Jason Blough is the 2021 Distinguished Professor

Jason Blough
Jason Blough

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is pleased to congratulate Robert Nemiroff and Jason Blough, the new University and Distinguished Professors.

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. The Distinguished Professor title recognizes outstanding faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the University and their discipline and are not presently recognized through an endowed position.

The confidential process for selecting University and Distinguished Professors spans the academic year and recipients for each award are notified late in the spring semester. Additional details regarding the awards and selection procedures can be found on the Provost’s website.

Blough, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has been selected to join Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Professors. Since joining Michigan Tech in 2003, Blough has been recognized for numerous contributions in teaching, research and service.

Blough is a member of Michigan Tech’s Academy of Teaching Excellence and has received the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. He is identified as an international leader in the area of noise, vibration and harshness, having received the Blue Ribbon Coalition Scientist of the Year Award (2006), the SEM DeMichele Award (2021) and the SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award (1997). He is also a Fellow of SAE (2021).

Blough has had numerous publications in journals as peer-reviewed conference papers. He has given over 30 short courses to industry. Additionally, he has had over 100 funded projects, totaling more than $3.7 million as principal investigator (PI) and $2.3 million as co-PI.

Blough has also been extremely active in service, graduating both doctoral and master’s students, chairing an international conference in his field, serving on boards, editing papers and journals, and advising the SAE Student Chapter and Clean Snowmobile Challenge for over 15 years. SAE has recognized him multiple times as an outstanding faculty advisor.


Spring 2021 Research Excellence Fund Award for Yongchao Yang

Yongchao Yang
Yongchao Yang

The Associate Vice President for Research Development Office announces the Spring 2021 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards. Thanks to the individual REF reviewers and the REF review panelists, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

Among the recipients of a Research Seed Grant (RS) is Yongchao Yang, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Yang’s expertise is in structural dynamics, experimental mechanics, and system identification.

More information about REF awards and the application process can be found on the Research Excellence Fund page.

By Associate Vice President for Research Development Office.


Nathan Ford is an Exceptional Leader in Student Governance

Nathan Ford
Nathan Ford

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored Friday (April 16, 2021) during Michigan Tech’s 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Nathan Ford, a graduate student, and Larkin Hooker-Moericke, an undergraduate student, were recognized as Exceptional Leaders in Student Governance. Both have collaborated on numerous projects and contributions for their constituency over the past year. With the unconventional year, they have shown to pivot and jointly work together to serve the students of Michigan Tech. They have advocated for modifications to various academic policies that have made significant impacts, formed several new committees to address student concerns, and worked tirelessly to minimize disruptions to the student experience. Their nomination states that the list of all the specific things they have done is just too long, but what is really important is that at no point have Larkin and Nathan lost sight of their job: the well-being and success of all students.

Nathan, President of Graduate School Government, is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

27th Annual Student Leadership Awards


Jeffrey Allen Elected as an ASME Fellow

Jeffrey S. Allen
Jeffrey S. Allen

Jeffrey S. Allen, (ME-EM) the John F. and Joan M. Calder Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The award is in recognition for Allen’s research contributions in optical diagnostic development for investigating fluid and heat transfer phenomena, his engineering design contributions in microgravity while at NASA, and his leadership in engineering education.

The ASME certificate was presented to Allen at the ME-EM Faculty and Staff meeting earlier this month.


Peters, Stabenow Applaud $4.5 Million Federal Funding to Help Advance MTU Automated Vehicle Research

Michigan icon.

Michigan’s U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow welcomed $4,498,650 in federal funding awarded to Michigan Tech for self-driving vehicle research and development on March 10, 2021. The funding—awarded through the Department of Energy—will support ongoing projects to enhance connected and automated vehicle technologies that improve driver safety by eliminating risk found in human error.

Led by the University and in partnership with General Motors (GM), the American Center of Mobility and Stellantis, this research aims to identify additional opportunities for fuel savings and EV range optimization by creating more intelligently operating vehicles. 

