Darrell L. Robinette

Darrell L. Robinette

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  • Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Biography

Darrell joined the MEEM department in August of 2016 after a nine year career at General Motors in the Global Propulsion Systems group (formerly Powertrain). His first 4 years at GM were spent in Noise and Vibration Center at the Milford Proving grounds working on transmission, driveline and hybrid drive units to reduce NVH, improve refinement and maintain durability through experimental testing and analytical modeling. Next, he spent over 4 years in automatic transmission controls, in a group called Road-to- Lab-to- Math, in which math and powertrain dynamometer based calibration tools were developed and validated, then carried over and implemented into production programs.

Darrell’s last year at GM was spent in the electrification, new products engineering organization, working on the next generation hybrid and electric vehicle propulsion drive units for component integration, NVH and efficiency. Darrell’s research area closely follows his experiences at GM, with an interest in advanced propulsion systems from a design, integration, performance and NVH perspective. His experiences at GM have varied greatly and include drivetrain torsional modeling and testing for torque converter clutch design and integration, energy analysis for selecting the next generation transmission units to match engine and vehicle platforms for 2020/2025 emissions regulations and development of various aspects of 8, 9 and 10 speed planetary automatic transmissions. In the area of transmissions, hybrid drive units and drivelines, Darrell has published 18 peer reviewed journal or conference papers and holds 12 granted US patents and has 3 patent applications under review. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and serves on the Transmission & Driveline Committee to review papers and organize a session at the World Congress.

In returning to Michigan Tech, Darrell’s objectives are to educate and train engineering students for careers in propulsion system engineering through expanded course offerings in power transfer systems and rotating machinery dynamics as well as analytical or experimental research through the Advanced Power Systems Research Center.

Areas of Expertise

  • Powertrain control
  • Automatic transmissions
  • Drivetrain dynamics
  • Torque converters
  • Hybrid electric vehicle system integration and control

Research Interests

  • Advanced propulsion and power transfer systems
  • Automatic transmission systems design
  • Integration and control
  • Hybrid electric propulsion systems
  • Driveline torsional vibration analysis and testing
  • Rotating machinery NVH
  • Dynamic/digital signal processing
  • Lumped parameter modeling

Publications

  • Robinette, D. and Singh, T., "Internal Combustion Engine - Automatic Transmission Matching for Next Generation Power Transfer Technology Development in Automotive Applications," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(3):2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1099.
  • Robinette, D. and Wehrwein, D., "Automatic Transmission Gear Ratio Optimization and Monte Carlo Simulation of Fuel Consumption with Parasitic Loss Uncertainty," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 8(1):2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1145.
  • Robinette, D., Gibson, G., Szpara, D., and Tehansky, E., "Performance Characterization of Automatic Transmission Upshifts with Reduced Shift Times," SAE Int. J. Engines 8(3):2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1086.
  • Robinette, D., "A Two Degree of Freedom, Lumped Inertia Model for Automatic Transmission Clutch-to-Clutch Shift Dynamics," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(3), 2014.
  • Robinette, D., "A DFSS Approach to Determine Automatic Transmission Gearing Content for Powertrain-Vehicle System Integration," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(3), 2014.
  • Robinette, D., "Performance Characterization of a Triple Input Clutch, Layshaft Automatic Transmission Using Energy Analysis," SAE Int. J. Engines 6(4):1984-1994, 2013.
  • Robinette, D., Anderson, C. and Blough, J., “Development of a Dimensionless Model for Predicting Onset of Cavitation in Torque Converters”, New Advances in Vehicular Technology and Automotive Engineering, InTech, ISBN 979-953-307-838-9, July 2012.
  • Robinette, D., Grimmer, M., and Beikmann, R., "Dynamic Torque Characteristics of the Hydrodynamic Torque Converter," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 4(2):1023-1032, 2011.

Conference Proceedings

  • Robinette, D. and Blough, J. “Transient Heat Transfer and Energy Balance Model for Hydrodynamic Torque Converters While Operating at Extreme Speed Ratios”, ISROMAC 16, Honolulu, HI, April 2016.
  • Robinette, D. and Skrzycke, T., "A Dual Clutch Torque Converter for Dual Input Shaft Transmissions," SAE Technical Paper 2013-01-0232, 2013.
  • Robinette, D., Grimmer, M., and Beikmann, R., "Determining Physical Properties for Rotating Components Using a Free-Free Torsional FRF Technique," SAE Technical Paper 2011-01-1663, 2011.

Presentations

  • Robinette, D. “Next Generation RWD Transmission With Integrated Electrification,” 10th Car Training Institute (CTI) Symposium – Automatic Transmissions, HEV and EV Drives, Novi, MI, May 2016.
  • Robinette, D. and Wehrwein, D., “Automatic Transmission Technology Selection Using Energy Analysis,” 9th Car Training Institute (CTI) Symposium – Automatic Transmissions, HEV and EV Drives, Novi, MI, May 2015.
  • Robinette, D. and Wehrwein, D., “Utilizing Energy Analysis Methods to Select Transmission Technologies and Optimize Powertrain-Vehicle System Fuel Consumption,” 2014 SAE Int. Transmission and AWD Symposium, Plymouth, MI, October 2014.
  • Robinette, D., Schweitzer, J., Maddock D., Anderson, C., Blough, J., and Johnson, M., “Development of a Model to Predict the Onset of Cavitation in Automotive Torque Converters,” 2nd Car Training Institute (CTI) Transmission Symposium, Novi, MI, May 2008.

Patents

  • Triple Input Clutch Transmission, General Motors Company – Patent Granted July 5, 2016, US 9382975 B2
  • Transmission Clutch Control Using Lumped Inertia Modeling, General Motors Company – Patent Granted March 10, 2015, US 8977457 B2
  • Mechanism to Reduce Powertrain Rigid Body Motion During Start/Stop, General Motors Company – Patent Granted December 16, 2014, US 8910607 B2
  • Multiple Gear Ratio Starter Motor, General Motors Company – Patent Granted September 9, 2014, US 8826878 B2
  • Nine Speed Dual Clutch Transmission, General Motors Company – Patent Granted March 11, 2014, US 8668616 B2
  • Torque Transmission Assembly with Clutches, General Motors Company – Patent Granted January 21, 2014, US 8631918 B2
  • Torque Splitting Torque Converter Assembly, General Motors Company – Patent Granted January 14, 2014, US 8628441 B2
  • Variable Ratio Powersplit Hybrid Transmission, General Motors Company – Patent Granted November 19, 2013, US 8585521 B2
  • Multi-Speed Hybrid Powertrain with Series and Parallel Operating Modes, General Motors Company – Patent Granted September 10, 2013, US 8532858 B1
  • Variable Ratio Power-split Hybrid Transmission, General Motors Company – Patent Granted July 16, 2013, US 8485930 B2
  • Single Mode Compound Powersplit Hybrid Drive Unit, General Motors Company – Patent Granted Nov 27, 2012, US 8317648 B2
  • Multi-stage Propeller Shaft Damper for Variable Cylinder Engines, General Motors Company Patent – Patent Granted Sept 4, 2012, US 8256562 B2

Recent Research Projects

Delivery of Professional Development Courses in Propulsion Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Christopher Morgan
Co-PI: Darrell Robinette
Co-PI: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Center/Institute: Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC)

NEXTCAR: Connected and Automated Control for Vehicle Dynamics and Powertrain Operation on a Light-Duty Multi-Mode Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Bo Chen
Co-PI: Darrell Robinette
Co-PI: Mahdi Shahbakhti
Co-PI: Kuilin Zhang
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Center/Institute: Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC)