Category Archives: Research

Water Drones for Rescuing Swimmers

SENSEThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on a two-day conference on new life-saving technologies for the Great Lakes. One of the demonstrations was by Michigan Tech, where the SENSE Enterprise team and Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) are developing drones to help save people who are drowning. Read the story here.

The story was also picked up by the Detroit Free Press and the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

With Great Lakes drownings spiking, rescuers look to education, technology

Michigan Tech students are working on a drone that can be used as a life raft, cheap and affordable enough that they can be kept at popular swimming beaches or in squad car trunks and used very quickly.

“It’s like a mechanized life ring,” said Andrew Barnard, leader of the SENSE Enterprise Team at Michigan Tech. “If you’ve got someone 100 yards offshore, it takes away the danger of swimming out to them or the time it takes to get a boat. A life ring can only be thrown maybe 25 yards and if it’s windy it’s hard to get the life ring to the person.”

The Michigan Tech water drone prototype, which students dubbed Nautical Emergency Rescue Drone (NERD), uses plastic PVC piping, low-cost remote vehicle propellers and the same controls used for remote-controlled planes and boats.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, by Meg Jones.

2017 Ford College Community Challenge Top 20 – Michigan Technological University (SENSE Enterprise)

Michigan Tech students’ work with Strategic Education through Naval Systems Experiences Enterprise is underway benchmarking existing rescue methods, technologies to define a cost effective system; testing concept stages and initial prototype.

Read more and watch the video at Ford Blue Oval Network.



Heat Treatment Market Trends in Experiments for Future Engineers

Chang Kyoung Choi
Principal Investigator Chang Kyoung Choi

Boston Commons, a science and technology news website, published an article about experiments for future engineers, citing among others Michigan Tech’s economic sustainability study looking at the economic demographic of the area to determine if it will support mines production rates now and in the future. Tech’s study will provide future market trends and comprehensive technology analysis on heat treatment.

The article cited current work by Chang Choi and Jeffrey Allen on “Technical Survey on High Efficient Intensive Cooling Control Technology.”


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.