Herschel C. Pangborn, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
230 Reber Building, University Park, PA 16802
 hcpangborn (at) psu (dot) edu



  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (May 2019)
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (August 2015)
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering – Pennsylvania State University (May 2013)

Courses Taught:

Penn State

  • ME 455: Automatic Control Systems (Spring 2022)
  • ME 348: Circuit Analysis, Instrumentation, and Statistics (Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
  • ME 345: Instrumentation, Measurements, and Statistics (Spring 2020)

University of Illinois

  • ME 460: Industrial Control Systems (Spring 2018)
    (Recognized on the UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students)


Dr. Herschel C. Pangborn is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University and the Principal Investigator of the Pangborn Advanced Controls Lab. His research focuses on the dynamic modeling, design, and control of vehicle and building electro-thermal energy systems. In the area of control, he seeks to enable new paradigms in performance, safety, efficiency, and sustainability by employing predictive hierarchical control frameworks that coordinate decision-making across multiple systems, timescales, and physical domains. He also specializes in the control of systems characterized by switched dynamic behavior and/or with actuators that have discrete modes of operation.

Before earning his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019, he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State in 2013 and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois in 2015. During the second half of 2019, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Illinois. In 2020, he was an Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellow. He has also been a member of the software development team at CU Aerospace, supporting the Thermosys simulation toolset for modeling and analyzing the behavior of thermal management systems.

Dr. Pangborn is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the University of Illinois MechSE Graduate Teaching Fellowship, and the ASME Energy Systems Technical Committee Best Paper Award. He has also been included on the University of Illinois List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.

Dr. Pangborn's research has included collaborations with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), the Center for Integrated Thermal Management of Aerospace Vehicles (CITMAV), and the University of Illinois Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC). 

Outside of engineering, Dr. Pangborn enjoys training martial arts and playing music.

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