes it one step further with music theory.


March 28, 2016 -   Pitches with similar frequencies create an interference pattern that makes alternates between loud and soft volume, making a beating sound.Now that you’ve read about how sound waves work, here’s a follow-up looking at sound waves working in harmony (or dissonance), or in other words, basic music theory.    For whatever scale (the specified set of musical notes ordered by pitch)
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor explains how different media affect the movement of sound waves.

Faking the sound of bells

March 6, 2016 -   When Jill speaks on the other side of the doorway, Jack can hear what she says because of the way the sound waves spread out as they travel.If you remember from physics, sound waves are longitudinal waves, meaning that the displacement of the medium is in the same direction as the motion of the wave. In other words, the sound carried by the wave moves in the direction that the wave travels.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In this March edition of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: March gallery

March 3, 2016 - Looking north toward the Beckman Quad from outside the Digital Computer Laboratory. View of the Main Quad from outside the English Building.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor shares the highlights from Dean Cangellaris' talk for Engineering Council's "Last Lecture" series.

How luminous life is

March 2, 2016 -   Dean Andreas Cangellaris gave a talk for Engineering Council’s “Last Lecture” series.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Considered a popular teacher even by MechSE students, physics professor Mats Selen was named Professor of the Year.

A glimpse into the life of Professor of the Year Mats Selen

February 29, 2016 -   Physics professor and Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs Mats Selen was named a 2015 Professor of the Year.Last semester, UIUC Physics Professor Mats Selen was named a
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor spent an informative day at the annual weSTEM conference at Illinois, and she shares important advice that applies to all women in the field.

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Grow Passionate

February 14, 2016 -   Grad students had a chance to talk before the opening keynote.Saturday, February 6 marked the 4th annual weSTEM conference. The flagship project of gradSWE, Women Empowered in STEM brings students from UIUC and universities all around the country together for a day of discussions and fellowship.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor says a new semester calls for new ways to be resourceful with your studies.

New Year, New ...

February 1, 2016 -   Welcome back to school, everyone. What’s new on campus? For one, Everitt Lab is under construction, as I’m sure everyone knows. A little history: Everitt was built in 1949 and named after William Everitt, who had served as the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Parts of the building were actually used in 1947 for classroom space since there was an apparent dearth of available classrooms.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In this February edition of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: February gallery

January 31, 2016 - Snow angels on the Beckman Quad.   The Engineer still has his hat from the holidays.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In a new blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captured from around campus.

Views of MechSE: End-of-semester gallery

December 17, 2015 -   Looking west along Boneyard Creek in the early afternoon. First snow of the season, behind Engineering Hall.
Undergraduate, Taylor
As we say farewell to a successful 2015, Taylor brings you her creative version of O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi."

Maybe December

December 14, 2015 -   77 days of class later, we find ourselves again at the end of the semester, in a strangely warm week.  Soon we’ll have a solid month of no school at which point some of us will stay here and the rest will scatter to the four corners of the earth. I wish everyone a happy holiday and a great break. Below, please enjoy this college version of O. Henry’s story The Gift of the Magi, first published Dec. 10, 1905.
Undergraduate, Taylor


A few photos from our annual graduate student poster session!

MechSE Grad Annual Poster Session Photos

March 12, 2015 - A few pics of our students in action!
Grad student Alan Gaglio is using his NSF-funded IGERT traineeship to develop adaptive technology for wheelchair use.

IGERT recipient embarks on wheelchair research with IntelliWheels

March 11, 2015 - During school hours, first-year MechSE graduate student Alan Gaglio delves into neuroengineering classes. After hours, he works alongside local startup IntelliWheels to facilitate wheelchair use with adaptive technology.
The Spring 2015 Seminar Schedule is out!

Seminar Schedule, Spring 2015

January 27, 2015 - MechSE Seminar Series Spring 2015 Tuesday, February 3Professor Derk JoesterNorthwestern University“Interfaces and Interphases in Biomineralization”Host: Professor Sascha Hilgenfeldt Tuesday, February 10Professor Robert PitzVanderbilt University“Cellular Tubular Flames: A Model of Preferential Diffusion and Extinction in H2 Fueled Laminar and Turbulent Flames”Hosts: Professors Moshe Matalon and Nenad Miljikovic
Ritu is back "in motion" and reinvigorated after attending three very different conferences.

San Antonio, Boston, Oahu

January 22, 2015 - Hello World!
Applicant pool represents 43 countries around the world.

Another Batch of Applications From Around the World!

January 13, 2015 - It's a new year, and we have a new batch of applicants for 2015.  Our applicant pool has been steady with over 1000 submitted applications annually.  Each year the committee is excited to review potential candidates for our programs.  This year's pool has grown even further and represents 43 countries around the world!   Australia
FAQ for Fall 15 Applicants

Applying FAQ

December 8, 2014 - Hello all! We are excited to be receiving your applications for Fall 2015 admission. Please keep in mind that we receive a high volume of applications and will work to update the status of your documents in the My.MechSE system as quickly as possible. We have been receiving many questions at mechse-gradillinois [dot] edu, and there are 3 items I would like to make sure you are aware of:
MechSE Grad visits Georgia Tech

MechSE Grad On the Road

November 20, 2014 - Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking to Pi Tau Sigma students at Georgia Tech.  What a great group of students!  It was great to talk to them about our programs and the projects our students are engaged in.  Couldn't attend?  Check out my presentation here.
Wow - Fall Semester is Flying By!

