Archives—August 2017

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.


Nancy Barr Presents at ICCC PCS

Nancy Barr
Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr, director of the MEEM Engineering Communications Program, presented a paper at IEEE’s Professional Communication Society (PCS) annual conference in Madison.

Her paper, titled “Starting from Scratch: Incorporating communication instruction in a revised mechanical engineering curriculum,” described the process used to develop and implement instruction in technical writing and presenting into the four-course mechanical engineering practice sequence.

The IEEE PCS society is dedicated to understanding and promoting effective communication in engineering, scientific and other technical environment.

The conference took place July 23-26, 2017.