Archives—September 2015

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Death Spirals and Energy Independence: The Volatility of Contemporary Energy Policy

oct01The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Elisabeth Graffy, Arizona State University, Professor of Practice; Co-Director, Energy Policy, Law and Governance.

The title of her presentation will be ‘Death Spirals and Energy Independence: The Volatility of Contemporary Energy Policy’.

This seminar will explore the current debate about how electric utilities and other actors are responding to challenges and opportunities posed by solar adoption, illustrating that some of the critical drivers in contemporary energy policy may be about more than technology.

As a scholar-practitioner with extensive federal government experience, Dr. Graffy is a public policy expert specializing in public sector institutional leadership and innovation, the science-policy interface, and contemporary models of public engagement. She has special interest in matters involving risk and rapid change. Her current focus is on energy system transitions and their complex intersections with political and cultural ideals, policy processes, market and legal institutions, innovation pathways, and governance of critical environmental resources.

This event is partially sponsored by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series that is funded through the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: The Engineer as a Decision Maker


Dr. George A. Hazelrigg is the Deputy Division Director of Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) at the National Science Foundation. He will present two special seminars at Michigan Tech on Thursday, September 24 for faculty and students. All are invited, but your RSVP is greatly appreciated. Dr. Hazelrigg will also be available on Thursday and Friday for meetings. His visit to Michigan Tech is Dow 641sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, and the College of Engineering. Questions? Please contact Adrienne Minerick at

RSVP for Seminars

See the Flyer: Special Seminars: Dr. George A. Hazelrigg

Thursday, September 24, 2015: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Title: The Engineer as a Decision Maker
Dow 641

We currently think of engineers as problem solvers, and we build our engineering curricula around this model. But what defines engineering as distinct from other disciplines is design, and design is all about decision making, not problem solving. Decision making, unlike problem solving, demands prediction and preferences, and is always done in the presence of uncertainty and risk. As a result, our current engineering curricula do not adequately prepare engineering students for their careers as engineers. Because of this failing, many of the methods we teach and practice provide quite poor results. This talk will illustrate shortcomings of the current engineering curricula and point to avenues for improvement.

George Hazelrigg enjoyed designing and building things when he was young, so he decided to go to college to study engineering. He obtained a BS in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) and went to work for Curtiss-Wright. There he found that his education had utterly destroyed his abilities to do engineering design. So he felt it necessary to get a master’s degree. Hecompleted an MS in mechanical engineering, also from NCE, but still hadn’t regained his design abilities. While getting his MS, however, he did some teaching and liked it. So he figured that if he couldn’t do design, the next best thing would be to teach it. Five years later he had obtained MA, MSE, and PhD degrees in aerospace engineering from Princeton University. Now, in addition to not knowing how to do design, he couldn’t teach it either. For the next 25 years he roamed industry and academe in an attempt to understand the theory of engineering design, including time spent at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, General Dynamics, Princeton University and a consulting firm of which he was a co-founder. He also spent a year in Korea helping to found the Systems Engineering Department of Ajou University. He joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1982 as program director for the Engineering Design program, providing support to others in the field. In January 1996 he did a stint as Station Science Leader of the US South Pole station. In 2004 he became Program Director for the NSF Manufacturing Machines and Equipment program, and then Deputy Division Director of NSF’s Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division. He also served as Program Director of the Sensors and Sensing Systems program. For relaxation he spends his weekends soaring over the Shenandoah Valley as a certified flight instructor in gliders (CFI-G) with about 1,800 total flying hours.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: The “Turbulent Flame Speed” – Recent Developments

sep17The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, September 17 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Moshe Matalon from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The title of his presentation will be ‘The “Turbulent Flame Speed” – Recent Developments’.

