Current Projects

Below, you will find a sample listing of some of the research projects taking place within the Mechanical Engineering department. Use the search box or advanced filtering options to search our research projects by keyword or by investigator. You may also learn more about our research thrusts and the projects related to each area:

Research Thrusts


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Experimental and Modeling Studies of Mahle Smart Heat Injector Concept

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Youngchul Ra
Co-PI: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Awarded Amount: $226,438

Senior Design: Power Seat Noise Abatement

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Reduce intermittent noise emissions in an automotive power seat system.
 
Background
Adient (formerly Johnson Controls) is a global Tier-I supplier and interior integrator, supplying major automotive subsystems to OEMs worldwide. Instrument panels, interior trim, control systems, and power seat systems are among the products designed and manufactured by Adient.
Automotive interior products and systems are held to very high standards in terms of customer experience. Undesirable noise, vibration, or harshness (NVH) or buzz, squeak, and rattle (BSR) issues are particularly scrutinized.
 
In general, the OEM NVWBSR requirements are more demanding with each product development cycle. Also, smooth and quiet operation of seat functions is becoming more noticed and desired by customers, as vehicle interiors are getting quieter and more luxurious overall. Loud or objectionable sounds while adjusting the seat can detract from the perception of quality and cost the customer, OEM, and Adient time and money due to warranty returns.
 
OEM operating sound specifications must be met while meeting all of the other applicable requirements (speed of operation, durability, current consumption, load capability, etc.).
 
Needs Addressed
During horizontal travel operation of Honda seats, objectionable noise is sometimes emitted from the horizontal cable assembly.
These noise issues are being reported from two sources: 1) Adient's downstream customer (the complete seat manufacturer and/or the vehicle OEM), and 2) vehicle owners making repair claims under warranty. In both cases, these represent cost incurred by Adient to replace either the seat adjuster assembly or the complete seat. The noise occurrence is sporadic, and it arises after the adjuster assembly leaves the manufacturing facility. There are checks for sound/vibration issues at the end of the assembly line but the issue occurs at various times in the product life when it is detected. In the worst case, the noise is a very loud "howl" or "squeal:
 
Project Scope
This project will focus on improving the performance of the existing Honda power seat assembly relative to noise emissions. The team will become familiar with the production system, investigate sources of current issues, and introduce design improvements aimed at eliminating negative NVH and BSR sources in affected components.
Key Focus: pinpoint the root cause of the issue. It appears to be caused by some stick/slip interaction between the cable flocking and the cable housing.
With an understanding of root cause, the goal would be design improvement proposals that work with the existing assembly process, and don't require additional lubrication.

Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Versatile Test Die Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and fabricate a versatile die set to accommodate various size pin shape dies for the bending under tension test.
 
Background
United States Steel Corporation is a global steel manufacturer, and the automotive manufacturers are key customers for our flat roll products. As driven by government's new safety regulations and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, the lately developed advanced high strength steels (AHSS) and ultra-high strength steels (UHSS) have been widely used for vehicle weight reduction and safety performance improvements. Due to the higher strength nature of these specially developed sheet steels, the forming conditions are more extreme and challenging than conventional low and medium strength automotive sheet steels. In order to develop an issue-free AHSS forming process for automotive components, it is crucial for USS to understand and characterize any new forming behaviors during the material developing process.
 
Among various benchmarking tests for advanced high strength steels, the bending under tension (BUT) test is a unique test for evaluating friction coefficient, springback, die wear, and critical bending radius over sheet thickness (Rff) ratio under the stretch bending condition. Current dies for the BUT test are designed to accommodate only one size of die for one die set. Under the current design, various die sets are required to test the material at different die radius conditions, which is neither robust nor cost effective. Therefore, it would be very beneficial to re-design and build a flexible and robust BUT test die to meet the versatile requirements under various testing conditions.
 
Needs Addressed
The bending under tension (BUT) test is a system for investigating friction and lubrication in sheet metal forming in which a metal strip is drawn over a fixed cylindrical pin with a pair of independently controlled hydraulic actuators, as shown in Figure I. The two actuators are offset by 90 degrees. Two load cells, mounted between the actuators and the strip grips, measure the pulling force and the back-tension force independently. As identified in the enlarged view of the die set, one fixed radius pin shape die can only fit into one die set.
The design is not flexible and each die set can only accommodate one pin shape die with one die radius. To benchmark all advanced high strength steels with different thickness, it would be very beneficial to design a more robust die system, which can accommodate a variety of die sizes while maintaining 90-degree offset.
 
There will be 2 main phases of this project: (l) Concept and CAD design (2) Fabrication and validation test:
Phase (1) Concept and CAD design. In this phase MTU team will research in design to come up with various die assembly configurations and recommend to U. S. Steel the best and most cost-effective design based on the boundary conditions set by U.S. Steel and the machining feasibility. The final CAD design will need to meet all functional objectives (geometry and load) as defined by U.S. Steel. The design phase will have a deadline for approval. U. S. Steel will need to buy-off on the team's recommendation for the project to continue.
Phase (2) Fabrication and validation test. In this phase the MTU team will utilize a vendor that is capable of fabricating parts to the agreed upon manufacturing process and the designs from Phase I. After approval by U.S. Steel through this milestone, the fabrication of the die sets is assumed to be about 8-10 weeks. The fixed pin die assembly fabrication will take place during the summer break in this manner. The roller die station fabrication and validation will be the responsibility of the design team, although the customer can assist in sourcing certain aspects.

Awarded Amount: $25,650

Continuation of Engine Ignition Studies-B

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective
Utilize the optical engine to examine the interactions of in-cylinder flow with the ignition process (manipulating discharge characteristics & spark plug design variables) as supplemented by multiple locations of ion sensing.
 
Fundamental understating of how to optimize the ignition system's design attributes for different engine applications. Increased understanding will result in more efficient & cost effective hardware & controls.  This continues work from the Ford funded work through 2016 focused on ignition with optical engine. The work enables the development of a critical understanding of the ignition process and its interaction with the in-cylinder flow. Results will provide quantitative data on ignition processes including the initial flame kernel development, growth and transition to turbulent flame propagation in-cylinder. The results will also provide quantitative data on flow characteristic via high resolution particle image velocimetry (PIV) around the electrode in the optical engine.
Continue studies of combined imaging with high resolution PIV. High speed imaging and analysis shows high variability cycle to cycle of arc stretch and strong correlation of the arc stretch and flame development and burn rates. Areas of study for this year include:
  • Studies to be conducted under higher in-cylinder flows with tumble planks installed in the intake port
  • Studies of alternative geometry plugs
  • Studies of plug orientation and gap
  • Chemiluminescent imaging for combustion signature

Awarded Amount: $115,000

Advanced Engine Technologies for Light Duty Vehicles Consortium

Investigators
Principal Investigator: L. King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Statement of Work
Michigan Technological University is presently preparing the Oculus-ASR nanosatellite for launch and in-space operation. The final development activity will be to assemble the satellite structure so that it is compliant with launch vehicle mechanical requirements. This will require integration of flight-quality structural fasteners as well as electrical wire harnessing equipment.  Acquire aerospace-grade fasteners and wire harnessing components, and to install and test these components in the Oculus-ASR flight vehicle. Specific tasks include:
(1) Purchase space-flight-quality stainless-steel fasteners
(2) Purchase space-compatible wiring, electrical connectors, and strain-relief components
(3) Acquire and/or build electrical and mechanical testing apparatus to ensure proper installation of fasteners and harnessing
(4) Assemble the Oculus-ASR nanosatellite into a launch-ready configuration

Awarded Amount: $19,372

Modeling and Control Development for Electric Vehicle and Smart Grid Integration

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Oculus - ASR Nanosatellite Flight Integration

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lyon King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Engine Heat Transfer Analysis

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
Increased demand to improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce engine emissions requires the development of accurate simulations to speed new product development. Experimental data is required to validate complex models to ensure the solutions are correct. One particular area of focus in internal combustion engines is the in-cylinder heat transfer process. Significant interest exists to better understand how heat transfer is affected by parameters such as fuel injection timing, the ratio of air and fuel in the cylinder, the amount of residual gas in the cylinder, and even the coolant temperature.
 
