2020 New Faculty

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science Department welcomed four new faculty members to the fall 2020 semester. With experience and education from some of the finest companies and institutions in the world, these educators bring expertise to our classrooms and laboratories in engineering fields including manufacturing, motorsports, robotics and more.

Dr. Charles H. Jenckes

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, NC State University, 2016

Dr. Jenckes research interests include computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation of ground vehicle aerodynamics for motorsports, CFD for compressors, motorsports aerodynamic design, vehicle dynamics, internal combustion (IC) engine development for motorsports, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Dr. Jenckes spent 30 years in professional motorsports working with teams in F1, NASCAR , Land Speed Record, and IMSA/SCCA road racing.

Research interest:

  • CFD for motorsports
  • CFD for compressors
  • Motorsport aerodynamic design
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • IC engine development for motorsport
  • Machine learning and AI


Dr. Bamdad Lessani

Teaching Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2003

Dr. Lessani's research interest is in numerical algorithm and solver development for the simulation of turbulent flows, low-Mach variable density flows, particle/droplet-laden flows, and chemically reacting flows. His academic experiences include post-doc at Universite Catholique de Louvain, assistant professor at Tehran Polytechnic University, and visiting faculty at the University of Toronto. Before joining the UNC Charlotte, he served as an assistant professor at South Dakota School of Mines and technology.


Dr. Steven Schmid

Belk-Woodward Distinguished Professor in Engineering
Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
h.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 1993

Dr. Schmid comes to UNC Charlotte from the University of Notre Dame, where he started in 1993 and rose to the position of Professor in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Schmid was the first Faculty Fellow at the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office in 2012-2013, where he helped develop the Preliminary Design Document for Manufacturing USA Institutes. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Schmid served as Program Director for Manufacturing Machines and Equipment at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Schmid is the author of numerous engineering textbooks that incorporate his active learning philosophy. Some of his most popular textbooks, which have been translated into multiple languages and are used throughout the world, include Manufacturing Engineering and TechnologyManufacturing Processes for Engineering Materials; and Fundamentals of Machine Elements, and Fundamentals of Fluid Film Lubrication.

Research interests:

  • Tribology (friction, wear and lubrication) in manufacturing
  • Metal forming
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Orthopedic implant design
  • Safety in mechanical design.


Dr. Artur Wolek

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2015

Dr. Wolek's research is on enabling autonomous robots and mobile sensor networks to adaptively sense their environment and optimally plan and control their motion under uncertainty and constraints. His research emphasizes field experiments that involve marine or aerial robotic platforms that exploit novel sensing or actuation. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Dr. Wolek was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland (2018-2020) and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (2015-2018).

Research interests:

  • Mobile sensor networks
  • Estimation and data fusion
  • Motion planning and control
  • Aerospace and ocean robotics