The determination of the turbulent flame speed is of great practical importance providing, for example, the mean fuel consumption rate in a combustor operating under turbulent conditions. Early phenomenological studies resorted to geometrical and scaling arguments to deduce expressions for the turbulent flame speed. Similar expressions were later derived for weakly wrinkled flames by more rigorous multi-scale asymptotic methods. The common denominator of these expressions is an increase in turbulent flame speed due to an increase in flame surface area, with a quadratic dependence on turbulent intensity. The objective of this work is to extend these results to higher turbulence levels where the effects of flame folding and creation of flame pockets become ubiquitous and have nontrivial implications on the flame propagation speed. A related question pertains to the influence of the hydrodynamic, or Darrieus-Landau (DL) instability, whether it remains of significant importance in affecting the propagation as it does under laminar conditions. The analysis is carried out using a hybrid Navier-Stokes/front-capturing methodology within the context of the hydrodynamic theory, that permits extracting scaling laws for the turbulent flame speed that depend on turbulence and combustion characteristics as well as on flow conditions, but without invoking turbulence modeling assumptions or introducing adjustable parameters. For simplicity we have considered here “two-dimensional turbulence” and limited the discussion to positive Markstein length (such as, lean hydrocarbon-air or rich hydrogen-air mixtures) where thermo-diffusive effects do not further contaminate the flame surface with additional small structures. Our results show the existence of distinct regimes, clearly delineated by statistical properties of various flame characteristics where the influence of the DL instability is absent, dominant or shadowed by the turbulence. Of greatest importance is the dependence of the turbulent
flame speed on turbulence intensity, which is shown to transition from a quadratic law at low intensities to a sub-linear scaling at higher turbulence levels, in agreement with the experimental record. The increase in speed with increasing turbulence intensity is primarily due to the increase in the flame surface area as envisioned by the pioneering work of Damköhler, while the leveling in the rate of increase of the turbulent flame speed with turbulence intensity (the so-called bending effect) is partially due to frequent flame folding and detachment of pockets of unburned gas from the main flame surface area, and partially due to flame stretching.

Moshe Matalon received his Ph.D in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University in 1978. After two years on the faculty of the Aerodynamics Laboratories of the Polytechnic Institute of New York, he joined the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern, where he was Professor of Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, until 2007. He is since in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he holds the College of Engineering Caterpillar Chair. His research interests are in combustion theory, theoretical fluid mechanics and applied mathematics. In combustion, he made contributions to a wide range of topics including the structure, dynamics and stability of premixed and diffusion flames, combustion instabilities and combustion of heterogeneous fuels, and turbulent combustion. Matalon is Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Fellow Institute of Physics (IOP). Among his honors and awards is the Pendray Aerospace Literature Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Professor Matalon serves as Editor-In-Chief of Combustion Theory and Modelling and as Associate Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics.

Friedrich named ASME Fellow

Craig Friedrich Passpor3tTech Today by Mark Wilcox

Craig Friedrich (MEEM), has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. William Predebon, chair of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, said Friedrich was recognized for his “outstanding contributions in mechanical micromilling for micro-device packaging, micro heat exchangers and fluidic interconnects, deep x-ray lithography masks and biomedical implants.”

Predebon, who nominated Friedrich, said “Dr. Friedrich is not only an outstanding researcher and engineer, he is also a leader in his profession and in the ME-EM department as the associate chair and director of graduate studies.”

Friedrich said it is gratifying to have been formally recognized by such an esteemed professional society and by the support of peers and colleagues over nearly three decades.

“To be honored in such a way shows that it isn’t a single day that defines success but rather the years of hard work that precedes it,” Friedrich said.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: LLCD Experimental Line-of-Sight Jitter Testing

sep10The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, September 10 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Brandon Dilworth from MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

The title of his presentation will be ‘LLCD Experimental Line-of-Sight Jitter Testing’.

The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) program at MIT Lincoln Laboratory is the first space laser commu-nication system for NASA. The optical communications terminal will be carried into lunar orbit by the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft which launched on September 6, 2013. The primary goal of the LLCD program is to demonstrate optical communication from lunar orbit to the Earth’s surface.

