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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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

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

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

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

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

Development of Advanced Modeling Tools for Diesel Engines

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

Awarded Amount: $93,583

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

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

Engine Dynamometer Studies and Analysis of Nostrum Cycle and Injectors on Cummins 6.7 ISB Diesel Engine with Facilities for Nostrum On-Site Engineering Team

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description:
This work is to test, analyze, and evaluate the Nostrum converted Cummins 260 hp 6.7l ISB diesel engine in the MTU 465 hp AC dyno test cell at the APSRC in several stages and configurations. In addition this contract provides APSRC building utilization to office, conference room, and research areas in the APSRC building as outline below for the Nostrum onsite engineering team.
 

Awarded Amount: $129,215

Injector Evaluation and Validation on a Single Cylinder DI SI Engine with Combustion Analysis, Exhaust Gaseous and PN Emissions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description
This work continues activities from the previous sessions with testing, analysis, and evaluation of novel injectors for application to direct-injection (DI) spark-ignition (SI) engines. The primary work is to be conducted in the MEEM SB013 engine labs on the single cylinder Hydra engine. This work covers the evaluation and validation testing of a Nostrum impinging injectors and PFI injectors in comparison to a production injector on the direct injection single cylinder Hydra SI engine. Work will cover nominal flow injectors and high flow injectors for aftermarket needs. It also covers supplemental testing and analysis needs through this period.
 
Objective:
Quantify the performance in comparison to the production Bosch injector of sets of
Nostrum provided impinging injectors. This will provide evaluation and validation of the injector performance for ranking of nozzle geometry based upon engine performance and emissions. Modifications to the engine setup will be made to improve correlation to the Cadillac engine I vehicle studies. Resources includes one graduate student, staff, engine, combustion, and gaseous and PN/PM emissions.

Awarded Amount: $187,711

Investigations of Fuel Injection Systems – Fundamental Nozzle Cavitation Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Youngchul Ra
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
Cavitation is a fluid-dynamic phenomenon that occurs when liquid-free regions (bubbles or cavities) are formed due to abrupt mechanical changes in flow configuration or direction. The current typical common-rail fuel injection systems for direct injection diesel engines, the flow from the injector has to turn sharply from the needle seat area when it enters into the nozzle discharge holes. The static pressure of the liquid at the entrance of the holes falls below its vapor pressure and cavitation is initiated. The occurrence of cavitation significantly affects spray formation and the discharge coefficient of the nozzle is mainly dependent on the cavitation number, which is a non-dimensional parameter indicating the expected cavitation intensity.
 
As fueling rate increases, the nozzle flows experience four different characteristic flow regimes,
i.e., turbulent flow, beginning of cavitation, growth of cavitation, and hydraulic flip. Beyond a threshold flow rate, the flow becomes turbulent. With increased flow rate, cavitation begins and bubbles are generated at the orifice entrance, then the cavitating bubbles grow along the nozzle orifice wall. At further increased flow rate, the bubbles reach the nozzle exit without attachment to the orifice wall, which is called hydraulic flip.
 
Subsequent atomization of the exiting jet is significantly affected by the cavitation intensity, thus the cavitation-induced atomization is regarded as one of the major liquid jet disintegration modes. The droplet distribution of injected sprays dominantly influences the fuel vapor distribution in the cylinder, and thus the combustion behavior of the engine. For this reason, in order to achieve enhancement of performance of diesel engines it is critical to obtain fundamental understanding the cavitation in nozzle flow and it has been an issue of much interest for decades and substantial effort has been made to investigate it both experimentally and theoretically.
 
In this project, we propose a work to experimentally investigate the cavitation behavior of nozzle flow under typical diesel injection conditions pertinent to Cummins diesel engines. The obtained results are expected not only to help better understanding of the cavitating flow, but also to help guide the development of relevant computer models. In this work MTU will create seated optical nozzles to be attached to a heavy duty injector. Nozzles will be intended to run at typical injection pressures. The HD Injectors with optical nozzles will be studied in the MTU optical spray and combustion chamber using high speed micro-photograph.
 

Awarded Amount: $96,806

Continuation of Engine Ignition Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
A continuation of research that Michigan Technological University (MTU) is conducting in conjunction with the Ford research team.
This continues work from the Ford funded work through 2014 - 2015 focused on ignition with three components: (1) metal engine, (2) optical engine and (3) combustion laboratory. It also follows on from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development'. The continuation of the ignition research areas (Tasks 1 & 2) with studies on an existing 2.0l. Ford Metal Engine and a Single Cylinder Mahle Optical engine. The project period is from December 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016
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.
In the past year (2015) efforts have focused on developing an understanding of ignition of single and dual coil discharges based upon optical engine studies using high speed imaging and correlating parameters quantified from the visualization with electrical discharge characteristic measured on the secondary of the coil, and combustion as quantified from mass fraction bum characteristics as measured from the cylinder pressure.
There are three phases - components of the work plan (i) optical engine, (ii) metal engine and (iii) anemometry bench studies proposed.
i) Optical Engine
Continue studies of combined imaging with high resolution PIV. High speed 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
ii) Metal-Engine
• Subsets of studies matching conditions from the optical engine
• Discharge quenching and effectiveness of discharge energy and duration
iii) Spark Anemometry Bench
• Supplemental test plans
• Studies with alternative geometry spark plugs including rotation, tilt and flow velocity

