Michael L Philpott

Michael L Philpott
Michael L Philpott
Lecturer; Associate Professor Emeritus
(217) 244-3184
3007 Mechanical Engineering Lab


  • Ph.D. Manufacturing Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK 1987
  • M.Sc. ME (Design) Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK 1980
  • H.N.D. ME Bristol Polytechnic, UK 1977

Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, July 25, 2012-date
  • Interim Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs, 2011-date
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, Aug. 21, 1996-July 24, 2012
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, UIUC, May 1990-Aug. 20, 1996
  • Director of Integration Technology, Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK, 1989-1990
  • Visiting Assistant Professor (sabbatical), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988-1989
  • Lecturer, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK, 1986-1990

Other Professional Employment

  • Chief Scientist, aPriori Inc. (formerly FBC), 2005-date
  • Chief Technology Officer, FBC Systems (Technology Transfer Research Startup), 2003-2005
  • Research Engineer, British Leyland Technology (Rover Group), 1981-1983
  • Senior Development Engineer, Molins Ltd., Deptford, London, UK, 1979-1981
  • Design/Draftsman, Molins Ltd., Deptford, London, UK, 1977-1979
  • Design Engineer, HCB-Angus, Southampton, UK, 1977
  • Reliability Engineer, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Culcheth, UK, 1976

Major Consulting Activities

  • Design Consultant, SOMAT, Urbana, IL, 2003-2004
  • Design Consultant, CREARE, MS, 2002
  • Design Consultant, Life Fitness, Chicago, IL, 2001-date
  • Design for Manufacture Consultant/Expert Witness, HVAC Systems, Tomkins Industries, 1998-2001
  • DFM Consultant, Gill Athletics, Urbana, IL, 1997-date
  • Expert Witness, Baxter Healthcare, 1996-2001
  • Production Flow Analysis, Vesuvius, 1996-2002

Professional Registrations

  • Chartered Engineer, registered professional engineer (mechanical) in Europe, Reg. # 419784, London, 1991-date

Research Statement

Professor Philpott's research has recently focused on the development of feature-based costing software, which allows engineers to determine the cost of a part while it is being designed. The software uses extensive computational algorithms that automatically recognize geometric and design features and translate them into manufacturing features. Plug-in modules allow engineers to use feature-based costing for all major manufacturing processes.

He also conducts research in the areas of micro-miniature systems, design for manufacture and assembly, rapid prototyping and layered manufacturing, computer integrated manufacture (CIM), and robotics and automation. With MechSE colleague Mark Shannon, Professor Philpott developed a Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) research program that grew into developing new types of micro- and mesoscale heat pumps. The research led to a program funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and prototype for manufacture an Integrated Mesoscopic Cooler Circuit (IMCC), an extremely lightweight, thin, flexible and fully self-contained heat pump to provide cooling and heating in clothing. Two patents have been issued for the IMCC to date, and for the flexible microchannel heat exchangers, including the design for manufacture.

Professor Philpott was also involved in the development of a new type of mesoscale thermomechanical (MTM) water purification system. He brought rapid prototyping, computer-aided design and systems integration together to develop a three-dimensional fluid system incorporating ice, water and filters to be used in desalinating water. From this work emerged a new NSF Science and Technology Center focused on developing new technologies for purifying water.

Research Interests

  • Robotics and Automation
  • Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM)
  • Rapid Prototyping and Layered Manufacturing
  • Design for Manufacture and Assembly
  • Micro-Miniature Systems
  • Feature Based Cost Analysis

