Category Archives: Research

Seed Grants

COE Seed Grants showing researchers in the lab

The College of Engineering is offering seed funding of up to $50,000 for tackling a research problem that requires an interdisciplinary team to address. We wish to promote new collaborations between researchers with a focus on transdisciplinary initiatives that are aggressively forward-looking.

Stage 1 proposals of one page in length are due October 1 for up to $5,000 in support of travel and logistics.

Stage 2 proposals of five pages or fewer requesting up to $45,000 are due November 1. Stage 2 proposals should include a plan, budget justification, team qualifications, and funding track record.

Contact Leonard Bohmann (ljbohman@mtu.edu) for submissions.

Learn more at the College of Engineering.


Affordable Fused Filament Fabrication-based 3-D Printing

Additive Manufacturing journal coverJoshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored the study, “Chemical Compatibility of Fused Filament Fabrication-based 3-D Printed Components with Solutions Commonly Used in Semiconductor Wet Processing,” which was published in Additive Manufacturing.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2018.07.015

Extract

3-D printing shows great potential in laboratories for making customized labware and reaction vessels. In addition, affordable fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based 3-D printing has successfully produced high-quality and affordable scientific equipment, focusing on tools without strict chemical compatibility limitations.

The results show that 3-D printed plastics are potential materials for bespoke chemically resistant labware at less than 10% of the cost of such purchased tools.

In Print

ME students Aubrey Woern and DJ Byard coauthored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on Fused Particle Fabrication 3-D Printing: Recycled Materials’ Optimization and Mechanical Properties, which was published in Materials.

https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081413


Michigan Tech Brings Global Experts in Sustainable Iron and Steel to Houghton

Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Making at Michigan Tech
Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Making Laboratory (ASISC) at Michigan Tech

International industry leaders and research engineers from mining and mineral processing are on the Michigan Tech campus Thursday and Friday for the 7th annual meeting of the Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steelmaking Center (ASISC). The meeting features speakers from India, China, Chile, Brazil, United Kingdom, Sweden, South Africa, Columbia and the U.S., as well as Michigan Tech faculty and students.

A total of 25, 30-minute presentations will take place during the meeting. This year’s theme: “New Paradigms in Mineral Processing.”

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

The meeting kicked off with Komar Kawatra, professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech and founder and director of ASISC, welcoming participants. Todd Davis, area manager of Tilden Mine Plant Operations for Cleveland-Cliffs, delivered the first presentation. Following Davis, Anna Edigar, also of Cleveland Cliffs spoke about the role of government relations in the iron ore industry. She also shared an update on the Cliff iron ore operation.

Janet Callahan, dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech, welcomed attendees at today’s lunch at 1 p.m.

Callahan holds a PhD in materials science, an MS in metallurgy, and a BS in chemical engineering, all from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers. “Bringing together world experts to focus on sustainable ways to process iron and steel is important,” she remarked. “Each gain we make has a multiplying effect across the world.”

A Pilot Scale Carbon Dioxide Scrubber for the Michigan Tech Steam Plant

Sam Root and Sriram Valuri at work on the carbon dioxide scrubber
Sam Root and Sriram Valuri at work on the carbon dioxide scrubber

Meanwhile at Michigan Tech, chemical engineering undergraduate Sam Root, along with Kawatra and chemical engineering PhD student Sriram Valluri are making plans to install a pilot scale carbon dioxide scrubbing column in the Michigan Tech steam plant.

“The new equipment will scrub carbon dioxide from a sample stream of less than one percent of the main exhaust from the steam plant,” Root explains. “This will allow us to study the effects of real flue gas on carbon dioxide capture. The findings of this research will be applied in the future when designing a full-scale scrubbing operation.”

“The Michigan Tech steam plant currently produces a flue gas that is 10 percent carbon dioxide by volume,” says Kawatra. “Our goal is to use the scrubber to reduce those emissions to zero.”

The steel industry currently produces a flue gas that is 16 percent carbon dioxide by volume, adds Kawatra. Carbon dioxide scrubbers are not yet widely used in the steel industry, at least not yet.

“Making our scrubber compatible with real flue gas is the biggest challenge we’ve faced on this project. Flue gas is released from the boiler at high temperatures. It contains particulates that may be harmful to the packing inside the column. The equipment used to filter and cool the flue gas must be carefully selected to ensure that all materials are chemically compatible with the flue gas,” Root explains.