Project Work Plan:
Raw data files include: temperature and heat flux data from the piston, cylinder head, and liner (block) as well as cylinder pressure data from a four-cylinder, spark-ignited engine. The engine was operated at various speed/load points, with varying fuel injection and valve timing.
The post-processing includes writing software code to plot the raw signals, as well as correlate the temperature and heat flux with in-cylinder pressure measurements. Tasks include implementing proper signal filtering, time alignment, addressing drop-outs in the data, noise, and selecting appropriate material properties. A detailed explanation of transient versus steady-state heat flux is required, to understand the value added from each component. Overall trends in the data, as they relate to the operating conditions of the engine.
 
Deliverables:
The primary deliverable is the increased understanding of the complex heat transfer processes inside an internal combustion engine, to further improve the accuracy of complex simulations. This will be accomplished via weekly conference calls to discuss the observed trends in the processed data. All software code developed for this project will be offered to the sponsor.

Awarded Amount: $7,500

Sensor Evaluation and Fusion for Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC) for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Jason Blough
Co-PI: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
This is continues work from the Ford DOE Program1 on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014-2016 under Ford departmental budget working on Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC). As a separate activity a URP is underway working on metrics for combustion control, air-charge estimation, statistically significant combustion control decisions.Work focuses on a Ford 2.0L engine platform with integrated control via strategies connected through the Ford PCM to a Delphi Combustion Pressure Development Controller (CPDC).
 
Objective
Develop and employ closed loop combustion control (CLLC) via in-cylinder sensors with closed loop control for individual cylinder fuel, spark, and overall engine dilution on engine dynamometer with study of steady-state and transient performance. Additionally other sensors including exhaust pressure, integrated and standalone ion sensing will be added to the instrumentation and evaluated with respect to providing information for CLCC.

Awarded Amount: $165,000

Collaborative Research: On Making Wave Energy an Economical and Reliable Power Souce for Ocean Measurement Applications

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Umesh Korde
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Engine Dynamometer System Build for 1kW Generator Engine Application

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Bo Chen
Co-PI: Jeremy Worm
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
This work will result in a turn-key small engine (<3 kW) test system at MAHLE Powertrain LLC. to support development of a 1kW SI engine. With input on system requirements and constraints from Mahle Powertrain, APS LABS Staff will design, integrate, and fabricate the test system.
Proof of concept testing will be conducted with a commercially available SI Engine. APS LABS
Staff will deliver the test system to Mahle, and remain on-site for commissioning. A co-op student from Mahle will participate in the design review and final installation on site at Michigan Tech APS labs facilities.
 
Objective: To build and assemble test cell components on a bedplate for MAHLE Powertrain LLC. Complexity of test cell component installation dependent on MAHLE Powertrain LLC.'s request and timeframe.
Tasks and Tests: Tasks are broken up by activities to be performed.
  1. Identify and purchase components for test cell.
  2. Assemble, machine, and install components to bed plate.
  3. Prove system functionality using an off the shelf gasoline engine.
  4. Shipping of entire bedplate, dynamometer, and engine system.
  5. Support the integration of the bed plate dynamometer system at MAHLE Powertrain LLC.'s desired location.

Awarded Amount: $24,500

Hydrodynamic Control Using X-Band Radar for Wave Energy Converter Technology

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Umesh Korde
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design: In-Cab Airborne Compound Sensing System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and prototype an airborne agent detection system suitable for agricultural equipment integration within the operator cabin.
 
Background
Cabs on machines operating in almost any environment where the operator needs protection from the elements universally filter the ambient air coming in to remove material harmful to the operator. Additionally the state-of-the-art machines have systems that condition the air so that it is comfortable for the operator to work in that environment. Additionally most cabs are pressurized to exclude contaminants on items such as door and window seals. Contaminated environments can be as simple as the dust created in tilling the soil in agricultural operations, combining grain or construction machines moving soil to create a new usage for the land. Contaminated environments include the application of chemicals in agricultural operations, drilling rock prior to blasting or drilling holes in the roof of mine tunnels to install bolts to retain the ceilings for use or the actual mining operations where persons oversee the actual operation.
 
Needs Addressed
Currently there are personal data devices that can be worn, which at the end of the day or shift can have the information downloaded to determine if the allowable limits of the operator for that material being protected against were exceeded. There is, however, no device available for use in a cab that will tell the operator that a safe operating limit has been exceeded. Failure of the system to protect the operator might be a breakthrough on the filter, a seal has begun to leak, or an adhesive joint has failed which allows contaminated air to enter the operator environment and will cause the operator to breathe contaminants that can harm his health.
 
Project Scope
This project proposes to develop a system which can be installed in a cab where a challenge material is injected into the ambient air on the dirty side of the filter and if the challenge material enters the operator breathing zone the sensor at the outlet to the operator breathing zone will detect the presence of the material and warn the operator that his protection system is compromised. The challenge material would be injected into the air stream on a predetermined interval depending on the level of hazard of the contaminant. In the design of this system it is advisable to be able to output the information from this system to the machine electronics, available on most machines, so the machine display can show the readings.
 
If a suitable challenge material and sensor combination cannot be identified by the Concept
Selection Review (week-9), then the system-level design concept work must be able to accommodate a TBD challenge material that could be in any form/state (solid/powder, liquid, gas). If a suitable challenge material can be identified by the end of Term-1 (Critical Design Review presentation), then the system-level concept may be relaxed in its generality to focus on that challenge material and its state (gas, solid, liquid). However, if a challenge material is still not identified by then, it will be removed from the scope and left to a future team or graduate research at a later date. In this case the SCD deliverable will be the general integrated system of challenge material delivery outside the cab at the filter installation site and a remote sensor (likely near the operator's head) and required communications (i .e., the same as if the challenge material is identified, but leaving the system open to any challenge material type to be determined later).

Awarded Amount: $27,509

I/UCRC: Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures-B

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
Co-PI: Julia King
Co-PI: Paul Sanders
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design: Truck Bed Storage System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and build a lightweight storage box/mounting rack system for a pickup truck type vehicle that has the ability to articulate out of the way as desired. The rack system should be configurable and include storage and a mounting system for other features.
 
Background
A typical pick up box is a large empty space that has no features for storage and makes it difficult to mount a rack for bikes, skies, kayaks, etc. shown in the figure below. Aftermarket storage solutions are hard to access from outside of the bed and aftermarket rack and storage boxes make it difficult for a bed cover to be closed. Typical storage boxes take up room in the bed thus reducing the loadable area of the truck box.
 
