Quick Facts

close up of plasma

Quick Facts


  • Full-time faculty: 20
  • Undergraduate students: 170
  • Graduate students: 97
  • Annual research expenditures (3-year average): $4.5 million


Labs, Centers & Institutes

  • Biofluid Dynamics Laboratory
  • Bioengineering Laboratory for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering
  • Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering
  • Computational Materials Science and Molecular Modeling Group
  • Flight Dynamics and Controls Laboratory
  • Micropropulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory
  • Multiscale Computational Mechanics Laboratory


Degrees And Programs

* The program offers focus areas in aerospace; biomedical; industrial engineering; design of mechanical engineering systems; fluid mechanics, thermal science, and energy; solid mechanics and materials science; structures and dynamics; and robotics, mechatronics, and controls


Points of Pride

  • The Department is home to one of the nation’s leading fluid dynamics research programs. Fluid dynamics research impacts transportation, energy, medicine, weather prediction, and many other fields.
  • Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang received a prestigious National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award for her work with 3D bioprinted, smart, vascularized nano tissue, which aims to find a solution for treating large tissue defects in patients.
  • Dr. Michael Keidar is using plasmas to create new micro-propulsion devices called micro-vacuum arc thrusters, which provide small forces that can be used to correct or sustain satellites in their orbits. NASA has accepted a proposal from Dr. Keidar to launch GW’s Cube satellite as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.
  • An expert in computational fluid dynamics, Dr. Elias Balaras is using high performance parallel computing to conduct research on cardiovascular blood flow mechanics and hemodynamics of biomedical devices. His research aims to improve understanding of cardiovascular disease and develop tools for surgical planning such as one that would allow surgeons to do virtual surgery and optimize the procedure for each patient before performing the actual operation.
  • Dr. Kausik Sarkar is collaborating with a colleague from Boston University to develop new ultrasound-based molecular imaging of diseases. The project aims to engineer tiny lipid-coated bubbles that are targeted to specific diseases and can be injected into a patient; once injected, the bubbles will attach themselves to the diseased part of the body and show up in the ultrasound image.
  • Dr. Megan Leftwich is working with the Smithsonian National Zoo to study the sea lion’s swimming techniques for possible applications to the design of underwater vehicles.