Engineering Education Innovation

Engineering education programs must keep up with the pace of globalization and technological advancement. The Engineering Education Innovation research group seeks to understand and improve the total educational experience in order to prepare engineering students for the demands of a changing workplace.

Areas of focus include analyzing student motivation and gain insight into their emotional state as a means to assess the effectiveness of current educational practices. In the process the group is required to shift their methodology from familiar, numerical experiments to the more nuanced measurement often employed by social scientists. With their finding the research group will develop curriculum improvement design to increase students' global competency and lifelong learning skills to better prepare graduates for academic and professional work.

Faculty + Research = Discovery

Our department boasts world-class faculty who have access to numerous innovative research labs and are committed to discovery and learning. This encompasses a range of research areas, experiences, and expertise related to engineering education innovation. Learn more about our faculty and their research interests:

Research Projects

Our faculty engage in a number of research projects, many of which are publicly funded. A sample listing of recent research projects related to the mechanics of multi-scale materials appears below. You can also view a broader list of research projects taking place across the mechanical engineering department.

Recently Funded Projects

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

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: Non-Sterile Oral Solution Dosing System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Objective
Design and prototype an improved non-sterile oral solution dosing system for patient use (from withdrawal of dose to dilution) that simplifies dose preparation and reliably and repeatedly delivers a diluted solution containing the prescribed dosage.
Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Automatic Transmission Efficiency Improvement

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Introduce design improvements aimed at reducing parasitic losses in an automatic transmission and improve its efficiency.
 
Background
Automotive manufacturers are undertaking a significant engineering challenge in working toward compliance of aggressive Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFB) standards mandated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2017 CAFE standard of 44 mpg for passenger cars and 27 mpg for light duty trucks will be progressively increased to an overall standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. To meet these new regulatory requirements, vehicle systems across the board are being scrutinized. Among these systems, improving efficiency of automatic transmissions is seen as a high leverage opportunity.
 
Needs Addressed
Automatic transmission manages power and torque to the vehicle wheels. Conventional 6 speed transmissions use planetary gearsets to shift into different ratios. Inherent in these systems is friction from mechanical, hydraulic, and windage sources. Incremental improvement in any of these subsystems would contribute to a more efficient powertrain, and to a more fuel-efficient vehicle overall.
 
Project Scope
The design team on this project will focus on discovering areas for mechanical efficiency improvement within an automatic transmission. The team will have a high degree of latitude in exploration and discovery of possible strategies for mitigating mechanical losses. The project presents an opportunity to address a real-world problem with a complicated mechanical, hydroelectric system.
Foundationally, the team will have the benefit of a previous team's work, focused on the same challenge, and completed this past December. That team uncovered untapped potential for efficiency improvement in how friction plates interact with automatic transmission fluid during operation
 
Awarded Amount: $25,651

Ongoing Projects

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
Project Summary
Cloud properties are important for the energy budget of the Earth, as both incoming sunlight and outgoing thermal radiation are very sensitive .to cloud variables. Global models need to represent the role of clouds in Earth's coupled climate systems in order to produce reliable projection of climate change. Cloud fraction (CF), cloud top height (CTH), and cloud top wind (CTW) are important cloud properties that can be measured from orbital platforms. We propose here a cloud research mission named Stratus. The goal of the Stratus mission is to build, deploy, and demonstrate a low-cost CubeSat platform capable of measuring CF, CTH, and CTW with performance comparable to the best data obtained from NASA's flagship earth observing spacecraft. Our vision is that Stratus would serve as a pathfinder and, if successful, a number of inexpensive Stratus spacecraft could be deployed to gather extensive data relevant to cloud-driven climate forecast models.
 
The raw data returned by Stratus will be thermal infrared (TIR) images of cloudy scenes in Earth's atmosphere. During Phase I of the mission Stratus will operate in a three-axis-stabilized configuration with TIR imager boresight in the nadir direction. In this configuration Stratus will operate as a cloud surveyor, providing images that directly yield CF.  During Phase II Stratus will collect data that will reveal CTH and CTW. This will be accomplished using asynchronous stereo imaging. In this technique two or more images of the same scene are recorded from different viewpoints. Features in the scene will be shifted laterally from image to image based on the parallax of the viewpoint. This displacement, combined with knowledge of the viewing direction, can be used to extract CTH and CTW. The Stratus vehicle will be integrated from commercially available components with very little custom hardware development. This approach minimizes the schedule risk associated with the 18-month timeline.
 
The Stratus investigating team is led by Prof. Lyon B. King, the Ron and Elaine Starr Professor of Space Systems Engineering at Michigan Tech. Co-I Mike Roggeman is an expert in image processing and Co-I Ossama Abdelkhalik is an expert in spacecraft dynamics and control. Dr. Dong Wu, a cloud and climate expert from the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, is the science customer and NASA collaborator. The faculty and science advisors will be assisted by a PhD graduate student teaching assistant who is provided as cost share by the university. The Stratus design and development will be conducted by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduates organized under the Engineering Enterprise program at Michigan Tech. This team, which is already in place, consists of over 60 students from multiple academic disciplines. Students join the team in their freshman or sophomore years and remain with the team through graduation. The undergraduate team bas significant prior nanosatellite development experience, having recently delivered the 70-kg Oculus-ASR spacecraft to the Air Force Research Laboratory for launch in 2016. A rigorous curriculum exists that will train/mentor the students throughout the program.
Awarded Amount: $232,695

Auris: A CubeSat to Characterize and Locate Geostationary Communication Emitters

Investigators
Principal Investigator: L. King
Co-Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
Co-Investigator: Michael Roggemann
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Abstract:
Dozens of commercial and government spacecraft occupy the geostationary belt to provide global telecommunications service for their customers and operators. As more spacecraft occupy the GEO region the potential for interference grows. Spacecraft in GEO can interfere with each other by (1) close physical proximity, which increases collision risk, and (2) electromagnetic interference (antenna beam overlap) which can degrade communication performance. We propose a mission called Auris, Latin for "the ear," to characterize the interference potential of GEO communications satellites. Using CubeSats in LEO, Auris can spatially map out the antenna spot beam pattern of a GEO comsat and also pinpoint the physical location in space of the GEO emitter. The spot beams are mapped by registering received signal strength, latitude, longitude, and altitude as the CubeSat passes through the beam during multiple orbits. The emitter location is established via time-difference-of-arrival measurements from multiple receivers.
 
The Auris mission data has actionable relevance and will be useful for SMC's Space Superiority Directorate (SMC/SY) and they will be the data customer for the proposed mission; Auris will serve as a pathfinder to mature technologies for future programs of record supported under SMC/SY's strategic direction. The Auris project's data output is aligned to AFSPC tech needs, most directly with TN1022 "Next Generation Space C2 Information Display and Visualization," related to JMS.
 
The nanosatellite design activity will be perfom1ed by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate students through the Michigan Tech Aerospace Enterprise Program. The Aerospace Enterprise team has participated in the UNP competition three times, earning two Third Place awards (UN3 and UN5) and one First Place Award (UN6). The team's Oculus-ASR nanosatellite is presently being readied for flight on the 2016 STP-2 mission that will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
 
Proposed Mission
We propose a mission called Auris, Latin for "the ear," to characterize the interference potential of GEO communications satellites. The Auris mission was inspired by, and heavily leverages, LaSarge's concept to gather intelligence on GEO emitters using cubesats in LEO. Our proposed mission has two goals:
(1) Spatially map out the antenna spot beam patterns radiated from geostationary communications satellites
(2) Demonstrate the ability of cubesat-based receivers to locate the position of RF emitters using multilateration
 
Mission Goal 1:  As CubeSats traverse their LEO orbits they fly through the path of spot beams transmitted from GEO. The CubeSat operates as a simple detector, registering the time and location when it receives the signal from the target emitter. After many orbits the locus of "hits" reported by the CubeSat maps out the shape of the antenna spot beam pattern. The time required to converge on an adequately filled beam map can be accelerated by using multiple CubeSats.
Mission Goal 2: Is to demonstrate a technique to locate the position of a spot beam emitter. LaSarge's original work explored this objective using angle-of-arrival (AOA) information at the CubeSat receiver to detem1ine the line-of-sight vector to the source. This technique was shown to require unreasonable attitude knowledge on the CubeSat in addition to bulky directional antennas. To physically locate an RF emitter we propose, instead, to use time difference of arrival (TDOA) information recorded from multiple receivers.
Awarded Amount: $113,000
Keywords: Nanosatellite Aerospace Enterprise

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
Approach
A multi-tiered approach for attracting young engineers and scientists to naval STEM fields. Our approach develops project-based instruction through Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program, develops a minor in Naval Engineering, interfaces students with Navy personnel, facilities, and programs, significantly contributes to online resources for Navy STEM students, and engages high school students to pursue Navy related STEM fields. This program will be nationally scalable for universities who do not offer naval architecture or ocean engineering majors. The program will be designed with flexibility and agility in mind to quickly adapt to new and emerging Navy S&T needs.
Technical Objective
The goal is to create an undergraduate science and engineering program that focuses students in STEM topics of Navy interest, provides real-world problem-solving based learning, and compels students to seek employment within the Navy upon graduation or pursue graduate research in Navy STEM fields. The primary deliverable of this program is to create a pipeline of diverse STEM graduates, hired into STEM fields within the Navy, capable of supporting the warfighter mission on day-one.
Relevance
Development of new engineers and scientists in STEM fields is of critical long-term importance to the Navy and Navy supported industries in maintaining technological superiority in theater. This technological superiority directly influences the capability and safety of the warfighter. Unfortunately, many STEM graduates are either unaware of Navy careers, or are unprepared for problems facing the Navy STEM workforce. The aim is to provide a steady flow of highly motivated and trained civilian and uniformed Navy engineers and scientists to the Navy’s workforce of the future, capable of supporting the warfighter on day-one. Focus areas will initially be underwater acoustics, noise control for noise induced hearing loss, autonomy and control, and unmanned vehicle design. Each of these fields are critical to the S&T strategic plan of the Navy and the Navy’s Force of the Future. S&T focus areas initially include Assure access to the Maritime Battlespace, Autonomy and Unmanned Systems, and Warfighter Performance, and can expand in the future. Future expansion of the successful program will include other Navy S&T focus areas such as computer science (Big Data), materials science, electrical engineering, and others.
Implementation
Develops project based instruction through Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program, develops a minor in Naval Engineering, interfaces students with Navy personnel, facilities, and programs, significantly contributes to online resources for Navy STEM students, and engages high school students to pursue Navy related STEM fields. This program is nationally scalable for universities who do not offer a naval architecture or ocean engineering major.
Awarded Amount: $643,954

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

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

NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship: PhD Graduate Research - Mass Measurements of an Electrospray Beam from a Single Emitter Ionic Liquid Ferrofluid Electrospray Source.

Awarded Amount: $284,000

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

Past Projects

Enterprise: Bauer Pit Project

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Paul van Susante
College/School: College of Engineering,  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

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

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: 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

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: 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: 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: 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
College/School: Pavlis Honors College,  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

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
Keywords: Nano-satellite Aerospace Enterprise

Senior Design: Multi-Lever Mechantronic Gearshift Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and prototype a multi-lever gearshift control for high-performance automatic transmissions.
 
Background
Multi-lever racing gearshifts were made popular many years ago in NHRA Funny Car competition. Lenco transmissions commonly found in these racecars were fitted with shifters incorporating multiple levers so as to more easily shift during a race. These Lenco's were manually shifted manual planetary transmissions. Lenco simply incorporated a lever for each stage of their gears including a reverse into their gearshift control. Thus if you had a 3-speed you would have a 3 levers for the forward gears and 1 for the reverser. If you had a 4-speed or later added a stage to make your 3-speed a 4-speed you could then add a lever. Oldsmobile built on this popularity and partnered with Hurst, offering the Hurst-Olds 442 with the Lightning Rod Shifters in 1983-84. The Lightning was made to emulate the 'cool factor' of the Lenco style gearshift and was available for just the 3-speed automatic. These shifters have actually become fairly valuable on the collector market, and can fetch $1500-$2000 for an NOS example.
 
Needs Addressed
Gear Vendors (http://www.gearvendors.com) is a well-known manufacturer of high quality high performance overdrives for race-level transmissions. They mate their overdrive typically to 3 and 4 speed classic performance (THM-400, 4L60 etc) transmissions, as well as many special builds as can be seen on their website. They have identified a need among their customer base for special gearshift controls for these extreme performance builds along the lines of the Lenco/Lightning Rod multi-lever design and have sent MTU an initial design for these applications. Gear Vendors wishes to expand the multi-lever to non-gear vendors equipped 5, 6, and 8 speed automatics that are currently paddle shifted as a way of enlarging their market beyond the muscle car era customer.
 
Project Scope
This design project will focus on creating a new concept to fill this need. This is an excellent opportunity for car enthusiasts, racers, and hot rodders to work creatively to come up with an electro/mechanical version of the iconic multi-lever gearshift control.
 
Modem transmissions are controlled electronically, requiring the gearshift unit to interact with the vehicle network for proper transmission control. FMVSS and safety standards also require mechanical functionality, including mechanical 'pull-out-of-Park' control and redundant input features. In addition, haptic feedback and subjective feel are very important in these types of shifters. As such, electrical and mechanical engineers will find some unique challenges in this design project.
The customer has asked this design team to focus on two known need cases:
  1. Late model Camaros and Corvettes, Mustangs, Challengers and Chargers: These cars have 5spd, 6spd, or 8spd automatics depending on model and year. The 5 spd would have one less lever.
  1. Owners who swap one of the above late model transmission into their early muscle car
 Project Objectives
  • Design and prototype a multi-lever gearshift incorporating the following:

- durable- focus on best practice bearing, bushing arrangements

- adjustable haptic feedback- incorporate features able to he 'tuned' for varying customer preferences (i.e. lever feel, switch feel, resistance levels, overcenter shift feedback, etc.)

