David G. Beale
Professor, Ph.D, PE
Department of Mechanical Engineering



Michigan Technological University                BS                   1976.

University of Michigan                                   MSE                1980.

University of Michigan                                   Ph.D.               1988.


Relevant Experience Record

2003 – present Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Auburn, AL

1994 - 2003     Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Auburn, AL

1989 - 1994     Assistant Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Auburn, AL

1985 - 1989     Engineering Analyst, Mechanical Dynamics, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI

1980 – 1982    Piping Engineer, Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, CA

1976 – 1978    Production Engineer, Amoco Production Co., Traverse City, MI

Research, Outreach and Teaching Activities

Dr. Beale works in design and simulation of mechanical systems.  He also teaches the mechanical engineering senior project design experience (capstone design), where students design and build a mechanical system to a corporate sponsor’s design specifications.  He has guided over 50 student project teams.   He won a best paper award from the U.S. Army Aviation Medical Association, which was based on a forensic engineering study/accident investigation of a helicopter crash; the event was recreated in a computer simulation that pinpointed the most likely cause of the failure so that corrective action could be taken to prevent the failure from occurring again.  He has worked 4 years as an engineering analyst in industry, applying FEA and mechanical system dynamic simulation software (MSC-ADAMS), and developing software for computer simulation of mechanical systems.  His other industrial experience includes 1) 2 years as a petroleum production engineer, responsible for the engineering of oil and gas well workovers and surface processing equipment, 2) 2 years as a piping engineer, designing pipe networks for steam, air, fuel and cryogenic applications, 3) one summer working for the Machine R&D group at Russell Corporation through an NSF award, helping to design machinery for textile applications, and 4) a sabbatical at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center designing and simulating space tethers.  Check out the webpage he has created for lunar excavator design for student teams at .

Courses taught have included Senior Capstone Design I and II, Optimization, CAD, Mechanics of Materials, Machine Component Design, Automatic Controls, Mechatronics and a recently developed course entitled Virtual Prototyping (which is based on theory and application of state-of-the-art commercial software codes for design engineering which integrate CAD, finite element analysis and mechanical system simulation software to prototype on the computer before a physical prototype is built).  He has helped to define and develop the capstone design course based on industrially sponsored projects, including a course webpage.  He developed laboratories for automatic controls, and has recently completed an inexpensive breadboard-based laboratory for mechatronics. 

He has worked extensively with Alabama industry on design project, principally through extension and senior mechanical engineering student teams.  Awards for extension work have included NAMTAC (National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers) Project of the Year 1999, in addition to advising/guiding a student team that won second place in the ASME Student Manufacturing Design Competition, held at the 2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.

Selected Publications

Beale, D.G., Alem, N., Butler, B.P., "A Correlative Investigation of Simulated Occupant Motion and Accident Report in a Helicopter Crash", Aviation, Space, and Environ Medicine (1996), v. 67, no. 1, 23-29.

Beale, D., Simionescu, P.A., Dyer, D., Grading and Motivation of Student Teams Working on Industry Sponsored Mechanical Design Projects, 2001 ASME IMECE, New York, November 11-16, 2001.

P.A. Simionescu, D. Beale, G. Dozier, “Teeth-Number Synthesis of a MultiSpeed Planetary Transmission Using an Estimation of Distribution Algorithm”,  ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, v128, 108-115, 1/2006. 

PATENT: Beale, D, Broughton, R., Klein, J., “Rotably Driven Braiding Machine with Third Yarn Carried and Delivered By Stationary Carriages About a Braiding Point", U.S. Patent No. 5913959, issued 6/22/99. Licensed to Steeger-USA.  

Wang, D., Conti, C., Beale, D., "Interference Impact Analysis in Multibody Systems", ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 1999, 121:128-135.

Zhang, Q, Beale, D., Broughton, R., "Analysis of Circular Braiding Process: Part I: Theoretical Investigation", ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, August 1999, 121: 345-350.

Zhang, Q, Beale, D., Broughton, R., "Analysis of Circular Braiding Process: Part II: Mechanics and Analysis", ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, August 1999, 121:351-359.

Chen, K., Beale, D.G., “ A New Method to Determine the Base Inertial Parameters of Planar Mechanisms”, Mechanism and Machine Theory, 37(9), 2002, 971-984.

Chen, K., Beale, D.G., “Base Dynamic Parameter Estimation of a MacPherson Suspension Mechanism”, Vehicle System Dynamics, 39(3) (2003) 227-244.