Category: Seminars

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Challenges that Batteries Face during Design and Development

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar, 103 EERC, 4 pm
Lucia Gauchia Babe, Michigan Tech

Title: From the Lab to Your Car: Challenges that Batteries Face during Design and Development

Electric and hybrid vehicles are receiving substantial attention due to their high efficiency, low greenhouse emissions and lower/non dependence on petroleum. Most vehicle manufacturers are already designing and even commercializing electric vehicles. However, extensive research and development is needed in battery technology in order to guarantee it presents a long life, safe operation, competitive power and energy densities whilst being cost effective. One of the most critical aspects is the safe operation and long life characteristics, due to the fact that batteries chemistries degrade during its lifetime This seminar will present the design and development process a battery needs to follow in order to develop a battery from a single cell to the battery pack that will finally be used to power and electric or hybrid vehicle. This path is full of challenges that go from the material selection, testing procedures to assess performance and aging, safety policies, testing standards, environmental issues and cost, among others. During the seminar we will present how these challenges affect the battery development and the success of vehicle electrification.

Dr. Lucia Gauchia received her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in December 2009 from the University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain). She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate during 2012 at McMaster University (Canada), working for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain in the ECE Dept. as well as in the Green Auto Powertrains Program in the ME Dept. Since Fall 2013 she is the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Assistant Professor on Energy Storage Systems, with a joint appointment between the ECE and MEEM Depts. Her research interests are focused on the testing, modeling and energy management of energy storage systems in both transport and stationary applications.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Future Fuel Economy Standards

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Dr. Robert Prucka, Clemson University, International Center for Automotive Research
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103 EERC Bldg.

Title: Automobile Engine Control and Calibration Strategies to Address Future Fuel Economy Standards

Mandated fuel economy regulations worldwide are driving unprecedented research and development for automobile powertrains. These stringent new regulations require automobile manufacturers to double their current fleet average fuel economy by 2025, while still satisfying customer performance and cost expectations. Advanced internal combustion engines are likely to be prime mover for the vast majority of automobiles in 2025 and beyond due to their relatively low cost as compared to competing technologies. To improve fuel economy and meet global energy demands the number of engine control actuators is increasing and multiple fuels are being considered. The increased engine control complexity brought about by new actuators and fuels motivates the use of model-based control methodologies over traditional map-based empirical approaches. Purely physics based control techniques have the potential to decrease calibration burdens, but must be complex to capture non-linear engine behavior with low computational requirements. This talk will discuss two examples of on-going research related to engine modeling and control system development at Clemson University. First, a semiphysical approach to combustion phasing control for multi-fuel adaptive engines will be examined. This work is intended to adapt to fuel behavior and maintain proper spark timing on-the-fly when fuel type changes. The second example will be focused on the implementation of model predictive control (MPC) to improve engine response during a transmission shift.

Dr. Robert Prucka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Automotive Engineering at the Clemson University – International Center for Automotive Research. His research interests include the design, performance, control, calibration, and emissions of advanced internal combustion engines. He has extensive engine testing experience, including dynamometer cell design and advanced instrumentation development. Currently, he is developing experimental techniques, simulations and control strategies for advanced high degree of freedom spark-ignition engines to improve fuel economy and reduce time to market. He also performs research related to the performance aftermarket for SEMA member companies. Dr. Prucka teaches two graduate level engine combustion and emissions courses that incorporate fundamental engineering principles, experimental work, and 1-D engine simulation software. He is the faculty advisor for Clemson University’s Formula and Baja SAE student competition teams, and the Director of the Brooks Institute for Motorsports at Clemson University. He has three degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan; PhD (2008), MSE (2004) and BSE. (2000). Prior to joining Clemson Robert has worked for the Ford Motor Company and as an independent consultant for racing engine companies.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Relevant Research Areas in Heavy-Duty Engines

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar:
Thursday, March 26, 2014 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103 EERC Bldg.
Dr. William de Ojeda, Navistar

