Author: College of Engineering

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

Greg Odegard Receives NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal

Professor Greg Odegard, recipient of the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Award

Professor Greg Odegard (ME-EM) is the director of the Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) NASA Space Technology Research Institute (STRI), one of the inaugural STRIs funded by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. And now he has received a NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal, awarded to nongovernment employees for “notable leadership accomplishments that have significantly influenced the NASA Mission.”

3 gold medals, small, medium and large, imprinted with the word "NASA" and six connected stars, with a set of three striped ribbons, one for each that are light blue, dark blue and gold.
The NASA Outstanding Public Leadership medal, presented to Professor Gregory Odegard on April 26, 2023.

The five-year US-COMP collaboration brings together 22 professors from 11 universities and two industry partners with a range of expertise in molecular modeling, manufacturing, material synthesis and testing.

Odegard’s nomination letter outlines how he harnessed the group’s talents to successfully overcome challenges and make significant progress:

“Dr. Odegard leads by example, exhibiting the NASA core values for safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence and inclusion. He respected the constraints imposed by safety measures taken to protect students during COVID, while finding ways to continue making progress. He embraced the challenges of working with industry, where open sharing of information is tempered by the need to maintain their competitive edge. He walked the fine balance of demonstrating investment payoff for the funder through publications, while respecting intellectual property concerns by the industry members. Dr. Odegard’s openness to change to more effectively serve NASA’s mission needs is exceptional. He led with the courage and humility of leaders who leave an indelible legacy because they are different. His service to the Agency and to the nation deserves recognition.”

Jenn Gustetic, director of NASA Early Stage Innovations and Partnerships, told Odegard the medal is well deserved. “Leading extensive and complex transdisciplinary research across numerous partners is no small feat — and you did so to great effect,” Gustetic said. “I am delighted that the Agency is recognizing your individual leadership contribution in this way, as institutes do not come together well without exceptional leadership.”

Odegard received the medal at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2023. The US-COMP team was also recognized by the agency as a whole for their contributions.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Odegard on this important recognition and achievement.

Sustainable and Resilient Communities Faculty Research Fellowship for Hassan Masoud

Hassan Masoud
Hassan Masoud

The Tech Forward Initiative on Sustainability and Resilience (ISR) is excited to announce its awardees for spring 2023! The ISR supports advancements in curriculum development and research through a series of three awards programs: Curriculum Innovation Awards, Early Career and New Directions Award, and:

Sustainable and Resilient Communities Faculty Research Fellowship

Hassan Masoud (ME-EM/AIM) has been awarded a Sustainable and Resilient Communities Faculty Research Fellowship (typical award range: $12,000-$17,000) that will support a one-course buyout for spring 2024 to provide time to develop research collaborations and proposals on wave energy and other forms of renewable energy, in partnership with internal and external collaborators and the Center for Innovation in Sustainability and Resilience.

If you have questions or would like to ask about a potential future proposal, please reach out to ISR lead Chelsea Schelly at cschelly@mtu.edu.

DoD SMART Scholarship Awardees Noah Baliat and Marcello Guadagno

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship awardees:

  • Noah Baliat
    Baliat is an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering. Baliat will be at the Holloman Air Force Base (AFB) in New Mexico after graduation next year.
  • Marcello Guadagno
    Guadagno is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics under Paul van Susante (ME-EM/MARC). Guadango will be at the Kirtland AFB in New Mexico.
  • Aaron Wildenborg
    Wildenborg is a Ph.D. candidate in physics under Jae Yong Suh (Physics). Wildenborg will be at the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic in South Carolina.

Semifinalists:

  • Erican Santiago, a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering under Hyeun Joong Yoon.
  • Kaitlyn Morgenstern, an undergraduate in mathematics.
  • Jonathan Oleson, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics under Susanta Ghosh.
  • Rachel Passeno, an undergraduate in cybersecurity.
  • Trent Betters, an undergraduate in computer science.

The DoD SMART Scholarship is part of the National Defense Education Program and its benefits include full tuition and education-related expenses payment, a stipend of $30,000 to $46,000 per year, summer internships ranging from eight to 12 weeks, health insurance, a miscellaneous allowance of $1,000 per year, mentorship at one of the DoD sponsoring facilities and employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.

The Graduate School is proud of these students for their outstanding scholarship. These awards highlight the quality of students at Michigan Tech, the innovative work they have accomplished, the potential for leadership and impact in science and engineering that the country recognizes in these students, and the incredible role that faculty play in students’ academic success.

