2019 Rekhi Innovation Challenge Winners

Beach ChallengeThe 2019 Rekhi Innovation Challenge ended Feb. 28. This year there were seven teams competing. The Rekhi Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through Michigan Tech’s crowdfunding site, Superior Ideas. A total of $3,035 was raised between the projects. Congratulations to the Automated Beach Safety Flag project for raising the most at $2,245. This project team will receive a matching gift of $1,000.

Here are results in the other prize categories:

Most Unique Visitors – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project

  • 1st place – Audio to Visual Translator
  • 2nd place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
  • 3rd place – LifePro Jackets

Most Unique Funders – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project

  • 1st place – Audio to Visual Translator
  • 2nd place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
  • 3rd place – LifePro Jackets

Social Media Engagement – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project

  • 1st place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
  • 2nd place – Audio to Visual Translator
  • 3rd – LifePro Jackets

Most Creative Marketing Communications Strategy – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project

  • 1st place – Automated Beach Safety Flag

The Audio to Visual project won a total of $100 in prize money and the Automated Beach Safety Flag project won a total of $1,150. Thanks to all of the donors that contributed to these projects. Your support for student innovation and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech is greatly appreciated.

Superior Ideas was established in 2012 to help bring University research and public service projects to life. The site uses crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for University research and public service projects that may not qualify for grant funding.

Meet the Researchers

Audio to Visual Translator

Automated Cellular Beach Safety Flag System

  • Jacob Soter
  • Andrew Barnard is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

APS Lab Efficient Platooning Featured by dSPACE

Christopher Morgan Efficient Platooning Interview

Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power Systems (APS) lab was one of the cover stories in the January edition of dSPACE Magazine. The story “Efficient Platooning,” begins on page 22, and features quotes and a photo of Christopher Morgan (ME-EM). There is also a video link in connection with the story.

Efficient Platooning

Cooperative and predictive control strategies boost energy efficiency in automated vehicles

“The purpose of the project is to use upcoming technologies, such as automated vehicles, V2I, V2X, and sensors, to improve energy consumption on modern vehicles,” says Chris Morgan, Operations Manager at Michigan Tech.

Read more at dSPACE.

Michigan Technological University: Efficient Platooning

Students and Faculty at Michigan Technological University’s Advanced Power Systems Lab (APS Labs) are deeply involved in the NEXTCAR project, as they strive to boost vehicle energy efficiency through driverless technologies.

NEXTCAR stands for Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles – an initiative that is funded through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The video features interviews with:

  • Jeffrey Naber, Director, APS, Michigan Tech
  • Maribeth Yabes, Engineering Group Manager, General Motors
  • Christopher Morgan, Operations Manager, APS, and Instructor, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Tech
  • Chuck Drews, IT Systems – Pilot Systems
  • Stuart Steel, Program Manager – Pilot Systems

WATCH THE VIDEO


ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet December 11, 2018

MEEM Fall 2018 Ceremonies

Banquet and Program

The ME-EM Senior Recognition Banquet and Order of the Engineer Program was held on December 11, 2018.

VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY

Keynote Speaker

Heidi Mueller
Keynote Speaker Heidi Mueller

Heidi Mueller

The speaker was Heidi Mueller, Supervisor – 2.3L GTDI Engine Calibration, Ford Motor Company.

Fall 2018 Outstanding Student Awards

Outstanding Senior Design Student Awards

John Hoffman, student Advisor Steven Ma

John Hoffman is a member of team 64 working on Laser Welding of Carbide Saw Blade contracted with Milwaukee Tool. His team’s advisor, Steven Ma, said that during the year working on the project John Hoffman has continuously shown graduate level skill in multiple areas of our senior design project in software/coding, CNC control, fixture design and hands-on machining and made great contribution to the success of the project. Although the whole team has worked well together and each individual contributed quality work, the project would not be at the point where it is currently without John’s knowledge, time, and commitment. His outstanding performance during this Senior Capstone Design project has been well recognized and is therefore nominated here for the Outstanding Student Performance Award.

Thomas Richter, SCD Team 59

Cam Hadden nominated Thomas Richter for his outstanding work on Team 59’s CAD model of the seatframe, as well as the work he has done with FEA. I believe that without his contribution, the team would not have nearly as impressive of a final presentation. From what I understand, he has done most of the modelling work by himself during semester 1, and he has done ALL of the FEA work by himself during semester 2. His FEA models are very impressive, which include not only stress analysis but also mass optimization for weight reduction… These were apparent in the team’s final presentation.

