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Ann Mescher

Faculty Photo

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering


  • Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1995

Research Statement

Dr. Mescher's professional goals in a broad sense are to discover, integrate, and disseminate knowledge in the areas of energy transfer, thermal-fluids sciences and materials processing. Earlier in her career, Professor Mescher focused her research on the relationships between the material properties of manufactured products, especially optical properties, and the manufacturing process conditions. Some of today’s most challenging problems require cross-disciplinary efforts: Professor Mescher's current research relies on consultation with experts outside of engineering, including Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Oceanography, and Astrophysics.

Professor Mescher aims to accomplish these research and educational goals: 

  • Advance the state of knowledge on how material properties of a manufactured product are related to mass and energy transport phenomena during processing.
  • Develop processes for advanced manufacturing applications, especially those using polymer materials for optical applications, including high performance data science and communications.
  • Advise interdisciplinary design projects in consultation with industry to provide students with further practical skills and experience.
  • Assist students in developing leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills by facilitating cooperative learning experiences.

Professor Mescher especially enjoys teaching graduate level radiation, conduction and convection heat transfer, undergraduate thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Earlier in her career, she actively engaged an industrial advisory board, leading and organizing two successive (June 2000 and June 2001) UW Mechanical Engineering Design Fairs, showcasing capstone design projects. At each event there were over 200 attendees including faculty, pre-engineering students, Mechanical Engineering juniors, seniors, and representatives from over 30 companies.

Launching in the autumn of 2019, Professor Mescher has offered a three course sequence for graduate students in engineering who indicate strong interests in pursuing academic career pathways. For graduate students looking to develop their own individualized teaching, research and service portfolios, please follow this example outcome from the inaugural offering of ME 599 "Teaching Portfolios" in winter 2019.

For a window into Professor Mescher's recent work, please follow this example outcome from ME 531 "Conduction Heat Transfer" in winter 2021.

Please enjoy listening to recent graduate student final examinations from ME 532 "Convection Heat Transfer" in spring 2021.

Here is a recent research article from Professor Mescher and REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) student Laurel Tauzer.

Follow University of Arizona Regents Professor Roger Angel's May 2021 invited webinar on "Feasibility of Cooling the Earth" and this 2006 documentary on the various approaches under consideration to address Earth's climate warming.

Student feedback:

Dear Professor Mescher,

I really enjoyed your course in Introductory Fluid Mechanics. . . I greatly appreciated how you would usually extend your office hours to help me decipher the proofs within my fluids text and when you helped me out with assignments. I also took advanced fluid mechanics, prior to taking my finite elements methods course unfortunately. It was challenging, but it wouldn't be fulfilling if it weren't. So, I'm glad I had at least passed the class. Now that I'm graduating, I have more time to study fluids! Thank you so much for teaching me and my peers, and supporting us in our studies and ensuring the fluids curriculum at the university was always top quality.