Category Archives: Research

Joshua Pearce on At-home Manufacturing

3D PrintingAn article written by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) for The Conversation, Trade wars will boost digital manufacturing – at consumers’ own homes with personal 3D printers, was picked up by the Associated Press and published widely in several newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, San Antonio Express, Times Union in New York and others. The story was covered on WTOP radio in Washington, D.C. and on TEGNA Broadcast Media (46 television stations covering 50 million people).

Pearce is quoted in an article regarding the Michigan Tech student developed recycling system: Equipment spotlight: Boost for at-home filament extrusion, in Plastics Recycling Update.


Michigan Tech will host the 2018 ASISC Annual Meeting, August 7-10

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Michigan Tech’s Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steelmaking Center (ASISC) will host its annual meeting in Houghton, in this August 7-10, 2018. The ASISC annual meeting is a gathering of professionals from the mining and mineral processing industry. New Paradigms in Mineral Processing Technologies is this year’s theme.

ASISC members pool resources to address a diverse spectrum of interdisciplinary research questions. During the meeting they share their work and experiences to further the development of a new generation of sustainable, economical mineral processing technologies.

On August 7-8, the ASISC Fundamentals of Minerals Processing Short Course will provide a general introduction to practical minerals processing. The course includes both lecture and laboratory demonstrations. Topics are tailored to attendee needs and requests. Hands-on laboratory work, performed by registered members, is the highlight of this course. The short course will be located on the Michigan Tech campus in the Department of Chemical Engineering

On August 9-10, industry leaders and research engineers will deliver mineral processing research presentations at the Magnuson Hotel in downtown Houghton, a 10 minute walk from campus.

Learn more and register online here.


Timothy Havens Publishes on Fuzzy Adaptive Extended Kalman Filter

International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems coverHanieh Deilamsalehy (ECE) and Timothy Havens (ECE/CS) published a paper entitled, “Fuzzy adaptive extended Kalman filter for robust 3D pose estimation,” in the International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 50-68.

doi.org/10.1108/IJIUS-12-2017-0014

Timothy Havens is the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Center for Data Sciences (DataS). DataS is part of ICC, the Institute of Computing & Cybersystems at Michigan Tech.

Hanieh Deilamsalehy, who graduated in 2017 with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, is working at Microsoft.

Purpose

Estimating the pose – position and orientation – of a moving object such as a robot is a necessary task for many applications, e.g., robot navigation control, environment mapping, and medical applications such as robotic surgery. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel method to fuse the information from several available sensors in order to improve the estimated pose from any individual sensor and calculate a more accurate pose for the moving platform.


Alex Mayer is the First University Professor

Alex S. Mayer
University Professor Alex S. Mayer

Last September, University President Glenn Mroz and Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the establishment of two new titles created to recognize outstanding faculty: Distinguished Professor and University Professor.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding scholarly contributions to the University and their discipline over a substantial period of time.

Alex Mayer was selected as the first University Professor.

Mayer is the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been at Michigan Tech since 1991 with a joint appointment in the Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences. Mayer was the co-founder and first director of the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society. He teaches about environmental resources engineering and management. Recent research activity on collaborative solutions to water scarcity in semi-arid environments, hydro-economic modeling for watershed management, sea level rise impacts on island nations has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture.

Mayer is frequently recognized for his outstanding efforts to bring water-related research, education and outreach to the forefront at Michigan Tech. For his dedication to studying water quality and scarcity—and his unique approach to these complex problems—Mayer won Michigan Tech’s 2015 Research Award. In 2009, Mayer was recognized with the Rudolf Hering Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. In the same year, he also received Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Collaboration is a hallmark of Mayer’s research methods. He works across disciplines with academics, government, non-governmental organizations, and community stakeholders.

The confidential process for selecting recipients spans the academic year and recipients for each award were notified in May. A University Professor is recognized for their exemplary research, major invited lectures, prestigious awards, significant contributions to the advancement of their field, and other criteria. They are nominated by faculty members, departments, programs, or schools. University Professors will not exceed two percent of the total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty at Michigan Tech at any time.


Kamath and Minakata Model an Advanced Oxidation Process

Daisuke Minakata
Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata has published “Emerging Investigators series: Ultraviolet and free chlorine aqueous-phase advanced oxidation process: kinetic simulations and experimental validation,” in Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology with Divya Kamath.

DOI:10.1039/C8EW00196K

Extract

An emerging advanced oxidation process uses ultraviolet light and free chlorine to produce active hydroxyl radicals and chlorine-derived radicals to degrade a variety of organic compounds in water. We developed a UV/free chlorine elementary reaction-based kinetic model for a test compound, acetone, and its transformation products. The elementary reaction pathways were predicted by quantum mechanical calculations, and the reaction rate constants were predicted using previously developed linear free energy relationships.

