Photo of John Gershenson

John Gershenson

Director of Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship
Teaching Professor


  • School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs
  • Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Areas:

Engineering Design; Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship

Interest Areas:

Humanitarian Engineering, Social Entrepreneurship, International Development, Design for Developing Communities, Appropriate Design, Design Justice, Co-Design




  • AB, Physics, Cornell University, 1989
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1991
  • Ph D, Mechanical Engineering, University of Idaho, 1995


Journal Articles

Research Projects

Honors and Awards


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:




With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Department of Mechanical Engineering is innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

The Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the top ranked nuclear engineering programs in the United States. A strong focus on experimental research distinguishes us from many other programs. Our actively growing program has 8 faculty members and almost 90 graduate students. In the Radiation Science and Engineering Center, nuclear engineering students can take advantage of the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the longest operating university research reactor in the country. Visit for more information.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519