Title: Relevant Research Areas in Heavy-Duty Engines

The drivers for technologies in the Heavy Duty truck market are cleaner emission regulations and higher fuel efficiency standards. This presentation will illustrate how increased engine efficiencies have been attained by more capable injection and charge air systems, while at the same time engine designers work to increase the mechanical limits of the engine to allow operation at higher compression ratios and higher peak cylinder pressures. Reduction of parasitic losses and effective designs to recover the heat energy are also active areas of development. Increased efficiency is accompanied by highly integrated emission reduction technologies. Effective operation of these aftertreatment units require strict thermal management and this presentation will provide insight from novel approaches such as provided by variable valve timing over conventional techniques that require excess fuel. Finally, the area of fuels opens new possibilities for advanced combustion modes. The use of natural gas with Diesel pilot ignition, or gasoline like fuels with Diesel, of oxygenated fuels like Dimethyl Ether represent current areas of research and development and will be briefly reviewed here.
Further advances in HD powertrains with these new fuels will require continuous aligning and successful migration of basic research into the applied work of industry.

Dr. de Ojeda is a senior engineer in Powertrain Group at Navistar where he has led several advanced engine development programs. More recently he directed Navistar’s High Efficiency Vehicle-Engine Supertruck DOE Program based on the Navistar MAXXFORCE13 engine. Dr. de Ojeda holds multiple patents and publications in the
area of electro-hydraulics, variable valve train systems, combustion and controls. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York, a M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Signatures of Surface Moving Targets within Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar guest speaker on Thursday, March 20 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. David Garren from the Naval Postgraduate School.

The title of his presentation will be ‘Signatures of Surface Moving Targets within Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery’.

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) enables accurate collection of imagery data in all weather conditions, day or night. SAR image formation yield well-focused imagery of geophysical scenes, since the radar signal processing uses a filtering process that is matched to the radar echoes from stationary scattering centers within the scene. However, moving targets yield a signal mismatch in the processing and thus appear defocused, wherein the majority of the smearing occurs in the radar cross-range direction. This current investigation presents methods for analytically predicting the detailed shape of the smear signatures for surface targets with arbitrary motion in spotlight SAR imagery. This analysis considers the standard collection geometry in which the radar sensor moves with constant speed and heading on a level flight path, with radar beam-pattern pointed perpendicular to the direction of flight. Examples in which a target moves with constant speed and heading yield smear shapes that are simply curved, as with a parabola. However, complicated smear shapes can be obtained for cases of non-uniform target motion, as with a target that is undergoing a braking maneuver. The current investigation develops accurate equations for predicting the shapes of mover signatures based upon input values for the target motion. This predictive capability offers the potential of providing insight into the details of the target motion based upon mover signatures that are observed within SAR imagery.

Professor Garren is an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Naval Postgraduate School – National Capital Region. He has over twenty years of experience in applied research in various disciplines, including radar, image processing, and signal processing. He has over thirty-five research publications in journals and conference proceedings, and he holds seven U.S. Patents. Professor Garren received the Ph.D. degree in 1991 from the College of William and Mary.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Turning Power Distribution Feeders into Microgrids

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar Series:
Thursday, Mar. 6, 2013 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103, EERC Bldg.
Professor Andrea Mammoli, Director of the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, University of New Mexico

Title: Turning Power Distribution Feeders into Microgrids: Challenges & Opportunities

