Tag: Spring 2013

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Seeing the World with Neutron Vision

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 25 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.

Dr. Daniel S. Hussey from the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be the ME-EM guest speaker for Thurs., April 25 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. His presentation is entitled ‘Seeing the World with Neutron Vision’.

Dr. Daniel S. Hussey is a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where his primary research is on neutron optics including neutron imaging of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Dr. Hussey started at NIST as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in 2004. Dr. Hussey earned a PhD in physics from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN in 2003 where he used dense samples of polarized 3He in polarized neutron reflectometry studies of magnetic thin films. Dr. Hussey earned his bachelor of science in physics from the University of New Hampshire in 1999. Dr. Hussey has authored or coauthored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers in 2010.

Abstract: “Seeing the World with Neutron Vision”

Neutrons primarily interact with matter via the strong nuclear force (as opposed to the electron density) and so provide a complementary view of world to more conventional probes of matter.

In particular, neutrons have a very high sensitive to hydrogen while being very insensitive to common metals such as aluminum. This has enabled neutron imaging to play a key role in understanding the water transport in hydrogen fuel cells. Neutrons can also be treated as waves and it is possible to construct a neutron Talbot-Lau interferometer to obtain phase and darkfield images which can increase the contrast for small variations in material density or porosity. An ongoing challenge in any neutron scattering or imaging measurement is the inherently low neutron intensity as compared to what is possible at modern x-ray synchrotrons. This is partly due to the difficulty in focusing neutrons as the refractive index differs from one by only 1-10 ppm. A new reflection base lens technology shows great promise to create the world’s first practical neutron microscope. In this talk, I’ll discuss how neutron imaging has benefited fuel cells and how it might be useful for lithium batteries, give an overview of the Talbot-Lau interferometer, and introduce the idea of the neutron microscope.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 18 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Professor Steven W. Shaw, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University
Title: “Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy”

Steve Shaw is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He received an AB in Physics (1978) and an MSE in Applied Mechanics (1979) from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1983) from Cornell University. His current research interests are in dynamical systems and mechanical vibrations, including mirco/nano-scale resonators with sensing and signal processing applications, and nonlinear vibration absorbers with automotive applications. He has held visiting appointments at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, Caltech, the University of Minnesota, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and McGill University. Steve currently serves as an Associate Editor for the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and the ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics. His work has been supported without interruption by the US NSF since 1984, and by the US Department of Defense and industrial sources. He is a Fellow of ASME and recipient of several honors, including the SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award, the Henry Ford Customer Satisfaction Award, the ASME Henry Hess Award, and he will receive the ASME N. O. Myklestad Award in 2013.

Topic: Using Nonlinear Torsional Vibration Absorbers to Improve Automotive Fuel Economy

A number of approaches used for improving automotive fuel economy result in increased levels of powertrain torsional vibration; these include cylinder deactivation, low-speed boosting, and low-speed torque converter lockup. One can maximize the effectiveness of such strategies by managing torsional vibrations, which allows access to more efficient operating conditions.

Several manufacturers are considering the use of centrifugal pendulum vibration absorbers, which are widely used in light aircraft engines, for this purpose. These absorbers attenuate torsional vibrations at a given engine order, and they are most effective when lightly damped and allowed to operate at large amplitudes of oscillation. Hence, their design requires an understanding of the dynamic response of a multi-degree-of-freedom nonlinear system driven near resonance. Some nonlinear effects can be designed into the absorbers to provide enhanced performance, while others are detrimental to their function. In this work we consider the dynamics and performance of rotors fitted with multiple absorbers, a nonlinear dynamical system with special symmetries that are central to its behavior. We show how one can systematically account for these effects to develop analytical and computational tools for the design of absorber systems that are effective over a wide range of engine torques and speeds. The presentation will describe modeling, predictive analysis, controlled experiments,
automotive engine testing, and outstanding challenges related to these vibration absorbers.

This line of research has been carried out jointly with Professors Brian Feeny and Alan Haddow and several graduate students at MSU, Dr. Bruce Geist at Chrysler Group LLC, and Jeff Chottiner, John Brevick, and Victor Borowski at Ford Motor Company. Financial support has been provided by NSF, Chrysler, and Ford.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Apr 11

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 11 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.
Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Energy Mechatronics Laboratory at Michigan Technological University, will be the graduate seminar speaker for Thursday, April 11 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. The presentation is entitled ‘Low Temperature Combustion Engines: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions’.

Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University, where he conducts research in the area of controls and energy. He is currently the director of Energy Mechatronics Laboratory (EML) at MTU. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan Tech, Shahbakhti was a post-doctoral scholar at the Vehicle Dynamics & Control Laboratory in the University of California-Berkeley (2010-2012). He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alberta in Canada in 2009. He worked several years on control of dynamic systems in the automotive (2001-2004), robotic (2000-2001), and HVAC (1998-2000) industries. An ASME and SAE member, Shahbakhti has been doing research in the area of powertrains and controls for the past 13 years. His research has centered on developing dynamical models and novel control techniques with application in powertrain control, utilization of alternative/renewable fuels, reduction of vehicular emissions, and hybrid electric vehicles. He is the author of over 50 refereed publications in the field of powertrain, dynamic systems and controls. Dr. Shahbakhti is an active member of ASME Dynamic Systems & Control Division, serving as the trust area leader and executive member of the Energy Systems technical committee and as a member of the Automotive and Transportation Systems technical committee, chairing and co-organizing sessions in the areas of modeling, fault diagnosis, and control of advanced fuel and combustion systems.

Title: “Low Temperature Combustion Engines: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions”

Abstract: In the past decade, Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) engines have captured a lot of attention as a promising future engine technology since they have negligible nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot emissions with a thermal efficiency over 50%. Fuel saving gains up to 30% compared to conventional engines has made LTC engines very attractive for car manufacturers. Some of major car manufacturers (e.g. GM, VW, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda) have already built functioning prototype HCCI engines but stability and control of the LTC combustion process continues to be the major barriers to commercial implementation. Different versions of LTC engines have been investigated in the past several years. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines are well recognized LTC engines. This talk centers on HCCI engines and presents some recent advanced research results in this area. Control of HCCI ignition timing, particularly for a wide load and speed range, is recognized as the most challenging problem in HCCI engines. Sensitivity to charge initial conditions and the lack of a direct method to initiate ignition make it difficult to control cyclic variations of HCCI ignition timing. Boundaries of high cyclic variations limit HCCI high and low load operation ranges. Model-based control of HCCI engines is a promising solution to tackle HCCI challenges and will be discussed in this presentation.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Apr 4

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., April 4 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Greg Shaver, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, will be the ME-EM graduate seminar speaker for Thursday, April 4 at 4:00 in 112MEEM. His presentation is entitled ‘Model-Based Engine Algorithm Development for Control and Virtual Sensing’.

Greg Shaver is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He is also a graduate of Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, having obtained a Bachelor’s degree with highest distinction, and holds a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Mechanical
Engineering from Stanford University. His research interests and background include the modeling and control of advanced combustion processes. Greg is an active member of ASME, participating in the Dynamic Systems and Controls Division and the Automotive and
Transportation Systems Panel. He is an associate editor for the IFAC Control Engineering Practice and ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control journals, and is an awardee of the Kalman award for the best paper published in the Journal of Dynamic Systems,
Measurement, and Control, and is a recent awardee of the 2011 SAE Max Bentele Award for Engine Technology Innovation.

“Model-Based Engine Algorithm Development for Control and Virtual Sensing”

Abstract: Greg is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University who has developed a research program focused on developing generalizable, experimentally validated, model-based estimation and control strategies to enable: i.) advanced high efficiency, low emission IC engine combustion strategies, and ii.) clean and efficient combustion of domestically available alternative fuels. Dr. Shaver’s ongoing research efforts include: Physics-based, closed-loop estimation and control of variable biodiesel/diesel blends Dr. Shaver’s students have demonstrated that closed-loop control can be used to eliminate the 30+% increase in biodiesel-induced NOx, and increasing efficiency, while retaining significant particulate matter (PM) reductions (> 50%) with variable biodiesel blend fractions. Specifically, through a combination of: i.) a change of closed-loop control variables (combustible oxygen mass fraction (COMF) instead of exhaust gas recirculation fraction, and injected
fuel energy instead of injected fuel mass), and ii.) model-based biodiesel blend estimation; the NOx increases for any biodiesel blend or feedstock can be eliminated in a generalizable way, without the need for additional engine calibration. This strategy was derived from a fundamental understanding of the impact on combustion of the presence
of oxygen in, and lower energy content of, biodiesel derived from any feedstock. Modeling and estimation of next generation, piezo-electric fuel injection systems The dynamic response capabilities of piezo-electric actuators are superior to solenoids, allowing: 1) a 65% reduction
injector flow rate response during convention injection events, and 2) realization of complex injection “rate shaping” – to enable promotion and control of advanced combustion strategies. Dr. Shaver’s research team has developed generalizable model-based strategies for estimating the fuel injection rate, an un-measurable quantity on-engine, for use
during closed-loop control on both a cycle-to-cycle, and “within-a-cycle” basis. Estimated injection quantities exhibit errors less than 5%, while estimated injection pulse duration and separation are within 10×10-6 seconds. Variable Valve actuation to enable highly efficient compression ignition engines Advanced mode combustion and more efficient gas exchange, enabled via variable valve actuation (VVA) and closedloop
control, are projected to allow an increase in the brake thermal efficiency (BTE) of compression ignition engines to 55+% (today’s most efficient engines have BTEs of ~40%). VVA breaks the kinematic link between the piston and the intake and exhaust valves, providing flexibility in the valve closure/opening timing and lift – allowing more precise manipulation of the in-cylinder reactant (fuel, oxygen) concentrations, temperature, mixing, and amount of compression, both prior to, and during the combustion process. Dr. Shaver’s students have dynamically modeled, and developed closed-loop estimation (i.e., “virtual sensing”) and control strategies for, compression ignition engines incorporating VVA. As in all of his team’s research efforts, there is a heavy emphasis on the experimental validation/demonstration of all models and algorithms.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar 28

