Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  Awards and Recognitions

By Letty Fernandez

Dr. Dumitru Caruntu
Dr. Dumitru Caruntu

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Dr. Dumitru Caruntu has always been fascinated with engineering and mathematics.

And now, as he marks his 31st year in higher education, one of the recognitions he is most proud of is his most recent – being name a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the highest professional distinction accorded to mechanical engineers.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by one of the oldest and most prestigious international organizations,” he said. “I share this with my outstanding students on the research teams of Nonlinear Dynamics, and Biomechanics, with whom I’ve published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and conference papers in the past 10 years.”

Caruntu, who has a Ph.D., in engineering and bachelor and master’s degrees in mathematics, also is the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Endowed Chair Faculty Fellow and director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at UTRGV.

“I am fascinated with how to apply engineering and math in biomedical engineering for the past twenty years, and I have been doing research since I was a student, back in the day,” he said.

Caruntu’s research in Nonlinear Dynamics of Micro- and Nano-Electromechanical Systems (M/NEMS), Biomechanics and Applied Mathematics involves the increase of sensitivity of M/NENS resonator sensors using nonlinear dynamics, and the improvement of the Total Knee Replacements design to allow for a large range of knee flexion and an increased number of daily common activities for patients. 

At UTRGV, biomechanics research is conducted in the Biomechanics Laboratory. During the pandemic, Caruntu is meeting with students virtually.

“I work with students as undergraduates,” he said. “It is very fulfilling to see them continue their studies and go on to graduate school. It is very exciting to see them accomplish so much.”

Caruntu has secured more than $2 million in external federal grants while at UTRGV and serves as associate editor for five prestigious international journals.

He also was the recipient of the 2013 UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.