Photovoltaic power generation is almost at grid parity. Electric vehicles are gaining popularity. Smart meters, smart thermostats and many other clever devices are being installed at rapidly increasing rates, replacing old equipment. At the same time, every time bad weather happens, large parts of the grid fail, and days go by before normality is restored. Even houses with undamaged rooftop photovoltaic systems have no power! Our increased reliance on electricity to drive all kinds of devices and machinery has, in fact, made us more vulnerable to disruptions in service. An important reason for this state of affairs is that the grid is not taking advantage of the information that is available through these myriad devices, and is operating largely as it has been for decades. On the other hand, managing information from millions of devices is not something utility companies are able or willing to do. A possible solution is to localize both information management and distributed power generation at the distribution feeder level, turning it into a microgrid. This would be able to provide basic services when islanded from the grid, and also to provide ancillary services to the grid as needed to help prevent grid-wide disruption. The problem is one of resource management: how much local generation is needed, how much and what storage, and how is power flow managed and coordinated? Also, what are the changes to infrastructure that would be needed to make all power distribution feeders into microgrids? Some of the answers will be provided as a result of a research program that started in New Mexico several years ago at Mesa del Sol, a Greenfield development south of Albuquerque that will ultimately be the home to 100,000 residents, who will live, work and play there. Studio14, a power distribution feeder that connects various innovative distributed power system, is used as a basis for studying how we can go from 19th century power to 21st century power. In this talk, we will provide examples from several ongoing projects that show how it is possible to achieve the goal of a clean, resilient power system at reasonable cost.

Andrea A. Mammoli is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies at the University of New Mexico. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mammoli obtained his Bachelor of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Western Australia. After two years as Director funded postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in 1997 Mammoli joined the University of New Mexico as Research Assistant
Professor. Until 2004, Mammoli conducted research in flow of heterogeneous materials, using both experimental techniques (nuclear magnetic resonance, particle image velocimetry and rheometry) as well as high-performance direct numerical simulation using primarily boundary element techniques. Stimulated by a DOE-sponsored project on CO2 sequestration, and by a sabbatical year at the Università Politecnica delle Marche in Italy, in 2005 Mammoli steered his research activities to the area of energy systems, beginning with a project to refurbish and modernize the solar-assisted HVAC in the UNM Mechanical Engineering building. This initial effort spun off many related projects, dealing with the interaction between buildings and the electric power grid, especially concerning how buildings can enable higher levels of renewable energy from all sources. Mammoli collaborates with the utility industry and national laborarories (Sandia, Berkeley and Los Alamos) on various demonstration projects and testbeds designed to bring new technologies to mainstream operations.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: 3D Audio

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar guest speakers on Thurs. Feb. 27 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Edgar Choueiri from Princeton University.

Title: 3D Audio

Starting with a brief review of the three main methods for 3-D sound reproduction over loudspeakers: 1) Wave Field Synthesis, 2) Ambisonics, and 3) Binaural audio through two loudspeakers (BAL), we focus on recent advances with the third method. I will show that crosstalk cancellation (XTC) allows BAL to deliver to the listener the necessary cues for real 3-D audio but that it inherently imposes an intolerably high spectral coloration on the audio. I will describe recent breakthroughs, which allow producing optimized XTC filters that impose no spectral coloration. I will then discuss the two other problems that have retarded the commercialization of XTC: the fixed and single sweet spot problems. I will show how the first problem is solved through advanced head tracking; and the second problem is solved using head tracking and phased array speakers, allowing the delivery of high-spatial-fidelity 3D audio to multiple moving listeners in real listening rooms. Following the talk, there will be a demo with playback of recorded music and natural sounds.

Edgar Choueiri is Professor of Applied Physics at at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of Princeton University, and Associated Faculty at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Program in Plasma Physics. He is also Director of Princeton University’s Engineering Physics Program and Director of both the university’s Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab and its 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics (3D3A) Lab. He is the author for more than 175 scientific publications and the recipient of numerous awards and honors. His recent work on 3D audio has been featured by BBC Radio, NPR, The New Yorker magazine, The Discovery Channel, and The Atlantic magazine. His BACCH 3D Audio technology has been licensed by Princeton University and is commercially available in consumer and professional audio products.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Engineering the Past: Using Modern Engineering to Understand Historical Technologies

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar; Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103 EERC Bldg.; Steven A. Walton, PhD; Professor of History, Michigan Technological University

Title: Engineering the Past: Using Modern Engineering to Understand Historical Technologies