This article is part of the themed collections: Ultraviolet-based Advanced Oxidation Processes (UV AOPs) and Emerging Investigator Series.

Related:

Break It Down: Understanding the Formation of Chemical Byproducts During Water Treatment

Elucidating the Elementary Reaction Pathways and Kinetics of Hydroxyl Radical-Induced Acetone Degradation in Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Processes


Jarek Drelich and David Watkins are Distinguished Professors

Last September, University President Glenn Mroz and Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the establishment of two new titles created to recognize outstanding faculty: Distinguished Professor and University Professor.

Jarek Drelich
Distinguished Professor Jarek Drelich

The title of Distinguished Professor recognizes outstanding faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the University as well as their discipline but are not presently recognized through an endowed position or faculty fellowship.

Jaroslaw (Jarek) Drelich and David Watkins are among the recipients in the inaugural group of Distinguished Professors.

Drelich is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Adhesion of fine particles, biodegradable implants, surface wetting, and colloidal properties are among his research interests. Drelich leads SURFI, Surface Innovations at Michigan Tech. The SURFI research team recently reviewed the properties of fish scales in Advanced Biosystems, identifying many promising qualities that could be beneficial to material and surface innovators. Drelich also spearheaded the acquisition of a new atomic force microscope for looking at single molecules on a surface.

David Watkins
Distinguished Professor David Watkins

Watkins is a professional engineer and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been at Michigan Tech since 1999, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in fluid mechanics, engineering hydrology, water resources management, and others. He directs an international capstone design program, co-directed a Peace Corps Master’s International program, and advises a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA. Watkins maintains an active research program in water resources systems engineering, hydroclimatic forecasting, and climate change adaptation. His current research projects include robust water resources decision making in south Florida and understanding the climate impacts of food, energy, and water consumption.

The confidential process for selecting recipients spans the academic year and recipients for each award were notified in May. A Distinguished Professor is recognized for their noteworthy research, invited lectures, external awards, citations, continuing contributions to the advancement of their field, and other criteria. They are nominated by faculty members, departments, programs, or schools. Distinguished Professors will not exceed 10 percent of the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty in a specific college or school at any time.


Mapping Lahar Threats in the Aftermath of Volcán de Fuego

Preliminary mapping lahar threats in Guatemala—vital for communities affected by the eruption.
Preliminary mapping lahar threats in Guatemala—vital for communities affected by the eruption.
Michigan Tech Geophysicist, Volcanologist Rudiger Escobar Wolf
Volcanologist Rudiger Escobar Wolf

In the aftermath of the eruption of Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala, the risk now is for lahars triggered by extreme rain events. Guatemala’s rainy season started in May and typically runs through the month of October. Lahar hazards are the result of fresh (loose) eruptive deposits on steep slopes that experience heavy rainfall, creating mud and debris flows that can scour landscapes and inundate lower lying areas. The hazards are exacerbated by the steepness of the slopes, recent loss of vegetation, and the rainy season.

Rudiger Escobar Wolf, a volcanologist at Michigan Technological University and native of Guatemala, shares a set of preliminary crisis hazard maps of the threat of lahars at Fuego volcano in Guatemala, created with INSIVUMEH, Guatemala’s Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterologia e Hidrologia, as well as USGS/VDAP, and others.

Volcanological information: Preliminary map of threat by lahars with scenarios of moderate and intense rainfall.

VOLCANO DE FUEGO: @insivumehgt unveils a preliminary map of threat by lahars with scenarios of moderate and intense rains.

Lahars often initiate at upper most elevations and flow down through stream channels and gullies. Scientists forecast lahar hazards using computer models of the slopes in conjunction with estimates of the lahar volume at the outset, which is very challenging to estimate. For instance, in October 2005, Santa Ana erupted in El Salvador and lahars from this fresh ash were triggered overnight due to Hurricane Stan. And in November 2009, Hurricane Ida triggered devastating lahars from San Vicente volcano. Those deposits were from a large eruption of a nearby Ilopango Volcano that occurred more than 1500 years prior and had been sitting precariously on the slopes of San Vicente until 36″ of rain fell in 18 hours.

Escobar Wolf has worked on the most active three volcanoes in Guatemala (Fuego, Pacaya, and Santaguito) since he was a little boy. Michigan Tech Volcanology Professor (Emeritus) Bill Rose and others worked with him as a young adult and recruited him to Michigan Tech for graduate studies. Escobar Wolf is in frequent communication with CONRED (sort of like FEMA) and INSIVUMEH (sort of like USGS) about the eruptive symptoms of Guatemala’s active volcanoes.