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Selby, J. C., M. L. Philpott, and M. A. Shannon, “Fabrication of Mesoscopic, Flexible, High Pressure, Microchannel Heat Exchangers (MMEx),” Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XXIX, 469-476, 2001.
  • Moser, K. W., L. G. Raguin, A. Harris, H. D. Morris, J. Georgiadis, M. Shannon, and M. Philpott, “Visualization of Taylor-Couette and Spiral Poiseuille Flows Using a Snapshot FLASH Spatial Tagging Sequence,” Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 18, 199-207, 2000.
  • Erickson, P. L., M. L. Philpott, and W. A. Kline, "Optimization of Internal Bolted-Joint Force Transducers for Machine Tool Monitoring," Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XXV, 219-224, 1997.
  • Philpott, M. L., B. P. Welcher, D. R. Pankow, and D. Vandenberg, "A Two Phase Circular Regression Algorithm for Quantifying Wear in CV Joint Ball Race Tracks," Journal of Wear, 199, 160-168, 1996.
  • Sallade, J. S. and M. L. Philpott, "Synthetic Template Methodology For Cad Directed Robot Vision," International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, 12:8, 160-172, 1996.
  • Philpott, M. L., C. S. Warrington, E. A. Branstad, R. David, and R. P. Nita, "A Parametric Contract Modeler for DFM Analysis," Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 15:4, 256-267, 1996.
  • Philpott, M. L., S. E. Mitchell, J. F. Tobolski, and P. A. Green, "Simultaneous In-Process Surface Form and Roughness of Machined Sculptured Surfaces," Journal of Engineering for Industry, 117:3, 430-438, 1995.
  • Philpott, M. L., M. W. Colton, and C. Cusano, "Behavior of Some Sealing Arrangements for Machine Tool Spindles," presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Society of Lubrication Engineers, Chicago, IL, May 1995; published in the Lubrication Engineering, Journal of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, 51:9, 715-722, 1995.
  • Philpott, M. L. and P. A. Green, "An Error Compensation Strategy for Replication by Rapid Prototyping," Journal of Engineering for Industry, 117:3, 423-429, 1995.
  • Sallade, J. S. and M. L. Philpott, "An Illumination Model for CAD Directed Vision Inspection," Transactions of NAMR/SMEI, XXIII, 331-337, 1995.
  • Modi, S., P. A. Green, and M. L. Philpott., "Two Polishing Models for the Single-Setup Machining of Free Form Mold and Die Surfaces," Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XXIII, 199-206, 1995.
  • Philpott, M. L., J. E. McConkey, C. M. Vessell, and T. A. Gyaw, "The Development of a Generic Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) System," Technical Publication of SME, MS94-152, Transactions of NAMR/SME, XXII, 135-140, 1994.
  • Green, P. A. and M. L. Philpott, "Error Modeling of Reverse Engineered Free Form Surfaces," Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XXII, 259-266, 1994.
  • Dinauer, W. R., N. A. Duffie, and M. L. Philpott, "Error Compensation Algorithms for Sculptured Surface Production," Journal of Engineering for Industry, 116:2, 144-152, 1994.
  • Philpott, M. L. and J. Corbett, "Manufacturing Curricula Development - 'Design for Manufacture' Education in the U.S. and U.K.," ASEE Transactions, 2, 1467-1472, 1992.
  • Philpott, M. L., "Robot MIG Weld Seam Tracking by 'Dip-Resistance Monitoring'," Transactions of NAMRI/SMI, XX, 355-360, 1992.
  • Philpott, M. L., R. P. Nita, and H. Noderer, "Computer Integrated Design for Manufacturability (DFM) through a Heterarchical CIM System Structure," Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XX, 331-338, 1992.
  • Philpott, M. L., W. R. Dinauer, Y. Yamada, and N. A. Duffie, "An Integrated Operations Planning and In-Process Control System for Sculptured Surface Production," Transactions of NAMRI/SME, XIX, 352-356, 1991.

Professional Societies

  • Program Committee Member, 3rd ASME Design for Manufacturing Conference, 1998
  • Charter Member, Forming Technologies Association of SME, 1995-1998
  • Charter Member, Rapid Prototyping Association of SME, 1995-1998
  • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 1990-date
  • Member, Institute of Mechanical Engineers (UK), 1986-date
  • Elected Member, North American Manufacturers Research Institution (NAMRI), 1993 - date
  • UIUC Affiliate Representative of SME, 1993-2003
  • Senior Member, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 1991-date
  • Professional Member, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 1991-date

Teaching Honors

  • BP Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction, 2007
  • ASEE Fred Merryfield Design Award Nominee, 2004
  • Collins Award for Innovative Teaching, College of Engineering, UIUC, 2003
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, UIUC, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
  • Two-Year Effective Teacher Award, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Alumni Association, UIUC, 1997
  • Five-Year Effective Teacher Award, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Alumni Association, UIUC, 1996

Research Honors

  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Marquis, 1995-date
  • CIM LEAD Award, 1993-1994, an international award for Leadership and Excellence in the Application and Development of Computer-Integrated Manufacturing Curricula
  • Ralph R. Teetor Award Nominee, Society of Automotive Engineers, 1993
  • NSF Initiation Award, 1991

Other Honors

  • Finalist, the Second Annual MITX Technology Awards to Recognize Outstanding Technology Advancements, 2005 & 2006
  • Innovative Software Product Award, presented at the 2005 PTC/USER World Event Conference, Orlando, FL, June 6, 2005
  • Venture Capital Funding for Technology Transfer of Feature Based Costing Research, $4.5M Bain Capital and Sigma Partners, 2004; additional funding $2M, 2006, & 11M, 2007
  • V. Dale Cozad Business Competition, Winner, 2004 (Feature Based Costing)
  • Global Business Plan Competition, Finalist, Singapore 2003 (Feature Based Costing)
  • Harvard Business Plan Competition, Winner, 2003 (Feature Based Costing)
  • Stanley H. Pierce Award, College of Engineering, UIUC, 1995, an award for student/faculty interaction
  • Senior Fulbright Scholarship, 1988

Recent Courses Taught

  • ENG 491 SAE - Automotive Design Projects
  • ME 170 - Computer-Aided Design
  • ME 199 ADO (ME 199 ADV, ME 199 DEO, ME 199 DES, ME 199 SAE, ME 199 SAO, ME 199 SAX) - Undergraduate Open Seminar
  • ME 470 SAE - Senior Design Project