Joining the PAC Lab

Graduate and Undergraduate Research: The PAC Lab is often seeking graduate and undergraduate students to join our team. Successful candidates should be self-motivated, curious, hard-working, and have a record of academic achievement. Please see below for more information.

Penn State is an excellent place to be a graduate student. In addition to a top-15 Mechanical Engineering department, we have world-renowned faculty, facilities, and resources across the College of Engineering committed to supporting students. State College is consistently ranked as a top college town in the nation, with the charm (and cost of living) of a small community AND the resources of a thriving campus with 45,000+ students and nearly 700,000 alumni. State College is a perfect place to live for those who enjoy the outdoors, and provides easy access to cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City.

The PAC Lab is dedicated to providing students with the research experience and professional development necessary to achieving their career goals. Our research is exceptionally positioned to leverage Penn State's longstanding leadership in the areas of dynamics and control, thermal science, building energy, and vehicle systems. The PAC Lab operates at the intersection of theory and practice in dynamic systems and control. Therefore, our students graduate with multiple skills (modeling, simulation, experimentation, theory/analysis, etc.). We work on a broad array of applications, with a strong emphasis on those of high societal relevance. Our students are also trained in conducting multidisciplinary research across fields such as control theory, energy systems, and thermodynamics. This equips our alumni with an integrative understanding that is highly valued in both industry and academia. In addition to collaborating with other Penn State faculty, labs, and departments, we also have the opportunity to work closely with the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). This provides unique insight into the key technological areas of need within current engineering practice, and magnifies the impact of our research by fast-tracking its application to real-world systems.

Prospective graduate students interested in joining the lab should send the following information as a single email to Prof. Pangborn:

  • The status of your application/admission to a graduate program in engineering at Penn State
  • A statement of your research interests
  • An unofficial academic transcript
  • A current resume or CV
  • A research paper or class/lab report that demonstrates the quality of your work
  • A list of references with contact information

Conducting research as an undergraduate student is an excellent way to set yourself up for success after graduation. This will create a distinguishing academic experience that will be attractive to employers and graduate schools, strengthen your skills in engineering practice and scientific communication, and help you clarify your future career goals. Opportunities for undergraduate research in the PAC Lab include, but are not limited to, Schreyer Honors Scholars interested in completing their honors thesis on a topic relevant to our research areas.

Undergraduate students interested in joining the lab should send the following information as a single email to Prof. Pangborn:

  • A brief statement of your research interests (no more than one page)
  • An unofficial academic transcript
  • A current resume or CV

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