• Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr. '45 Chair II Professor
  • Chair, Faculty Mentoring and Success, Mechanical Engineering
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
M. Cynthia Hipwell

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley — 1996
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Rice University — 1991

Research Interests

    • Nanoscale thermal energy transport
    • Nanoscale tribology
    • Surface and interface physics in the finger-device interface for human machine interfaces and haptics
    • Micro/nanoscale sensor and actuator integration and characterization for human-machine interfaces and haptics
    • Innovation and technology development processes

Industry Experience

    • Technology and business process innovator with senior level leadership experience in engineering, advanced R&D, and new product development (19 years, Seagate Technology).
    • Known for bringing discipline to the experimental process and leveraging Lean and Agile methodologies.Skilled in leading critical technology transitions, developing strategy and roadmaps, and accelerating project delivery.

Awards & Honors

  • 2021 ASME Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award
  • 2019 Aggie Women Network Eminent Scholar
  • 2019 Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council Faculty Mentoring Award
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors

Selected Publications

  • Li, X., Y. Ma, C. Choi, X. Ma, S. Chatterjee, S. Lan, and M.C. Hipwell, “Nanotexture Shape and Surface Energy Impact on Electroadhesive Human-Machine Interface Performance,” Advanced Materials, June 25, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202008337.
  • Changhyun Choi, Yuan Ma, Xinyi Li, Xuezhi Ma, and M. Cynthia Hipwell “Finger Pad Topography beyond Fingerprints: Understanding the Heterogeneity Effect of Finger Topography for Human-Machine Interface Modeling” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2021 13 (2), 3303-3310 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c15827
  • Li, X., C. Choi, Y. Ma, P. Boonpuek, J. R. Felts, J. Mullenbach, C. Shultz, J. E. Colgate, M. C. Hipwell, "Electrowetting: A Consideration in Electroadhesion," in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 522-529, 1 July-Sept. 2020, doi: 10.1109/TOH.2020.2979439
  • Boonpuek, P. , Y. Ma, X. Li, C. Choi, M. C. Hipwell, and J.R. Felts, “Evaluation of the Electrowetting Effect on the Interfacial Mechanics Between Human Corneocytes and Nano-Asperities" Langmuir, March 2021.
  • Choi, C., Y. Ma, S. Sequeria, S. Chatterjee, X. Li, J. Felts, and M. Cynthia Hipwell, “Effect of Surface Temperature on Finger Friction and Perception in Electroadhesion,” World Haptics 2021.