Archives—April 2013


Order of the Engineer, Senior Awards Banquet and Capstone Design Day

The ME-EM Order of the Engineer, Senior Awards Banquet and Capstone Design Day was April 23, 2013.

The keynote speaker for the banquet was Colleen L. Jones-Cervantes.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1983. After graduation, Colleen joined Chevron Corporation as a Project Engineer. She has been challenged for twenty-eight years by progressing through a variety of assignments in Chevron’s Marketing business, product supply operations, asset management, lubricants and retail functions. Her varied assignments have required eleven relocations, including two international assignments. Continue reading


MEEM Graduate Seminar: Seeing the World with Neutron Vision

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 25 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.

Dr. Daniel S. Hussey from the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be the ME-EM guest speaker for Thurs., April 25 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. His presentation is entitled ‘Seeing the World with Neutron Vision’.

Dr. Daniel S. Hussey is a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where his primary research is on neutron optics including neutron imaging of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Dr. Hussey started at NIST as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in 2004. Dr. Hussey earned a PhD in physics from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN in 2003 where he used dense samples of polarized 3He in polarized neutron reflectometry studies of magnetic thin films. Dr. Hussey earned his bachelor of science in physics from the University of New Hampshire in 1999. Dr. Hussey has authored or coauthored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers in 2010.

Abstract: “Seeing the World with Neutron Vision”

Neutrons primarily interact with matter via the strong nuclear force (as opposed to the electron density) and so provide a complementary view of world to more conventional probes of matter.

In particular, neutrons have a very high sensitive to hydrogen while being very insensitive to common metals such as aluminum. This has enabled neutron imaging to play a key role in understanding the water transport in hydrogen fuel cells. Neutrons can also be treated as waves and it is possible to construct a neutron Talbot-Lau interferometer to obtain phase and darkfield images which can increase the contrast for small variations in material density or porosity. An ongoing challenge in any neutron scattering or imaging measurement is the inherently low neutron intensity as compared to what is possible at modern x-ray synchrotrons. This is partly due to the difficulty in focusing neutrons as the refractive index differs from one by only 1-10 ppm. A new reflection base lens technology shows great promise to create the world’s first practical neutron microscope. In this talk, I’ll discuss how neutron imaging has benefited fuel cells and how it might be useful for lithium batteries, give an overview of the Talbot-Lau interferometer, and introduce the idea of the neutron microscope.


MEEM Graduate Seminar: Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 18 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Professor Steven W. Shaw, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University
Title: “Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy”

Steve Shaw is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He received an AB in Physics (1978) and an MSE in Applied Mechanics (1979) from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1983) from Cornell University. His current research interests are in dynamical systems and mechanical vibrations, including mirco/nano-scale resonators with sensing and signal processing applications, and nonlinear vibration absorbers with automotive applications. He has held visiting appointments at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, Caltech, the University of Minnesota, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and McGill University. Steve currently serves as an Associate Editor for the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and the ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics. His work has been supported without interruption by the US NSF since 1984, and by the US Department of Defense and industrial sources. He is a Fellow of ASME and recipient of several honors, including the SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award, the Henry Ford Customer Satisfaction Award, the ASME Henry Hess Award, and he will receive the ASME N. O. Myklestad Award in 2013.

Topic: Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy

Abstract:
A number of approaches used for improving automotive fuel economy result in increased levels of powertrain torsional vibration; these include cylinder deactivation, low-speed boosting, and low-speed torque converter lockup. One can maximize the effectiveness of such strategies by managing torsional vibrations, which allows access to more efficient operating conditions.

Several manufacturers are considering the use of centrifugal pendulum vibration absorbers, which are widely used in light aircraft engines, for this purpose. These absorbers attenuate torsional vibrations at a given engine order, and they are most effective when lightly damped and allowed to operate at large amplitudes of oscillation. Hence, their design requires an understanding of the dynamic response of a multi-degree-of-freedom nonlinear system driven near resonance. Some nonlinear effects can be designed into the absorbers to provide enhanced performance, while others are detrimental to their function. In this work we consider the dynamics and performance of rotors fitted with multiple absorbers, a nonlinear dynamical system with special symmetries that are central to its behavior. We show how one can systematically account for these effects to develop analytical and computational tools for the design of absorber systems that are effective over a wide range of engine torques and speeds. The presentation will describe modeling, predictive analysis, controlled experiments,
automotive engine testing, and outstanding challenges related to these vibration absorbers.

This line of research has been carried out jointly with Professors Brian Feeny and Alan Haddow and several graduate students at MSU, Dr. Bruce Geist at Chrysler Group LLC, and Jeff Chottiner, John Brevick, and Victor Borowski at Ford Motor Company. Financial support has been provided by NSF, Chrysler, and Ford.


MEEM Graduate Seminar: Apr 11

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 11 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.
Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Energy Mechatronics Laboratory at Michigan Technological University, will be the graduate seminar speaker for Thursday, April 11 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. The presentation is entitled ‘Low Temperature Combustion Engines: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions’.

Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University, where he conducts research in the area of controls and energy. He is currently the director of Energy Mechatronics Laboratory (EML) at MTU. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan Tech, Shahbakhti was a post-doctoral scholar at the Vehicle Dynamics & Control Laboratory in the University of California-Berkeley (2010-2012). He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alberta in Canada in 2009. He worked several years on control of dynamic systems in the automotive (2001-2004), robotic (2000-2001), and HVAC (1998-2000) industries. An ASME and SAE member, Shahbakhti has been doing research in the area of powertrains and controls for the past 13 years. His research has centered on developing dynamical models and novel control techniques with application in powertrain control, utilization of alternative/renewable fuels, reduction of vehicular emissions, and hybrid electric vehicles. He is the author of over 50 refereed publications in the field of powertrain, dynamic systems and controls. Dr. Shahbakhti is an active member of ASME Dynamic Systems & Control Division, serving as the trust area leader and executive member of the Energy Systems technical committee and as a member of the Automotive and Transportation Systems technical committee, chairing and co-organizing sessions in the areas of modeling, fault diagnosis, and control of advanced fuel and combustion systems.

Title: “Low Temperature Combustion Engines: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions”

Abstract: In the past decade, Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) engines have captured a lot of attention as a promising future engine technology since they have negligible nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot emissions with a thermal efficiency over 50%. Fuel saving gains up to 30% compared to conventional engines has made LTC engines very attractive for car manufacturers. Some of major car manufacturers (e.g. GM, VW, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda) have already built functioning prototype HCCI engines but stability and control of the LTC combustion process continues to be the major barriers to commercial implementation. Different versions of LTC engines have been investigated in the past several years. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines are well recognized LTC engines. This talk centers on HCCI engines and presents some recent advanced research results in this area. Control of HCCI ignition timing, particularly for a wide load and speed range, is recognized as the most challenging problem in HCCI engines. Sensitivity to charge initial conditions and the lack of a direct method to initiate ignition make it difficult to control cyclic variations of HCCI ignition timing. Boundaries of high cyclic variations limit HCCI high and low load operation ranges. Model-based control of HCCI engines is a promising solution to tackle HCCI challenges and will be discussed in this presentation.


ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Apr 4

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 4 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Greg Shaver, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, will be the ME-EM graduate seminar speaker for Thursday, April 4 at 4:00 in 112MEEM. His presentation is entitled ‘Model-Based Engine Algorithm Development for Control and Virtual Sensing’.

Greg Shaver is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He is also a graduate of Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, having obtained a Bachelor’s degree with highest distinction, and holds a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Mechanical
Engineering from Stanford University. His research interests and background include the modeling and control of advanced combustion processes. Greg is an active member of ASME, participating in the Dynamic Systems and Controls Division and the Automotive and
Transportation Systems Panel. He is an associate editor for the IFAC Control Engineering Practice and ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control journals, and is an awardee of the Kalman award for the best paper published in the Journal of Dynamic Systems,
Measurement, and Control, and is a recent awardee of the 2011 SAE Max Bentele Award for Engine Technology Innovation.

“Model-Based Engine Algorithm Development for Control and Virtual Sensing”

Abstract: Greg is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University who has developed a research program focused on developing generalizable, experimentally validated, model-based estimation and control strategies to enable: i.) advanced high efficiency, low emission IC engine combustion strategies, and ii.) clean and efficient combustion of domestically available alternative fuels. Dr. Shaver’s ongoing research efforts include: Physics-based, closed-loop estimation and control of variable biodiesel/diesel blends Dr. Shaver’s students have demonstrated that closed-loop control can be used to eliminate the 30+% increase in biodiesel-induced NOx, and increasing efficiency, while retaining significant particulate matter (PM) reductions (> 50%) with variable biodiesel blend fractions. Specifically, through a combination of: i.) a change of closed-loop control variables (combustible oxygen mass fraction (COMF) instead of exhaust gas recirculation fraction, and injected
fuel energy instead of injected fuel mass), and ii.) model-based biodiesel blend estimation; the NOx increases for any biodiesel blend or feedstock can be eliminated in a generalizable way, without the need for additional engine calibration. This strategy was derived from a fundamental understanding of the impact on combustion of the presence
of oxygen in, and lower energy content of, biodiesel derived from any feedstock. Modeling and estimation of next generation, piezo-electric fuel injection systems The dynamic response capabilities of piezo-electric actuators are superior to solenoids, allowing: 1) a 65% reduction
injector flow rate response during convention injection events, and 2) realization of complex injection “rate shaping” – to enable promotion and control of advanced combustion strategies. Dr. Shaver’s research team has developed generalizable model-based strategies for estimating the fuel injection rate, an un-measurable quantity on-engine, for use
during closed-loop control on both a cycle-to-cycle, and “within-a-cycle” basis. Estimated injection quantities exhibit errors less than 5%, while estimated injection pulse duration and separation are within 10×10-6 seconds. Variable Valve actuation to enable highly efficient compression ignition engines Advanced mode combustion and more efficient gas exchange, enabled via variable valve actuation (VVA) and closedloop
control, are projected to allow an increase in the brake thermal efficiency (BTE) of compression ignition engines to 55+% (today’s most efficient engines have BTEs of ~40%). VVA breaks the kinematic link between the piston and the intake and exhaust valves, providing flexibility in the valve closure/opening timing and lift – allowing more precise manipulation of the in-cylinder reactant (fuel, oxygen) concentrations, temperature, mixing, and amount of compression, both prior to, and during the combustion process. Dr. Shaver’s students have dynamically modeled, and developed closed-loop estimation (i.e., “virtual sensing”) and control strategies for, compression ignition engines incorporating VVA. As in all of his team’s research efforts, there is a heavy emphasis on the experimental validation/demonstration of all models and algorithms.