Category: Research

Research News Summary

Research by Assistant Professor Mo Rastgaar and graduate student Evandro Ficanha (MEEM) is featured on the website of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. See “Computer-Controlled Prosthetic Closely Matches Action of Human Legs.” The Mumbai Mirror and Science World Report both published news stories about Assistant Professor Mo Rastgaar’s (ME-EM) work with the Mayo Clinic to develop a prosthetic foot that moves like a real human foot. See The Mumbai Mirror and Science World Report for the full story.

Assistant Professor Mo Rastgaar’s work designing and building a microprocessor-controlled artificial leg has been widely publicized, with more articles like the above appearing in IEEE Spectrum,, Medical Design Online, Gizmag,CNN, UPI Science News and many more outlets. He was also interviewed for Clear Channel One’s radio program Conversations in Health Care.

Stepping Out in Style: Michigan Tech Researchers Developing an Artificial Leg with a Natural Gait

Walking is tricky business, as any toddler knows. And while most artificial feet and limbs do a pretty good job restoring mobility to people who have lost a leg, they have a ways to go before they equal the intricacy of a natural gait. As a result, over half of all amputees take a fall every year, compared to about one-third of people over 65.

In cooperation with a Mayo Clinic scientist, researchers at Michigan Technological University are taking a giant step toward solving the problem. They are making a bionic foot that could make an amputee’s walk in the park feel, well, like a walk in the park.

The secret lies in the ankle. Mo Rastgaar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering–engineering mechanics, and PhD student Evandro Ficanha are working on a microprocessor-controlled ankle-foot prosthesis that comes close to achieving the innate range of motion of this highly complex joint.
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Smile! Better Dental Implants are on the Horizon

A brighter, better, longer-lasting dental implant may soon be on its way to your dentist’s office. Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with artificial teeth. More than dentures or bridges, implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. While most dental implants are successful, a small percentage fail and either fall out or must be removed. A scientist at Michigan Technological University wants to lower that rate to zero using nanotechnology.

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MTRI’s Global Research Featured at Michigan Tech

The staff of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor was on campus on Friday, Sept. 20, to conduct a poster session in the Dow Atrium (sixth-floor campus entrance). MTRI scientists and engineers were also available to discuss projects, collaborations with Michigan Tech departments and staff, and areas of research interest. The session is intended to outline the institute’s current activities and to explore opportunities to develop new working relationships.

MTRI, a research center of Michigan Technological University, is a recognized leader in the research, development and practical application of sensor and information technology to solve critical problems in national security, protecting and evaluating critical infrastructure, bioinformatics, earth sciences and environmental processes.

Videos of MTRI Visit

Photos of MTRI Visit

More information: http://www.mtri.org/

Michigan Technological University Remains Top Peace Corps Master’s International Graduate School Nationwide

Wade Aitken-Palmer, of Kansas City, Mo., is among the 35 Michigan Technological University Master’s International students currently combining Peace Corps service with a graduate degree. He has been serving as a science teacher volunteer in Ghana since June 2012 and is pursuing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MTU

Read more about it

Summer Students engaged in research at Michigan Tech

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion sponsored this year’s MiCUP/MI-LSAMP Research Gallery Walk, held on Thursday, June 20, in the Rozsa Center Lobby.

The event recognizes the research of students participating in the seven-week Michigan College/University Partnership Program (MiCUP) and the Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP) Program here at Michigan Tech.

Michigan Tech is partnered with MI-LSAMP to continue our shared goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minority and first-generation students in STEM and non-STEM fields.

Link to photos and some video clips

John Johnson Honored with ASME Internal Combustion Engine Award

Emeritus and Research Professor John H. Johnson (MEEM) has been selected to receive the 2013 ASME Internal Combustion Engine Award.

The society awards the honor “for leadership in innovative research in the modeling of diesel engine particulate filters and aftertreatment systems based on extensive experimental data; for dedication in educating graduate students on diesel engines; and for leading and participating in the national studies of technology to reduce internal combustion engine fuel consumption.”

The award consists of a $1,000 honorarium. Johnson will be honored at the ASME 2013 Internal Combustion Fall Technical Conference, set for Oct. 13-16 in Dearborn.

“This is certainly a well-deserved award for John,” said Department Chair Bill Predebon (MEEM). “He has devoted over 40 years to research on diesel engines, particularly in diesel emissions.”

Johnson’s research focuses on emissions and fuel consumption, and he has played a leadership role on the National Academy of Engineering committees that develop recommendations for laws and regulations governing vehicles. His work has had a major impact on the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for trucks.

Jaipur Foot Design Teams In India for Spring Break

During the Spring Break 2012, Dr. Nina Mahmoudian and Dr. Mo Rastgaar and two Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Teams are in Jaipur, India. Below is a group picture of them in City Royal Palace. They are going to visit hospital and see Dr. Jain also on the trip.

