Professor Esche’'s current research involves remote sensing and control, remote experimentation, manufacturing, integrated product and process design, metal forming, and prediction of microstructure development in metals. He has been instrumental in various grants from the NSF, NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and elsewhere, totaling more than $6.2 million.

A recent funding award from the NSF supports new research in the field of Virtual Environments for Collaborative Learning, and has research objectives of enabling distance learning by introducing advanced virtual laboratories and to provide an immersive virtual environment for collaboration and learning.

He has served as proposal reviewer for various National Science Foundation (NSF) programs and as consultant for the publishers John Wiley & Sons and McGraw-Hill. He is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Dr. Esche has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and scientific journals. At the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago, he received the Best Paper Award for his article “A Virtual Laboratory on Fluid Mechanics.