Category Archives: Research

TARDEC Contract for Engines and Transmissions Modules

Jeremy Worm
Jeremy Worm

Jeremy Worm (MEEM/APSRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $23,945 contract from the US Department of Defense, Army, Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Chris Morgan (MEEM) and Darrell Robinette (MEEM) are co-PIs on the project “Delivery of Hands-on Professional Development Modules in Engines & Transmissions.” This is a five-month project.

2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering Goes to Michigan Tech Collaborators

Fernando Ponta
Fernando Ponta

Xiao Sun (CEE, research assistant), Qingli Dai (CEE), Muraleekrishnan Menon (MEEM, research assistant) and Fernando Ponta (MEEM) co-authored “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction.”

The paper received the 2017 Journal of Aerospace Engineering Best Paper Award. An award banquet will take place at the 2018 Earth and Space Conference on April 9-12 in Cleveland.

Chuck Van Karsen Receives the D. J. Demichele Award

Charles Van Karsen at the podium receiving the award.
Charles Van Karsen at the podium receiving the award at the SEM IMAC XXXVI Conference, February 12-15, 2018 at Orlando, FL.

Charles D. Van Karsen is a recipient of the D. J. Demichele Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics. Van Karsen has been a member of the Michigan Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics since August 1987. Prior to this he had a twelve year career as a practicing engineer in the Machine Tool, Automotive, and Software industries. He specializes in Experimental Vibro-Acoustics, NVH, and Structural Dynamics. His research efforts have concentrated on experimental noise and vibration methods related to automotive systems and subsystems, large home appliances, machine tools, and off-highway equipment.

This award, established in 1990 in honor of Dominick J. DeMichele (1916-2000), recognizes an individual who has demonstrated “exemplary service and support of promoting the science and educational aspects of modal analysis technology.” This award is presented annually at the International Modal Analysis Conference.

Read more at the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

Brandon Jackson’s Goopy GIF Ferrofluid

Ferrofluid on screw
Photo Credit: Sarah Bird

Live Science website published an article and image of ferrofluids research by PhD candidate Brandon Jackson (ME-EM).

Goopy GIF: You Can’t Look Away from This Mesmerizing Experiment

As a series of goopy platforms climb down a bolt in a mesmerizing GIF posted on Reddit, it almost looks as if Mario should hop from one to another.

But this isn’t 1990’s video-game graphics, it’s real life. The GIF shows a demonstration of ferrofluid, a suspension of nanosize magnetic particles in oil. The magnetic particles are small and coated in a surfactant, which is a substance like soap that helps to keep the particles evenly distributed throughout the fluid, even when they’re put next to a strong magnet, said Brandon Jackson, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University, who has studied applications for ferrofluids.

Read more at Live Science, by Stephanie Pappas.

NASA Funding to Study Water Production on Mars

Jeffrey S. Allen
Jeffrey S. Allen

Jeffrey Allen (MEEM/MuSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received $200,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Paul Van Susante (MEEM), Ezequiel Medici (MEEM) and Timothy Eisele (ChE) are Co-PIs on the project, “Low Mass, Low Power, Non-Mechanical Excavation of Gypsum and Other Evaporites and Water Production on Mars.”

This is a two and a half year project.

By Sponsored Programs.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.