Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Prospective Student Works on Bomb-defusing Robot

Jared RathburnThe School News Network ran the story “Bomb-defusing robot gets tweaked at Tech Center mechatronics lab.” The story focuses on the work of Rockford, Michigan high school senior Jared Rathburn, who is planning to attend Michigan Tech to major in mechanical engineering.

Bomb-defusing robot gets tweaked at Tech Center mechatronics lab

It’s not your average high school shop project. At the Kent Career Tech Center mechatronics lab, senior Jared Rathburn is modifying a bomb-defusing robot.

About the size of a backpack, the rubber-treaded “Packbot” is able to scoot across a room or field, open a door and pick up an object with a hand-sized claw.

The Rockford High School student spends a couple of hours most afternoons learning advanced robotics skills at the mechatronics lab.

After graduation, Jared says he is headed to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, where he plans to study mechanical engineering.

Read more at the School News Network, by James Harger.

American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship for Michael Hill

Michael Hill
Michael Hill

Michael Hill, PhD, researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship in the amount of $104,060 over two years.

The funding is for his proposal on “Nanoengineered Polymers for Mature Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes.”

The goal of the proposal is to produce multiscale materials that can mimic the signals which govern cell behavior in the human heart, in order to guide stem cells into becoming cardiac muscle cells.

Dr. Hill and colleagues work in the lab of Assistant Professor Parisa Abadi, where they are using nanomaterials to develop solutions to medical problems. Due to the shortage of organ donors, myocardial infarction—or heart attack—is one of the major killers in the United States. The research team is seeking to use nanomaterials to engineer systems that can provide viable cardiac muscle cells for cell therapy post-myocardial infarction. These studies could provide a rationale for nanoscale material design for producing patient-specific cardiac cells which help regenerate damaged heart tissue.

Allen and Bellur Present on Phase Change Studies

Jeffrey Allen (ME-EM) gave the presentation “Accommodation Coefficients During Liquid-Vapor Phase-Change: A Cryo/Neutron Study,” at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) “Micro and Nanoscale Phase Change Heat Transfer,” in Barga, Italy.

Postdoctoral Scholar Kishan Bellur presented a poster at the conference.

The conference took place February 3 – 8, 2019. The GRC and associated Gordon Research Seminar are focused on fundamental descriptions of phase change processes and how these forces interact to prescribe how equipment can be designed and processes can be run.

Jeffrey S. Allen
Jeffrey S. Allen
Kishan Bellur
Kishan Bellur

Madhukar Vable on Enhancing Undergraduate Engineering Education

Madhukar Vable
Madhukar Vable

Undergraduate engineering struggles to attract women and minorities, 20 percent of the students drop out after one year, and 40 percent fail to graduate in six years. Professor Emeritus Madhukar Vable describes how we can take the elements of our (USA) world-renowned graduate education to enhance undergraduate education in the December edition of Prism. Prism articles can be accessed through the library electronic data base.

Rebuild the Foundation

When it comes to graduate education, U.S. engineering schools are clearly getting something right: They attract scholars and students from all over the world. At the same time, undergraduate engineering struggles to draw in women and minorities, 20 percent of the students drop out after one year, and 40 percent fail to graduate in six years. What can we borrow from graduate education to enhance the undergraduate experience?

Read more in PRISM Last Word, by Madhukar Vable.

Robotics Changes Cora Taylor’s Career Trajectory

Recent Michigan Tech alumna Cora Taylor ’18, was featured in the article “Robotics changes student’s career trajectory,” in the Charlevoix Courier. The story chronicles how Taylor’s involvement in Charlevoix High School’s robotics led her toward a career in engineering. At Tech, Taylor was a member of the Formula SAE team.

Robotics changes student’s career trajectory

“I had no interest in engineering, in fact, I was interested in art, graphic design and drafting,” Taylor said. “If I hadn’t been convinced to join the team all those years ago, I don’t think I would be even remotely close to an engineer today.”

Taylor is a 2014 Charlevoix High School graduate. She is daughter of John and Kim Taylor, of Charlevoix, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

Read more at the Charlevoix Courier, by Anne Kelly.

Barr Elected to IEEE Professional Communication Society Board of Governors

Nancy Barr
Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr (ME-EM) has been elected to the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s board of governors.

The PCS’s mission is to foster a community dedicated to understanding and promoting effective communication in engineering, scientific and other technical environments.

Barr’s three-year term began Jan. 1 and runs to December 31, 2021.