Blogs

ASME continues their tradition for 2015 Homecoming with a fun parade float.

ASME reps MechSE with Homecoming parade float

October 22, 2015 -   Edit (11/12/2015): The ASME float won the campus' first place prize for their design.  This year, ASME has constructed their annual Homecoming parade float, hoping that it will capture the excitement of Homecoming and the school spirit of Illinois. 
Undergraduate
If you aren't familiar with the "Crusher" in Talbot Lab, Taylor gives you several reasons why you should get to know it.

The Iron Giant

October 21, 2015 -   The Southwark-Emery Universal Testing Machine in Talbot Lab has a variety of uses.In the back of Talbot Lab is a crane bay that is home to the Southwark-Emery Universal Testing Machine. Assembled in 1929, the two-story tall machine can load up to 3,000,000 pounds in tension or compression and can measure the applied force within one tenth of one percent.
Undergraduate, Taylor
MechSE faculty, staff, grad students, and undergrads showed their guests many of the exciting educational experiences the department offers.

MechSE Open House 2015 draws freshmen, prospective students

October 15, 2015 -     On Friday, October 9, the MechSE Department hosted a departmental open house with exhibits and demonstrations in Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. Prospective MechSE students - top high school students from around the state, with their parents - visited to discover many of the exciting educational experiences the department offers.
Undergraduate
Assistant Professor Shelby Hutchens leads the Thermodynamics undergrad students in the first poster session for the course.

Undergrads share real-world energy system findings during ME 300 poster session

October 14, 2015 -     Several undergraduates in MechSE’s Thermodynamics course (ME 300) participated in their first poster session, held October 12 in MEL.
Undergraduate
Looking for fun things to do in C-U now that fall is definitely here? Taylor gives you lots of options!

As the trees turn

October 8, 2015 -     Even with the seventy degree days, it has definitely turned to fall here on campus.  Here is a list of fall activity ideas for the off chance that anyone has enough free time to do them.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In a new blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares some awesome photos she captured around campus.

Views of MechSE: October gallery

October 5, 2015 -   The Engineer, reading outside of Grainger Library. View of the Boneyard Creek from Mathews Street, looking south.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Check us out at these recruiting events!

MechSE Grad Recruiting Fall 2015

October 1, 2015 - MechSE Grad will be at the following events this fall - please stop by and say hello!
Graduate
Taylor explores the unique history of buildings and historic sites on the Illinois campus.

Tracing the growth of Illinois

September 30, 2015 -   As we are all aware, the campus is constantly changing and growing. Forty years ago, the Bardeen Quad had MEL, Talbot, and Everitt. Farther north was DCL.
Undergraduate, Taylor
MechSE grad student Rebecca Corman shares her take on grad life in MechSE at Illinois.

Grad life at MechSE: One student's perspective

September 30, 2015 -
Graduate
Engineering freshmen design LEGO-Bots for their Engineering 100 course.

Freshmen LEGO-Bot designs compete for Engineering 100 title

September 24, 2015 - MechSE student teams’ LEGO-Bots developed in this semester's Engineering 100 course were on full display September 16 in the atrium of Mechanical Engineering Lab. For the final class meeting, the teams’ creations competed in a ball-gathering contest, with one winner crowned for each of three class sessions. 
Undergraduate
Taylor spent an awesome summer working with an airplane mechanic at Blodgett Memorial Airport in Houghton Lake, Michigan.

More fun than a barrel of grease monkeys

September 20, 2015 -   Over the summer I spent a few weeks working with an aircraft mechanic in a full-service hangar at Blodgett Memorial Airport (KHTL) in Houghton Lake, Michigan. I am not a certified mechanic, so there were some limits as to what I could do. However, this did not diminish the skills I was able to learn.   There are different levels of aircraft mechanics.
Undergraduate, Taylor
One of Amanda's newest revelations: day-to-day life goes way too fast now that she's working in the real world.

Keep on keepin' on

September 13, 2015 -   This weekend another fellow MechSE alum (who you may have/will see in ME 390 one day) came to Houston to visit. Hey Val!Hopefully everyone is surviving the first couple weeks of school!
Alumni
Taylor writes about her amazing experience at the annual summer airplane fair in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Endless sea of wings

September 10, 2015 -   Every year for one week in July, thousands of planes fly to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the convention widely known as Oshkosh. Formally called EAA Airventure, hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association and held at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh is a living dream for anyone who loves airplanes. Over this past summer I finally made it back to Oshkosh for the first time in eight years.
Undergraduate, Taylor
The Fall 2015 Corporate After Hours, co-hosted with ISE, introduced undergraduates to exciting new companies looking to recruit.

