Interim Department Head Welcome

William Dunn

It is my pleasure to wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year. The department of mechanical and nuclear engineering (MNE) has enjoyed quite a successful year in 2013.

We have some new faces in the department. This fall, we hired two new Assistant Professors Melanie Derby and Jeremy Roberts. We also added a new academic program coordinator, Heather Markson and an assistant academic program coordinator, Mitzi Farmer. Please look for details about our new faculty and staff in articles that follow below. I am not a new faculty member but am now serving as the MNE interim department head. The College of Engineering has recently completed interviews for a new dean and the search is in progress for a permanent MNE department head as well. Continue reading

MNE Student Groups in the Spotlight


In June 2013, the unmanned aerial systems team took 3rd place at an event at Patuxent River, Md. The international competition featured 35 teams from the U.S., Canada, India and Turkey. The group is currently preparing for the Association Unmanned Vehicle System International, Students Unmanned Aerial System competition this upcoming June in St. Inigoes, Md and is in the process of building two new airframes, an antenna tracker for the wireless data link and a camera gimbal to be mounted in the aircraft. Faculty advisers for the team are Garth Thompson and Dale Schinstock, MNE.

Matt Roselli, ECE senior

The SAE formula car team members entered their car in the FSAE Michigan International Speedway Competition and placed 10th in the design category in May 2013. Powercat Motorsports again pushed the boundaries in this area by introducing several new design components. Their entry “Leopard” introduced a full composite monocoque chassis, a fully electric paddle shift system and wireless data acquisition.  Continue reading

MNE Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

Melanie Derby

Melanie Derby joined our department in fall 2013 as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in St. Troy, NY where she studied condensation heat transfer enhancement on hydrophobic/hydrophilic surfaces. Her research group, the Cooling and Heating Innovation Laboratory (CHIL), focuses on improving condensers for power generation applications, thermal management and reducing building energy consumption.



Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts joined our department in fall 2013 as an assistant professor. He performed doctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology after receiving both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research includes the development of advanced solvers for steady-state and transient transport applications, optimization schemes for reactor loading pattern analysis, and sensitivity and uncertainty methods for criticality safety applications.   Continue reading

Shultis Honored


The American Nuclear Society has selected J. Kenneth Shultis, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University, to receive the 2013 Rockwell Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was cited for his “numerous contributions over the last 50 years to the practice of shielding, shielding analyses, skyshine methodology and computer algorithms; the education of students through teaching and research; the training of professionals through short courses; the publication of textbooks and technical articles; and service to the profession.”

J. Kenneth Shultis, recipient of the 2013 Rockwell Lifetime Achievement Award

Shultis joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1969 and is currently program director for the nuclear engineering program. His research and scholarship areas include Monte Carlo detector analysis, inverse problems, remote sensing, transport theory and radiative transfer, risk analysis, radiation protection and shielding, numerical analysis, radiological assessment and utility power analysis. Continue reading

Noteworthy News

Where are our MNEs?

We would like to hear from you. Email Mitzi Farmer at with information about your career, family, or other post-graduation updates. When you send news be sure to include your name, graduation year, a photo if available, and your location.

May 2013 Graduates

December 2013 Graduates

MNE student accomplishments

  • Romil Bhandavat, graduate student, received the Kansas State University Graduate Award for Academics. His adviser was Gurdip Singh, professor.
  • A team from the College of Engineering is among 10 teams selected nationally to compete in the inaugural National Collegiate Wind Competition and build a small wind turbine that can charge an electronic device such as a cell phone or electronic tablet. Faculty advisers are Ruth Douglas Miller, associate professor, ECE, Youqi Wang and Greg Spaulding, professor. Continue reading