Category: Students

First-Time Supermileage Driver Makes Tech Shine

Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise, part of Tech’s Advanced Motorsports, took first place for innovation solutions at SAE International’s Collegiate Design Supermileage Competition in Marshall, Michigan. The $1,000 award was sponsored by Top 1 Oil.

Michigan Tech’s team was one of 23 teams from the US and Canada who participated in the competition and one of 14 who passed the technical inspection. The Tech team placed 5th overall based their design report, presentation and fuel economy results, winning another $500 prize. They also won awards for best design execution and best overall team attitude, adding another $400 to their winnings.

But the hero of the day was Claire Sullivan, who was driving in her first Supermileage competition. Rick Berkey, Enterprise director, said: “I am giving our driver Claire Sullivan the ‘Coolest Driver under Pressure’ Award for her on-track performance.”

Berkey explained. “We were the last team on the track, and our final run was going very well. All this changed on lap 5 of 6, when the chain came off. We thought we were done and even stopped timing our laps. BUT, our driver Claire exited the vehicle (which is allowed) and got the chain back on without assistance.

“Here is where the excitement comes in,” Berkey continued. “In order to post a successful run and comply with the minimum and maximum speed constraints, we needed to complete the final lap somewhere between 3:50 and about 4:10 minutes—only a 20-second window to hit and about 2 minutes faster than our optimal lap times, all without any feedback on speed/time.

“As Claire accelerated, the engine cover blew off; it is normally secured by tape. Then, the cockpit cover blew off. It is not really designed for the driver to reinstall unassisted while sitting (or rather lying) in the car.

“To make matters worse, the cover bumped one of the kill switches in the process and shut the car off. Claire figured this out and reached up to turn the switch to the run position (all while strapped in a six-point safety harness).

“At this point we literally told Claire over the radio to ‘trust her gut.’ And she did. Her final lap was 3:57–not too fast, not too slow, but just right. The timing judges were impressed; we were in awe, and Claire was clearly our hero of the day.”

By Jenn Donovan.

The event took place June 8-9, 2017, at the Eaton Corporation in Marshall, Michigan.

Complete Results

by Rick Berkey

Event Summary:

  • We were one of 23 registered teams – 6 from Canada and 17 from the US, including 3 from Michigan (other MI teams were Lawrence Tech and Univ. of Detroit – Mercy).
  • Of the 23 registered teams, we were one of 14 who passed technical inspection.
  • We earned a design score of 325 out of 450 possible, based on our written report and verbal presentation.
  • After battling engine tuning and chain tensioning problems nearly all day, we worked through these issues and made two successful fuel economy runs of 443 and 535 mpg.

Results:

  • We placed 5th overall based our design report, presentation, and fuel economy results ($500). Our design score helped us, as our fuel economy was only 7th highest.
  • We earned 1st place Innovative Solutions Award, sponsored by Top 1 Oil ($1000 and plaque).
  • We received the award for Best Design Execution, selected by the event organizers ($300 and plaque).
  • We received the award for Best Overall Team Attitude ($100 and plaque), selected by the event organizers based on discussions with other teams in the pits. Our team spent a lot of time helping the Iowa State team who was having a lot of challenges trying to pass inspection. I’m most proud of this award, as it shows the true character of our team.
  • I am giving our driver Claire Sullivan the ‘Coolest Driver under Pressure’ Award for her on-track performance below.

Supermileage 2017

Supermileage 2017


Supermileage Enterprise Wins at Shell Eco-Marathon

SSE and ShellThe 33rd annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition took place over the weekend, April 27-30 in Detroit, MI. This year’s event was the second season that Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team competed.  Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. More than 100 teams from universities and high schools across the country and abroad came to the heart of the Motor City to compete on the track located on the city streets surrounding the Cobo Convention Center.

Read more at Pavlis Honors College, by Amy Karagiannakis.


Abdelkhalik Team at Global Space Competition

GTOCA team of Michigan Tech and University of Michigan students placed 16th in the European Space Agency’s 9th Global Trajectory Optimization Competition. The online competition attracted 69 teams.

The competition challenge was: “It is the year 2060 and the commercial exploitation of Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) went well beyond the trillion of Euros market size. Following the unprecedented explosion of a Sun-synchronous satellite, the Kessler effect triggered further impacts, and the Sun-synchronous LEO environment was severely compromised.

Scientists from all main space agencies and private space companies isolated a set of 123 orbiting debris pieces that, if removed, would restore the possibility to operate in that precious orbital environment and prevent the Kessler effect from permanently compromising it. You are thus called to design a series of missions able to remove all critical debris pieces while minimizing the overall cumulative cost of such an endeavor. Each single mission cost (in EUR) will depend on how early the mission is submitted via this web-site (regardless of their actual launch epoch) and on the spacecraft initial mass.”

Michigan Tech’s team included Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM), four graduate students and one remote graduate student.

By Jenn Donovan.


Three Short Courses in Vehicle Dynamics and Diesel Engines to be Offered Summer 2017

APS Lab

Back by popular demand, three short courses will be offered this summer.

The courses are “Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics,” “Fundamentals of Diesel Engines” and “Diesel Engine Control Systems.”

