Tag: Finishing Fellowship

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Andrew Puyleart

August of 2016, I started my journey toward an Applied Physics Ph.D. at Michigan Tech. I recently left an engineering job and was excited to start working on cosmic ray physics with Dr. Brian Fick. Since then Brian and I have completed several projects together over the course of 5 years.

We started with a service project for the Pierre Auger Observatory. The Pierre Auger Observatory has fluorescence telescopes that only operate on clear-moonless nights. Clouds in our atmosphere disrupt photons from entering the telescope eyes of this instrument. Together we used a modern satellite, GOES-16, to accurately tell if a cloud was present in 2×2 km square pixels that cover the entire array.

Our work now has turned to searching for anomalous air showers that are generated when a cosmic ray interacts with atmospheric matter. These showers typically all look relatively the same; however, when they exhibit exotic behaviors they may hold clues to new particle physics. We are developing methods using the Pierre Auger Observatory to classify which showers are anomalous.

Thanks to the Michigan Tech Finishing Fellowship I will be able to focus on wrapping up this last project. I have coding work, and optimization to finish, as well as finally getting it all written down on paper. With the extra time, the Finishing Fellowship will give me to focus I might be able to avoid another winter here in the Upper Peninsula! Thanks, MTU!


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Chethan Reddy

I joined Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Fall 2016 for the Ph.D. program in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department. I concentrated on my coursework in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. Then in Summer 2017, I joined Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti and Dr. Rush D Robinett III in the Energy Mechatronics Laboratory at Michigan Technological University. My Ph.D. research focus is on Model-based Predictive Control of Co-generation Energy Systems. Co-generation Energy Systems are Energy Systems with two simultaneous energy types (for example electricity and thermal energy) or two simultaneous energy sources (for example engine with a waste heat recovery system). The two Co-generation Energy Systems I am focusing on are (i) building an HVAC system with solar energy integration, and (ii) an internal combustion engine with waste heat recovery.

Previously, I graduated with my bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 2011 and from my master’s in Mechatronics in 2013. I, then, was employed by Robert Bosch in the Automotive domain from 2012 to 2016. All in India. The main motivation for me to quit Robert Bosch was to develop my skills to contribute to the energy transformation of the world.

I am in the final stages of my Ph.D. and I am extremely grateful to the graduate school (MTU) for supporting me through the doctoral finishing fellowship during the Fall semester of 2021. I believe that this fellowship will allow me to concentrate completely on writing my dissertation and graduate sooner.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Yunxiang Ma

I came from central China, where I was born and brought up. I obtained my Bachelor of Engineering degree in civil engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, a young collaborated university symbolizing the cooperation and communication between the oriental and western world. Then I went to the United Kingdom and got my master’s degree in structural engineering and mechanics from the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh University. I joined MTU in January 2018 and started my study and research life as a Ph.D. student. The study and journey told me to embrace the difference, learn from the best and do what I can.  

Currently, human society is facing some common and severe problems, such as the extreme weather caused by global warming, pollution, and the increasing cost of human resources. As a civil engineer, I would like to help with what I can do. In my vision, the buildings have to be more resilient, ecofriendly, and efficient in cost and human resources in the future. A fundamental improvement to thaw the problems a little would be the improvement of structural systems. I was clueless; then, I met the mass timber structures. Unlike the manufacture of cement, which incinerates stones, or the casting of steel, which melt and treat iron in a furnace, timber structural components manufacture requires much less energy and consolidate the carbon absorbed by the trees. However, despite the outstanding sustainability performance, as a type of natural material, the variation in the mechanical properties and the directional differences limited the utilization. In recent decades, engineered wood products such as CLT broke through the limit and showed great potential as a new and better structural system.

