Archives—January 2011

Chevy Volt: Defining the Interdependent Roles of Technology & Infrastructure

Thursday January 27, 2011 4:00-5:00 p.m.
ME-EM building, Room 112

Dr. Kristin B. Zimmerman
General Motors Research and Development Center

Electrification of transportation is beginning to proliferate in global markets due to issues concerning energy security, displacement of petroleum, and lowering carbon dioxide emissions. The Chevy Volt is a game changer in this context. It offers a perfect platform to talk about the technology and infrastructural requirements to mainstream blended energy vehicles into personal transportation and mobility space. Key engineering skills in areas associated with chemistry. electronics, IT. and product design are increasingly in demand not only with the large auto OEMs, but throughout the automotive supply chain. This supply chain includes the electric utility sector which is interdependent on the attributes that plug-in capable vehicles bring to market. Some of the challenges include demand side solutions for local load management, vehicle to grid (V2G) advances in frequency modulation and other ancillary services. smart-grid communication technologies. community energy storage, and large scale distributed energy storage to support the proliferation of renewable energy generation.

We will define and discuss the aforementioned and uncover a few new entrepreneurial ideas to pursue.

Challenging Topics of Micro/Nanoscale Transport Phenomena

Thursday January 20, 2011 4:00-5:00 p.m.
ME-EM building, Room 112

Associate Professor Seong Hyuk Lee
Chung-Ang University Seoul Korea

Recently, many useful electronic, photonics, and fluidic devices are shrinking from the microscale down to the nanoscale. As the size decreases, we are often faced with dramatically different mechanisms of energy transportation and conversion in matters, and big differences occur in time and space. This lecture aims to introduce some emerging and challenging topics of micro/nanoscale transport phenomena. First, we will start our journey into length scales for a brief look at the relative size of things in the universe. Then, I will introduce Multi-scale Thermal Engineering Laboratory (MTEL) in CAU for some research topics. Among our on-going topics, this lecture covers brief reviews of two topics: one of which is ultrashort pulse laser interactions with solid matters, and the other is wetting and dynamic droplet behavior on micro-textured hydrophobic surfaces. Finally, some of collaboration activities and plans are introduced.

Michigan Tech Aerospace Enterprise wins first place in AFRL Nanosat 6 Competition

The Michigan Tech Oculus-ASR vehicle designed and built by undergraduate students of the Aerospace Enterprise Team has won first place in national competition.

On January 17 Michigan Technological University was chosen as the winning school in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite flight competition review (FCR). A team of 24 judges from AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL Propulsion Directorate, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Department of Defense Space Test Program, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Orbital Sciences Corporation, SpaceX, and Rockwell Collins reviewed design documents and hardware demonstrations from the eleven participating universities. 25 undergraduates from MTU travelled to the FCR, which was held in Albuquerque, NM.

As the winning university, Michigan Tech will now receive a two-year follow-on contract from AFOSR to perform final integration and testing of the spacecraft to prepare it for launch and also to construct a ground-control station on campus. The DoD Space Test Program will launch the MTU satellite into low-Earth orbit in 2013. The spacecraft will complete a one-year nominal mission controlled from Michigan Tech. The satellite has been completely designed and built by Michigan Tech undergraduate students during a four-year program.

The Michigan Tech Oculus-ASR vehicle designed and built by undergraduate students of the Aerospace Enterprise Team has won first place in national competition. The Oculus-ASR project is advised by Brad King and Javier Fernandez.
The Michigan Tech Oculus-ASR vehicle designed and built by undergraduate students of the Aerospace Enterprise Team has won first place in national competition. The Oculus-ASR project is advised by Brad King and Javier Fernandez.

The Michigan Tech vehicle is called Oculus-ASR. The spacecraft is 70 kg and about half the size of a refrigerator. The spacecraft’s mission will improve techniques that the Department of Defense currently uses to keep track of all objects in space, who owns them, and what they’re doing.

The Oculus-ASR will perform coordinated maneuvers during overflights of the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), which is an array of mountain-top telescopes used to inspect orbiting objects. AMOS investigators will attempt to determine the orientation and shape of the vehicle and will compare these measurements with the actual “truth” data that is downloaded from the satellite. The vehicle has the capability to change its shape by deploying panels to exercise the AMOS algorithms and see if ground observers can detect the shape changes. The Oculus-ASR also carries two sensitive imaging cameras that were donated by SAIC and Raytheon Missile Systems. These cameras will be used to gather space-to-space images of other orbiting objects that can then be compared with the ground-to-space images obtained by AMOS.

Aerospace Enterprise wins prestigious two-year competition Michigan Tech News story

The Oculus-ASR project is advised by Brad King and Javier Fernandez.

Schools Involved in the Nanosatellite Competition:

Michigan Technological University



Georgia Tech

University of Minnesota

Montana Sate University

University of Central Florida

Missouri University of Science and Technology

University of Hawaii

St. Louis University

Santa Clara University

Nanoscale Vanadium Oxide: New Physics and Novel Applications

Thursday January 13, 2011 4:00-5:00 p.m.
ME-EM building, Room 112

Professor Sambandamurthy Ganapathy
The State University of New York – Buffalo

The scientific interest in vanadium oxide in bulk and thin-film form is partly motivated by the observation of a metal-insulator transition close to room temperature and the use of this material in novel electronic and electro-optic applications as switches and memory elements. Recently, there has been considerable interest in understanding the basic transport mechanism behind this spectacular metal to an insulator switching in vanadium oxide and similar systems. After presenting an overview of the recent results from this interesting material, I will present the results from our study on individual nanowires of vanadium oxide and show how metal doping can be used as a tuning parameter to control the switching mechanism in this material. I will show how this switching can be controlled by temperature, electric field, optics and strain, making this one of the potential material for several nanoelectronic applications.