Archives—April 2014


ME-EM Graduate Seminar

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, April 24 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Antonio Gauchia from MTU.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Finite Element Modeling of a Real Bus Structure: Effect of Electrified Powertrain’.

Environmental sustainability is driving powertrain design and development towards electrified vehicles. Bus powertrain has evolved from conventional internal combustion engine to hybrid powertrain. However, in terms of lateral vehicle dynamics, this type of vehicle is particularly sensitive to the height of the center of gravity. One of the most severe accidents that involve buses is rollover. Buses are especially prone to rollover due to their high ratio between centre of gravity height and wheel track. Therefore, bus safety must be re-assessed to verify that it still complies with current vehicle standards and regulations, in particular, those related to vehicle lateral dynamics. Bus manufacturers have to overcome these challenges to match standards and provide a reliable, safe and comfortable vehicle. This seminar will present the impact of powertrain design in bus rollover. It will deeply describe how to evaluate this effect from the initial finite element modeling stage of a real bus structure to the final one consisting in the evaluation of powertrain design influence in bus rollover. Two scenarios will be analyzed: a bus structure with conventional internal combustion engine components and a bus structure with hybrid powertrain components. The rollover threshold will be used to evaluate the lateral performance of each powertrain layout.

Dr. Antonio Gauchia finished his studies of General Engineering Degree in 2003 and obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 at the University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M). He teaches Vehicle Dynamics and Components, Transportation Engineering and Technical Drawing. During his 10 year experience at UC3M Mechanical Engineering Department, he has also collaborated in projects with industry and administration. His
research interests are vehicle experimental testing, vehicle dynamic simulation and bus safety rollover. He has been a Visiting Researcher at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) in collaboration with Ford. He is currently a Visiting Researcher at the ME-EM Department at Michigan Tech.


Michigan Tech Graduate Students Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

by Jenn Donovan, director of news and media relations

Three graduate students have received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Gregory Hardy and David Diesenroth in mechanical engineering and Christa Meingast in environmental engineering won the competitive fellowships. Benjamin Winter in civil engineering received an honorable mention. Continue reading


ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Mesoscale Perspective of Electrode Physics in Energy Storage

Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Dr. Partha Mukherjee, Texas A&M University; Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103 EERC Bldg.

Title: Mesoscale Perspective of Electrode Physics in Energy Storage

Recent years have witnessed an enormous interest in energy storage (battery) to enable vehicle electrification, renewable energy utilization as well as accommodating an ever-increasing demand in powering myriad portable electronic devices. In particular, a critical imperative is to accelerate innovation toward improved performance, life and safety of lithium-ion batteries, the primary candidate for electric drive vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries are complex, dynamical systems which include a multitude of coupled physicochemical processes encompassing electronic/ionic/diffusive transport
in solid/electrolyte phases, electrochemical and phase change reactions and diffusion induced stress generation in hierarchical, multi-scale porous electrodes. While innovations in nanomaterials and nanoarchitectures have spurred the recent advancements, fundamental understanding of the underlying thermo-mechano-electrochemical interactions is of paramount interest. In this presentation, a
mesoscale perspective of electrode physics for lithium-ion batteries will be elucidated.

Partha P. Mukherjee is currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Before joining TAMU in 2012, he worked for 4 years in the U.S. Department of Energy Labs, as a Staff Scientist (2009-2011) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and as a Director’s research fellow (2008-2009) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to PhD studies, he worked as a Consulting Engineer for 4 years at Fluent India Pvt. Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of Fluent Inc., currently Ansys Inc. His research interests include mesoscale physics and stochastics of transport, materials and manufacturing aspects in energy storage and conversion (batteries and fuel cells).


Deisenroth Receives NSF Fellowship

David Deisenroth, a graduate student pursuing an MS in Mechanical Engineering, has received an National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship to travel to Korea this summer to conduct research.

Deisenroth will conduct an in-depth study on the collision of a falling drop of water and a resting drop of water. He will film the drops at high speeds and observe their characteristics. The results can be used to further the understanding of thermal management systems, aerosols and fuel injection. Continue reading


Rastgaar Receives CAREER Award to Develop Ankle-Foot Prosthetic Robot

Mo Rastgaar has received a National Science Foundation grant of nearly $500,000 to make his new artificial limb design a reality. With the five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, Rastgaar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, will further develop his powered ankle-foot prosthesis: an artificial lower leg with the unique ability to restore amputees’ mobility and agility.

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ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Challenges that Batteries Face during Design and Development

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar, 103 EERC, 4 pm
Lucia Gauchia Babe, Michigan Tech

Title: From the Lab to Your Car: Challenges that Batteries Face during Design and Development

Electric and hybrid vehicles are receiving substantial attention due to their high efficiency, low greenhouse emissions and lower/non dependence on petroleum. Most vehicle manufacturers are already designing and even commercializing electric vehicles. However, extensive research and development is needed in battery technology in order to guarantee it presents a long life, safe operation, competitive power and energy densities whilst being cost effective. One of the most critical aspects is the safe operation and long life characteristics, due to the fact that batteries chemistries degrade during its lifetime This seminar will present the design and development process a battery needs to follow in order to develop a battery from a single cell to the battery pack that will finally be used to power and electric or hybrid vehicle. This path is full of challenges that go from the material selection, testing procedures to assess performance and aging, safety policies, testing standards, environmental issues and cost, among others. During the seminar we will present how these challenges affect the battery development and the success of vehicle electrification.

Dr. Lucia Gauchia received her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in December 2009 from the University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain). She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate during 2012 at McMaster University (Canada), working for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain in the ECE Dept. as well as in the Green Auto Powertrains Program in the ME Dept. Since Fall 2013 she is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Assistant Professor on Energy Storage Systems, with a joint appointment between the ECE and MEEM Depts. Her research interests are focused on the testing, modeling and energy management of energy storage systems in both transport and stationary applications.


Michigan Tech to Partner in American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Michigan Technological University is a partner in the newly formed $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII). The new facility, to be headquartered in the metro-Detroit area, will be part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to help US manufacturers become more competitive and encourage investment in the United States.
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics are leading the Michigan Tech partnership with ALMMII. MSE Chair Stephen Kampe, Associate Professor Paul Sanders, Professor Walter Milligan and Research Professor Steven Mashl will be primary participants from MSE.

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