November already?!

October 30, 2014 - It's been a very busy semester at MechSE Grad!  There have been so many activities including our annual MERGE visit, the MechSE Fellowship banquet, the MechSE open house, and so much more!  We're continuing a busy semester on the road.
MEB and MEL are buzzing with activity!

Fall 2014 in full swing for grad students

September 28, 2014 - Recently MechSE Grad Women (MGW) and Graduate MechSE Students (GraMS) have held their elections for their new leadership and they have also been busy planning new events for this semester.  Stay tuned for those announcements to be sent out via email.  Want to learn more about MGW and GraMS?  Their websites can be found at our Grad Student Life page.
The Fall 2014 semester is in full motion!

Fall Semester Underway!

September 11, 2014 - We can't believe that we are already through the 3rd week in the semester!  MEB and MEL are buzzing with activity. MechSE has announced its Fall 2014 Internal NSF Competition to assist students in applying for National Science Foundation Fellowships.  Essays must be submitted to me, Katrina Hagler, by 5:00 p.m. on October 14th.  Essays can be turned in either electronically or in hard copy.  The competition is open to MechSE graduate students and MechSE seniors.  Any questions, please contact us!
Fall 2014 Workshops and Presentations for Professional Development

Professional Development Opportunities, Fall 2014

September 11, 2014 - Career Fair Success for Graduate StudentsSept. 16th, 4:00-5:00 p.m.210 Illini UnionWe’ll break down the dreaded “elevator speech,” practice talking to employers about skills and experiences, and develop strategies for making connections at career fairs.Presented by the Graduate College  
The fall semester is upon us!

What should I register for this fall?

August 6, 2014 - Here are some FAQ regarding course registration which we thought would be helpful as students get ready for the fall semester.  We look forward to seeing our students return from summer break!  
Ritu blogs about her most recent research exchange - this time from MIT in Boston.

Ritu's Mechanics of Motion: Taking my own advice at MIT

August 3, 2014 - Hello World!
Ritu wraps up her six weeks abroad with thoughtful tips for those traveling internationally for research.

Ritu’s Mechanics of Motion: Tips and tricks for success abroad, week 6

July 9, 2014 - Hello World! I have wrapped up my time in Singapore – I can hardly believe that I lived and worked in another country for six whole weeks! I’d grown quite accustomed to the Singaporean environment and will miss many aspects of my life there as I return to Champaign-Urbana. All the same, I miss being “home” and am excited to return to the University of Illinois!
Ritu discovers her learning style strengths and weaknesses, uses an AFM on her samples, and visits Kuala Lumpur.

Ritu's Mechanics of Motion: Learning about my learning style, week 5

June 24, 2014 - Hello World! The weeks are absolutely flying by, and I feel barely able to process all the thoughts flying through my brain! First and foremost, I was able to do several trial runs of my muscle strip stiffness measurements on an atomic force microscope (AFM) located in one of the research buildings/institutes (“SMART” – Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology) in the newest part of campus, University Town.
Ritu compares the ins and outs of the biotechnology industries in Singapore and the U.S.

Ritu's Mechanics of Motion: Thoughts on biotechnology, week 4

June 16, 2014 - This week was off to a great start—our journal paper on engineered skeletal muscle based bio-bots (in which I am co-first author along with a fellow lab mate) was accepted to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences! It feels great to have our work recognized by such a prestigious journal and hopefully marks the start to many productive years ahead.
In her third week in Singapore, Ritu can finally get down to the real business in the lab.

Ritu's Mechanics of Motion: Getting down to business, week 3

June 4, 2014 - Hello World! Things are finally coming together in Singapore! My trainings are complete, I have all the required access cards, all my required reagents have arrived, and it’s time to get down to real work.
Ritu faces challenges in the lab, but is committed to her goals of learning more and improving her research.

Ritu’s Mechanics of Motion: All about the research, week 2

May 28, 2014 - Hello World! It’s been a rough second week of my international research experience. The required safety trainings and paperwork for the “Ministry of Manpower” (MOM) are far from complete, and I’ve had to attend several hours of informational training on proper lab safety. This is all very useful in theory, but seems somewhat unnecessary for graduate students who have already undergone entire classes on lab safety at Illinois!
Elizabeth Jones tells how she helped an area high school senior train for and complete the half-marathon.

MechSE grad student goes extra mile for blind runner

May 22, 2014 - Elizabeth JonesUnity High School senior Ashley Eisenmenger (left) trains with MechSE grad student Elizabeth Jones.
Blogger Ritu Raman finishes up her first week as a visiting research scholar at the National University of Singapore.

Ritu's Mechanics of Motion: Settling in, week 1

May 19, 2014 - Hello World! (Yes, this programming reference is completely intentional.) I’ve successfully finished my first week as a visiting research scholar in the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS)!