Category Archives: Seminars

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Multi-Scale Modelling Tools for Fuel Cell Developmen

feb26The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, February 26 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. J. G. Pharoah professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Fuel Cell Research Centre at the Royal Military College of Canada at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Multi-Scale Modelling Tools for Fuel Cell Development’.

Fuel cells inherently involve phenomena occurring over a wide range of length scales, from the molecular scale on electro-catalyst surfaces through various scales of porous media including catalyst layers, micro-porous layers porous transport layers, to gas supply channels within a cell and finally to the manifolds at the stack scale. In total, length scales spanning about 10 orders of magnitude are of interest to the fuel cell developer.

This talk will discuss the various tools developed to represent phenomena occurring from the catalyst scale to the stack scale and methods for coupling information from the various scales. These tools include the ability to model arbitrary porous materials comprising multiple solid phases and to model transport phe-nomena and electrochemical reactions in these materials using both virtual porous media and experimen-tally determined geometries. At the next scale, full cell models are developed and are capable of modelling both beginning of life performance and selected degradation mechanisms. Finally, at the largest scale en-tire stack simulations are carried out and can be used to explore temperature distributions within a stack as well as stack manifold design. The talk will highlight and present the open source software developed for these analysie and discuss the application of the tools to the design of superior fuel cells.

J. G. Pharoah is a professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Queen’s—RMC fuel cell research centre, which he co-founded. Dr. Pharoah obtained his M. A. Sc and Ph D degrees in Mechanical Engi-neering from the University of Victoria’s Institute for Integrated Ener-gy Systems and has been working with energy systems, with an empha-sis on fuel cells, for more than a decade. Dr. Pharoah has been invited to spend some time at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and has given invited and keynote lectures at many international conferences, universities, and companies. He regularly sits on the scientific commit-tees of international conferences and works actively with several lead-ing fuel cell developers to help overcome the challenges necessary for the large scale commercial success of fuel cells in clean energy systems.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Structural Dynamics Tailoring for Health Monitoring and Acoustic Metamaterials Applications

Feb19The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, February 19 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Fabio Semperlotti from University of Notre Dame.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Structural Dynamics Tailoring for Health Monitoring and Acoustic Metamaterials Applications’.

In recent years, structural systems of interest for many mechanical and aerospace applications have been required to integrate new functionalities ranging, for example, from structural health monitoring, to adaptive vibration and acoustic control, to energy harvesting. In many cases, new technologies (e.g., transducers, adaptive elements) have been simply retrofitted to the existing structures. Although for structures already deployed in the field this approach might be the only viable option, the development of future structural systems could greatly benefit from the use of a concurrent design where the host structure is conceived as an integral part of the subsystems and developed to enhance their individual as well as combined performance and functionalities.

This presentation will focus on the concept of structural dynamics tailoring achieved via geometric inhomogeneity as a means to design structural systems that support, and possibly enhance, the integration of advanced functionalities. Although applications to several different fields are possible, this talk will present the theoretical and numerical implementation of this concept for the design of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems and acoustic metamaterials. The SHM application will show how a relatively recent tomographic technology, known as impediography, can be combined with the concept of structural tailoring to enable highly sensitive damage identification with a very limited number of sensors. The structural tailoring approach is then applied to the synthesis of thin-walled acoustic metamaterials obtained via a periodic distri-bution of geometric tapers. These materials offer a largely reduced fabrication complexity, compared to the traditional multi-phase design, while still maintaining the same high-level dynamic characteristics. Numerical results will be presented to illustrate the many interesting disper-sion and propagation properties offered by such materials.

Dr. Fabio Semperlotti is an Assistant Professor in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Notre Dame. He received a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 2000 and a M.S. in Astronautic Engineering (summa cum laude) in 2002 from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Later, he completed his doctoral studies at the Pennsylvania State University where in 2009 he received a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.

Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Semperlotti served (2000-2006) as structural a few European aerospace industries, including the French Space Agency (CNES), working on the structural design of space launch systems and satellite platforms.

After graduating from Penn State, he worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Penn State-Vertical Lift Research Center and, later on, at the University of Michigan conducting research in Adaptive Structures and Structural Health Monitoring.