Amazing technical tasks have been accomplished in the past, from wonders like Stonehenge to the Wright Brothers biplane, but usually with little to no framework that we could conceive of as ‘science’. Modern engineering, on the other hand, has a vast range of scientific information with which to design and analyze new developments in technology, but it rarely stops to look back at how things worked in the past. These techniques can, however, offer great insight into historical technology, but it is often overlooked by historians who don’t know modern science and by engineers who don’t consider historical topics legitimate areas for analysis. This presentation will give a number of examples of historic technologies that have been recreated and analyzed with varying levels of engineering science, and then describe an ongoing research project on the “Origins of Firepower” that seeks to understand how early firearms were made, used, and understood. In particular, a number of research opportunities will be highlighted with regard to pre-modern gunpowder manufacture and combustion, as well as early artillery metrology and ballistics.

Dr. Walton holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering (B.S. Cornell; M.S. Caltech) and the History of Science and Technology (M.A., Ph.D ., Univ. of Toronto). He is own research on the history of technologies and the industries that made them spans the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, and he works on both European and American topics. Most recently, he has two relevant projects underway that will appear in the talk: he is part of the Early European Guns and the Origins of Firepower research groups based in the UK and Denmark and in engaged in a series of surveys and projects to understand how gunpowder weaponry from the late 15th and 16th centuries behaved; in his work on 19th-cetntry American ordnance foundries, he is studying how the early understandings of strength of materials before the Civil War influenced artillery design and manufacture. He is long-term goal is to help find places where historical studies and engineering science can come together fruitfully to answering interesting historical questions.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar guest speakers on Thurs. Feb. 13 at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. David Harvey from Ballard Power Systems.

Title: Challenges, Opportunities, and Open-source A perspective on Fuel Cell simulation for performance and durability

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells have been a prominent part of the alternative energy landscape for a considerable length of time. The challenges facing the technology are generally categorized into three main areas: Cost, Performance, and Durability. These three areas are for the most part largely intertwined, as changes in materials or designs that improve one area invariably have, for the most part, a negative effect on the others. Of particular focus in recent initiatives has been the catalyst layer, specifically the performance and durability of a three part system of a supporting particle, nano-catalyst, and ionomeric “binder”. To date, very few commercial numerical codes exist that can adequately describe state-of-the-art PEM fuel cell performance or durability. To a large extent this is a product of the speed at which the materials development and theoretical understanding is moving, such that commercial codes tend to lag in capability as the “investment” to stay current is immense. Open-source initiatives have become commonplace in many areas, one of which is computational fluid dynamics. The open nature of these codes has led to the development of “current” sets of theory and physics in various application areas and the community nature of the projects enables and encourages leverage in other areas of engineering and design. This methodology has been applied to the development of a free and open-source software initiative, FCAPOLLO that has been built on a free and open-source CFD package.

David is a researcher in the field of alternative energy. He has been working in the area of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells since 2002 with a focus on the development of numerical simulations for performance and durability. In 2005, David began working for Ballard Power Systems in Burnaby, BC on the development of simulation codes to predict the performance of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). During that time, he and his group, in coordination with researchers at Queen’s University in Kingston, Onario, were the first to develop a stoichastic technique for the direct numerical simulation of catalyst layers. This work transitioned into the U.S. Department of Energy project, “Microstructural Mitigations Strategies: Morphological Simulations and Experimental Approaches” in which a series of simulations at scales ranging from nano to macro were coupled in a multi-scale modelling methodology in order to assess and predict the performance and degradation of carbon-supported platinum nano-catalysts. His current area of foucs is on the development of the software derived from the U.S. Department of Energy Project, FC-APOLLO. FC-APOLLO is a free, open-source fuel cell design software built in the opensource CFD package
OpenFOAM (trademark of OpenCFD).