Needs Addressed
The system should provide the following:
  • Full truck bed volume while providing storage box options
  • Easy loading of optional rack and equipment
  • Stowable rack and storage box
  • Ability to use truck bed cover while using rack system
 Project Scope
This project will focus on the design and prototype of a lightweight storage box/mounting rack system. The system will function in such a way that it articulates in and out of the truck bed and centers over the bed rails see figure below. It should be easily installed using no special tools or major modifications to the truck bed. The system should be designed using lightweight materials and with the intent of being configurable.
Configurable options:
  • Storage box that is accessible both inside and outside of the pick-up box
  • Rack system to attach other features for bikes, skies, kayaks, etc.
  • Canoe storage option

Awarded Amount: $29,070

Senior Design: Improved Snow Bucket

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Create a device that is attached to customer's existing snow buckets that can be used to backdrag snow away from a building without inhibiting visibility to the structure.
 
Background
Snow buckets, also referred to as light material buckets, are designed with larger capacities and target tasks that scoop and lift loose, low density material. With a larger capacity comes higher backs, wider sides, and typically reduced visibility. When moving snow it is desirable to move large amounts of material very quickly, leaving as little snow as possible next to objects without causing damage. One way to accomplish this is backdragging. Backdragging is generally lifting the bucket in the air, approaching the structure, cutting down into the snow with the cutting edge until resting on the ground, and backing away from the structure. With a large capacity snow bucket in the air, approaching a building and having visibility to the structure can be difficult.
 
Needs Addressed
The ability to remove snow away from structures with a snow bucket while not causing damage to the structure is an unmet need, which this project will attempt to fill.
 
Project Scope
This design team will focus on the design and prototype of a device/system that will enhance visibility during this backdragging process. The team is given significant latitude to brainstorm initial concepts and through collaboration, narrow the list of concepts to top ideas deemed capable of production based on current commercially available technology.

Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Drill Attachment Coupling Mechanism

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
  1. Design prototype of a male I female type quick-connect coupling mechanism for use on a high speed drill.
  2. Prototype this design to prove viability of concept.
  3. Produce component level as well as assembly level detailed engineering prints.
Background
Stryker Instruments NSE is a division of the Stryker Corporation that provides products for the Neuro, Spine, and ENT regions of body. One of these products is generically called a high speed drill system. High speed drill systems are primarily used to cut I remove bone. High speed drills contain a number of bearings that are required to run at speeds up to 75,000 rpm under a load.
 
Due to surgeon needs as well as patient anatomy, there is no one size fits all in terms of a high speed drill system. To accommodate this, high speed drill manufactures have moved towards a motor I attachment I cutting accessory system.
 
Needs Addressed
The end user (often a scrub tech) is required to change the attachment fixed to the motor several times during a surgery based on the surgeon's direction. The interface between the attachment and motor needs to allow for a tight fit during use. Performance of the system is critical and minimizing play and vibration between the motor and attachment improves the experience. In addition, the system needs to allow a quick change to other attachments based on the surgeon's needs. This changing of attachments needs to be intuitive and simple to understand as well as consistent and reliable.
 
Project Scope
This project will focus on the creation of a new attachment I motor interface.
  • The attachment must be able to be removed from the motor in less than 3 seconds.
  • The attachment must be able to be installed on to the motor in less than 3 seconds.
  • The attachment I motor interface must not have more clearance (play) than the existing system.
  • The attachment must be secured to the motors axially with a minimum holding force of 5lbs.
  • The system must fit within the dimensional limits provided by Stryker.
Design and engineering cues for the attachment I motor interface can be found in other market sectors:
  • High speed drill connections
  • Quick connect hose connectors
  • Electrical cord connectors

Awarded Amount: $24,535

Senior Design: Tailgate Debris Management

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Scope/Goal
Engineer, design, build and test a device used for truck box/tailgates to manage debris from getting between the box bed and the tailgate. When debris gets into the tight spaces behind the bumper it can be very challenging to clean out. Debris can scratch paint leading to early corrosion failure. There are aftermarket devices available for this purpose however, they are crude in design and execution. The majority of the aftermarket solutions are a strip of rubber with a "living" hinge taped to the bed and tailgate. A more robust design is required that includes:
  • Mechanical attachment (not tape) that is easy to install/ remove.
  • Proven hinge durability throughout FCA US slam testing cycle (Hot/Cold/Ambient).
  • Scratch resistant to common media (gravel, sand, mulch etc).
  • Does not negatively influence tailgate closing efforts.
  • Must work with and without spray in bedliners.
  • All materials must meet I exceed corrosion requirements.
  • Materials must be UV stable and manage thermal growth/contraction for any plastics used.
  • Have aesthetic value. Meaning, it should look like a well thought out engineering solution with opportunities to add styling cues such as company logo.
Project Description (Work Plan)
The work plan will begin with thorough benchmarking of various aftermarket solutions while also doing a patent search to understand which designs is currently protected intellectual property. It is recommended that the team procure a few of the more popular aftermarket solutions such that adequate evaluation tests can be set up during the 1st semester. Full materials analysis should be conducted on these parts. Ideally, the team will conduct the full spectrum Design Verification Plan and Report (DVP&R) on these parts such that a benchmark data point can be established. It is desirable for the new device to perform better than the aftermarket device.
 
A simple jig will be developed that will cycle the device 90 degrees for 20,000 cycles (one functional life). This is to determine if there are any fatigue failures. This jig will be used to validate the final prototype as well. Abrasion tests need to be developed that logically measure the devices ability to withstand dragging media of different sizes/shapes/hardness across its surface at various forces. Resistance to impact loading from dropping objects onto the surface will be evaluated as well as general peel loads. The goal will be to have the testing method and apparatus in place prior to the end of the 1st semester.
Design of the new device should also be complete by the end of the first semester. This should include a full virtual assessment of how it will perform physically. The team should consider Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modeling of one of the aftermarket devices to establish correlation. Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA) from the future vehicle owner perspective should be an ongoing document as team members discover new ideas of potential failures in the field. In the case of this device it may include installing I removing the device themselves.
 
Final design should take into consideration variable cost, tooling investment and weight.
Manufacturing cost is not to exceed $30/part, and $250,000 in tooling. The weight target should be less than 3lbs/vehicle. It is desirable to use low cost materials and know manufacturing Assembly processes in the development of this part.

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: High Speed Bearing Temperature Profiling with Axial and Radial Loading

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
  1. Design and build a test fixture capable of spinning a bearing under load at high speed while collecting temperature data.
  2. Use this fixture to collect temperature data on various bearing configurations provided by the sponsor.
Background
Bearing technology is rapidly advancing in terms of race material, ball material, retainer material and lubrication methods. Bearing manufactures often make claims based on performance but due to the fact that bearing performance is often based on a set of unique design inputs and environmental conditions, it's often difficult to directly relate manufacturing claims to reality.
 
Needs Addressed
Stryker Instruments NSE is a division of the Stryker Corporation that provides products for the Neuro, Spine, and ENT regions of body. One of these products is gener1cally called a high speed drill system. High speed drill systems are primarily used to cut I remove bone. High speed drills contain a number of bearings that are required to run at speeds up to 75,000 rpm under a load. Long run times and low temperatures are key user need for these systems. This test fixture allows the new product development team to better understand the temperature profiles of multiple bearing configurations.
 
