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Endowed Professorship Recognitions


This past semester, ME celebrated two endowed professorship recognitions. André Boehman was named the Vennema Professor of Engineering, and Bogdan Epureanu was named the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

At their recognition events, these professors delivered lectures which are available to be viewed below. See photos from these events on the Mechanical Engineering Flickr page.

Adventures in Fuel Chemistry: Challenges in Alternative and Renewable Fuels

by André Boehman
André Boehman speaking at the Vennema Professorship Lecture and Reception on April 12, 2024 in 1571 GGB (Iacocca Room).

Our group’s work has considered alternative and renewable fuels for more than 25 years. In that time, we have explored how to capitalize on opportunities and to overcome the challenges posed by the chemical and physical properties of a wide variety of fuels. In this work, we have examined the impact that fuel formulation, including going back to the original feedstocks from which the fuels are made, can be engineered to improve performance, reduce pollutant emissions and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of the transportation sector. Widespread and immediate adoption of low carbon intensity renewable fuels can provide dramatic carbon intensity reductions, overnight, when used in the vehicles we drive today. The practical challenge is achieving major reductions in fossil carbon emissions at scale. Replacing 20 million barrels a day of petroleum presents a daunting barrier to addressing the climate crisis. We will take a realistic look at these questions, and recommend a path forward that uses both strategies.


André Boehman is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Vennema Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He joined U-M in 2012 after serving for 18 years at Penn State as a Professor of Fuel Science. At U-M, Prof. Boehman serves as the Director of the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering: a BS from the University of Dayton (1986) and an MS (1987) and PhD (1993) from Stanford University. He served as the Editor in Chief of the journal Fuel Processing Technology from 2007-2011, and as an Associate Editor for Energy & Fuels from 2016-2019. He is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Combustion Institute. He received the 2009 John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines and the 2009 Arch T. Colwell Merit Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers. He received the 2018 Achievement Award from the U-M Mechanical Engineering Department and both the 2021 Monroe-Brown Foundation Service Excellence Award and 2023 David E. Liddle Research Excellence Award from the U-M College of Engineering. He also received the 2020 ASME Internal Combustion Engine Award. He has authored or co-authored 136 journal publications and 6 book chapters. He has chaired or co-chaired more than 30 MS theses and 30 doctoral theses at Penn State and Michigan.

The Transformative Potential of Nonlinear Dynamics in Decoding Our World

by Bogdan Epureanu
Bogdan Epureanu speaking at the Roger L. McCarthy Professorship Lecture and Reception on April 25, 2024 in 1571 GGB (Iacocca Room).

In an era defined by complex interconnections and multifaceted systems, the study of nonlinear dynamics has emerged as a paramount pursuit across diverse disciplines. This presentation explores the captivating realm of nonlinearities, showcasing their pivotal role in complex systems spanning engineering, biology, physics, mathematics, and beyond. Central to this exploration is the recognition that nonlinear systems, where output changes are not proportional to input variations, encapsulate the essence of real-world complexity. Starting from physical principles and mathematical concepts, this presentation is a summary of my journey to unravel the fascinating behavior of nonlinear systems. From chaotic attractors challenging conventional wisdom to the intricate dance of limit cycles, we will navigate through the captivating topology of nonlinearities and explore their practical use. Through captivating examples such as predicting tipping points and unveiling novel markers for chronic kidney disease progression, we will demonstrate the transformative potential of nonlinear dynamics combined with data science. In essence, this presentation advocates for embracing nonlinear dynamics as a method to decode and reshape our world. Following into the footsteps of my brilliant mentors and together with outstanding students and collaborators, we challenge the status quo and embark on a transformational journey towards deeper insights, enhanced predictive capabilities, and novel solutions to grand challenges of our time.


Bogdan I. Epureanu is the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and has a courtesy appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1999. With a background in nonlinear dynamics, during his tenure of more than 22 years at the University of Michigan, he pioneered interdisciplinary research directions enhancing aircraft safety and performance, early detection of neurodegenerative diseases, and forecasting tipping points in engineered and physical systems such as disease epidemics and ecology. As Director of the Automotive Research Center he leads research in control and teaming of autonomous vehicles, human-autonomous vehicle interactions, high performance structures and materials, intelligent power systems, fleet operations, and vehicle system of systems integration. He published more than 200 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals, more than 200 conference papers and books in the field, and delivered more than 250 conference presentations, lectures, and invited talks. He taught 22 undergraduate and 16 graduate courses, mentored 12 post-doctoral fellows, directed over 110 graduate students in projects and 65 undergraduate projects involving 87 undergraduate students. He is the founding president of the Beta chapter of INCOSE Sigma Mu Theta, Vice-President of Pi Tau Sigma (PTS), the International Honor Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics. Among others, he is the recipient of the Myklestad Award, the Dedicated Service Award – ASME Design Engineering Division, Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award – American Society for Engineering Education, 1938E Award, Monroe-Brown Foundation Research Excellence Award, Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award, John Ullrich Education Excellence Award – College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Rackham Faculty Recognition Award, and he is an ASME Fellow.

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