Higgins Labs 111
+1 (508) 8315000 x5199
Affiliated Department or Office
BS University of Massachusetts 1973
BS University of Massachusetts 1977
MS University of Massachusetts 1978
DE Dartmouth College 1986

Teaching is the most important aspect of my profession. I have strived to teach the full spectrum of college offerings addressing freshman students through Ph.D. students. The project philosophy is a fundamental pillar of the WPI education. I encourage and promote this ideal in all of the projects that I advise. Students who bring a project to fruition gain more knowledge and understanding than most conventional instructional modes. I am committed to MQP and IQP activities. Students completing their projects under my advise have received dozens of awards and honors in the forms of undergraduate publications, Provost awards, national competition awards, and ME design of year awards. Some of these projects were associated with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotic competitions. Under my guidance the WPI team has received numerous awards including the Proctor and Gamble Design of Year Award and the National Number One Seed Award. One of the most significant contributions that I have given to WPI is engineering diversity. I received a BS degree specializing in zoology. A second BS in ME was followed with a Masters in Materials - brittle materials, glass and ceramics. I worked for several years at Owens-Corning research institute in the area of heat transfer and thermal performance of insulation. Afterwards, I completed a doctorate in numerical methods with applications in phase change phenomena. While maintaining diversity I have demonstrated expertise in the development and application of advanced numerical methods for partial differential equations in engineering sciences, and in interactive computer graphics and automatic mesh generation. I have had continuous external sponsored research for my entire time at WPI (25 years 1987-2012, $6.5 million). Simultaneously, I maintain a full teaching and project advising load.

Scholarly Work

J. Sullivan, Models of Impact from Engineering and Technical Schools, in Understanding Measures of Faculty Impact and the Role of Engineering Societies Proc. NAE Workshop, KP Jarboe and S Olson, Editors, Nat Acad Press, ISBN: 9780309479004, 2018.

K. Boudreau, C. Abel, J. Bergendahl, D. DiBiasio, L Dodson, G. Gaudette, and J. Sullivan, “The Theatre of Humanitarian Engineering”, Ethics Division, ASEE Annual Conf., ID# 17972, 2017

Murugavel, M. and J.M. Sullivan Jr., “Automatic cropping of MRI rat brain volumes using pulse coupled neural networks”, NeuroImage, Volume 45, Issue 3, Pg 845-854, ISSN 1053-8119, (2009).

Ghadyani, H., Sullivan, J.M., Jr., and Wu, Z., “Boundary Recovery for Delaunay Tetrahedral Meshes using Local Topological Transformations”, Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, Volume 46, pg 74 – 83, (2010).

Sullivan, J.M., Jr. and K. O'Neill, "Application of infinite elements to phase-change situations on deforming meshes.", Int. J. Num. Meth. in Engg., 33, pp 1861- 1874, (1992).

Sullivan, J.M., Jr., D.R. Lynch, and K. O'Neill, "Finite-element simulation of planar instabilities during solidification of an undercooled melt.", J. Comp. Phys., 69, 81-111, (1987).

Professional Highlights & Honors

NIH subcontract with Dartmouth College Hanover
Co-PI with R. Ludwig (PI), NIH (R21/R33) subcontract with Dartmouth College


Other Inventor(s):
Benjamin S. Abram, Eric Chiem, Zoey Foley, John S. Ringuette