J. Michael McCarthy is a Distinguished Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He is the past Director of UCI’s Performance Engineering Program, and served eight years as Director of the Center for Engineering Science in Design at the University of California, Irvine, which supports the design and execution of team engineering projects across the School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. at Stanford University, and has taught at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining UCI in 1986. In Winter 2018, he was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and taught a graduate course in Kinematic Synthesis of Mechanisms.
He has over 250 publications and five books including Geometric Design of Linkages (Springer 2000, 2nd Ed. 2010) and the recent Kinematic Synthesis of Mechanisms: a project based approach. He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2002-2007) and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics (2007-2014).
His research team is responsible for the Sphinx, Synthetica and MecGen software packages, which extend computer-aided design to spherical and spatial linkage systems and integrate this process with geometric modeling. He has presented tutorials on the design of linkages and robotic systems at ASME and IEEE conferences, including the NSF sponsored 2012 Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics.
He is an industrial consultant in the area of machine and robotic system design, and provides testimony on intellectual property and product liability. He served as Chief Technical Officer of Accuray Incorporated to assist the transition of a robotic radio-surgery system from research to market. In 2010 and 2011, he served two terms as Chair of the Board of Governors for the Southern California Section of SAE international and as the 2012 Secretary for the Orange County Engineering Council.
Over the past 15 years at UCI he has focused on developing engineering leadership through student design and execution of major engineering projects. He has introduced project engineering courses for graduate students, seniors and for freshman at UCI and provided course materials for racecar engineering courses in local high schools, including a Summer Program for Racecar Engineering. He organizes the UCI Energy Invitational racecar energy time trial and the UCI Rescue Robotics competition for local High School engineering teams.
His student racecar engineering teams have built 15 racecars driven by gasoline, CNG and electric drive systems. His 2009 Formula Hybrid team was fifth out of thirty teams at the New Hampshire Speedway in May 2009. His 2010 and 2011 FSAE teams placed 1st in energy efficiency out of 79 and 80 teams, respectively. In 2010, he organized the UCI Energy Invitational, which is a time trial for energy efficient racecars. In October 2013, he organized the California Challenge energy time trial as part of the 2013 Solar Decathlon on behalf of the U. S. Department of Energy, which involved 20 race teams from across the country. The 2014 and 2015 Energy Invitationals included vehicles designed and built by six high school race teams, as well as collegiate race teams and inventors. In 2016 and 2017, his race team is built vehicles to compete in Mini-Baja, FSAE-Lincoln, and FSAE-Electric as well as the UCI Energy Invitational intercollegiate competitions.
His contributions in teaching were recognized by a 2010 UCI Teaching Excellence in Undergraduate Engineering Award and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s 2009 Faribor Maseeh Teaching Award. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and has received the 2008 ASME Outstanding Service Award and the 2009 ASME Machine Design Award. In 2011, he received the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award for his research contributions, and in 2013 he received Robert E. Abbott Lifetime Service Award from the Design Engineering Division of ASME International. At the 2015 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, he and his co-author received the A.T. Yang Memorial Award in Theoretical Kinematics for their paper on the design of a linkage system that reproduces the flapping motion of a bird in flight.