- park lock and BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock) functionality (ref FMVSS 114, etc)

- gearshift architecture should incorporate 6 levers:

  • Full documentation package for final design

- BOM, CAD drawings, analyses, schematics, parts lists, etc.

  • Documentation (sketches, drawings, etc) of all designs and proposals considered, leading up to final design choice

  • Student survey of patent space, competitive benchmarking.
Awarded Amount: $25,650

Delivery of Hands-On Professional Development Courses in Diesel Engine Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
The short courses are specifically designed in response to requests from the Powertrain HEXOA group. The Mobile Lab delivered two courses to the Powertrain HEXOA group in the fall of 2014. Those courses were "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines" and "Instrumentation Systems". The courses proposed in this document are "Diesel Engine Calibration", and "Turbocharging Diesel Engines".
 
Michigan Tech's "Digital Signal Processing" or "Using Labview" would complement 2014's offering of "Instrumentation Systems". Additionally other advanced diesel engine courses such as "Diesel Engine Fuel Systems" and "Diesel Engine Combustion" would complement the 2014 offering of "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines". Furthermore, there may be benefit in offering the same "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines", or "Instrumentation Systems" that were offered in 2014. These courses could be of benefit to any new employees in the HEXOA group that were not able to take these courses in 2014, or could be of value to other groups outside of HEXOA. These course options will not be discussed in detail here, however, additional detail can be provided on request.
 
Participants in the Diesel Engine Calibration course (detailed schedule shown above) gain an understanding of the challenges associated with calibrating a modern diesel engine, as well as the processes and tools used to develop a completed calibration. Additional outcomes are summarized below:
  • In day One 2 participants will gain an appreciation for the motivation behind engine calibration, and the requirements the calibration must meet, and start to examine the major elements of an engine control system. A hands on experiment reinforces these topics, and prepares participants for forthcoming experiments.
  • In day Two the course digs deeper into calibration processes, and breaks down common misconceptions about the relationship between calibrations, algorithms, and software.
During hands-on activities, participants will develop passive calibrations for a fuel injector and a multivariate torque model calibration on a diesel engine.
  • In day Three participants will continue to enhance their calibration understanding by developing active calibrations optimizing engine parameters for injection timing and EGR rate. Participants will become familiar with calibration verification, certification, and trends in calibration.
 Participants in the Turbocharging Diesel Engines course (detailed schedule shown below} will develop a thorough understanding of turbocharger systems, including operational characteristics, as well as details associated with the design and selection of turbocharger systems for specific diesel engine applications. Additional outcomes are summarized below:
  • In day One 3 the course will build an appreciation for the benefits and needs for turbocharging through examinations of key engine performance metrics and exercises in selecting an engine for a specific application.
  • In day Two the engine gas exchange process and engine airflow characteristics are reviewed, with specific emphasis on the turbochargers impact. The specifics of turbomachinery are examined, including the thermodynamics associated with energy extraction and gas compression.
  • Day Three focuses on issues arising from application of turbocharger systems including material and fatigue issues, altitude issues, and transient issues.
 
Course content for both the Calibration of Diesel Engines course, and the Turbocharging Diesel Engines course has been customized to meet the needs of the HEXOA group specifically. The instructional team is committed to ensuring that course lecture materials, activities, discussions, and experiments are well scoped toward the particular target audience.
Awarded Amount: $84,858

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

Senior Design: Piezoelectric Bone Sculptor – Phase 2

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Building on the work completed by the 2014/2015 Capstone Project Team, further develop the Bone Sculptor concept into a practical embodiment, including development of cutting accessories suited to the range of motion and cutting forces the device is able to produce.
Background
Stryker Instruments design and produce a wide range of medical equipment that make surgery more efficient, reduce trauma, and improve techniques. The company is known for a wide range of innovative operating room products, including power tools, advanced systems for waste management, irrigation, personal protection, and pain management. The company focuses on improving surgery and related techniques by developing instruments that are more reliable, more intuitive, and less complicated to use.
Need(s) Addressed
Stryker Instruments Neuro, Spine and ENT High Speed Surgical Drills and the Sonopet Ultrasonic Aspirator system provide surgeons with options for resecting or shaping bone at different rates and degree of precision. High-speed drills such as Sabex and S2, together with the wide variety of cutting accessories they drive, offer high rates of resection when large sections of bone are to be surgically removed. The Sonopet system offers very fine and highly precise bone cutting and sculpting functions, but at comparatively low removal rates when the need for precision prevails. This project is predicated on the need for an instrument with bone cutting performance spanning between the current high speed drill and ultrasonic offerings, one offering both precision and reasonable rate of resection for certain procedures where current offering may not be ideal. The need in the market is the safe and effective removal of bone in general, and bone sculpting in particular, through a mechanism employing reciprocating (as opposed to rotary) motion of a cutting accessory without introducing energy at or above ultrasonic frequencies.
Awarded Amount: $24,535

Senior Design: Surgical Power Tool Hub Interface

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design an interface between a motor and an interchangeable cutting attachment. The motor and cutting attachment in combination form a surgical device used during Neuro, Spine or ENT surgeries for resecting soft tissue.
Background
Stryker is a medical device company. One of the products Stryker offers is the ESSx Microdebrider (shaver). The shaver is primarily used in sinus surgery to resect soft tissue. The shaver provides irrigation to the surgical site as well as suction in order to remove tissue, which is cut by a scissoring action which happens between a rotating and stationary blade on the cutting attachment.
Need(s) Addressed
The ESSx Microdebrider is being redesigned to be more competitive in the market. The ESSx Microdebrider will be more competitive by addressing user annoyances associated with fluid leaking as well as usability improvements to the locking mechanism.
Project Scope
Design a new hub interface that has the following attributes:
  • Fluid path to transfer saline from the motor to the cutting attachment in order to provide irrigation to the surgical sight Suction path to remove waste fluid and debris from the surgical sight
  • Static interface between motor and outer tube of the cutting attachment
  • Dynamic interface between the motor's rotor and inner tube of cutting attachment
  • Retention mechanism between motor and cutting attachment
 The design will need to also consider:
  • The motor is reusable and will need to be able to withstand cleaning and sterilization environments
  • Cost considerations of the disposable cutting accessory
  • Dimension constraints (maximum diameter of the motor and cutting attachment's outer tube and motor, minimum diameter of the cutting attachment's inner tube)
Awarded Amount: $24,535

Senior Design: High Speed Drill-cutting Accessory Collet Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Develop a collet mechanism for a high speed drill that securely grips a proprietary drill bit notch rotating at 75,000 rpm that fits in a 0.1875" tube.
Need(s) Addressed
This project will aim to build a mechanical collet assembly that can clamp on to the newer notch design, thus extending Stryker IP protection without the need for to develop new notch geometry. Developing new geometries for a cutting accessory notch is extremely difficult. The geometry has to be unique and with hundreds of cutting accessory notch designs created over the years, options are limited. For Stryker, this is reason enough to attempt to use an existing geometry. Holding IP allows Stryker to control what cutting accessories a customer can use with a Stryker drill system.
Project Scope
Design space is limited to a sub-assembly within a larger attachment assembly; however creating a successful prototype would involve an understanding of the larger assembly.
Project Objectives
1. Produce a sub assembly working prototype. (Proof of concept)
2. Produce a set of detailed engineering part prints, plus an assembly print, that will detail the manufacture of a collet device.
3. Provide a stress analysis report showing stress concentrations on the critical features. The report should include changes made and resulting stress results. This report should include both FEA results as well as manual calculations confirming general assumptions.
4. Produce a working prototype within an existing Stryker High Speed Drill Attachment.
Awarded Amount: $34,535

Senior Design: Driveline NVH Improvement

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and prototype a North South (N-S) driveline system that can effectively transmit torque from transmission to wheels and effectively isolates vibrations and noise that occur: 1) during static engagements of transmission (Park to Drive, Park to Reverse, and Reverse to Drive), and 2) driving maneuvers that produce a transient time response (Tip In and Tip Out).
Background
Customer expectations for enhanced performance and technology with smooth and quiet ride require auto manufacturers to continue to leap forward in advancement of technologies that can deliver the perceived smooth and quiet ride.
Need(s) Addressed
The driveline system helps deliver the torque from the transmission to the wheels but can provide vibration and noise that can be perceived as loud and rough. Traditional driveline systems use existing technologies (dampers and liners) to reduce vibration and dampen noise.
The need is to develop a driveline system that eliminates the vibration and noise generated during the torque transfer from transmission to wheels thru advanced technologies and materials.
Project Scope
This project will focus on the development of the technologies and materials for an N-S driveline system that can provide the required torque but eliminate the vibration and noise that is generated during the torque transfer.
 The design team on this project will have the latitude to investigateeither recently introduced technologies or future concept technologies that will assist in the elimination of vibration and noise in the driveline system. The learning from this project will be used to advance the driveline system to deliver the required torque from transmission to wheel but provide the customer the smooth and quiet ride experience.
Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Axial Worm Gear Damper Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal
Design and prototype an axial worm gear damper to replace passive dampers currently used.
Background
Nexteer Automotive is a well-known global supplier of steering systems. As power steering systems have migrated to electrically powered designs, specific design challenges present themselves. Among these challenges is to provide precise and acceptable 'feel' for the driver.
 Challenges exist in reconciling design factors within these steering systems. These factors often compete and conflict. Looseness in the system can promote higher efficiencies and often better dynamics, but also allows rattle and other negative NVH factors to be experienced by the driver. If the system is overly tight, aiding in controlling these negative NVH factors, heavy and sluggish steering is often the result. Based on these and other competing factors, a need exists for an improved dampening approach.
Project Scope
Design an axial worm damper to replace the current passive dampers. The new damper can be active (feedback loop) or passive (fixed or open loop). The design should include the ability to change the damper performance with respect to compliance and damping properties. A passive design should be easily adjustable for compliance and damping to allow vehicle specific tuning for ride and handling and NVH. An active design would have the ability to automatically adjust compliance and damping depending on vehicle attributes and/or system requirements. Axial sliding friction should be as low as possible. Dampers must restrain the axial force generated during a steering event to keep the worm centered on the worm gear, while allowing motion along the axis of the worm during a high rate torsional event in the worm gear (i.e. rough road input). Cost is always a significant factor in automotive design and should be considered for this project as well. Worm, damper and bearings should be free of rattle.
 Given that this is an Electric Power Steering System the use of an Electro-mechanical solution would be strongly supported. Labview is recommended but not required to use as the source code to control the electro-mechanical device associated with the damper. Labview is readily available at both Nexteer and MTU. Voltage should be 12v, current should be limited to (TBD) amps.
 The scope of this project includes concept development and design of the damper in the first semester with a functionally demonstrative prototype system delivered before the end of the school year.
Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Agricultural Tractor Three-Point Hitch Load Measurement System

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal: Design and prototype an agricultural tractor three-point hitch load measurement system.
Background
Agricultural tractors provide motive force to a wide variety of implements and attachments.
A common attachment method employs a three-point hitch at the front and/or rear of the tractor.
Accurate measurement of forces and moments transmitted to the tractor chassis through the three-point hitch is crucial to component and system design optimization.
Need(s) Addressed
The most common method of determining transmitted forces and couples is the application of strain gages to individual hitch components, turning each into a transducer through calibration. Another common method is the use of instrumented pins to measure pin joint forces within the linkage. Both methods require complex analyses to resolve the individual inputs into basic tractor coordinate X, Y, Z forces and moments. Additionally, the design, manufacture, calibration, and maintenance of custom transducers specific to individual tractor designs is time consuming and expensive.
A need has been identified to develop a hitch load measurement system, which relies on readily available, commercial force transducers and a common architecture to provide a universal measurement tool that is easily repaired/maintained and compatible with several classes of three point hitch geometry/type.
Project Scope
This project will focus on the design of a universal three-point hitch load measurement system. The design should conform to industry standard geometry to insure compatibility with tractors and implements. Additionally the design must consider the need to route electrical harnesses, multiple flexible hydraulic lines, and power take off (PTO) shafts to the connected implement. A key requirement of the design is the use of commonly available load cells or load measurement devices to provide a robust design that is easily repairable and maintainable. Excitation and signal conditioning for the multiple load measurement devices will be supplied via external mobile data acquisition systems.

 

Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Automated Seat Test System

Investigators
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Goal: Design and prototype an automated seat test system.
Background/ Project Domain
Magna Seating is a worldwide supplier of automotive seating systems. These systems are supplied to many OEM's, and include associated mechanisms, hardware, structural aspects, trim, and electronic controls. These seating systems are fully qualified prior to leaving Magna's production facility.
Need(s) Addressed:
There are a number of critical aspects to the manufacture of a typical seating system, and each assembly is thoroughly checked for quality of these aspects prior to shipment. Mechanical and electrical functions are checked on a 100% basis, as well as visual quality checks for acceptable trim and appearance. The current process involves manual checks, where two checking systems are manned to maintain required production throughput. Ultimately, this can involve 6 people over three crews, manning these system check stations. A need has been identified for automation of this seat system function check station, requiring less manual input.
Project Scope
This design team will focus on designing, prototyping, and demonstrating basic functionality of such an automated system.
Project Objectives
Design and prototype an automated seat test station comprising the following:
Functionality:
- Up/down fore/aft motion
- Heating function
- Continuity check
- I/O check
Awarded Amount: $30,780

Senior Design: Multiple Filter Changer Apparatus Design

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

Project Goal

Provide a fully functional filter changer design that can be integrated into an existing system with a higher success rate than the current design.

