Archives—September 2013

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Control of Powertrain Systems

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 112, ME-EM Bldg. Professor Anna G. Stefanopoulou, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Title: Control of Powertrain Systems at the High Efficiency Limit

The protagonist of this story is a gasoline engine with a confused identity, often called DiesOtto, featuring unstable behavior and a potential for high-efficiency. Several independent short stories on stressed-out batteries and dead-ended fuel cells will highlight the challenges in understanding, modeling, and controlling highly efficient power conversion on-board a vehicle.

Anna G. Stefanopoulou is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Director of the Automotive Research Center a university-based U.S. Army Center of Excellence in Modeling and Simulation of Ground Vehicles. She obtained her Diploma (1991, Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Greece) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and her Ph.D. (1996, University of Michigan) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She was an assistant professor (1998-2000) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a technical specialist (1996-1997) at Ford Motor Company and a visiting professor (2006) at ETH, Zurich. She is an ASME and an IEEE Fellow, the Inaugural Chair of the ASME DSCD Energy Systems Technical Committee, a member of the SAE Dynamic System Modeling Standards Committee and a member of a U.S. National Academies committee on Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards. She has co-authored a book on Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems, 10 US patents, 5 best paper awards and 200 publications on estimation and control of internal combustion engines and electrochemical processes such as fuel cells and batteries.

Smile! Better Dental Implants are on the Horizon

A brighter, better, longer-lasting dental implant may soon be on its way to your dentist’s office. Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with artificial teeth. More than dentures or bridges, implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. While most dental implants are successful, a small percentage fail and either fall out or must be removed. A scientist at Michigan Technological University wants to lower that rate to zero using nanotechnology.


MTRI’s Global Research Featured at Michigan Tech

The staff of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor was on campus on Friday, Sept. 20, to conduct a poster session in the Dow Atrium (sixth-floor campus entrance). MTRI scientists and engineers were also available to discuss projects, collaborations with Michigan Tech departments and staff, and areas of research interest. The session is intended to outline the institute’s current activities and to explore opportunities to develop new working relationships.

MTRI, a research center of Michigan Technological University, is a recognized leader in the research, development and practical application of sensor and information technology to solve critical problems in national security, protecting and evaluating critical infrastructure, bioinformatics, earth sciences and environmental processes.

Videos of MTRI Visit

Photos of MTRI Visit

More information:

Career Fair Grows Into a Week of Career Activities

The Career Fair has grown into a week-plus of activities in both the fall and spring semesters. Interview skills training and resume blitzes have already started, and fair week has numerous events:

* Chrysler and GM both had ride and drive events. Chrysler’s Sunday Copper Harbor trips were all full. GM’s events were split between faculty and staff (Sunday) and students (Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) leaving from the pay lot, next to the Administration and Student Services building. More information is available at

* The Society of Women Engineers hosts Evening with Industry, where recruiters can meet with students before the fair. It will be held Monday Night at 5:15 p.m. in the MUB Ballroom.

* Center for Diversity and Inclusion Corporate Reception–Corporations can meet with students from organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (oSTEM), American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and more. The event is scheduled for 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Hamar House Tuesday night.

* Railroad Information Night, Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m., DHH Ballroom–The Railroad Engineering and Activity Club and Tech’s Rail Transportation Program bring together students and railroad industry representatives.

With 264 companies registered for the Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 24, recruiters are running the gamut from new to renewed to never-miss-a-fair.

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ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Hands-On Education with The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab

ME-EM graduate seminar guest is Jeremy Worm, a Research Engineer and Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech. His presentation is entitled ‘Hands-On Education with The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab’ and will be in 112 MEEM at 4:00 PM.

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab is a one-of-a-kind educational facility. The lab is used for providing hands-on discovery based educational experiences. As such, the lab is used for teaching hands-on college courses, professional short courses, and STEM outreach. With light and heavy duty ground vehicles, powertrain test cells, a chassis dynamometer, benchtop activities, and advanced instrumentation systems, the lab can be used for a wide range of engineering subjects. This seminar will provide an overview of the lab, its capabilities, and will look at the specifics of one of the hands-on experiments students conduct in the lab.

Jeremy Worm, is a Research Engineer and Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech, where he received his BS and MS degrees. Prior to joining the Michigan Tech Staff, Jeremy was a Senior Engineer at GM Powertrain. At GM Jeremy focused on combustion analysis, development of variable valve timing systems and operational strategies, and was the Lead Development Engineer for a new engine in a hybrid vehicle. At Michigan Tech, Jeremy remains active in the field of powertrain research, has developed and teaches several courses in the area of powertrain research and hybrid vehicles, and directs the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab. Jeremy is a licensed Professional Engineer, has authored or co-authored 22 publications, has 2 patents, has received a best paper award, and has been inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Low Temperature Combustion Engines

Samveg Saxena, Ph.D, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley
Title: Fundamental Phenomena Affecting Low Temperature Combustion Engines High Load Limits & Strategies for Extending These Limits; Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Roo m 112, ME-EM Bldg.

Low temperature combustion (LTC), including HCCI, is one of the most promising directions for high efficiency and low emission engines for vehicles of the future. This seminar presents an overview of a recent comprehensive review article in the journal “Progress in Energy and Combustion Science” which can be found at:

The article provides a thorough review of fundamental phenomena governing the performance of LTC engines and uses this as a foundation to discuss emissions characteristics, high load operating limits, and recent research on promising strategies to extend high load limits. Promising future research directions in LTC engine technology and gaps in current literature are also discussed.

