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New Book Highlights Modern Mathematical Methods Used in Advanced Engineering Applications

Nina Welding • DATE: April 9, 2015

A new textbook written by Joseph M. Powers, professor and associate chair in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and Mihir Sen, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, and published by Cambridge University Press targets engineering graduate students who wonder how much of their basic mathematics will be of use in practice. Based on an entry-level graduate course these faculty have taught for several years, “Mathematical Methods in Engineering” addresses critical topics in advanced mathematics that are not typically covered in undergraduate programs, thus, are not as familiar to engineering students as to mathematics students at the same level. From non-linear dynamics to an advanced type of linear analysis — along with a variety of end-of-chapter exercises to reinforce the concepts — the book translates the strict formalism found in most mathematical texts to a language more accessible to engineers as they apply the concepts to designs and devices.

Powers, who also serves as concurrent faculty in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, joined the University in 1989. His research focuses on the dynamics of high-speed reactive fluids and on computational science, especially as it applies to verification and validation of complex multi-scale systems. A member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Physical Society (APS), American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the Combustion Institute (CI), and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), he as been the recipient of numerous teaching awards at the University.


Sen’s teaching and research efforts have focused in thermal-fluids engineering, especially in regard to problems relating to modeling, dynamics and stability. He has worked on reacting flows, natural and forced convection, flow in porous media, falling films, boiling, MEMS, heat exchangers, thermal control, and intelligent systems. He joined the University of Notre Dame in 1986 and has also received numerous teaching and research awards for his efforts. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The book, required for the course taught at the University, is being offered as a text for other universities as well.