 Background

Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

 The project is to design an automated filter changer with an integrated filter sampler to replace a current filter changer I filter sampler design of an AEI particulate emissions cart. The current filter changer design historically has had operational issues that have prevented testing from being completed. The issues revolve around the sampler's ability to move filters into and out of the sampler.

 The current system has two canisters that hold banks of filters (one for clean filters and one for soiled filters) that twist lock into the filter changer system from the top of the sampler. The clean filters drop down vertically and are transferred into the sampler via a rotating table. The filter is scanned to identify the filter and pair it with other data that will be collected. A filter separator (aluminum plate to prevent filter contamination) is then moved to the soiled filter canister allowing the filter to be moved into the sampler. Once the test is complete, the filter is then moved out of the sampler by the rotating table and into the soiled canister.

 There are numerous other emissions solution companies such as A VL and Horiba that provide whole particulate sampling systems with different filter changer options. Cummins Inc. is looking for a filter changer system that is compatible with the current sampling system. The filter changer I sampler system must comply with any and all EPA 40 CFR part 1065 regulations for nonroad and stationary diesel engines

 Need(s) Addressed

The customer requires a complete filter changer with sampler design. The filter changer must be able to move clean filters into and out of the filter sampler. The filter changer also must be able to identify the filter in order to have testing data to be paired with the filter. The system must work with an EPA 1065 compliant 47mm filters. The filter changer I sampler design must also be able to provide feedback as to its operational status. This can include but is not limited to actions being performed (loading, unloading, sampler open etc.) and location of the filter in the system. The design must be easy to be serviced for maintenance and troubleshooting purposes to minimize test cell downtime. The design should prevent filter contamination (particles from other filters, particles in the air, etc.) during the loading and unloading process. Though new emission control rooms are conditioned some areas are not and the design needs to be able to operate in hot and humid environments (temperatures up to 130 degree F). The systems computer control must have an easy to use interface that is able to provide communication updates and or status updates to the sampling systems computer as well as the main test cell computer. The sampler must be able to be leak checked to ensure that during testing all of the sample gas passes over the filter face. The sample system must not restrict the flow of the sample gas on the filter face.

The sample system must limit electrical use if powered by sample cart itself. However there are not power restrictions if the filter changer I sampler is feed by an outside power source. Lastly the system must not damage and or touch the filter surface at any time.

 The end user of this project will be test cell operators and emission technicians. The test cell operators need to be able to easily load no less 12 clean filters into the sampler without touching the filter media. If possible a target of 25 filters would be preferred. The soiled filters must also be easily removed from the emissions cart. The emissions technicians will be carrying out the preventative maintenance on the cart and must be able to service and or repair the system with ease.

 This project aims to resolve operational issues with the current filter changer. The design must be able to cycle filters with no errors over a high volume of filters. The filter changer communication must not drop out with the test cell at any point during the test. The filter changer must also fit in the existing emissions cart to minimize the impact of replacing the current filter changer I sampler system. A full list of specifications will be provided to the students at the beginning of the project.

 Project Scope

The project scope is to design a system to move filters into and out of a sampler. The system must be automated and have a user interface that can provide outputs.

 Project Objectives

Develop a system that will load and unload filters into and out of a sampler with high repeatability and no system failures

  • Filter changer must have a minimum capacity of 12 filters
  • Load and unload filters into the system in least amount of time
  • Load and unload filters into filter sampler in least amount of time
  • Filter sampler must have an easy to use interface I commands to control operation
  • Provide a list of commands for operation of the system
  • Provide a list of error codes for system failures
Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Bearing Adjuster Sleeve Lock Design

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

Project Goal

Design and build prototype of an improved bearing adjuster lock that will fit within the packaging constraints of the existing axle assembly.

 Background

The differential bearing adjusters in a clamshell front axle are designed to be adjusted from outside the axle, as this design does not have a removable cover pan. The bearing adjusters need to be locked in place after adjustment is complete. The current design uses a powdered metal lock ring that presses in place between two serrated diameters on the bearing adjuster assembly. The interference between the lock ring and the mating components prevents rotation of the bearing adjuster.

 Need(s) Addressed

In some axles the straight knurl on the inner diameter of the bearing adjuster lock ring shears off. This allows the bearing adjuster to rotate, changing the differential bearing preload and the hypoid gearset backlash. This will eventually result in axle failure. A need exists to introduce an improved bearing adjuster locking mechanism.

 Project Scope

This design team will have the opportunity to introduce an improved bearing adjuster locking scheme, starting with a ‘clean sheet’. Certain design constraints do exist, however, such as the need to function within the packaging constraints of the existing axle assembly. New designs can be based on a redesigned lock ring, or an entirely new scheme, as long as the design constraints outlined in are respected.

 During the January semester, this team will work closely with a second design team that started in the fall semester of 2014. That team will be building a test rig, which can be used to evaluate and/or validate any new designs under consideration. Use of that test rig, and early collaboration with the fall-2014 team, are anticipated to provide an excellent opportunity for design innovation to be realized.

 This design team will be responsible for:

1. Acquiring an understanding of the conditions that lead to bearing adjuster failure

2. Designing an improved bearing adjuster sleeve lock scheme

3. Validating the performance of the new design

4. Demonstrating improved performance over current production lock ring

 Project Objectives

• Design, prototype, and validate an improved bearing adjuster lock device

  1. must function within the existing axle assembly packaging constraints
  2. must be able to have infinite adjustment that can be 'locked' into position in the ideal location
  3. must be serviceable at customer's manufacturing facilities and at dealerships

• Provide full BOM of final design

Awarded Amount: $20,520

Senior Design: Vacuum Noise Reduction

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

Project Goal

Improve the noise emission of BISSELL Bolt cordless vacuum product.

 Background

BISSELL manufactures and markets vacuums, carpet sweepers, deep cleaners, hard surface appliances and a full line of floor cleaning consumables. Founded 137 years ago in Grand Rapids, the family-owned company sells more vacuums and floor cleaners than any other company in the world. A key customer satisfaction component for any product in this field is noise emitted during use of the product. A lower noise output level overall, or if emitted noise is focused in less sensitive areas, is usually related to higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately a more successful product.

 Need(s) Addressed

Bissell is looking to improve noise emission characteristics of their Bolt product. A number of possible sources have been identified, such as motor noise, vibration-induced buzzing by components or case, and acoustic resonances within the product. The list of possibilities of noise sources is not complete at this time. The customer would like to expand that list, identify most prominent noise sources, and explore design options aimed to mitigate noise and improve the overall acoustic profile of the product.

 Project Scope

This design team will focus on identifying noise emission sources during operation of the product, prioritizing them in order of noise level, and designing countermeasures to improve them. The team will need to schedule time for initial testing of as-produced product, the design process for countermeasures, and validation testing for measuring the effectiveness of the design.

The vacuum used as the focal point for this project is a current production product. As such, some design options that may be promising as far as potential to reduce noise, may not fit well for this product if large-scale production tool rework is required. Given this criterion, some design options will rank higher than others for specific application to this product. On the other hand, if the current production criterion were to be removed and other design options are found to rank more highly, the customer should be made aware of the team's findings. The team is encouraged to bring all options to the table during the brainstorming process. The customer may elect to evaluate these design points for future product redesigns.

Cost impact for all design options must be included in any relative evaluations. Also, changes to existing components can be considered if they do not drive a full retool. Additional components to the product can be considered, although cost impact remains a key design consideration. Removal of existing components can be considered, as well as one-for-one component replacement.

Project Objectives

• Determine top five sound sources or "hot spots"

• Determine if these areas are mainly structure or air based sounds

• Investigate sound profile of vacuum motor alone and then in product

     - Which spectrums increase/decrease?

• Investigate proper motor mounting for given product

     - New mounting means must maintain seals/alignment/etc. while reducing vibration       transmission

     - How do localized changes in housing wall thicknesses effect sound/vibration transmission?

• Design and prototype an improved product incorporating the most promising noise emission reduction design points the team conceives                                                                                     

     -Suggestions to mitigate overall noise/vibration levels should be made in the context of a product tool modification, not a retool                                                                                                    

    - Solutions should not add additional parts/components if possible

• Validate new design and evaluate effectiveness compared to original product test

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Solving Cold Temperature Diesel Fuel Filter Plugging Issues

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

Project Goal

Design and prototype a potentially marketable solution that can increase the temperature of diesel engine supply fuel entering the fuel filters at least 20°C (36°F) in -20°C (-4°F) ambient conditions.

Background

Donaldson Company, Inc. researches, designs and manufactures diverse filtration solutions and products in the industrial and engine markets, including dust collection, power generation, compressed air purification, off-road equipment, industrial compressors, heavy trucks and light vehicles. Some competitors in the diesel fuel filtration industry include Parker Racor, Cummins Fleetguard and Baldwin.

 Waxes in standard #2 diesel fuel solidify as the fuel temperature drops below about 0°C (32°F), which is often referred to as gelling. The solid wax particles plug fuel filters and cause engines to lose power, stall, and/or not staii. Additionally, water in the fuel freezes creating ice crystals that also plug filters. The solution will involve raising the temperature of the fuel to keep the waxes and water in solution so they freely pass through the fuel filters.

 Current products include (but are not limited to) resistive or Positive Thermal Coefficient (PTC) electrical heating elements inside the filter housing and in contact with the fuel, heated blankets attached to the outside of the filter housing or fuel line leading to the filter, fuel tank heaters using a heat exchanger and engine coolant and fuel return circuits that return warmed fuel to the filter inlet instead of the fuel tank during cold operation.

 Problem Domain

Fuel filters used in High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) systems filter down to about 2 microns. Wax and ice crystal solids are trapped in the filter, restrict flow and cause engine power loss, stalling and no start conditions. Filters used on standard pump-line-nozzle and unit injector systems did not filter down to 2 microns, so, fuel gelling has become more of an issue with modern HPCR systems.

Issues can occur in three operational modes at cold ambient temperatures:

  1. Cold start after a cold soak
  2. W aim-up period following a cold start
  3. Fully warmed engine

At the onset of fuel gelling the filters will begin to plug and restrict fuel flow. If this fuel were to bypass the fuel filters the engine would continue to run because the fuel still flows and can be pumped. With further cooling the fuel eventually reaches its pour point, at which it no longer flows or can be pumped. An engine cannot run on this fuel even when the filters are bypassed. As fuel gels the filters begin to plug, which is why the emphasis is placed on fuel filters when discussing engine operational problems with gelled fuel.

Need(s) Addressed

The customer (OEM engine manufacturer) needs to sell high quality and reliable products at acceptable profit margins. Cost reductions and improved operational efficiencies are continually pursued so adding any cost to the product is scrutinized. The OEM also needs the solution to be easily packaged such that engines fitted with this solution may be installed into diverse vehicles and applications with ideally no modifications to electrical, coolant, exhaust, fuel, and oil systems. OEMs often attach engine control computers and fuel filters directly to the engine to facilitate simple engine fitment into various vehicles and applications, thus avoiding designing vehicle specific computer mounting locations, wiring harnesses, fuel filter locations and fuel lines and fittings and etc. Additionally, not every engine needs the solution and unless the solution is virtually free it's likely the OEM will make it a dealer installed option. Therefore, the solution should be easily installable by a dealer.

 The end-user needs the machinery to support profitable business operations and does not tolerate downtime for unscheduled repairs. The end user also desires simple maintenance procedures with easy access to frequently maintained items.

 Fuel filters that plug with gelled fuel during cold weather operation cause engine power loss, stalling and /or no start conditions. While the end-user does have responsibility to use the appropriate fuel for the temperature conditions, there is some end-user expectation that the OEM manufacturer provide a robust fuel system that is more tolerant to low temperatures. The OEM manufacturer may then push this customer desire upstream to the filter manufacturer, since the filter is perceived as the source of the engine operational problems resulting from cold temperature fuel gelling. However, the OEM may be reluctant to add cost for a feature without data supporting the value of the benefit to the end-user. In short, OEM manufacturers and end users want an effective solution to filter plugging in cold temperatures which is easily fitted as a dealer installed option and cost effective for the end-user.

 Project Scope

Provide a potentially marketable solution that raises the temperature of diesel engine supply fuel entering the fuel filters at least 20°C (36°F) above an ambient temperature of -20°C (-4°F) during operation.

There are three operational modes related to fuel gelling and filter plugging:

1. Cold start after a cold soak period

a. It's possible that an engine may not start from gelled fuel plugging the filter during a cold start attempt. This is most likely to occur if the engine had been shut off when gelled fuel had been plugging the filter during previous engine operation.

2. Warm-up period following a cold start

a. A common issue is gradual filter plugging during the approximately 15 minutes of run time following a cold start. Excessive filter pressure drop triggers alarms and causes reduced power output. The engine must be shut off and the plugged filter issue addressed.

3. Maintaining engine operation of a fully warmed-up engine

a. Once the engine is running and warmed up the supply fuel entering the filters should be heated sufficiently, but not overheated, to prevent gelling at the filter inlet. Even fully warmed engines can lose power or stall from gelled fuel plugging the filters while operating in cold ambient temperatures.

