Tag: MSE

Stories about Materials Science and Engineering.

Solar Farms, Not Tobacco Fields

Big Think Story HeadlineResearch by Electrical Engineering alumnus Ram Krishnan ‘16 and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) on converting tobacco farms to solar photovoltaic farms was covered widely in the media including; Modern FarmerPopular Mechanics and the Weather Channel.

An article about Joshua Pearce’s research on replacing tobacco fields with solar arrays was recently featured in IEEE Electronics 360Popular Mechanics, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Fifth Estate (Australian business newspaper), Solar Thermal MagazinePV MagazineScience Daily, the Weather Channel and Big Think.

Related:

Farm Sunshine, Not Cancer: Replacing Tobacco Fields with Solar Arrays
Saving Lives and Money: The Potential of Solar to Replace Coal

Michigan Tech Researchers Honored for their Contributions in 2017

Researchers in the lab

At the Research Development Day held Jan. 11, 2018, the following individuals were recognized for their research contributions in calendar year 2017.

College of Engineering

Top research expenditures: Jeff Naber (ME-EM), Greg Odegard (ME-EM), Paul Sanders (MSE)

Related:

Michigan Tech Automotive Energy Efficiency Research Receives Federal Award of $2.8 Million from US Department of Energy

NASA Taps Tech Professor to Lead $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute

Chemical Engineering

Lei Pan received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hui Yao (formerly CEE) received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

David Watkins received an award of more than $1 million.

Related:

Household Sustainability: Consuming Food, Energy, Water

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jeremy Bos, Lucia Gauchia, and Tony Pinar each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Snehamoy Chatterjee, James DeGraff, Mark Kulie, and Matthew Portfleet each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Materials Science and Engineering

2017 Michigan Tech Research Award: Yun Hang Hu

Bhakta Rath Research Award: Yun Hang Hu and Wei Wei

Joe Licavoli received his first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Related:

Yun Hang Hu Wins Both Research Award and Bhakta Rath Award

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Parisa Abadi, Chunpei Cai, Hassan Masoud, and Ye Sun each received their first external funding as a principal investigator at Michigan Tech.

Jeff Naber and Greg Odegard each received awards of more than $1 million.

Open-Source Hardware Paper Ranks High

Open Source Slide Dryer
Open Source Slide Dryer

Electrical engineering graduate student Shane Oberloier co-authored a paper with Joshua Pearce (MSE|ECE): General Design Procedure for Free and Open-Source Hardware for Scientific Equipment. in the journal Designs. The paper is currently ranked in the top 0.1% on Academia.edu.

Designs 20182(1), 2; doi:10.3390/designs2010002

Abstract

Distributed digital manufacturing of free and open-source scientific hardware (FOSH) used for scientific experiments has been shown to in general reduce the costs of scientific hardware by 90–99%. In part due to these cost savings, the manufacturing of scientific equipment is beginning to move away from a central paradigm of purchasing proprietary equipment to one in which scientists themselves download open-source designs, fabricate components with digital manufacturing technology, and then assemble the equipment themselves. This trend introduces a need for new formal design procedures that designers can follow when targeting this scientific audience. This study provides five steps in the procedure, encompassing six design principles for the development of free and open-source hardware for scientific applications. A case study is provided for an open-source slide dryer that can be easily fabricated for under $20, which is more than 300 times less than some commercial alternatives.

Read more at Designs.

The holy grail of energy storage—Solving the problems of lithium anodes

Samsung exploded phone
A damaged Samsung Galaxy Note 7 after its lithium battery caught fire. Photo Credit: Shawn L. Minter, Associated Press

State-of-the-art mechanical characterization of pure lithium metal, performed at submicron-length scales, provides signifcant physical insight into critical factors that limit the performance of next generation energy storage devices.

Erik Herbert, Michigan Tech
Erik Herbert, Materials Science & Engineering

Compared to competing technology platforms, a pure lithium anode potentially offers the highest possible level of volumetric and gravimetric energy density. Gradual loss of lithium over the cycle life of a battery prevents the full fruition of this energy technology.

Michigan Tech researchers Erik Herbert, Stephen Hackney, and their collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Michigan are investigating the behavior of a lithium anode accessed through, and protected by, polycrystalline superionic solid electrolytes. Their goals: Mitigate the loss of lithium; prevent dangerous side reactions; and enable safe, long-term, and high-rate cycling performance.

“We want to maintain efficient cycling of lithium in a battery over many cycles, something that’s never been done before,” says Herbert. “The fundamental challenge is figuring out how to maintain a coherent interface between the lithium anode and the solid electrolyte. Defects formed in the lithium during cycling determine the stability and resistivity of the interface. Once we see how that happens, it will reveal design rules necessary to successfully fabricate the solid electrolyte, and the battery packaging.”