Project Scope
This project will focus on the creation of a test fixture. This text fixture must meet the following requirements:
  • Fixture must be able to spin a size 3332 bearings at speeds ranging from 75,000rpm to 100,000rpm.
  • While spinning, this fixture must be able to apply a load either radial, or axial to the bearing.
  • The load applied must be adjustable with a range of 0.125 to 0.25 lbs. It is acceptable for the load to have a fine resolution or for the fixture to have two single settings of .125 lbs and .25 lbs.
  • The fixture must precisely measure and capture temperature data during the duration of the test, while running, while loaded.
  • Ideal output of the test run would be a time / temperature plot.
  • Fixture must be self-contained and easily portable.
 
Design and engineering cues for the bearing test fixture can be found in other market sectors:
  • Pneumatically powered dental drills
  • Ball bearing manufacturers

Awarded Amount: $24,535

Enterprise: Priage

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Michele Miller
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
In Conjunction with LIFT Enterprise
Background
Stryker is a global leader in the medical technology industry. Company growth is based on an unparalleled variety of high-quality, innovative products and services that create cost effective solutions and improve people's lives. This success is achieved through the dedication of over 27,000 employees globally. Stryker is well-positioned to continue serving the worldwide medical community for generations to come.
Emergency Departments (ED) in the United States process over 140 million visits each year. When a patient arrives for care, hospitals have employed simple, paper based tools to predict the emergence of lift threatening adverse events and assign an initial priority status. Although the early warning score (EWS) generated from these tools have improved the prediction of these adverse events, the screening methods have limited clinical depth. Many clinical conditions have multiple clinical signs that make diagnosis difficult. Additionally, adverse events can cause a rapid decline if detected too late.
 
Problem Statement
Existing ED check-in and screen practices help clinical staff prioritize patients but lack the ability to detect changes in the patient's status while waiting for treatment or obtain valuable information that can assist the clinical staff. Numerous technologies have emerged that provide the ability to perform health assessments and dramatically improve initial clinical screening. An opportunities exists to utilize these new technologies to dramatically improve the prioritization process for patients in the ED and to identify patients who may be en-route for a life threatening event that typically eludes the current means of detection.
 
This project will allow Stryker to continue to provide its customers with innovative industry leading technology that improves patient care and processing in the dynamic emergency medical environment.
 
Statement of Work:
  1. Definition: review and prioritize the high level objectives and known constraints with Stryker Medical. Identify the preferred reporting format that will not only capture the engineering advancements but also support the business case for such a technology. Develop and report a project timeline.
  2. Background Research: become familiar with the current tools ED use when prioritizing patients. Document the check-in and screening process flow as a baseline for comparison against future concepts.
III. Conceptual Design: generate multiple concepts for ED patient intake and monitoring. Create a product, technology, process ecosystem and evaluate the concepts against technology readiness and the maturity of the systems required to commercialize the concept. Document the concepts process flow against the baselined existing practice. Review the progress on a regular basis with the Stryker Medical point of contact prior to submitting a written, mid-project report detailing the proposed concept seeking Stryker Medical approval.
  1. Design / Prototype: upon obtaining concept approval, refine the selected conceptual design. To the best of the student team's ability, create a prototype or proof of concept of the design in order to evaluate the technologies function within the conceptual process flow.
  2. Documentation and Presentation: prepare a comprehensive final report with all technical information included but not limited to models, drawings, data sets, etc as well as commercialization information including but not limited to customer desirability, business viability, competitive landscape and initial product pricing.

Awarded Amount: $26,021

Senior Design: Laser Marking System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and build a laser marking system which uses automation, v1s1on, and machine controls to laser etch giveaways for trade shows, auto shows, recruiting fairs, and customer events.
 
Needs Addressed
Nexteer Automotive typically uses hands-on physical hardware at various public events to highlight their manufacturing technologies. The need here is to visually demonstrate certain technologies in an interactive type of environment.
 
Project Scope
This project should demonstrate modem manufacturing principles, effective software development, and automation technology.
The machine will be used to promote the Nexteer Brand, as well as generate interest in Manufacturing technology and automation. Attention to detail and visual appeal is highly important.
The machine will use a laser-etching device to personalize branded giveaways. The machine needs to be interesting to watch and should incorporate monitors to display the marking and automation, a touch screen user interface, personalization of the giveaways, and create an overall buzz factor.
Giveaway items:
Aluminum Flashlights - 1 color
Aluminum Bottle opener / luggage tag - 2 colors
 
Sequence of Operation:
The machine will have a tablet or other touch screen interface where the attendee can type in their name, and select which of the three items they want. The attendee will touch a start button on the screen. The machine will automatically select the correct item, safely perform the laser etch, and eject to a safe space to retrieve the item (similar to a vending machine).

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Enterprise: Bauer Pit Project

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Paul van Susante
College/School: Pavlis Honors College
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
In Conjunction with LIFT Enterprise
Background & Overview
Stoneco has remained a top supplier of crushed limestone, sand, and gravel in Michigan for over 100 years. The company carries a complete line of MOOT (Michigan Department of Transportation), ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation), and commercial materials, perfect for any project from a highway, to a parking lot, to a driveway and many more. The company has numerous facilities within South Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In order to remain a leader in the industry, the company is always investigating new opportunities to maintain or expand their product offerings.
 
Problem/Opportunity Statement
An opportunity exists for an Enterprise project team at Michigan Tech to evaluate a sand and gravel operation. The project will expose students to safety and economic considerations as well as mine design and plant optimization activities.
 
Project Significance
The results of this project could potentially set the ground work for capital expenditure funding for a new plant in the future.
 
Anticipated Outcomes of the Student Team
  • Reserve study: evaluate the economic value and tonnage using industry recognized data collection methods. Based off of supplied data, produce a 3D model of the reserve in a format specified by the project sponsor.
  • Hydrology study: determine and report the information in support of obtaining an Inland Lakes and Streams (ILS) permit. Based off of supplied data, establish a plan to monitor well data and groundwater flow.
  • Plant Design: Optimize capital cost for a new, modular processing plant
  • Production Schedule/Timeline: Draft a timeline showing mine progress and include a segregation plan for undesirable high clay deposits. Gather information in support of obtaining environmental permitting. Create a reclamation plan outlining future site usage.
  • Economic Sustainability: Based off of supplied data and mentorship from the project sponsor, evaluate at a high level the economic demographic of the area and if it will support the mines production rates now and in the future. Project infrastructure upgrades required to support the production plan and reclamation plan.
  • Safety: Develop a safety program, process or plan based on industry standards that ensures safety is a top priority.

Awarded Amount: $26,021

CAREER: An Ecologically -Inspired Approach to Battery Lifetime Analysis and Testing

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lucia Gauchia
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
Batteries are increasingly relied upon to provide multiple services during applications (e.g. traction in an electric vehicle, vehicle-to-grid, ancillary services) and to act as the ultimate resiliency element (e.g. electric vehicles used as power units during Hurricane Sandy). However, the ability to perform these diverse services is compromised by battery aging phenomena that eventually lead to failure. Understanding of how service conditions and context affect battery aging is limited due to a) battery high context dependency on generation and load dynamics, and environmental conditions; b) the multi-scale cell and module nature of battery systems; and c) the fact that a battery itself varies with age, as batteries are repurposed after a first life (e.g. electric vehicle) into a second life (e.g. grid or residential).
 