Dr. Semperlotti joined the AME department at Notre Dame in 2011 where he started the Structural Health Monitoring and Dynamics laboratory (SHMD). Together with his research group, he conducts research on several aspects of structures and materials including structural dynamics and wave propagation, smart and adaptive structures, structural health monitoring, energy harvesting. His re-search has received funding from US ARMY, DARPA, National Science Foundation, Air Force, and industrial sponsors. He was recently awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER award (2015) for his research on Structural Health Monitoring and the Air Force Office of Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) (2015) for his research on acoustic metamaterials.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Hands-On Education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab

jeremyThe ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, January 29 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Jeremy Worm, Research Engineer from Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, MTU. The title of his presentation will be ‘Hands-On Education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab’.

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab is a one-of-a-kind educational facility. The lab is used for providing hands-on discovery based educational experiences. As such, the lab is used for teaching hands-on college cours-es, professional short courses, and STEM outreach. With light and heavy duty ground vehicles, powertrain test cells, a chassis dynamometer, benchtop activities, and advanced instrumentation systems, the lab can be used for a wide range of engineering subjects. This seminar will provide an overview of the lab, its ca-pabilities, and will look at the specifics of one of the hands-on experiments students conduct in the lab.

Jeremy Worm, is a Research Engineer and Instructor in the Department of Me-chanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech, where he re-ceived his BS and MS degrees. Prior to joining the Michigan Tech Staff, Jeremy was a Senior Engineer at GM Powertrain. At GM Jeremy focused on combus-tion analysis, development of variable valve timing systems and operational strategies, and was the Lead Development Engineer for a new engine in a hybrid vehicle. At Michigan Tech, Jeremy remains active in the field of powertrain re-search, has developed and teaches several courses in the area of powertrain re-search and hybrid vehicles, and directs the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab. Jeremy is a licensed Professional Engineer, has authored or co-authored 25 publications, has 2 patents, has received a best paper award, and has been inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Communication Skills

jan22The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, January 22 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Nancy Barr, M.S. from Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, MTU.

Strong Communication Skills are Critical for Success

Regardless of professional title, strong communication skills are critical for success. A key component of graduate education is the development of a professional identi-ty through a variety of communication opportunities, from research project presenta-tions in courses to conference papers and presentations. Those students in the pro-ject, thesis, or PhD track will have to prepare a lengthy written paper documenting their research and orally defend their work to an audience. This seminar will provide information to help students understand the importance of three factors – under-standing their audience, developing time management skills, and organizing their thoughts – in their ultimate success as engineers and researchers.

Nancy Barr is the Senior Design and Technical Communications Advisor for the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University. She teaches technical communica-tion at the undergraduate and graduate level and assists faculty in creating assignments that encourage communication and critical thinking skill de-velopment in disciplinary courses. She earned a master of science in rhetoric and technical communication from MTU and is now working to-wards a PhD in rhetoric, theory, and culture at MTU. Her research fo-cuses on graduate teaching assistant training and the use of portfolios to assess curriculum changes.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Vaporizing Diesel Spray Characteristics Studied in an Optically Accessible Constant Volume Combustion Vessel

JJThe ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, January 15 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Jaclyn Johnson from Michigan Technological University: Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics.

The title of her presentation will be ‘Vaporizing Diesel Spray Characteristics Studied in an Optically Accessible Constant Volume Combustion Vessel’.

Diesel combustion and emissions formation is largely spray and mixing controlled and hence understanding spray parameters, specifically vaporization, is key to determine the impact of fuel injector operation and nozzle design on combustion and emissions. One methodology to experimentally characterize and quantify parameters is using optical and laser based diagnostics with an optically accessible constant volume combustion vessel (CV). Using this CV, researchers have the ability to characterize sprays and combustion under a range of ambient conditions (pressure and temperature) and composition, to visualize the influence of ambient, or injection parameters, on spray development and combustion. The details and application of this combustion vessel will be discussed. Focus of the discussion will be on vaporizing diesel spray characterization of the spray liquid length. In experimental testing, it has been observed that there are noticeable fluctuations in liquid phase penetration once the steady state liquid length has been estab-lished, on the order of 10% of the mean liquid length, along with plume to plume liquid length variations. This presentation will explore and identify the key mechanisms for liquid length fluctuations and plume to plume variations in spray penetration. Based on the experimental, 1 D liquid length model, and CFD anal-ysis it is concluded that a key mechanism for liquid length fluctuations in a transient diesel spray is due to spray induced turbulent eddies near the edge of spray plume.

