John McGrath

John McGrath

John McGrath

Professor Emeritus


Dr. McGrath was a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University from 1978 to 2002, where he received the College of Engineering Withrow Distinguished Scholar Award and the Withrow Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. McGrath is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and the Society for Cryobiology. Dr. McGrath became Professor Emeritus when he retired from Michigan State University to serve as Department Head of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona from 2002 to 2008. He served as Division Director of the Chemical, Bioengineering and Environmental Transport Systems (CBET) Division in the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation from 2008 to 1012. As the Division Director of CBET at NSF, Dr. McGrath managed a division of seventeen technical programs and an annual portfolio of approximately 2,100 active awards representing nearly $700 million dollars.

Dr. McGrath served as the Vice President of Research at Central Michigan University from August of 2012 to October 2014.

Dr. McGrath has been a consultant to industry and has served as an expert witness in litigation related to biomedical devices. He was an Ex-Officio Member of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the NIH from 2008 to 2012.

Dr. McGrath holds three patents.

Academic Interests

Dr. McGrath’s research has focused on thermal science applied to biomaterials- particularly in cryobiology: the response of biomaterials to extremely low temperatures. He has also published in other areas including: cryogenic microscopy systems; thermal therapies of soft tissue at elevated temperatures; membrane transport; coupled heat, mass and momentum transfer in condensing flows; thermal properties of diamond films and; optical methods for detecting 3D fiber orientation in injection molded parts. His research has been funded by a variety of funding sources including: NIH, NSF, NASA, NATO, the Whitaker Foundation and industry.

Research Area
Fellow, Society for Cryobiology; President, Society for Cryobiology (2000-02)
Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (1996-2000)
Michigan State University College of Engineering Withrow Distinguished Scholar Award, 2001
Michigan State University College of Engineering Withrow Teaching Excellence Award, 1993
Fellow of ASME
Fellow of Society for Cryobiology
Member, Tau Beta Pi
Fulbright Scholar (1986-87) (Cambridge University, England)
NIH Doctoral Fellowship, National Institute of General Medical Science
Graduated Stanford University, Cum Laude
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 1977
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 1974
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford, 1971
Primary Department