Three Inducted into Academy for Fall 2017

MEEM BuildingIn ceremonies held Oct. 28, the Academy of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech inducted three new members. The inductees were Christine R. Roberts (Przybysz), Xintan Chang and Thomas J. Bronz.

The Academy honors outstanding ME-EM graduates, recognizing those who exemplify excellence and leadership in engineering and civic affairs, and who will serve as inspirational role models for current and future students.

Christine Roberts graduated from Tech with a BS in mechanical engineering in 1991, later going on to earn a master’s in project management from George Washington University and her MBA in International Business at DePaul University in 2000. Roberts began her career at Motorola, Inc., where she worked for 20 years, rising from production manager to vice president of product management for Motorola Mobility. In addition to Motorola, she also held positions at Google and Netflix.

Currently, Roberts is at cloud communications services pioneer Twilio as vice president and general manager of Twilio’s Super Network and chairman of the board for the Twilio Sweden Group. She volunteers with programs advancing involvement in STEM fields for young women and underrepresented minorities through hands-on teaching.

Xintan Chang earned his master’s in mining engineering and PhD in engineering mechanics at Tech. Before coming to Tech, Chang had worked in Chinese coal mines for 11 years after earning his BS in mining engineering from Xi’an Mining Institute (now Xi’an University of Science and Technology) in 1969. While at Tech, he co-authored the Transient State Mine Ventilation Simulation Program MFIRE for US Bureau of Mines, which remains the most popular mine fire ventilation simulation software in the world.

Chang returned to Xi’an University in 1988, working his way up to full professor within five years. His research focused on mine ventilation, mine/civil fire simulation and fire-fighting, and public safety/safety management, earning a National Reward for his simulation accomplishments. Chang became president of Xi’an University in 2003, leading several expansions and improvements for the university during his tenure.

Thomas Bronz graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from Tech in 1989, later earning an MBA from Northwestern University. After graduating from Tech, he worked in the commercial vehicles industry in a variety of management positions overseeing suspensions controls processes. In 2006, he served as the director of high performance product development at Brunswick Corporation where he improved development processes for freshwater boat lines.

Bronz returned to the commercial vehicles market in 2010, helping a start-up business to become a successful standalone within four years. He then moved on to become president and CEO of Hadley Products, once again returning to the suspensions controls field, before ending up as director of aftermarket sales at SAF Holland, where he supports hitches and suspensions for trucking fleets across North America.

William Predebon, chair of ME-EM, says that these alumni set a fine example for current students. “When I think about Tom, Xintan and Christine, I am struck by all they have done and continue to do, by their accomplishments, by the challenges they have faced and persevered, and by their leadership,” Predebon says.

“They have set a high standard for our future alumni to emulate. We are very proud of them and look forward to them returning to campus and interacting with our students.”

This induction honors some of the most successful of the more than thirteen thousand alumni of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics. Portraits and a brief biography of Academy members are prominently displayed in the lobby of the ME-EM building to serve as inspiration for future mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics students.

By Noah Kozminski.


Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Visits TARDEC

Mobile LabThe Michigan Tech Mobile Lab was on the road in November 2017, stopping in Warren, Michigan at TARDEC (The US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center). While at TARDEC, a professional development short course was given in Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Students enrolled in the course were full time engineers specializing in vehicle sustainability. They enrolled for this course specifically to help better equip themselves for future effort in electrified applications of vehicles and mobile equipment for the military.

The course itself included lecture materials on the concepts behind the design of hybrid electric vehicles, as well as hands-on interactive activities that allowed students to operate a fully functional powertrain test cell and evaluate a variety of production-intent HEV’s.

Instructors for the course included Lucia Gauchia, Wayne Weaver, Jeremy Worm, and Chris Morgan. Additional support provided by Darrell Robinette, Alex Normand, Tucker Alsup, Tina Sarazin and Nicholas Monette.

For more information about the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab, contact APS Labs or cjmorgan@mtu.edu.


Engineering Ambassadors Plan Dozens of Local Area Visits for Fall 2017

Engineering Ambassadors KidsThe Michigan Tech Engineering Ambassadors (EA) Program is planning 24 visits to local area schools this semester. The program is designed to change the conversation about engineering, starting with creating excitement for engineering disciplines through outreach activities designed for grades 4-9.

Outreach topics for October and November vary from buoyancy and energy in bouncy balls to structures and chemistry in engineering.

Right now there are 21 ambassadors in EA at Michigan Tech, including 10 veteran ambassadors. The program is open to all of Michigan Tech’s engineering majors, who can join at the start of fall or spring semester. The outreach experience is considered to be professional development for University students, allowing practice with brief presentations and hands on activities with kids.

EA is part of a larger network of universities united under one goal: changing the way people talk about engineering.

Learn more about Engineering Ambassadors at Michigan Tech! Contact the program director Jaclyn Johnson if you are interested in participating.

