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New Head for Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering Department welcomed a new Department Head, Professor Baki M. Cetegen, who began his three-year term in September. He succeeded former Department Head and professor Ranga Pitchumani. Dr. Cetegen joined the department in 1987 and conducts research in the areas of combustion and fluid dynamics with emphasis on laser diagnostics and optical imaging.

Dr. Cetegen earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology in 1982. He worked as a research scientist and group leader at Energy and Environmental Research Corporation in Irvine, CA and later as a research fellow at the University of California, Irvine. His academic experience also includes stints as a visiting research scientist at the Center for Laser Diagnostics at Yale University (1994) and the Laboratoire Energetique Moleculaire et Macroscopique Combustion at Ecole Centrale de Paris (2002).

Dr. Cetegen’s recent research projects include dynamic behavior of turbulent premixed flames, heat transfer and phase change in rotating flows, thermal spray process characterization by non-intrusive optical measurements and modeling, and optical diagnostics for PEM fuel cells. He is a co-inventor on two U.S. patents, for solution plasma spraying and a plasma testing probe, and he has published more than 100 scholarly journal publications and conference proceedings. In addition, he serves as the treasurer and member of the Executive Board of the Eastern Section of the Combustion Institute, and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The Mechanical Engineering Department has 20 tenured and tenure-track faculty members, including two endowed chair professors, as well as two professors-in-residence. The department’s graduate program was ranked #7 among all public universities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report rankings.