Category Archives: Research

Michigan Tech at Earth and Space 2018

2018 ASCE Earth and Space banner

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Earth and Space 2018 conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 9-12. Michigan Tech was well represented by several talks. Paul van Susante (MEEM) is the current chair of ASCE’s Aerospace Division that organized the conference and he gave two talks: “Minerals from Space: Terrestrial and Extra-terrestrial Perspectives” and “Robotic Mars and Lunar Landing Pad Construction Using In-Situ Rocks.” He also chaired two sessions, served as a student paper judge and handed out division awards as well as the Columbia medal to Paul Wooster from SpaceX on behalf of Elon Musk.

In addition, Gregory Odegard (MEEM) presented at the pre-conference shortcourse: “Design and Analysis of Composite Materials for Aerospace Structures.” Two of his students, Hashim Al Mahmud and Will Pisani, attended the shortcourse and each presented a paper. The papers titles were: “Multiscale Modeling of PEEK Using Reactive Molecular Dynamics Modeling and Micromechanics” and “Predicting the Effective Mechanical Properties of Graphene Nanoplatelet-Carbon Fiber-Epoxy Hybrid Composites Using ReaxFF: A Multiscale Modeling Approach”.

Wind Turbine Blade diagram with parts labeled.The 2017 best paper award for the Journal of Aerospace Engineering (published by ASCE by the Aerospace Division) was awarded to “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-Edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction” by Xiao Sun, Qingli Dai, Muraleekrishnan Menon and Fernando Ponta in the September 2017 issue.

https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000771

Kristina Swallow, ASCE President, attended the entire conference which concluded with a tour of NASA Glenn Research Center. For more information, visit the ASCE Earth and Space website.


Ye Sun Develops Convenient Heart Monitor

Ye Sun
Ye Sun

HOUGHTON — According to one study, more than 90 percent of U.S. medical expenses are spent on patients with chronic diseases. According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, $190 billion are spent on cardiovascular disease that in many cases, patients are required to wear a heart monitor day and night. For those patients, heart monitoring will soon become easier, more comfortable, and more convenient, thanks to Michigan Technological University Researcher Ye (Sarah) Sun.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.


2018 SURF Award Recipients in Engineering

SURF graphicThe Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 25 students from across the University with funds from the office of the Pavlis Honors College and the Vice President for Research.

Previous SURF award recipients have included Goldwater Scholarship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients. Since 2002, SURF students have co-authored 78 peer reviewed publications.

This year’s recipients, project titles, and advisors are listed online.

Honorable Mention went to Kiaya Caspers, Travis Durgan, Elisha Earley and Ashley Lingle.

By Will Cantrell.

Biomedical Engineering Majors

Stephanie Jewell
Biomedical Engineering / Mechanical
William Cook / KIP
Controlled Breathing and Automatic Cardiovascular Control

Kaylee Meyers
Rupak Rajachar / Biomedical Engineering
Evaluating the Influence of Matrix Stiffness on the Activation of MMPs in Tendinopathy

Alexander Oliver
Jeremy Goldman / Biomedical Engineering
Characterizing the Inflammatory Response to Zinc Stent Materials

Brennan Vogl
Smitha Rao / Biomedical Engineering
Monitoring migration of cancer cells using a microfluidic device

Chemical Engineering Major

Satyen Dhamankar
Chemical Engineering / Mathematics
Benjamin Ong / Mathematical Sciences
Accelerated Boundary Integral Methods

Civil Engineering Major

Timothy Stone
Don Lafreniere / Social Sciences
Exploring the Social Determinants of health and Disease Outbreak Patterns in Children in Early Twentieth Century Calumet

Geological Engineering Major

Katelyn Kring
Snehamoy Chatterjee / GMES
Spatial Interpolation of Rock Quality Designation to Design Underground Support System for Eagle Mine

Mechanical Engineering Majors

Dennis J Byard
Joshua Pearce / Materials Science
Increasing Maker Manufacturing through 3D Printing with Reclaimed Plastic & Direct Drive Pellet Extrusion