“Michigan continues to be a global leader in developing self-driving vehicle technology, thanks in part to work being done at distinguished institutions like Michigan Tech,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports. “This investment will spur future innovation and development surrounding mobility as we work to usher self-driving cars safely onto our roadways while ensuring Michigan remains on the forefront of automated transportation.”

“Michigan workers, manufacturers and universities are the best in the world and continue to lead the development of next-generation vehicles. Michigan Tech is one of those institutions leading the way in creating longer-range electric and autonomous vehicles, improving safety and making our cars more energy efficient. This investment will ensure Michigan remains a global leader,” said Senator Stabenow.

The project is led by Jeffrey Naber, the Ron and Elaine Starr Professor in Energy Systems, in Michigan Tech’s Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department and the director of the Advanced Power Systems Research Center.

“We are proud to continue our support of advancing autonomous and connected vehicle technologies through collaborative research with industry and the Department of Energy,” said David Reed, Vice President of Research, Michigan Technological University. “This program builds upon our strengths in power systems, controls, and systems engineering to improve driver safety for all.”

 More information on the Department of Energy Grant program can be found at ARPA-E Funding Opportunity Exchange and Department of Energy Funding & Financing.


Postdoctoral Research Associate: Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Modeling and Simulation

Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI
25 January 2021

Position Description

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University is hiring a postdoctoral research associate for a recently funded U.S. Department of Energy project to develop off-highway diesel engine aftertreatment technology that reduces the cost and complexity. Optimal design of a single device that combines the functions of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is the focus of the research. Referred to as a DOCF, it will simultaneously control a diesel engine’s CO, HC and PM emissions. Achieving the project goals requires a combination of modeling and simulation (M&S), reactor experiments, prototype development and engine test cell studies. In addition to Michigan Tech, the project team includes Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) and several commercial partners. The integrated nature of the project requires close collaboration among all its partners including not only co-development of M&S codes but also reactor and engine test cell experiments. This position focuses on the M&S code development, the model calibration with test data and its use for DOCF design.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Your primary duties will be: (1) development of the DOCF’s M&S codes, (2) the calibration of the model to test data, (3) periodic reporting to our research customer and project partners and (4) publication of the results in peer-reviewed journals. Other duties may be assigned as the project develops. Because calibration requires a thorough understanding of both the DOCF’s physics and the test data, it’s important that you work closely with researchers responsible for conducting both reactor and engine tests. Model development minimally requires that you have experience with (1) diesel engine aftertreatment technologies and (2) modeling a gas flow device that has coupled thermal and chemical kinetic responses. It’s imperative that the resulting M&S codes be predictive and can be used for extrapolated DOCF design. Fortunately, Michigan Tech has a long history of diesel engine aftertreatment component M&S development including: DOCs, DPFS, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCRs) and most recently, a combined SCR/DPF device. Most of these models exist in MATLAB and Simulink. The expectation is that our existing models, and those of our project partners, can be leveraged to implement this DOCF modeling effort.

Minimum Required Education

  • A PhD in mechanical or chemical engineering, or a closely related field

Minimum Required Experience

  • Model development using MATLAB and Simulink
  • Diesel engine aftertreatment component analysis involving chemical reactions, transport phenomena and thermal response

Minimum Required Skills, and Abilities

  • Advanced chemical process knowledge consistent with a PhD degree in chemical or mechanical engineering
  • Advanced modeling techniques using MATLAB and Simulink.
  • Demonstrated abilities in (1) oral and written communication and (2) working with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff

Desirable Experience

  • DPF and/or other emission component modeling
  • Aftertreatment component model calibration
  • Reactor or engine test cell studies

Desirable Skills, and Abilities

  • Experience with COMSOL Multiphysics, GT-Suite or similar programs

Term

  • The appointment is for 12 months with a yearly renewal option

Application Instructions

Please submit the items below to Marlene Lappeus by email, mmlappeu@mtu.edu. Applications will be reviewed as they arrive with the goal of making a selection by March 2021.

