Dr. Rungun Nathan is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State Berks, having started as an Assistant Professor in 2007. Previously, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University. At Villanova he was responsible for developing the Mechatronics minor for undergraduates. The design elective in Mechatronics combined theory and a hands-on lab, which has been shown by educational research to be an effective tool in engaging students in learning. He also dedicated a lot of time in teaching related activities, which led to the development of several learning modules using various multimedia technologies. He has introduced differentiated instruction in the mechanics courses and helped improve and bring in the use of newer techniques to advance student learning.
At Penn State he has developed two new courses. EMET 230 (Computerized Input/Output) and EMET 326 (Mechanical Drives). EMET 230 discusses several important aspects of interfacing the real world to computer using a DAQ system. This class is very hands on and includes a final project. EMET 326 is a course that talks about Kinematics, Cams, Gears, Belts and Fluid power systems (both pneumatic and hydraulic). Currently he is working as a member of the committee looking into bringing a four year mechanical degree to the Berks Campus.
Dr. Nathan's research interests are in the areas of unmanned vehicles (ornithopters, frisbees, Samara seeds, cars), mechatronics, 3-D mems, biomechanics and teaching with technology. At Penn State Berks he directs the Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory. He has several undergraduate students involved in his research. He is the faculty adviser for the Robotics club.
With his collaborator and friend Dr. Qianhong Wu (CBMSS Lab , Villanova University) he works on several projects relating to Lift in Porous Materials and has so far graduated three Masters Students and published several papers. With his other collaborator and friend Dr. Sergey Nersesov(Villanova University) he has worked on projects related to control of RTAC test bed using energy based controllers. This work has resulted in one graduate student with a Masters and a few papers.
Dr. Nathan is an active member of ASEE and ASME. He is a reviewer for ASEE (Mechanics Division, Education Research Methods, New Engineering Educators), Frontiers in Education Conference, ASME, Journal of Engineering Education, Haptics Journal.