Engineering Ambassadors Presentation


Carbon Nanotube Project Funding for Andrew Barnard

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

Andrew Barnard (MEEM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled “I-Corps: Carbon Nanotube Coaxial Noise Control.” This is a six-month project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to make quiet products and systems that have pipe and duct sound transmission. Systems like automobile exhausts and intakes, building heating and ventilation systems, and fluid flow piping all transmit sound from power generating equipment to human receivers. In order to reduce the amount of noise to which people are exposed, passive and active noise control systems are incorporated in pipe and duct systems. These systems are currently large, heavy and inefficient. The application of a compact and lightweight coaxial active noise control system has potential implications on many industries where size of noise control elements constrain design. More importantly, the reduction of noise in the environment has potential health and wellness benefits for all members of society through environmental stress reduction. Reducing noise emitted from mechanical pipe and duct systems is an important step in reducing overall environmental noise exposure.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Challenges at the Frontiers of Mobility Seminar

K. Venkatesh Prasad
K. Venkatesh Prasad

Join us in welcoming Venkatesh Prasad of Ford, who will present on challenges faced at the frontier of mobility and opportunities for education, research, collaboration and career pathways.

The seminar is being held from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017, in MUB Ballroom A2.

The title of the presentation is Challenges at the Frontiers of Mobility and Opportunities for Education, Research, Collaboration and Career Pathways.

OpenXC Platform Tutorial Presentation

Join Venkatesh Prasad and Eric Marsman from Ford for a tutorial presentation on the OpenXC Platform from 10 a.m. to noon Monday (Oct. 2) in EERC 501. Bring a laptop.

Ford Motor Company will give a two-hour workshop on the OpenXC capabilities and a tutorial on building an Android application. It will include information on GitHub, Android, iOS, Python and vehicle CAN bus basics. Come see how you can use vehicle data in your class or research projects in order to contribute to the next wave of vehicle technologies.

 


Collaborative NSF Funding for Hassan Masoud

Hassan Masoud
Hassan Masoud

Hassan Masoud (ME-EM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $175,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is “Collaborative Research: Individual and Collective Dynamics of Marangoni Surface Tension Effects Between Particles.” This is a three-year project.

Abstract

The principal goal of this research is to investigate the motion of active particles at fluidic interfaces due to a gradient of surface tension stemming from the discharge of a surface-active agent, a surface reaction, or from the release of heat by the particle. Powered by converting chemical energy into mechanical work, these self-propelled “Marangoni” particles, both at the individual level and as a collection, can bring to bear functionalities that resemble those of biological organisms. The findings of this study will determine the guiding principles for designing miniature self-propelled particles, which can lead to transformative innovations in robotics, microfluidics, and biomedical engineering. These tiny surfing robots can potentially execute missions that are currently very difficult or even impossible to accomplish.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.



Women in Automotive Engineering at Michigan Tech

Women in Automotive EngineeringMichigan Tech’s Automotive Engineering camp for high school girls strives to address concerns about gender gap in the automotive workforce.

The immersive, week-long program aims to inculcate a strong interest in automotive engineering among pre-college teens to kick-start their dream job in the automotive industry and also help gain a competitive edge for college.

Although the camp is meant only for juniors and seniors, some super motivated 9th graders typically make it to the class each summer.

More than 85% camp goers said they would be interested in an automotive engineering career, according to a post-program survey this summer. That compares to 40% who said they would be interested in such a career before the start of the program. A whopping 95% said they would be interested in pursuing a science career once they completed the camp.

Read more at IndustryWeek, by Gargi Chakrabarty.


Smithsonian on Michigan Tech’s NASA Space Research Institute

Air and Space August 2017Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine published a feature article about Michigan Tech’s new NASA Space Research Institute, headed by Greg Odegard (ME-EM). The institute will work on using carbon nanotubes to create a composite that is lighter and stronger than any material used in load-bearing structures today.

Strong Stuff

These students are designing materials tough enough to land on another planet.

The project, called the Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP), is led by Michigan Technological University professor Greg Odegard, who assembled the 11-university team of experts in computational mechanics and materials science. The problem NASA has set for them to solve: Use carbon nanotubes to create a composite that is lighter and stronger than any material used in load-bearing structures today. Odegard says high-powered computers at his university and others are the key to success.

Will Pisani is in his first year of work toward his Ph.D. at Michigan Tech, and he’s already started some of the computational modeling the institute will use.

Using molecular dynamics, Matt Radue, who is just about to receive his Ph.D. from Michigan Tech, has created models to simulate the formation or breakage of chemical bonds between atoms; he calculates, by programming Newton’s laws of motion into the models, the velocities and accelerations of the atoms under different conditions, such as changes in temperature.

Julie Tomasi loves it when the materials in the lab behave the way the computer models predict. Tomasi, also pursuing a Ph.D. at Michigan Tech, has tested the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of epoxy with various embedded fillers, such as graphene (a carbon particle lattice).

Read more at Smithsonian Air & Space, by Linda Shiner.


Alumnus Pat Suhy Unveils New NASCAR Cup Race Car

Camaro ZL1
Camaro ZL1

The Daily Tribune published an article about the unveiling of the new Chevy Camaro ZL1, Chevrolet’s new NASCAR Cup race car, quoting alumnus Pat Suhy, manager of Chevrolet’s NASCAR Competition Group and a 1988 mechanical engineering alumnus of Michigan Tech.

New Chevrolet race car ‘exciting’ for team manager Pat Suhy

DETROIT >> Pat Suhy’s latest work project was such a big deal that a seven-time NASCAR champion introduced it to the world.

“It’s been exciting,” Suhy said. “We’ve been working hard on this for a very long time. Keeping it under wraps until we were ready to unveil it has been a challenge.

“We’ve had a large number of people engaged in this, including (aerodynamic) specialists from key Cup teams.”

The Camaro will debut at Daytona in February.

Read more and watch the video at the Daily Tribune, by George Pohly.