Category: Research

Tim Havens Receives $120K Award from Signature Research, Inc.

Tim Havens, College of Computing associate dean for research, has been awarded an 18-month, $120,000 grant by Signature Research, Inc. The project, “Machine Learning for Human-Based Visual Detection Metrics,” contributes to an effort to develop a methodology that predicts the impact to human vision due to the existence of atmospheric particles. Havens is also the director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems and the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems.

Abstract: This project contributes to an effort to develop a methodology that predicts the impact to human vision due to the existence of atmospheric particles. Due to the variability of atmospheric conditions and particulate matter (dust, ice, etc.) extensive field test campaigns to characterize the impacts to human vision are impractical. As a result, a model-based approach must be developed in order to evaluate all possible conditions in a virtual environment. It is envisioned that this approach will incorporate both human in-the-loop evaluations as well as generation of machine learning algorithms to serve as an in-situ human observer.

Signature Research, Inc. provides solutions to DoD and the Intelligence Community, specializing in Signature Phenomenology, Analysis, and Modeling of items of military interest covering the breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum. Signature Research, Inc. engineers and scientists have developed methodologies, tools and products to help visualize and interpret electromagnetic signatures, and Signature Research, Inc. staff are recognized experts within the various communities in which they work. SGR’s corporate headquarters is located in Calumet, Michigan, with a second operating location in Navarre, Florida near Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field. http://signatureresearchinc.com

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Nominations Open for Bhakta Rath and Michigan Tech Research Awards

The Vice President for Research Office is accepting nominations for the Bhakta Rath Research Award. The award offers an opportunity to promote and reward excellence in scientific and engineering research in the fields of physical and natural sciences and engineering. For complete submission guidelines, see Bhakta Rath Research Award.

The Vice President for Research Office is also accepting nominations for the Michigan Tech Research Award, which offers an opportunity for an individual to be recognized for outstanding achievements in research. For complete submission guidelines, see Michigan Tech Research Award.

Nominations for both must be submitted electronically in PDF format, per the guidelines, no later than 4 p.m. on March 5. All nominations must be sent to Natasha Chopp.

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Call for Proposals: Research Excellence Fund (REF) and Portage Health Foundation Mid-Career

Research Excellence Fund Proposals Proposals are being solicited for the Research Excellence Fund (REF) program, an internal award of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 and must be submitted electronically per the guidelines.

For additional information, see Research Excellence Fund.

Portage Health Foundation Mid-Career Proposals are being solicited for the Portage Health Foundation Mid-Career (PHF-MC) program, which is designed to support tenured faculty with an active National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant and/or consistent history of external funding with NIH or a related agency.

Proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 and must be submitted electronically per the guidelines.

For additional information, see Portage Health Foundation Research Awards.

If you have any questions or are interested in serving on a REF proposal review committee, email Natasha Chopp.

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Promote Your Innovation with Social Media Workshop on Jan. 15

Husky Innovate Logo

by Husky Innovate

Husky Innovate to host the workshop, Promote Your Innovation with Social Media on Jan. 15.

Billions of dollars have been raised worldwide through crowdfunding. Consequently crowdfunding has gained popularity as an alternative way to finance innovations and entrepreneurial efforts. Typically we think of crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Rockethub. But did you know that Michigan Tech hosts its own crowdfunding platform called Superior Ideas to recruit funding for projects at the University?

Each year, in partnership with Husky Innovate, Superior Ideas hosts the Rekhi Innovation Challenge, a crowdfunding competition in which the winner receives awards including a match of up to $1,000 of funds raised on the platform.

This year’s project submission deadline is midnight Jan. 22. Email Natasha Chopp,  to apply. Those who are interested in getting prepped for the Rekhi Innovation challenge and other crowdfunding opportunities should not miss this workshop on Jan. 15. Register here.

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Rekhi Innovation Challenge

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through the use of Superior Ideas. Enterprise and Senior Design teams (not industry-sponsored projects) are strongly encouraged to participate in the competition.

