Mechanical Engineering is all about building things! Mechanical engineers understand how machines work and how to design and construct new ones to solve challenging problems in the world. This camp will explore many of the exciting new topics in mechanical engineering, such as:
- constructing wind turbines to harvest clean energy from nature
- building robots to explore and clean up hazardous waste
- creating prosthetics to help injured people walk again
- making water treatment systems that run on sunlight for the developing world
Campers will get hands-on experience building and designing machines that make the world a better place, using all their creativity and problem-solving skills. The camp will also include field trips to on-site labs and nearby research and manufacturing companies.
The Mechanical Engineering faculty creators and coordinators are Dr. Elif Ertekin, Dr. Matthew West and Joe Muskin. Dr. Ertekin received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. Her research focuses on constructing new materials for devices, with a particular focus on new types of solar cells and other devices for efficient power generation. Dr. West received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2004 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. He investigates computer simulation techniques for mechanical systems, including unmanned aircraft, and telescope design. Joe Muskin is the Education Coordinator for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. He has extensive experience teaching middle school science and developing inquiry-based science and engineering lessons for all ages. Joe received NSTA’s Distinguished Informal Science Educator Award in 2013 for his outstanding work bringing 3D printing to students across the country. (Adapted from UIUC’s I-RISE website).