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ME Professor Dennis Assanis Elected to National Academy of Engineering


Assanis The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently announced the election of 65 new members to its ranks, and among them is Dennis Assanis, Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt Professor of Engineering. Professor Assanis was elected to the NAE for his “scientific contributions to improving fuel economy and reducing emissions of internal combustion engines, and for promoting automotive engineering education.”

Membership in the NAE is extremely selective, honoring engineers who have made significant and lasting contributions to engineering research, practice or education. Charles M. Vest, a U-M Mechanical Engineering alumnus and president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, currently serves as NAE president.

Professor Assanis is recognized internationally for his innovative development of modeling methodologies and experimental techniques to shed light into complex thermal, fluid and chemical processes in internal combustion engines so as to improve their fuel economy and reduce emissions. Among other accomplishments, his group’s work on homogeneous charge compression ignition contributes significantly to operating engines in low temperature combustion, ultra clean and fuel economical regimes that constitute a paradigm shift from today’s practices. The engine system simulations Professor Assanis has developed with his students and collaborators are being used in industry and national laboratories.

Since he joined the Department in 1994 Professor Assanis has worked to revitalize teaching and research efforts in internal combustion engines. He energetically and successfully directs the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory and the Automotive Research Center, both highly productive research environments for faculty, students, government and industry. He also co-directs the Engine Systems Collaborative Research Laboratory with General Motors and heads the Multi-University Consortium on Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engines. His leadership in these roles, as well as dedicated service as department chair from 2002 to 2007, have helped distinguish the ME department at U-M.

In 1999 Professor Assanis was named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, a University-level appointment that recognizes faculty whose undergraduate education and teaching has a demonstrable impact on students. Professor Assanis has also been the founding director of the Master’s of engineering degree program in automotive engineering. He has earned numerous other teaching honors, including the Professor of the Year Award from Tau Beta Pi in 2006; the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Distinguished Lectureship; a Teaching Excellence Award from the College in 2000 and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department in 1998, among others.

In addition to his election to the NAE, Professor Assanis was recently designated a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Fellowship is awarded for “significant engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.”

Election to the NAE and selection as ASME Fellow bring “great distinction to both Dennis and the Department,” says Professor Panos Papalambros, interim Department chair and Donald C. Graham Professor of Engineering. “We thank Dennis for his continuing contributions to our department.”

Other ME faculty elected to the NAE include Professor Yoram Koren (2004) and Professor A. Galip Ulsoy (2006). Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board members and ME graduates Ward Winer (BSE ME 58, MSE ME 59, PhD ME 62), Marshall Jones (BS ME 65), Roger McCarthy (BSE ME 72), and Paul Kern (MS ME 73) were elected in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007, respectively.

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