Fundamentals and Applications of Pulse Detonation Engine

Thursday January 28, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
ME-EM Building, Room 112

Seong-Young Lee
Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University

Recent interest in pulse detonation engines (PDEs) has resulted in several experimental andtheoretical studies related to realizing multi-cycle detonations in tubes that simulate engineoperating conditions. These studies make a clear case that pulse detonation engines provide thepotential for higher specific impulse, reduced complexity and lower operational costs ascompared to current gas turbine technology. For air breathing applications, hydrocarbon-airpropellant combinations are being considered, which are particularly difficult to detonate withina practical length. In addition, a key barrier to the realization of an operational PDE is achievingreliable and repeatable detonations in the shortest distance possible to minimize system weight.Dr. Lee has focused on several areas of fundamental research related to the pulse detonationengine and pulse detonation engine driven ejector. This talk will briefly discuss the fundamentalunderstanding of detonation combustion and its applications including the deflagration-todetonation transition (DDT) process, detonation transition to a bigger thrust chamber, the PDEdriven thrust augmentation, and the plasma-assisted PDE.


Developing 3-D Spatial Skills for Engineering Students

Thursday January 21, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
ME-EM Building, Room 112

Sheryl A. Sorby
Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University

The ability to visualize in three dimensions is a cognitive skill that has been shown tobe important for success in engineering and other technological fields. For engineering,the ability to mentally rotate 3-D objects is espedally important Unfortunately, of all thecognitive skills, 3-D rotation abilities exhibit robust gender differences, favoring males.The assessment of 3-D spatial skill and associated gender differences has been a topic ofeducational research for nearly a century; however, a great deal of the previous work hasbeen aimed at merely identifying differences. Dr. Sorby has been conducting research inthe area of spatial skills development for more than a decade aimed at identifyingpractical methods for improving 3-D spatial skills, especially for women engineeringstudents. This presentation details the significant findings obtained over the past severalyears through this research and identifies strategies that appear to be effective indevelong 3-D spatial skills and in contributing to student success.


Building Adaptive Monitoring Networks: Applying Lessons Learned from Biological Systems

Thursday January 14, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Bo Chen
Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University

This presentation introduces research activities in the Laboratory of Intelligent Mechatronicsand Embedded Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Engineering Mechanicsat Michigan Tech, with a focus on the development of adaptive monitoring networks usingbiological system concepts and mechanisms. Technology is taking us to a world where numerousnetworked devices interact with the physical world in multiple ways and at multiple scales. Thefuture distributed systems will need to possess much higher quality comparing to those of todayin terms of adaptability, autonomy, and reliability due to the increased complexity of systemsand unpredictable working conditions. The fundamental research challenge is to establish robustdecentralized computing systems that interact with physical world, be capable of operating underchanging environments, and exhibit the desired response behavior under physical constraints.The biological systems are able to handle many of these challenges much more efficient thanengineered systems. Motivated by the adaptive sensing and emergent pattern recognitioncapabilities of the natural immune system, we employ an immune-inspired approach to achieveadaptive monitoring and anomaly detection. The presented approach establishes a newmonitoring paradigm by embodying desirable immune attributes, such as adaptation, immunepattern recognition, and self-organization, into monitoring networks. In the immune-inspiredmonitoring paradigm, a group of autonomous mobile monitoring agents mimic immune cells(such as B-cells) in the natural immune system, interact locally with monitoring environment,and respond to emerging problems through simulated immune responses.


Post Doctoral Research Appointment in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment System Modeling and State Estimation

The Intelligent Systems and Control Laboratory and the Advanced Power Systems Research Center in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University invite applications for appointment of a post doctoral research position in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment System Modeling and State Estimation.

This position is made possible by a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and is available immediately. The selected individual would work closely with the project team members including Drs. John Johnson, Jeffrey D. Naber, Gordon G. Parker, and Song-Lin (Jason) Yang of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, and Dr. Jason M. Keith of the Department of Chemical Engineering.

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Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Awards Biomass Demonstration Project

The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) announced grants awarded for Biomass Energy Demonstration projects.

Biomass is defined as any organic matter that is available on a renewable basis through natural processes or as a by-product of human activity such as: agricultural crops and crop residues, animal manure, wood and wood waste, and some types of municipal solid waste. Through a variety of different conversion technologies, it can be used in producing electricity, heat, biogas, transportation fuels, and many valuable by-products.

The Michigan Tech study will evaluate the potential for operating snowmobiles on a higher ethanol-blended fuel (i.e. E15, which is 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol). This demonstration will be conducted in conjunction with the annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge competition in March and will address concerns of manufacturers, consumers, and regulators by providing one of the first publicly available sets of data on the impact of higher-ethanol content fuel in snowmobiles.


Paper Selected for Oral Presentation at the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2010) in Hong Kong in January 2010

A paper titled “A Self-Adaptive Thermal Switch Array for Rapid Temperature Stabilization,” written by PhD candidate Xiaobao Geng and MS Student Pragneshkumar Patel, with their advisor Dennis Desheng Meng, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has been accepted for oral presentation at the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2010) to be held in Hong Kong in January 2010. The conference is the most competitive and highly prestigious international conference in the field of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The acceptance rate for oral presentations is about 8.5% this year.


Professor Emeritus William R. Shapton Elected as Fellow in SAE

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics is extremely pleased to announce that Professor Emeritus William R. Shapton was elected to the SAE Fellow grade. In the selection letter it states that Dr. Shapton was selected based on his outstanding accomplishments in the development of experimental modal analysis and the use of transient excitations to identify the dynamic characteristics of mechanical systems.

Dr. Shapton continues to be active in the department and is currently teaching part-time and is a co-advisor and coordinator for SAE Formula Car enterprise.


Michigan Tech Researchers Lead Project to Develop Cleaner, More Efficient Diesel Engines

Diesel engines are known to be reliable and economical. In recent years, they have also significantly reduced the particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions through advanced emissions control systems. An unfortunate side effect of cleaning up diesel exhaust, however, can be a drop in fuel efficiency and a need to do diagnostics of whether the systems is operating in its design state.

Now, a partnership led by researchers at Michigan Technological University is addressing the problem. The three-year, $2.8 million project is being funded largely by a $1.7 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. Additional support and in-kind goods, services and expertise is provided by the partners from the diesel engine companies Cummins, John Deere, and Navistar; sensor manufacturer Watlow; and Johnson Matthey, a producer of diesel catalysts and pollution-control systems. Scientists at Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories are also collaborating.

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