Bart Raeymaekers is the newest faculty member to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah. Raeymaekers joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in October. While at the University, Raeymaekers is focusing his research on nano-tribology and precision engineering. Raeymaekers is a recent graduate from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), where he received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2007.

Raeymaekers most recently did post-doctoral work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he was building ultrasound sensor technology with applications in the energy industry, and nano-technology. Raeymaekers was LANL’s first “entrepreneurial post-doc” – Raeymaekers also obtained an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, and as such was involved with technology commercialization at LANL.

Raeymaekers is interested in studying the mechanics of sliding surfaces at the nano scale, both experimental and theoretical. “Understanding the frictional interaction between sliding surfaces is important in light of creating low friction sliding interfaces, reducing friction energy losses, and reducing wear as a result of sliding, amongst other things. One of the projects we are currently working on is to create a micro/nano dimple shaped texture on the surface of an orthopedic knee implant, thereby creating a low friction interface that extends the lifetime of these implants,” said Raeymaekers.

Other ongoing projects include the modeling of sliding contact between realistic engineering surfaces and the modeling of static and dynamic friction. “As an extension of my post-doctoral research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, we are also attempting to manufacture user defined patterns of nanostructures (particles and carbon nanotubes) over a macroscopic area, by means of bulk and surface acoustic waves. Our latest paper on this topic appeared in the January 2011 edition of Journal of Applied Physics,” reported Raeymaekers.

This semester Raeymaekers is teaching ME EN 3910: Design of Mechanical Elements. This is the first course in the design sequence where, a year and a half later, graduating seniors present their Senior Design Projects during Design Day.

Previous to his career in academia, Raeymaekers was a semi-professional cyclist for seven years and a college cyclist for five years. Now that Salt Lake is his home, he is looking forward to exploring different cycling routes when the weather gets better.