Faculty Profile: Michael Jenkins, Chair, Mechanical Engineering

The Impact, Fall 2003


Internationally recognized for his work in standards and codes for advanced materials, Michael Jenkins joined UDM in September as professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He brings expertise in the thermomechanical behavior of composite and monolithic structural ceramics, damage mechanics and experimental mechanics.

Jenkins previously was a professor and associate chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle where he had also served as an associate professor and assistant professor. At U-W, he supervised more than 40 undergraduate independent-study projects, several of which achieved wide recognition.

Prior to joining the academic community, he was a development staff member and research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where he focused on the characterization of the elevated-temperature tensile, flexural and fracture properties of monolithic and composite ceramics.

Jenkins received his undergraduate mechanical engineering degree from Marquette University in his native Wisconsin, his master’s from Purdue University, and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Upon receiving his doctorate, he was an invited researcher at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo.

His career also has included work as a test project engineer at PACCAR Technical Center in Mount Vernon, WA, where he was charged with devising and supervising the testing of vehicle components, and a project engineer at Art Anderson Associates in Bremerton, WA. There, he was a special project engineer for the development of computer software for consulting work in marine engineering.

Registered as a professional engineer in both Tennessee and Washington, he also served as a consultant for various companies.

He is actively involved in seven professional organizations. A fellow of The American Society for Testing and Materials, Jenkins was elected chair of the organization’s Committee C28 on Advanced Ceramics. In a related event, he recently was elected vice chair of ISO TC206 on Fine Ceramics. He has authored numerous articles and presentations and is in the process of co-writing a text book on applied fracture mechanics.

A recognized educator, he has served summer faculty fellowships at NASA-Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Boeing-Welliver Program in Seattle.

Jenkins sees his role at UDM as an opportunity to “give something back to the Jesuit educational system that has played such a major role in the success of my professional career. I take pride in the breadth of the education I received at Marquette University that instilled in me the skills and drive for life-long learning.”

He continues, “My commitment to quality undergraduate education and the Jesuit traditions of excellence in higher education is unwavering. I believe in the pedagogical soundness of experiential learning and the insight students gain from ‘doing and then saying.’”