The competition will run for the month of February and the team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match up of to $1,000. Additional monetary awards will also be offered.

Projects must be submitted by 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 on Superior Ideas in order to enter into the competition. The application and guidelines can be found on Husky Innovate or by contacting Natasha Chopp.

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All Researchers Invited to Research Development Day 2020

by Research Development Office

All Michigan Tech researchers are invited to participate in the 2020 Research Development Day at Michigan Tech. The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 9. The content of the 2020 event is new and designed for both new and returning attendees.

Multiple sessions are planned for faculty at all career stages and from all disciplines. Research staff and post-docs from any discipline are also likely to find sessions of interest. We are excited to welcome Jose Fuentes as our keynote speaker.

Fuentes is an experienced faculty researcher at Penn State, with a significant track record of international work and broad research impact. As in previous years, we will end the day with research recognitions, celebrating accomplishments from across the university over the past year, followed by a networking social.

A condensed agenda is found on the reservation form. Your RSVP is requested by Jan. 3 to finalize meal counts and room arrangements. If your schedule does not permit you to attend the full day, the RSVP allows you to sign up for morning, lunch, and/or afternoon sessions.

The RSVP form should take only a minute or two to complete. A reminder and final agenda will be sent in the new year. Please contact rd-l@mtu.edu with any questions.

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Nathir Rawashdeh to Present Paper at Advances in Mechanical Engineering Conference

Nathir Rawashdeh

A conference paper co-authored by Nathir Rawashdeh (CC/MERET), has been accepted for presentation and publication at the 5th International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering, December 17-19, 2019, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The paper is entitled, “Effect of Camera’s Focal Plane Array Fill Factor on Digital Image Correlation Measurement Accuracy.” Co-authors are Ala L. Hijazi of German Jordanian University, and Christian J. Kähler of Universität der Bundeswehr München.

Abstract: The digital image correlation (DIC) method is one of the most widely used non-invasive full-field methods for deformation and strain measurements. It is currently being used in a very wide variety of applications including mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, structural engineering, manufacturing engineering, material science, non-destructive testing, biomedical and life sciences. There are many factors that affect the DIC measurement accuracy where that includes; the selection of the correlation algorithm and parameters, the camera, the lens, the type and quality of the speckle pattern, the lightening conditions and surrounding environment. Several studies have addressed the different factors influencing the accuracy of DIC measurements and the sources of error. The camera’s focal plane array (FPA) fill factor is one of the parameters for digital cameras, though it is not widely known and usually not reported in specs sheets. The fill factor of an imaging sensor is defined as the ratio of a pixel’s light sensitive area to its total theoretical area. For some types of imaging sensors, the fill factor can theoretically reach 100%. However, for the types of imaging sensors typically used in most digital cameras used in DIC measurements, such as the “interline” charge coupled device CCD and the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging sensors, the fill factor is much less than 100%. It is generally believed that the lower fill factor may reduce the accuracy of photogrammetric measurements. But nevertheless, there are no studies addressing the effect of the imaging sensor’s fill factor on DIC measurement accuracy. We report on research aiming to quantify the effect of fill factor on DIC measurements accuracy in terms of displacement error and strain error. We use rigid-body-translation experiments then numerically modify the recorded images to synthesize three different types of images with 1/4 of the original resolution. Each type of the synthesized images has different value of the fill factor; namely 100%, 50% and 25%. By performing DIC analysis with the same parameters on the three different types of synthesized images, the effect of fill factor on measurement accuracy may be realized. Our results show that the FPA’s fill factor can have a significant effect on the accuracy of DIC measurements. This effect is clearly dependent on the type and characteristics of the speckle pattern. The fill factor has a clear effect on measurement error for low contrast speckle patterns and for high contrast speckle patterns (black dots on white background) with small dot size (3 pixels dot diameter). However, when the dot size is large enough (about 7 pixels dot diameter), the fill factor has very minor effect on measurement error. In addition, the results also show that the effect of the fill factor is also dependent on the magnitude of translation between images. For instance, the increase in measurement error resulting from low fill factor can be more significant for subpixel translations than large translations of several pixels.
Request the full paper here.

