Category Archives: News

Laid-off Engineers Learning New Skills: Classes Focus on Hybrids and Electrics

A free class in hybrid and electric vehicle development offered to out-of-work engineers could become a model as Michigan tries to keep its skilled workforce from leaving the state.

About 60 engineers from their 20s to their 50s just began the class, which is a joint effort by Michigan Technological University, the Engineering Society of Detroit and General Motors.

“This is an opportunity to put some new skills in my toolbox,” said Kimberly Calloway, 38, of Southfield, a 15-year electrical engineer Ford laid off in August. “I’ll add the certificate from the class to my resume. It will give me an advantage when I’m interviewing.”

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Dr. Jeffrey S. Allen Selected to Receive a 2009 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award

Dr. Jeffrey Allen, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been selected for a 2009 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award reflects the firm belief of its donor that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund’s major program is focused on younger engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere in which these teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers. The current decade places greater expectations upon the colleges and universities of the world to educate individuals who must successfully meet the challenges that face society. The purpose of the Teetor Award is to recognize and honor those younger educators who are successfully preparing engineers for this task.

The Award Committee stated “The credentials and standards of excellence in education of this year’s candidates were extremely high and brought about some very keen competition. Your outstanding contributions have distinguished you as one of the top engineering educators.”

As a Teetor Award recipient, Dr. Allen will be SAE’s guest for the week of SAW 2009 World Congress & Expositions which begins April 20, 2009 in Detroit, MI.

PhD Candidate Mark Greip Awarded Nanotechnology Paper

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) PhD candidate Mark Griep was awarded the best paper award in the nanotechnology category at the recently held 26th Army Science Conference. His co-author was Dr.Shashi Karna, who is also a member of the ME-EM External Advisory Board. In addition, of the 845 paper submissions they were awarded the Bronze Medal for the 2nd best paper of the entire conference. The research work was done while Mark was a Guest Researcher at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) this year. His advisor is Dr. Craig R. Friedrich.

Michigan Tech Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Developing Flex-Fuel Hybrid Technologies

The Michigan Public Service Commission has awarded a team of Michigan Technological University researchers $1.5 million to develop technologies for flex-fuel hybrid vehicles.

The grant builds on over $1 million in support from General Motors, Sensors Inc. of Saline, Argonne National Laboratory’s Transportation Technology R&D Center and Michigan Tech.

“There is no flex-fuel hybrid available, partly because it’s a big challenge to meet emissions standards,” said lead investigator Jeff Naber, an associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and director of Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power Systems Research Center.

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From Xbox to T-Cells: Michigan Tech Researchers Borrow Video Game Technology to Model Human Biology

A team of researchers at Michigan Technological University is harnessing the computing muscle behind the leading video games to understand the most intricate of real-life systems.

Led by Roshan D’Souza, the group has supercharged agent-based modeling, a powerful but computationally massive forecasting technique, by using graphic processing units (GPUs), which drive the spectacular imagery beloved of video gamers. In particular, the team aims to model complex biological systems, such as the human immune response to a tuberculosis bacterium.

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John Johnson Invited Member to National Research Council Committee on Fuel Economy of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Dr. John Johnson, Presidential Professor Emeritus, has been invited to join the National Research Council’s Committee on Fuel Economy of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. His appointment will be effective through May 2010.

The committee will conduct an assessment of fuel economy technologies for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Section 108, the study is to develop a report evaluating medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fuel economy standards. The committee will 1) consider appropriate approaches to measuring fuel economy for medium- and heavy duty vehicles that would be required for setting standards; 2) assess current and potential technologies and estimate improvements in fuel economy for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks that might be achieved; 3) address how the technologies identified in Task 2 above may be used practically to improve medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fuel economy; 4) address how such technologies may be practically integrated into the medium-duty and heavy-duty truck manufacturing process; 5)assess how such technologies may be used to meet fuel economy standards to be prescribed under section 32902(k) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by Section 108; 6) discuss the pros and cons of approaches to improving the fuel efficiency of moving goods in the trucking sector against setting vehicle fuel economy standards; and 7) identify the potential costs and other impacts on the operation of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The study committee will not recommend a standard but the results of its analysis will give guidance to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as it moves forward with how to address fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Bo Chen Awarded Best Paper in Computational Methods and Software at Conference

Bo Chen has received the Best Paper in Computational Methods and Software Award at the 2008 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications in Beijing China. Her co-author was Dr. M. Tomizuka. The award was presented by the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society, the ASME Division of Computers and Information in Engineering, and the ASME Division of Design Engineering.

Faculty Awarded Grants

Jeffrey Allen, (CoPI, ME-EM), “Center for Fundamental and Applied Research in Nanostructured and Lightweight Materials”, sponsor: National Science Foundation, total award amount: $1,544,553

Jeffrey Allen, (CoPI, ME-EM); Jeffery Naber, (CoPI, ME-EM); “Hydrogen Education Curriculum Path at Michigan Technological University”; sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy; total award amount: $482,244.

Jason Blough, (PI, ME-EM); Jeffery Naber (CoPI, ME-EM), “Combustion Pressure Engine Testbed Setup”, sponsor: PCB Piezotronics, total award amount: $36,347.

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MuSTI: Multi-Scale Technologies Institute

MuSTI at Michigan Tech promotes interdisciplinary research and the implementation of nanotechnologies and microtechnologies into deployable systems. Ten departments and colleges on campus are involved in this initiative. Participating Physics faculty include Dr. John A. Jaszczak, Dr. Miguel Levy, Dr. Ravi Pandey, Dr. Ranjit Pati, and Dr. Yoke Khin Yap. The institute is directed by Dr. Craig Friedrich, a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department. Some recent Physics/MuSTI proposals include:

Associate Professor Yoke Khin Yap (Physics/MuSTI), Assistant Professor Henry A. Sodano and Assistant Professor Greg Odegard (MEEM/MuSTI), “Functionalized Carbon Nanotube Arrays for Aerodynamic Sensing,” DoD-Missile Defense Agency

Professor Ravindra Pandey and Visiting Assistant Professor Ralph Scheicher (Physics/MuSTI), “Comprehensive First-Principles Study of Novel Bio-Nano Sensor Technology Based on DNA-Wrapped Carbon Nanotubes,” NSF-NER

Professor Miguel Levy (Physics/MSE/MuSTI), “Materials World Network: Nonlinear Magnetophotonic Crystals,” NSF