Legacy of Action:
Dr. Mohan Rao
Professorof Mechanical Engineering
MTU Service: 1988 to 2013
Mohan D. Rao, is now Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department at Tennessee Technological University. He served Michigan Tech from 1988 to 2013. He was a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow, both of the Society of Automotive Engineers International and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
The ASME Fellow grade of membership recognizes exceptional achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.
SAE Fellowship status is the highest grade of membership bestowed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It recognizes outstanding engineering and scientific accomplishments by an individual that have resulted in meaningful advances in automotive, aerospace and commercial vehicle technology.
When at Michigan tech, Dr. Rao conducted research in acoustics and vibration for more than 20 years, with applications in the automotive, aerospace, construction equipment, snowmobile and appliance industries. He is a member of Michigan Tech's noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) group, which was named among the top six in the nation by Sound and Vibration magazine for its high-quality research and education programs. Since he joined the MEEM department in 1988, graduate student enrollment has more than tripled in the area of vibration and noise control.
Rao has worked closely with industry, teaching short courses and undertaking research projects. Since 1989, he has co-taught a popular NVH short course to more than 350 engineers at Ford, Visteon and other industries and has been invited to teach similar courses overseas in Belgium, India, Korea and Japan. He has worked at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory for the past four summers in its Auditory Research Department on projects related to the design and development of communication and headgear for soldier systems.
Rao has been nominated twice for Michigan Tech's Distinguished Teaching Award and has also been active in curriculum and new laboratory development, including the lab used by undergraduates studying acoustics and noise control. This lab allows students to analyze and characterize complex sound fields such as those found in the interior of an automobile.
Rao has received a National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award and was honored by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for his work on the damping of the Hubble Space Telescope truss system. He was recognized as a United Nations Development Program expert in noise and vibration control. His research has been sponsored by numerous agencies and corporations, including NASA, NSF, Army Research Lab, Ford, GM, Daimler-Chrysler, Caterpillar, TRW, Johnson Controls, John Deere, NIOSH, ArcticCat, Polaris and Volvo.
Rao has published more than 80 technical papers in various journals, conference proceedings and in the SAE Transactions. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration. He was a member of the organizing committee of two International Congresses on Sound and Vibration and has organized and chaired many sessions at the Noise and Vibration conferences held at Traverse City.
In addition to serving on numerous university committees, Rao was the faculty advisor for the MTU chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society.