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Faculty Profile: Moorhead Teaches Success in Classroom, with Competition Teams

Friday, April 11, 2014
140408 RHIT-- 0399

Helpful Advisor: Mechanical engineering professor and faculty advisor Michael Moorhead listens as members of the human powered vehicle team discuss modifications to this year's vehicle, which is competing in this weekend's American Society of Mechanical Engineering's East Regional competition in Orlando. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Mechanical engineering professor Michael Moorhead, PhD, is a dedicated educator and scholar who's most valuable contributions may come outside the classroom as faculty advisor to Rose-Hulman's human powered vehicle team, winner of 10 of the past 12 American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) regional competitions.

Moorhead is presently the chairperson of the HPVC Committee, coordinated the inaugural HPV India competition (January, 2014, in New Delhi), and hosted the 2011 HPVC East Coast Regional at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The foundation for the human powered vehicle team's success is the elements of fluid dynamics, which Moorhead teaches to his students.

"Co-curricular competition projects, like the human powered vehicle, provide an intrinsic motivation for students to learn at a level far beyond that which they would have in the classroom," says Moorhead. "Students on these competition teams must develop a new set of skills necessary to succeed. Much more powerful learning takes place in competition than what is necessary to make an 'A' in a typical course."


Quote Outtake:

"I'm not teaching students about fluid dynamics, I'm teaching students how to become inspired by fluid dynamics," Moorhead says.


Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor's Degree, Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1999
Master's Degree, Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1999
Master's Degree, Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, 2004
Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, 2009

Areas of Specialization: Thermal and Fluid Sciences

Research Activities: Flow Visualization

Industrial Experience: Institute for Defense Analyses, Research Associate, 1999-2001; Carrier Corporation, Co-Op Engineer, Fall 1997 and Fall 1998; General Electric Industrial Power Systems, Co-Op Engineer, Spring-Fall 1996

Courses Taught: Conservation and Accounting Principles, Fluid and Thermal Systems, Heat Transfer, Experimental Methods in Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, and Measurement Systems

Outreach Initiatives: Chairperson, ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) regional competitions; Operation Catapult Summer STEM Motivation Program Faculty Mentor, Rose-Hulman