Awarded Amount: $115,000

Closed Loop Combustion Control for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Continues work from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014 and 2015 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).
Engine and Instrumentation
Objective: Develop and employ closed loop combustion control 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. The work will be performed on a Ford 2.0 VCT EcoBoost engine.

 

Awarded Amount: $89,317

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
Co-PI: Rush Robinett
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Making Small Wave Energy Converters Cost-Effective for Underwater Microgrids though a 10-Fold Improvement in Year-Round Productivity

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

Nostrum Injector Evaluation and Validation on a Single Cylinder DI SI Engine with Exhaust Gaseous and PN Emissions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
Quantify the performance in comparison to the production Bosch injector of sets of Nostrum provided impinging injectors. This will provide evaluation and validation of the injector performance for ranking of nozzle geometry based upon engine performance and emissions.
This work continues activities with testing, analysis, and evaluation of novel injectors for application to direct-injection (DI) spark-ignition (SI) engines. The primary work is to be conducted in the MEEM engine labs on the single cylinder Hydra engine. This work covers the evaluation and validation testing of a Nostrum impinging injectors and PFI injectors in comparison to a production injector on the direct injection single cylinder Hydra SI engine.
The specific tasks are as follows:
1. Continue testing at two load conditions at A=1.00, for new Nostrum impinging injectors, comparing to Baseline Bosch HDEV-5.
      • 330 kPa NMEP 1300 RPM
      • 800 kPa NMEP 2200 RPM
      The follow data is to be collected, analyzed and reported.
      a. Combustion metrics
      b. Emissions
      c. Vaporization via skip injection tests over range of SOI
2. Particle number emissions testing at the two load points for Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
3. Port Injector testing at two load points with Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
      a. Combustion metrics
4. Lean operation testing with Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
      a. Test at the low load condition at lambda values greater than 1.00 up to a 3% COV of IMEP threshold to find lowest ISFC.
      b. Report Combustion Metrics

Awarded Amount: $124,107

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

Dual Cutting Head Measurements and Dynamic Modeling

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

Problem Statement

EMT's current cutoff blade is controlled by a Bosch indexer, which provides "cam" profile programming to allow for varying cut lengths and feed rates. There is uncertainty that a given profile will provide optimal performance for all cut lengths and feed rates.

  1. To reduce design and process time, an analytical model based approach will be developed to determine the required machine performance for varying cut lengths and feed rates. The machine model will include cutter inertia, position, velocity and acceleration, indexer "cam" profiles, constant velocity zone, and determine motor torque. Other variables could be added to improve model fidelity once the machine dynamics are better understood. The current cutter design will provide a starting point for the analytical model.

 EMT must achieve web speeds of at least 700 Ft/min to remain competitive with the goal of 1000 Ft/min. Therefore, the cutter design and efficiency must be improved. A key part of the design is understanding cutting forces for different materials and feed rates. By instrumenting the current design, these forces can be measured experimentally.

a.    MTU would assist EMT in setting up strain gage testing to measure the forces. This would include recommending the equipment & process that would provide the most accurate & useful data.

b.    EMT would conduct the test in accordance to MTU direction.

Assistance in developing a new cutter blade design to allow for faster more efficient performance based on force finding in 2 above.

a.    MTU will provide analysis necessary to include best material, lowest inertia, best cam profiling. This includes considerations for vibration, bearing systems, stiffness, & any other criteria that is critical to this design.

 Design/Experimental Considerations

EMT has been successful in designing and manufacturing the paper cutters with web speeds below 600 Ft/min. To determine if MTU can assist EMT reach the 1,000 Ft/min speeds, we propose the following in the first phase of the proposal.

  • Strain gage the shaft and measure the stress for various cutting speeds and material thickness. The preliminary analysis indicates values of <10 microstrain for a 50 lbf applied at the shaft center, this is approaching the limit of a strain gage.
  • Measure the drive motor position, velocity, acceleration and torque for several of the cam profiles.
  • Compare the measured dynamic values to the analytical values predicted.