The team is launching parallel efforts to address these issues. Herbert, for his part, wants to learn exactly how lithium is consumed on a nanoscale level, in real time. “We want to know why the interface becomes increasingly resistive with cycling, how the electrolyte eventually fails, how defects in the lithium migrate, agglomerate, or anneal with further cycling or time, and whether softer electrolytes can be used without incursion of metallic lithium into the electrolyte,” he says. “We also want to learn how processing and fabrication affect interface performance.”

“We want to maintain efficient cycling of lithium in a battery over many cycles, something that’s never been done before.”

Erik Herbert

polycrystalline lithium film
Surface of the polycrystalline lithium film, with over 100 residual impressions from targeted test sites

To answer these questions, Herbert conducts nano-indentation studies on vapor-deposited lithium films, various sintered solid electrolytes, and lithium films in fully functional solid-state batteries.

“The data from these experiments directly enable exam-ination of the complex coupling between lithium’s micro-structure, its defects, and its mechanical behavior,” says Herbert. “So far we’ve gained a better understanding of the mechanisms lithium utilizes to manage pressure (stress) as a function of strain, strain rate, temperature, defect structure, microstructural length scale, and in-operando cycling of the battery.”

Atomic resolution image of a spinel intergrowth lithium ion battery electrode particle and associated convergent beam electron diffraction pattern. The ordered dots all over the black triangle (the particle) are atomic columns, with a convergent beam electron diffraction pattern in white at the top. These results were obtained with the FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S-TEM) recently commissioned by Michigan Tech.
These results were obtained with the FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S-TEM) recently commissioned by Michigan Tech.

Atomic resolution image of a spinel intergrowth lithium ion battery electrode particle and associated convergent beam electron diffraction pattern. The ordered dots all over the black triangle (the particle) are atomic columns, with a convergent beam electron diffraction pattern in white at the top.

 

Michigan Tech's FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S-TEM) positions Michigan Tech faculty on the leading edge of new imaging capability for structural and chemical analysis at the nano-scale.
Michigan Tech’s FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S-TEM)

Michigan Tech’s FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S-TEM) positions Michigan Tech faculty on the leading edge of new imaging capability for structural and chemical analysis at the nano-scale.

Authoring and Editing Activity for Joshua Pearce

The BridgeJoshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was the guest editor for the National Academy of Engineers’ Fall Issue of The Bridge on Open Source Hardware.

The complete issue and all individual articles can be downloaded here.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and ECE graduate students Prannay Malu and Utkarsh Sharma co-authored the paper, Agrivoltaic potential on grape farms in India, in Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments.

Pearce co-authored a paper Micro-Raman Scattering of Nanoscale Silicon in Amorphous and Porous Silicon in Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie.

Pearce and Michigan Tech alumnus Jephias Gwamuri  coauthored, “Open source 3D printers: an appropriate technology for building low cost optics labs for the developing communities“, published in Proc. SPIE 10452, 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017.

Pearce and biomedical engineering student Ross Michaels published a short note: 3-D printing open-source click-MUAC bands for identification of malnutrition in Public Health Nutrition.

In the News

Alumna Dhwani Trivedi (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) published Open Source 3-D Printed Nutating Mixer in Applied Sciences. Their work was covered by 3Ders in Michigan engineers design open source 3D printed rotating lab mixer and in GongKong, which is the China Industrial Network.

Pearce’s summary “How solar power can protect the U.S. military from threats to the electric grid” on collaboration with PhD Student Emily Prehoda (SS) and Chelsea Schelly (SS) was picked up by the Associated Press and covered widely, including: LA TimesGovTechChicago TribuneSan Francisco ChronicleRaw StoryECS and Real Clear Defense, among others.

Their work was later covered by the investment news in Motley FoolBusiness Insider and Green Biz, and internationally in Sputnik News.

In Print

MSE alumna Amber Haselhuhn coauthored a paper with Paul Sanders (MSE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) Hypoeutectic Aluminum–Silicon Alloy Development for GMAW-Based 3-D Printing Using Wedge Castings published in the International Journal of Metalcasting.

Alumnus Chenlong Zhang coauthored a paper with Sandra Cvetanovic (ECE, undergraduate) and Pearce (MSE/ECE), Fabricating Ordered 2-D Nano-Structured Arrays Using Nanosphere Lithography. The paper appeared in MethodsX.