 Project Objectives

• Develop a functionally demonstrative prototype of best concept

• Document the top 3-4 concepts evaluated and include a typical decision matrix tool for ranking them. Include energy calculation results of concepts.

• Create spreadsheet to calculate temperature increase of supply fuel given the various inputs stated previously for the 3 energy sources.

• Provide data and analysis of instrumented prototype showing applicable flow rates, temperatures, pressure drops and electrical power applicable to selected prototype solution.

• Provide bill of material for best concept with estimated costs for material, purchased parts and labor.

• Provide test report summarizing concepts evaluated, photos of prototype and test setup, test results, conclusions and recommended future development.

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Tool-less Lawn Mower Blade Attachment

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

Project Goal

Design, prototype and evaluate a tool-less lawn mower blade attachment system that allows for quick, in the field blade changes.

Background

Traditionally, a lawn mower blade is attached to a lawn mower spindle with a threaded fastener. Every lawn mower manufacturer has a unique design and assembly method for how to make this critical connection. They have employed countless types of both common and custom bolt and locking washer designs to ensure that these connections are robust. Due to the obvious safety concerns and potential liability with spinning a 3 lb. piece of sharp steel at 19,000 feet per minute, the integrity of these connections are critical. Adding another variable to the equation is the fact that the well-engineered initial blade connection made at the lawn mower manufacturer only exists until the end user needs to change or sharpen the lawn mower blade(s). For most average homeowners, this may only be done once per season. However, for commercial lawn care professionals, lawn mower blades could be changed as frequently as once per week, or even daily. This leads to a continual loading and unloading on the affected components which over time, can lead to fatigue failures and dangerous blade detachment. Even with all of this, when properly assembled and torqued, these designs work well.

Because of the high levels to assembly torque required to keep these connections together, pneumatic tools are typically used to install and uninstall these threaded fasteners. This will require lawn care professionals to drive the mower at least back to the landscape trailer, if not back to the shop in order to have access to the compressed air required to power the pneumatic tools. For home owners or lawn care professionals without an air compressor, this install and uninstall is required to be done manually. This is typically done with a large socket and ratchet wrench and with a block of wood to wedge between the blade and mower deck to keep the blade from turning as torque is applied. This can be dangerous as a high amount of effort is required and any tool slippage can easily result is personal injury.

One can now understand why there is a desire to invent a tool-less blade change system. A few other lawn mower manufacturers have invented and patented systems like this and there are a few on the market today.

 Need(s) Addressed

There is a need in the outdoor power equipment industry for an innovative tool-less lawn mower blade attachment system, which can address the issues noted above.

Project Scope

This project will focus on the design of a new tool-less lawn mower blade changing system.

The team will work closely with Ariens engineering throughout the design process in building an understanding of key issues involved and evaluating various design approaches.

Project Objectives

• Design and prototype a tool-less blade attachment system

  1. Understand current lawn mower blade attachment methods (i.e. fastener types, torque requirements, generated clamp loads, etc.), in order to understand requirements for safe and assured blade attachment
  2. Generate multiple design concepts and narrow down with regards for functionality, durability, cost, etc.
  3. Design must comprehend the requirements of ANSI B71.3 & B71.4 with regards for lawn mower blade retention requirements.
Awarded Amount: $22,304

Senior Design: Snowblower Quick-adjustable Skid Shoes

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

Project Goal

Design and prototype a "quick adjust" mechanism that controls snowblower cutter bar height from the operator position.

Background

Many snowblower users have both solid surface (asphalt, concrete) and rough surface (gravel, grass, etc.) areas that need to be cleared. Snowblowers have a scraper bar that is set a fixed distance from the ground by skid shoes. For solid surfaces it is desirable to have the scraper bar set as low to the ground as possible. For rough surfaces it is desirable to set the scraper bar higher. This setting leaves unblown snow, but prevents the user from tearing up grass or blowing gravel.

 Need(s) Addressed

Today's snowblowers used skid shoes to set the snowblower scraper bar height. The skid shoes are adjustable by loosening 4 bolts, setting the machine to the desired height, and re-tightening the bolts. If a customer wants to clear snow from both solid surfaces and rough surfaces it is a fairly long process to re-set the machine. A need has been identified for a more user-friendly and seamless skid shoe height adjustment arrangement allowing a user to change height while blowing snow.

 Project Scope

This design team will focus on designing such a system. The team will work closely with Ariens engineering throughout the design process. Operating conditions and known issues will be discussed and accommodated in designs considered. As the team progresses, key system attributes and functionality will be evaluated and discussed.

 Project Objectives

• Design and prototype a quick adjust skid shoe system onto an existing snowblower

  1. Demonstrate functionality and use of final design integrated into an existing production snowblower
  2. Design must be able to be integrated into a wide range of snowblowers
  3. Design must allow user to adjust skid shoe height from the operator's position
  4. Must be intuitive for any operator to use
  5. Explore possibility of the design incorporated into a 'kit' of sorts that would allow owners to incorporate system into existing machines in the field
  6. Could be directly integrated into newly manufactured machines, while the kit could be offered to existing owners
  7. Production cost of any design is a key driver and must be considered in light of functionality enhancements

• Full documentation package of final design including BOM, CAD models, etc.

• Student survey of patent space, competitive benchmarking

• Summary of estimated capital investment (i.e. tooling, gages, fixtures, etc.) that may be required to implement final design in a production environment.

Awarded Amount: $22,304

Senior Design: Pickup Truck Bed Side Access Design

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

Project Scope/Goal

The forward section of the truck bed has limited access for many types of cargo. A forward access system can give customers improved usage of this area and allow more efficient load and unload activities. The new design must allow ease of access to cargo stored inside and near the front of the truck bed. It must allow ease of entry into and out of the truck bed. It must meet all functional objectives of a truck bed and door systems such as durability, sag, set, closing efforts. The design must accommodate typical customer accessories such as tonneau covers, bed caps, tie downs and cargo dividers.

Projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and re-worked toward meeting the design requirements.

Project Description (Work Plan)

Design, Engineer, Build, and Test a Pickup Truck Bed Side Access System - Design and prototype an access system for the forward truck bed area from the passenger's side of the vehicle. The project requires an innovative design that is lightweight and low cost to implement. The design space is focused on the current bed area between the rear wheel opening and the cab on the passenger side of the truck. All durability and safety requirements must be met. An investigation of current designs and solutions from competitors should be included.

Once the concept design is developed, physical properties of the components will need to be constructed. Existing componentry can be supplied by the customer for modifications.

The customer can provide the following:

• Current design models

• Load requirements for cargo.

• Durability requirements.

• Truck bed partial property.

• Hinge and latch components if needed.

 

University Deliverables to Chrysler are:

• Design two or more concepts for truck bed side access that:

o Meets load and durability requirements

o Accommodates customer accessories

o Shows innovation and customer appeal

• Select the top candidate and build a model property for physical evaluation

• Provide documentation of performance evaluations

• Provide summary of concept evaluations, competitive designs and customer input.

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: 4 Passenger Vehicle B-Pillar Design

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

Project Scope

For the upper structure of a vehicle the B-pillar is a primary load path in designing for side impact loads (FMVSS 214 and HHS Side) and roof strength loads (FMVSS 216a and IIHS Roof Strength).

The B-Pillar of four-door vehicles is a critical structural member that needs to resist two primary load cases: roof crush and side impact. These pillars tend to have rather complicated shapes from top to bottom managing the attachments of seat belt retractors, adjustable turning loops, trim, and the like, while providing the flanges to mount the door seal. Due to all these requirements there are various options with regard to the section properties and material choices.

As structural members such as this are highly formed complex shapes, extensive modeling of realistic dynamic loads experienced during these impact events are extremely work intensive and costly. As such, simple yet accurate representations are routinely analyzed during the course of development. A typical B-Pillar, given both its structural and interface requirements, goes through many, many iterations of shape, size, and configuration during the design phase of any vehicle. The project aims to define the relationship between the B-pillar sectional property changes along its length and its ability to resist side impact and roof strength loads. The goal of the project is to develop design principles that lead to improved weight efficiency of the B pillar structure.

The B-pillar design can be seen as having two extremes - 1) Maximum section size at all locations given the vehicle space available and 2) Maximize section continuity along its length even at the expense of section size. The project should explore the weight efficiency as a B-pillar design changes from the first extreme to the second.

This project will be restricted to the design space available in a current production sedan. Basic vehicle hard points that will remain unchanged include - current door openings, hinge locations, wiring locations, seat belt retractor, seat belt turning loop location.

Project Description (Work Plan)

Design a Four-Door vehicle B-Pillar

The design team will focus on designing a B-Pillar for a given four-door passenger car and evaluating its attributes using a simplified analogy. Chrysler will define two load cases: end load/axial to represent roof crush events, and three-point bending to represent side impact. The team will be required to develop various logical options for section shape, size, material gauge, type and analyze through CAE. Once an optimal design is selected the team will need to develop a method to simulate design physically. It is recognized that making complex stampings is out of the capability, cost, and timing for a typical senior design project. As such, one thought would be to condense the design to section properties and represent them physically with a metal rod of various diameters representing inertia values at various stages along the pillar. This would be used to test and correlate to the analysis.

 The team is encouraged to consider other alternatives. Designs will incorporate the following:

• Adequate strength for both axial and three-point load cases

 University Deliverables to Chrysler are:

1) University Project Plan for Chrysler's approval due October 13, 2014.

2) A detailed report containing;

a. The designs for the four-door B-Pillar.

b. The methods and rationale used in creating representative simplified structure as related to actual B-Pillar geometry

c. Documented design of simplified B-Pillar analogy and demonstration of levels of correlation achieved

3) Final prototype of a four-door vehicle B-Pillar incorporating the following;

a. Adequate strength for both axial and three-point load cases

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate

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

Project Scope/Goal

The split decklid will allow the customer to load cargo into the trunk with only the top part of the decklid open. The lower decklid will be able to rotate down similar to a truck tailgate to provide a surface for a variety of purposes. The lowered tailgate can be used for various functions such as tailgating to sit on, or to use as a surface to hold various items. The idea is to give the customer flexibility and create a product that is capable and reliable to serve many diverse functions. Storage of material that protrudes out of the trunk using the lowered decklid should not be a design objective.

The Michigan Tech team will design this system, prototype the design, incorporate it into a partial vehicle (buck) and validate the functional objectives and requirements are met.

Project Description (Work Plan)

Design, Engineer, Build, and Test a Split Decklid - Design, engineer, build, and test a split decklid adapted from the current Chrysler 300 architecture. This decklid system will provide the customer both the access required of typical decklids without the upswing of the lower waterfall area the added feature of a tailgate style lower swing out panel which will provide a surface for tailgate functions. The entire decklid perimeter, hardware, and adaptation to the body encompass the design space and scope of this project. The final assemblies should meet kinematic, ergonomic, structural, sealing, dimensional, and aesthetic objectives.

Vehicle mass should be a key consideration as well. This design out of steel components will yield a higher mass for this project due to the added hardware and overlap joint between the upper and lower decklid. Part of this project should be to consider alternative materials to produce each of the primary assemblies (aluminum, magnesium, plastic, SMC etc). Therefore, the team must identify methods to create a mass neutral design. It is recognized that due to limitations in fabrication that this may not be possible to produce as a prototype of this complexity. Therefore the mass target for this project will be to identify feasible alternatives that meet the other requirements and only validated in design, not build.

Upper Decklid - With the reduced mass of eliminating the waterfall section of the decklid, the hinge spring will need modification to counterbalance the system to prevent the decklid from opening too fast. The current system is a self-rise system that opens fully upon actuation of the latch. The elimination of the waterfall may also allow for a reduction in full open angle to achieve adequate access and reach for closing the decklid.

This angle needs to be determined and designs modified to accomplish this in proto build.

• Meet 5% female reach for closing dynamics. Adjust current hinge/spring as required.

• Meet opening/closing force requirements

• Maintain function and location of CHMSL.

• Develop sealing design attached to upper decklid that will seal against the lower decklid. Pay close attention to the ends of the seal as it interfaces with the current primary

 

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Enterprise: Pump in a Hub 2

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Paul van Susante
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Scope

Specialized Bicycle Components is enlisting the MTU Velovations Enterprise to improve on the bicycle hub pump design of last year and engineer and prototype version 2 allowing the cyclist to switch between tire pressures while riding.

It has been determined by Specialty Products R&D team that having the ability to adjust tire pressure on the fly could be a huge performance advantage for certain types of terrain. A first shot at designing this concept has been completed but some challenges remain after MTU Velovations undertook the first round of engineering and design. The goal is to design & engineer a second prototype to house a light weight pump mechanism at the wheel center that allows the rider to adjust between two pre-set tire pressures.

Project Goals

1. Prove feasibility of design by refining existing prototype

2. Take lessons learned from initial attempt to design 2nd generation (ride able) prototype

3. Fabricate prototype

4. Test Prototype to project goals on a bicycle

5. Report out learnings and next steps

Go To Market Strategy

This prototype will be used as the proof of concept for this idea. If it works as expected the idea will be pitched to Specialized product management as a potential consumer product. If deemed viable, it will transition into a production project.

