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Ian Grosse Retires After More Than 30 Years

Ian Grosse holding animal skull in front of computer screen with 3d image of same animal skull

Ian Grosse

Professor Ian R. Grosse of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is retiring after more than 30 years of productive service to the department, the College of Engineering, and UMass Amherst. Among many other honors, Grosse is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and also received the Distinguished Service Award from ASME.  Most recently, he has also served as associate department head for biomedical engineering, focusing on ABET accreditation preparations for this new program.

Grosse was elected an ASME Fellow in 2012. According to ASME, “The Fellows Grade is the highest elected grade of membership within ASME, the attainment of which recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.” Grosse earned the ASME Distinguished Service Award in 2018 “in recognition and appreciation of leadership and outstanding service to the ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division.”

In his retirement toast to Professor Grosse, MIE Department Head Professor Sundar Krishnamurty said: "I will always remember your passion and commitment to our students; to our faculty and staff; and above all, to our department, campus, and our community. I do not believe you have ever said ‘NO’ when I or others have approached you with a request – be it to serve on a committee or teach an extra class or volunteer for an event or help us with the freshmen advising or serve as the associate department head for a new department. You are an amazing leader, an accomplished scholar, a dedicated mentor, and a reliable and fun-to-be-around team-player."

The author of more than 175 publications in scientific research journals, Grosse has long studied semantic information modeling and the application of semantic web technology to support engineering design, analysis, and decision making, biomechanics, and advanced additive manufacturing. For many years, he was the director of the Intelligent Modeling, Analysis, and Design Laboratory and was also affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for e-Design and the Realization of Engineered Products and Systems, where he served as UMass site director and co-director.

As Grosse has explained, "For over [30] years I have been engaged in research in the area of finite element analysis and engineering design. Much of my research has focused on improving the ability of engineers to effectively use finite element analysis as a design tool, and more recently using it to help understand the evolution of biological systems from a mechanical perspective.”

In that context, Grosse has studied finite element modeling and analysis of biological systems for predicting the mechanical response of biological systems, primarily focusing on mammalian skulls (such as those of early human ancestors) and how mammalian skull forms may have evolved to withstand mechanical loads involved in feeding and biting.

In the area of web-enabled engineering design, Grosse has been engaged in research to exploit emerging semantic web technologies and facilitate the process of designing engineered products in a distributed environment. This research involves the development of a suite of customizable enterprise ontologies and specific engineering domain ontologies, as well as linking together engineering tools and models.

In advanced additive manufacturing, Grosse collaborates with a team of researchers at UMass to study Cold Spray Gas Dynamics, a relatively new manufacturing process in which metal, ceramic, or polymer particles are accelerated to supersonic velocities and then sprayed on to a substrate. The Cold Spray process may be used to apply a protective coating onto a surface, repair worn or cracked metal components, or fabricate bulk material or components.

In addition to support from the NSF, Grosse’s research has been variously supported by the Army Research Laboratory, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Vistagy, Inc., Engineous Software Corporation, Phoenix Integration, the General Electric Fund, Parametric Technology Corporation, and others.

Grosse earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University in1979, and his M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1987) in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. (September 2021)