Dr. Patrick Atkinson, professor of Mechanical Engineering

Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University, 1991
Master's  (1994) and Ph.D. (1998) from Michigan State University in Mechanical Engineering, with expertise in bioengineering, crash safety, orthopaedics, solid mechanics (how things deform when they are pushed or pulled), and lately, entrepreneurship education for engineering students

Atkinson finds Kettering students driven, innovative and engaged. He feels there is a lot that distinguishes them from students at other universities. He says, "They know what being an engineer is all about because of the cooperative education experience. . .they require and expect the faculty to be up on their topics." He feels that this results because they are so current and have the ability to handle an academic, work, and social life which makes them people "who are able to perform in a variety of settings." Because Atkinson's time as a Kettering student left a very positive impression on him, he had a desire to return and do the same job as his professors had. Atkinson enjoys "giving students a great engineering education and the additional courses/labs that allow them to specialize in engineering subspecialties."

His hot tip for prospective students is: "Just remember that what you do from the age of 20 to 30 will dictate to a large part what you will be doing from 30 to 60. On one hand, this is great; it's a blank slate, you can do whatever you want. On the down side, it is a blank slate: you have to decide on something.  One other thing: while you may not wish to become an entrepreneur, consider the life of an intrapreneur.  This is a person who innovates from within at their day job."

Hidden talents and outside interests: In addition to an extremely strong commitment to his family, Atkinson finds time to enjoy music, playing instruments, karate and karaoke (not at the same time.....yet), and working around the house.

McLaren Flint, Dept of Orthopaedics 


Crash safety, Occupant protection, Orthopedic biomechanics, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship in the classroom

1. Charpentier PM, Flanagan BP, Srivastava AK, Atkinson PJ: ‘Reverse’ oblique end screws in non-locking plates decrease construct strength in synthetic osteoporotic bone medium. J Oorthop Surg Spec., In press, September, 2014.

2. Martineau D, Shorez J, Beran C, Dass AG, Atkinson P: Biomechanical performance of variable and fixed angle locked volar plates for the dorsally comminuted distal radius.  Iowa Orthop J 2014, 34: 123-8.

3. Flanagan BP, LeCronier D, Kubacki MR, Telehowski P, Atkinson P: A method to modify angle-stable intramedullary nail construct compliance. Iowa Orthop J 2014, 34: 68-73.

4. Kubacki MR, Verioti CA, Patel SD, Garlock AN, Fernandez D, Atkinson PJ. Angle Stable Nails Provide Improved Healing for a Complex Fracture Model in the Femur. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Apr;472(4):1300-9.

5. Garlock AN, Donovan J, LeCronier DJ, Houghtaling J, Burton S, Atkinson PJ. A modified intramedullary nail interlocking design yields improved stability for fatigue cycling in a canine femur fracture model. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2012 Jun;226(6):469-76.

6. LeCronier DJ, Papakonstantinou JS, Gheevarughese V, Beran CD, Walter NE, Atkinson PJ. Development of an interlocked nail for segmental defects in the rabbit tibia. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2012 Apr;226(4):330-6.

7. Smith MR, Atkinson P, White D, Piersma T, Gutierrez G, Rossini G, Desai S, Wellinghoff S, Yu H, Cheng X. Design and assessment of a wrapped cylindrical Ca-P AZ31 Mg alloy for critical-size ulna defect repair. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2012 Jan;100(1):206-16.

8. Jain R, Jain E, Dass AG, Wickstrom O, Walter N, Atkinson PJ: Evaluation of transdermal steroids for trapeziometacarpal arthritis. J Hand Surg Am. 2010 Jun;35(6):921-7.

9. Srivastava A, Walter N, Atkinson P. Streptococcus bovis infection of total hip arthroplasty in association with carcinoma of colon. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2010 Summer;19(2):125-8.

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2-123 MC