Current Challenges

1. Current prototype is too large to try on a bike

2. Current prototype does not seal

3. Clutch engagement

4. Switching on the fly

Questions to Answer

1. Is this design a viable solution?

2. Can it be scaled to fit in current rear hub standards?

3. Can the current design hit the adjusted performance targets settled on during last period?

Deliverables

1. A refined proof of concept in its current form (better sealing)

2. A design concept that theoretically hits performance targets, but can also be ridden

3. A prototype of the refined design

4. A report detailing learnings and next steps from testing

Awarded Amount: $14,870

Senior Design: Chrysler Ram Tailgate

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Description

Design, engineer, build, and test a new carbon fiber lightweight tailgate with an aluminum sub-structure. The first goal is to save a minimum of 25% weight over the current steel design. Additional goal will be to incorporate a unique selling feature into the design of the gate that provides an alternative function of the tailgate that can be marketed. Intent is to create a product that can be used for a limited volume high performance vehicle or eco fuel-efficient package.

Background

The Dodge Ram full size pickup is a very important vehicle for Chrysler Corporation and is considered one of the primary pillars and major profit generators. The truck is very popular in a wide variety of markets from personal use to commercial applications. Two plants currently build the RAM truck with volume exceeding 300,000 units per year (Warren Truck Assembly Plant and Saltillo Assembly Plant). The push for improved fuel economy is driving the company to look for ways to save weight while maintaining the functionality that the customer has come to expect. This project is intended to create what is called a "buzz" model, which is limited in volume (5000 units), is aspirational, and contains features not normally available in other mainstream vehicles. Carbon Fiber is a very high tech material and its appearance on the exterior of the truck communicates a perception of performance equivalent to high-end sports cars. It provides outstanding strength to-weight ratio, which will provide a solid platform to save mass. In addition to simply saving weight, the goal of the team is to develop a unique selling feature designed into the tailgate. Some ideas that have been discussed are an integrated barbeque, storage compartment, fold out table, step assist. There have even been really creative ideas such as a fish cleaning station, or clay pigeon throwing mechanism. Bottom line is the team will need to brainstorm different ideas that would be marketable to a specific segment of the population and design the feature into the tailgate.

Need(s) Addressed

Excess mass in any motor vehicle today relates directly to fuel inefficiency. It is critical for carmakers today to minimize any mass in the vehicle that is not necessary. The current steel design of the Tailgate weighs 60 pounds. The goal of this project is to save a minimum of 25%

(15 lbs) while being manufacturable, production-viable, cost efficient, and meet all structural and customer performance requirements as outlined in the design validation plan (DVP&R).

Additionally, incorporate an alternative function into the Tailgate as previously described and demonstrate its function. The team will need to develop appropriate tests for whatever feature is decided on to ensure all range of customer usage can be done robustly without failure.

Project Scope

This design project will focus on designing and developing a lightweight tailgate concept that meets the customer functional objectives and amazes them with dual-purpose function. In general, the swing gate must:

• Meet all static and dynamic load cases as specified in DVP&R.

• Contain design provisions for use of existing hardware (latch/striker, handles etc).

• 25% lighter than current design.

• Production manufacturable using available processes.

• Cost efficient such that business case is positive and tooling is paid for in 1 year.

Awarded Amount: $20,432

Senior Design: Roadside Repair Module

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and demonstrate a better way of lowering an under slung spare tire and packaging all of the tools and accessories necessary in the same space.

Background

Most anyone reading this brief will be familiar with the practice of packaging of roadside repair modules and/or spare tires with any modem passenger car or truck. Configurations of this content will vary somewhat from vehicle to vehicle, although the fundamental purpose is the same: to provide for emergency roadside repairs in as efficient a manner as possible.

Need(s) Addressed

Chrysler has identified room for improvement in their spare tire package tray in their current SUV product line. The current method of lowering the spare requires a winch, which is right in the middle of the package tray and takes up valuable real estate. This scheme would benefit from a fresh design approach, and some of the known design constraints would be the exhaust, heat shields, rear differential...etc.

Project Scope

This project team will investigate more compact winch mechanisms and different alterative of mounting an under-slung spare tire to the rear of the vehicle.

This project is relative to a 2017 vehicle currently in development. Many may ask: why package a spare tire just use run flat tires or provide an inflator kit? The reason is run flats are expensive and degrade Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) characteristics of the vehicle.

Inflator kits are offered with each vehicle. In fact the spare tire on all of our vehicles is optional.

The issue is that the NAFTA customer still wants a spare tire and therefore the take rate of the spare tire option is relatively high.

At the team's request the customer will provide the following:

• Detailed data defining existing design space and known constraints

• Samples of current hardware- spare tire, tools, rear floor pan

• Initial overview and definition of known issues, alternatives considered, and options available

Project Objectives

• Design, prototype, and demonstrate a novel emergency roadside repair module suitable for an SUV platform

- Design options considered must respect the following:

- Monumental Components- these cannot be moved, nor can their space be violated:

- Rear Bumper Beam

- Trailer Hitch Beam

- Outer Vehicle Profile

- Inner/Outer Closeout Panels

- Suspension/Cradle

- Rails with PLP holes

- Bumper Beam & Closure Panel Attachments

- Third Row Seats

- Tools in the rear floor panel tub can be re-arranged to fit the winch mechanism in a desirable method, current or deeper tool tub depth is desired.

- The spare tire can be under-slung with a winch mechanism, a cage, or a method that has not yet been investigated.

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Michigan Tech Capstone Design Program: Design Challenge

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $59,859

Senior Design: Lightweight Pop Rivet Tool with Reporting Capability

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and demonstrate an improved (reduced weight) POP rivet installation tool.

Background

Those familiar with the automotive assembly process and have a basic understanding of manufacturing constraints such has cycle time, repeatability, durability, and ergonomic limitations.

Need(s) Addressed

Chrysler has found an opportunity for engineering students to become exposed to the assembly environment by reviewing and redesigning components or systems of a POP rivet gun air tool. The use of rivets as an attachment mechanism is expected to increase. Also, the further an assembly plant operator has to hold the rivet tool away from the centerline of his/her body, the more the weight of the tool becomes critical. Reducing the weight of the tool even by ounces will allow the operator to hold the tool longer and will increase the repeatability of the process. Additionally, current tools do not have the ability to measure the stroke and force of the rivet while it is being strained. A modular measurement device mounted on the rivet tool should also be integrated into the design.

Project Scope

This project team will investigate lighter weight designs of components and or systems that make up a POP rivet air tool. This project will optimize current POP rivet air tool designs such that Chrysler will be able to allow the repeated use of this tool for extended periods of time. Ideally, this design can be used in multiple assembly plant on different vehicle platforms.

At the team's request the customer will provide the following:

• Detailed data defining existing tooling and known constraints

• Samples of current hardware- POP rivet guns and unused rivets

• Initial overview and definition of known issues, alternatives considered, and options available

Project Objectives

• Design, prototype, and demonstrate an updated design of a POP rivet tool. Design options considered must respect the following:

- Safety

-  Design must be easy to use and WILL NOT introduce any risk while in use or being repaired

-  Ergonomically easy to use

-  Design must consider balance of tool

-  Design must consider trigger placement

-  Design must consider operator feedback for a successful shot

Reduced weight

-  Design may use lighter weight materials

-  Design may use weight optimized components

-  Design may use few parts

-  Design must be able to withstand several drops from approximately 3 feet and still function properly

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Piston Phone Adapter Design

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and prototype a pistonphone adapter for the 9110D Portable Vibration Calibrator.

Background

The Modal Shop is in the business of selling calibration instruments for both sound and vibration. Pistonphones are acoustical calibrators, and have been in existence since the 1960's. They consist of a fixed volume, fixed stroke piston actuated so as to provide a precise fixed sound level reference at 250 Hz. These devices suffer high harmonic content due to the mechanical design but are quite robust and rugged as well as expensive. The Modal Shop has designed and marketed a portable vibration calibrator containing a reference accelerometer, shaker, power amplifier and closed loop sine controller marked as the 9110D 1

• The 9110D is capable of accepting a bracket atop the shaker platform such that proximity probe holder may be mounted, enabling calibration of proximity probes. The 9110D furthermore may be operated in "displacement mode" whereby it's readout displays units of displacement. The 9110D is furthermore ":frequency agile" in that a user may select any frequency between 7 and 10,000 Hz for operation.

Need(s) Addressed

Given the existing feature set and modular design the Portable Vibration Calibrator of the 9110D calibrator, integration of pistonphone functionality is seen to be a natural progression in its development.

Project Scope

Design a "Pistonphone adaptor", including adaptor inserts for different sized microphones which will fit atop the 9110D in a similar fashion to the proximity probe holder and permit the 9110D to operate as a frequency agile Pistonphone calibrator. Examination of the Gras and B&K Pistonphones is encouraged. Use the 9110D "as is" so the finished output of the project may be marketed as an option to the 9110D calibrator enabling it to provide simple calibration to microphones and other pressure sensing devices.

Awarded Amount: $11,896

Senior Design: Gear Housing Joint Design

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Improve performance of interfaces involving dissimilar metals and bolted joints.

Background

Linamar is a global supplier of drivetrain components and systems, including transmissions, transfer case assemblies, differential assemblies, and power takeoff units. Market driven demands for higher performance and lower mass are leading designs of these systems and components toward use of light alloys wherever possible. Many components, however, require the use of cast iron because of strength demands, thus leading to dissimilar metal interfaces within these systems. Bolt load retention is of importance when considering the required clamp load to seal housings and the durability of the system. Bolt load retention is a function of many factors, but of particular interest is the effect of temperature, dissimilar materials, and geometric spacing on the bolt fatigue life.

Need(s) Addressed

Designs historically based on cast iron or similar materials are now faced with new challenges of incorporating these light alloys. Joints, interfaces, and load paths require scrutiny to assure proper system level performance and acceptable service life. Due to the increased use of aluminum die cast covers in particular, as well as the demands for reduced cost and weight, it is desired to acquire a deeper understanding of the behavior of these components within various driveline systems. For example, the effect of bolt spacing in relation to certain design variables and of the introduction of certain materials on the fatigue life of a bolted joint over various temperatures are of interest. Greater understanding of these types of joints is desired. If the behavior of an aluminum-to-cast iron interface could be quantified and compared to that of a cast iron-to-cast iron inte1face, more effective product designs would be possible.

Project Scope

This design team will focus on exploring and introducing design improvements for systems and structures involving dissimilar metallic joints. This work should involve research into phenomena that may influence performance of such joints and inh•oducing designs aimed at improving this performance. There are many aspects to proper performance of this type of structure, including thermal cycling, fastener type and spacing, alloy types, etc. The design team is encouraged to explore these and other parameters of interest.

This work may involve designing and building a test system that will enable quantification of various design approaches. Essentially, this device should be designed to accept gear housings of various configurations (within limits- specified by customer) and run through a series of tests intended to reveal behavior of various gear housing configurations. These tests could include thermal cyclic loading, direct and reactionary loads, and bolt stress-strain behavior relative tension/load and fatigue life. Axial and transverse (shear) cyclic loading should both be considered.

Linamar can provide the following in support of the design team's work:

• Typical housings, castings, and related components representing various types of dissimilar joints

• Associated hardware (bolts, mating parts, etc.)

• Background information bringing the team up to speed on specific areas of concern specifications for necessary thermal profiles and load cases

Project Objectives

• Improve the performance of bolted joints involving dissimilar metals:

- Thermal cyclic loading

- Mechanical cyclic loading

- Quantify bolt load retention vs. fatigue life

- Shear load capacity

Awarded Amount: $25,279

Senior Design: Aquatic Fitness Tool

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and prototype an aquatic fitness tool to be used for movement and strength training.

Background

BeachFit produces innovative fitness tools used in natural settings. The first launch product uses beach sand for movement and weight training. The versatile nature of the product line is unique because various exercises can be done using one tool.

Need(s) Addressed

The initial launch of the BeachFit device has been very well received, and has identified a need for an aquatic based routine using a similar tool. The envisioned device would replicate the total body workout offered by the BeachFit apparatus in a pool/pond/lake/ocean front environment. It would offer the average consumer (regardless of fitness level) the ability to effortlessly use this tool to move, stretch, and strength train. Stroking and pushing the water mass is one part of the workout. The secondary aspect will be filling the device with water, using that mass for strength training.

Project Scope

This project team will focus on adapting the known ladder architecture to an aquatic version of the workout implement. Certain known, proven features (such as handle placement, size, etc.) will be adapted to the newly designed aquatic tool. There are new features and functionality that the exercise environment will be driving (variable water capture, material choices, surface texture of handles, flotation, user interface design, etc.). Design for manufacture is a key consideration in the design of this new device, as well as maximizing 'green' material choices. The final design must be durable, rugged, and pleasing to the eye. There is currently an 85% female market in exercise equipment of this type, and the new design is intended for this market.