Nevertheless, there are still a lot of technical problems limiting the promotion of mass timber structures. As a civil engineer, I wish to contribute and gain success. I got an opportunity here in MTU to study the manufacture of CLT with low-value timber for first-hand experience. I am studying the CLT wall structures with advanced finite element analysis tools for the structural dynamic response, which could help design and develop mass timber structures. I greatly appreciate MTU and my advisors that provided me the opportunity. And I would like to sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for approving me for the finishing fellowship award. The award will help me to fully concentrate on finishing my study and dissertation for my Ph.D. degree. It will be a significant step for me to pursue my career and my dream.  


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Ankith Ullal

I came to Michigan Tech in 2015 as a master’s student. Before this, I completed my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in NITK Surathkal, India. During my master’s degree, I was exposed to research work and enjoyed it very much. I like solving challenging problems and doing new things every day. Thus, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree which started in fall 2017 under the guidance of Dr. Youngchul Ra.

My research work deals with developing new accurate models for evaporation of liquid drops as well as wallfilms to be used in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. In particular, the first project involved the development of a model to predict pre-ignition (and thereby prevent) by lubrication oil drops in marine natural gas engines. Pre-ignition in marine engines can cause mechanical damage and thus financial loss. I have developed and tested a CFD computer code that can predict complex preignition processes. The second project was to develop a new analytical model for wallfilm evaporation. To lower emissions during the cold start of internal combustion (IC) engines, accurate modeling of the evaporation and heat transfer physics of wallfilm is required. First, the theoretical derivation of the model was developed. The model was then programed and implemented in KIVA-3V code. I hope my work will help engine/power plant designers and manufacturers to develop machines and processes that are more efficient, greener, and cleaner.

Now as I am closer to graduation, I am grateful to my advisor Dr. Ra for providing me valuable guidance. I also acknowledge the contribution of my lab mates who participated in our numerous discussions which helped me in my work. I sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and dean for awarding me this fellowship as it will help me concentrate on finishing my dissertation and defense.


Spring 2022 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2022 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, October 21, 2021 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Fall 2021 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, June 30, 2021 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Oudumbar Rajput

I obtained my Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pune in 2013.I started my graduate studies at Michigan Technological University in Fall 2015. During my master’s degree program, I joined Dr. Youngchul Ra’s research lab (Reacting Flows and Fuel Research Lab) at Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department and started my Ph.D. program in January 2017. The focal point of my research is to use in-house computational fluid dynamics tool to numerically develop a novel six-stroke gasoline compression ignition (6S-GCI) engine cycle to improve fuel consumption, reduce emissions, extend the operating range of conventional four-stroke GCI, and stabilize the engine operation at low loads.

A high compression ratio engine with two intake/exhaust valves is used for this work. The first task completed focused on understanding the impact of valve opening/closing timings on the overall combustion behavior in 6S-GCI engine. It successfully demonstrated that the 6S-GCI cycle improves fuel consumption compared to corresponding four-stroke operation. An important finding is that both kinetically-controlled mode (KCM) and mixing-controlled mode (MCM) of combustion could be achieved in the second power stroke maintaining low soot levels. Next, attention was paid to understand the underlying physics of combustion regime change (KCM/MCM). To achieve this, the impact of the variation of split ratio (ratio in which total fuel was divided amongst both the power stokes), fuel injection timings, intake temperature, boost pressure, EGR ratio, and injection pressure on overall combustion and emissions performance was analyzed. Finally, the effects of injector configuration and piston bowl geometry characteristics on fuel oxidation rates and formation and oxidation rates of emissions were analyzed. The work completed thus far helps not only to gain an understanding of the mechanism of enhancement of combustion phasing controllability, stabilizing of engine operation at low engine loads, and improvement of combustion efficiency, but also in planning new experiments, and in designing new engines.