This CAREER project aims to understand battery aging dynamics as context-dependent, and to provide a unified theory that links application-level events and conditions with cell- and module-level aging events. The Pl hypothesizes that a battery electrochemical nature and aging, multi-scale system, observability challenges, and its context-dependency can all be modeled using ecological tools, with ecology defined as a branch of biology that explores organism relationships to one another and to their environment. Therefore, methods proven useful to study ecological relationships are well suited to study battery life, and can provide new knowledge, testing and estimation techniques. This project draws from two pertinent areas in ecology: 1) multi-scale field testing and 2) modeling of interrelationships among ecosystem elements to understand coupled effects and improve remaining life predictions. Hence, the research objectives are: 1 ) Identify a battery context and its observability through sensors and data in real deployment conditions for two lives (electric vehicle and grid); 2) Optimize a methodology to translate real-life conditions into the laboratory; 3) Design a large multi-scale testing platform in the laboratory for new and aged cells and modules that mimics real-life conditions; 4) Explore multi-scale battery dynamics and aging by developing reasoning networks that capture the whole battery context variations throughout its scales, reaching the application level; develop theories that link these networks across lives; design battery management systems that can learn to construct and apply these networks to improve their decision making and prediction.
 
Intellectual Merit
This novel project will provide knowledge and perspectives to two fields by capitalizing upon the similarities between battery context-dependencies, battery life, and ecological systems. This new outlook will provide a unified theory for testing, estimation and management of batteries across cell, module, pack, and application scales and life scales in a research field that up to this point has been disconnected between scales. Testing approaches, interrelationship models, and estimation methods used in ecology are predicted to improve upon present, state-of-the-art battery research methods to provide economic, resiliency and environmental benefits by better understanding and leveraging the unique, time-dependent relationships each battery has with its context.
 
Broader Impacts
This work will benefit all battery portable, transportation, and grid applications as well as multiple sectors. It will include the emerging battery repurposing sector, by providing tangible methods to improve testing, estimation and management techniques. The result will be longer battery life, better performance, and less environmental waste. Educational impacts include active learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students via research and educational interactions with individualized testing boards linked to the newly created large multi-scale testing platform. This strategy will enable low cost, highly distributed testing environments. The Pl will disseminate tools via national education conferences to improve the nearly nonexistent battery testing training of students. This project will facilitate new paths in multi-disciplinary graduate courses. The Pl has a passion to increase representation of Hispanic females in STEM. Outreach will include hosting 4 diverse Community College students for summer research through the Michigan College and University Partnership, and participating in Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers conferences, specifically in the female Hispanic track.

Awarded Amount: $592,243

Development of Advanced Model for Pre-Ignition Prediction in Gas Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Youngchul Ra
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Awarded Amount: $275,000

Advanced Controls in Wave Energy Conversion

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Natural Gas Research with Argonne National Laboratory

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Increasing Ship Power System Capability through Exergy Control

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gordon Parker
Co-PI: Rush Robinett
Co-PI: Eddy Trinklein
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Novel Ionomers and Electrode Structures for Improved PEMFC Electrode Performance at Low PGM Loadings

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Allen
Co-PI: Kazuya Tajiri
Co-PI: Ezequiel Medici
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
lonomer Development and Characterization
The objective of this task is focused on characterization of novel ionomers as thin film, bulk and electrodes. The Michigan Tech activity will include ex-situ thin film characterization of water transport and swelling, ex-situ bulk characterization of water permeability and oxygen transport of ionomers and electrodes, water imbibition, permeability and wettability of electrodes, and in-cell characterization to extract electrode transport limitation dependency upon ionomer type and content.
 
NSTF Electrode Development
The objective of this task is focused on characterization of dispersed NSTF electrodes developed by 3M. The Michigan Tech activity will include ex-situ characterization of water imbibition, permeability and wettability and evaluation of electrode transport limitations using in-cell and ex-situ techniques.
 
Electrode Integration
The objective of this task is to integrate best-in-class ionomers with dispersed NSTF catalysts. Task focuses on ionomer characterization and is similar in scope and includes water imbibition, permeability and wettability of the dispersed NSTF electrodes as well as in-cell characterization of electrode transport limitations and is similar in scope to Ionomer Development and Characterization.
 
Model Development
The objective of this task is to develop a pore-network architecture for the cathode catalyst layer in order to understand and predict oxygen transport limitations and liquid water transport within the electrodes with the novel ionomers. This task is focused on adaptation of the current GDL pore-network model to the cathode electrode by incorporating the necessary framework to account for ionomer and electrochemical reactions,  links the new electrode pore-network model to a continuum model for the membrane and anode, and integrating capillary pressure and transport models into the pore-network architecture. This task will be continuous to coincide data and knowledge gained through ex-situ and in-cell characterization testing.

Awarded Amount: $650,998

Collaborative Research: On Making Wave Energy an Economical and Reliable Power Source for Ocean Measurement Applications

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
Co-PI: Rush Robinett
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Spray Characterization of Solenoid Injectors

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Jaclyn Johnson
Co-PI: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description and Research Objectives:
Michigan Technological University (MTU) will investigate and characterize one FCA US supplied fuel injector to provide data for injector evaluation and model validation. The Injector driver will be supplied by FCA US. Tests will be conducted under a set of ambient and injection conditions as defined by FCA US. Results will include vapor and liquid penetration length from Schlieren and Mie Scatter imaging and quantitative fuel vapor distribution via PLIF (Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence). Tests will be conducted in MTU's optically accessible combustion vessel (CV) research facility. Existing hardware in the facility will be used; including a gasoline fuel system to reach the target injection pressure of 300 bar, high speed imaging for liquid and vapor, and simultaneous single shot PLIF diagnostics for fuel vapor distribution. A new diffraction based instrument is planned for measuring spray droplet sizing.

Awarded Amount: $159,888

Ignition System Characterization for Chrysler

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Jaclyn Johnson
Co-PI: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description and Research Objectives:
Michigan Technological University (MTU) will investigate and characterize Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) supplied ignition systems to provide ignition characteristics and data for FCA model validation under various ambient conditions. Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech’s optically accessible Combustion Vessel (CV) research facility. The ambient conditions that will be varied include Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR), charge velocity, and pressure at ignition. Limited testing will also occur to evaluate the impacts of spark plug orientation. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) will be conducted in the CV, without the presence of an igniter, to quantify charge velocity. A total of three ignition systems will be tested. Ignition system calibration settings will be defined by FCA. All testing will be conducted with propane fuel. Results will include high speed Schlieren imaging to quantify flame kernel development and flame propagation. Results will also include ignition system measurement of primary and secondary current and voltage ignition System Characterization for Chrysler

Awarded Amount: $84,695

Robotic ISRU Construction of Planetary Landing and Launch Pad

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Paul van Susante
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective
The main objective of this effort is to develop an integrated robotic system for excavating planetary regolith, sorting rocks into discrete sizes, and building of the landing pad.
From tests done at KSC and CSM it is clear that a combination of methods will be required to build a landing pad able to withstand the landing and take-off exhaust gases and prevent the fine regolith dust from being a danger to the vehicle and surrounding infrastructure. For that reason a combination of using pavers in the center zone and stacked rocks for the surrounding apron zone is proposed. The crucial parameter is to determine the size of the armour stone; based on wave parameters such as frequency, spectrum, and amplitude which formed the basis for the manual on the use of rock in hydraulic engineering.
Proposed Work
To design a fully integrated TRL 5 robot or robotic tool attachment to pick up/excavate, sort in the required size ranges, store and deposit rocks in three layers with the purpose to stabilize (lock in) the fine regolith in the secondary (apron) zone of Lunar and Martian landing pads for repeated landings and takeoffs. The design process will aim to integrate the solution with the existing Helelani rover of PISCES which is currently testing a Honeybee Robotics robotic arm for the deployment of ceramic pavers that may form the central landing pad zone at the Hawaii field site, using an armour stone size of 6 inches while using the PISCES Helelani rover.
 The work would start with trade studies for the required subsystems, i.e. excavation, sorting and apron construction followed by breadboarding of subsystems for testing and refinement followed by the detailed integrated design as the final deliverable for Phase I.

