Herschel C. Pangborn, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Aerospace Engineering (by courtesy)
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 – The Pennsylvania State University (May 2013)

Courses Taught:

Penn State

  • ME 597: Model Predictive Control (Fall 2023)
  • ME 455: Automatic Control Systems (Spring 2022, Spring 2024)
  • ME 348: Circuit Analysis, Instrumentation, and Statistics (Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023)
  • 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 and Aerospace 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.

Dr. Pangborn received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State in 2013 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015 and 2019, respectively. 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, the ASME Energy Systems Technical Committee Best Paper Award (as student), and the American Control Conference Best Student Paper Award (as co-author). He has also been included on the University of Illinois List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.

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

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