Department of Mechanical Engineering holds inaugural faculty investiture

On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, the Department of Mechanical Engineering held its first faculty investiture in the Gates Ballroom. This event enabled the department to publicly celebrate three of its most esteemed faculty, bestowing upon them one of the highest honors in academia, the awarding of an endowed professorship. Faculty invested were Dr. Eric L. Petersen as Nelson-Jackson Professor, Dr. William C. Schneider as Zachry Professor of Engineering, and Dr. Arun R. Srinivasa as Holdredge/Paul Professor.

Eric L. Petersen, Nelson-Jackson Professor

Eric PetersenPetersen joined Texas A&M University as a professor of mechanical engineering in 2008. He worked for several years as an analytical engineer in the combustion group at Pratt & Whitney, Government Engines & Space Propulsion as well as staff scientist at The Aerospace Corporation. His research involves the fields of gas dynamics, propulsion, combustion, shock wave physics and chemistry, chemical kinetics, optical diagnostics and spectroscopy, combustion instability, fluid mechanics, aerosol science, and rocket combustion. Petersen is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and a student-led award for teaching excellence. He was awarded a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Fellow for 2010-2011.

 William C. Schneider, Zachry Professor of Engineering

William SchneiderSchneider graduated with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and proceeded into a distinguished 38-year career at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. While at NASA, he was a pivotal engineer performing extensive thermo-elasticity and dynamic analysis and was responsible for the structural integrity of the thermal protection tiles for the space shuttles. He designed many spacecraft and spacecraft components. Schneider has received 13 U.S. patents. Upon retiring 14 years ago, his position was that of senior engineer and assistant director of all engineering at the Johnson Space Center. Schneider currently teaches mechanical engineering at Texas A&M. His wealth of experience has greatly enhanced the capstone senior design course.  

 Arun R. Srinivasa, Holdredge/Paul Professor

Arun SrinivasaSrinivasa joined Texas A&M as a professor of mechanical engineering in 1997, and currently serves as associate department head. His research focuses on the simulation of entropy producing processes including metal and polymer processing, diffusion and swelling in soft materials, thermomechanical phenomena in smart materials, modeling of biomaterials and simulation of surgical processes, and other related areas of engineering. Srinivasa has a passion for education and an abiding interest in the use of technology for education. He has won numerous teaching awards such as the Outstanding Teaching Award and the BP Award for Teaching Excellence, and also received the University Distinguished Achievement Award in 2013.