Philip LeDuc is the William J. Brown Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In his lab, he works at the intersection of mechanical engineering and biology by envisioning cells and molecules as systems that can be investigated with some of the same fundamental approaches used on machines such as planes and automobiles looking for unifying principles. These systems range from mammalian cells to microorganisms to developmental biology systems and apply principles from mechanical engineering fields to understand how these principles may apply across diverse nature-based systems.
In the energy domain, LeDuc is focused on algae and bacterial fuel cells. His lab conducts basic science and applied research in crossing over mechanical engineering approaches including solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, control theory, etc. with biological systems ranging from algae to artificial cells to developmental biology.
He has received the National Science Foundation CAREER award, George Tallman Ladd Research Award, Russell V. Trader Career Faculty Fellow, Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award, “Professor of the Year” as voted by the senior class, MARC Minority Faculty Mentor Award, and Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award. He is a member of the National Research Council Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (BEMA), and a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE).
The Intersection of Mechanical Engineering, Biology & Medicine
Merging Computational Design & Biology
1999 Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
1995 MS, North Carolina State University
1993 BS, Vanderbilt University
Modeling light for solar panel placement in urban settings
Solar panel installation in cities requires setups tailored to the complex geometry of urban spaces that provide the most direct sunlight to each panel. Among the processes for designing the most efficient setup for solar panels is shadow modeling.
LeDuc’s work on desalination featured in newsletter
MechE’s Phil LeDuc and alumnus Adam Wood’s work on using bread to remove salt from water was featured in Axios’ science newsletter on February 3.
When biology influences technology: using bread to desalinate water
Though water covers two-thirds of our planet’s surface, water scarcity remains a persistent issue. Mechanical Engineering’s Philip LeDuc and Adam Wood have an unconventional solution: bread.
Leduc elected Fellow of IAMBE
MechE’s Philip Leduc has been nominated and elected for Fellowship by the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE).
Predictive placentas: Using AI to protect mothers’ future pregnancies
In partnership with UPMC, Carnegie Mellon researchers developed a machine learning approach for examining placenta samples to determine if mothers are at risk for complications in future pregnancies.
Reassess, recalibrate, and transform
Mechanical Engineering students and faculty adapted with innovation and agility to finish the spring 2020 semester during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advanced Science News
LeDuc’s research on microstructures featured
An image of MechE’s Philip LeDuc’s research on microstructures was featured in Advanced Science News’ “This month in pictures” for April 2020.
LeDuc receives Lazarus Award
MechE’s Philip LeDuc has recieved the 2020 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring. Named after a beloved member of the CMU community, the award celebrates those who foster an inviting and nurturing environment for graduate students and young faculty at the university.
LeDuc joins Beckman Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council
MechE’s Philip LeDuc has joined the Beckman Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council. LeDuc received the Beckman young Investigator Award in 2005 and has since served the foundation in many roles, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Program. In his new role, he will advise and review the Foundation’s program and award winners for the Board of Directors, as well as suggest changes or new avenues for funding.
Giving robots a “nose”
A team of CMU researchers are developing soft robots that sense and respond to chemicals.
The root of the matter
A team from the College of Engineering has used the natural architecture of the mangrove tree to unlock a better method of desalination.
Collaborators’ creation reveals how mechanical forces control genes
A LeDuc/Minden collaboration in mesofluidics—a medium-sized twist on microfluidics—was featured on the cover of the journal Lab on a Chip. The research team merged expertise in biomechanics, biology, and engineering to develop a new device.