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Senior Design Projects 2012-13

Expo 2013 Booklet
Expo 2013 Booklet

Seniors in Materials Science and Engineering were involved in several interdisciplinary collaborations for their Senior Design Projects. Each project had a faculty advisor and industry sponsor. Students worked together to address issues in medicine, transportation, manufacturing, metallurgy, and other areas.

Senior Design Projects 2012-13

Senior Design Archives

MSE Design Videos

Projects were presented at the Undergraduate Expo 2013. Learn more about Expo activities in the Expo 2013 Booklet.

Design Expo 2014


Good luck to all the teams participating in Design Expo 2014, coming up on Thursday, April 17, from 8 am to 4 pm. in the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library, 3rd floor.

Design Expo is a showcase of Enterprise and Senior Design student projects.

View the Design Expo 2014 – Schedule of Events.

We would like to say congratulations to the graduating seniors and a job well done on senior design posters and presentations. The list below show the presentations and all who were involved:

2:00 Design, Manufacture, and Testing of a New Blast Furnace Tap Bit
Team: Alisha Clark, Matt Dazell, Dan Freiberg, Max Rebottaro
Advisor: Tom Wood (AME)
Sponsor: Joe Brunner, ArcelorMittal

2:25 Battery Electrode Formulation for Lithium Battery
Team: Kellan Martin, Taylor Michels, Emily Wolbeck, Michael Warhus
Advisor: Dr. Pete Moran
Sponsor: Todd Bofinger, Boston Scientific

2:50 Ductile Iron Alloy Development
Team: Collin Tether, Alex Thiel, Danielle Williamson, Melissa Wright
Advisor: Dr. Dan Seguin (AME)
Sponsor: Steve Thelen and Stephen Doyle, Meritor

3:15 Bainitic Steel Alloy and Heat Treatment Optimization
Team: Travis Hepfner, Cody Torrez, Matt Tianen, Kelsey Whalen
Advisor: Dr. Doug Swenson
Sponsor: Ed Vesely, ME Global

3:40 BREAK

3:50 Friction Stir Welding of Aluminum Die Castings
Team: Anthony Konieczny, Alex Seidl, Chris Shaw, Stephanie Tankersley
Advisor: Dr. Dan Seguin
Sponsor: Cory Padfield and Steve Cook, American Axle

4:15 Improved Brake Design for Brake Truck Applications
Team: Adam Jacobson, Michel Knudsen, Alex McQuarter, Troy Podges
Advisor: Jerry Anzalone (AME)
Sponsor: Greg Ecker, Magline

4:40 Local Material Properties in Die-Cast Aluminum Driveline Housings
Team: Zac Dvorak, Ben Holtz, Greg Holl, Andrew Lewis,
Advisor: Dr. Dale Dewald (AME)
Sponsor: Ben Cottrill, Linamar

View the Design Expo 2014 Booklet

View the Design Expo 2014 Photo Gallery

Design Expo 2014
Design Expo 2014

MSE Team wins Michigan Tech Design Expo

The “Aluminum Corrosion Study—Automotive Electrical Systems” team placed first for Senior Design in the annual Michigan Tech Design Expo.

Aluminum Corrosion Study Team Members: Annie LeSage, Jacob Gerdt, Kyle Myszka,and Alexandra Glover, Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Steve Kampe, Materials Science and Engineering
Sponsor: Yazaki North America

Aluminum Corrosion Study Team Members: Annie LeSage, Jacob Gerdt, Kyle Myszka,and Alexandra Glover, Materials Science and Engineering
Aluminum Corrosion Study Team Members: Annie LeSage, Jacob Gerdt, Kyle Myszka,and Alexandra Glover, Materials Science and Engineering

Project Overview:
The switch from copper to aluminum in automotive electrical systems is advantageous to U.S automakers and automotive component suppliers because it has the potential to decrease vehicle weight and raw materials costs. This switch also poses several challenges. This senior design project characterizes the galvanic corrosion rate of an aluminum substrate with a metallic plating when exposed to an electrolytic solution. This mimics the exposure of electrical components to a fluid containing salts or automotive chemicals. The results of this testing are critical to the success of the copper-to-aluminum substitution in automotive electrical systems. This is because they inform automotive component designers about the expected lifetime of such systems when exposed to a corrosive environment.

