Letter from the chair

Dear Mechanical Engineering Community,

Thank you for your interest in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Department is experiencing unprecedented growth and university/community support. 

UNR attained Carnegie R1 Classification for the first time in 2019. The new 100,000 ft2 Pennington Engineering Building , which includes a ISO-5 (CLASS 100) cleanroom, opened in August 2020. 

The ME Department initiated an Aerospace Engineering Program with intended Minor in 2021 and Major in 2022, and recently secured a 5700 ft2 Aerospace Engineering Experimental Station. The ME Department hired four new faculty members in 2019 and 2020, Petros VoulgarisJames HannaYifei Jin, and Aditya Nair, and is currently searching for three more

The ME Department offers an ABET-accredited BS program, MS and PhD programs, a unique Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging, and a recently initiated Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards.  We awarded a record number of BS degrees in 2019. All our graduates took part in our signature hands-on laboratory and capstone design experiences, and many participated in our varied student club activities, and took advantage of internships or our industry-oriented minors in close connection with Nevada’s engineering employers. In the past two years, our graduate program enrollment has grown in excess of 30%, and our alumni find placement in leadership positions in industry, national labs, and academia.

Our department is home to exciting research at the forefront of many areas of mechanical and aerospace engineering. In the last two years, the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship was awarded to Prof. Floris van Breugel, Profs. Matteo Aureli and Feifei Fan received NSF CAREER awards, and graduate student Rebecca Histed received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award. The ME Department external funding increased by 70% in 2019 and continued strong in 2020. This includes funding from NSF, NASA, DoE, DoD, ACS PRF, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and industry.

I invite you to take a deeper look at our programs, research, and faculty.

Go Wolf Pack!


Petros Voulgaris


Interim Chair
Founding Aerospace Program Director
Victor LaMar Lockhart Professor
Mechanical Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
(775) 682-5725
PE 204C
pvoulgaris@unr.edu