Archives—January 2014

ME-EM Graduate Seminar:

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar guest speakers on Thurs. Jan. 30at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Samveg Saxena from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Title: ‘Powertrain Technologies for a Climate Constrained World: Advanced Engines, Vehicle Electrification and Vehicle-Grid Integration’.

Advanced Engines, Vehicle Electrification and Vehicle-Grid Integration Vehicle transportation accounts for ~23% of global energy use, significant greenhouse gas emissions, and a substantial amount of harmful urban pollutants. Many competing technology options exist to mitigate the growing transportation challenges, and this seminar presents a high-level overview of research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in various powertrain technology areas.

In engines: Low temperature combustion (LTC) is one promising direction for high efficiency and low emission engines for vehicles of the future. This seminar presents an overview of a recent review article in the journal “Progress in Energy and Combustion Science” which can be found at: The article reviews fundamental phenomena governing the performance of LTC engines and uses this as a foundation to discuss promising directions in LTC engine technology and gaps in current literature.
In vehicle electrification and vehicle-grid integration: This seminar introduces the LBNL Vehicle-to-Grid Simulation (V2G-Sim) platform, which provides a systematic framework for understanding how vehicles impact the electricity grid and how vehicle charging and V2G can be controlled to enable optimal grid integration. In powertrain innovations for the developing world: This seminar discusses how powertrain simulation can be used to design better vehicles for rapidly growing developing world markets.

Dr. Saxena is a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where he leads a vehicle powertrain research program. 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 $2.8 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.

Alum Explores a Mystery (and a Curse?)

Marty Lagina made his living through natural resource exploration. Then the 1977 Michigan Technological University ME-EM alumnus and Michigan native did some unnatural exploring to solve a 200–500 year old mystery. Featured on the History Channel, Lagina , his family and friends attempted to solve the “Curse of Oak Island,” based on the legend of a Nova Scotia island

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Arctic Cat Snowmobile Engine Discussion

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar; Thursday, Jan. 23, 2013, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 103 EERC,
Cord Christensen and Ryan Hayes from Arctic Cat. The title of their presentation will be ‘Arctic Cat Snowmobile Engine Discussion’.

The presentation will cover Arctic Cat’s newest snowmobile engines, the 600 DSI (Dual Stage Injection) two-stroke engine and the 1100 turbocharged four-stroke engine. We will also have engines on display.

Ryan Hayes has worked in two-stroke engine calibration and development for snowmobiles over the past 11 years at Arctic Cat; helping to produce the industry’s most powerfull two-stroke engine, the 800 HO. His experience ranges from small displacement fan-cooled, carbuerated engines to the new generation of semi-direct injection, liquid cooled engines and beyond. He has also been involved with the engine related systems; including cooling, exhaust and intake design and development. He is a graduate of Michigan Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a past leader of MTU’s Clean Snowmobile team. Ryan is also a proud husband to his wife Melissa and two children Ashlyn and Keenan. Cord Christensen has been in the snowmobile engine group at Arctic Cat for over 15 years. His engine experience ranges from carbureted, fan cooled 2 strokes to turbocharged, liquid cooled four strokes. As part of the four stroke group he helped develop and introduce the snowmobile industry’s first production turbocharged engine as well as the most powerful engine in the snowmobile industry. He is currently the four stroke snowmobile engine group leader for Arctic Cat. Cord is a 1998 graduate of Michigan Technological University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He lives in northwest Minnesota with his wife and two daughters.

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

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar; Thursday, Jan. 16, 2013, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 112, ME-EM Bldg.,

Jeremy Worm, Research Engineer, Michigan Tech University

Title: Hands-On Education with The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab

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.

New Grad Course Leads to Better Writing for Mechanical Engineering Undergrads

For many engineering students, writing is a chore at best. While there are some who excel at the craft, many panic at the very prospect of putting words on paper.

Yet, from their sophomore year until graduation, that’s exactly what mechanical engineering students must do to succeed in a series of three laboratory classes. To complicate matters, their reports are graded by graduate students, including many foreign nationals for whom English is a second language.