Video Clip about the Aluminum Corrosion Study

Aluminum Corrosion Study Team at Design Expo
Aluminum Corrosion Study Team at Design Expo

2015 Design Expo Image Contest Entries

Congratulations to MSE senior design team members Jordan Pontoni, Calvin Nitz, Shane Anderson and Austin DePottey for their first place image of a team member at work in the foundry. The image illustrates the team’s project, Casting 357 Aluminum, sponsored by Eck Industries. The team’s advisor is MSE engineer/scientist Thomas Wood.
Team 150, Title: “E357 Alloying to Increase Elongation and Maintain Mechanical Properties”, the foundry shot.

MSE senior design team members Jordan Pontoni, Calvin Nitz, Shane Anderson and Austin DePottey for their first place image of a team member at work in the foundry.
MSE senior design team members Jordan Pontoni, Calvin Nitz, Shane Anderson and Austin DePottey for their first place image of a team member at work in the foundry.

2015 Design Expo Summary Report

Undergrad Expo 2013 Award Winners in MSE

Undergraduate Expo 2013
Undergraduate Expo 2013

More than 60 student teams displayed their research projects at the Undergraduate Expo last Thursday, April 18, at the Van Pelt and Opie Library. You can check out Expo videos, slide show, booklet and results at

Senior Design Second Place
Sickle Section Material and Heat Treatment Investigation

Team Members Kelsey Michael, Anne Wiese, Luke Operhall, and Bradley Pasionek, Materials Science and Engineering; 
Advisor Mark Plichta
; Sponsored by Kondex

Senior Design Honorable Mention
Design of an ETA Phase Strengthened Nickel-Based Alloy

Team Members Peter Enz, Bryan Turner, Ben Wittbrodt, and Matthew Wong, Materials Science and Engineering
; Advisor Calvin White
; Sponsored by John Shingledecker, Electric Power Research Institute

Senior Design Honorable Mention
Stainless Steel Bonded Titanium Carbide

Team Members Max Rebottaro and Michael Buhr, Mechanical Engineering; Carolyn Lahti and Andrew Miko, Material Science and Engineering; 
Advisor Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering
; Sponsored by Kennametal

Expo Image Contest Second Place
Advanced Metalworks Enterprise: Pouring molten iron from induction furnace into crucible for filling sand molds

Students show expo work

The 13th annual expo, held for the first time on the third floor of the J. Robert Vane Pelt and Opie Library, featured projects from Tech senior design (generally five senior-level students from one degree program) and enterprise (essentially cross-disciplinary student-run businesses), as well as three high school enterprise teams (including Dollar Bay High School’s Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics).

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stephen Anderson.

Undergraduate Student Expo showcases talent

On April 12, Michigan Technological University hosted the 13th Annual Undergraduate University Expo. In the ballroom of the Memorial Union Building, undergraduate students displayed exhibits from their Enterprise teams and senior design projects.

Senior Design winners included the Bioabsorbable Polymer-Coated Metal Stent Degradation Simulation Design team, the Economic Recovery of Alloying Elements from Grinding Swarf Design team and the Portage Health Noise Monitoring Device Design team.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Nicole Iutzi.

Design, Analysis, Testing, Filling and Sealing HIP Cans for the Calcine Disposition Project at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

Friday, February 3, 2012 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dr. Delwin C. Mecham
CWI (Idaho National Engineering Laboratory)