The Jaipur foot was developed to provide amputees with a simple, practical, and low cost prosthetic, that is compatible with an active and culturally-appropriate lifestyle. During the 2011-2012 school year, a design team made improvements to the Jaipur foot to reduce weight and standardize the manufacturing process and materials used. A major problem now is incompatibility of materials with the rubber vulcanization process used in manufacturing. This must be optimized while maintaining the affordability and functionality of the foot. Team 7, consisting of Reid Barber, Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, Miriam Paquet, and Kevin Peterson, is traveling to India to meet Dr. Anil Jain of the Dr. P.K. Sethi Rehabilitation and Jaipur Limb Training Center. The main goal of the trip is to gain a better understanding of the process used in India to fabricate the Jaipur foot and to communicate the current status of the project to Dr. Jain. Also, several prototypes will be delivered, with the hope of seeing them demonstrated by amputee patients. The team will return to Michigan Tech at the end of Spring Break and will incorporate feedback to finish improving the design.
The Jaipur foot was developed to provide amputees with a simple, practical, and low cost prosthetic, that is compatible with an active and culturally-appropriate lifestyle. During the 2011-2012 school year, a design team made improvements to the Jaipur foot to reduce weight and standardize the manufacturing process and materials used. A major problem now is incompatibility of materials with the rubber vulcanization process used in manufacturing. This must be optimized while maintaining the affordability and functionality of the foot. Team 7, consisting of Reid Barber, Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, Miriam Paquet, and Kevin Peterson, is traveling to India to meet Dr. Anil Jain of the Dr. P.K. Sethi Rehabilitation and Jaipur Limb Training Center. The main goal of the trip is to gain a better understanding of the process used in India to fabricate the Jaipur foot and to communicate the current status of the project to Dr. Jain. Also, several prototypes will be delivered, with the hope of seeing them demonstrated by amputee patients. The team will return to Michigan Tech at the end of Spring Break and will incorporate feedback to finish improving the design.
Ruth Fisher, James Hartel, Bobby Pizzey, David Weyland are members of Senior Capstone Design Team 8. This team is redesigning and evaluating a cost optimized prosthetic knee joint created by a previous senior design team. The joint must be manufactured in India with local materials and be affordable for the hospital and patients. Current solutions to knee replacement are expensive or ineffective. The team has worked to develop a design that is lightweight, low-cost, and easy to use. The design incorporates a 3-bar linkage system between the upper and lower frames of the device as well as an adjustable damping pad to provide a variable resistance of the swing of the knee which can be tailored to each patient.
Ruth Fisher, James Hartel, Bobby Pizzey, David Weyland are members of Senior Capstone Design Team 8. This team is redesigning and evaluating a cost optimized prosthetic knee joint created by a previous senior design team. The joint must be manufactured in India with local materials and be affordable for the hospital and patients. Current solutions to knee replacement are expensive or ineffective. The team has worked to develop a design that is lightweight, low-cost, and easy to use. The design incorporates a 3-bar linkage system between the upper and lower frames of the device as well as an adjustable damping pad to provide a variable resistance of the swing of the knee which can be tailored to each patient.
On Saturday March 16th, Team 8 and advisors visited Prosthetic & Orthotic Rehabilitation Clinic (PORC) and presented their work and their prototype and received technical feedback. Team 8 will apply the necessary improvements in the prototype and send it back to India for clinical trial on patients.
On Saturday March 16th, Team 8 and advisors visited Prosthetic & Orthotic Rehabilitation Clinic (PORC) and presented their work and their prototype and received technical feedback. Team 8 will apply the necessary improvements in the prototype and send it back to India for clinical trial on patients.
 The group toured the Amber Fort before leaving Jaipur on Tuesday March 12th to Agra.
The group toured the Amber Fort before leaving Jaipur on Tuesday March 12th to Agra.
Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra was the highlight of the day 4 of India trip on Wednesday March 13th.
Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra was the highlight of the day 4 of India trip on Wednesday March 13th.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech's senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit...h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech’s senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit…h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech's senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit...h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Thursday March 14th, Michigan Tech’s senior capstone design teams 7 and 8 visited All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi and Team 8 presented their new prosthetic knee prototype to Dr. Malhotra. Dr Malhotra was impressed wit…h the design concept and expressed the design can lead to a viable and inexpensive prosthesis for below poverty line patients in India. The group was scheduled to meet with orthotic and prosthetic experts on Saturday March 16th to get detail technical feedback.
On Friday March 15th, the group visited Delhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center and toured the facilities. Both teams 7 and 8 were participated in a workshop to familiarize with fabricating the knee orthoses for polio patients. De...lhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center provided Michigan Tech teams with sample orthoses that they use for low income patients and requested us to suggest improvements that lead to improved durability and lower costs of the items.
On Friday March 15th, the group visited Delhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center and toured the facilities. Both teams 7 and 8 were participated in a workshop to familiarize with fabricating the knee orthoses for polio patients. De…lhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedic Center provided Michigan Tech teams with sample orthoses that they use for low income patients and requested us to suggest improvements that lead to improved durability and lower costs of the items.