ECE alumna Siranee Nuchitprasitchai co-authored a paper with Mike Roggemann (ECE) and Pearce (MSE/ECE), Factors effecting real-time optical monitoring of fused filament 3D printing. It was published in Progress in Additive Manufacturing.

Steel Steals the Spotlight

Steel DaySteel companies take center stage today, September 20, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the CareerFEST tent. Companies on campus include Nucor, Caterpillar, Arcelor Mittal, Gerdau, Steel Dynamic and Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc.

The steel industry directly employs 2 million people worldwide and is the second largest industry in the world, next to oil and gas.

At today’s event, students can throw golf balls at steel and aluminum panels from Arcelor Mittal, take a virtual tour of the Nucor Hickman Facility, and see Caterpillar’s 938M wheel loader.

Tech’s Advanced Metalworks Enterprise and Materials United Student Organization will also be participating.

By Career Services.

Engineering Faculty on Managing Multigenerational Teams

Scientific teams are more diverse than ever and are often populated by people of varying ages. Understanding how to modify management styles according to the needs of different generations ensures enhanced group productivity, creativity, and collaboration.

Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce

Joshua Pearce

At 41, Joshua Pearce, professor of materials science and engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, is a member of Generation X. He leads the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab at the university, which includes a multigenerational team of visiting industrial scholars (whose children are older than Pearce), Baby Boomer research staff, and Millennial or Generation Y interns. Over the years, Pearce has gained insight into how to facilitate a more productive and creative ecosystem for everyone—and it starts with acknowledging the value that each generation brings to the team.

Adrienne Minerick
Adrienne Minerick

Adrienne Minerick

Adrienne R. Minerick, 41, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and assistant to the provost for faculty development at Michigan Tech, found that to coordinate a team with professors who are older than her—sometimes by over 30 years—she has to adapt and ensure effective communication.

Read more at Science, by Alaina G. Levine.

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Labs Available to Harvey Displaced Researchers

March for ScienceFour Michigan Tech labs, so far, have responded to a request by scientific honor society Sigma Xi and the March for Science for researchers to open their labs to scientists displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Rudy Luck (Chem), David Shonnard (ChemEng), Paul Sanders (MSE) and the Great Lakes Research Center all have invited researchers and students impacted by Harvey to work in their labs.

In its call for lab space, Sigma Xi wrote, “some researchers in the storm’s path will be displaced from their laboratories for an extended period. These individuals may require extraordinary measures to continue their work. Sigma Xi is joining with March for Science to assemble a list of research laboratories nationwide that are willing to accommodate faculty, postdocs and students who need to temporarily relocate.”

Nationwide, 290 labs have signed up so far. To see the list of labs click here.

By Jenn Donovan.

Biofuels Conversion, Biochemical & Thermochemical

Shonnard Lab @ Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI
David Shonnard
drshonna@mtu.edu

Alloy Research

Sanders Alloy Research Lab @ Michigan Technical University
Houghton, MI
Paul Sanders
sanders@mtu.edu
Al, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mg alloy development; modeling, casting, thermo-mechanical processing, mechanical testing, SEM/TEM
may be able to provide basic housing (basement bed, bath)

DENSO Foundation Grant to Michigan Tech

DENSO Collaboration Communication
DENSO Collaboration and Communication Space in the Mineral and Materials Building.

Supporting the communities DENSO serves and providing resources for the next generation of technical workers to succeed are core to DENSO’s success. To fulfill these promises, DENSO’s philanthropic arm – the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – funds programs across the continent each year, providing hands-on learning opportunities in areas from robotics and thermodynamics to design and materials development. Recently, the DNAF board confirmed its 2017 college and university grants, totalling nearly $1 million in overall funding for 22 institutions and educational programs across North America.

DENSO is a global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems, and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics, and information and safety.

Read more at Progressive Engineer, by Tom Gibson.

Some of the DENSO educational grants for Michigan Tech supported:

  • Dust Collection System
  • Enterprise Future Truck
  • Enterprise & Youth Outreach
  • Challenge X Enterprise
  • Chassis Dynamometer
  • Automotive Enterprise / Plasma Cutter and ops
  • Student Design Center
  • Keweenaw Research Center and Enterprise Program

Silicon Solar Cell Research in the Journal of Optics

Journal of OpticsAlumni Chenlong Zhang (MSE), Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) and electrical and computer engineering students Sandra Cvetanovic and Mehdi Sadatgol coauthored an article with Durdu Guney (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), Enhancement of hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells with front-surface hexagonal plasmonic arrays from nanoscale lithography, in the Journal of Optics.

doi.org/10.1088/2040-8986/aa7291