The Calcine Disposition Project (CDP) of the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) hasthe responsibility to retrieve, treat, and dispose of the calcine stored at theIdaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) located at theIdaho National Laboratory in Southeast Idaho.  Calcine is the product ofthermally treating, or “calcining”, liquid high-level or sodium-bearing nuclearwaste produced at INTEC from 1963 to 1998 during the reprocessing of spentnuclear fuel (SNF).  The CDP is currently completing the design of the HotIsostatic Pressure (HIP) treatment process for the calcine to produce a volumereduced, monolithic, glass-ceramic waste form suitable for transport anddisposition.Conceptual design for the CDP requires the design of a large scale HIP canwhich maintains containment of calcine during the HIP treatment cycle. The HIPcan must be filled with calcine and additives and sealed remotely. The HIP cans will undergo approximately 50%volume reduction at a temperature of 1000-1250°C and a pressure of 50-100MPa.  The HIP can’s main function isto provide primary containment of the radioactive calcine material during and after the HIP treatment process.Development of a virtual testing program using high fidelity modeling techniques is required due to the prohibitivecost of full-scale testing using actual HLW calcine.This presentation will  describe current design, analysis, and testing of HIP cans and the design for filling andsealing HIP Cans.  The basic HIP technology is summarized and the remote HIP can fill and seal design ispresented.  Simulation models are developed to establish a virtual testing program using Finite Element Analysis(FEA).   Software packages COMSOL and ABAQUS are being used to analyze the thermal and structural responseof HIP cans during the HIPing process.  The software packages increase the understanding of can deformation andallow for virtual testing before large scale testing of the HIP cans.  This decreases the number of physical HIP cantests needed during the development of a HIP can design.  The models utilize a macroscopic representation of thegranular material “constitutive model” for the material inside the can and a non-linear representation of the stainlesssteel. Initial small scale testing of HIP cans has been performed to benchmark the FEA analysis and providevalidation of the constitutive models used.  Analytic results, test data, and comparisons between them are presented.


Dr. Del Mecham has forty years of experience in the planning and management of large-scale thermal-hydraulicexperiments including the development and application of thermal-hydraulic computer codes for nuclear reactor safety analysis.Dr. Mecham has developed and managed irradiation testing programs and has participated on national and internationalresearch technical advisory boards.  Del received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University and is aRegistered Professional Engineer in the State of Idaho.  Dr. Mecham serves on the Industrial Advisory Committee forMechanical Engineering at Utah State and holds an Adjunct Professor position at the University of Idaho.

MTU and LIFT Partner to Design Future Additive Manufacturing Materials, Manufacturing Processes

LIFT, the Detroit-based manufacturing innovation institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, has partnered with Michigan Technological University on a number of recent projects. Last year, four teams of undergraduate students designed a powder metal atomization chamber to enable the creation of new alloy metal powders for use in additive manufacturing.

While atomization is a standard technique for producing powders for metallic additive processes, there is limited production capability for custom alloys. The students’ design, a modular 10-foot-tall chamber, has the ability to atomize about 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of metal, including ferrous metals, nickel-based alloys and aluminum-based alloys.

“This atomization capability is needed because current powders for metal additive development projects are expensive and have long lead times,” said Paul Sanders, Patrick Horvath Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and advisor to the undergraduate design teams. “This chamber, if built and deployed, will provide for improved powder additive alloy design faster and at less cost across industry.”

For more information, read the full press release on LIFT’s website.

By Materials Science and Engineering.


New Technology for Custom 3DP Alloys

DBusiness Daily Update: OU Credit Union Agrees to 10-year, $5M O’rena Naming Rights Deal, and More

2021 MSE Capstone Design Presentations – 15 April 2021

Project:  Aluminum-scandium alloy design for wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM)
Team: Devin Deaton, Morgan Drum, and Ross Patterson
Sponsor:  Relativity Space; Sam Tonneslan, sponsor liaison

Project:  Decreasing corrosion in steel fasteners for pressure treated lumber
Team:  Nate Carey, Anna Hildebrandt, Jason Seeterlin, and Henry Vandermark
Sponsor:  Altenloh, Brinck & Company; Derek Krueger, sponsor liaison

Project:  Development of a beta brass alloy for co-extrusion
Team:  Lauren Bowling, Sidney Feige, Anna Isaacson, and Maria Rochow
Sponsor:  MTU College of Engineering and Mueller Industries, Todd Kidder, sponsor liaison

ASM Undergraduate Design Competition Nominee!

Project:  Effect of manganese on weld strength and drawability in 5xxx series aluminum weld wire
Team:  Michael Gazdecki, Spencer Hunt, Tyler Latta, and Ryan Weiss
Sponsor:  Hobart Brothers, LLC; Carson Williams, sponsor liaison

External Advisory Board Best Project Award!
Students’ Choice Award!

Project:  Wire arc additive manufacturing of steel diecasting hardware
Team:  Noah Ekdom, Mike Groeneveld, and Ty Timmerman
Sponsor:  Mercury Marine; Alex Monroe, sponsor liaison

MSE Staff S·I·R·I·F Award*!
* Safety · Innovation · Resourceful · Industrious · Fundamentals