Customer can provide the following:

• Constant contact and feedback throughout the design project

• Marketing standards and design targets for product

• Various building material options

• Samples of launch product

• Preliminary feasibility prototypes of water capture device

• Color choice for molded plastic

Project Objectives

• Design and prototype an aquatic version of the BeachFit exercise device incorporating:

- Verified strength/stiffness of design through FEA

- New hinge option for 180° versatility on ends

- Main design drivers:

- Low cost with U.S.-based manufacturing

- Maximize 'green' content- i.e. post-consumer content in molded components

- Device must float

- Eye-catching aesthetics

Final device must be rugged and durable and easy to use

•Strength/stiffness/mass should mimic existing device as well as possible

• Water vessel on each side must:

- Be molded from transparent/translucent material

- Be delineated with water fill levels (Units TBD)

- Be able to contain/hold up to 8 pounds (1 gallon) of water

- Incorporate clamshell aesthetic (see provided feasibility prototypes)

• Full documentation package of final design

- FEA models

- CAD drawings of all components, assemblies, and assembly fixtures needed

- Full bill of material

- Proposed materials and manufacturing method for each component

- Documentation of method of fabrication for all prototype pieces

Awarded Amount: $17,844

Enterprise: Bluetooth Remote Chock Actuation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: John Gershenson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $7,435

The Michigan AGEP Alliance for Transformation (MAA): Mentoring and Community Building to Accelerate Successful Progression into the Professoriate

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jacqueline Huntoon
Co-PI: Craig Friedrich
Co-PI: Chandrashekhar Joshi
Co-PI: Christopher Wojick
College/School: Administration
Department(s): Graduate School

Goal:

The Michigan AGEP Alliance has developed models for 1) fostering multidisciplinary learning communities with URM students in STEM fields who are US citizens and 2) improved faculty mentoring for URM graduate students and URM postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields who are US citizens; our goal is to adapt these models to the needs of our campuses, implement them to the extent that resources permit, and identify those models that lead to improved academic outcomes for participants. By improved academic outcomes, we mean increasing the success of URM graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in STEM fields through completion of graduate study, postdoctoral training, and movement into the professoriate.

Objectives:

1) To design, adapt and implement evidence-based mentoring initiatives on all five campuses that are focused on improved mentoring for U.S. citizen URM graduate students and URM postdoctoral fellows in STEM.

2) To design, adapt and implement evidence-based initiatives to promote multidisciplinary learning communities on all five campuses that are focused on benefits for U.S. citizen URM graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in STEM.

3) To the extent that resources permit, conduct research about ways that participation in activities designed to improve mentoring and sense of community is linked to important academic and career outcomes.

Awarded Amount: $245,160

Senior Design: Rear Differential Case Testing

Investigators
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Objective:

Evaluate durability of various combinations of surface treatment and material composition on rear differential housings.

Project Scope

American Axle Manufacturing sponsored a series of Capstone Design projects ultimately concluding with the completion of an apparatus and method for evaluation of wear resistance on the internal surfaces of helical gear differentials. This project will make use of that previously built test rig to evaluate various types of surface treatments and materials regarding their resistance to wear. Sample preparation will entail cutting whole rear differentials (supplied by AAM) into thirds, each third comprising a test sample. The sample will then have appropriate micro-milled pockets created and measured for depth. Each test sample (line items shown below) will be setup and run for 1 hour. The sample will then be removed, and each micro-milled pocket measured for depth. The before vs. after pocket depths will comprise an indication of relative wear resistance of each surface treatment/material combination.

Awarded Amount: $8,541

Senior Design: Automated Sealant System

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and prototype an automated sealant application system.

Background

HGS Aerospace specializes in engineering • and assembly solutions for aerospace manufacturing. They focus on advanced fabricating and assembly techniques, robotics~ flexible tools, and automated machinery Mechanical Engineering Senior Capstone Design Program applied to aircraft manufacture. One of the many critical and time intensive operations in aircraft manufacture involves sealing seams and fasteners at the many inter-component 3'oints in the aircraft’s fuselage and wing structures. Sealing these joints is required for a number of reasons, including maintaining the integrity of pressurized bulkheads and covering of exposed sharp edges. Exposed sharp edges can produce sparking in certain atmospheric conditions. If the aircraft's structure has an exposed sharp edge at any joint in a critical area, it must be sealed and encapsulated. The beads used in sealing these joints and covering these sharp edges must be of a certain form. The cross section of these beads is very specific and highly inspected, and is a very time-intensive part of an aircraft’s assembly. For example, the current Boeing C17 wing spar assemblies require 642 hours to seal and encapsulate fasteners.

Moreover, this manual process requires a long period of training on the part of technicians to acquire the proficiency in its completion. Many manufacturers experience high turnover rates among the trained corps applying this sealant. Acquiring the proper skills takes upwards of 6 months, and these skilled technicians often stay on this duty for the same period of time.

Need(s) Addressed

Given the repetitive nature of this process, it is envisioned that an automated operation could take its place. It is estimated that a properly engineered system could transform the present 642 - hour manual process into a 60-hour automated process. This automated process would also save the hours of training and re-training of qualified personnel currently driven by the manual process.

Project Scope

This design team on this project will have a fantastic opportunity to establish a baseline for a new aircraft production process. Building on the work done by a previous design team during the 2012-2013 academic year, this new team will be responsible for enabling a robotic system to provide for accurate and repeatable sealant beads to be applied in two-dimensional space. There are a number of components expected to be part of the desired solution here: robot, sealant mixing/dispensing units, etc. HOS Aerospace will be providing these elements, and the robot is already at Michigan Tech (in B004). The team wiII be responsible for the design and engineering of the device and the integration of these elements into a functional solution.

At the team's request the customer will provide the following:

• two-part sealant for use in developing device

• all relevant standards and specifications

• Michigan Tech will provide copy of final report from last year's team- this new team should read that at start of project to understand what was done, status of robot at Tech, recommendations, etc ...

Project Objectives

• Two dimensional application of sealant

• Compliant end effector to follow seams

• Vision to see the target and validate the bead

Awarded Amount: $30,780

Senior Design: Infrared Vibratory PET Cyrstallizer

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

The Senior Capstone Design (SCD) Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab based "hands-on" curriculum to provide students "their first job, not their last class," while helping our customers - companies, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities - address their aggressive goals and tight budgets while providing a fresh perspective. Our teams are formed by considering student background, interests, and thinking preferences. Student teams are advised by an eight-person Advisory Team, the members of which are selected based on their technical expertise - to cover the array of typical technical needs associated with projects - and for their proven ability to guide students in solving real, applied problems. Our projects span two semesters beginning with the development of a project plan, where end-user needs, customer needs, project objectives, constraints, and metrics for success are defined. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a functionally demonstrative prototype that is tested and reworked toward meeting the design requirements. Projects commence in late August and early January.

Project Goal

Design and prototype an infrared continuous convey vibratory PET crystallizer.

Background

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, such as water and soda bottles. Recycled, also called reground, PET is used to make new bottles, carpet, clothing, and automotive parts. During the drying process the reground PET tends to form clumps and stick to the dryer hopper walls. By recrystallizing the reground PET, the drying process can be performed without clumping of material, preventing bridging.

Need(s) Addressed

The current crystallizer design in use is either a hopper or rotating drum design. The hopper design requires the process to be repeated and the rotating drum design is not ideal for a continuous process. In addition, both designs require a considerable amount of space with large operating costs. The existing solution for crystallization is functioning and being used throughout the industry; however, a more efficient and productive design is desired. Recycling PET material can be achieved much more efficiently with a continuous convey crystallizer that requires less energy and space than that of the contemporary design. A need has thus been identified to design a more efficient crystallizer capable of continuous convey. Along with this need, an opportunity exists to increase the overall efficiency of the PET recycling process.

Project Scope

This project will focus on the design of an infrared continuous convey vibratory PET crystallizer. The design team will be provided with a conceptual sketch (Attachment A) of the crystallizer process to work with before the design starts. However, the specifics of how the concept becomes a prototype is in the hands of the design team, along with a number of requirements any new design must meet The new design will not have the same makeup as the current designs and will use infrared technology. The design team is encouraged to use a creative approach to design the crystallizer since it does not currently exist on the market. The crystallizer should also be controlled in a way that allows for easy adjustment of flow rate and temperature. A single controller is desired so that operation can be monitored and adjusted from one location. A modular design should be considered to make maintenance a simple task. The project goal is to design and build a functionally demonstrative prototype of an infrared vibratory PET crystallizer as described and specified above.

At the team's request the customer will provide the following:

- Aid in understanding functionality of controls and components

- Information and details on customers' current products that will need to be used in collaboration with the crystallizer

-  Design constraints and specifications size/shape/volume, mounting hard points, etc.

Project Objectives

Design and build a functionally demonstrative prototype of an infrared vibratory PET crystallizer incorporating:

- Infrared technology

- Vibratory motors

- Continuous process ready for PET pellets

-  Modular (i.e. plug and play) layout capable of stacking vertically central controller for entire design (provided by ABS)

-  Minimum of 5 pounds per hour of material throughput per module, maximum to be determined by design team

-  Banked heating with 180°F-220°F adjustable temperature range

Awarded Amount: $30,780

Enterprise: Cold Plate Design/Optimization

Investigators
Co-Investigator: John Lukowski
Co-Investigator: Richard Berkey
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Background & Overview

LG Chem Power Inc. (http://lgcpi.com/) is a leader in lithium ion polymer battery technology for the North American electric vehicle (HEV, PHEV, EV) markets. LGCPI is located in Troy, MI and is a subsidiary of LG Chem Ltd., headquartered in Korea. LGCPI's battery packs represent advanced systems comprised of LG Chem's cells arranged in modules which are then packaged into a pack that includes sophisticated battery and thermal management systems. Thermal management plays an important role in battery performance and life.

Problem/Opportunity Statement

A cold plate is one of the key components in an indirect cooled battery pack. Cooling fins pull heat out of the cells through conduction and transfer this heat to the cold plate, which acts as a heat sink. Indirect cooling involves air or liquid flowing through this cold plate, external to the battery cells. One advantage of indirect cooling is that no fluid enters the cells, minimizing risks of leakage. However, it also presents a design challenge where a balance must be made between plate thickness, structural rigidity, and cooling performance. The ideal plate is one that:

• maintains full contact with the cooling fin when subjected to evacuation and filling pressures

• has a minimal restriction to coolant flow, and

• uses the minimum amount of material to achieve cooling and structural performance

Project Significance

Optimization of the cold plate design enables LG Chem Power Inc. to offer a better performing, more cost effective, and more efficient battery solution for its customers. The project offers the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Enterprise (HEV) students an opportunity to work on a real-world design opportunity associated with EV battery packs, where performance tradeoffs must be balanced through design optimization.

Anticipated Outcomes of the Student Team

The anticipated outcomes of the HEV Enterprise team are as follows:

1. Definition and Background Research: review available literature on indirect cooled battery packs including design criteria for LGCPI's current pack design. Review objectives and constraints with LGCPI Engineering.

2. Cold Plate Concept Designs: develop multiple cold plate designs. Possible design variables include but are not limited to thickness, rib/cooling fin interface, material/alloy, etc.).

3. Structural and Thermal Analyses: evaluate the performance of the different plate designs using FEA and thermal modeling (CFD).

4. Evaluation and Selection: identify the most promising design based on above analyses coupled with considerations for cost and manufacturability.

5. Prototype: fabricate a functional prototype cold plate based on the design in #4.

6. Testing: work with LGCPI to develop a suitable test plan (e.g. in the HEV mule vehicle, pack testing at LGCPI, etc.

Awarded Amount: $19,516

Enterprise: Pump in a Hub

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

Project Description

Specialized bikes is enlisting the help of MTU to engineer and prototype a bicycle pump that is packaged inside of the wheel hub allowing the rider to adjust tire pressure on the fly.

Project Scope

It has been determined by our R&D team that having the ability to adjust tire pressure on the fly could be a huge performance advantage for certain types of terrain. A first shot at designing this concept has been completed, but some challenges remain.

The goal for this product is to house a light weight pump mechanism at the wheel center that allows the rider to adjust between two pre-set tire pressures.

Project Goals

1. Evaluate current concept and check performance (PSI/second evaluation, power required)

2. Counter with other concepts that could improve design

3. Propose method for switching between selected pressures

a. Largest challenge at the moment is how to switch from one pressure setting to the other. This switching mechanism is the crux of the project

4. Develop working prototype that satisfies performance requirements

Go To Market Strategy

This prototype will be used as the backbone for a commercially used product that we spec on future projects.

Current Challenges

1. There may be existing patents for a design similar to this

2. The switching mechanism has not been designed yet. It is the major project challenge

3. It is not being addressed currently due to lack of resources

Materials Provided

• Specialized will provide a 3D model of the concept.

• Specialized will offer help in machining prototype parts

Deliverables

1. An evaluation of the current concept which would include;

    a. Performance evaluation, what can this prototype achieve in terms of physical performance

    b. Is this in violation of any current patents

2. A concept for switching between pressures

3. A working prototype

Awarded Amount: $14,870

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: Technologies for Developing Countries

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Joshua Pearce
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Materials Science & Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $126,000

Deposition Rate of Propellant Backflow from a Magnesium Hall-Effect Thruster

Investigators
Co-Investigator: L. King
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $134,000

Michigan Tech SSEED: Sustained Support to Ensure Engineering Degrees

Investigators
College/School: College of Engineering,  Graduate School
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Summary

Michigan Tech's efforts to improve first and second year retention have been successful and sustainable. For students who enter Michigan Tech in the College of Engineering, the first- to second-year standard retention rate has averaged 84.3 percent over the last seven years. The first- to third-year rate has averaged 76.4 percent over the last 7 years. While minority retention rates lag overall on average by 3.9 percent (for first- to second-year) and 6.4 percent (for second- to third year), they are still much higher than national averages for engineering disciplines. However, graduation rate data indicate that students are not persisting through the junior and senior years at these same high levels. Whereas the overall graduation rate over the last seven years has averaged 67 .2 percent, the minority rate has averaged just 53.0 percent. The project team believes that both of these rates should be improved. The first objective of

Michigan Tech's SSEED (Sustained Support to Ensure Engineering Degrees) project is to improve the upper-division retention rates of academically talented engineering students who show the highest risk of not completing their degrees. Engineering programs nationwide are searching for ways to increase the numbers of women and minorities in engineering. One promising strategy is to increase the number of faculty and technical leaders from these groups to provide more role models. The second objective of the SSEED project is to improve the recruitment of women and minorities to graduate school at Michigan Tech.