Corporate After Hours welcomes exciting new companies

September 9, 2015 -   MechSE's undergraduate students met with representatives from 15 companies on the evening of September 8, 2015 at MechSE’s Corporate After Hours.
Undergraduate
Graduate students in Andrew Alleyne's research group setup an interactive booth at the farmer's market in Urbana to demonstrate control systems and dynamics.

Want to learn about control systems? Go to the farmer's market!

September 7, 2015 -   Over several weekends in August at Urbana’s Market at the Square, members of MechSE Professor Andrew Alleyne’s research group, including Ashley Armstrong, Bryan Keating, and Spencer Kieffer, employed yardsticks and an inverted-pendulum balancing robot to challenge Urbana-Champaign residents' balancing skills and knowledge of sensing, control systems, and dynamics.    Market-goers of all ages were invited to determine whethe
Graduate
We're in full swing!

Fall semester underway!

August 26, 2015 - What a busy couple of weeks this has been!  We are busy getting students settled and setting everything in place for the Fall semester.  Last week was full of orientation and welcome sessions, and our GraMS students organized a lunch to welcome our new students.  We also had some of our students at the farmer's market for the past couple of weeks for an outreach activity.  Here are a couple photos from the market!  Our students will be there again this Saturday - be sure to check it out!  It's so great to see everyone back from summer!
Graduate
Master's student took third place at the annual ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference earlier this month.

Grad student wins ASME award for robot design

August 13, 2015 - Xiaotian Zhang (left) demonstrates his team's robot design.
Graduate
Several of Naira Hovakimyan's grad students are featured on the Autonomy Incubator blog, part of NASA.

MechSE grad students featured on NASA blog

August 12, 2015 - MechSE PhD students Bilal Mehdi and Javier Puig Navarro, both part of Naira Hovakimyan's research group, were featured earlier this summer on the Autonomy Incubator blog, as they work on coordinated flight research and testing for the NASA internship program. 
Graduate
Amanda has a busy summer before starting her first week of work at ExxonMobil.

I went to work and I survived

August 3, 2015 - I survived my first week of work! After my first blog post, the rest of the summer went by pretty quickly. I wasn’t as adventurous as some of my classmates. I stayed U.S. bound for my final summer of freedom. After my move-in week in Houston, I headed north to Dallas for the rest of summer.
Alumni

Figuring out life after college

July 7, 2015 -  
Alumni

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We have provided a few photos from the event.

Corporate visitors impressed during February after-hours

February 12, 2015 - Corporate reps visited MEL on Wednesday, February 11 to meet MechSE students and discuss intership and employment topics. Below are a few photos from their interactions.
Undergraduate
MechSE undergraduates complete the Bucket List competition and get to know their community in the process.

Bucket list turns MechSE students into explorers

January 29, 2015 -   The MechSE Bucket List was a two-week event in November 2014 open to all students in the department. Seven teams of four competed to complete 22 fun activities to score the most points. For a team to receive credit, they had to submit a picture or video of at least two of their members performing the bucket list item (bonus points if more members were involved).
Undergraduate
I took a survey on what people will be doing over break and got answers from engineers and non-engineers alike.

Plans for winter break?

December 17, 2014 - FYI, this is not Illinois.Another one down!
Undergraduate, Taylor
Taylor learns about engineering design in the "olden days" from Ernie Bacsanyi, a retired engineer at Ford.

The (16) Foot Long

November 20, 2014 - Engineering today involves a lot of technology. Ideas are sketched on the computer in 3D, and testing can be simulated to save material. Well duhhh, you say. But you might like to know what a day on the job was like sixty years ago. I talked to Ernie Bacsanyi, a retired design engineer for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI. He retired in 1983 after working for 35 years.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Paula wraps up her blog with some final thoughts on Uruguay.

Solo un Sol: Final Reflections

October 20, 2014 - Studying abroad doesn’t last forever. We come home to our families and our languages and our customs and our ideas of personal space and our respective traditional sandwich spreads and our beliefs and our concerns and our pre-occupations and our lives. But, I don’t think that these things feel the same as they did before.
Undergraduate
See how many of these campus features you can find.

Hunt for Blue October

October 12, 2014 - If you were to map out where engineering students need to go on campus (especially during class hours), you’d see that the majority of paths are pretty much contained within a boundary encompassing Bardeen quad, North quad, Loomis, Siebel Center, MEB, TB, and a few main quad buildings like Foellinger and Gregory Hall. But campus has a whole world outside the Engineering circle that’s yours for the taking.
Undergraduate, Taylor
Welcome to the new MechSE freshmen; and to everyone else, welcome back!

