Category Archives: Seminars

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Micro/Nanotechnologies for Field Deployable Environmental Sensing & Biomedical Applications

apr02The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, April 2 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Robert Keynton from Chair, Professor & Lutz Endowed Chair, Dept. of Bioengineering (W.H. Coulter Foundation Partner)Engineering Innovations Program Manager, Office of the Assoc. VP Research & Innovation Fellow, American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Micro/Nanotechnologies for Field Deployable Environmental Sensing & Biomedical Applications’.

Micro/nanofabrication techniques have become a crucial tool for creating high resolution and/or high sensitivity devices for a wide variety of applications including biomedical, environmental, and space exploration. For example, inexpensive microfabricated sensors combined with low power instrumentation offer unique advantages for remote, electrochemically-based environmental sensing Our group has been actively engaged in the development of coulometric stripping techniques for calibration-free detection of heavy metals with limits of detection on the order of picomoles. Additionally, our group has developed a direct-write process to fabricate micro/nanoscale polymeric fibers to create microfluidic and tissue scaffold structures. Another area of research includes the development of a custom-designed, flexible, thin-film microelectrode array directly interfaced to a multichannel signal conditioning microchip to enable high-quality recordings of the electrical activities of the heart with high spatial resolution, on the order of individual myocytes, to attain valuable information required for studying the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. These projects and others will be presented in this seminar.

Robert S. Keynton is currently the chair, professor and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Louisville (UofL). He received the B.S. degree in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, in 1987, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Akron, Akron, OH, in 1990 and 1995, respectively. In 1995, he joined the Biomedical Engineering program at Louisiana Tech University (LTU) as an Assistant Professor and became the Associate Director of Engineering for the Center of Applied Physics Studies in 1997 at LTU.

Since joining UofL in 1999 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Keynton has served as the Sr. Associate Director of the UofL Micro/NanoTechnology Center and the interim Scientific Director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. He was named the founding chair of the new Department of Bioengineering in 2005 and promoted to full professor and named a University Scholar in 2006. He co-founded two companies, Assenti, LLC and Ultra Trace Dectection, LLC with colleagues at UofL. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2007, elected to the AIMBE Board of Directors in 2012, recognized by the Houston Society of Engineering in Medicine and Biology as the 2001 Outstanding Young Scientist of the Year, has 101 peer-reviewed publications (both journal and conference), 128 conference papers, 5 book chapters, 6 patents issued, 11 provisional/non-provisional patents and 10 research disclosures. He has been involved in multidisciplinary research that includes funding from NIH, NSF, DHS, DOE, DoD, NASA, VA, Coulter Foundation & Helmsley Trust.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: ‘Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Americas Strategic Challenges

mar26The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 26 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Chester Wilson, Associate Professor—Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM), Louisiana Tech University.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Americas Strategic Challenges’.

A variety of significant challenges face the United States and the world in the next few decades. My research group works on micro and nanotechnologies that we hope might provide some help towards meeting these challenges. Our group develops nanoparticle doped radiological scintillators that produce high specificity in neutron detection. This is important as nuclear weapons product neutrons and little else does. We have developed a nanostructured catalyst that is bulk produced to facilitate converting natural gas to synthetic gasoline and diesel. An economic proof of principle five million dollar pilot plant is being constructed in Louisiana. Regular bullets do not support mounted sensors, as they accelerate too fast. Our group has developed rocket bullets, which accelerate at 500G’s, while still reaching traditional velocities. We are also working with nanoparticle doped electrospun polymers and filaments for 3D printing to develop a variety of applications for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Chester Wilson is currently an Associate Professor with the department of Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM) at Louisiana Tech University. He is a faculty affiliate with Physics, Microsystems, and Nanotechnology. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering at Seattle University in 1991, his MS in Applied Physics at the University of Washington-Seattle in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. Dr. Wilson’s research experience is in Micro/Nanosystems, E and M waves/Plasmas, and Optical detection systems. He has an active research program in the areas of Homeland security detection systems, synthetic energy, nuclear monitoring, DoD Anti-tamper, and munitions. He is involved in numerous ongoing research projects with the industrial partners, DoE, Air Force, Army, and DoD. His previous work on plasma based, EM experiment/modeling, optical devices and radiological systems has been published in over 30 journals, such as JMEMS, IEEE Transaction on Electron Devices, and the Journal of Applied Physics. Dr. Wilson has over fifteen patents, fifty invention disclosures, has multiple corporate IP licenses, and has been awarded over 10 million dollars in research grants/contracts.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Characterization of Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flows in Micro to Nuclear Reactors

mar19The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 19 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Masahiro Kawaji from City College of New York.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Characterization of Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flows in Micro to Nuclear Reactors’.

