Archives—October 2015

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: The Discipline of Experimentation

oct29uThe ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, October 29 at 4:00 in 641 Dow will be Dr. Robin Johnson-Cash, Lecturer, Eastern Michigan University and Technical Training Manager, Ford Motor Company

Title: The Discipline of Experimentation

Engineers design, build and maintain machines, communication systems and major public works. Without them, our technological society would collapse. The engineering discipline focuses on solving problems through applied physics. To find a solution, engineers study a problem, use mathematical models to understand it, model possible solutions and use well planned physical experiments to validate their proposed remedies. Throughout the entire engineering process, the engineer must maintain meticulous records. Reviewing detailed experimental notes provides insight into the nuances of a problem and helps optimize solutions. Once the experiment is complete, the records allow others to understand the nature of the problem and build upon what the engineer learned. This presentation will encourage you to develop the habit
of recording meticulous notes while you learn the art of experimental problem solving.

Robin Johnson-Cash is a native Detroit, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University. For the last 27 years, Robin has occupied positions of increasing responsibilities at Ford Motor Company. She began her career as a product design engineer and quickly became team leader and powertrain cooling and heat management supervisor. Currently, she is a Technical Training Manager. Throughout her career, Robin received many technical and diversity awards. She is a certified 6-Sigam Black Belt. Robin is also an adjunct professor at Tuskegee University, Lawrence Technical University, and Eastern Michigan University. She teaches classes in Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Fluid Mechanics.
Concurrently, Robin is Ph.D. candidate at Michigan Technological University. Her research focus is on the prediction of in-tube condensation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental validation. Robin is passionate about community service and is active in promoting education of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: ‘Mathematical Mode of a Reluctance Accelerator (Coilgun

oct22The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, October 22 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Gustavo Gutierrez from University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Mathematical Mode of a Reluctance Accelerator (Coilgun)’.

Linear reluctance motors (or linear oscillating motors) consist of an iron bar, moving inside a coil. During the trajectory of the iron bar an incremental force appears opposing the movement of the bar. For that reason it is important to control the system and taking advantage of that behavior. Reluctance motors can have high power density at low cost, making them ideal for many applications, in particular a magnetic pumping is proposed as part of a flat heat pipe device for heat transfer applications.

This work presents a mathematical model and its numerical considerations to simulate a reluctance accelerator (coilgun) taking into account an RLC circuit coupled to an electromechanical system. A coilgun is proposed as a magnetic pumping device of a flat heat pipe panel. The piston motion (armature) is governed by the Newton’s Second Law. The driving force on the piston is a magnetic force, called the Kelvin Force (KF). In order to compute the KF it is necessary to solve the Maxwell-Ampere’s equation. We are interested in the dynamic of the piston as part of a heat transfer application.

The complete problem shows a Multi-Physics character. This presentation will focus on the mathematical modeling, numerical implementation and important considerations for the design of a coilgun.

Dr. Gustavo Gutierrez, obtained his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from National University of Cordoba, Argentina in 1991, his M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1998 and 2002 respectively. Currently Dr. Gutierrez is a Professor at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez (UPRM). He held a Chair position from 2009 to 2012 of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UPRM. He received grants from DOD, NSF and NASA. He was an Invited panelist for NSF-CTS program, chair and cochair in technical sessions of National and International conferences and reviewer of the Journal of Heat Transfer and Journal of Fluid Mechanics. His areas of expertise include Computation Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer, Numerical Electromagnetisms and High Performance Computing.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: A Contract-Based Framework for Integrated Demand Response Management in Smart Grids

oc15The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, October 15 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Mehdi Maasoumy, PhD Candidate from University of California at Berekley.

The title of his presentation will be ‘A Contract-Based Framework for Integrated Demand Response Management in Smart Grids’.

As a complex cyber-physical system, smart grid involves three closely-related subsystems – the operating system and control algorithms, the physical components and devices, and the sensing and computation devices or embedded implementation platform. In the traditional top-down approach, the control algorithm, the physical components, and the embedded platform are designed separately leading to suboptimal systems. Smart grid ecosystem has been going through major upgrades in three verticals: 1) new hardware such as solar panels, wind generation turbines, and plug-in electric vehicles, 2) new sensing devices such as smart meters and smart thermostats, and 3) new communication and computation infrastructure such as the broadband two-way communication and cloud computation. Consequently, these breakthroughs in hardware and software have paved the way for new operational schemes, such as automated demand response and ancillary service from some unlikely sources such as buildings.

In this new paradigm, buildings are beginning to play new roles in the operation of the smart grid as entities for trading energy in real-time. As a result, the need for re-designing the smart grid architecture and operation is more apparent than ever. We propose an operating system that aggregates all the data from disparate data sources across the whole smart grid value chain, applies analytics on the data. The proposed operating system leverages a dynamic contractual framework that in real-time analyzes the requirements of the grid on one side, and requirements of the building on the other side and performs optimal operation of the whole system while taking into account the constraints of all the components of the grid from buildings to electric vehicle charging station all the way up to the generation units.

