School of Engineering’s Shahrokh Etemad, PhD, Named ASME Fellow

School of Engineering’s Shahrokh Etemad, PhD, Named ASME Fellow

Dr. Shahrokh Etemad, PhD

Shahrokh Etemad, PhD, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Fairfield University

Professor Shahrokh Etemad, PhD, chair of Mechanical Engineering at Fairfield University, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

I am a believer in life-long learning. I hope this award will set an example for our junior faculty, that a PhD degree should not be their last milestone.

— Dr. Etemad

“We are proud to recognize Dr. Shahrokh Etemad as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,” said Richard H. Heist, dean of the School of Engineering. “Being a Fellow of ASME is a unique and prestigious honor since Fellows comprise only about 3.5% of the ASME membership.”

Founded in 1880 by a small group of leading industrialists, ASME is a not-for-profit organization that today boasts close to 100,000 members in more than 140 countries around the world. Dr. Etemad has been an ASME member since 1995, and said the Society has been a valuable resource for learning about leading-edge technology and for exchanging information with colleagues from other institutions and research centers.

The mechanical engineering professor is a big proponent of student involvement in on-campus chapters of technical societies like ASME, as a way to enrich classroom learning, gain leadership experience, and stay on top of fast-changing engineering fields.

“The field of mechanical engineering was already big,” he said, “and is now getting bigger. Renewable energies such as solar and wind are now on our roof and in our backyard. New fields of advanced manufacturing and industrial automation are part of the fabrication process; robotics have penetrated into the medical and advanced electronics field. Composite materials and nano-materials are replacing the traditional materials on vehicle, aerospace, and household equipment. New autonomous vehicles are taking off.”

“I am a believer in life-long learning,” Dr. Etemad added. “I hope this award will set an example for our junior faculty that a PhD degree should not be their last milestone.”

Working alongside fellow faculty members and donors such as the Earl and Hilda Brinkman Family Foundation, Bannow-Larson Foundation, and others, Dr. Etemad has developed three new engineering laboratories, with a fourth one on the way. “These new labs bring our programs to the next level, and we have been commended by outside faculty and visitors for having well-equipped and modern facilities for our students,” he said.

Prior to becoming a full-time School of Engineering faculty member in 2010, Dr. Etemad worked at research divisions of Honeywell-Textron, Carrier-United Technologies, and Precision Combustion, Inc. He has published 40 technical articles and has been awarded 29 patents.

As a multiple patent holder, Dr. Etemad has great appreciation for Fairfield Dolan’s StartUp program, designed to foster young entrepreneurial talent at Fairfield University. He encourages his engineering students to participate in the business school’s annual competition. “Invention is 25%” of an entrepreneur’s job, said Dr. Etemad, “and the remaining 75% is the commercialization of their product.”

When asked to compare today's field of mechanical engineering to the one he studied as an undergraduate, Dr. Etemad pointed out that the equations haven’t changed since his days as a student engineer, but technology has made the learning process and execution “an order of magnitude quicker.”

“As a result,” he said, “I expect our students today to be more productive and deliver a faster turnaround.”

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Etemad’s expectations for School of Engineering graduates remain high. “I anticipate our students moving up the organizational ladder quickly when they leave Fairfield University. I always tell them if they pursue higher education, they should target a master’s degree within a year to a year and a half, and a PhD within four years. For those pursuing industrial careers, I encourage them to set their sights on the title of Senior Engineer within five years.”

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