Nominee for Outstanding Enterprise Student

Cora Taylor, FSAE Enterprise

Nominated by Forumla SAE Advisor Jim De Clerck, Cora Taylor joined FSAE early in her college career. She has been involved in nearly every aspect of vehicle development and team operation. As team President, Cora proved that she could be counted on to get things done. Last May, Cora led the team through one of our most outstanding competition experiences ever.


Prospective Student Works on Bomb-defusing Robot

Jared RathburnThe School News Network ran the story “Bomb-defusing robot gets tweaked at Tech Center mechatronics lab.” The story focuses on the work of Rockford, Michigan high school senior Jared Rathburn, who is planning to attend Michigan Tech to major in mechanical engineering.

Bomb-defusing robot gets tweaked at Tech Center mechatronics lab

It’s not your average high school shop project. At the Kent Career Tech Center mechatronics lab, senior Jared Rathburn is modifying a bomb-defusing robot.

About the size of a backpack, the rubber-treaded “Packbot” is able to scoot across a room or field, open a door and pick up an object with a hand-sized claw.

The Rockford High School student spends a couple of hours most afternoons learning advanced robotics skills at the mechatronics lab.

After graduation, Jared says he is headed to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, where he plans to study mechanical engineering.

Read more at the School News Network, by James Harger.


American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship for Michael Hill

Michael Hill
Michael Hill

Michael Hill, PhD, researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship in the amount of $104,060 over two years.

The funding is for his proposal on “Nanoengineered Polymers for Mature Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes.”

The goal of the proposal is to produce multiscale materials that can mimic the signals which govern cell behavior in the human heart, in order to guide stem cells into becoming cardiac muscle cells.

Dr. Hill and colleagues work in the lab of Assistant Professor Parisa Abadi, where they are using nanomaterials to develop solutions to medical problems. Due to the shortage of organ donors, myocardial infarction—or heart attack—is one of the major killers in the United States. The research team is seeking to use nanomaterials to engineer systems that can provide viable cardiac muscle cells for cell therapy post-myocardial infarction. These studies could provide a rationale for nanoscale material design for producing patient-specific cardiac cells which help regenerate damaged heart tissue.


Allen and Bellur Present on Phase Change Studies

Jeffrey Allen (ME-EM) gave the presentation “Accommodation Coefficients During Liquid-Vapor Phase-Change: A Cryo/Neutron Study,” at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) “Micro and Nanoscale Phase Change Heat Transfer,” in Barga, Italy.

Postdoctoral Scholar Kishan Bellur presented a poster at the conference.

The conference took place February 3 – 8, 2019. The GRC and associated Gordon Research Seminar are focused on fundamental descriptions of phase change processes and how these forces interact to prescribe how equipment can be designed and processes can be run.

Jeffrey S. Allen
Jeffrey S. Allen
Kishan Bellur
Kishan Bellur

Madhukar Vable on Enhancing Undergraduate Engineering Education

Madhukar Vable
Madhukar Vable

Undergraduate engineering struggles to attract women and minorities, 20 percent of the students drop out after one year, and 40 percent fail to graduate in six years. Professor Emeritus Madhukar Vable describes how we can take the elements of our (USA) world-renowned graduate education to enhance undergraduate education in the December edition of Prism. Prism articles can be accessed through the library electronic data base.

Rebuild the Foundation

When it comes to graduate education, U.S. engineering schools are clearly getting something right: They attract scholars and students from all over the world. At the same time, undergraduate engineering struggles to draw in women and minorities, 20 percent of the students drop out after one year, and 40 percent fail to graduate in six years. What can we borrow from graduate education to enhance the undergraduate experience?

Read more in PRISM Last Word, by Madhukar Vable.


Robotics Changes Cora Taylor’s Career Trajectory

Cora Taylor
Cora Taylor

Recent Michigan Tech alumna Cora Taylor ’18, was featured in the article “Robotics changes student’s career trajectory,” in the Charlevoix Courier. The story chronicles how Taylor’s involvement in Charlevoix High School’s robotics led her toward a career in engineering. At Tech, Taylor was a member of the Formula SAE team.

Robotics changes student’s career trajectory

“I had no interest in engineering, in fact, I was interested in art, graphic design and drafting,” Taylor said. “If I hadn’t been convinced to join the team all those years ago, I don’t think I would be even remotely close to an engineer today.”

Taylor is a 2014 Charlevoix High School graduate. She is daughter of John and Kim Taylor, of Charlevoix, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

Read more at the Charlevoix Courier, by Anne Kelly.