Category Archives: News

Bill Predebon Elected to ASME Office

image57877-persBill Predebon, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has been elected vice president for education of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The election took place on Nov. 14 at the ASME World Congress in Montreal.

Predebon joined the Michigan Tech faculty in 1976, after serving as a mechanical engineer at the US Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He has won Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the W. R. Shapton Outstanding Service Award and the first annual Martin Luther King Award.

He designed and implemented a major curriculum revision for mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, including the signature Senior Design program.

Seven students represent Michigan Tech at Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar

IMG_3704640Seven Michigan Tech students attended the Kiewitt Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar held in Omaha, Nebraska at the Kiewitt Corporate Headquarters November 6-8, 2014. Candidates were chosen from a pool of sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated leadership skills, a drive for success, and a passion for the construction and/or engineering professions. Kiewitt selected 50 collegiate female leaders to participate in the event designed to challenge and develop their leadership skills. Attending were civil engineering majors Emily Blaney, Lauren Krueger, Natalie Parker, Autumn Storteboom, and Rachelle Wiegand, along with mechanical engineering majors Erika Harris and Erin Richie.

“We are so proud of our students, especially with such a strong representation at this nationally recognized event,” said Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Tess Ahlborn. “As for the students, exposure to such a supportive environment of leadership at a corporate level can be a huge turning point for many young professionals in this stage of their career. These women are headed to very high places.”

“It was a wonderful learning experience,” said Blaney. I absolutely enjoyed the subject matter, the events that we took part in, and the opportunity to make connections with other women in my field.” Blaney felt especially inspired by the professionals she met during the event. “Their knowledge and drive was astounding, and really fueled my love for civil engineering,” she added.

Seven engineering students from Michigan Tech's CEE and ME departments attended the Kiewett Women's Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Nebraska. Left to right - Erika Harris, Natalie Parker, Rachelle Wiegand, Lauren Krueger, Emily Blaney, Erin Richie, and Autumn Storteboom.

Seven engineering students from Michigan Tech’s CEE and ME departments attended the Kiewett Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Nebraska. Left to right – Erika Harris, Natalie Parker, Rachelle Wiegand, Lauren Krueger, Emily Blaney, Erin Richie, and Autumn Storteboom.

ME-EM Research News

Professor Gregory Odegard (MEEM/MuSTI) has received $40,000 from the Colorado Seminary (owns and operates the University of Denver) for a one-year research project titled “Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures.”

Microgrid Knowledge, a website about electrical microgrids, published an article about Assistant Professor Nina Mahmoudian’s (MEEM) development of robots that can set up microgrids to restore power in areas hit by natural or man-made disasters.

Assistant Professor Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM) has received $50,000 from Sandia National Laboratories for a research and development project, “Advanced Control of Wave Energy Converters.”

Technology Century, an online and print publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured editor Matt Roush’s interviews with faculty and graduate students from the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, the first stop on his annual Tech Tour of university campuses in Michigan.

GCN, a website that provides tech news to public-sector IT managers, ran an article about Assistant Professor Nina Mahmoudian’s (MEEM) work to develop teams of robots that can be sent unattended into damaged facilities to detect the power requirements and either reconnect or deliver power from batteries carried on the robots.

L. Brad King (MEEM) has received $456,539 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a research and development project titled “Characterization Test-bed for Nanostructured Propellants.”

Gordon Parker, the John and Cathi Drake Chair Professor in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Parker is being honored as a recognized international leader in control system design research in a variety of mobility-related applications, from diesel engine exhaust aftertreatment to satellite formation flying. He will be honored during the SAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition in Detroit the week of April 6, 2015.

William Endres (MEEM) has received $47,041 for the first year of a potential five-year project totaling $246,451 from the Air Force Research Lab. His research and development project is titled “Fuze Testing Capability Development.”

Tolou Shokuhfar (ME-EM/MuSTI) received $29,600 from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for a research and development project titled “In Situ Liquid Microscopy of Biological Materials.”

Science360 News, a science news site published by the National Science Foundation, featured in its Oct. 7 issue the research of Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, Richard and Elizabeth Henes Associate Professor in Nanotechnology (MEEM). Shahbazian-Yassar is studying ways to exploit the defects in new materials to make improved batteries.

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that the following Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics students have earned the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship: Ryan Lemmens, PhD candidate, Seyedmehdi Morazavi Zanjani, PhD candidate, Ranjeeth Naik, PhD candidate, Ehsan Taheri, PhD candidate, Anqi Zhang, PhD candidate. More information

Several examples of the diverse research at Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department were shown at the R.L. Smith Building on Tuesday, Sept. 30. MEEM faculty and graduate students presented posters describing on-going and future research activities.

L. Brad King (MEEM) has received $383,315 of $745,578 from the US Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research for the first year of a two-year research and development project, “Electrospray from Magneto-Electrostatic Instabilities.”

Nina Mahmoudian, Michelle Miller and Mohammad Rastgaar (MEEM) have received $118,454 from the National Science Foundation for the first year of a three-year research project titled “NRI: Co-Robots to Engage Next Generation of Students in STEM Learning.”

