Category Archives: Research

Michigan Tech wins Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant

The Ford Motor Co. fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co., is awarding $250,000 in Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grants for student-led projects.

The program is in its eighth year of supporting sustainable efforts to address urgent community needs focused on “Building Sustainable Communities.”

Ford C3 winners are required to present proposals for sustainable projects with significant student input, involvement and leadership. Water conservation, renewable energy, urban gardening, recycling and mobility are among the proposals submitted by these creative teams of students. Each of the winning projects will receive a $25,000 grant to support their project.

Michigan Technological University: Plastic Recycling to 3D Printer Filament. The MTU team will work with the local community to incorporate a wider variety of plastics into recycled filament, and upgrade machinery to use this recycled product to produce the filament. See the article “A Call to Change Recycling Standards as 3-D Printing Expands

Michigan State University, University of Michigan,a and Wayne State University won for other projecs.
Read the whole article

MSE News Briefs


Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Photovoltaic System Performance Enhancement With Nontracking Planar Concentrators: Experimental Results and Bidirectional Reflectance Function (BDRF)-Based Modeling” published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.
Graduate students Negin Heidari (ECE) and Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “Impact of Snow and Ground Interference on Photovoltaic Electric System Performance,” published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Feeding Everyone: Solving the Food Crisis in Event of Global Catastrophes that Kill Crops or Obscure the Sun” in the journal Futures. Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was interviewed for CBC in October on feeding everyone in the event of catastrophe. Pearce’s research in low concentration solar photovoltaic technology was also covered widely by the international media including the Epoch Times and the EE Times in Europe and India.

Research on distributed manufacturing with 3D printers in isolated communities co-authored by undergraduate mechanical engineering student Nick Anzalone and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), was quoted extensively in Vedomosti (Ведомости, translated literally “The Record”), the largest Russian financial newspaper.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) gave a plenary presentation “Making Open Hardware the New Standard in Science” at the 2015 Open Hardware Summit, Saturday in Philadelphia. The summit was sponsored by the Open Source Hardware Association.

Graduate students Tony Pinar (ECE) and Bas Wijnen (MSE) collaborated with Jerry Anzalone (MSE), Tim Havens(ECE), Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua. Pearce (MSE) on a paper titled: Low-cost Open-Source Voltage and Current Monitor for Gas Metal Arc Weld 3-D Printing published in the Journal of Sensors.

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Science Just Got Cheaper (and Faster): Design Library Lets Researchers Print their Own Syringe Pumps

image113176-horizFurnishing a research lab can be pretty expensive. Now a team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let scientists slash the cost of one commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. Syringe pumps are used to dispatch precise amounts of liquid, as for drug delivery or mixing chemicals in a reaction. They can also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

ACMAL is a Core Facility

The Vice President for Research Office has deemed the following facilities University Core Facilities:

*Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL)
* Animal Care Facility
* Microfabrication Facility
* Marine Assets Facility

From Tech Today.

Formerly operated at the departmental level, ACMAL will now have access to funding opportunities available to officially recognized Core Facilities. It should allow for more expensive equipment repairs, the purchase of small equipment, and the matching of funds for major instrumentation proposals.

Learn more about the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory.

SURF Award for Morgan

This summer, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will fund 23 students from across the University with funds from the Vice President for Research and the Honors Institute. The total funding for the program this year is $80,500.

Among the recipients is Materials Science and Engineering / Mechanical Engineering major Zachary Morgan, working with Yongmei Jin on “Optimizing damping capabilities of metal matrix composites with ferroelectric barium titanate inclusions through modeling and computer simulation.”

From Tech Today.

3D Printers in April News

PlasticIn the News

Michigan Tech research in 3D printing was covered by Reason in the article “The 3D Economy.”

From Tech Today.

The 3D Economy
Forget guns, what happens when everyone prints their own shoes?

Already, according to a study authored by Michigan Technological University engineering professor Joshua Pearce and six others, there are significant economic incentives for consumers to pursue 3D printing. According to Pearce’s calculations, a person who constructs an open-source 3D printer called the RepRap at a cost of around $575 for parts can theoretically avoid paying between $290 and $1,920 a year to retailers simply by using the device to print 20 common items (iPhone case, shower curtain rings, shoe orthotics, etc.).

Read more at The 3D Economy, by Greg Beato.

UP 3DIn Print

John Irwin (SoT), Pearce (MSE/ECE) and Jerry Anzalone (MSE) coauthored “Implementing Self-Replicating Rapid Prototypers (RepRaps) into a Mechanical/Manufacturing Program,” which was published in The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) 2013 Conference Proceedings. pp. 387-406.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Pearce is quoted in Italy’s Scienze Naturali in an article about the environmental benefits of 3D printing and in 3D Printer World on how recycling milk jugs into 3D printer filament saves money and the environment.

From Tech Today.

Recycling Milk Jugs into 3D Printer Filament Saves Money and the Environment

The energy savings is only about 3 percent in urban areas, where the plastic has to travel less during the collection and recycling process.

“Where it really shows substantial savings is in smaller towns like Houghton (where Michigan Tech. is located), where you have to transport the plastic to be collected, then again to be recycled, and a third time to be made into products,” Pearce said. The energy savings is as much as 80 percent in small towns and rural areas.

Read more at 3D Printer World, by John Graber.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in the UK’s Business Reporter in an article about supply chain disruption, which is distributed with the Daily Telegraph.

Pearce was interviewed on the John and Kane Show of Indio Radio discussing open source hardware which is available online.

From Tech Today.

Will 3D printing transform the supply chain?

Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technology University in the US has produced research based on the idea of a colourimeter for water testing.According to his estimates, the printable version would cost just $50, instead of $2000, and it worked just as well with raw materials that can be easily sourced in developing countries.

Read more at Business Reporter, by Natasha Clark.

John and Kane On Indio Radio- Monday 03-31-14

We talk to Dan Reus who you can find on Twitter @danreus and also at…. He has a guest who is Joshua Pearce on the phone who we will be talking to today…. Joshua is Professor at Michigan Tech and he specializes in open source technologies so we will talk to him more about that…. Very Interesting…. We also talk about 3D printing for those of you that don’t know what it is, this is so cool…. You can find Joshua at….or:

Indio Radio

Listen to the podcast interview with Joshua Pearce on Indio Radio. The segment runs from 06:18 to 26:33.

Lifting the Brakes on Fuel Efficiency

image105579-horizThe work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan’s Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi “Scott” Huang of Michigan Tech’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering helped Governor Rick Snyder promote Michigan’s automotive industry at China’s 2013 international auto parts expos. Huang’s research is the basis for his MTEC SmartZone company, LiteBrake Tech, which was one of eight companies chosen to represent Michigan automotive technology overseas.