Category Archives: News

Engineering Ambassadors Plan Dozens of Local Area Visits for Fall 2017

Engineering Ambassadors KidsThe Michigan Tech Engineering Ambassadors (EA) Program is planning 24 visits to local area schools this semester. The program is designed to change the conversation about engineering, starting with creating excitement for engineering disciplines through outreach activities designed for grades 4-9.

Outreach topics for October and November vary from buoyancy and energy in bouncy balls to structures and chemistry in engineering.

Right now there are 21 ambassadors in EA at Michigan Tech, including 10 veteran ambassadors. The program is open to all of Michigan Tech’s engineering majors, who can join at the start of fall or spring semester. The outreach experience is considered to be professional development for University students, allowing practice with brief presentations and hands on activities with kids.

EA is part of a larger network of universities united under one goal: changing the way people talk about engineering.

Learn more about Engineering Ambassadors at Michigan Tech! Contact the program director Jaclyn Johnson if you are interested in participating.

Engineering Ambassadors Presentation


Carbon Nanotube Project Funding for Andrew Barnard

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

Andrew Barnard (MEEM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled “I-Corps: Carbon Nanotube Coaxial Noise Control.” This is a six-month project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to make quiet products and systems that have pipe and duct sound transmission. Systems like automobile exhausts and intakes, building heating and ventilation systems, and fluid flow piping all transmit sound from power generating equipment to human receivers. In order to reduce the amount of noise to which people are exposed, passive and active noise control systems are incorporated in pipe and duct systems. These systems are currently large, heavy and inefficient. The application of a compact and lightweight coaxial active noise control system has potential implications on many industries where size of noise control elements constrain design. More importantly, the reduction of noise in the environment has potential health and wellness benefits for all members of society through environmental stress reduction. Reducing noise emitted from mechanical pipe and duct systems is an important step in reducing overall environmental noise exposure.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Challenges at the Frontiers of Mobility Seminar

K. Venkatesh Prasad
K. Venkatesh Prasad

Join us in welcoming Venkatesh Prasad of Ford, who will present on challenges faced at the frontier of mobility and opportunities for education, research, collaboration and career pathways.

The seminar is being held from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017, in MUB Ballroom A2.

The title of the presentation is Challenges at the Frontiers of Mobility and Opportunities for Education, Research, Collaboration and Career Pathways.

OpenXC Platform Tutorial Presentation

Join Venkatesh Prasad and Eric Marsman from Ford for a tutorial presentation on the OpenXC Platform from 10 a.m. to noon Monday (Oct. 2) in EERC 501. Bring a laptop.

Ford Motor Company will give a two-hour workshop on the OpenXC capabilities and a tutorial on building an Android application. It will include information on GitHub, Android, iOS, Python and vehicle CAN bus basics. Come see how you can use vehicle data in your class or research projects in order to contribute to the next wave of vehicle technologies.

 


Collaborative NSF Funding for Hassan Masoud

Hassan Masoud
Hassan Masoud

Hassan Masoud (ME-EM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $175,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is “Collaborative Research: Individual and Collective Dynamics of Marangoni Surface Tension Effects Between Particles.” This is a three-year project.

Abstract

The principal goal of this research is to investigate the motion of active particles at fluidic interfaces due to a gradient of surface tension stemming from the discharge of a surface-active agent, a surface reaction, or from the release of heat by the particle. Powered by converting chemical energy into mechanical work, these self-propelled “Marangoni” particles, both at the individual level and as a collection, can bring to bear functionalities that resemble those of biological organisms. The findings of this study will determine the guiding principles for designing miniature self-propelled particles, which can lead to transformative innovations in robotics, microfluidics, and biomedical engineering. These tiny surfing robots can potentially execute missions that are currently very difficult or even impossible to accomplish.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.



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.


Paul van Susante on Space Mining for Rocket Fuel

Paul van Susante
Paul van Susante

Sending humans to Mars involves deep space missions that could last months, but shipping material there is costly; the price of transporting 1kg on Earth increases by a factor of 100 on a Martian mission. If the ultimate goal is to establish a long-term base on Mars, we’ll need make use of materials found on humanity’s greatest ever voyage.

Nasa has a target to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. Since 2012, the space agency has dedicated a branch of its research to what it calls In Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU), with researchers working to find the best ways to produce one of the most crucial resources for space travel – rocket fuel.

Paul van Susante, senior lecturer in engineering at Michigan Tech University, has studied how to mine these resources on our neighbouring planet.

Space mining, on any target or destination such as asteroids, moon or Mars, provides leverage.Paul van Susante

Read more at Wired (UK), by Abigail Beall.