Jaclyn Johnson is a lecturer in the ME-EM department at Michigan Tech, since 2014. She holds a B.A. in Physics from Illinois Wesley-an University and a M.S. and Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech University. After graduating from MTU in 2011, she spent the next three years conducting research as a Research Engineer in the ME-EM department at Michigan Tech on diesel spray combustion characterization using optical diagnostics with an optically accessible constant volume combustion vessel. Dr. Johnson has re-search interests in diesel spray and combustion, spark ignition characterization, and thermophysical property modeling. Her specialties include optical and laser based diagnostics, image processing methodologies, and diesel spray characterization and analysis.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Computational and Experimental Biomechanics of Total Hip Wear Increase Due to Femoral Head Damage

dec11The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, December 11 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Karen Krueger, Postdoctoral Fellow from Orthopaedics Department, University of Iowa.

The title of her presentation will be ‘Computational and Experimental Biomechanics of Total Hip Wear Increase Due to Femoral Head Damage’.

Aseptic loosening due to wear-induced osteolysis remains a leading cause of failure in total hip arthroplasty (THA), par-ticularly in revisions required beyond the second decade of use. Historically, there have been large amounts of variability of wear within individual THA patient cohorts. Evidence indicates that femoral head damage can be a cause of this varia-bility. While femoral head damage as a result of third body particles and subluxation and dislocation events has been well documented, direct quantifiable linkage between such femoral head damage and wear acceleration remains to be estab-lished. Due to large ranges of observed retrieval damage, wear testing protocols for simulating third body and other dam-age effects have been widely variant, making it difficult to know where the clinical reality lies.

To study the effect of retrieval femoral head damage on total hip implant wear, a damage-feature-based finite element (FE) formulation was developed, which allowed for wear prediction due to individual scratch, scrape, and transfer deposit features. A multi-scale imaging procedure was also developed to globally map and quantify micron-level damage features appearing on retrieval femoral heads. This allowed for wear simulations of damage patterns observed on specific retrieval femoral heads. Retrieval damage was shown to be highly variable among patients, and capable of producing up to order-of-magnitude wear increases when compared to undamaged heads. Damage following dislocation and subsequent closed reduction maneuvers was found to be particularly detrimental, with average wear rate increases in the range of half an or-der of magnitude. These data were used to develop wear testing protocols for simulating clinically-occurring third body and other damage effects.

Karen Kruger is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Orthopaedics depart-ment at the University of Iowa. She earned her B.S. in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering from Michigan Technological University while com-peting in Varsity cross country and Nordic skiing. While at Michigan Tech, she received a Michigan Space Grant to study the effectsof spaceflight on the knee joint meniscus. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on orthopaedic biomechanics at the University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Thomas Brown. Her dissertation work focused on wear in total hip replacements.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Correlative microscopy for in situ characterization of catalyst nanoparticles under reactive environments

dec4aThe ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, December 4th at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Renu Sharma from National Institute of Standards and Technology, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

The title of her presentation will be ‘Correlative microscopy for in situ characterization of catalyst nanoparticles under reactive environments’.

In recent years the environmental transmission scanning electron microscope (ESTEM) has been success-fully employed to elucidate the structural and chemical changes occurring in the catalyst nanoparticles un-der reactive environments. While atomic-resolution images and the combination of high spatial and energy resolution is ideally suited to distinguish between active and inactive catalyst particles and identify active surfaces for gas adsorption, unambiguous data can only obtained from the area under observation. This lack of statistical information available from TEM measurements is generally compensated for by using other, ensemble measurement techniques such as x-ray or neutron diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spec-troscopy, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy etc. However, it is almost impossible to create iden-tical experimental conditions in two separate instruments to make measurements that can be directly com-pared. Moreover, ambiguities in ESTEM studies may arise from the unknown effects of the incident elec-tron beam and uncertainty of the sample temperature. We have designed and built a unique platform that allows us to concurrently measure atomic-scale and micro-scale changes occurring in samples subjected to identical reactive environmental conditions by incorporating a Raman Spectrometer on the ESTEM. We have used this correlative microscopy platform i) to measure the temperature from 60 μm2 area using Ra-man shifts, ii) to investigate light/matter interactions iii) as a heating source, iii) for concurrent optical and electron spectroscopy such as cathodoluminescence, EELS and Raman. Details of the design, function, and capabilities will be illustrated with results obtained from in situ combinatorial measurements.

