Mark A. Nicosia

Mark A. Nicosia, PhD

  • Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy
  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Engineering

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering (1997)
    Pennsylvania State University--University Park (PA)

About Me

I have taught a number of different lecture and laboratory courses and advised senior project groups. My focus is to challenge students while maintaining a respectful classroom environment in which material is rigorously presented and a real connection to the practice of engineering is maintained through applications and examples. I work continuously to improve my teaching skills.

Research Interests

My research is focused on the computational and experimental analysis of physiological systems, particularly the gastrointestinal system. I am currently working on an interinstitutional project developing patient-specific computer models of oropharyngeal swallowing to aid clinicians in developing therapeutic strategies for individuals with swallowing disorders.

Media Expertise

  • Biomechanics
  • Computational mechanics
  • Dysphagia


  • Nicosia, Mark A. "Theoretical Estimation of Shear Rate During Oropharyngeal Swallowing: Effect of Parial Slip." Journal of Texture Studies 44, no. 2 (2013): 132–139.
  • Schievano, Silvia, Karyn Kunzelman, Mark A. Nicosia, Richard P. Cochran, Daniel R. Einstein, Sachin Khambadkone, and Philipp Bonhoeffer. "Percutaneous Mitral Valve Dilatation: Single Balloon Versus Double Balloon. A Finite Element Study." Journal of Heart Valve Disease 18, no. 1 (2009): 28–34.
  • Nicosia, Mark A. "A Planar Finite Element Model of Bolus Containment in the Oral Cavity." Computers in Biology and Medicine 37, no. 10 (2007): 1472–1478.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Dysphagia Research Society (DRS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)


  • Distinguished University Professor, Widener University (2019) 
  • NIH Grant to study oropharyngeal swallowing (2008–2009)


In the Media


  • Engineering Faculty Presents at the 2023 World Dysphagia Summit

    Mark Nicosia, vice provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy and professor of engineering, was a featured speaker during a panel discussion at the 2023 World Dysphagia Summit. The summit was hosted by the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) in affiliation with the European Society for Swallowing Disorders, the Japanese Society for Dysphagia Rehabilitation, and the Latin America Society for Dysphagia. 

    Nicosia, who also serves as president of the DRS, is an expert in dysphagia which is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. The summit was held on World Swallowing Day to increase worldwide awareness among health care professionals as well as the public to increase knowledge about normal swallowing and swallowing disorders, their causes, early detection, complications and management.

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  • Professor Appointed to Vice Provost Position

    Professor Mark Nicosia, who teaches in the School of Engineering, has been named vice provost of the university. The position is dedicated to developing and executing academic innovation through strategic priorities and initiatives. The role oversees academic program development and revitalization, curriculum and policy, faculty development, teaching and learning, assessment, and academic affairs personnel. With Provost Andy Workman, he will hold responsibility for the administrative, academic and financial operations of the academic and student affairs divisions. 

    Nicosia, who has been serving in the vice provost role in an interim capacity, has taught in the School of Engineering since 2005. He is actively involved on campus, has deep knowledge of the university, and has held multiple important leadership positions. He served on the Faculty Council Executive Committee for six years, including four years as faculty chair and two years as chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

    His appointment becomes effective July 1.

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  • School of Engineering Professor Honored with Faculty Institutional Leadership Award

    School of Engineering Professor Mark A. Nicosia has received the Faculty Institutional Leadership Award. It recognizes a record of leading initiatives that further the university’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives.

    Nicosia has championed the university’s vision through his involvement on campus.   He has served on the Faculty Council Executive Committee for the past six years—the past four years as faculty chair and two years prior as chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Nicosia has been a remarkable leader during the COVID-19 pandemic. While serving on the Provost Council and the Crisis Management Team, and chairing the Executive Committee of Faculty Council, he worked closely with the faculty and administration on policies and procedures that directly impacted our students. Nicosia has an exceptional ability to listen and hear concerns expressed by faculty, staff, and administrators and is intentional and thoughtful in any decision-making process. Nicosia is the ideal scholar and campus leader to elevate Widener’s institutional agility and focus on strategy. 

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  • Mark Nicosia Named Associate Dean of the School of Engineering

    Dr. Mark Nicosia, professor of mechanical engineering, was appointed to the position of associate dean of the School of Engineering. Dr. Nicosia, who previously chaired the department of mechanical engineering, will oversee academic affairs and external relations in this new role. A member of the engineering faculty since 2005, Professor Nicosia's research focuses on computational and experimental analysis of physiological systems, particularly the gastrointestinal system. In 2019, Professor Nicosia was named Distinguished University Professor, an award that recognizes faculty members of distinction and demonstrates how Widener is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

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