Courses include extensive laboratory components with a format that mixes traditional lecture and group discussion with hands-on experiments conducted in powertrain test-cells and through driving vehicles on the road. The courses will be available to all Michigan Tech graduate students and undergraduate seniors. Each course is one credit with a lab fee of $265. Course descriptions are included below.

Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics: MEEM 5990 Section 50 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Measure and understand vehicle size and CG (X-Y-Z), Determine optimum suspension setup for handling and performance. Model and measure real world vehicle acceleration for correlation and prediction of vehicle performance. See the effects of vehicle design on understeer and oversteer during limit handling.

Fundamentals of Diesel Engines: MEEM 5202 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; fundamentals of operation, performance metrics, thermochemistry, combustion, fuel injection and spray, air systems and turbocharging, EGR, energy balance, heat transfer, diesel engine simulation and advanced concepts and trends in diesel engines.

Diesel Engine Control Systems: MEEM 5204 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; review diesel operation, regulations, intro to engine control, diesel engine actuators, load control, Start of Injection, Rail Pressure, Turbo Control, EGR and Engine Out Emissions, aftertreatment, algorithm and calibration, OBD and controller communications.

These courses are a great option for anyone looking to increase their understanding of vehicle systems or engines, or for students needing additional credits.

All courses will be delivered from the Michigan Tech Advanced Power Systems Research Center located near the Houghton County Airport. The courses will be two-and-a-half days in duration, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 5 p.m. Friday of that same week. Transportation to and from campus may be provided each day. Lunch will be provided on Thursday and Friday.

Registration is now open through banweb:

  • Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics — 6/14/17-6/16/17 CRN 52391
  • Fundamentals of Diesel Engines — 7/12/17 through 7/14/17 CRN 52378
  • Diesel Engine Control Systems — 8/02/17 through 8/04/17 CRN 52379

Students are welcome to register for any or all three. There are no pre-requisites, but familiarity with vehicle dynamics, thermodynamics and/or IC engine cycles will be helpful.

Contact Chris Morgan for further details.


HIRoLab Featured in National Biomechanics Day Outreach

HIRoLab Circular Treadmill
HIRoLab Circular Treadmill

National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6, 2017), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.

Read more at Tech Today, by Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.


Pohlod Receives GLIAC Commissioner’s Award

Michigan Tech volleyball player Rachel Pohlod was one of six female recipients of the 2016 Fall GLIAC Commissioner’s Award the league announced Friday.

A total of 12 student athletes (six male and six female) that excel academically and on the fields of play are presented after the fall, winter, and spring athletic seasons with the award.

Pohlod is a senior setter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is one of only three players in Tech history to record more than 2,000 assists and 1,000 digs in her career.

Pohlod was a CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection and All-GLIAC First Team pick in 2016 after career highs in assists (1,238), digs (361), blocks (27), assists in a match (68) and digs in a match (27).

Pohlod was a three-time member of the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team, holding a 3.99 grade-point average in mechanical engineering. She was also a GLIAC Honorable Mention choice in 2015 and team Co-MVP in 2016.

To read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech sports, visit michigantechhuskies.com.

By Krista Siler, Assistant Director of Athletic Communication.


Andrew Barnard’s Exhaust System Competing in Semifinals

GAMIC

Andrew Barnard’s (ME-EM) CNT active exhaust system was chosen to compete in the semifinals of the Global Automotive and Mobility Innovation Competition (GAMIC) Feb. 23, 2017, in Detroit. Graduate student Suraj Prabhu is also working on the project.

Presented by SAE International and the MI Innovation Alliance, GAMIC provides early‐stage start‐ups with an opportunity for competition‐prep coaching and targeted exposure to decision‐makers.


Energy Conversion Poster Symposium

Wind TurbinesStudents from ME-EM 4200/5290 and 4201 “Principles of Energy Conversion” and “Intermediate Thermodynamics” presented the results of their semester-long projects on energy conversion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 9, 2016, in MUB Commons.

Some topics investigated included:

  • Replacing UPPCO with off-shore wind power
  • Renewable and alternative residential backup power
  • Can you run your car on wood in the UP?
  • Off-grid hot water

Summer Youth Program for Women in Automotive Engineering

AutomotiveGirlTalkHQ, a news web site focusing on women’s empowerment, published an article about Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program for women in automotive engineering, sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Michigan Tech University Encouraging Girls To Enter The Automotive Industry With New Program

While there are a number of universities and schools around the US which offer automotive engineering programs open to both boys and girls, Michigan Technological University is going one step further.

Earlier this summer they launched the inaugural Women in Automotive Engineering program, a week-long initiative that invited girls to get first-hand experience in the industry from female role models who are working in the field. The program was sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and was part of the University’s Summer Youth Program. The leadership team was headed up by Jennifer Shute and Jody Hand who are former MTU students who wanted to provide role models for the current students, something the two women did not have while they were attending college.

We are making a direct investment that will hopefully encourage promising young women to consider engineering as a field of study and a career in the automotive industry. —Stephen L. Williams, ’86

Read more at GirlTalkHQ.


Tech Century on Women in Automotive Engineering

Tech Century, an online news site published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, ran a story about Michigan Tech’s first Women in Automotive Engineering program. Funded by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. the program brought talented high school girls to Tech this summer to learn about careers in automotive engineering. It was part of the University’s Summer Youth Programs. Read the story here.

From Tech Today.