Category Archives: Research

Odegard Leads Next Gen Materials for Space Vehicles

GregOdegardTech professor Greg Odegard is heading a Space Technology Research Institute, which is being funded by a five-year, $15 million grant from NASA. That group, the Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP), is looking to develop a lighter, stronger structural material made of carbon nanotubes for space travel — first a return to the moon, then a manned mission to Mars.

What NASA’s looking for is materials that are even stronger and lighter than what we have now, so we can do that. —Greg Odegard

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

NASA Taps Tech Professor to Lead $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute

Bill Predebon, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, is thrilled about the NASA institute grant. “This is a major accomplishment by Dr. Odegard and Michigan Tech,” he said. “Greg has the experience and research accomplishments needed to lead such a large multi-university and industry institute, having been a PI on a NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center and an internationally recognized leader in composite material modeling.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.


Andrew Barnard to Present at GAMIC Finals

GAMICIf challenged to quiet the loud auxiliary power unit on a large Abrams tank to protect our war fighters, would minute carbon nanotubes immediately come to mind?

Probably not but that is exactly the solution that Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) will present at the finals of the ninth Annual Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC) taking place at the SAE World Congress in the Cobo Center, Detroit on April 4, 2017.

Barnard successfully competed in the semi-final round last week. His technology, coaxial active exhaust noise control system, is based on using a thin film of carbon nanotubes as a thermophone, a loudspeaker that makes sound using surface temperature variation instead of a moving diaphragm. What that means is no moving parts, which results in higher reliability. “Carbon nanotubes make this possible because they can oscillate their surface temperature almost instantaneously to produce canceling sound waves,” he explains.

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

Barnard was encouraged to participate in GAMIC through his involvement in Michigan Tech’s Michigan Translational Research & Commercialization (MTRAC) program for Applied Advanced Materials.

MTRAC is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund to help University faculty fast-track their technology to a commercial stage.

MTRAC Commercialization Program Director John Diebel says “Andrew’s technology seemed like an excellent fit within the scope of transportation technologies GAMIC wanted to showcase and support. There is a lot of potential recognition and follow-on support to be gained by the exposure he can get presenting at the SAE Congress so he was game to compete.”

Diebel noted “Preparation alone for such an event can be very helpful as it forces an inventor to think a little deeper about the customer perspective on the technology and how to communicate the benefits. These competitions better prepare our faculty for success in obtaining development funding.”

GAMIC organizers link each semi-finalist with mentors who help them prepare for the competition. These mentors have wide contacts in the automotive industry who can provide general networking support besides just helping to refine an inventor’s message.

Barnard was coached by Diebel, Steve Tokarz, Michigan Tech mentor-in-residence, Christophe Gaillard, principal engineer at Tier 1 automotive supplier Aisin, and Michael Brooks, a consultant in business development for material based technologies.

Besides a cash award and in-kind business development services, winners of the final competition in four categories will present to automotive manufacturers and suppliers at the SAE TechHub on April 6, in Detroit.

Barnard, an assistant professor, came to Michigan Tech from Penn State University in 2014 where he was a research associate in the Applied Research Laboratory. Barnard earned a bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech and a PhD in Acoustics from Penn State. He is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and a board-certified member and Director of the Institute for Noise Control Engineering USA (INCE-USA). His research areas include Advanced Measurements and Signal Processing, Carbon Nanotube Thermophones, Acoustic Intensity and Vector Sensors, Room Acoustics, Acoustic Material Characterization, Outdoor Sound Propagation, Underwater Acoustics, and more.

More information on GAMIC can be found online.

Product Prototype
Product Prototype

First generation prototype of the carbon nanotube coaxial active exhaust noise control loudspeaker. The exhaust gas flows through the pipe, as usual, and the CNT fibers (black cylinder) wrap around the pipe and generate destructive acoustic interference to cancel noise from the engine.

Tank
Tank

Andrew Barnard’s Exhaust System Competing in Semifinals

GAMIC

Andrew Barnard’s (ME-EM) CNT active exhaust system was chosen to compete in the semifinals of the Global Automotive and Mobility Innovation Competition (GAMIC) Feb. 23, 2017, in Detroit. Graduate student Suraj Prabhu is also working on the project.

Presented by SAE International and the MI Innovation Alliance, GAMIC provides early‐stage start‐ups with an opportunity for competition‐prep coaching and targeted exposure to decision‐makers.


Funding for Brad King

L. Brad King
L. Brad King

L. Brad King (ME-EM) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $19,372 research and development contract with the Utah State University Research Foundation.

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.





Nina Mahmoudian is an Outstanding Young Engineer

Nina Mahmoudian
Nina Mahmoudian

Eighty-three of the nation’s brightest young engineers have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 22nd annual US Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposiumNina Mahmoudian (ME-EM) is one of them.

She will join other engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines; Mahmoudian focuses on robotics with a specialty in marine robotics. The participants, from industry, academia and government, were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.

Read more at Tech Today, by Allison Mills.


Wave Energy Converter Funding for Abdelkhalik Group

Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM/AIM), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $25,000 research and development contract from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Mark Vaughn (ME-EM) is co-PI on the project, “Making small Wave Energy Converters Cost-Effective for Underwater Microgrids Through a 10-Fold Improvement in Year-Round Productivity.”

From Tech Today, by Sponsored Programs.