Welcome to
the Walker Department
of Mechanical Engineering

RT @UT_YuGroup: Very Saddened to know the passing of Texas legend Peter O’Donnell @TAMESTX . Grateful of receiving Edith and Peter O’Donnel…

Dale E. Klein

Dr. Dale E. Klein rejoined The University of Texas System in January of 2011 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Office of Academic Affairs. In April of 2010, after serving eight and a half years as Presidential Appointee, Dr. Klein returned to Texas from Washington, D.C., working at The University of Texas at Austin as the Associate Director of The Energy Institute, Associate Vice President for Research, and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Program).

Dr. Klein was sworn into the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2006, and was appointed Chairman by President George W. Bush, serving in that role from July 2006 to May 2009. As Chairman, Dr. Klein was the principal executive officer and official spokesman for the NRC, responsible for conducting the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, budgetary, and certain personnel functions of the agency. Additionally, he had the ultimate authority for all NRC functions pertaining to an emergency involving an NRC licensee. The remainder of this term was as Commissioner of the NRC from May 2009 to March 2010.

Before joining the NRC, Dr. Klein served as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs. He was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2001. In this position, he served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology for all policy and planning matters related to nuclear weapons and nuclear, chemical, and biological defense.

Previously, Dr. Klein served as the Vice-Chancellor for Special Engineering Programs at The University of Texas System and as a professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Program) at The University of Texas at Austin. During his tenure at the university, Dr. Klein was Director of the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory, Deputy Director of the Center for Energy Studies, and Associate Dean for Research and Administration in the College of Engineering.

Honors and awards Dr. Klein has received include Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society, Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas, the University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award, and the University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering.

A native of Missouri, Dr. Klein holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has published more than 100 technical papers and reports, and co-edited one book. He has made more than 400 presentations on energy and has written numerous technical editorials on energy issues that have been published in major newspapers throughout the United States.

Most Recent Publications
  1. D. Klein, C. Eric Triplett and R.E. Canaan, "A Comparison of Natural Convection Heat Transfer for a Staggered Versus an Aligned Array of Horizontal Spent Nuclear Fuel Rods Within a Rectangular," Nuclear Technology, Vol. 130, (August 1999), 1, pp. 99-110
  2. D. Klein and R.E. Canaan, "A Numerical Investigation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer Within Horizontal Spent-Fuel Assemblies," Nuclear Technology, Vol. 123, (August 1998), 2, pp. 193
  3. D. Klein, J. D. McWhirter, M.E. Crawford, and T. L. Sanders, "Model for Inertialess Magnetohydrodynamic Flow in Packed Beds," Fusion Technology, Vol. 33, (January 1998), 1, pp. 22-30
  4. D. Klein, J.D. McWhirter and M.E. Crawford, "Liquid to Gas Differential Pressure Transmitter with Small Hydrostatic Error," Review Of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 68, (December 1997), 12
  5. D. Klein and R.E. Canaan, "An Experimental Investigation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer within Horizontal Spent-Fuel Assemblies," Nuclear Technology, Vol. 116, (December 1996), 3, pp. 306-318
  6. D. Klein and R. E. Canaan, "Measuring Thermal Properties of Spent Nuclear Fuel," Measurements & Control, (October 1995), 173, pp. 112-123
  7. D. Klein, S. P. Burns and J. R. Howell, "Empirical Evaluation of an Important Approximation for Combined-Mode Heat Transfer in a Participating Medium Using the Finite-Element Method," Numerical Heat Transfer, Part B, Vol. 27, (May 1995), pp. 309-322
  8. D. Klein and S. J. Manson, "The Benchmarking of a Homogeneous Equilibrium Model for Analysis of Spent-Fuel Shipping Containers," Nuclear Technology, Vol. 108, (December 1994), 3, pp. 379-386
  9. D. Klein, D. A. Aliaga and J. P. Lamb, "Convection Heat Transfer Distributions over Plates with Square Ribs from Infrared Thermography Measurements," International Journal Of Heat And Mass Transfer, Vol. 37, (February 1994), 3, pp. 363-374
  10. D. Klein, A. H. W. Lee and J. P. Lamb, "Constant Flux, Turbulent Convection Data Using Infrared Imaging," International Journal Of Heat And Mass Transfer, Vol. 37, (February 1994), 3, pp. 535-539


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Donald Siegel

Donald Siegel Named New Chair of the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering

The Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has named Donald Siegel, a professor at the University of Michigan and an internationally recognized computational materials scientist, as the next chair of UT’s Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering. He will assume his position on Sept. 1, 2021, succeeding the department’s current chair, Rick Neptune.

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Mechanical Engineering Faculty Openings

The Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering is seeking applications for multiple tenure-track faculty positions as well as non-tenure track lecturers

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Our Nobel Laureate

On December 10, 2019, John B. Goodenough received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the development of the lithium-ion battery.

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Research Areas


Graduate Mechanical Engineering Program


Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program


Nobel Prize Recipient


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