Awarded Amount: $54,000

Tailorable Resonant Plate Testing

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-PI: James DeClerck
Co-PI: Charles Van Karsen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
The goal of this program is to gain insight into tunable resonant plate testing procedures. The project will use a combination of modeling and testing to attempt to develop insight which reduces test time and expands the range of possible testing. The following is a breakdown of the tasks:
 
Statement of Work:
Research will explore how to model the resonant plate and fixture dynamics. Analytical and experimental studies will be performed to understand the critical parameters in more accurately controlling and understanding the design of the resonant plate and fixture to extend its range of testing.
  • FEA models of the resonant plate and fixture will be created.
  • FEA models will be used to understand how each parameter of the test system effects the shock response spectrum.
  • Identify potential limits for the shock response spectrums which can be reproduced within the framework of the resonant plate test system.
  • Propose design approaches and tailoring strategies which will enable the resonant plate test system to deliver a specified shock response spectrum (within the capability limits of the resonant plate test system framework).
  • Mechanisms to add damping to the resonant plate will be explored both analytically and experimentally as a potential tailoring strategy.
 
Deliverable(s): All FEA models and test data will be provided. A report will be written which summarizes the analytical and experimental modeling and testing as well as any damping mechanisms/devices which were evaluated and their effectiveness.

Awarded Amount: $159,000

High Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) and High Efficiency Micro-Pilot Ignition Natural Gas Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this project is to develop the combustion system for a low-cost, low diesel contribution, high brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), high-efficiency premixed charge medium/heavy duty (MHD) natural gas engine and demonstrate the technology on an engine with peak thermal efficiency of up to 44%, diesel pilot contribution of 1-5%, and BMEP up to 25 bar. Emissions will be compliant with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for heavy-duty (HD) on-road engines by using a three-way catalyst.

SCOPE OF WORK:
This project will evaluate and develop solutions to the barriers to micro-pilot combustion in a stoichiometric natural gas engine. A combination of combustion vessel (CV) testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation will evaluate fundamental limitations and develop solutions. The results will then be applied to a multi-cylinder engine test bed, where the combustion system will be developed and emissions and efficiency demonstrated.
The project will be conducted in 3 budget periods:
Budget Period 1: Fundamental study of micro-pilot NG ignition
In BP 1, prior art on micro-pilot natural gas (NG) ignition will be investigated, CV will be set up and used to conduct some preliminary study on micro-pilot NG ignition, combustions models will be validated using existing data, and engine baseline will be established.
 Budget Period 2: Development of micro-pilot NG combustion
In BP2, more CV testing will be conducted to further develop the micro-pilot NG ignition concept.
Engine testing will then be carried out using the promising design and operating conditions determined by the CV and CFD simulation.
Budget Period 3: Optimization of micro-pilot NG engine
In BP3, micro-pilot NG engine concept will be further optimized on the engine with the help of both CV testing and CFD simulation. Based on that, design specifications will be provided and the readiness of the technology for commercialization will be assessed.

Awarded Amount: $1,229,000

Auris: A CubeSat to Characterize and Locate Geostationary Communication Emitters

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lyon King
Co-PI: Ossama Abdelkhalik
Co-PI: Michael Roggemann
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Autonomous Microgrids: Theory, Control, Flexibility and Scalability

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Wayne Weaver
Co-PI: Nina Mahmoudian
Co-PI: Rush Robinett
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Stratus: A CubeSat to Measure Cloud Structure and Winds

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lyon King
Co-PI: Ossama Abdelkhalik
Co-PI: Michael Roggemann
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Stratus, a NASA CubeSat, and the Utilization of Effective Project Management to Enhance Student Learning

Investigators
Principal Investigator: L. King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Abstract
In order to maximize the student learning experience through a project that consists of the design, test, and fabrication of a cubesat, Sam Baxendale proposes conducting research into effective Project Management skills for student satellite teams. Sam Baxendale will serve as Project Manager of Stratus, a NASA cubesat proposed to image cloud movement from geostationary orbits in order to optimize solar power generation applications. Managing a team of 60 undergraduate Michigan Technological University Students, Sam Baxendale will work with Faculty Advisor Dr. Lyon Brad King to promote an environment in which students are presented the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through the development of a spacecraft that will be ultimately launched and utilized to serve the strategic interests of NASA.

Awarded Amount: $2,500

Senior Design: Flywheel Balance Measurement System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Create a flywheel balance measurement process that yields improved performance versus currently available methods and equipment.
 
Background
The current best industry practice for measuring the imbalance of flywheels produces results that are inconsistent and has insufficient sensitivity. Mercury has not been able to identify equipment that can demonstrate statistically acceptable results for Repeatability and Reproducibility (R&R). It appears that the flywheel balancing process is not completely understood by suppliers currently providing balance measurement equipment.
Project Scope
This project will focus on identifying a methodology to measure the imbalance of a single mass marine flywheel within a set weight and diameter range. The design team on this project will initially research past and current methods of measuring imbalance initially starting with focusing on other rotating assemblies outside the current flywheel methods. Based on research results, the team will devise a concept for the measurement process, construct a prototype, and use the prototype to produce data demonstrating validity of the concept.
 The existing methods for flywheel balance measurement are evolutionary and very similar to one another. These methods have demonstrated low repeatability and have low accuracy relative to some existing part tolerances. A new method will be developed with an alternative technology and not focusing on current practices.
Project Objectives
• Design concept for a flywheel balance measurement system
• Prototype unit based on the design concept
• Data set demonstrating concept validation

Awarded Amount: $25,650

On Integrating New Capability into Coastal Energy Conversion Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
MTU will analyze and simulate the power capture from arrays of wave energy converters (WECs) with and without the presence of an object. Nonlinear WECs will be analyzed and exploited for more energy capture. For object detection, MTU will develop an estimator. In addition to having a model that detects the presence of an object, the estimator will use that model and account for uncertainties that we have in the model and also measurement errors; in any case we need to know statistical characteristics about these uncertainties and errors. MTU will participate in the WEC array overall design, analysis, modeling and simulations; control design for Design 2, nonlinear modeling and control, and topology optimization.

Awarded Amount: $405,139

Numerical Simulation Study of Post Collision Angles for Multiple Impinging Jet Injectors

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
The objective of the project is to perform simulations on multi-hole impinging jet injectors under different injection pressures and ambient conditions as well as number of hole to explore these effects on post collision angle. Also, the spray behavior and spray characteristics will be studied using
Michigan Tech established spray models. The primary aim of this simulation is to study the trend of post collision angles with changes in the impinging collision angle with various number of injector holes. The project includes two-step simulations, i.e., the first stage and second stage. The first stage covers the initial 21 case simulations requested by Nostrum while the second stage focuses on the parametric studies upon the agreement between Nostrum and Michigan Tech. Moreover, the influencing parameters on the post collision angle will be investigated for different injection pressures, chamber pressures as well as for different number of nozzle hole arrangement. This proposed work will be helpful for designing impinging jet injectors and evaluating injector's spray characteristics for Nostrum's novel impinging injector technology.
 
