Archives—March 2013

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar 28

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 28 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Title: “Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Energy Storage and Conversion Based on High-Voltage Electrophoretic Deposition”
Sunand Santhanagopalan, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department, Michigan Technological University

Sunand Santhangopalan is currently a doctoral candidate at the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics of Michigan Tech. After he joined Michigan Tech in January 2008, Mr. Sunand became part of the Multi-Scale Energy Systems Laboratory (MuSES Lab), advised by Dr. Dennis Meng, to work on various
research projects related to scalable micro- and nanotechnology for energy and sustainability. The research and education activities of MuSES Lab have been funded by NSF, ACS and US DoE. The work undertaken during his doctoral studies have resulted in papers published in journals like ACS Nano, Langmuir, and Key Engineering Materials.

Title: Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Energy Storage and Conversion Based on High-Voltage Electrophoretic Deposition

Abstract: Nanomaterials can significantly enhance many types of energy storage and conversion devices by providing huge surface reaction area, short diffusion paths, as well as excellent mechanical, electrical and electrochemical properties. However, it has been realized that the exciting performance of nanomaterials demonstrated in lab-scale experiments can lose its edge if the morphology cannot be well controlled and economically scaled up for macroscopic systems.
Accordingly, scalable and sustainable nanomanufacturing has been identified as a critical national research need by NSF, DOE, NIST and other federal agencies. In this talk, a roomtemperature, scalable process will be introduced to deposit vertically-aligned nanoforests of 1D nanoparticles (e.g., carbon nanotubes and MnO2 nanorods) on large, flexible conductive surfaces in a continuous roll-to-roll-printing manner. The deposition process, named high-voltage electrophoretic deposition (HVEPD), has been enabled by three key elements: polarization by
high voltage for alignment, low dispersion concentration of the nanoparticles to avoid aggregation, and simultaneous formation of a holding layer by electrodeposition. A recentlyreported supercapacitor with HVEPD nanoforests not only achieved the record-high power density among MnO2-based systems, but also broke a common perception that reductionoxidation (redox) capacitors have to sacrifice power density to achieve higher energy density than electric double layer capacitors. The talk will also go into good practices and details of supercapacitor testing. The process also shows the capability to tune surface wettability, to
obtain superhydrophobic surfaces without any polymer coating and stable superhydrophilic surfaces. The deposition of superhydrophilic antifouling coatings on Microelectrode Arrays for neuron growth will be introduced. The talk will be concluded with future research directions on scalable nanomanufacturing of fractal nanoparticles and 3D batteries, as well as discuss the future direction for supercapacitor research.



MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar 21

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 21 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.
Topic: “Alternative fuels for transportation – drivers, options and trends”
Dr. Thomas Wallner, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

Thomas Wallner is a research engineer and Principal Investigator at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research. In this role Thomas plans, performs and analyzes work for research projects on engine and combustion research topics with various fuels including hydrogen and natural gas, gasoline and alcohol fuels as well as diesel fuel in the “Engines and Emissions Research Group” and on vehicle-related applications with the “Vehicle Systems Group”.

Dr. Wallner has received numerous awards including the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award for outstanding contributions toward the work of the SAE Engineering Meetings Board in 2012, the Presentation Award for Young Researchers and Engineers from the 2011 Japan Society of Automotive Engineers/Society of Automotive Engineers (JSAE/SAE), an Environmental Achievement Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for extraordinary efforts in support of greenhouse gas emissions testing
on behalf of the entire recreational boating industry in 2011 as well as the SAE Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award in 2011.

Dr. Wallner has published more than 50 peer-reviewed technical papers and holds a European Patent on Hydrogen Injection Strategies. He is also an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and has been acting as a session organizer and chair at several national and international conferences. He recently finished a term as the Chair of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) Advanced Power Source Committee and currently serves as an Associate Editor for SAE’s International Journal of Engines.