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 28 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Title: “Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Energy Storage and Conversion Based on High-Voltage Electrophoretic Deposition”
Sunand Santhanagopalan, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department, Michigan Technological University

Sunand Santhangopalan is currently a doctoral candidate at the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics of Michigan Tech. After he joined Michigan Tech in January 2008, Mr. Sunand became part of the Multi-Scale Energy Systems Laboratory (MuSES Lab), advised by Dr. Dennis Meng, to work on various
research projects related to scalable micro- and nanotechnology for energy and sustainability. The research and education activities of MuSES Lab have been funded by NSF, ACS and US DoE. The work undertaken during his doctoral studies have resulted in papers published in journals like ACS Nano, Langmuir, and Key Engineering Materials.

Title: Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Energy Storage and Conversion Based on High-Voltage Electrophoretic Deposition

Abstract: Nanomaterials can significantly enhance many types of energy storage and conversion devices by providing huge surface reaction area, short diffusion paths, as well as excellent mechanical, electrical and electrochemical properties. However, it has been realized that the exciting performance of nanomaterials demonstrated in lab-scale experiments can lose its edge if the morphology cannot be well controlled and economically scaled up for macroscopic systems.
Accordingly, scalable and sustainable nanomanufacturing has been identified as a critical national research need by NSF, DOE, NIST and other federal agencies. In this talk, a roomtemperature, scalable process will be introduced to deposit vertically-aligned nanoforests of 1D nanoparticles (e.g., carbon nanotubes and MnO2 nanorods) on large, flexible conductive surfaces in a continuous roll-to-roll-printing manner. The deposition process, named high-voltage electrophoretic deposition (HVEPD), has been enabled by three key elements: polarization by
high voltage for alignment, low dispersion concentration of the nanoparticles to avoid aggregation, and simultaneous formation of a holding layer by electrodeposition. A recentlyreported supercapacitor with HVEPD nanoforests not only achieved the record-high power density among MnO2-based systems, but also broke a common perception that reductionoxidation (redox) capacitors have to sacrifice power density to achieve higher energy density than electric double layer capacitors. The talk will also go into good practices and details of supercapacitor testing. The process also shows the capability to tune surface wettability, to
obtain superhydrophobic surfaces without any polymer coating and stable superhydrophilic surfaces. The deposition of superhydrophilic antifouling coatings on Microelectrode Arrays for neuron growth will be introduced. The talk will be concluded with future research directions on scalable nanomanufacturing of fractal nanoparticles and 3D batteries, as well as discuss the future direction for supercapacitor research.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar 21

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 21 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM.
Topic: “Alternative fuels for transportation – drivers, options and trends”
Dr. Thomas Wallner, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

Thomas Wallner is a research engineer and Principal Investigator at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research. In this role Thomas plans, performs and analyzes work for research projects on engine and combustion research topics with various fuels including hydrogen and natural gas, gasoline and alcohol fuels as well as diesel fuel in the “Engines and Emissions Research Group” and on vehicle-related applications with the “Vehicle Systems Group”.

Dr. Wallner has received numerous awards including the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award for outstanding contributions toward the work of the SAE Engineering Meetings Board in 2012, the Presentation Award for Young Researchers and Engineers from the 2011 Japan Society of Automotive Engineers/Society of Automotive Engineers (JSAE/SAE), an Environmental Achievement Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for extraordinary efforts in support of greenhouse gas emissions testing
on behalf of the entire recreational boating industry in 2011 as well as the SAE Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award in 2011.