If you have students who are interested in receiving writing support for the DoD SMART Scholarship or other graduate funding opportunities, have them contact Sarah Isaacson at sisaacso@mtu.edu.

APS Labs Offering Diesel Engine Short Courses in Early Summer 2023

Despite the industry turn to and customer demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), diesel-powered vehicles are still very much on the road.

The expert instructors at Michigan Tech’s APS Labs (Jeff Naber, Jeremy Worm, Grant Ovist, and Vinicius Bonfochi Vinhaes) know that diesel engines are and will still be with us in the future. So they are teaming up to offer two short professional development courses on diesel engines. These 20-hour (2.5-day) courses are offered in two modalities: in person and live online.

May 31–June 2, 2023 (Dates Corrected)

MEEM 5202 Fundamentals of Diesel Engines will run May 31–June 2. Its content is designed for those needing foundational knowledge in diesel engines.

June 28–30, 2023

MEEM 5204 Diesel Engine Management Systems, Emissions, and Aftertreatment will run June 28-30. Its content is designed for those who want a deeper knowledge in diesel engine management systems, emissions, and aftertreatment.

Both courses are ideal for those interested in pursuing careers in the automotive industry, commercial vehicles, power generation or related fields.

Need more information? Check out the APS Labs Short Courses page or email Vinicius Bonfochi Vinhaes at vbvinhae@mtu.edu.

Learn More and Register

By Shelly Galliah, Global Campus.

Ezra Bar-Ziv on Innovative Plastic Recycling

Illustration of a process involving plastic processing.
Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics – STRAP Video Proposal (2022)

Ezra Bar-Ziv (ME-EM/APSRC) was quoted by WLUK FOX 11 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, in a story on Green Bay’s candidacy for a new plastic recycling system that uses solvents to break down plastic film types. The system prototype is being built at Michigan Tech. The story was picked up by 101.1 WIXX-FM and five other Wisconsin news outlets.

George Huber, a College of Engineering professor at UW-Madison came up with the process called STRAP (Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation). According to Huber, “It uses solvents to selectively solubilize one plastic over another. Then, we precipitate it out, and then we’re left behind with a pure plastic.”

Michigan Tech staff and students are creating the system prototype to breakdown the plastic in a larger scale.

“What we are doing is, we’re going from a lab scale—which could be a pound, half a pound, quarter pound—all the way to something similar to say a ton, ton per hour. That’s what we’re trying to do that, and we are doing it in strong collaboration with the Madison crew,” says Ezra Bar-Ziv, a mechanical engineering professor at Michigan Tech.

Read more at WLUK FOX 11 by Emily Matesic.

Related

Ezra Bar-Ziv (ME-EM/APSRC) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $549,954 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled “Continous Process for Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) for Plastic Wastes using Green Solvents.”

Shreyas Kolapkar (ME-EM/APSRC) is the co-PI on this potential three-year project.

April 19, 2023.

Katherine Rauscher Wins Audience Choice Award at URSS 2023

Winners Announced: Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium

The Pavlis Honors College hosted the Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS) last Friday (March 24) in conjunction with the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). The event featured a panel discussion in which participants discussed how undergraduate research impacted their present work, two poster sessions and a networking social event that culminated with the announcement of the award winners. In addition to Michigan Tech students, students from the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College shared their work during this year’s URSS.

Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation and the DeVlieg Foundation for supporting the Undergraduate Research Internship Program as well as to the faculty, staff and graduate students who served as judges for the event.

The winners of the 2023 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium include mechanical engineering student Katherine Rauscher for her poster “Learning from Aviation to Improve the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles.” Rauscher’s poster was selected for the Audience Choice Award. Rauscher’s faculty advisor was Marika Seigel from the Department of Humanities.

By the Pavlis Honors College.

Extract from the URSS Booklet 2023:

Learning from Aviation to Improve the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles

Student Presenter: Katherine Rauscher, Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Marika Seigel, Department of Humanities

Although Autonomous Vehicles [AVs] have proven to be successful in preventing human error accidents, there are still a myriad of concerns with the safety of this new technology considering automation has contributed to some modern highway accidents.

An in-depth literature review of previous highway and aviation accidents pertaining to automation was conducted using the Michigan Tech Van Pelt and Opie Library search tools to find appropriate scholarly sources from a variety of authors and perspectives.