Topic: “Alternative fuels for transportation – drivers, options and trends”

Despite the fact that the idea of using alternative fuels for transportation applications is as old as the internal combustion engine itself, 95% of vehicles worldwide are powered with conventional fuels. In light of concerns over limited fossil resources as well as regulated and greenhouse gas emissions several alternative fuels have been promoted over the last decades with ethanol and electricity currently being the most dominant options. However, most (all) alternative fuels share similar shortcomings in terms of infrastructure, storage and vehicle range. This seminar discusses drivers for alternative fuels research, highlights past and predicted trends for non-conventional fuels and outlines some of the main challenges for various alternatives.



Jaipur Foot Design Teams In India for Spring Break

During the Spring Break 2012, Dr. Nina Mahmoudian and Dr. Mo Rastgaar and two Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Teams are in Jaipur, India. Below is a group picture of them in City Royal Palace. They are going to visit hospital and see Dr. Jain also on the trip.

The Jaipur foot was developed to provide amputees with a simple, practical, and low cost prosthetic, that is compatible with an active and culturally-appropriate lifestyle. During the 2011-2012 school year, a design team made improvements to the Jaipur foot to reduce weight and standardize the manufacturing process and materials used. A major problem now is incompatibility of materials with the rubber vulcanization process used in manufacturing. This must be optimized while maintaining the affordability and functionality of the foot. Team 7, consisting of Reid Barber, Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, Miriam Paquet, and Kevin Peterson, is traveling to India to meet Dr. Anil Jain of the Dr. P.K. Sethi Rehabilitation and Jaipur Limb Training Center. The main goal of the trip is to gain a better understanding of the process used in India to fabricate the Jaipur foot and to communicate the current status of the project to Dr. Jain. Also, several prototypes will be delivered, with the hope of seeing them demonstrated by amputee patients. The team will return to Michigan Tech at the end of Spring Break and will incorporate feedback to finish improving the design.
The Jaipur foot was developed to provide amputees with a simple, practical, and low cost prosthetic, that is compatible with an active and culturally-appropriate lifestyle. During the 2011-2012 school year, a design team made improvements to the Jaipur foot to reduce weight and standardize the manufacturing process and materials used. A major problem now is incompatibility of materials with the rubber vulcanization process used in manufacturing. This must be optimized while maintaining the affordability and functionality of the foot. Team 7, consisting of Reid Barber, Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, Miriam Paquet, and Kevin Peterson, is traveling to India to meet Dr. Anil Jain of the Dr. P.K. Sethi Rehabilitation and Jaipur Limb Training Center. The main goal of the trip is to gain a better understanding of the process used in India to fabricate the Jaipur foot and to communicate the current status of the project to Dr. Jain. Also, several prototypes will be delivered, with the hope of seeing them demonstrated by amputee patients. The team will return to Michigan Tech at the end of Spring Break and will incorporate feedback to finish improving the design.
Ruth Fisher, James Hartel, Bobby Pizzey, David Weyland are members of Senior Capstone Design Team 8. This team is redesigning and evaluating a cost optimized prosthetic knee joint created by a previous senior design team. The joint must be manufactured in India with local materials and be affordable for the hospital and patients. Current solutions to knee replacement are expensive or ineffective. The team has worked to develop a design that is lightweight, low-cost, and easy to use. The design incorporates a 3-bar linkage system between the upper and lower frames of the device as well as an adjustable damping pad to provide a variable resistance of the swing of the knee which can be tailored to each patient.
Ruth Fisher, James Hartel, Bobby Pizzey, David Weyland are members of Senior Capstone Design Team 8. This team is redesigning and evaluating a cost optimized prosthetic knee joint created by a previous senior design team. The joint must be manufactured in India with local materials and be affordable for the hospital and patients. Current solutions to knee replacement are expensive or ineffective. The team has worked to develop a design that is lightweight, low-cost, and easy to use. The design incorporates a 3-bar linkage system between the upper and lower frames of the device as well as an adjustable damping pad to provide a variable resistance of the swing of the knee which can be tailored to each patient.
On Saturday March 16th, Team 8 and advisors visited Prosthetic & Orthotic Rehabilitation Clinic (PORC) and presented their work and their prototype and received technical feedback. Team 8 will apply the necessary improvements in the prototype and send it back to India for clinical trial on patients.
On Saturday March 16th, Team 8 and advisors visited Prosthetic & Orthotic Rehabilitation Clinic (PORC) and presented their work and their prototype and received technical feedback. Team 8 will apply the necessary improvements in the prototype and send it back to India for clinical trial on patients.
 The group toured the Amber Fort before leaving Jaipur on Tuesday March 12th to Agra.
The group toured the Amber Fort before leaving Jaipur on Tuesday March 12th to Agra.
Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra was the highlight of the day 4 of India trip on Wednesday March 13th.
Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra was the highlight of the day 4 of India trip on Wednesday March 13th.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech's senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit...h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech’s senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit…h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech's senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit...h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech’s senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit…h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Friday March 15th, the group visited Delhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center and toured the facilities. Both teams 7 and 8 were participated in a workshop to familiarize with fabricating the knee orthoses for polio patients. De...lhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center provided Michigan Tech teams with sample orthoses that they use for low income patients and requested us to suggest improvements that lead to improved durability and lower costs of the items.
On Friday March 15th, the group visited Delhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center and toured the facilities. Both teams 7 and 8 were participated in a workshop to familiarize with fabricating the knee orthoses for polio patients. De…lhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center provided Michigan Tech teams with sample orthoses that they use for low income patients and requested us to suggest improvements that lead to improved durability and lower costs of the items.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar. 7