Renu Sharma is a Project Leader in the Nanofabrication Research Group. She received a B.S. and B.Ed. in Physics and Chemistry from Panjab University, India, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Sol-id State Chemistry from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, where she had a Swedish Institute Fellowship. Renu joined the CNST in 2009, coming from Arizona State University (ASU), where she began as a Faculty Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Center for Solid State Science, and most recently served as a Senior Research Scientist in the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science and as an affiliated faculty member in the School of Materials and Department of Chemical Engineering. Renu has been a pioneer in the development of environmental scanning transmission electron microscopy (E(S)TEM), combining atomic-scale dynamic imaging with chemical analysis to probe gas-solid reactions. She has applied this powerful technique to characterize the atomic-scale mechanisms underlying the synthesis and reactivity of nanoparticles (including catalysts), nanotubes, nanowires, inorganic solids, ceramics, semiconductors, and superconductor materials. Renu has received a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Faculty Research Fellowship, is a past President of the Arizona Im-aging and Microanalysis Society, and has given over 70 invited presentations, and published 3 book chapters and over 160 research articles. At the CNST, Renu is establishing advanced E(S)TEM measurement capabilities for nanoscience re-search and contributing her research expertise to the operation of a new TEM facility in the NanoFab.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Prototype Verification System PVS: Cutting Edges Human-Machine Interactive Verification, Modeling and Analysis Software

New PictureThe ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, November 20th at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Amer Tahat, PhD Student, Computational Sciences and Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Michigan Tech University,

The title of his presentation will be ‘Prototype Verification System PVS: Cutting Edges Human-Machine Interactive Verification, Modeling and Analysis Software’.

PVS is an interactive prototype verification system developed by SRI (Stanford Research Institute) with collaboration of NASA. PVS has been widely used by NASA to verify the correctness of their designs under extreme safety measures e.g Next Generation Air Traffic System (NextGen) and Scalable Processor-Independent Design for Extended Reliability (SPIDER). It has very powerful and ultra-reliable specification and semi-automatic verification language which can capture wide range of real world applications like complicated critical and autonomous control systems in: Aerodynamics, Robotics, Security and Communication Protocols. It also has been used for the design and the verifications of hardware and software of parametric critical systems, mathematical theories, and it was used even in modeling and analyzing meta-physical arguments! In this seminar we would like to introduce the revolutionary features of interactive analysis and verification system PVS. We will provide some examples of its applications in solving real life problems. Dr. Ossama Abdelkhalik (ME-EM department) and Amer Tahat PhD student (CSE) are planning to conduct a tutorial about this tool here at MTU with a generous collaboration of NASA Langley.

PVS received CAV award in 2012 ( 2012 CAV (Computer-Aided Verification) Award). PVS is an open source since 1994 and is known for its user friendliness. It has been used in industry as well as in academic research. For more information about related research fields please visit NASA formal methods group (, and PVS SRI website (

Amer Tahat is a Computational Sciences and Engineering PhD student, computer science department, at Michigan Tech University. I joined my PhD program in Sept 2012. In Oct 2012 I attended NASA Langley and National Institute of Aeronautics PVS (Prototype Verification System) class, in Hampton Virginia. Between Oct 2012 and March 2013 I was involved in a short project using PVS with the collaboration of NASA Langley. Since then I have been a member of Software Design Laboratory at Michigan Tech university and have been part of two projects under supervision of Dr. Ali Ebnenasir funded by National Science Foundation in which I study the applications of mechanical verifications using theorem prover PVS. Between 2012 and 2014, I attended and participated in several international conferences in formal and automatic verification techniques. In particular NASA Formal Methods Symposiums of Automatic Reasoning (NFM) NFM13, Moffett Field, Silicon Valley, CA and NFM14 in Johns Space Center, Huston, TX. Also in Sept 2014 I participated by a paper in LOPSTR 14 (24th International Conference of logic-Based Program Synthesis and Transformation) in UK.