Statement of Work:
The specific works are as follows:
1. Preparing input files for running simulations
- This includes calculating the coordinates and vectors of each nozzle for different multi-hole impinging jet injectors and setup the input files using Converge Studio.
2. Running simulations as per the simulation test matrix
3. Post-processing the simulation output results
- Post-processing of simulation data will be performed using EnSight which is installed in the PI lab.
- New version of EnSight will be purchased based on the progress and loads of the simulated data.
4. Analyze the results and summary
- The post processing will include measuring post collision angle and analyzing the averaged ratio between the post collision angle and collision angle for different conditions as well as exploring the reason behind it.

Awarded Amount: $38,000

Developing a Talent Pipeline: Inspiring Future Naval Engineers and Scientists using Real-World Project Based Instruction

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Andrew Barnard
Co-PI: Nina Mahmoudian
Co-PI: Guy Meadows
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

High BMEP and High Efficiency Micro-Pilot Ignition Natural Gas Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Awarded Amount: $137,905

Demonstration of Densification of Biocoal Prepared from Low Lignin Woods

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ezra Bar-Ziv
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Toward Undersea Persistence

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Nina Mahmoudian
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Evaporation Sub-Model Development for Volume of Fluid (eVOF) Method Applicable to Spray-Wall Interaction Including Film Characteristics with Validation at High Pressure-Temperature Conditions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Center for Novel High Voltage Temperature Materials and Structures

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Technical Survey on High Efficient Intensive Cooling Control Technology

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Chang Choi
Co-PI: Jeffrey Allen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Description

Quenching, rapid cooling, has been used to improve hardness and reduce crystallinity by preventing low temperature processes of phase transformations. So cooling alloys and steels in an extremely rapid manner produces martensitic microstructure in their surfaces. Conventional quenching methods use oil, polymer, air, and water. In this proposal, intensive quenching using high velocity water flows is proposed to improve heat-extraction rate by increasing 3-5 times greater heat fluxes from the heated surface of metals. This method is highly efficient and ecofriendly because it uses water and provides greater heat-extraction rates resulting in greater temperature gradient in the sample. This temperature gradient forms compressive stresses from the surface that mainly eliminates cracking. So the intensive quenching keeps the residual surface stresses compressive, while the conventional quenching normally produces tensile or neutral residual surface stresses. The main goal of this project is to establish fundamental and practical technology on intensive quenching heat treatment.

 Michigan Tech will do survey on intensive heat treatment technologies available and/or practical in the world and also do corresponding analytical studies for Year I. For the second year, Michigan Tech will continue doing market survey and analyzing recent research trends for intensive quenching and traditional heat treatment technologies. For Year III, Michigan Tech will provide future market trends and comprehensive technology analysis on heat treatment.

Awarded Amount: $176,724

Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
Co-PI: Julia King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Development of Conformable CNG Tanks for Automotive Development

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
Co-PI: Jeremy Worm
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Paul Sanders
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

A group of researchers at Michigan Tech and REL propose to design, develop, integrate, and test a CNG tank that will have a conformable shape for efficient storage in a light-duty pick-up truck. Michigan Tech is well known for its research in automotive technology, design optimization via simulation, and aluminum material research. REL is the leader in design and manufacturing of aluminum conformable pressure tanks.

This research will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 (1 year) will be a proof-of concept phase in which existing technology will be used to fabricate, integrate, and test a conformable tank for a light-duty truck using existing materials technology and fabrication techniques. In Phase 1, the materials development effort will initiate.

The Phase 1 tank is a simple rectangular box geometry to demonstrate capability of non-cylindrical shapes. The end of Phase 2 (2 years) will result in a conformable tank with an optimized internal structure and improved lightweight material for greater efficiency, capacity and durability. The optimized tank will be integrated and tested on a light-duty pick-up truck that has been converted for CNG.

Awarded Amount: $2,107,965

CAREER: Autonomous Underwater Power Distribution System for Continuous Operation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Nina Mahmoudian
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design: AFRL Design Challenge Project Sequence

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Awarded Amount: $89,217

CPS: Breakthrough: Toward Revolutionary Algorithms for Cyber-Physical Systems Architecture Optimization

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

MicroCSPs Contribution on the Management of an Electrical Grid Including Renewable Energy Sources

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Collaborate with Mohammadia School of Engineering (EMI), Rabat, Morocco within the framework of the Project: "MicroCSPs Contribution on the Management of an Electrical Grid Including Renewable Energy Sources."

 Statement of Work:

  • Support the Design of an intelligent monitoring system for load balancing of a network based on a CSP with storage and photovoltaic panels.
  • Help and support in the study of the integration of CSP in the Moroccan grid.
  • Support the Economic Survey of the implementation of the CSP in the Moroccan power grid in the short term.
  • Support the calculations of the cost of energy generation by the CSP.
  • Support the calculations of an appropriate cost price PPA (Power Purchase Agreement).
  • Transfer of skills where desired.

 

Awarded Amount: $17,616

GOALI: Collaborative Research: Easily Verifiable Controller Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Mahdi Shahbakhti
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

MRI: Acquisition of a High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope for In Situ Microscopy Research and Education

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Reza Shahbazian Yassar
Co-PI: Stephen Hackney
Co-PI: Claudio Mazzoleni
Co-PI: Tolou Shokuhfar
Co-PI: Yoke Khin Yap
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

NRI: Co-Robots to Engage Next Generation of Students in STEM Learning

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Nina Mahmoudian
Co-PI: Michele Miller
Co-PI: Mohammad Rastgaar Aagaah
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Electrospray from Magneto-electrostatic Instabilities

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lyon King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Fundamental Understanding on the Role of Structural Defects on Lithiation of Nanoscale Transition Metal Oxides

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Reza Shahbazian-Yassar
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview:

Nano-sized transition metal oxides (TMO) are promising materials for lithium-ion batteries. These materials operate through conversion reactions and are associated with much higher energy densities than intercalation reactions. Extensive research is ongoing on the electrochemical characterization of TMO-based electrodes; however, many fundamental questions remained to be addressed. For instance, TMOs exhibit a mysterious extra capacity beyond their theoretical capacity through mechanisms that are still poorly understood. In addition, nano-sized TMOs are highly vulnerable to structural defects produced during synthesis that can alter lithium ion pathways by perturbing the local electronic and lattice strains. No experimental work has been reported to reveal the underlying mechanisms that can correlate structural defects to the electrochemical lithiation in TMOs owing to the difficulty in characterizing structure at the nanoscale, particularly at buried interfaces. This research aims to fill this gap.

The objective is to understand the underlying atomistic mechanisms by which structural defects such as hetrointerfaces, heteroatoms, dislocations, twining, and grain boundaries affect the lithiation behavior of TMOs. In order to meet this objective, single TMO nanowires (NWs) will be subjected to in situ electrochemical lithiation inside high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) and aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (CsSTEM). The in situ electrochemical lithiation will be conducted using state-of-the art scanning tunneling microscope (STM-TEM) and conductive atomic force microscope (cAFM-TEM) holders. This unique combination enables the study of evolution of local lattice strains and electronic perturbations at the vicinity of defects with unprecedented spatial resolutions better than 0.7 A and chemical sensitivity down to 0.35eV.