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 7 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering here at Michigan Technological University. His presentation is entitled ‘The Rise of Open-Source 3-D Printing (Or How We Can Make Everyone a Mechanical Engineer)’.

Dr. Joshua M. Pearce received his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He then developed the first Sustainability program in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education as an assistant professor of Physics at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and helped develop the Applied Sustainability graduate program while at Queen’s University, Canada. He currently is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University where he runs the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group. His research concentrates on the use of open source appropriate technology to find collaborative solutions to problems in sustainability and poverty reduction. His research spans areas of electronic device physics and materials engineering of solar photovoltaic cells, and 3-D printing, but also includes applied sustainability and energy policy.

Abstract: “The Rise of Open-Source 3-D Printing (Or How We Can Make Everyone a Mechanical Engineer)”

The benefits of this economy of scale have driven a historical trend towards large-scale manufacturing in low-labor cost countries (e.g. China), especially for the now ubiquitous inexpensive plastic products. However, advances in rapid prototyping with 3-D printing have challenged this cost savings paradigm. With the recent development of low-cost, open-source and self-replicating 3-D printers there is now a technically viable form of distributed manufacturing of many plastic products. The costs of the products are 10-100X less than commercial products and can be ultra-customized. In addition, using distributed open-source 3-D printing for manufacturing eliminates non-productive intellectual monopoly rents and associated encumbering overheads, almost all subtractive waste, allows for lower fill products, and cuts most embodied energy transportation, distribution and packaging-related pollution. This indicates that 3-D printing will not simply be a fad, but a fundamentally new way of providing goods to the world’s population via a transition to local (e.g. U.S. or even U.P.) manufacturing. These properties are already attractive for a large percentage of the population and in the last few years the number of 3-D printer operators has grown rapidly, essentially democratizing mechanical engineering. However, this ‘maker’ movement is primarily made up of amateur DIY engineers and thus there exists an enormous opportunity for traditional engineers to help accelerate the technical progress. This seminar will summarize the state-of-the-art of open-source 3-D printers, the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Research Group’s work on distributed manufacturing, and conclude with an invitation to participate in what the Economist calls the “next industrial revolution”.

March 07, 2013 Seminar PDF


High-Tech Classrooms Usher in a New Era of Teaching

Gordon Parker hoped the new classroom would improve the learning experience for one of his graduate classes. He didn’t expect to cover nearly a third more material.

“It’s crazy,” says the John and Cathi Drake Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. “I’ve never been able to get that far with this class. And it’s not like I just opened up the hose and talked faster.” Continue reading