Share Your Story

Alumni share how U-M ME shaped their careers and lives. Read more stories

David Moore

David Moore - BSE, 2014; MSE, 2015

It was always my dream to attend the University of Michigan but I never could have imagined the profound impact that it would have on my life. I began my studies as a student interested in learning about the engineering field and left as a problem solver who is more curious than ever. The Mechanical Engineering Department and College of Engineering as a whole became my learning lab with new ideas and theories bouncing around every day. I loved walking through GG Brown and seeing all the student and professor projects come to life from ideas to prototypes. I found my passion in product design and was given more opportunities than I could have ever imagined to better my skills.

What I think is most unique about this community of professors and students is that they didn’t just encourage me to pursue my passions but also pushed me to expand my horizons. While at Michigan, I was fortunate enough to compete on the swim team. While most outsiders discouraged me from trying to do both engineering and swimming, the ME department and CoE said I should go for more. I was pushed to new heights and the Michigan Difference was obvious. At the end of four years, I not only had more than a degree worth of knowledge that I was excited to use, but I also learned the values of teamwork and leadership with the swim team winning four Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championship. The Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program supplemented my curriculum with business and global perspectives, and my master's program gave me the time to dive a bit deeper into design as well as teach my favorite class (ME250) and inspire future design engineers.

But Michigan kept pushing me. I was still curious to learn more so I applied for the Rhodes Scholarship and was honored to receive it and study for two years at Oxford University in the UK. This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunities, experiences, and support I received from the University of Michigan. I was able to explore new topics in environmental science and business while focussing on energy and technology applications from a social perspective. This experience supplements my engineering background and I am loving applying these skills in my current job as a product design engineer at Google.

Michigan has taught me that if no one doubts your goals, they aren’t set high enough. Luckily, in Ann Arbor, you have to set your goals pretty high to follow this and that is what makes us the Leaders and Best.

Michael Jocz

Michael Jocz - BSE, 2016; MSE, 2017

I was raised in a family of University of Michigan graduates. When I enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering department in the fall of 2012, I joined my sister as a 5th generation Wolverine and the 4th consecutive generation in the College of Engineering. I grew up with the full appreciation of the significant challenges that I would face as a Michigan student and that it would be through these challenges, both those in which I succeeded or failed, that would prepare me for life.

In addition to the academic challenges, Coach Brady Hoke offered me a position on the Michigan’s football team....a top 20 program. It was definitely a challenge being a student athlete at a top academic university and playing on a top 20 football program. As extremely difficult as this was for 5 years, there was no place else I'd rather have been

In both the classroom and football field, I was blessed to be taught by some of the top educators in the world and surrounded by the top students – both pushing me to realize and develop my potential and to ready me for life after college.

The University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Department allowed me to combine my passions for engineering and athletics by contributing to research on a football helmet design for concussion prevention. Working as a Research Assistant under Professors Ellen Arruda and Michael Thouless, I fabricated mechanical testing equipment capable of applying an array of impact accelerations for various helmet design configurations, and tested impact absorbing properties of different helmet foams affording me the unique opportunity to give back to the game that has been a huge part of my life and make the sport safer. I have seen the harmful effects of concussions through the experiences of my friends and teammates and hopefully this research will help future generations of players.

After graduating in May 2017, I accepted an engineering position at Rivian Automotive, an electric vehicle startup company in Livonia, MI. The prestigious education that I received at Michigan went far beyond the classroom or football field – it was an education in how to solve engineering and life problems under the most challenging environment.

Go Blue!

Ahmet Mazacioglu

Ahmet Mazacioglu - MSE, 2015; Current Student

I joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Michigan (U-M) in Fall 2013, right after having my undergraduate degree from Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Nearing my five years here, I can say that it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of ME and Michigan, for many different reasons. 

