IMAGE OF Patrick Drane

Patrick J. Drane, M.S.M.E.

Assistant Director of Baseball Research Center / Technical Program Manager

Francis College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, ACMTRL, HEROES, SCORE
Southwick 250H


Research center operations; experimental mechanics of sports equipment; material characterization of composite materials, foams, and wood; and high-speed imaging

Research Interests

Sports Engineering, Composite Materials, Materials Testing, Wind Energy, STEM Education


  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, (2003), University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, (2000), University of Massachusetts Lowell


Mr. Patrick Drane has been a researcher and supported a variety of research operations within the Mechanical Engineering Department for more than two decades. Currently, he is the Assistant Director of the Baseball Research Center, the Assistant Director of Operations for WindSTAR (an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) focused on wind energy), the Assistant Director of the UMass Lowell Center for Wind Energy, and the technical program manager for SHAP3D (an NSF I/UCRC focused on heterogeneous 3D printing). Additionally, he supports other projects in the mechanical engineering department in the areas of composites, textiles, and impact of helmets. Mr. Drane is also a PhD Candidate pursuing a dissertation entitled "A Multi-Level Experimental Investigation of Energy Absorption in Helmet Systems for Repeated Low-Velocity Impact."

Mr. Drane has served as the Assistant Director of the Baseball Research Center since 2003 and has helped lead the center to become an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of baseball and baseball bat research and a leader among facilities focusing on sports engineering research in the United States. His organization of the 9th conference of the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA) brought the sports engineering researchers from around the world to Lowell in 2012. Mr. Drane is currently organizing the Sports Collaborative for Open Research and Education (SCORE), a campus initiative to coordinate research and instructional efforts focused on sports.

As a technical program manager, Mr. Drane supports the development and operations of two NSF-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRCs). WindSTAR was established in 2014 in collaboration with UT Dallas. SHAP3D was established in 2018 in collaboration with Georgia Tech and UCONN. Mr. Drane manages many of the operations and communications with the many faculty and industry members engaged with these centers.

Mr. Drane also supports projects in and faculty of the Advanced Composite Materials and Textiles Research Laboratory (ACMTRL) and their collaborations, projects and programs with the U.S. Army, NASA, NIST, DOE, IACMI, and industry partners. Mr. Drane has been an active researcher collaborating on multiple projects in the Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers (HEROES) program with the U.S. Army and those projects together with numerous sports projects have helped define his Ph.D. dissertation research.

Selected Publications

  • Drane, P., De Jesus-Vega, M., Inalpolat, M., Sherwood, J., & Orbey, N. (2020). Inductive quantification of energy absorption of high-density polyethylene foam for repeated blunt impact. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications, 234(3), 531-545.
  • Barlow, G. J., Page, C., Drane, P., Stapleton, S. E., Fasel, B., & Inalpolat, M. (2020). Combat helmet liner design for blunt impact absorption using multi-output Gaussian process surrogates. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 0954406220960764.
  • Fortin-Smith, J., Sherwood, J., Drane, P., Ruggiero, E., Campshure, B., & Kretschmann, D. (2019). A Finite Element Investigation into the Effect of Slope of Grain on Wood Baseball Bat Durability. Applied Sciences, 9(18), 3733.
  • Fortin-Smith J, Sherwood J, Drane P, Kretschmann D. Characterization of Maple and Ash Material Properties for the Finite Element Modeling of Wood Baseball Bats. Applied Sciences. 2018; 8(11):2256.
  • Willis, D.J., Niezrecki, C., Kuchma, D., Hines, E., Arwade, S.R., Barthelmie, R.J., DiPaola, M., Drane, P.J., Hansen, C.J., Inalpolat, M. and Mack, J.H., 2018. Wind energy research: State-of-the-art and future research directions. Renewable Energy, 125, pp.133-154.
  • Drane, P., Wang, X., Inalpolat, M., & Sherwood, J. (2018). Outcomes of a cross-disciplinary concussion prevention and diagnosis workshop series. In Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Proceedings (Vol. 2, No. 6, p. 268).
  • Drane, P., Fortin-Smith, J., Sherwood, J., & Kretschmann, D. (2016). Predict the relationship between wood baseball bat profile and durability. Procedia engineering, 147, 425-430.
  • Drane, P., Duffy, M., Fournier, J., Sherwood, J., & Breed, M. (2014). The behavior of golf ball putting on artificial turf. Procedia Engineering, 72, 599-604.