Hit the Ground Running

September 17, 2014 - As I’m sure you’ve all heard a million times by now, welcome (and welcome back) to U of I! A word to our freshman first:
Undergraduate, Taylor
The September 9 event was well attended, deemed very successful.

Corporate After-Hours brings top companies to MechSE

September 9, 2014 - More than 400 students attended MechSE's Corporate After-Hours event on Tuesday, September 9 in Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. It gave MechSE students a chance to meet with company representatives who are very interested in hiring the department's students for internships and/or permanent positions. Attending companies included Accenture, Alcoa, Armstrong World Industries, Chrysler, Exelon, Ford, Grayhill, Horizon Hobby, Johnson Controls Microsoft, Monsanto, Moog, Norfolk Southern, Panduit, Phillips 66, Power Solutions International, PwC, Shell Oil Company, and Vesuvius.
Undergraduate
Bruno Abdelnour and Anne Goering receive both of the post-graduate scholarships given by the Big Ten Conference each year.

U of I winners of Big Ten scholarships both from MechSE

August 6, 2014 - Each year, the Big Ten awards postgraduate scholarships to two student-athletes from each university in the conference. For 2014, both of the University of Illinois scholarship winners are MechSE students.
Undergraduate
Paula posts her final blog from Uruguay on the history of the national symbol, the gaucho.

Solo un Sol: Gaucho Uruguayo

August 4, 2014 - The Uruguayan gaucho is a grass land horseman and, not of a single ethnicity, his origin flows from Uruguay’s political, historical, and economic state during the 1800s. The term gaucho was coined from “huachu,” meaning “orphan” in the indigenous Quechua language.
Undergraduate
Paula explores the Uruguayan port city of Colonia.

Solo un Sol: Las Calles de Colonia

July 1, 2014 - On the other side of Montevideo to the northwest is Colonia, the port it was meant to rival. Manuel de Lobo, from Portugal, founded Nova Colinia de Sacramento in 1680 in the Portuguese style. Centuries of struggle between Spain and Portugal over the port left a conglomeration of both neat and haphazard cobblestones and peaked and flat roofs.
Undergraduate
Paula explores the seaside city of Punta Del Este in Uruguay.

Solo un Sol: Las Aguas de Punta Del Este

June 4, 2014 - At the point where Rio de Plata becomes the Atlantic Ocean sits a nondescript anchor. At Punta Del Este, a peninsula southeast of Montevideo, the ocean and estuary fight so that the tides struggle between salt and sweet at that tip, at so notable a difference that the eastern shore is called Playa Brava (Rough Beach) and the western shore Playa Mansa (Calm Beach).
Undergraduate
Paula introduces us to her university "home" away from home in Uruguay.

Universidad ORT de Uruguay

June 2, 2014 - In Uruguay, public education is required and free. Starting at age 6, children attend 6 years of primary school followed by 2 years of secondary, receiving un bachillerato upon completion. The country boasts a 98% literacy rate and has been applauded as consistently ranking highest in South America. Higher education is free for the over 80,000 who choose to attend the public university, La Universidad de la Republica.
Undergraduate
Paula experiences music of all kinds on the streets of Montevideo.

Solo un Sol: Sounds of Montevideo

May 27, 2014 - Music is part of life in Montevideo. From the youth playing guitar on the steps of Municipal and the Milonga being taught on the streets of the Saturday Mercado de Puerta, to the Candombe African-rooted drum music featured during Carnival, and a 40-night drum parade starting down seaside Barrio De Sur and stretching to neighboring Palermo, the city remembers its history and discusses its current events through music.
Undergraduate
MechSE undergrad Paula Stocco begins her blog from Uruguay with an account of the country's history.

Solo un Sol: Sunrise in Montevideo

May 26, 2014 - Last night, the Sandman came to visit. He dusted the city with purple, and from our balcony to la plaza (public square), all looks soft and still. Haze shades the stucco building walls and sneaks in between the terra terracotta tiled roofs of the inland distract. From the highest point to the lowest, Montevideo sleeps under a layer of silence.
Undergraduate
As Amanda's semester in Sweden comes to a close, she aims to experience as much as possible.

Amanda Goes to Sweden: Winding down but not slowing down

May 15, 2014 - Well, my taste of Stockholm summer was short-lived. After about a week of absolutely amazing weather over the Easter break, May made its arrival with heaps of rain and threats of snow (seriously, it snowed on May 1; no accumulation though, luckily). It’s getting warmer slowly, but it’s still not quite time yet to leave your jacket at home.
Undergraduate
In her final blog post of the semester, Taylor reflects on the funny, dramatic, and memorable highlights from the year.