Research-wise, the ME department offers many advantages to grad students in terms of collaboration opportunities and overall research impact.  For my PhD project, I have been working on optical diagnostics in internal combustion engines under the supervision of my co-advisors: Prof. Volker Sick, a physical chemist, and Dr. Michael C. Gross, an electrical engineer. I love working on my project and collaborating with my advisors and labmates, because my project is highly multidisciplinary in nature, and I have the chance to interact with many experts from diverse professional and personal backgrounds. I learn a lot from them about many topics that are considered nontraditional for a mechanical engineer, such as optics, image processing, plasma science, and quantum mechanics, and I apply this exotic-at-first-glance set of knowledge to solve a real-life problem in internal combustion engines, which is traditionally a mechanical engineering application. Through this project, I have collaborated with international automotive companies, such as Bosch and BorgWarner, and observed how my unorthodox diagnostic tools can guide the design and analysis of real production engines.

After my first couple of years in the department, having gone through my own adaptation period to a new department, a new city, and a new country, I wanted to be more actively involved in helping out other graduate students to ease their transition to their new environment. For that reason, I joined Mechanical Engineering Graduate Council (MEGC) as the Mentorship Chair. I have organized events and activities in which senior grad students can guide and mentor new grad students over a broad range of topics in terms of PhD candidacy exam preparations, adjusting to grad school or a new culture. Similarly, I have helped organize events for undergraduate students to inform them about grad school. Through MEGC, I also had the chance to get involved in many outreach activities towards Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit K-12 students. These activities definitely helped me understand and connect with the local community better, and I am glad that I could be a part of it and have a positive impact on it.

The ME department helped me become a more proficient researcher, a more involved member of the community, and overall a happier person. 

Alumni News & Newsletter

Do you have an alumni news item for publication on our website or in our Annual Report? Send your news items to

Gifts & Accolades

Katherine VozarVozar Honored with 2018 Michigan Engineering Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

Mechanical Engineering alumna Katherine Avery Vozar has been selected to receive the 2018 University of Michigan Engineering Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Vozar (MSE 11’, PhD, 16’) is currently a Technology Integration Lead at Ford Motor Company, where her work is dedicated to integration emerging technology into forward model year vehicles, and accelerating systems-based, cross-functional development and implementation of relevant technologies sourced from multiple industries. Vozar also brought her unique vision and experience to assist as a Corporate-Partner-in-Residence at Techstars Mobility, a Detroit-based startup accelerator focused on funding companies with a novel approach to transportation, including (but not limited to) autonomous, connected, shared and electric vehicles.

Vozar has written more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and holds multiple patents, has co- advised doctoral students with faculty from around the world and has provided technical and project leadership on multiple government-funded multi-institution research collaborations. Giving back to her community is another passion of Vozar’s. As an alum, she became a member of the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board and a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Michigan Engineering Zone in Detroit, an innovation space where Detroit students acquire the knowledge and tools they need to propel themselves to higher education and careers in STEM. She also co-founded The Trending Up Foundation, which endeavors to raise awareness and accessibility of STEM careers for K-12 students from historically excluded groups through hands-on workshops, classes and scholarship opportunities.

Kimberly HammondsHammonds Honored with 2018 U-M ME Alumni Merit Award

Mechanical Engineering alumna Kimberly Hammonds has been selected to receive the 2018 University of Michigan (U-M) Mechanical Engineering (ME) Alumni Merit Award. Hammonds (BSEME, 90’) most recently served as the Group Chief Operating Officer of Deutsche Bank, where she was the third female in its history to serve on the Management Board of the 148-year-old company. She was named one of the top 10 Digital Leaders in Germany. Throughout her career Hammonds has worked in four different industries; automotive, technology, aerospace and defense, and, most recently, financial services. She served as the Group Chief Information Officer for the Boeing Company, and was the first female CIO in the company’s history. She also held executive positions at Dell Corporation and Ford Motor Company. Her global leadership experience extends across product engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, purchasing, operations and information technology.

Hammonds is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, serves on the Board of Directors of Redhat, Cloudera and Tenable, and is the founder and president of the Zoe Foundation, which provides art programs from cancer patients. She has actively supported the American Cancer Society, raising more than $5 million for the organization. She was recognized by Crain’s Business as one of the ‘Women to Watch’ in 2011.

