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Philip Tan

Assistant Professor of Engineering



FREY-229 ext. 2686

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Grove City College)
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering (University of Virginia)
Classes I teach
  • ENGR 111 Introduction to Engineering
  • ENGR 214 Materials Engineering
  • ENGR 302 Seminar II
  • ENGR 324 Control Systems
  • ENGR 331 Biomechanics
  • ENGR 376 Dynamics & Vibrations
  • ENGR 410 Design of Medical Devices

Dr. Tan and his ten younger siblings grew up in Norfolk, VA. After studying mechanical engineering at Grove City and teaching anatomy to physical therapy students for several years, he combined his engineering and physiology interests through biomedical research at the University of Virginia. There, he investigated the protein signaling networks underlying hypertrophic cardiac remodeling using a systems approach integrating experiments and computational modeling. He also developed expertise in automated image processing, designing algorithms which probe genome-wide RNAi screens encompassing millions of fluorescence microscopy images to identify genes affecting heart failure.

At Messiah, Dr. Tan teaches a range of mechanical and biomedical engineering courses, and advises two groups in the Collaboratory. The Block Press team is developing mechanical presses to produce structural blocks for the Rama people in Nicaragua to use in relocating off an overcrowded island. The Mechanized Percussive Well Drilling team is designing a system for locals in Burkina Faso to use for drilling their own water wells. Dr. Tan is passionate about challenging students to examine the unstated theological and philosophical presuppositions within their engineering courses. He is also an avid pianist and organist.

Dr. Tan and his wife Julia live in Carlisle and are members at Carlisle Reformed Presbyterian Church. Together, they enjoy music, hiking, bird watching, and traveling.