“Carbon dioxide levels are increasing, and this contributes to climate change. Capturing carbon dioxide on a large scale would be a huge step forward in mitigating anthropogenic climate effect. I am excited to work on such an important project as a young engineering student.” – Sam Root,  chemical engineering senior at Michigan Tech

Master Machinist Jerry Norkol and Research Associate Stefan Wisniewski, both staff in the Department of Chemical Engineering, worked with the students to design the new scrubbing column, and also built the experimental setup. Larry Hermanson, director of energy management for Michigan Tech Facilities, is also involved in project planning and installation. In just a few months, once the test pilot scrubber is installed on the steam plant, the team will begin to examine how impurities in flue gas, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as depleted oxygen levels, affect its ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

A Long Time In the Making
Kawatra and his graduate students have spent the past 15-plus years developing the scrubbing column technology at Michigan Tech with support from Carbontec Energy Systems in Bismarck, North Dakota. Carbontec is a developer of technologies for the energy, oil and gas and iron and steel industries. John Simmons, chairman of Carbontec, earned a BS in metallurgical engineering at Michigan Tech in 1953. He is a member of the Chemical Engineering Academy at Michigan Tech, a native of Ironwood, Michigan, and a strong supporter of Michigan Tech.

Root and Valluri will present a poster on the pilot carbon dioxide scrubber project at the ASISC annual meeting poster session.

Speakers at the ASISC Annual Meeting
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
Dr. Komar Kawatra, Michigan Tech
Todd Davis, Tilden Mine, Cleveland Cliffs
Anna Ediger, Cleveland Cliffs
Dr. Sandra De Moraes, IPT, Brazil
Dr. Natasia Naude, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Samira Rashid, Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions
William Irani, Gaustec Magnetic Technology
Esau Arinwae, Solvay
Professor Yuexin Han, Northeastern University, Shenyang, P. R. China
Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of Engineering, Michigan Tech
Professor Shaoxian Song, Wuhan University of Technology
Maria Bjorkvall, LKAB
Dean Connor, Metso Minerals Industries
John Simmons, Carbontec Energy

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
Dr. Luis Cisternas Universidad de Antofagasta, Chile
Michael Archambo, Michigan Tech
Victor Claremboux, Michigan Tech
Sriram Valluri, Michigan Tech
Dr. Rajiv Ganguli, University of Alaska Fairbanks
John Carr, Solvay
Dr. Tathagata Ghosh, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Latika Gupta, Michigan Tech
Scott Moffat, Solvay


Narkar and Lee on pH-Responsive, Reversible Adhesion

Ameya Narkar and Bruce Lee (Biomed) published “Incorporation of Anionic Monomer to Tune the Reversible Catechol-Boronate Complex for pH Responsive, Reversible Adhesion,” in Langmuir (ACS Publications).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b00373

Bruce P. Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Ameya Narkar is a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program.

Ameya Narkar
Ameya Narkar
Bruce P. Lee
Bruce P. Lee

Sponsored Libre Research Agreements to Create Free and Open Source Software and Hardware

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published, “Sponsored Libre Research Agreements to Create Free and Open Source Software and Hardware” in the journal Inventions. This article has a pre-approved template appendix that will be useful for Michigan Tech faculty doing sponsored research for open source companies and those wishing to save legal resources for Tech and firms with which they collaborate by streamlining negotiations for projects that do not follow a conventional IP approach.

Inventions 2018, 3(3), 44; doi:10.3390/inventions3030044

Agreement for Sponsored Libre Research at Michigan Tech

Open Source Articles Indexed per Year go up by orders of magnitude
Open Source Articles Indexed per Year

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.

In the News

An article written by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was reprinted by khou.com, the Times UnionFinancial SenseWorld News and several other media outlets.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in the article “3D printing news Sliced Siemens, ExOne, Stratasys, Massivit, CELLINK, Formlabs, Star Rapid,” 3dprintingindustry.com.

Pearce was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) for “3D Printing is Turning the Economics of Scale on its Head.” You can listen to the interview here.

Pearce writing on the trade wars and 3D printing was covered by Salon.


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

Lab07112014066

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.

On the Road

Tim Havens (ECE/CS) presented a paper entitled, “SPFI: Shape-Preserving Choquet Fuzzy Integral for Non-Normal Fuzzy Set-Valued Evidence,” this month at the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (IEEE WCCI 2018)in Rio de Janeiro. Havens also co-authored two other papers presented at the conference. WCCI is the biennial meeting of the three leading computational intelligence conferences: International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, and Congress on Evolutionary Computation. Co-authors on the paper were Tony Pinar (ECE), Derek Anderson (U. Missouri) and Christian Wagner (U. Nottingham, UK). As general chair of the Int. Conf. Fuzzy Systems 2019 in New Orleans, Havens also presented a pitch for the upcoming event at the WCCI awards banquet. The conference took place July 8-13, 2018.

Additionally, Havens presented an invited seminar, “How to Win on Trivia Night: Sensor Fusion Beyond the Weighted Average,” at MIT Lincoln Laboratory on July 16.


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