Archives—March 2015

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Micro/Nanotechnologies for Field Deployable Environmental Sensing & Biomedical Applications

apr02The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, April 2 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Robert Keynton from Chair, Professor & Lutz Endowed Chair, Dept. of Bioengineering (W.H. Coulter Foundation Partner)Engineering Innovations Program Manager, Office of the Assoc. VP Research & Innovation Fellow, American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Micro/Nanotechnologies for Field Deployable Environmental Sensing & Biomedical Applications’.

Micro/nanofabrication techniques have become a crucial tool for creating high resolution and/or high sensitivity devices for a wide variety of applications including biomedical, environmental, and space exploration. For example, inexpensive microfabricated sensors combined with low power instrumentation offer unique advantages for remote, electrochemically-based environmental sensing Our group has been actively engaged in the development of coulometric stripping techniques for calibration-free detection of heavy metals with limits of detection on the order of picomoles. Additionally, our group has developed a direct-write process to fabricate micro/nanoscale polymeric fibers to create microfluidic and tissue scaffold structures. Another area of research includes the development of a custom-designed, flexible, thin-film microelectrode array directly interfaced to a multichannel signal conditioning microchip to enable high-quality recordings of the electrical activities of the heart with high spatial resolution, on the order of individual myocytes, to attain valuable information required for studying the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. These projects and others will be presented in this seminar.

Robert S. Keynton is currently the chair, professor and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Louisville (UofL). He received the B.S. degree in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, in 1987, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Akron, Akron, OH, in 1990 and 1995, respectively. In 1995, he joined the Biomedical Engineering program at Louisiana Tech University (LTU) as an Assistant Professor and became the Associate Director of Engineering for the Center of Applied Physics Studies in 1997 at LTU.

Since joining UofL in 1999 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Keynton has served as the Sr. Associate Director of the UofL Micro/NanoTechnology Center and the interim Scientific Director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. He was named the founding chair of the new Department of Bioengineering in 2005 and promoted to full professor and named a University Scholar in 2006. He co-founded two companies, Assenti, LLC and Ultra Trace Dectection, LLC with colleagues at UofL. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2007, elected to the AIMBE Board of Directors in 2012, recognized by the Houston Society of Engineering in Medicine and Biology as the 2001 Outstanding Young Scientist of the Year, has 101 peer-reviewed publications (both journal and conference), 128 conference papers, 5 book chapters, 6 patents issued, 11 provisional/non-provisional patents and 10 research disclosures. He has been involved in multidisciplinary research that includes funding from NIH, NSF, DHS, DOE, DoD, NASA, VA, Coulter Foundation & Helmsley Trust.

April 2nd Seminar PDF


ME-EM Graduate Seminar: ‘Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Americas Strategic Challenges

mar26The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 26 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Chester Wilson, Associate Professor—Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM), Louisiana Tech University.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Americas Strategic Challenges’.

A variety of significant challenges face the United States and the world in the next few decades. My research group works on micro and nanotechnologies that we hope might provide some help towards meeting these challenges. Our group develops nanoparticle doped radiological scintillators that produce high specificity in neutron detection. This is important as nuclear weapons product neutrons and little else does. We have developed a nanostructured catalyst that is bulk produced to facilitate converting natural gas to synthetic gasoline and diesel. An economic proof of principle five million dollar pilot plant is being constructed in Louisiana. Regular bullets do not support mounted sensors, as they accelerate too fast. Our group has developed rocket bullets, which accelerate at 500G’s, while still reaching traditional velocities. We are also working with nanoparticle doped electrospun polymers and filaments for 3D printing to develop a variety of applications for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Chester Wilson is currently an Associate Professor with the department of Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM) at Louisiana Tech University. He is a faculty affiliate with Physics, Microsystems, and Nanotechnology. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering at Seattle University in 1991, his MS in Applied Physics at the University of Washington-Seattle in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. Dr. Wilson’s research experience is in Micro/Nanosystems, E and M waves/Plasmas, and Optical detection systems. He has an active research program in the areas of Homeland security detection systems, synthetic energy, nuclear monitoring, DoD Anti-tamper, and munitions. He is involved in numerous ongoing research projects with the industrial partners, DoE, Air Force, Army, and DoD. His previous work on plasma based, EM experiment/modeling, optical devices and radiological systems has been published in over 30 journals, such as JMEMS, IEEE Transaction on Electron Devices, and the Journal of Applied Physics. Dr. Wilson has over fifteen patents, fifty invention disclosures, has multiple corporate IP licenses, and has been awarded over 10 million dollars in research grants/contracts.