Mehdi Maasoumy is a Senior Data Scientist at C3 Energy where he is responsible for developing machine learning algorithms for smart grid applications both in supply side such as revenue protection and load forecasting, and in demand side such as energy disaggregation and customer segmentation. He received his PhD from University of California at Berkeley in 2013. His PhD research involved Model Predictive Control, Machine Learning and Optimization, applied to Cyber-Physical Systems specifically energy systems.

He worked on smart buildings control systems, optimal resource allocation in smart grid and aircraft electric power distribution systems during his PhD. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers and a book chapter in the area of optimal control and machine learning applied to cyber-physical systems such as power systems. He has won several academic awards. He is the recipient of the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS 2013), Best Student Paper Award finalist at the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control onference (DSCC 2013), and Best Student Paper Award finalist at the IEEE American Control Conference (ACC 2014). He serves on the technical program committee of several academic conferences such as IEEE Green Energy and Systems Conference (IGESC) and IEEE International Symposium on Nano-electronic and Information Systems (iNIS) and IEEE Silicon Valley Computer Society.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Wireless Health: Opportunities, Challenges and Beyond

oct08The ME-EM Graduate Seminar speaker on Thursday, October 8 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Shi from Wayne State University.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Wireless Health: Opportunities, Challenges and Beyond’.

The fast development and deployment of wireless communication technologies, such as 3G/4G/5G, and mobile devices, including sensors, robots, smartphones and pads, have significantly changed the way we study, live and work. Wireless health and innovative health technologies create an ideal platform for global partnerships striving to improve health and wellbeing, Wireless health systems are now capable of real-time, constant and widespread monitoring at home, work, or medical institutions. Such health technologies not only facilitate early-detection and rehabilitation, but also supply assistance for prevention of illness. In this talk, Dr. Shi will talk about the opportunities of wireless health, and share their experiences and lessons learned on several wireless health projects in the past six years.

Weisong Shi is a Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow and a Professor of Computer Science at Wayne State University. There he directs the Mobile and Internet SysTems Laboratory (MIST) and the Wayne Wireless Health Initiative, investigating performance, reliability, power- and energy-efficiency, trust and privacy issues of networked computer systems and applications. Dr. Shi was on leave with the National Science Foundation as a Program Director in the Division of Computer and Network Systems, Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering during 2013 – 2015, where he was responsible for the Computer and Network Systems (CNS) Core CSR Program, and two key crosscutting programs, including Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES), Smart and Connected Health (SCH). More information can be found at

ME-EM News Briefs

Research Professor John Johnson (ME-EM) chaired a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) committee that has published the NAE Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Third Report. Former Michigan Tech President Dale Stein also served on the committee. Johnson has chaired committees that produced several other NAE reports. He also serves on the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards committee.

Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Helps Engineers Design for Human Comfort: Michigan Tech’s mobile lab will travel to Novi, Mich., on Oct. 28 to serve as the site for a one-day workshop on the use of specially designed human manikins and software to measure air velocity, temperature, radiant heat flux and relative humidity in vehicles. Engineers have been invited to participate in the “Manikinalysis” workshop hosted by Michigan Tech, Thermetrics and ThermoAnalytics. Thermetrics makes the HVAC Manikin and ThermoAnalytics produces the human thermal software.

Michigan Tech alumnus Gregory Hardy has received the Steve Thorne Leadership Award, funded by the GE African American Forum. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the National Society of Black Engineers.
Hardy graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech and is currently a mechanical science and engineering graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Regarding the award, Hardy told the NSBE, “This fuels my fire to do more and inspire others to do the same.”

Michigan Technological Engineering is known for its space related research and education – aerospace and mechanical engineering” – featured in USA Today special edition “NASA – Beyond Earth” on page 25

Nina Mahmoudian (MEEM) has received a $57,708 grant from the Office of Naval Research for her research project titled, “Toward Undersea Persistence.”

Channel 2, KTVN in Reno, Nevada reported on SAE International’s expansion of its SAE John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines to honor individual leaders in the field. Established in 2008, the award traditionally recognized authors of an SAE International outstanding technical paper that addresses research advancements in diesel engines regarding efficiency and low emissions achieved by innovative experimental and modeling research of the engine, fuel and/or after treatment systems.
This prestigious award honors John H. Johnson, a Presidential Professor with Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering Mechanics. Read the story.

Dr. Hussein Zbib received the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s 2015 Anjan Bose Outstanding Researcher Award. Professor Hussein earned his BSME, MSME, and PhD in ME-EM all from MIchigan Tech and is a member of our EAB. He is a professor and former head of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University.

Research Professor John Johnson (ME-EM) chaired a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) committee that just published the Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership Third Report. Former Michigan Tech President Dale Stein also served on the NAE committee.

Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Consortium Partner Meeting: The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics will host a Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Consortium Partner meeting September 16 in MEEM 1021. Industrial partner representatives from Cummins, John Deere, Daimler-Detroit, Corning, Johnson Matthey and Tenneco will be on campus all day to review research progress during the second year of three year consortium. The focus of the consortium is on experimental and modeling research of advanced diesel after treatment systems and is a part of the APS Labs. John Johnson, Jeff Naber and Gordon Parker are the faculty associated with the Consortium.

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