Dr. Wallner has published more than 50 peer-reviewed technical papers and holds a European Patent on Hydrogen Injection Strategies. He is also an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and has been acting as a session organizer and chair at several national and international conferences. He recently finished a term as the Chair of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) Advanced Power Source Committee and currently serves as an Associate Editor for SAE’s International Journal of Engines.

Topic: “Alternative fuels for transportation – drivers, options and trends”

Despite the fact that the idea of using alternative fuels for transportation applications is as old as the internal combustion engine itself, 95% of vehicles worldwide are powered with conventional fuels. In light of concerns over limited fossil resources as well as regulated and greenhouse gas emissions several alternative fuels have been promoted over the last decades with ethanol and electricity currently being the most dominant options. However, most (all) alternative fuels share similar shortcomings in terms of infrastructure, storage and vehicle range. This seminar discusses drivers for alternative fuels research, highlights past and predicted trends for non-conventional fuels and outlines some of the main challenges for various alternatives.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Mar. 7

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs., Mar. 7 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering here at Michigan Technological University. His presentation is entitled ‘The Rise of Open-Source 3-D Printing (Or How We Can Make Everyone a Mechanical Engineer)’.

Dr. Joshua M. Pearce received his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He then developed the first Sustainability program in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education as an assistant professor of Physics at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and helped develop the Applied Sustainability graduate program while at Queen’s University, Canada. He currently is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University where he runs the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group. His research concentrates on the use of open source appropriate technology to find collaborative solutions to problems in sustainability and poverty reduction. His research spans areas of electronic device physics and materials engineering of solar photovoltaic cells, and 3-D printing, but also includes applied sustainability and energy policy.

Abstract: “The Rise of Open-Source 3-D Printing (Or How We Can Make Everyone a Mechanical Engineer)”

The benefits of this economy of scale have driven a historical trend towards large-scale manufacturing in low-labor cost countries (e.g. China), especially for the now ubiquitous inexpensive plastic products. However, advances in rapid prototyping with 3-D printing have challenged this cost savings paradigm. With the recent development of low-cost, open-source and self-replicating 3-D printers there is now a technically viable form of distributed manufacturing of many plastic products. The costs of the products are 10-100X less than commercial products and can be ultra-customized. In addition, using distributed open-source 3-D printing for manufacturing eliminates non-productive intellectual monopoly rents and associated encumbering overheads, almost all subtractive waste, allows for lower fill products, and cuts most embodied energy transportation, distribution and packaging-related pollution. This indicates that 3-D printing will not simply be a fad, but a fundamentally new way of providing goods to the world’s population via a transition to local (e.g. U.S. or even U.P.) manufacturing. These properties are already attractive for a large percentage of the population and in the last few years the number of 3-D printer operators has grown rapidly, essentially democratizing mechanical engineering. However, this ‘maker’ movement is primarily made up of amateur DIY engineers and thus there exists an enormous opportunity for traditional engineers to help accelerate the technical progress. This seminar will summarize the state-of-the-art of open-source 3-D printers, the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Research Group’s work on distributed manufacturing, and conclude with an invitation to participate in what the Economist calls the “next industrial revolution”.

March 07, 2013 Seminar PDF

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Feb 28

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Thurs. Feb. 28 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. Dr. Steve Przesmitzki, Technology Development Manager, United States Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

Topic: DOE Fuels and Lubricants Subprogram

Steve Przesmitzki is a Technology Development Manager within the United States Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program. Steve’s responsibility is to support the development of energy policy and management of research programs as applied to fuels and lubricants in transportation. Steve has worked at DOE Headquarters in Washington, DC since 2009. Steve’s prior work experience includes 2 years as a project manager for DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and 14 years in vehicle powertrain design and development at Ford Motor Company. While at Ford, he spent significant time developing powertrains for flexible-fuel vehicles as well as developing on-board diagnostic systems.
Steve holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MS from the University of Michigan, and a BS from Kettering University; all in Mechanical Engineering. He is also registered as a Professional Engineer in Michigan

Abstract: DOE Fuels and Lubricants Subprogram

The presentation by Dr. Przesmitzki will discuss the U.S. Department of Energy’s end-use transportation fuels and lubricants research program. The research is coordinated within the Vehicle Technologies Program in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and supported by National Laboratories, universities, and industrial partners. The program is designed to support the major R&D programs in transportation research, including the U.S. DRIVE Initiative and the 21st Century Truck Partnership. This program has been undertaken to enable current and emerging advanced combustion engines and emission control systems to be as efficient as possible while meeting future emission standards. The program also addresses
petroleum displacement and efficiency improvements through the use of alternate fuels and blending components, and improved lubricants. The presentation will include an overview of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy organization, highlights from previous fuels and lubricants R&D programs, and a summary of current work. The presentation will also discuss some of the opportunities and challenges in running R&D programs within DOE and potential ways to work with DOE as a partner.