March 26th Seminar PDF


2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Summary Report

Michigan Tech Sled Handling1aThe Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech hosted the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge— from March 2-7, 2015 and have hosted it for the last 12 years. The mission of this challenge is to design a snowmobile that achieves reduced emissions and noise characteristics while keeping performance equal to or better than the performance of stock snowmobiles. Find out more at the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Summary Report

Continue reading


ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Characterization of Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flows in Micro to Nuclear Reactors

mar19The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 19 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Masahiro Kawaji from City College of New York.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Characterization of Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flows in Micro to Nuclear Reactors’.

Gas-liquid two-phase flow is encountered in many types of reactors ranging from microreactors with microchannels to bioreactors for fuel production and nuclear reactors for power production. Over the past 35 years, the author has worked on two-phase flow characterization using many different measurement techniques. In this talk, typical applications of both popular and unique measurement methods to flow channels varying in size from microchannels to 2-ft diameter piping in nuclear reactors will be discussed. The principle utilized in each measurement technique will be explained as well as the data obtained to highlight their advantages and limitations. Besides the popular high-speed imaging technique, the following measurement techniques will be discussed in this presentation.
For microchannels: Light and X-ray attenuation, high-speed imaging, confocal laser displacement sensor.
For nuclear reactors and bioreactors: Optical void probe, gamma densitometry, electric resistance tomography, borescope, Pitot tube, Hot Wire Anemometry, photochromic dye activation.

Masahiro Kawaji is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY) and Associate Director of the Energy Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY). He moved from the University of Toronto in January, 2009, to conduct energy-related research involving multiphase flow and heat transfer and to develop a nuclear engineering program. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from UC Berkeley and has over thirty years of experience in conducting multiphase flow/heat transfer research and teaching of chemical, mechanical and nuclear engineering courses. He has published over 350 archival papers in the fields of two-phase flow and phase change heat transfer, microfluidics, nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics, heat pipes, microgravity fluid physics and transport phenomena, advanced instrumentation, free surface problems, compact heat exchangers, and thermal energy storage systems with phase change materials. He is a Fellow of ASME, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Chemical Institute of Canada. In 2013, he received the Donald Q. Kern Award for contributions to the field of heat transfer. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the International Journal of Multiphase Flow and Process Mechanical Engineering, and is currently serving on the Editorial Board of the Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science. He has also served on the organizing and scientific committees of numerous international conferences, including the ASME International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels & Minichannels (ICNMM) since its inception in 2003.

March 19th Seminar PDF



ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Artificial Photosynthesis Prototypes

mar5The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 3 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Karl Walczak from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Artificial Photosynthesis Prototypes’.

Sunlight is one of the most abundant potential energy sources available and yet it only contributes about 1% of the global energy supply. Today, there are a variety of technologies being developed to harness solar energy. One such technology is photoelectrical chemical solar fuel generation, generally referred to as artificial photosynthesis (AP). Unlike solar cells, which convert sunlight directly to electrical potential, AP converts sunlight to chemical potential, i.e., by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. This research is focused on establishing methodologies, technologies, and analytical tools for developing and analyzing AP prototypes. We are currently, developing AP prototypes with >10% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficient using III-V compound semiconductor materials and exploring methods to improve their performance at relevant scales. Ongoing research aims to enable large-scale implementation by improving efficiency, increasing lifetime, establishing manufacturing processes and systems, and decreasing life cycle environmental impacts, which will all support reduced prospective costs.

Dr. Karl Walczak is a Project Scientist, in the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. JCAP aims to develop a cost-effective and carbon-neutral artificial solar fuel generation technology. The organization includes engineers and scientists with a range of expertise including: chemists, physicists, theoreticians, and chemical, electrical, mechanical and manufacturing engineers. Dr. Walczak integrates research findings related to catalysts, membranes, light absorber, and component interfaces into functional prototypes to guide further research. His work is involves designing, fabricating, and developing analytical tools to assess these artificial photosynthetic prototypes. His current research effort is focused on the development of high efficiency artificial photosynthesis prototypes: >10% solar to hydrogen energy conversion efficiency and device lifetimes >10 hours. He is interested in the challenges of scale-up and manufacturing, especially with respect to life cycle costs and environmental impacts.
Dr. Walczak received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University, with Prof. Craig Friedrich serving as his advisor. His doctoral research involved designing, fabricating, and validating a sensor platform. The two main components of the sensor platform were bacteriorhodopsin, a light sensitive cellular membrane protein, and a single electron transistor. After graduating, he conducted research to support ultra high speed data transmission in aerospace applications, which involved fabricating polymer optical waveguides, integrating them with printed wiring boards, and developing board-level high-speed optical interconnects.

March 3rd Seminar PDFr