Aaron Dean
Pasi Lautala / Civil and Environmental Engineering
Using Naturalistic Driving Data and Machine Learning to Predict Accident Risk at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

Eric Houck
Mo Rastgaar / Mechanical Engineering
Magneto-Rheological Fluids Create a Natural Walking Gait in Ankle-Foot Prostheses


Mark Kulie Publishes on Global Distribution of Snow Precipitation

Journal of ClimateAssistant Professor Mark Kulie, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, co-authored “Global distribution of snow precipitation features and their properties from three years of GPM observations” with Abishek Adhikari and Chuntao Liu in the Journal of Climate.

https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0012.1

The goal of the research is to optimize global snowfall estimates using satellite-based radar. Seasonal and daily variations of snow features and their properties are analyzed over Northern and Southern hemispheric land and ocean separately. The study indicates that stronger variations are found in the Northern hemisphere.

Follow Mark Kulie on Twitter (@MTUsnow).


David Ross and Alex Baker Place in Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018

URS logoThe Pavlis Honors College (PHC) announces the winners of the sixth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The students that presented this year represented a wide array of scientific and engineering disciplines from across campus and highlighted the diversity of research areas being explored. Judges from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines volunteered their time to evaluate participant posters and presentations. The results were as follows:

First Place: Erinn Smith, Chemistry
Second Place: David Ross, Biomedical Engineering
Third Place: Alex Baker, Civil and Environmental Engineering

David Ross presented Bioactive polydimethylsiloxane surface for optimal human
mesenchymal stem cell sheet culture
. Ross’ advisor is Feng Zhao.

Alex Baker presented Multiobjective Optimization of Cost and Strength for Various
Lengths of Doubly Reinforced Concrete T-beams. Baker’s advisor is Amlan Mukherjee.

PHC would also like to recognize three students in the Honorable Mention category: Benjamin Miller, SFRES, Rose Turner, Environmental Engineering and Hannah Cunningham, Molecular Biology and Genetics.

The research presented here is sponsored in part by the Office of the Vice President of
Research, the Portage Health Foundation (PHFoundation), the Pavlis Honors College, and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

Congratulations to all of our winners and honorable mentions. Thank you to all of the faculty, staff and students that judged and attended the Symposium this year.

Original story by Pavlis Honors College.


Michigan Tech Students at Road America

Autonomous Group by the VehiclELKHART LAKE, Wis. (WLUK) — Students at Michigan Technological University took to the grounds of Road America near Elkhart Lake Thursday to put the finishing touches on a car that literally drives itself.

The autonomous vehicle is part of a contest designed to move the technology forward.

“Well, I’m not driving. It’s an interesting feeling. I’ve been driving for 15 years. Now I get behind the wheel, and the wheel turns, and pedals move, and I don’t have to do anything,” said Spike, a graduate student at Michigan Tech.

Read more at FOX 11 News, by Eric Peterson

Related:

Huskies Hit The Road


2018-19 Michigan Space Grant Consortium Awards

Michigan Space Grant Consortium logo

Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students received awards tallying $73,675 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by NASA for the 2018-19 funding cycle.

Engineering undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships:

  • Alex Oliver (BME): “Evaluating Biodegradeable Zinc Stent Materials,” with Jeremy Goldman
  • Katie Bristol (Applied Geophysics): “Investigation of the Solar Nebula’s Magnetic Field Strength from the Allende Meteorite Chondrules,” with Aleksey Smirnov

Engineering graduate Students receiving $5,000 research fellowships:

  • Erica Coscarelli (CEE): “Reaction Mechanisms for the Degradation of Trace Organic Contaminants through Advanced Oxidation Processes,” with Daisuke Minakata
  • Sanna Mairet (GME): “Investigating the Relationship between Volcanic Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations and Human Population and Land Use Changes through Geographic Visualization,” with Simon Carn
  • Brandi Petryk (GME): “The Origin of an Archean Batholith – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” with Chad Deering
  • Emily Shaw (CEE): “Mapping the Co-Distribution of Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Lakes,” with Noel Urban

Engineering faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 or more for pre-college, public outreach, teacher training, faculty seed and/or augmentation programs include:

  • Joan Chadde (CEE): “STEM Career Explorations for Detroit High School Students” (includes augmentation) Pre-college program
  • Brian Doughty (CEE): “Technology and Outdoor Learning” Pre-college program
  • Adrienne Minerick (COE): “Microfluidic Dynamic Cell Concentration Tuner for Medical Diagnostics” Faculty Seed Program

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.

Original story by Pavlis Honors College.


Solar Farms, Not Tobacco Fields

Big Think Story HeadlineResearch by Electrical Engineering alumnus Ram Krishnan ‘16 and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on converting tobacco farms to solar photovoltaic farms was covered widely in the media including; Modern FarmerPopular Mechanics and the Weather Channel.

An article about Joshua Pearce’s research on replacing tobacco fields with solar arrays was recently featured in IEEE Electronics 360Popular Mechanics, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Fifth Estate (Australian business newspaper), Solar Thermal MagazinePV MagazineScience Daily, the Weather Channel and Big Think.

Related:

Farm Sunshine, Not Cancer: Replacing Tobacco Fields with Solar Arrays
Saving Lives and Money: The Potential of Solar to Replace Coal


Michigan Tech Researchers Honored for their Contributions in 2017

Researchers in the lab

At the Research Development Day held Jan. 11, 2018, the following individuals were recognized for their research contributions in calendar year 2017.

College of Engineering

Top research expenditures: Jeff Naber (ME-EM), Greg Odegard (ME-EM), Paul Sanders (MSE)

Related:

Michigan Tech Automotive Energy Efficiency Research Receives Federal Award of $2.8 Million from US Department of Energy

NASA Taps Tech Professor to Lead $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute

Chemical Engineering

Lei Pan received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hui Yao (formerly CEE) received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

David Watkins received an award of more than $1 million.

Related:

Household Sustainability: Consuming Food, Energy, Water

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jeremy Bos, Lucia Gauchia, and Tony Pinar each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Snehamoy Chatterjee, James DeGraff, Mark Kulie, and Matthew Portfleet each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Materials Science and Engineering

2017 Michigan Tech Research Award: Yun Hang Hu

Bhakta Rath Research Award: Yun Hang Hu and Wei Wei

Joe Licavoli received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Related:

Yun Hang Hu Wins Both Research Award and Bhakta Rath Award

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Parisa Abadi, Chunpei Cai, Hassan Masoud, and Ye Sun each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Jeff Naber and Greg Odegard each received awards of more than $1 million.


Open-Source Hardware Paper Ranks High

Open Source Slide Dryer
Open Source Slide Dryer

Electrical engineering graduate student Shane Oberloier co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE|ECE): General Design Procedure for Free and Open-Source Hardware for Scientific Equipment. in the journal Designs. The paper is currently ranked in the top 0.1% on Academia.edu.

Designs 20182(1), 2; doi:10.3390/designs2010002

Abstract

Distributed digital manufacturing of free and open-source scientific hardware (FOSH) used for scientific experiments has been shown to in general reduce the costs of scientific hardware by 90–99%. In part due to these cost savings, the manufacturing of scientific equipment is beginning to move away from a central paradigm of purchasing proprietary equipment to one in which scientists themselves download open-source designs, fabricate components with digital manufacturing technology, and then assemble the equipment themselves. This trend introduces a need for new formal design procedures that designers can follow when targeting this scientific audience. This study provides five steps in the procedure, encompassing six design principles for the development of free and open-source hardware for scientific applications. A case study is provided for an open-source slide dryer that can be easily fabricated for under $20, which is more than 300 times less than some commercial alternatives.

Read more at Designs.