Reza Shahbazian-Yassar (MEEM) has received $209,436 from the National Science Foundation for the first year of a potential three-year project titled “Fundamental Understanding on the Role of Structural Defects on Lithiation of Nanoscale Transition Metal Oxides.”

Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM) has received $212,864 from the National Science Foundation for a three-year research and development project titled “CPS: Breakthrough: Toward Revolutionary Algorithms for Cyber-Physical Systems Architecture Optimization.”

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Michigan Tech students join in international PACE contest

PAMDMichigan Tech students participated with other university students in an multi-year international competition to design a Portable Assisted Mobility Device (PAMD) through the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) program. There were 7 international teams and 45 universities from around the world involved, showing the “collaborative engineering” purpose of the PACE program. At the 2014 PACE Global Annual Forum in Turin (Italy) the projects were evaluated by an international team of judges including GM/Opel, Siemens, PLM Software, Autodesk, Oracle, and HP.
The winning PAMD team included RWTH Aachen University, TU Darmstadt (both in Germany), Michigan Technological University, the University of Cincinnati and the ITESM Estado de Mexico.

The team won the following awards in the 2014 PACE Global Annual Forum in Turin (Italy).

•1st place “Proofed for Production”.
•1st place category “Market Research”
•1st place category “Engineering”
•1st place category “Manufacturing”
•3rd place category “Design”
•2nd place category “Road Test”

Michigan Tech participants were Krishna Tej Bhamidipati, Venkata Krishna Teja Nagupalli, Hari Karthik Vedam, and Pruthvi Ravi Raj Bachu. Faculty advisor was Prof. KVC Rao of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department, Michigan Technological University.

More information and photos about the international competition are on the TU Darmstadt article

The Portable Assisted Mobility Device is now to be produced by GoSozo.

See the video clip about the Portable Assisted Mobility Device (PAMD) described by Michigan Tech MEEM student Krishna Tej Bhamidipati as it has now a final product in production.

Michigan Tech participants were Krishna Tej Bhamidipati, Venkata Krishna Teja Nagupalli, Hari Karthik Vedam, and Pruthvi Ravi Raj Bachu. Faculty advisor was Prof. KVC Rao of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department, Michigan Technological University.
Michigan Tech participants were Krishna Tej Bhamidipati, Venkata Krishna Teja Nagupalli, Hari Karthik Vedam, and Pruthvi Ravi Raj Bachu. Faculty advisor was Prof. KVC Rao of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department, Michigan Technological University.
Awards ceremony Photo courtesy of TU Darmstadt includes Michigan Tech  participant Krishna Tej Bhamidipati with the other universities on the team
Awards ceremony Photo courtesy of TU Darmstadt includes Michigan Tech participants with the other universities on the team
Poster
Poster

ME-EM Research Shown

IMG_1686dSeveral examples of the diverse research at Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department were shown at the R.L. Smith Building on Tuesday, Sept. 30. MEEM faculty and graduate students presented posters describing on-going and future research activities.

Some of the examples of projects included nonlinear and autonomous vehicles research, agile ankle-foot prosthesis, an award winning portable assisted mobility device, ultra low sulfur and green diesel fuel comparison, and interdisciplinary research in geology and mechanical engineering on shock waves generated during explosive volcanic eruptions. Continue reading

Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail

Pity the poor lithium ion. Drawn relentlessly by its electrical charge, it surges from anode to cathode and back again, shouldering its way through an elaborate molecular obstacle course. This journey is essential to powering everything from cell phones to cordless power tools. Yet, no one really understands what goes on at the atomic scale as lithium ion batteries are used and recharged, over and over again.
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Better than Perfect: Defects in Materials Could be Key to Better Batteries

Reza2Michigan Technological University researcher Reza Shahbazian-Yassar has discovered that perfection may not be all it’s cracked up to be, at least when it comes to designing materials for the next generation of lithium ion batteries. Shahbazian-Yassar investigates exotic new battery materials, which offer exotic new problems along with exciting possibilities. He hopes to turn one of those problems into an asset, with help from a $446,000 grant from the Division of Materials Research at the National Science Foundation.
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Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APS LABS) Social Event

thumbThe Michigan Tech Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APS LABS) hosted an open house and tours of their new facilities along with the Michigan Tech First Friday Social for October 2014.

Laboratory tours and presentations were given by faculty, staff and graduate student researchers.
The guests saw research, outreach and educational initiatives in mobility, sustainable transportation, and energy. Continue reading

Blackout? Robots to the Rescue

image113559-fshorizBig disasters almost always result in big power failures. Not only do they take down the TV and fridge, they also wreak havoc with key infrastructure like cell towers. That can delay search and rescue operations at a time when minutes count. Now, a team led by Nina Mahmoudian of Michigan Technological University has developed a tabletop model of a robot team that can bring power to places that need it the most.
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Michigan Tech Receives NSF Grant for Transmission Electron Microscope

Michigan Technological University is well on its way to getting a $1.7 million, state-of-the-science transmission electron microscope (TEM), thanks to the National Science Foundation and a team of dedicated researchers led by Reza Shahbazian-Yassar.
“This will bring us to the forefront of electron microscopy,” said Shahbazian-Yassar, the principal investigator on the project. The new TEM will not only give researchers the ability to study atomic structure, it will also identify chemical composition with sensitivity close to a single atom.
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