I would like to sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for providing me with the Finishing Fellowship award. This will allow me to focus on defending my dissertation in summer 2021.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Sandip Aryal

I joined Michigan Tech in Fall 2018 as a graduate student in the Department of Physics and began working with Dr. Ranjit Pati. Before coming here, I completed a Master’s from the University of Utah and a postgraduate diploma in condensed matter and statistical physics from International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

At MTU, my research focuses on the prediction of new materials with novel properties using density functional theory (DFT) and spin transport in these materials using DFT and non-equilibrium Green’s function method for possible applications in spintronic devices. In these three years, I have completed a couple of research projects under the supervision of my advisor in which we tailored the properties of pristine semiconducting Ge-Si core-shell nanowire via doping of transition metals to predict a new class of materials. We then theoretically showed that the newly tailored materials act as an excellent spin filter (Mn-doped devices) or a switch (Cr-doped devices) with a high ON-OFF current ratio. Our results have laid the foundations for experiments and are expected to generate experimental interest in the near future due to compatibility with the current Si-based technology for potential applications in low dimensional spintronics.

I am extremely grateful to the graduate school (MTU) for supporting me through the doctoral finishing fellowship during the summer semester. I believe that this fellowship will allow me to concentrate completely on writing my dissertation and graduate sooner.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Sriram Valluri

Statement

Firstly, I want to thank MTU for awarding me the prestigious doctoral finishing fellowship award. I was born and brought up in south India. I did my undergraduate and master’s degree at IIT-Dhanbad, which accepts only the top 1% of students of India every year. For my Ph.D., I was offered a full scholarship at University of Queensland, Australia, and Penn state university, but I rather chose MTU to work under Dr. S. Komar Kawatra.

Prof Komar Kawatra is leading the CO2 capture and utilization research team at Michigan Tech University. Our goal is to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants at minimal cost and convert CO2 into value-added products like Syn-gas, Oxalic acid, etc. For the last four years, I have worked extensively on carbon capture and utilization projects. I and my team of undergraduate researchers have continuously improved the efficiency of our CO2 scrubber system and also tested the prototype in a pilot-scale environment. We presented our work at International Conferences representing MTU and received applause. I have published several papers on chemical absorption CO2 capture, in high-impact journals.

I Worked on multiple CO2 capture projects and successfully submitted reports. Successfully captured CO2 from Michigan Technological University steam plant as part of my Ph.D. thesis project. I have installed our pilot-scale CO2 scrubber system at the Michigan tech Power plant and reduced the CO2 emissions from 8% to 4%. I have trained Sam Root, a Chem Eng. Freshman on this project, who won national awards in Poster competitions.

Photography and rock climbing are two of my favorite pastimes. I am extremely pleased with my decision to pursue my Ph.D. at MTU. The upper peninsula of Michigan is a photographer’s dream, both in winter and in fall. When I have free time, I like to explore different parts of UP and take some landscape pictures. 


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Nathan Spike

I am a PhD candidate in the mechanical engineering – engineering mechanics program. I have been fortunate during my graduate studies to have served as a graduate teaching assistant for the SAE AutoDrive Challenge, working with an interdisciplinary team of graduate and undergraduate students on the development of an autonomous vehicle. Work with this competition has afforded me the use of an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt as a platform to perform research activities relevant to my dissertation. My research has focused on path planning and control of autonomous vehicles performing obstacle avoidance on low friction surfaces, an area that is essential for widespread adoption of autonomous vehicle technology. I have developed vehicle steering controls which react to un-detected ice on the road, allowing a vehicle to maintain control when traction is lost. I have also worked on optimal paths for obstacle avoidance when the friction surface is known. Finally, I have worked on stochastic methods for representing friction surfaces in simulation which improve correlation between a simulated vehicle model and hardware test platforms. 

I would like to thank my co-advisors, Dr. Darrell Robinette and Dr. Jeremy P. Bos for their support and guidance during my pursuit of the PhD. I would also like the thank the Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the graduate school for awarding me the finishing fellowship. This award will allow me to focus my efforts on completing my dissertation document and preparing for my defense in the Summer of 2021.