This research revealed that the safety of AVs may be improved by emulating the aviation industry and taking actions such as implementing event recorders, encouraging safety collaboration, pursuing shared control, defining the roles of man and machine, improving automation understanding, combating complacency, and developing effective simulators.

Jeff Naber and Jeremy Worm on Electric Vehicles in Cold Environments

Jeff Naber in a video interview.
Jeff Naber in a video interview with WLUC TV6.

Jeff Naber and Jeremy Worm (ME-EM/APSRC) were quoted by WLUC TV6 in a story answering Keweenaw residents’ questions about operating electric vehicle batteries in cold temperatures. The story was picked up by Lansing’s WILX News 10.

Naber and Worm are researchers at Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power Systems Research Center.

“We’re looking at how we can extend the useful life of these vehicles and how we can extend the range of vehicles when we’re using them under climates in the Upper Peninsula,” said APS LABS Director Jeffrey Naber.

“If you’re operating and the battery is continuously at 32 degrees its life expectancy could decrease as much as 20%, if it’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it could decrease as much as 50%,” Worm said.

Read more and watch the video out WLUC TV6, by Annette Giachino.

Jeremy Worm in a video interview.
Jeremy Worm in a video interview with WLUC TV6.

Jonathan Lund Receives the Making a Difference Award for Serving Others

Jonathan Lund
Jonathan Lund

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Making A Difference Award nominees and winners, who were honored at an awards program Jan. 4 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Senior Capstone Design Training Specialist Jonathan Lund was recognized for serving others.

Jon’s nominator says: Jon is a highly effective—and entertaining—trainer. Students seek him out because he is very friendly and motivated to help them succeed. While it is his job to teach students how to safely operate milling machines, lathes, and other tools, he does it in a way that is engaging and even fun. I can tell you that it is fun to watch him in action. The students appreciate the attention and the care that he provides while explaining the complex procedures for machine operation. Machine shops are full of intimidating equipment, so he tries to make them feel welcome and at ease through encouragement and conversation about their projects.

Top Teams Advance in NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge

NASA named 15 teams moving on to compete in the semifinal level of its Break the Ice Lunar Challenge on December 14, 2022. The $3.5 million multi-phase challenge invites problem-solvers from businesses, academia, maker communities, and more to play a role in building a lasting human presence and vibrant economy on the Moon by tapping into resources that are already there.

The second phase of competition kicked off in June with the goal of furthering development of lunar excavation and transport technologies. Level 1 challenged solvers to design a robotic system for digging and moving large quantities of icy Moon “dirt,” or regolith, found in the coldest, darkest places on the lunar surface.

Phase 2, Level 1

Twenty-five teams from around the world submitted entries for the first, qualifying level of Phase 2 competition. A panel of government, industry, and academic experts in in-situ resource utilization, or ISRU – the technical term for using local resources – evaluated teams’ entries and selected the winners based on submissions of detailed technical reports, engineering designs, and test plans.

Michigan Tech’s Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (PSTDL) was selected among the winning teams. The founder and director of PSTDL is Paul van Susante, assistant professor in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and faculty advisor for Multiplanetary INnovation Enterprise (MINE).

Read more at NASA.gov.

Play NASA Announces Newest Winners in Break the Ice Lunar Challenge video
Preview image for NASA Announces Newest Winners in Break the Ice Lunar Challenge video

NASA Announces Newest Winners in Break the Ice Lunar Challenge

NASA Announces Newest Winners in Break the Ice Lunar Challenge

Related

To the Moon—and Beyond

Jason Blough Receives SAE International Lifetime Achievement Award

Jason Blough
Jason Blough

Jason Blough, chair and distinguished professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM), received SAE International’s Ralph K. Hillquist NVH Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Noise and Vibration Conference.

Established by the Noise & Vibration Conference Committee, this award recognizes those individuals who have shown a continued contribution to ground vehicle noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) over a period of 15 years or more.

According to the award notification, Blough has “been instrumental in shaping the sound package material industry over the last 30 years, alongside unmatched dedication and commitment to industry and SAE.” He was nominated for the award by Darrell Robinette (ME-EM), associate professor.

Blough’s research includes dynamic measurement problems, developing new digital signal processing algorithms to understand NVH-type problems and ways to improve the NVH characteristics of virtually any machine. He routinely teaches many experimental NVH techniques in both classroom settings and industry short courses, and serves as the SAE Clean Snowmobile Team faculty advisor under Tech’s Advanced Motorsports Enterprise.

Congratulations to Dr. Blough on this significant achievement.

By Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.