Each year SSEED supports thirty-five junior and senior engineering students who are at-risk for attrition and five first-year graduate engineering students who are female or minority. SSEED scholars are recruited in a variety of ways: from the first and second year support program called ExSEL; from student groups such as SHPE, AISES, and NSBE; from referrals of academic advisors in each department; using university communications such as newsletters and web sites. Undergraduate student scholars are selected based on a combination of academic merit and attrition risk factors (financial need, minority status, first generation college student, pre-college preparation, off-campus work, and campus connectivity). Graduate student scholars are selected based on academic merit, financial need, and under-representation in engineering. Student support services include a number of specially designed activities, several of which expand on existing programs. Activities include ExSEL sponsored programs and resources, a one-credit Career Foundations course, mentorship opportunities and training, professional development seminars, undergraduate research opportunities, and service projects. Attention is given to building strong SSEED cohorts and assisting in making connections to ensure graduation and successful employment in engineering.

The project's intellectual merit is in its emphasis on supporting upper-division engineering undergrads. Retention issues for upper-division students are likely much different than for lower-division ones. The outcomes of this project will provide new understanding of upper-division attrition and appropriate interventions. The project's scholarship selection mechanism will pilot and evaluate a multi-factor selection mechanism that will benefit organizations that can no longer use affirmative action strategies to identify those at highest risk. The project's broader impacts include near-term benefits such as higher graduation rates for the SSEED scholars and a more diverse graduate student population. The SSEED program is a model for cross-campus collaborations that, in the longer term, will improve support structures for all students, leading to additional improvements in graduation rates and higher numbers of female and minority role models in engineering. Ultimately, increased engineering graduation rates will lead to a better-trained US workforce in areas of national need. Presentations and publications will also be used to inform STEM retention efforts nationwide.

Awarded Amount: $615,190

Meeting the NAE Grand Challenge: Personalized Learning for Engineering Students through Instruction on Metacognition and Motivation Strategies

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

Project Summary

The rate of change in today's society is increasingly fast. In one hundred years, we went from horse and buggies to space travel; from cross-country mail that required weeks to instantaneous communication by electronic means; from outhouses and hand-pumped wells to sophisticated sanitation and water systems, nationwide. Engineering has made leaps and bounds also, transforming from a profession where drafting boards were the foundation of engineering work to one where the computer is now the foundation of our work. Predictions for the coming decades do not see this trend slowing down, and in fact the pace of change may be accelerating. One thing is certain-engineering graduates of today must be prepared for a lifetime of learning and adaptation. Some argue that the skills they learn at the university are already outdated by the time they graduate. For this reason, the ABET outcome "a recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning" is arguably one of the most important in that long list.

This research aims to advance personalized learning by helping students to understand and regulate their own learning. The project is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of self-directed lifelong learning as evidenced by the following learning outcomes:

    • Students will be able to define the components of self-regulated learning and a variety of strategies for learning and motivation;

    • Students will identify their own preferred learning style and be able to adopt learning strategies best suited to their preferred style;

    • Students will be able to identify what motivates them to do a particular task and to apply appropriate motivation strategies;

    • Students will demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning.

Earlier research on learning styles, motivation, self-regulated learning, and lifelong learning serves as the foundation for this project. Strategies for achieving the learning outcomes include:

• Develop online learning modules that i) give students firsthand experience of the influence of learning style and motivation on learning; ii) present tutorials on metacognition and motivation;

    • Implement a course constriction activity in which students create learning materials appropriate for their preferred learning style on a relevant course topic of their choosing;

    • Implement a research design that deploys the modules and course construction activity in selected sections of two courses such that the effect of multiple versus single exposures is assessed.

The intellectual merit is that this research will advance the knowledge base of personalized learning. It will show how instruction on metacognition and motivation awareness and strategies impact lifelong learning. It will give weight to the argument that teaching students how they learn best is more important for realizing personalized learning than development of adaptive software. If significant gains in learning and in a commitment to lifelong learning can be achieved through implementation of just two web-based modules, this project has the potential to transform undergraduate engineering education. The broader impacts of this project are the career accomplishments that will be made possible by students' enhanced ability for lifelong learning.

Awarded Amount: $390,050

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

Overview:

Correctly, the 2009 Roadmap for US Robotics report predicted that robotics technology would transform the future of the US workforce and households. From Roomba vacuum cleaners to Wii video games, we increasingly see robotic technology in work spaces and homes. Yet, the US continues to lag behind China, South Korea, Japan, and European Union in its investment in robotics research and education. The Next Generation Science Standards for Today's Students and Tomorrow's Workforce responds to this critical need by providing a curricular framework for using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary ideas that: have broad importance across science and engineering disciplines; are taught around a key organizing concept (like health or water) and use key tool (pedagogical platform); have a significant context for students and are explicitly connected to societal needs; and are teachable and learnable over multiple grades. Informed by this framework, our proposed NRI aims to develop, test, and assess two co-robotic platforms with high impact potential and longevity as a pedagogical platform (use is applicable from 4th grade through graduate school learning). Two unique robotics educational platforms will be used to teach 6th-8th grade: an educational underwater glider called GUPPIE and a surface electromyography (sEMG)- controlled manipulator called Neu-pulator. Both of these platforms can be categorized as co-robot and cost less than $1000. GUPPIE is an unmanned vehicle that has application in monitoring and inspection of the environment and can be used to introduce students to the application of robots as co-explorers in everyday life. Neu-pulator is a human-interactive robot that uses electrical activity of human muscles to move a manipulator. It introduces students to assistive robots, which are a class of co-robots that aim to amplify or compensate for human capabilities. We hypothesize that meaningful contexts and hands-on learning with co-robotic platforms will broaden impact to diverse audiences and increase interest in critical STEM areas. The overall goal of the proposed NRI is to develop and evaluate the use of co-robotic platforms in learning contexts that are socially meaningful, especially for underrepresented students (female students from rural, low socioeconomic areas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). Our specific objectives are to: 1) Optimize Michigan Tech's co-robotic platform designs for teaching STEM concepts. 2) Develop educational activities/curriculum utilizing Michigan Tech's co-robotic platforms. 3) Investigate the co-robotic platforms effectiveness in engaging students in STEM learning.

Intellectual Merit:

The proposed work will develop a pedagogical platform and evaluation method that can be easily translated for classroom practice from grades 4th-12th and in undergraduate to graduate degree programs. Training teachers in platform use during teacher workshops will help schools respond to and integrate new science standards - efficiently and effectively using meaningful contexts. Continued online training and modules will be available to broadly disseminate platform applications for informal and formal learning contexts. The hardware development and programming of co-robots will teach critical analytical thinking. The nature of co-robotic platforms, on the other hand, will inspire students to become integrative designers. By exercising both analytical thinking and design skills, these co-robotic platforms will improve students' ability for creative problem solving, and ultimately increase individual motivation for pursuing STEM academic and career pathways. The project will produce research that compares the effectiveness of mission-based and application-based robotics activities for engaging students in STEM.

Awarded Amount: $403,308

Providing Hands-On STEM Education at the 2014 Heroes Alliance Young Urban Intellectual Summit

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

Overview:

Michigan Tech supports the 2014 Heroes Alliance Young Urban Intellectual Summit.

Through this support, Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Staff will have three unique wheelchairs on display. The wheelchairs have been developed by engineering students at Michigan Tech to improve the mobility of disabled individuals. The wheelchairs are designed to be highly capable in off-road situations, allowing disabled individuals to experience and enjoy the outdoors. The Staff on hand will describe how the team identified a critical biomedical need, and engineered a solution. Participants will be able to sit in all three wheelchairs, and speak with Staff regarding the details of the project. Participants will have the opportunity to personally test the manual wheelchair.

Awarded Amount: $8,279

Senior Design: Intake Manifold Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Endres
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $26,021

REU: 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
Awarded Amount: $4,000

Global Conversations in Sustainable Transportation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $6,000

HEV and EV Hands-On Education for the 2014 Calendar Year

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $34,791

Senior Design: Bearing Adjuster Lock Ring Test Rig

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

Confidential

Awarded Amount: $25,650

Senior Design: Drive Motor in Dowel Agitation

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

Background

BISSELL manufactures and markets vacuums, carpet sweepers, deep cleaners, hard surface appliances and a full line of floor cleaning consumables. Founded 137 years ago in Grand Rapids, the family-owned company sells more vacuums and floor cleaners than any other company in the world.

This particular project will focus around the full size upright vacuum category. Recent industry trends have leaned toward smaller, lightweight, and more agile product architectures.

The ability to innovate and remain efficacy while reducing product size is important. To this end,

BISSELL wants to develop an integrated brush dowel and drive motor assembly to reduce product weight, improve quality, and give the end consumer an innovative cleaning solution.

Most brush dowel systems are driven via a belt from an external motor, either dedicated to the brush or driven from a shaft exiting the vacuum motor. Although the concept of placing the motor inside of a dowel has been attempted several times by our competition, neither of these designs were integrated cleanly or in a cost-conscious manner.

Need(s) Addressed

As previously stated, this motor-driven brush dowel assembly will be part of full sized upright vacuum. BISSELL is aiming to provide a lightweight/maneuverable product without sacrificing cleaning performance. This motor in dowel assembly should be integrated as seamlessly as possible, with thoughtful mounting and wire routing. The design should also be tested and proven to meet BISSELL's typical vacuum cleaner life test of 250-300 hours of simulated use. As this life-test fixturing is quite extensive, BISSELL can set-up and run this test on site. The consumer (end-user) should not notice any difference (noise, large speed fluctuations, and excessive vibration) between this motor in dowel design, and a traditionally driven brush dowel. Although this dowel assembly will most likely be serviced by a trained technician, the dowel should still remain accessible for consumer recommended maintenance (i.e. clearing debris, removing hair, etc).

Project Scope

This motor driven brush assembly will be used on a BISSELL "full sized" vacuum. Dowel length will be approximately 12-14" long and dowel diameter, not including extra material thickness for bristle tufting, should not exceed 2.10". (Solutions that are reasonably close dimensionally should still be reviewed with sponsor advisor.) Integrated motor will need defined cooling air paths in order to keep motor below allowable heat rise limits. Brush speed should fall between 3K-4K RPM, with a working motor torque of 150 mNm imparted to the dowel. BISSELL will provide a narrowed motor range that students can select from.

Project Objectives

    • Determine best motor for application for given dowel dimensions based on loading

    • Review and navigate through existing IP (BISSELL to provide)

    • Determine appropriate transmission (style, ratio, materials) to achieve stated brush RPM

    • Investigate noise/sound characteristics of chosen transmission

    • Develop estimated costed bill of materials for top 2-3 design architectures

    • Investigate cooling air flow rates and associated motor temps at various load cases

    • Investigate long term robustness and wear characteristics with accelerated life testing (to be performed at BISSELL)

Awarded Amount: $26,765

Fuze Testing Capability Development

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

Confidential

Awarded Amount: $332,172

High Impact STEM Outreach Utilizing the Michigan Tech Mobile Laboratory at the 2014 Michigan Civil Air Patrol Summer Cadet Encampment

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Abstract

Michigan Tech is home to a versatile mobile laboratory that travels the North American continent serving as a venue for a wide range of educational opportunities. Hands-on discovery based learning activities are an effective means of enabling students to grasp and retain complex topics in engineering and science. Students excel when they can relate an individual concept to the overall larger context of product development and societal advancement.

The Mobile Lab is utilized to deliver hands-on, high-impact STEM based explorations at the 2014 Michigan Civil Air Patrol Summer Cadet Encampment.

Explorations designed to demonstrate how aeronautics and engineering subsystems for space work, and illustrate the importance of STEM education and career fields in continuing to improve and move along the pathway towards sustainable air and space transportation. This project engages students and provides opportunities to explore STEM activities and concepts that are fundamental to the aeronautic and space technologies.

Awarded Amount: $10,001

High Impact STEM Outreach Utilizing the MTU Mobile Laboratory at 2013 Heros Alliance Parental Bootcamp

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

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab, will be utilized to deliver hands-on, short duration, high-impact Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) based explorations at the 2013 Heroes Alliance Parental Boot Camp on August 17th, 2013.

The outreach activities will be setup and delivered by the Mobile Lab's trained team of Staff and Students. The STEM outreach activities will be organized to follow a systems level approach and will be themed around sustainable transportation. Upon approaching the lab, participants will be greeted and introduced to the concept of sustainable transportation, the importance of the concept, and the role that Scientists and Engineers play in this area. Also at this time, participants will learn that Hybrid Vehicles are one element of sustainable transportation, and will learn the basics of hybrid vehicles by seeing actual production and educational based hybrid vehicles.

Upon entering the lab, participants will have the opportunity to explore several work stations, each with a Mobile Lab Mentor. The explorations at the work stations are designed to show participants how each of the major subsystems of a Hybrid Vehicle works, and how important STEM is in continuing to improve those subsystems and move along the pathway towards sustainable transportation.

