Susan Mantell

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Susan Mantell

James J. Ryan Professor, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Mechanical Engineering Department Head, Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering
Room 1100C
111 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Ph.D. 1991, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
M.S. 1987, Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University
B.S. 1981, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

Professional Background

James J. Ryan Professor and Head, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2019-Present
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2003-2019
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1998-2003
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1991-1998
Technical University Delft, the Netherlands; Aerospace Structures; 2014
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Mechanical Engineering; 1996-1997
Design Engineer, CTI Cryogenics, Waltham, MA, 1982-1987
Mechanical Engineer, GTE Sylvania, Westboro, MA, 1981 - 1982

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • American society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American society of Engineering Educators (ASEE)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)


Susan Mantell's research focus is design and analysis of structures utilizing polymers, polymer composites, and anisotropic materials. Experimental, computational and analytic approaches are applied to solve problems related to energy efficiency (light weight composite structures, low cost solar systems, and energy efficient roof technology) and enhanced performance through structural health (sensors for health monitoring, stress corrosion cracking in polymers, and nondestructive evaluation of layered and bonded structures).

Polymer Materials and Mechanics Laboratory - ME2120

ME Research Areas
Materials & Mechanics
Sensing & Controls

ME Impact Areas
Next-Gen Manufacturing
Environment & Sustainability

Research Interests
  • Design and analysis of structures utilizing polymers and polymer composites.
  • Mechanics principles associated with design using orthotropic and anisotropic materials.
  • Large and microscale structures.
  • Experimental and theoretical studies of polymer degradation.
  • Nondestructive evaluation of layered materials.
  • Development of manufacturing process models for composite materials and design of MEMs devices for biomedical applications.
Teaching Subjects
ME 3221: Fundamentals of Design & Manufacturing
ME 4054W: Design Projects
ME 4053: Mechanical Engineering Modeling

Honors and Awards

  • Morse Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, University of Minnesota, 2011
  • George W. Taylor College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2008
  • Best Professor Mechanical Engineering, 2007 (selected by College of Science and Engineering Student Board)
  • Quality Mentoring Award, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1994 (Nominated by students)
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 1995-1997
  • External Awards ASME Fellow, Elected 2016
  • Best Paper award: Society of Plastics Engineers, FAPSIG, Annual technical conference, 2018, 2020
  • Best Paper award: ASME Solar Energy Conference, 2009
  • Best Paper award: SPIE Conference on MEMs Reliability, 2006
  • Best Paper award: ASME Journal of System Dynamics and Control, 2005
  • Fellow, Academic Leadership Program, Committee on Institutional Cooperation Fellow, 2011-2012
  • National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, 1994-1999
  • ASME Young Engineer of the Year Award, Minnesota Chapter, 1992

Selected Publications

  • Gladen, A., Davidson, J. and S. Mantell (2013), “A study of the optical properties of a scattering, non-absorbing media with application to thermotropic materials,” Solar Energy Journal: Solar Heating and Cooling Special Edition (under review).
  • Gladen, A., Mantell, S. and J. Davidson (2013), “A parametric numerical study of radiative transfer in thermotropic materials,” ASME Heat Transfer Conference (under review).
  • Briscoe, C.R., Mantell, S.C., and J.H. Davidson (2011). “Buckling of a Plate on a Pasternak Foundation under Uniform In-Plane Bending Loads,” accepted for publication the International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics.
  • Ali, S.M., Mantell, S.C., and E. Longmire (2012), “Experimental Technique for Fatigue Testing of MEMS in Liquids,” IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 21 (3), pp. 520-522.
  • Gladen, Adam, Jane H. Davidson, Susan C. Mantell, Jihua Zhang, and Yuewen Xu. "A Model of the Optical Properties of a Non-absorbing Media with Application to Thermotropic Materials for Overheat Protection." Energy Procedia 30 (2012): 116-124.