Awarded Amount: $34,580

The Impact of Valve Timing on Intake Manifold Charge Temperature

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Measurement of Charge Temperature
Proposed Work includes:
1) Engine Testing on a GM LHU engine.  In addition to standard measurements, several additional thermocouples will be installed in the intake and exhaust runners.  Several exposed wire thermocouples will be installed in the intake system. 
The exposed wire Intake thermocouple locations are as follows:
     • Cylinder #1 Intake Port in the cylinder head
     • Cylinder #1 Intake Runner in the manifold
     • MAP Sensor location
     • If packaging space exists, additional exposed wire thermocouples will be installed in both the manifold and head
Additional intake track thermocouple locations that currently exist on the engine with standard sheathed thermocouples include:
     • Throttle body inlet/ lntercooler outlet
     • lntercooler inlet I Compressor outlet
     • Airbox inlet
Exhaust temperature measurements will include:
     • Exhaust port near the valve
     • Exhaust manifold runner
Initial attempts for these measurements will be with exposed wire thermocouples, however, it is expected these sensors will fail due to the harsh environment, in which case they will be replaced with sheathed thermocouples of the smallest possible diameter that will be durable enough to sustain testing.
Additional exhaust track thermocouple locations that currently exist on the engine with
standard sheathed thermocouples include:
     • Turbine Inlet
     • Turbine Outlet
The thermocouple data will be recorded with a National Instruments PXI DAQ system, recording at 10 Hz for 10 seconds and reporting an average value. Options exist for logging this information on a crank angle resolved basis.
2) GT-Power Simulation
GT-Power and comparisons made between GT-Power results and experimental results. Michigan Tech has a GT-Power model originally supplied as an LNF, this model will be modified to include any necessary changes in converting from an LNF to an LHU, as well as changes to the exhaust system and Air Induction System to better reflect the installation into the test cell. The model will be validated using data from the testcell. Once validated, the entire experimental test matrix will be run using the GT-Power model.

Awarded Amount: $12,563

Travel to Attend the 3rd Laser Ignition Conference April 28-30th 2015 at Argonne National Labratory USA

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

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

Nostrum Engine Dynamometer Studies and Analysis of Nostrum Cycle and Injectors on Cummins 6.7L ISB Diesel Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Test, analyze, and evaluate the Nostrum converted Cummins 260 hp 6. 7L ISB diesel engine in the MTU 465 hp AC dyno test cell at the APSRC in several stages and configurations.
 
Objective:
Test and quantify the performance of Nostrum's converted Cummins 260 hp 6.7L ISB 6.7L diesel engine. Results are to include specific fuel consumption, combustion, and NOX and PM emissions under several different configurations. Tests to be conducted in the APSRC AC dynamometer test cell.
 
Deliverables:
• Testing per above tasks and RASIC,
• Data packages for tests,
• Summary Excel Sheet with Test Results.
 
Nostrum will provide hardware and engineering support for the tests. MTU with work with the Nostrum team to setup the engine in the test cell.
 
MTU recently purchased a TSI Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer™ (EEPS™) spectrometer for use in characterizing particulate number concentrations and particulate size. This will be incorporated into the testing to characterize the particulate emissions, where PM is indicated.

Awarded Amount: $128,090

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

Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC) for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This is continues work from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014.
 
This project continues on the 3.SL IVCT engine that is fully instrumented and setup with closed loop combustion control (CLCC) via a ''TriBox" processing controller with in-cylinder pressure feedback to control individual spark and fueling and overall engine dilution. It has the Ford PCM with ability to integrate prototype code via ATI no-hooks, a prototype EGR system controlled by a prototyping ECU, a prototyping Ford Tri box controller for dosed loop pressure sensing and combustion control, and instrumentation including cylinder pressure transducers. Additionally the Ford Michigan Tech team will develop a 2.0 l engine platform to transition the work to over the year.
 
Statement of work
Objective: Develop and employ closed loop combustion control 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.
 
Combustion sensing and control via feedback from in-cylinder pressure sensors is broken down into the following subtasks.
  • Update to a 2.0 l engine
  • Update to a new combustion feedback controller
  • Evaluation of production intent sensors on engine via comparison of signal to instrument grade sensors,
  • Optimization of combustion metrics and controls for combustion phasing and stability,
  • Correcting individual cylinder A/F's to meet emissions based upon individual cylinder air charge and IMEP
  • Develop combustion control techniques for dynamic engine operation such as a binning concept for spark, fuel, and dilution
  • Application of combustion metrics and emissions for crank-start to include setup and measurement of HC and CO/C02 via fast analyzers

Awarded Amount: $89,861

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

Continuation of Ignition Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-PI: Mahdi Shahbakhti
Co-PI: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This is a program for a continuation of research that Michigan Technological University is conducting in conjunction with the Ford research team. It continues work on ignition with three components: (1) metal engine, (2) optical engine and (3) combustion laboratory.  It follows on from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development,"  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. This work will provide needed data for LES flame kernel model development and validation.

Awarded Amount: $115,000

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

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: Paul Sanders
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

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