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McFarland joins Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty

The University of Missouri College of Engineering went deep in the heart of Texas to land the newest faculty member for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.


Jacob McFarland’s interest in academia, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department’s research growth and the way the university challenges its students in a variety of ways were key reasons for his interest in MU.

Jacob McFarland joined the faculty in a tenure-track position, coming from Texas A&M University where he served as a visiting assistant professor. McFarland earned his doctorate from Texas A&M, focusing his research on the study of hydrodynamic instabilities and the construction of new experimental facilities. He earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and his bachelor’s from Texas Tech.

His interest in academia, the department’s research growth and the way the university challenges its students in a variety of ways were key reasons for McFarland’s interest in MU.

“I have always wanted to be a part of a university where students taking my engineering courses are being challenged in other subjects, as well,” he said. “I am also proud to be a part of an outstanding engineering department that is growing its research while maintaining high-quality teaching standards.”

Currently, McFarland is working on a variety of projects in the thermal fluids realm, including the development of new computer simulations of shock-driven turbulent mixing using a computer code developed by his former employer, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the future, McFarland said he’d like to continue his work on shock-driven hydrodynamic instabilities as well as researching heat transfer as it pertains to developing more efficient refrigeration systems or more efficient exchangers for supercritical carbon dioxide cycles.

“Designing and building an experiment from the ground up is very exciting because you get to shape how the research will be performed, and you get to work with your hands to build something,” McFarland said.

While the research is of high importance, the opportunity to teach also was a draw for McFarland.

“I wanted to pursue a job in academia so that I could make an impact on the world — not just through my research but through the students I teach to help them develop into professionals,” he said.

A new environment will take some getting used to for the native Texan. But, as with any new challenge, there’s a benefit or two to be found in a change of surroundings.

“As a lifelong Texan, I am looking forward to having four seasons in Columbia,” he said.

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