2020-21 Bently Professors

Charlene Birdsong

Charlene Birdsong (she/her/hers), Bently Center Director

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Charlene Birdsong was the Bently Center Director for 2018-2021.  Her research is focused on automotive safety, advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.  This includes dynamic system modeling, sensor integration, signal processing and feedback control. She is also interested in engineering education research.  Dr. Birdsong teaches dynamics, vibrations and controls and senior project.


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John Chen, Bently Center Director 2021-2024

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Chen’s research focused on (i) grit and how it is affected through students’ learning experiences, (ii) the collection of non-cognitive (NCA) factors related to student success, and (iii) metacognition, or awareness and control of one’s learning. Professor Chen regularly teaches statics, introductory and advanced thermodynamics, and heat transfer. He enjoys the varied mix of students from different majors across the College of Engineering in the introductory courses, as well as working with students that are learning deeper disciplinary content within.


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Jacques Belanger, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Belanger’s main research interests are renewable energy and sustainability. Prior to joining Cal Poly in 2017, he worked in the solar industry for over ten years. His research focuses on utility scale solar field power optimization, solar field power generation forecasting and micro-grid design and management. Dr. Belanger teaches courses in nuclear energy in cooperation with the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and courses in thermal sciences.


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Russ Westphal, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Westphal’s Bently-supported research is an outgrowth of his longstanding student-centered project to develop and apply the Boundary Layer Data System (BLDS), a unique instrument paradigm for conducting flight research.  The focus of the effort is to collaborate with students to create new Actuator Disk models for propulsion systems to predict performance penalties that may be encountered for emerging electric aircraft propulsion systems.  Professor Westphal teaches lecture and lab courses in Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Measurement, and Thermodynamics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

2020-2021

Charlene BirdsongCharlene Birdsong (she/her/hers) Bently Center Director

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Charlene Birdsong was the Bently Center Director for 2018-2021.  Her research is focused on automotive safety, advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.  This includes dynamic system modeling, sensor integration, signal processing and feedback control. She is also interested in engineering education research.  Dr. Birdsong teaches dynamics, vibrations and controls and senior project.


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Jacques Belanger, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Belanger’s main research interests are renewable energy and sustainability. Prior to joining Cal Poly in 2017, he worked in the solar industry for over ten years. His research focuses on utility scale solar field power optimization, solar field power generation forecasting and micro-grid design and management. Dr. Belanger teaches courses in nuclear energy in cooperation with the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and courses in thermal sciences.


2019-2020

Charlene Birdsong

Charlene Birdsong (she/her/hers) Bently Center Director

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Charlene Birdsong was the Bently Center Director for 2018-2021.  Her research is focused on automotive safety, advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.  This includes dynamic system modeling, sensor integration, signal processing and feedback control. She is also interested in engineering education research.  Dr. Birdsong teaches dynamics, vibrations and controls and senior project.


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John Chen, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Chen’s research focused on (i) grit and how it is affected through students’ learning experiences, (ii) the collection of non-cognitive (NCA) factors related to student success, and (iii) metacognition, or awareness and control of one’s learning. Professor Chen regularly teaches statics, introductory and advanced thermodynamics, and heat transfer. He enjoys the varied mix of students from different majors across the College of Engineering in the introductory courses, as well as working with students that are learning deeper disciplinary content within Mechanical Engineering.


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Steve Klisch, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Klisch served as the Bently Center Director from 2014-2017. His research is focused on developing experimental and analysis protocols and conducting motion analysis studies of gait, cycling, elliptical training, and baseball pitching for our funded research projects. Dr. Klisch teaches courses in solid mechanics and biomechanics.


2018-2019

Charlene Birdsong

Charlene Birdsong (she/her/hers) Bently Center Director

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Charlene Birdsong was the Bently Center Director for 2018-2021.  Her research is focused on automotive safety, advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.  This includes dynamic system modeling, sensor integration, signal processing and feedback control. She is also interested in engineering education research.  Dr. Birdsong teaches dynamics, vibrations and controls and senior project.


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John Chen, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Chen’s research focused on (i) grit and how it is affected through students’ learning experiences, (ii) the collection of non-cognitive (NCA) factors related to student success, and (iii) metacognition, or awareness and control of one’s learning. Professor Chen regularly teaches statics, introductory and advanced thermodynamics, and heat transfer. He enjoys the varied mix of students from different majors across the College of Engineering in the introductory courses, as well as working with students that are learning deeper disciplinary content within Mechanical Engineering.


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Patrick Lemieux, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Lemieux’s research interests focus on internal combustion engines and alternative energy. He is currently primarily involved in the development of alternative thermodynamic cycles for the gas turbine and reciprocating internal combustion engine, as well as their mechanical design analysis near their failure points. Along with faculty colleagues, he has also founded the Cal Poly Wind Power Research Center on a remote ranch outside of the main campus, where the design and operation issues most relevant to the wind industry are investigated in a controlled way. Dozens of students have been involved in its various projects; the Center is most recently involved in the development of prognostic health monitoring systems for the distributed wind industry. Dr Lemieux has also been involved in the study of hybrid rocket motors and sits of the Hybrid Rockets Technical Committee of the AIAA. Professor Lemieux teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, control systems, internal combustion engines, refrigeration, wind energy and compressible flow gas dynamics.


2017-2018

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Steve Klisch, Bently Center Director

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Klisch served as the Bently Center Director from 2014-2017. His research is focused on developing experimental and analysis protocols and conducting motion analysis studies of gait, cycling, elliptical training, and baseball pitching for our funded research projects. Dr. Klisch teaches courses in solid mechanics and biomechanics.


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Russ Westphal, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Westphal’s research focused on development of an alternative, modular version of the Cal Poly Boundary Layer Data System (BLDS), that employs the BLDS-M strategy, closely aligned with the latest “internet of things” (IoT) concepts. Professor Westphal teaches lecture and lab courses in Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Measurement, and Thermodynamics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


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John Chen, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Chen’s research focused on (i) grit and how it is affected through students’ learning experiences, (ii) the collection of non-cognitive (NCA) factors related to student success, and (iii) metacognition, or awareness and control of one’s learning. Professor Chen regularly teaches statics, introductory and advanced thermodynamics, and heat transfer. He enjoys the varied mix of students from different majors across the College of Engineering in the introductory courses, as well as working with students that are learning deeper disciplinary content within Mechanical Engineering.


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Patrick Lemieux, Bently Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Lemieux’s research interests focus on internal combustion engines and alternative energy. He is currently primarily involved in the development of alternative thermodynamic cycles for the gas turbine and reciprocating internal combustion engine, as well as their mechanical design analysis near their failure points. Along with faculty colleagues, he has also founded the Cal Poly Wind Power Research Center on a remote ranch outside of the main campus, where the design and operation issues most relevant to the wind industry are investigated in a controlled way. Dozens of students have been involved in its various projects; the Center is most recently involved in the development of prognostic health monitoring systems for the distributed wind industry. Dr Lemieux has also been involved in the study of hybrid rocket motors and sits of the Hybrid Rockets Technical Committee of the AIAA. Professor Lemieux teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, control systems, internal combustion engines, refrigeration, wind energy and compressible flow gas dynamics.

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