Gas-liquid two-phase flow is encountered in many types of reactors ranging from microreactors with microchannels to bioreactors for fuel production and nuclear reactors for power production. Over the past 35 years, the author has worked on two-phase flow characterization using many different measurement techniques. In this talk, typical applications of both popular and unique measurement methods to flow channels varying in size from microchannels to 2-ft diameter piping in nuclear reactors will be discussed. The principle utilized in each measurement technique will be explained as well as the data obtained to highlight their advantages and limitations. Besides the popular high-speed imaging technique, the following measurement techniques will be discussed in this presentation.
For microchannels: Light and X-ray attenuation, high-speed imaging, confocal laser displacement sensor.
For nuclear reactors and bioreactors: Optical void probe, gamma densitometry, electric resistance tomography, borescope, Pitot tube, Hot Wire Anemometry, photochromic dye activation.

Masahiro Kawaji is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY) and Associate Director of the Energy Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY). He moved from the University of Toronto in January, 2009, to conduct energy-related research involving multiphase flow and heat transfer and to develop a nuclear engineering program. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from UC Berkeley and has over thirty years of experience in conducting multiphase flow/heat transfer research and teaching of chemical, mechanical and nuclear engineering courses. He has published over 350 archival papers in the fields of two-phase flow and phase change heat transfer, microfluidics, nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics, heat pipes, microgravity fluid physics and transport phenomena, advanced instrumentation, free surface problems, compact heat exchangers, and thermal energy storage systems with phase change materials. He is a Fellow of ASME, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Chemical Institute of Canada. In 2013, he received the Donald Q. Kern Award for contributions to the field of heat transfer. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the International Journal of Multiphase Flow and Process Mechanical Engineering, and is currently serving on the Editorial Board of the Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science. He has also served on the organizing and scientific committees of numerous international conferences, including the ASME International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels & Minichannels (ICNMM) since its inception in 2003.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Artificial Photosynthesis Prototypes

mar5The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, March 3 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Karl Walczak from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Artificial Photosynthesis Prototypes’.

Sunlight is one of the most abundant potential energy sources available and yet it only contributes about 1% of the global energy supply. Today, there are a variety of technologies being developed to harness solar energy. One such technology is photoelectrical chemical solar fuel generation, generally referred to as artificial photosynthesis (AP). Unlike solar cells, which convert sunlight directly to electrical potential, AP converts sunlight to chemical potential, i.e., by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. This research is focused on establishing methodologies, technologies, and analytical tools for developing and analyzing AP prototypes. We are currently, developing AP prototypes with >10% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficient using III-V compound semiconductor materials and exploring methods to improve their performance at relevant scales. Ongoing research aims to enable large-scale implementation by improving efficiency, increasing lifetime, establishing manufacturing processes and systems, and decreasing life cycle environmental impacts, which will all support reduced prospective costs.

Dr. Karl Walczak is a Project Scientist, in the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. JCAP aims to develop a cost-effective and carbon-neutral artificial solar fuel generation technology. The organization includes engineers and scientists with a range of expertise including: chemists, physicists, theoreticians, and chemical, electrical, mechanical and manufacturing engineers. Dr. Walczak integrates research findings related to catalysts, membranes, light absorber, and component interfaces into functional prototypes to guide further research. His work is involves designing, fabricating, and developing analytical tools to assess these artificial photosynthetic prototypes. His current research effort is focused on the development of high efficiency artificial photosynthesis prototypes: >10% solar to hydrogen energy conversion efficiency and device lifetimes >10 hours. He is interested in the challenges of scale-up and manufacturing, especially with respect to life cycle costs and environmental impacts.
Dr. Walczak received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University, with Prof. Craig Friedrich serving as his advisor. His doctoral research involved designing, fabricating, and validating a sensor platform. The two main components of the sensor platform were bacteriorhodopsin, a light sensitive cellular membrane protein, and a single electron transistor. After graduating, he conducted research to support ultra high speed data transmission in aerospace applications, which involved fabricating polymer optical waveguides, integrating them with printed wiring boards, and developing board-level high-speed optical interconnects.

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.