Taylor-Made: At year's end

May 8, 2014 - As summer calls us home, or wherever we may go, I take a moment to think back on the year. I remember sitting in class back in high school listening to teachers try to get us ready for college. I can still hear them plain as day:  
Undergraduate, Taylor
Alumnus Ken Frankel speaks to the ME 390 class about problem-solving to find the whole "engineering truth."

How to find the engineering truth

May 6, 2014 - For Ken Frankel (BSME ’77), the best way to solve a problem is to know what the question is before attempting to answer it. “I would offer that most people don’t spend enough time properly framing the problem,” Frankel said. “Often, people spend a lot of energy trying to solve something that wasn’t really asked to start with.”
Undergraduate, Alumni
Amanda muses on her classes, her roommates, a weekend trip, and weather in Sweden.

Amanda Goes to Sweden: Thoughts on Estonia, plasma physics, and glorious sunshine

April 28, 2014 - This semester is going so incredibly fast. For once I don’t have a lot of terribly exciting things to talk about, and it’s just really weird to think about the fact that in a month most of my classes will be over and in two months I will be back in the U.S.
Undergraduate
"Both Gasoline and Ethanol EcoIllini prototype cars got out onto the track several times throughout the day and EcoConcepts car got through all tech inspections and will race tomorrow," faculty adviso

2014 Shell Eco-Marathon - update 2

April 26, 2014 - "Both Gasoline and Ethanol EcoIllini prototype cars got out onto the track several times throughout the day and EcoConcepts car got through all tech inspections and will race tomorrow," faculty advisor Michael Philpott said Saturday night. "Usual slew of technical challenges that go with this event…but our teams worked really well to fix them quickly and get back on the road. Looking forward to, and hoping for some trouble free runs tomorrow, now that the cars have run in."
Undergraduate

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Scott Daigle (BSME '09, MSME '11), who started the company IntelliWheels while still a MechSE student, hosts the company's recently released promo video.

Alumnus releases new company promo video

August 25, 2013 - Alumnus Scott Daigle, who started the company IntelliWheels while still a MechSE student, hosts the company's recently released promo video. Take a look below:
Graduate, Undergraduate, Alumni
Welcome to MechSE Grad!

Orientation & New Student Documents

August 21, 2013 - We are looking forward to new student orientation tomorrow, August 23rd, 9:00 a.m., in the Deere Pavilion in the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. New student resources are available online this year! To access, log in to https://my.mechse.illinois.edu/index.asp: Click on “Secure Document Distribution” under “Administrative Apps.”Owner of documents is kkappes2. Click “Link” to download each resource.  The following documents are now available.  We will email you if/when additional documents are made available.
Graduate
Welcome back!

MechSE Graduate Women (MGW) Fall Retreat

August 12, 2013 - MGW invites all women graduate students in MechSE to attend their fall retreat at Curtis Orchard on August 24th! Come meet and socialize with new and returning female grad students students while enjoying fun fall activities! Please RSVP here: http://goo.gl/eIdPsx. 
Graduate
Joining MechSE Grad this summer or fall?  Follow these important steps!

Getting Started at Illinois *Updated*

August 6, 2013 - We're excited that you've chosen Illinois for graduate study, and we know this is a busy time for you as you prepare for the transition.  We're here to help! 
Graduate
Which classes?  How many credit hours?

What should I register for?

July 7, 2013 - Happy summer, everyone!  We are receiving many inquiries about registration for fall, so we are reposting this blog entry.  As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.  We look forward to seeing everyone in the fall!   Many of our new students are excited about the classes they will be taking in the fall! Here are some guidelines to help you through selecting your courses for the fall.  
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MechSE Grad Students enjoying summer at Kickapoo State Park!

Summer fun!

June 18, 2013 -   It's a beautiful summer here at MechSE!    Recently, MechSE's GraMS organization enjoyed a retreat full of good food, soccer, and canoeing at Kickapoo State Park.  Looks like fun!   
Graduate
Start your graduate study at Illinois off on the right foot!

Best Practices for Graduate Study

June 12, 2013 - Best Practices for MechSE Graduate StudentsHow can you ensure success in your graduate studies? Follow these best practices!
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Helpful information for new graduate students

Resources at Illinois

June 2, 2013 - Here's a list of helpful websites for our new students!  My.MechSE - https://my.mechse.illinois.edu/index.asp -Get the latest info from the MechSE department via our portal.
Graduate
There are a number of ways one can start the process of looking for an advisor!