Optical communication systems have many advantages over radio frequency (RF) systems which include achieving higher data rates using lower size, weight and power (SWaP). Optical communication systems rely on much narrower beams than RF systems to achieve these advantages; the penalty is that the optical beam must have good stability in order to maintain the communication link between the transmitter and receiver. There are a number of factors that play a role in the stability of the optical beam, but the focus of this talk is on the residual line-of-sight (LOS) jitter resulting from unrejected spacecraft excitation.

During early program development mathematical analyses, starting from simple hand calculations and evolving through complex computational techniques, are used to drive the design. As with any type of analytical analyses, many assumptions are used to identify different characteristics of the system. As programs develop, these mathematical models are used to drive the design so there is a strong desire to validate these models as the design continues to mature. Experimentation with physical hardware is a common method for validating mathematical models, including residual LOS jitter models. The LLCD program developed a test bench in order to validate the residual LOS jitter model which provides higher confidence in the computational results.

This presentation will provide an overview of the LLCD program, summarize some of the components of the Optical Module and to describe the efforts behind validating the residual LOS jitter model using experimental techniques.
This work is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Air Force Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.

I graduated from Michigan Tech with Master’s in 2006 and PhD in 2009 working in the Dynamic Systems Lab under Jason Blough. My focus was on structural dynamics and acoustics with heavy emphasis on experimental techniques and signal processing.

I started working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory immediately after graduation from Tech in 2009 as part of the Mechanical Engineering Group within the Engineering Division. My first pro-gram involvement at Lincoln was on the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) program sponsored by NASA – which some of the work is highlighted during this seminar. For the LLCD program, I worked as a unit lead/design engineer and as a test development engineer. Since the successful completion of LLCD, my primary efforts have been as the Lead Engineer of a ground terminal for generic free space laser communication diagnostics.

My design efforts on LLCD were recognized with two Group merit awards in 2011. I received the Division Early Career Award in 2012. The LLCD team received the Laboratory Team Award in 2013. I was also part of a team investigating a short-term, high visibility effort which received the MIT Excellence Award in 2015. I currently sit on the Advanced Concepts Committee within Lincoln which focuses on development of new and novel technologies of national interest.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Equation-Based Modeling and Simulations for Sustainable Buildings

sep03The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, September 3 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Wangda Zuo from the University of Miami.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Equation-Based Modeling and Simulations for Sustainable Buildings’.

Buildings account for about 41% of energy consumption, 10% of water consumption and 39% of CO2 emission in the U.S. To enable the design and operation of sustainable buildings, building system solutions need to adapt to the local availability of sources and sinks for thermal conditioning, ventilation, lighting, electricity production and water collection, while respecting constraints for occupant health and comfort, building service levels, building system maintainability and aesthetic considerations. As a result, the building becomes an integrated system of multi-physics, multi-scale heterogeneous subsystems. The underlying equations are nonlinear systems of ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations and algebraic equations with continuous and discrete time, as well as control events. Modeling, simulation and analysis of such systems pose new challenges as systems become increasingly integrated. This presentation introduces some of our recent research in developing and applying Modelica-based simulation technology for the design, operation and optimization of sustainable buildings. Modelica is an equation-based object-oriented modeling language for dynamic systems. With the support of US Department of Energy, we developed an open source Modelica Buildings library for building energy and control systems. We will briefly discuss the fundamental challenges in modeling the building systems using the equation-based language. We will also demonstrate the usage of Modelica-based technology in real world research projects. Finally, we will discuss our research initiatives in urban scale simulation.

Dr. Wangda Zuo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. His research focuses on developing and applying innovative physical models and simulation technology for sustainable building systems. He is the Research Committee Chair of International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) – USA Chapter, Voting Member of American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE) Technical Committee 4.7, 4.10 and 7.4. Before joining the University of Miami, Dr. Zuo was a Research Scientist at the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Zuo received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, M.S. in Computational Engineering from the University of Erlangen and Nuremberg in Germany, M. Eng and B.S. in Automation from Chongqing University in China.