Explorations may include:

• How it works: Electric Machines

• How it works: Batteries

• How it works: Engines

• How it works: Aerodynamics

• How it works: Controls

• Powertrain Testing

• Vehicle Testing

• Effect of Vehicle Parameters on Performance

 

The exploration Mentor can adjust the activity depth and content "on the fly" such that the activity is exciting and educational to the wide range of participants that attend public outreach events

Awarded Amount: $19,099

Mobile Lab HEV Courses for Ford Motor Company

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

Overview

Hands-on education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab will be utilized to deliver the training to Ford employees during Ford's annual training week in October of 2013.

Audience

This training is intended for Engineers, Managers, and Technicians who are either new to the area of Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or wish to broaden their knowledge to assist in vehicle integration or communication with colleagues across various HEV subsystems. An engineering degree is recommended, but not required for this training. The proposed sessions are designed for a maximum of 20 participants. There is no minimum number of participants.

Outline

The proposed hands-on training covers several topics in HEV's and EV's. The hands-on training takes place over 5 days and is comprised of 6 topical modules. The material is a mix of traditional direct learning and hands-on experimentation with data analysis and discussion. The direct learning portion is taught from the Mobile Lab's classroom, which seats up to 20 participants. The hands-on experimentation will be conducted utilizing a multitude of the Mobile Lab's equipment which may include production hybrid vehicles, a configurable hybrid vehicle, vehicle chassis dynamometer, and hybrid powertrain test cells. Each module is repeated at least 3 times, allowing for as many as 60 participants to be exposed to that particular subject matter. Participants can attend all 6 modules, or choose to only attend those which they find will be the most beneficial to them.

Awarded Amount: $20,997

Collaborative Teaching

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

Scope

Michigan Tech Staff Member, support Northcentral Technical College (NTC} faculty in the preparation and delivery of course materials at NTC during the Fall 2013 semester. To support the courses the Michigan Tech Staff Member will spend three weeks at NTC working with NTC faculty in the classroom and lab.

The specific courses and utilization within those courses will be left to the discretion of NTC within the scope of the staff experience. Examples of collaboration could Include guest lectures, assisting NTC Instructors In the lab, and development of new educational apparatus, class projects, and learning modules.

Awarded Amount: $7,719

Hands-On Education in Engines & Experimental Studies

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

Overview

Hands-on education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab will be utilized to deliver the training to John Deer employees during training week in September 2014.

Audience

This training is intended for Engineers, Managers, and Technicians who are either new to the area of Instrumentation & Experimental Methods and the Fundamentals of Diesel Engines, or wish to broaden their knowledge to assist in vehicle integration or communication with colleagues across various subsystems. An engineering degree is recommended, but not required for this training. The proposed sessions are designed for a maximum of 20 participants. There is no minimum number of participants.

Outline

The proposed hands-on training covers two topics 1) Instrumentation & Experimental Methods and 2) Fundamentals of Diesel Engines and takes place over 5 days. The material is a mix of traditional direct learning and hands-on experimentation with data analysis and discussion. The direct learning portion is taught from the Mobile Lab's classroom, which seats up to 20 participants. The hands-on experimentation will be conducted utilizing a multitude of the Mobile Lab's equipment which may include production hybrid vehicles, a configurable hybrid vehicle, vehicle chassis dynamometer, and hybrid powertrain test cells. Each topic is 2.5 days of training.

Awarded Amount: $48,964

Hands-On Experiential Learning Through Development of an Electric Drive Vehicle

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

OVERVIEW

This Statement of Work (SOW) proposes a support structure to assist Heroes Alliance in administering an afterschool program in the Detroit Michigan area. Through this afterschool program, the youth (grades 9-12) will design and build a small electric vehicle, showing them the power of STEM, giving them confidence in their own capabilities, and inspiring them to pursue a STEM career where they can continue to give back to society. Construction of such a vehicle however, presents a complex engineering challenge, but one in which Michigan Tech proposes to support through on-site and off-site coaching, engineering design, and consultation.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the proposed Michigan Tech involvement in this project are to support Heroes Alliance in the successful design and build of an electric vehicle, which will in turn teach the value of STEM to high school youth.

WORK PLAN

It is proposed that a Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Staff Engineer be assigned to support this project. It is understood that the youth will meet for 3-4 hours per day, Monday through Thursday, each week beginning April 2014, and continuing to September 2014. Michigan Tech Staff will travel to Heroes Alliance in Detroit for one week long visit per month for the 6 month duration of the project. If, through subsequent discussions with Heroes Alliance Leadership, it is deemed useful, the Michigan Tech Configurable Hybrid Electric Vehicle will be brought to Heroes Alliance, tt is felt that this vehicle would prove to be a valuable educational resource and provide a source of excitement and motivation to the youth during this project, especially in the early months before their own vehicle starts "taking shape

Awarded Amount: $18,866

Experiencing Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies at the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology 2014 Conference

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

OVERVIEW

Supporting the 2014 Macomb Community College CAAT Conference with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab. Additionally the Mobile Lab will provide 1-day of open house style engagement for the Students, Faculty, and Staff of Macomb Community College the day before the CAAT conference.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the proposed Michigan Tech involvement in this project are:

1. Provide an open house of the Mobile Lab,

2. Provide a location for a short presentation on HEV Technology prior the CAAT Rid & Drive.

WORK PLAN

The Mobile Lab will provide an open house, during which the Lab will be open to any persons including Macomb Community College Students, Faculty, Staff, and the general public. During this time there will be two Mobile Lab Staff on hand to talk to the guests about various vehicle technologies, experimental technologies, educational programs or opportunities at Michigan Tech, etc. Various demonstrations can also be provided during this period of time on a case by case basis depending on the individuals attending the open house.

During the CAAT Conference the Mobile Lab will provide an open-house experience beginning at 8AM and will continue until the Ride and Drive begins. At the beginning of the Ride and Drive, participants of the ride and drive will be given a short presentation on HEV Technology from within the Mobile Lab prior to driving the vehicles obtained by Macomb Community College. The presentation can be repeated as many times as necessary as the Ride and Drive event continues.

Additionally, Mobile Lab Staff can assist in delivery of the short presentation to give the Macomb Community College Faculty a break throughout the evening. Two Mobile Lab Staff will be on-hand throughout the CAAT Conference event.

Awarded Amount: $8,500

Senior Design: Automatic Loading and Unloading Gravity Flow Rack System

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

Project Scope

Chrysler has found an opportunity for engineering students to become exposed to the assembly environment by reviewing and improving the mechanism which is used to deliver parts from a warehousing area in a plant to an assembly area. Currently, a driver is required to bring parts to the assembly area via a tugger. The driver must exit his vehicle and transfer the parts containers from his rack to the assembly operator's rack. The driver must also remove empty parts containers from the assembly operator's rack and return those to the warehousing area. A method of mechanically transferring these full and empty containers without the driver leaving his vehicle is desired.

This project team will investigate a mechanism which will couple two racks (delivery rack and assembly rack) of parts containers and transfer full containers and empty containers between the two racks. The ultimate goal of would be to have an automated delivery method (AGV) which would be able to take full parts containers from the warehousing area to the assembly area and return with empty parts containers with no human intervention. The mechanism will be a newly created design or may be modified from existing system.

This project will utilize and/or be adaptable to current gravity flow rack designs using Creform style tubing, joints, and rollers. The mechanism to transfer parts from the delivery rack to the assembly rack can be attached to either rack; however, if it is attached to the delivery rack it must be robust enough for travel within the plant via a tugger or AGV type vehicle.

Project Description (Work Plan)

Design, prototype, and demonstrate a mechanism which will (I) couple a material rack to an assembly rack, (2) transfer full containers of parts from the material rack to the assembly rack, and (3) transfer empty containers from the assembly rack to the material rack. The mechanism will be attached to material rack or assembly rack. Activation of mechanism will allow transfer of containers without human intervention. Design options considered must respect the following:

Safety

  1. Design must be easy to use and WILL NOT introduce any risk while in use or being repaired
  2. Parts containers must safely move from one rack to the other and not drop on the floor.
  3. Parts containers must be moved at a safe speed so that when the containers stop moving the parts inside them do not fly out.

Repeatable

  1. Parts containers must consistently transfer between the two racks.
  2. Coupling of the two racks must be made each time without human intervention.

Robust

  1. Design should be capable of being pulled by a vehicle inside the plant (uneven floor surface, bumps, and bounces during transport).
  2. Design should be capable of bumping during connection of material rack to assembly rack.
  3. Design may use new parts

Flexible

  1. Design needs to be able to work with containers of various widths, lengths, and heights
  2. Design needs to be able to work at various heights of racks
Awarded Amount: $26,765

Senior Design: Low Voltage Piezoelectric Bone Sculptor

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

Project Goal

A working low voltage piezoelectric driven bone sculpting handpiece and associated drive system capable of moving existing Sonopet tips in multiple modes, such as those depicted in the attached sketches.

Background

Stryker Instruments design and produce a wide range of medical equipment that make surgery more efficient, reduce trauma, and improve techniques. The company is known for a wide range of innovative operating room products, including power tools, advanced systems for waste management, irrigation, personal protection, and pain management. The company focuses on improving surgery and related techniques by developing instruments that are more reliable, more intuitive, and less complicated to use.

 Need(s) Addressed

Stryker Instruments Neuro, Spine and ENT High Speed Surgical Drills and the Sonopet Ultrasonic Aspirator system provide surgeons with options for resecting or shaping bone at different rates and degree of precision. High-speed drills such as Sabex and 82, together with the wide variety of cutting accessories they drive, offer high rates of resection when large sections of bone are to be surgically removed. The Sonopet system offers very fine and highly precise bone cutting and sculpting functions, but at comparatively low removal rates when the need for precision prevails. This project is predicated on the need for an instrument with bone cutting performance spanning between the current high speed drill and ultrasonic offerings, one offering both precision and reasonable rate of resection for certain procedures where current offering may not be ideal.

The job that needs getting done in the market is the safe and effective removal of bone in general, and bone sculpting in particular, through a mechanism employing reciprocating (as opposed to rotary) motion of a cutting accessory without introducing energy at or above ultrasonic frequencies.

 Project Scope

Develop a proof of concept surgical handpiece for resection and shaping of bone or similar hard tissue that employs oscillating motion of a cutting accessory (as opposed to rotary motion) and without introducing energy modalities at frequencies greater than ultrasonic. (Cutting accessories will be provided by Customer, and are outside the scope of this project.)

 Project Objectives

• Research commercially available low voltage piezoelectric stacks (linear actuators such as those often used in micro-positioning applications)

• Assess capabilities relative to electrical and thermal efficiency requirements; e.g., lower voltage, lower power consumption and lower heat dissipation preferred

• Design a mechanism that suitably constrains the piezoelectric stacks and maximizes mechanic amplification of the longitudinal motion delivered from the stacks to affect the desired motion and bone cutting force at the end of the cutting tip

• Design a housing for the piezoelectric mechanism just described in the form of a handpiece suitable for use by a surgeon performing delicate resection and/or sculpting of bone or similar hard tissue.

  1. Handpiece to form a comfortable grip and be ergonomically suitable for extended use in surgery, providing maximum visibility to the cutting tip along the axis of the instrument
  2. Handpiece to be a light in weight as possible, with the center of gravity positioned as close to the user grip point as possible
  3. Handpiece housing to provide electrical, thermal and acoustic isolation between the user (and patient) and the contained piezoelectric mechanism

• Design a drive system capable of powering the piezoelectric stacks at appropriate amplitude, phase and frequency to affect the desired motion and force at the cutting tip

Awarded Amount: $24,535

Senior Design: Surgical Power Tool Irrigatin Pump Controller

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

Project Goal

Provide an updated solution of current options for the transport of saline in a surgical power tool console.

 Background

Stryker is a medical device company. One of the products Stryker holds is the CORE Console. The CORE Console supplies power to a variety of devices including small and large bone drills, small and large bone saws, small and large bone drivers, large joint and small joint shavers, ENT shavers, bone mills, and footswitches (both wired and wireless) and provide for irrigation while allowing the user to program a number of customized settings via a touch screen graphical user interface.

 The intended use of the device is in the cutting, drilling, reaming, decorticating, shaping, and smoothing of bone, bone cement and teeth in a variety of surgical procedures, including but not limited to orthopedic, dental, ENT (ear, nose, and throat), neuro, spine, and endoscopic applications. It is also usable in the placement or cutting of screws, metal, wires, pins, and other fixation devices.

 Need(s) Addressed

The CORE console was released in 2005. Some electronic components are near the end of life. As part of a re-design project, the irrigation controller module (which is part of the CORE console) needs to be updated.

 Project Scope

Design space is limited to the irrigation pump controller.

 Known areas for improvement

1. Microcontroller requires updating. This includes spec-ing and programming.

2. DC motor and controller drive high levels of electromagnetic noise. Multiple Ferrite are used to absorb energy. Optimize filtering performance, alternate motor drive method? ·

3. Accuracy of system could be improved, especially at low speeds/flow rates.

Currently system provides fluid volume control at l-300ml/min {Accuracy unknown)

  1. Mechanical design may be modified to optimize pe1fonnance here.
  2. What is the balance between pump design and motor performance?

4. Current assembly is quite large. It consumes a lot of real estate in our system. This volume could be minimized. System must still utilize predicate pump cartridge.

5. Reduce component count/complexity (e.g. Replace flip-flops by using micro controller with built in quadrature interface)

Project Objectives

  1. Re-design of existing module
  2. Software interface shall be compatible with existing design
  3. Hardware interface shall be compatible with existing pump/encoder assembly
  4. Performance shall be equivalent or better to existing design (parameters to be supplied)
Awarded Amount: $24,535