Additionally, an overview of the vehicle powertrain research program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley will be discussed to provide a foundation to explore prospective research collaborations between LBNL and MTU faculty and students.

Dr. Saxena is a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and UC Berkeley where he leads several research programs in vehicle electrification and predicting electricity grid impacts from EVs. Sam completed his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2011 where he led several studies on innovative engine technologies for higher efficiency combustion, including LTC, microwave-assisted spark ignition, and cylinder deactivation strategies. Using this experience, Dr. Saxena has provided the technical foundation to secure over $2 Million in engine and powertrain research funding from the US DOE, California Energy Commission and other agencies. In early 2012, Dr. Saxena joined LBNL working on modeling of vehicle powertrain systems. Prior to beginning his Ph.D, Dr. Saxena worked in industry on engine and vehicle powertrain research at the Toronto-based companies: Magna Powertrain Engine Technologies Group, and Multimatic Technical Center. Dr. Saxena has been recognized in the Canadian House of Commons for his leadership excellence and has several awards for his demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, including the NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and serves as a reviewer, session organizer, and editorial board member for leading conferences and journals in combustion, engines and powertrain technologies. After hours, Sam enjoys trail runs in the hills around LBNL.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Cooling of Embedded Electronics

Dr. Frank Kulacki, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota will be the ME-EM graduate seminar guest speaker for Thurs., Sept. 12 in 112 MEEM at 4:00 His presentation is entitled ‘Cooling of Embedded Electronics – Flow Boiling Is the Key to High Power Density’. He will also include the results of a survey of the ASME Heat Transfer Division.

Title: Cooling of Embedded Electronics – Flow Boiling Is the Key to High Power Density

The performance of embedded airborne electronics and computers is nearing a thermal limit. Devices and systems are now in development that will push heat transfer requirements to power densities greater than 1 KW/cm3 and average heat flux greater than 1 KW/cm2. Cooling techniques based on single phase forced convection cannot meet these requirements. The emergence of three-dimensional computing packages makes heat rejection even more challenging. This seminar reports measurements of heat transfer in flow boiling in short, symmetrically heated narrow gap channels. This geometry emulates the basic configuration of electronic devices envisioned in high power density embedded computing. Watt densities of 1 KW/m3 are considered, and it is demonstrated that sub-cooled flow boiling can achieve thermal regulation and maintain average temperatures below a 95 oC operating limit. Our measurements characterize heat transfer in a single pair of heaters and a set of three in line heat pairs. For the latter, uniform and non-uniform power density are addressed. Coolants investigated are water and NovecTM 7200 and 7300. Inlet Reynolds numbers range from 250 to 1200, Weber numbers from 2 to ~18, and boiling numbers from O(10-4) to O(10-3). Exit quality can reach 30 percent in some cases. Overall heat transfer coefficients of 40 kW/m2K are obtained. Pressure drops
for either experimental configuration are well within the capabilities of the airborne computer systems. Correlations for heat transfer are developed and generalized, and a systems analysis is suggested that will point toward a developmental path to externalized cooling approaches. At the conclusion of the technical presentation, some comments will be offered on the results of national survey conducted by the ASME Heat Transfer Division on the emergent trends in heat transfer engineering, research and education.

Dr. Frank Kulacki, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, received his degrees in mechanical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota. His research/interests include coupled heat and mass transfer in porous media, two-phase flow in micro-channels, natural convection heat transfer, heat transfer in metal foams, hybrid renewable energy systems, thermal energy storage technology, energy policy, management of technology, and the adaptation of computer-based technologies in engineering education. To date, he has 163 technical articles, 14 book chapters/review articles, 34 educational/professional articles, 28 technical reports, edited 7 books/conference volumes, two Springer monographs and has advised 20 doctoral, 43 masters, and 13 undergraduate research scholars. As the department chair at the University of Delaware, the dean of engineering at the Colorado State University and the dean of the Institute of Technology (now the College of Science and Engineering) at the University of Minnesota, he initiated and expanded computer-aided engineering and technology-based instructional activities, increased research funding, established new multidisciplinary degree programs, research initiatives, centers, and specialized research facilities. He chaired the Heat Transfer Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the ASME Task Force on Graduate Education, and the Education Advisory Group of the National Society for Professional Engineers. He served on the ASME Vision 2030 project which addressed the body of knowledge for mechanical engineers in the 21St Century, the ASME Board on Professional Development, the Board on Engineering Education, the Board of the Center for Education, the NSPE Task Force on Education and Registration, the DOE Peer Review Panel on Thermal and Hydrological Impacts of the Yucca Mountain Repository, and as the director of graduate studies for the MS in Management of Technology program at Minnesota. He has lectured on energy policy and related issues in the MOT program and at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs.

Dr. Kulacki’s advisory board experience includes the engineering programs at Swarthmore College, the University of Kentucky, the University of Maryland/Baltimore County, and Florida International University. From 1998 – 2001 he was an ASME Distinguished Lecturer. He has served as the Executive Director of the Technology-Based Engineering Education Consortium, an initiative of the William C. Norris Institute.

He is a Life Fellow of ASME and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). At the University of Minnesota, he received the ASME Distinguished Service Award and the George Taylor Distinguished Service Award of the Institute of Technology.