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Jinshan Tang, Jung Bae Receive Research Excellence Fund Awards

Jinshan Tang

Jungyun Bae

The Vice President for Research Office recently announced the Fall 2019 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards. The awardees included College of Computing Professor Jinshan Tang, who was awarded a Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants for his proposal, “High Performance Graphics Processing Units,” and College of Computing Assistant Professor Jung Yun Bae (ME-EM/CS), who was awarded a Research Seed Grant.

The REF Infrastructure Enhancement (REF-IE) grants are designed to provide resources to develop the infrastructure necessary to support sponsored research and graduate student education. Funded projects typically focus on acquisition of equipment, enhancement of laboratory facilities, or enhancement of administrative support structure to expand the research capability of the unit.

Typical REF Research Seed (RS) grant projects will develop preliminary data to be used in subsequent proposals to outside funding sources, support pilot studies developing new research methods or procedures, or support other activity leading to the development of an externally recognized and funded research program.

For additional information about the Research Excellence Funds, visit the REF website.

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Article by Alex Sergeyev Published in Journal of Engineering Technology (JET)

Alex Sergeyev

An article co-authored by Aleksandr Sergeyev, College of Computing professor and director of the Mechatronics graduate program, has been published in the Journal of Engineering Technology (JET).

The conclusive article, titled “A University, Community College, and Industry Partnership: Revamping Robotics Education to Meet 21st century Needs – NSF Sponsored Project Final Report,” summarizes the work funded by a $750K NSF grant received by Servgeyev in 2015 to to promote robotics education.  The paper details the achievements in curriculum and educational tools development, dissemination, and implementation at Michigan Tech and beyond.

Co-PIs on the project are  Scott A. Kuhl (Michigan Technological University), Prince Mehandiratta (Michigan Technological University), Mark Highum (Bay de Noc Community College), Mark Bradley Kinney (West Shore Community College), and Nasser Alaraje (The University of Toledo).

A related paper was presented at the 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 21-24, 2019, in Tampa, FL, as part of the panel “Academe/Industry Collaboration” presented by the Technical Engineering Technology Division, where it was awarded the Best Paper Award in the Engineering Technology Division. Download the conference paper here: https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/140/papers/26234/view.

Conference Paper Abstract: Recently, educators have worked to improve STEM education at all levels, but challenges remain. Capitalizing on the appeal of robotics is one strategy proposed to increase STEM interest. The interdisciplinary nature of robots, which involve motors, sensors, and programs, make robotics a useful STEM pedagogical tool. There is also a significant need for industrial certification programs in robotics. Robots are increasingly used across industry sectors to improve production throughputs while maintaining product quality. The benefits of robotics, however, depend on workers with up-to-date knowledge and skills to maintain and use existing robots, enhance future technologies, and educate users. It is critical that education efforts respond to the demand for robotics specialists by offering courses and professional certification in robotics and automation. This NSF sponsored project introduces a new approach for Industrial Robotics in electrical engineering technology (EET) programs at University and Community College. The curriculum and software developed by this collaboration of two- and four-year institutions match industry needs and provide a replicable model for programs around the US. The project also addresses the need for certified robotic training centers (CRTCs) and provides curriculum and training opportunities for students from other institutions, industry representatives, and displaced workers. Resources developed via this project were extensively disseminated through a variety of means, including workshops, conferences, and publications. In this article, authors provide final report on project outcomes, including various curriculum models and industry certification development, final stage of the “RobotRun” robotic simulation software, benefits of professional development opportunities for the faculty members from the other institutions, training workshops for K-12 teachers, and robotic one-day camps for high school students.

The Journal of Engineering Technology® (JET) is a refereed journal published semi-annually, in spring and fall, by the Engineering Technology Division (ETD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The aim of JET is to provide a forum for the dissemination of original scholarly articles as well as review articles in all areas related to engineering technology education. engtech.org/jet

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