Peter K. Schoenfeld Scholarship Fund endowed

Franziska I. Schoenfeld (AB ’53, DDS ’55) has made a gift to endow the Peter K. Schoenfeld Scholarship Fund. Established in honor of her son, Michigan Engineering alumnus Peter K. Schoenfeld (BSE ME ’98), the fund will provide need-based scholarship support to undergraduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who are residents of the state of Michigan. Preference will be given to transfer students, either from other academic units within the University or from outside the University, and students who are United States citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

After graduating with her DDS in 1955, Dr. Schoenfeld owned and operated a general dentistry practice for 30 years, retiring in 1985. After her retirement, she served as a dental editor for the Michigan Dental Association Journal, authoring and editing dental articles and dentist profiles.

Yudong ChenYudong Chen (MSE ME, PhD '91) - 2017 Alumni Merit Award

Mechanical Engineering alumnus Yudong Chen has been selected to receive the 2017 U-M ME Alumni Merit Award. Chen (MSE ME, PhD '91) is currently president of Bosch (China) Investment Ltd. He has served as US-NSF-STA Research Fellow at the Japan Science and Technology Agency, where he served as a consultant for Japanese researchers and industries on concurrent manufacturing systems, and on FMS for the automotive industry. Chen joined the Bosch Group Gasoline Engine Department as the Senior Vice President responsible for business development in China.

Chen was Executive Vice President in charge of Original Equipment Sales for Bosch (China) Investment Ltd. from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, he went on to serve as the President of Bosch (China) Investment Ltd., a role he remains in today. 


See previous alumni merit award recipients.

Marshall Jones Laser pioneer Marshall Jones (BSE ME ‘65) joins the Inventors Hall of Fame

Marshall Jones was inducted May 4th, 2017, into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Washington DC for his pioneering work with industrial lasers.

There are only 547 members of the Hall -- only about 100 of whom are still living -- out of an estimated 2 million engineers working in America today.

Since 1974, Jones has worked for GE Global Research, where he currently serves as principal engineer in Manufacturing & Materials Technologies.


Ken SnodgrassKen Snodgrass (BSME ‘69, MSE ‘71) - 2014 Distinguished Alumni Service Award

ME Alum Ken Snodgrass (BSME ‘69 and MSE ‘71) Receives 2014 Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Ken Snodgrass is a mechanical engineer, automotive professional, and co-founder of the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) in Detroit. After graduating from the University of Michigan College of Engineering (BSME ‘69 and MSE ‘71), Ken accepted a position in Light Truck Engineering at Ford Motor Company where he would work for 30 years in a wide variety of management positions in product development including international assignments and joint programs with various Asian and European auto manufacturers.


Theodore T. Tanase (BSE ME ‘63) and Priscilla B. TanaseTanase Scholarship Fund

Theodore T. Tanase (BSE ME ‘63) and Priscilla B. Tanase of Seattle, Washington, with a $100,000 gift, have endowed the Theodore and Priscilla Tanase Scholarship Fund to provide need-based support to full-time undergraduates at the College of Engineering. They desire that first preference be given to students from the State of Hawaii, followed by the State of Washington. Ted is the founder of Ensocare, which provides web-based care coordination solutions to help manage patient care transitions, reduce length of stay and reduce readmissions. Priscilla enjoyed an early career in the fitness industry, and more recently as a family therapist.


Sheri SheppardSheri Sheppard (PhD ‘85) - 2014 U.S. Professor of the Year

Sheppard is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

In her role at Stanford, Sheppard teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate mechanics courses, courses on teaching and workshops on professional development. She also advises new lecturers and tenure-line faculty on their course design, serving as a faculty sponsor on several of those courses.


Support your department

Alumni generosity is vital to Department of Mechanical Engineering's success and excellence. Donations to ME help support undergraduate and graduate financial aid, building and renovation projects, and the ME Endowment Fund. Giving is easy with our online giving form.