ME-EM Graduate Seminar:

The ME-EM Graduate Seminar guest speakers on Thurs. Jan. 30at 4:00 in 103 EERC will be Dr. Samveg Saxena from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Title: ‘Powertrain Technologies for a Climate Constrained World: Advanced Engines, Vehicle Electrification and Vehicle-Grid Integration’.

Advanced Engines, Vehicle Electrification and Vehicle-Grid Integration Vehicle transportation accounts for ~23% of global energy use, significant greenhouse gas emissions, and a substantial amount of harmful urban pollutants. Many competing technology options exist to mitigate the growing transportation challenges, and this seminar presents a high-level overview of research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in various powertrain technology areas.

In engines: Low temperature combustion (LTC) is one promising direction for high efficiency and low emission engines for vehicles of the future. This seminar presents an overview of a recent review article in the journal “Progress in Energy and Combustion Science” which can be found at: The article reviews fundamental phenomena governing the performance of LTC engines and uses this as a foundation to discuss promising directions in LTC engine technology and gaps in current literature.
In vehicle electrification and vehicle-grid integration: This seminar introduces the LBNL Vehicle-to-Grid Simulation (V2G-Sim) platform, which provides a systematic framework for understanding how vehicles impact the electricity grid and how vehicle charging and V2G can be controlled to enable optimal grid integration. In powertrain innovations for the developing world: This seminar discusses how powertrain simulation can be used to design better vehicles for rapidly growing developing world markets.

Dr. Saxena is a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where he leads a vehicle powertrain research program. Sam completed his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2011 where he led several studies on innovative engine technologies for higher efficiency combustion, including LTC, microwave-assisted spark ignition, and cylinder deactivation strategies. Using this experience, Dr. Saxena has provided the technical foundation to secure over $2.8 Million in engine and powertrain research funding from the US DOE, California Energy Commission and other agencies. In early 2012, Dr. Saxena joined LBNL working on modeling of vehicle powertrain systems. Prior to beginning his Ph.D, Dr. Saxena worked in industry on engine and vehicle powertrain research at the Toronto-based companies: Magna Powertrain Engine Technologies Group, and Multimatic Technical Center. Dr. Saxena has been recognized in the Canadian House of Commons for his leadership excellence and has several awards for his demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, including the NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and serves as a reviewer, session organizer, and editorial board member for leading conferences and journals in combustion, engines and powertrain technologies. After hours, Sam enjoys trail runs in the hills around LBNL.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Arctic Cat Snowmobile Engine Discussion

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar; Thursday, Jan. 23, 2013, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 103 EERC,
Cord Christensen and Ryan Hayes from Arctic Cat. The title of their presentation will be ‘Arctic Cat Snowmobile Engine Discussion’.

The presentation will cover Arctic Cat’s newest snowmobile engines, the 600 DSI (Dual Stage Injection) two-stroke engine and the 1100 turbocharged four-stroke engine. We will also have engines on display.

Ryan Hayes has worked in two-stroke engine calibration and development for snowmobiles over the past 11 years at Arctic Cat; helping to produce the industry’s most powerfull two-stroke engine, the 800 HO. His experience ranges from small displacement fan-cooled, carbuerated engines to the new generation of semi-direct injection, liquid cooled engines and beyond. He has also been involved with the engine related systems; including cooling, exhaust and intake design and development. He is a graduate of Michigan Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a past leader of MTU’s Clean Snowmobile team. Ryan is also a proud husband to his wife Melissa and two children Ashlyn and Keenan. Cord Christensen has been in the snowmobile engine group at Arctic Cat for over 15 years. His engine experience ranges from carbureted, fan cooled 2 strokes to turbocharged, liquid cooled four strokes. As part of the four stroke group he helped develop and introduce the snowmobile industry’s first production turbocharged engine as well as the most powerful engine in the snowmobile industry. He is currently the four stroke snowmobile engine group leader for Arctic Cat. Cord is a 1998 graduate of Michigan Technological University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He lives in northwest Minnesota with his wife and two daughters.