As a PhD student in 2010 Rudiger Escobar Wolf outlined volcanic risks and the benefits of an early warning system to (now former) Guatemalan Vice President Dr. Rafael Espada, and Alejandro Maldonado, executive secretary of CONRED.
As a PhD student in 2010 Rudiger Escobar Wolf outlined volcanic risks and the benefits of an early warning system to (now former) Guatemalan Vice President Dr. Rafael Espada, and Alejandro Maldonado, executive secretary of CONRED.

The eruptive activity of Fuego Volcano is so frequent, in fact, it is the classic “cry wolf” scenario.

“Most volcanoes are either ‘on’ or ‘off’, but Fuego has been simmering since 1999,” says Kyle Brill, a doctoral candidate in geophysics at Michigan Tech. Brill also monitors seismic activity at Fuego Volcano. “Less than one percent of the volcanoes around the world have had eruptions lasting longer than a decade, and Guatemala has three volcanoes that always seem active to some level,” he says. “Questions naturally arose in hindsight in the days following the eruption as to why people around Fuego didn’t receive/heed evacuation warnings earlier, and the answer to that, sadly, was that Fuego is so active normally that it is very difficult to forecast when changes in activity could become deadly.”

Brill is a returned Peace Corps volunteer. He served in Guatemala under the Environmental Conservation and Income Generation Program as a Master’s International student in the Mitigation of Natural Geologic Hazards program at Michigan Tech.

Kyle Brill on Pacaya Volcano
Kyle Brill on Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

Despite the frequent eruptive behaviors, aspects of this eruption were much different than recent events at Fuego. In particular, some of the pyroclastic flows overbanked the drainages.

NPR’s Here & Now on WBUR-FM features an interview with Rudiger Escobar Wolf, Ph.D. ’13, MS ’07, talking about the Volcán de Fuego eruption. Listen at “Rescue Operations Underway In Guatemala After Deadly Volcano Eruption

Find out more about lahars from the USGS Volcano Hazards Program

Check out drone footage taken one week after the eruption of Volcán de Fuego, by Jozef Stano

 

 

 


Acoustics in Arctic Ice Sheets

Research Sites in the Arctic showing a collage of four snowy locations with researchers and equipment
Research Sites in the Arctic

As more human activity enters the Arctic, it is important to be able to detect and classify the resulting impact from human behaviors. Examples of anthropogenic impact sources might include shipping through the Northwest Passage, natural resource exploration, and tourism.

A simple way to measure this impact is to use a sparse array of acoustic and seismic sensors. In order to do that, we need to understand the propagation of acoustic energy through and between the ice, air, and water domains. With this work we begin to understand the energy propagation, which will guide us in designing and building future sensing systems in the evolving Arctic.

This work has been published by Miles B. Penhale, Andrew R. Barnard, Robert Shuchman, “Multi-Modal and short-range transmission loss in thin, ice-covered, near-shore Arctic waters,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 143(5).

https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5038569


Research Excellence Fund Awards Announced for 2018

Jeremy Bos in the labThe Vice President for Research Office announced the 2018 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards and thanked the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process. The awardees in the College of Engineering are listed below:

Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants

  • Jingfeng Jiang “JJ” (BME/LSTI) – Electromechanical Biomechanical testing apparatus (ACUMEN [3KN systems])

Research Seed (RS) Grants

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Mid-Career (MC)


BME Researchers Review Tissue Engineered Vascular Graft Advancements

TEVG Diagram of blood flow and components
Developing a biocompatible blood-contacting surface remains a major challenge for tissue engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs). This paper reviews the current state of TEVGs with an emphasis on the blood-contacting surface, which includes general vascular physiology and developmental challenges, materials currently employed in TEVGs, and strategies to modify blood-contacting surfaces to resist thrombosis and control cellular recruitment.

Tissue engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) are beginning to achieve clinical success and hold promise as a source of grafting material when donor grafts are unsuitable or unavailable.

Daniel Radke, Wenkai Jia, Dhavan Sharma, Kemin Fena, Guifang Wang, Jeremy Goldman, and Feng Zhao have a review accepted in Advanced Healthcare Materials. The article “Tissue Engineering at the Blood-Contacting Surface: A Review of Challenges and Strategies in Vascular Graft Development” is an invited review which is a follow-up to a previous research publication: “Aligned nanofibrous cell-derived extracellular matrix for anisotropic vascular graft construction,” Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2017; 6:1601333 (1-6).

This is a timely and comprehensive review article that references extensive publications. It covers significant technological advances regarding tissue engineered vascular grafts for cardiac disease treatment. The review focuses on the challenge of developing a biocompatible blood-contacting surface.

The research group includes faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students in the department.