In last summer 19-26 May 2014 I attended the Stanford Research International (SRI) forth summer school in formal techniques, Menlo College, Stanford, CA, in which assisted in organizing the student presentation secession. In the school I presented a PVS based analysis of a 1000 year metaphysical controversy I received an NSF generous award to attend this school.
Lately the work has been submitted to FSEN International Conference in Foundations of Software Engineering FSEN 15. Currently I am exploring more applications of PVS with the collaboration of Dr. Ossama Abedlkhalik ME-EM department on some other fields in Orbital Mechanics.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Positive Aspects of Negative Work

nov13The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, November 14th at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Steven Elmer from Michigan Tech: Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Positive Aspects of Negative Work’.

For over 100 years, scientists have been intrigued by the observation that skeletal muscle can produce greater absolute force during active lengthening contractions (“negative work”) compared to active short-ening contractions (“positive work”). In addition to this increased capacity for force production, negative work can be performed at a lower energy cost and with less perceived effort compared to positive work. Taken together, these observations emphasize the high-force, low-cost nature of negative work and sug-gest that exercise training involving negative work could serve as a potent stimulus for improving skeletal muscle function. In this presentation, I will discuss how negative work exercise training has served as an effective method for increasing quadriceps muscle size, strength, and mobility in a variety of populations ranging from patients with chronic disease to older adults to competitive athletes. Subsequently, I will share some preliminary work in which my group has extended the application of negative work to the upper body. Along the way, I will point out some mechanical design and safety challenges that we have encoun-tered while developing the negative work lower and upper body ergometers. By the end of the presenta-tion I hope to convince the audience that if an engineer from department trained for eight weeks using negative work exercise (e.g., 10-30 minutes/session, 3 sessions/week) they would be more powerful than a Tour de France winning cyclist! On that note this presentation will highlight the “positive aspects” of “negative work”.

Steven Elmer is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiol-ogy and Integrative Physiology at Michigan Technological University. He completed his doctoral and post-doctoral training at the University of Utah and previously worked at the University of Maine. His research in-terests in health are broad in nature and he uses a cycling model to investigate as-pects of skeletal muscle function and dysfunction. Applications for his research range from basic aspects of neuromuscular function to applied human perfor-mance in a variety of settings including injury, rehabilitation, ergonomics, and sport. As a new member of the Husky Family Dr. Elmer looks forward to devel-oping collaborations across campus.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Driveline Input Shaping via Clutch Torque to Mitigate Shuffle After Lash Crossing

nov06The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, November 6th at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Jeffrey Doering from Ford Motor Company.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Driveline Input Shaping via Clutch Torque to Mitigate Shuffle After Lash Crossing’.

We will use simplified 2nd order linear equations of motion for a driveline after lash crossing to evaluate different simple torque input schemes and derive an ‘optimum’ input ramping scheme to achieve a desired steady-state driveline torque level with a minimum level of oscillation. Due to the simplicity of the type of inputs considered, closed form solutions for the driveline response are developed and evaluated to yield physical understanding of the driveline management problem after a lash crossing event, especially to pre-vent driveline rebound or shuffle. Using the stiffness, inertia and level of damping in the driveline, normal-ized ramp rates and ramp times are developed to coordinate the torque input after lash crossing with the twisting of the driveline and the initial twisting velocity at the end of lash crossing.

Jeff Doering received the B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneap-olis, in 1991 and the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1992. In 2000, Jeff received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Since 1992, he has been with Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI, working in the areas of engine and vehicle controls in both product development and research, where he is currently a Technical Leader in Research and Advanced Engineering.
Jeff currently leads a team of engineers working on vehicle and engine controls, primarily focused on HE-V/PHEV/BEV applications. Jeff has received over 90 U.S. Patents, with approximately 30 in production in Ford vehicles.