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Four ME faculty received named professorships


Michael Thouless — Janine Johnson Weins Professorship: The Janine Johnson Weins Professorship in Engineering was established in September 2015 with a gift from Janine Johnson Weins.

Professor Thouless’ research focuses on the mechanical properties of materials, and he has an international reputation for his work on adhesion and fracture. He also has worked on a wide range of other areas including composites, creep, and the mechanical properties of thin films and coatings. Professor Thouless is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he is a chartered engineer and fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in the United Kingdom. He was elected an overseas fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and he was appointed as an Otto Monsted guest professor at the Danish Technical University. Internal awards include the College of Engineering Research, Service and Teaching Excellence Awards, and the UM Distinguished Faculty Governance Award.

Huei Peng — Roger L. McCarthy Professorship: The Roger L. McCarthy Professorship is made possible through the generosity of Roger L. McCarthy, and is intended to support the teaching and scholarship of a distinguished faculty member in Mechanical Engineering.

In the last 10 years, Peng has been involved in the electric and hybrid designs of several military and civilian concept vehicles, including FTTS, FMTV, Eaton/Fedex, and Super-HUMMWV. He is currently the US Director of the Department of Energy-sponsored Clean Energy Research Center—Clean Vehicle Consortium, which supports more than 30 research projects related to the development of clean vehicles in US and China. He also leads an educational project funded by DOE to develop 10 undergraduate and graduate courses, including three laboratory courses, focusing on transportation electrification. Peng serves as the Associate Director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, an ambitious project that develops and studies connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, and promotes their deployment.

The previous McCarthy Professor was Noboru Kikuchi, also of Mechanical Engineering.

Steve Ceccio — ABS Professorship: The ABS Professorship in Marine and Offshore Design Performance was established in September 2015 with gifts from the American Bureau of Shipping.

Professor Ceccio’s research has focused on the study of multiphase flows through the creation of a world-class laboratory at the University of Michigan and through the use of large-scale testing facilities located throughout the country. He has concentrated on the experimental examination of these complex flows with the goal of understanding fundamental processes responsible for their underlying dynamics and transport. Professor Ceccio’s contributions have earned him several awards including his election as fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 2005 and the American Physical Society in 2009. He was also appointed as an ASME Freeman Scholar in 2014.

Kathleen Sienko — Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship: The Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship is named after alumnus Arthur F. Thurnau and supported by the Thurnau Charitable Trust. Apointees demonstrate a strong commitment to students and to teaching and learning, excellence in teaching, innovations in teaching and learning, a strong commitment to working effectively with a diverse student body, a demonstrable impact on students’ intellectual or artistic development, and contributions to undergraduate education beyond the classroom, studio or lab.

Professor Sienko initiated an ambitious Global Health Design program, which a colleague describes as “an intensive, life-changing experience for students.” The program involves participation in international, collaborative projects, as students work in multidisciplinary teams to develop low-cost medical devices at field sites in Ghana and China. In the process, students gain first-hand experience in real-world settings, learning to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

As one colleague writes, “Professor Sienko is a truly extraordinary educator who has captured the hearts and impacted the lives of our students with her magnificent teaching skills, her exceptional caring, and her wonderful mentorship.”

Sienko is joining an elite group of ME colleagues who are holding this prestigious title – Jim Barber, Noel Perkins, Volker Sick, Steve Skerlos, Michael Thouless, Alan Wineman, and Margaret Wooldridge.

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