MEEM Graduate Seminar: Feb 21

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Sean Egmon
Assistant Director of Services, AVL North America; Thurs. Feb. 21 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. His presentation is entitled, ‘Success in Engineering is More Than an Equation’

Sean Egmon is the Assistant Director of Services and heads a department of 90 application and service engineers at AVL North America. Sean is a graduate of Wayne State University and has worked in the engine and power train community for over 25 years. After almost a decade at Ford Motor Company in the engine testing laboratory, Sean helped a small engineering company grow 7 fold in the data acquisition and dynamometer control market. He came to AVL to establish a group of applications engineers and technical experts. The localization of these industry experts has helped AVL become the market leader in North America and driven change in AVL’s global service delivery models. AVL is the world’s largest independent company for development, simulation and testing technology of power trains (hybrid, combustion engines, transmission, electric drive, batteries and software) for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. With over $1.3 billion in annual sales, offices in 45 countries and over 6250 employees, AVL is at the forefront of engine and power train development, testing and instrumentation.

Abstract: Success in Engineering is More Than an Equation

Success in engineering comes from working with people. Learning how to work with other engineers and non-engineers alike is paramount to accomplishing your goals. If you want to develop leading edge technical solutions you need knowledge, experience and creative thinking. These things come from groups of engineers, designers, and marketing people. Success requires leadership to get these different people working together to accomplish great things.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Feb 14

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Professor Venkat Krovi from the Automation Robotics & Mechatronics Lab in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at SUNY- Buffalo will be the ME-EM graduate seminar guest for Thurs. Feb. 14 at 4:00 in 112 MEEM. His presentation is entitled, ‘Cooperative Payload Transport by Robot Collectives’.

Prof. Venkat Krovi is currently an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he directs the Automation Robotics and Mechatronics (ARM) Lab. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the lifecycle treatment (design, modeling, analysis, control, implementation and verification) of novel robotic and mechatronic systems, with emphasis on both theoretical formulation and experimental validation. The underlying research theme has been to take advantage of the “power of the many” to unlock new opportunities in various plant-automation, automobile, defense and healthcare/surgical applications. The principal opportunities lie in building upon heterogeneous loosely-interconnected physical- and information-systems and architecting high-confidence and reconfigurable operational capabilities in the presence of uncertainties. His work has been funded by NSF, DARPA, ARO as well as numerous state and industrial grants and has received multiple awards, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, several best poster, conference and journal paper awards. His work has been published in more than 90 journal/conference articles, book chapters and patents. Within ASME he was past Chair of the Robotics Technical Committee (Dynamic Systems and Control Division) and is Chair-Elect for the Mechanisms and Robotics Technical Committee (Design Engineering Division). He has served as the Conference Chair of the 2010 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference and is slated to serve as General Chair of the 2014 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Within IEEE, he has served as Finance Chair for CASE 2010, ICRA 2012, IROS 2014 and is a member of the Conference Activities Board and the Industrial Activities Board of the Robotics and Automation Society. He has previously served as an Associate Editor of ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, and the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics – he currently serves an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transaction on Robotics.


Cooperative material-handling by a fleet of decentralized manipulation agents has many applications ranging from hazardous waste removal, material handling on the shop floor, to robot work crews for planetary colonization. Our long-term goal is the development of a theoretical and operational framework to model, analyze, implement and validate cooperative payload transport capabilities in such distributed robot collectives.

Our particular focus is on creation, control and active reconfiguration of marching formations of wheeled mobile robots for cooperative payload transportation tasks. The selection of the underlying physical/informational infrastructure, system architecture, and mechanisms of cooperation creates many alternatives. A systematic framework is therefore critical for evaluation/selection of suitable implementations with quantifiable cooperative-performance benefits and forms the focus of our research activities. In particular, we will present our efforts to develop methodologies for design and optimization of formations for apriori known tasks, adaptation of formations for changing tasks and scalable schemes for control under the common theoretical but computationally tractable framework.

Time permitting, I will also provide a brief overview of the many other related research initiatives ranging from: (a) uneven terrain locomotion systems; (b) human-computer interfaces for mediated teleoperation; (c) haptic user-interface design and (d) quantitative surgical skill assessment.