Intellectual Merit: 

The in situ studies will enable research in three poorly understood fields: (I) the effect of structural defects (twins, dislocations, grain boundaries, and hetrointerfaces) on the nucleation of Li20 and TM particles due to conversion reactions in TMOs; (II) the pinning/unpinning effect of impurities or dopants during grain boundary movement associated with the nucleation of Li20 and TM phases; and (III) the evolution of localized strain and electronic structure at the vicinity of structural defects and their effect on Li-ion pathways The new understanding can facilitate the design of structurally-tailored TMOs for Li-ion battery applications. Furthermore, the experimental methodology and protocols to analyze the in situ data can be extended to other nanomaterials to enable high performance batteries.

Awarded Amount: $445,658

Fundamental Investigations for Very High Heat-Flux Innovative Operations of Milli-Meter Scale Flow Boilers

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Amitabh Narain
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

I/UCRC: Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

CAREER: A New Perspective on Biomineralization in Healthy and Dysfunctional Ferritins

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Tolou Shokuhfar
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Abstract

Overview: Apoferritin is an organic cage that captures the toxic free ferrous ions and transforms them into a ferrihydrite and iron oxide crystalline nanoparticle through a complex biomineralization process (the resulting structural protein is called ferritin). Any dysfunction of ferritin protein can result in iron toxicity, serious illness, chronic diseases, and especially neurological diseases. Dysfunction in ferritin results in the alterations in the biomineralization of the ferritin cores, and therefore, understanding the process of biomineralization within ferritin, is of great importance in the study of neurodegeneration and other chronic diseases. While these unique proteins have been the subject of intense research in biology and chemistry fields due to their importance in many chronic diseases, little effort has been made to unveil the dynamics of such biomineralization processes in liquid conditions. To the Pl's knowledge, there has been no direct evidence at atomic level on how the biomineralization or demineralization inside a ferritin protein progresses over time. This research aims to fill this gap.

The objective of this project is to investigate the in situ crystallization of ferrous ions into crystalline ferrihydrite and iron oxide nanoparticles as well as the demineralization of crystalline core in healthy and dysfunction ferritins in unprecedented resolutions within liquids. In-situ studies conducted inside an atomic resolution aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) enabling imaging at resolutions better than 1A. A miniaturized graphene-based electron transparent bio/nano reactor compatible with the microscope chamber is utilized to preserve the liquid environment inside the electron microscope. In this graphene bio/nano reactor, ferrous ions delivered to apoferritins through break down of liposomes acting as reservoirs of irons to trigger the biomineralization within apoferritins cores.

The research is the first atomic resolution study of proteinmediated biomineralization and demineralization within a liquid media and inside a transmission electron microscope. This CAREER research unfolds: (I) The nucleation and growth mechanisms of mineral core (ferrihydrite and iron oxide crystals), (II) the existence and evolution of atomic defects (vacancy, twinning, misorientation boundaries, amorphous regions, etc) during the crystallization, (Ill) the evolution of chemical gradient from surface to core of crystals during the biomineralization, (IV) the mechanisms of demineralization due to iron release, and (V) The atomic-scale morphological and structural differences between a healthy and dysfunctional ferritins.

This research probes the ground rules for ferritin biomineralization with the goal to unveil the fundamental differences with dysfunctional ferritins responsible for neurological diseases. In addition, a new research field for the utilization of bio/nano reactors to image complex biochemical reactions at atomic resolutions will be developed. The CAREER plan will impact the society by integrating multi-disciplinary research with education at all levels while promoting diversity. Graduate and undergraduate students involved with the project will be trained in cross-cutting areas.

Awarded Amount: $554,593

MTU Consortium in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Research

Investigators
Principal Investigator: John Johnson
Co-PI: Gordon Parker
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

MTU Consortium in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Research

Starting from a well-established research program and as a result of a Dept. of Energy 3 year project, we have significantly enhanced our laboratory, experimental methods and procedures, and modeling/estimator capability.  The faculty and students have produced thirteen publications from this research.

Consortium Goal:

The underling goal of the consortium is to develop and conduct precompetitive research on advanced aftertreatment systems through experimental engine methods, development and calibration of high fidelity models, and development and application of estimators and controllers. Achieving this goal will provide an improved understanding of the systems under dynamic and low temperature conditions characteristic of advanced medium and heavy duty diesel engines allowing the consortium members to apply this knowledge and models to improve system performance, reduce cost, and develop new approaches to diagnostics and increase robustness of their on-board-diagnostics.

Research Activities:

The existing facilities and an extensive model base will be used as developed in previous research including the current DOE program. This includes temperature controlled exhaust, positive torque drive cycles, and validated component models and estimators. Additionally we will add real-time functionality to perform aftertreatment estimation and control in the engine test cell.

The consortium research themes integrate fundamental and applied aspects of (1) Experimental Engine Studies (2) Modeling and Simulation and (3) Estimation, Control, and diagnostics. The proposed research is split into three major themes (I) Experimental, (II) Modeling, and (III) Estimation and Controls with a number of outcomes from the composite research program.

Areas of study will be determined based upon proposed research by MTU with input from the Partners to direct the research.

Based upon input from our partners and continuing some efforts from the DOE program, the following have been identified as key areas from which yearly research topics will be selected.

  • Experimentally validated reduced order models and state estimation algorithms of aftertreatment components which are accurate for low temperature and dynamic operation.
  • Quantify particulate matter (PM) maldistribution, loading, and NO2/PM ratio effects on passive and active regeneration, bio-fuel blends, and aging for catalyzed particulate filters (CPFs).
  • Increased knowledge of ammonia (NH3) storage behavior, optimal NH3 loading, hydrocarbon (HC) poisoning, and aging for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts
  • Understanding effect of sensor type/configuration on state estimation quality.
  • Optimal reductant strategies for SCR operation and CPF regeneration.
  • Integrated response and optimization of engine feedgas and aftertreatment systems
  • Thermal control of the aftertreatment components for light-off, maintaining operational temperature, and regeneration relevant to engine low temperature operation and integration with exhaust energy recovery systems
  • Fundamental studies of DEF introduction and functional responses – hydrolysis and pyrolysis
  • Diagnostic concept development: Based upon existing virtual sensor and estimator work this will be translated into system and component diagnostics
  • Sensor displacement by applying estimators and virtual sensors. For example, determining whether a NH3 sensor is needed if an accurate SCR NH3 storage model is available.
  • Improved DPF PM estimation and measurement. Although systems are going to increase passive oxidation with engines moving to higher NOX and lower PM, this is still an important research area to improve methods to accurately estimate CPF loading.
  • Alternative and integrated aftertreatment technologies such as integrated SCR with PM filtration. Many fundamental questions remain about this technology including architecture of combining functions that still enable high passive PM oxidation and high NOX conversion.
  • PM Sampling and related diagnostic use. Quantifying the effect of sensor location on the ability to detect failures. does it matter where the sensor is and what the type of failure is. e.g.  For example, how does the location of the PM sensor impact the speed of CPF melt down detection and can this speed of detection be optimized?

Awarded Amount: $1,218,935

CAREER: Steerable Powered Ankle-foot Prostheses for Increased Mobility in Amputees

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Mohammad Rastgaar Aagaah
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Mass Measurements of an Electrospray Beam from a Single Emitter Ionic Liquid

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lyon King
Co-PI: Kurt Terhune
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Distributed Agent-based Management of Agile Microgrids

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gordon Parker
Co-PI: Laura Brown
Co-PI: Steven Goldsmith
Co-PI: Wayne Weaver
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

NSF/DOE Advanced Combustion Engines: Ignition and Combustion Characteristics of Transportation Fuels under Lean-Burn Conditions for Advanced Engine Concepts

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-PI: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics