Tag Archives: MEEM

Tomorrow is Manufacturing Day

ManufacturingEleven innovative companies leading the market in product design, robotics and controls, advanced manufacturing, construction and building design, and sustainability are taking part in Michigan Tech’s Manufacturing Day tomorrow (Sept 19, 2017).

Miller Electric is bringing a 25-foot show trailer and will run live welding demonstrations throughout the event. Students will also have the opportunity to weld their own laser-cut souvenirs.

If students are curious about manufacturing machine controls, Kimberly Clark is bringing two electrical control displays that mimic those used to drive manufacturing machines in their company—one with physical controls, buttons and knobs, and one with touchscreen controls.

Whirlpool has a UR5 collaborative robot, a thermal IR camera and virtual reality goggles that illuminate in-plant technologies and the sustainability work being developed. Systems Control also plans to have augmented reality glasses available to try.

Additionally, students will get a firsthand look at what companies like 3M, Plexus, Georgia-Pacific and Greenheck are currently working on and developing.

In addition, there are five Enterprise Teams participating in Manufacturing Day; Velovations, Boardsport Technologies, Open Source Hardware Enterprise (OSHE) Wireless Communications and Innovative Global Solutions.

Manufacturing Day is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow (Sept 19) in the center of Michigan Tech’s campus.  It is the second largest industry-sponsored event hosted by the University during CareerFEST, a series of informal events leading up to Fall Career Fair, Wednesday Sept. 27.


Energy on Display and a Power Bus for Hands-on Play

Energy DayCareerFEST continues with Energy Day today, September 15, 2017. Eight companies representing electric, petroleum and alternative energy resources are here to greet students under the tent. CE Power brought their Power Bus, a traveling demo facility and a 6,000 pound, modified Ford Transit 350 for students to see and experience.

The Power Bus includes a retrofill breaker (MV), three LV circuit breakers, SEL relays, AC Pro trip units and GE Multilin Relay. Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) will display various distillation tray styles used at HSC and will also showcase their raw material and final products using acrylic suspension trays.

HDR is bringing a 3D Oculus Virtual Reality Viewer for students to experience.

Displays and representatives from Systems Control, ITC Holdings, Marathon Petroleum, Flint Hills Resources, Black & Veatch and Michigan Tech’s Alternative Energy Enterprise are also features of this year’s event.

By Career Services.


First-Year Engineering and First-Year Computer Science Lecture Fall 2017: Libby Titus

First Year Lecture

First year engineering and computer science students attended a lecture on September 17, 2017, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s speaker was Libby Titus, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at Novo Nordisk. She is a ’96 Michigan Tech alumna, with a BS in Environmental Engineering and BS in Scientific and Technical Communication.

Her talk was entitled Secrets of Talking (and Writing) Nerdy. The talk was introduced by Jon Sticklen, Chair, Engineering Fundamentals, and Wayne D. Pennington, Dean, College of Engineering. There was a reception after the lecture.

Elizabeth (Libby) Titus is a licensed professional engineer who assists companies with identifying, understanding, and adhering to the environmental, health, and safety rules that apply to their operations. With 20 years of substantive experience, Libby knows that the key to moving projects forward is often effective communication of technical knowledge across the primary stakeholders. Solid engineering designs and high intelligence are irrelevant without good communication skills.

Due to venue capacity, the event was open only to first year engineering and computer science majors.

Sponsored by Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLSS), Novo Nordisk, College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Fundamentals, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and the Department of Computer Science.

Funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

Students in the audience at Rozsa
The lecture takes place in the James and Margaret Black Performance Hall of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.
Students in audience
Engineering and computer science students are in attendance.
Wayne Pennington
Wayne Pennington, Dean of the College of Engineering, introduces the speaker.
Libby Titus
Libby Titus is an EHS Specialist at Novo Nordisk.
Libby Titus Lecture
Libby Titus lectures on Secrets of Talking Nerdy.
Engineering Faculty
Engineering and CS faculty are among the attendees.

Automotive Partners take over Campus Today

Automotive DayThirteen automotive manufacturing and supply companies embark on campus today and invite students to engage with them.

Eighty-six percent of college students find it easier to engage with company reps in an informal and interactive environment, as opposed to a formal Career Fair.

For this reason, Career Services developed CareerFEST, an interactive event series on campus that encourages students to explore industries, discover careers, ask questions and meet employers before the Fall Career Fair.

Automotive Day kicks off the first of seven industry-related events in September. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Sept. 7, 2017), in the center of campus, company reps showcase their latest innovations and technologies through live demonstrations.

This year’s Automotive Day theme is Autonomous. Nexteer Automotive has a simulator that allows students to experience what it will be like in an autonomous world. The Michigan Tech Autonomous program and Jeremy Bos (ECE) have partnered with General Motors to display their latest autonomous vehicle build called “Buck.”

Oshkosh Corporation is on hand with a JLG Scissor Lift, LATV (Baja Truck), Pierce 100ft Aerial Fire Truck and a HEMTT Wrecker.

A Grand Cherokee with Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist is on display from FCA. Other display vehicles include a Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus, Audi A8 and an QSK 10 L engine.

Automotive Days sponsors include: Ford, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Cooper Standard, General Motors, Cummins, Continental, Oshkosh, FCA, HUSCO International, ArcelorMittal, Yanfeng Global Automotive Interiors, Nexteer Automotive and Faurecia.

Representatives from the Advanced Power System Lab at Michigan Tech and additional Enterprise programs will also be on hand during the event. Last year, 68 percent of our students participated in CareerFEST events and 460 companies attended.

By Career Services.

Enterprise Team shows off product

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Michigan Technological University students showed off their experience at Automotive Industry Day last week.

The Formula SAE Enterprise Team caught attention with their formula-style racecar.

MTU seniors choose between senior design class or one of five enterprise teams.

The formula team I knew I wanted to be a part of before I even got to Tech. Formula SAE Enterprise Team president Cora Taylor

Read more at TV 6 Upper Michigan’s Source, by Mariah Powell.


DENSO Foundation Grant to Michigan Tech

DENSO Collaboration Communication
DENSO Collaboration and Communication Space in the Mineral and Materials Building.

Supporting the communities DENSO serves and providing resources for the next generation of technical workers to succeed are core to DENSO’s success. To fulfill these promises, DENSO’s philanthropic arm – the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – funds programs across the continent each year, providing hands-on learning opportunities in areas from robotics and thermodynamics to design and materials development. Recently, the DNAF board confirmed its 2017 college and university grants, totalling nearly $1 million in overall funding for 22 institutions and educational programs across North America.

DENSO is a global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems, and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics, and information and safety.

Read more at Progressive Engineer, by Tom Gibson.

Some of the DENSO educational grants for Michigan Tech supported:

  • Dust Collection System
  • Enterprise Future Truck
  • Enterprise & Youth Outreach
  • Challenge X Enterprise
  • Chassis Dynamometer
  • Automotive Enterprise / Plasma Cutter and ops
  • Student Design Center
  • Keweenaw Research Center and Enterprise Program

The healing power of seaweed—Shedding new light on alginate microgels

Bull Kelp, a brown seaweed used to produce alginates, can grow as much as 2 feet per day. Photo credit: Jackie Hindering, www.themarinedetective.com
Bull Kelp, a brown seaweed used to produce alginates, can grow as much as 2 feet per day. Photo credit: Jackie Hindering, www.themarinedetective.com

Using seaweed to treat wounds dates back to Roman times. Alginate extracted from kelp and other brown seaweeds are still used in wound dressings today for skin grafts, burns and other difficult wounds. Biocompatible and biomimetic, alginate forms a gel when exposed to a wound, keeping tissue moist to speed healing, and reduce pain and trauma during dressing changes.

Microgels, a biodegradable biomaterial formed from microscopic polymer filaments, has broad and powerful applications in cell analysis, cell culture, drug delivery, and materials engineering.

Putting the two together to form alginate microgels could enable scientists to make important new inroads in the field of tissue engineering. But when it comes to forming microgels, the gelation process of alginate literally gets in the way.

Chang Kyoung Choi Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Chang Kyoung Choi
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Michigan Tech researcher Chang Kyoung Choi has found a way around the problem. He creates alginate microgels by photocrosslinking the two in situ to form a bond. He uses ultraviolet (UV) light to easily cure microdroplets into microgels, a process known as photopolymerization. Curing the alginate microgels using UV light takes just tens of seconds. The result: alginate microgels that shrink or swell depending on their surrounding ion concentration, temperature, pH, and other external stimuli.

Perhaps more importantly, Choi is able to control the rate that alginate microgels break down. “A tissue scaffold should degrade at a rate proportional to the formation of new tissue, but until now, uncontrolled degradation of alginate has really limited its usefulness,” Choi says.

“Working in microfluidic devices, we can start applying UV light after the microfluids become steady, and turn off the light if necessary to stop the reaction,” he explains. “This solves the chief problem associated with previous ionic methods of making alginate microgels. Until now, the alginate phase of flow would cure before steady state was achieved, resulting in alginate microgels that clogged the microchannel.”

“Until now, uncontrolled degradation of alginate has really limited its usefulness.”

– CK Choi

Choi’s photocrosslinking technique also simplifies current methods of forming nonspherical alginate microgels that are better for observing objects, like cells, encapsulated inside. “Our preliminary results suggest that such high intensity UV does not reduce cell viability,” notes Choi.

Choi and graduate student Shuo Wang use oxidized methacrylated alginate (OMA) developed by their collaborator, Eben Alsberg at Case Western Reserve University. The team fabricated the microfluidic channels for this research at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


Verification and validation—Predicting uncertainties early on

Shabakhti Research

Mahdi Shabakhti
Mahdi Shahbakhti
Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics

The verification and validation (V&V) process for a typical automotive vehicle and powertrain electronic control unit takes approximately two years, and costs several million dollars. V&V are essential stages in the design cycle of an industrial controller, there to remove any gap between the designed and implemented controller. Computer modeling has brought about improvements over the years, but the gap remains.

Michigan Tech researcher Mahdi Shahbakhti has made significant progress to remove that gap, using system models to easily verify controller design. His solution features an adaptive sliding mode controller (SMC) that helps the controller deal with imprecisions in the implementation of the system.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation GOALI program, or Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry. Shahbakhti’s team and fellow researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Toyota USA in Ann Arbor, Michigan are nearing the end of their three-year collaborative GOALI project.

“Analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) is one of the main sources of controller implementation imprecisions, mostly due to sampling and quantization,” says Shahbakhti. “Our approach mitigates ADC imprecisions by first identifying them in the early stages of the controller design cycle. We first developed a mechanism for real-time prediction of uncertainties due to ADC and then determined how those uncertainties propagated through the controller. Finally we incorporated those predicted uncertainties into the discrete sliding mode controller (DSMC) design.”

“Analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) is one of the main sources of controller implementation imprecisions, mostly due to sampling and quantization.”

– Mahdi Shahbakhti

Shahbakhti and his team tested an actual electronic control unit at Michigan Tech in a real time processor-in-the-loop setup. Their approach significantly improved controller robustness to ADC imprecisions when compared to a baseline sliding controller. In a case study controlling the engine speed and air-fuel ratio of a spark ignition engine, the DSMC design with predicted uncertainty provided a 93 percent improvement compared to a baseline sliding controller.

Toyota works closely with the research team to integrate GOALI project results into the design cycle for its automotive controllers. The company provided team members with an initial week of training on its V&V method of industrial controllers, and also participates with Shabakhti’s team in online biweekly meetings. “The concept of this project is fundamental and generic—it can be applied to any control system, but complex systems, such as those in automotive applications, will benefit most,” notes Shahbakhti.


Students Needed for AutoDrive Design Job

AutoDriveThe Electrical, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Departments will hold a community forum at 5 p.m. this Thursday (June 29, 2017) in EERC 100 concerning the AutoDrive Autonomous Vehicle competition.

Michigan Tech is one of eight schools selected to participate in this three year competition. In this forum, we will discuss the high level details concerning the first year of the competition and ways the greater campus community can get involved.

The competition team is also currently looking for motivated students with engineering and software design experience to assist the team on critical design activities during the month of July. Several paid positions are available to exceptionally well-qualified students.

By Jeremy Bos.


New Graduate Certificate Automotive Systems and Controls

Automotive Systems and Controls
Graduate Certificate in Automotive Systems and Controls

The Graduate Certificate in Automotive Systems and Controls (ASC) is an interdisciplinary certificate with courses from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Students completing this certificate will develop competencies in controls, systems engineering, and systems integration, encompassing multiple aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering with a primary focus on automotive applications.

What are the advantages of a Graduate Certificate in Automotive Systems and Controls from Michigan Tech? Our program is different, because we go beyond powertrains to look at total vehicle systems, from chassis to human interface.

Learn More

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