Welcome our new faculty members

Purdue University Mechanical Engineering is proud to welcome four new faculty members to the school, which now includes 95 tenure/tenure-track faculty.

Riley Barta

Riley joins Purdue as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests are modeling and analysis of thermal systems; heat pumping, air conditioning and refrigeration technologies; high performance buildings; and refrigerant and lubricant properties. Most recently, he served as Refrigeration Team Leader at the Technical University of Dresden. His BSME and Ph.D. are both from Purdue, where he conducted his research at Herrick Labs.

Junfei Li

Junfei is now Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests focus on controlling acoustic waves, and general wave phenomena, with applications in healthcare, chemistry, robotics, and audio industry. Junfei has published over 40 journal articles and holds one U.S. Patent. He received his Ph.D. in 2020 from Duke University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Heather Liddell

Heather joins Purdue with a joint appointment: Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Environmental & Ecological Engineering. Her research interests are sustainable manufacturing, environmental life cycle assessment, mechanics of multilayered systems, adhesion in paints and coatings, and lightweighting strategies for transportation. She got her Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Rochester in 2014, and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory from 2017 to 2020.

Daniel Guildenbecher

Daniel will join Purdue Mechanical Engineering as an Associate Professor in October 2023. His research interests include multiphase flows; energetic materials (e.g., explosives & propellants) detection & combustion; sprays and atomization; and high-speed fluid mechanics. Both his B.S. and Ph.D. are from Purdue University, where he was advised by Paul Sojka. He has worked at Sandia National Laboratories since 2011.