  • Your CV, including a list of your publications
  • One-page description of your relevant research experience
  • Contact information of three references

Senior Capstone Team Places in National Airport Design Competition

Glycol Collection Cart illustration.

A project designed by a Michigan Tech Senior Capstone team placed second in the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) student design competition. The team’s submission in the Airport Environmental Interactions Challenge design category was “Glycol Collection Cart: A Design for Small Airports.”

Undergraduate team members are Derek Cingel, Jared Langdon, Bryce Leaf, Ruth Maki, and Douglas Pedersen. Amanda Moya and Alec Mitteer also participated the first semester of the project.

They were advised by Paul van Susante and Michigan Tech Senior Capstone Design Program Director William Endres.

The selection was made from 63 entries by a panel of industry, FAA and academic experts. For its entry, the team will receive a $2,000 award.

The Transportation Research Board is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine.


Choi and Barr Present ASEE Conference Paper

ASEE Virtual Conference June 22 to 26 in 2020

Chang Kyoung Choi (ME-EM) and Nancy Barr (ME-EM) presented a paper titled “Peer Presentations as a Student-centered Learning Approach in the Nanotechnology Class” in the Graduate Studies Division of the recent virtual ASEE Annual Conference.

This paper discussed the first phase of a multi-year study on the use of an active learning approach called student-centered learning to build communication skills in a graduate-level nanotechnology course.

Both are faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics where is Choi is an associate professor and Barr is a professor of practice-engineering communication.

The conference “At Home with Engineering Education” took place June 22-26, 2020. It was presented by the University of Maryland. ASEE is the American Society for Engineering Education.


Bo Chen Named ASME Fellow

Bo Chen
Bo Chen

Bo Chen (ME-EM) has received the designation of Fellow from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The ASME Committee of Past Presidents confers the Fellow grade of membership on worthy candidates to recognize their outstanding engineering achievements.

Nominated by ASME Members and Fellows, an ASME Member has to have 10 or more years of active practice and at least 10 years of active corporate membership in ASME.

William Predebon, chair of the the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics said, “Dr. Chen has made major contributions in her field of embedded systems with application to hybrid-electric and electric autonomous systems. Her course in Model-based Embedded Control System Design is regularly in high demand by not only ME students but also EE students. This is a testament to the importance of the topic and her teaching ability.”

Chen conducts interdisciplinary research in the areas of mechatronics and embedded systems, agent technology, modeling and control of hybrid electric vehicles, cyber-physical systems and automation.


Barnard Presents at Webinar on N95 Mask Decontamination

Andrew Barnard's presentation with one screen on the first generation prototype.

Andrew Barnard (ME-EM/GLRC) presented to an international audience Sunday at a webinar on the decontamination of N95 masks. Barnard was invited by a group of scientists, doctors and engineers to present on the Mobile Thermal Utility (MTU) Sanitizer.

The seminar was simulcast through both Zoom and YouTube Live. There were more than 450 attendees on Zoom from more than 50 countries, including many African, South American and Central American nations. In addition, more than 1,000 attended via YouTube Live.

In addition to Barnard, panelists included researchers from Harvard, MIT, the University of Chicago, Clemson, Massachusetts General Brigham Hospital and more.

“I am proud to represent Michigan Tech among this group of distinguished scholars. It has been an honor to work with the incredible team here at MTU on this project,” Barnard said. “Thank you for all the support of this team. It is gratifying to know the administration sees value in supporting the global health care community during this pandemic. Your efforts and support have not gone unnoticed.”

Those who missed the livestream can watch the seminar on YouTube. Barnard’s presentation begins at 1:14:16. He also speaks during the Q&A at the end of the webinar at 1:40:02 and 1:44:21.