How does a graduate student look for an advisor?

May 27, 2013 - If you have been offered admission to our program or you are currently a student in our program, you should be actively looking for opportunities to join a faculty member's group.  Many students ask our office for advice on this process. There are a number of ways one can start this process.
Graduate
Do you plan to apply for Spring 2014 admission?

Applying for Spring 2014 Admission

May 19, 2013 - The Spring 2013 semester has come to a close, and we are starting to receive inquiries regarding Spring 2014 admission.  If you are preparing an application, you may notice that the Apply Yourself system won't currently let you choose your "desired term of enrollment."  This is because the system isn't currently accepting applications.  During the late-spring-to-summer timeframe, the system is incorporating our annual summer updates. 
Graduate
Women Empowered in STEM...what a successful event!

Inaugural GradSWE weSTEM Conference 2013

May 1, 2013 - The inaugural GradSWE weSTEM Conference at the University of Illinois was a success!  You may remember my mention of this event previously here.  The graduate committee of SWE (GradSWE) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was pleased to host its inaugural conference, weSTEM (Women Empowered in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)!  WeSTEM served as a forum through which current and future STEM leaders could motivate and inspire each other to excel at the frontie
Graduate
What an eventful week!

It's been a great week in MechSE!

April 18, 2013 - It's been an eventful week in the MechSE Grad Office!
Graduate
April 15th is almost here!

Choose Illinois!

April 9, 2013 - We're receiving many enrollment acceptances for Fall 2013!  Looks like we're going to have an amazing new class of students joining our department.  Are you a recently admitted student trying to decide where you will go next year?  Want to get a better feel for the department and campus, but maybe you're not able to visit in person?  Check out these resources if you haven't already done so!
Graduate
We look forward to meeting our new class of graduate students!

Approaching April 15th

April 3, 2013 - You may remember from previous posts that our applicant pool for Fall 2013 was one of the most, if not the most, competitive pools for admission that we've had.  Applicants with an offer of aid must respond to their offer by April 15th in order to accept or decline the offer.  After April 15th, offers of admission are still valid, but we are not able to hold financial offers past April 15th. 
Graduate
It's an entire week dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our students!

It's National Graduate Student Appreciation Week!

April 1, 2013 - It's Graduate Student Appreciation week!  Check out the events hosted by the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at this website.  Included in the lineup are workshops, webinars, speakers, special events at the ARC, and a special Krannert Uncorked event.  The Graduate Office in MechSE also has something planned, so students should watch their email tomorrow (Wednesday) for this surprise!
Graduate
On campus? Off campus? What are my options?

Where should I start when looking for housing options?

March 27, 2013 - Making plans for graduate study is such an exciting time.  Perhaps one of your first thoughts after receiving your offer of admission (or maybe even when you filled out your application) was, "Where will I live?"  There are a number of housing opportunities in the Champaign-Urbana area - both on campus and off campus.  Personally, I recommend that students first consider what location would work best for them.  If you're planning remotely, this may be a little tricky, but there's a great campus map
Graduate
What comes after the offer of admission?

"I've been offered admission...now what?"

March 24, 2013 - We are happy to announce that all of the applications for Fall 2013 have been reviewed, and all decisions have been released to applicants.  This wraps up one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive, application seasons we've ever had.  What's next?  When an offer of admission has been received, admitted students may begin contacting faculty to discuss research opportunities. In the March-September timeframe, MechSE faculty will be hiring for the coming academic year. The faculty have access to all application materials for this purpose.
Graduate
The list of things to do on campus is endless!

What do students do for fun?

March 19, 2013 - “Is there anything fun to do on this campus?”A visiting student asked me this question not too long ago. What was my reply? “YES! The list of opportunities available on our campus is endless!”
Graduate
Inaugural Conference for Women Empowered in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (weSTEM)

Inaugural GradSWE weSTEM Conference at Illinois - Applications Open

March 17, 2013 - Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Samantha Knoll, MechSE graduate student and member of the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) Committee.  GradSWE is hosting an inaugural conference entitled weSTEM (Women Empowered in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), on April 20, 2013, at the Siebel Cent
Graduate
Exciting opportunities at Illinois.

Community of Scholars Campus Visit Program and Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute

March 14, 2013 - Today I had the pleasure of assisting some of our recently admitted students during the Community of Scholars Campus Visit Program (COS), which introduces prospective students from populations underrepresented in graduate education to their admitted graduate programs, to peers among prospective students in their units, and to current Illinois graduate students across campus.  I'm excited to say that some of the students who visited today have already accepted th
Graduate

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