Multidisciplinary Engineered Dynamic Systems

The Multidisciplinary Engineered Dynamic Systems research group focuses on collaborative research at the interface of engineering disciplines including dynamics, vibration, acoustics, signal processing, molecular biology, and controls. These disciplines are becoming increasingly important due to advances in nanotechnology, higher machinery speeds, demanding operational loads, compact and lightweight designs, and new engineered materials.

Experimental work that employs high-speed processors, signal processing and embedded control processor, smart sensors, and actuators is evolving rapidly. When faced with complaints about noise or unpleasant vibration, many global manufacturers turn to the Multidisciplinary Engineered Dynamic Systems research group to investigate and improve their systems' behavior.

Researchers employ experimental and simulation-based methods to turn a grating whine into a gentle hum that exists below the realm of human perception. With modern lab facilities that include anechoic and reverberation chambers, researchers are well equipped to undertake studies of components and systems in full-scale operation.

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 multidisciplinary engineered dynamic systems. 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 focused on agile interconnected microgrids appears below. You can also view a broader list of research projects taking place across the mechanical engineering department.

Ongoing Projects

Understanding and Mitigating Triboelectric Artifacts in Wearable Electronics by Synergic Approaches

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ye Sun
College/School:  College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Abstract
Electrophysiological measurement (e.g. ECG, EEG, EMG) is a well-accepted tool and standard for health monitoring and management. A great variety of electrophysiological measurement devices are widely used including clinical equipment, research products, and consumer electronics. However, until now, it is still challenging to secure long-term stable and accurate signal acquisition, especially in wearable condition, not only for medical monitoring such as Holter but in daily well-being management. Motion-induced artifacts widely exist in the electrophysiological recording process regardless of electrodes (wet, dry, or noncontact). These artifacts are one of the major impediments against the acceptance of wearable devices and capacitive electrodes in clinical diagnosis. Also, the development of wearable devices for disease diagnosis and health monitoring is one of the nation's focal points. This project is to provide new strategies to mitigate motion-induced artifacts in wearable electronics for designing accurate wearable electronics for daily monitoring and disease diagnosis. The PIs will disseminate the research products to both students and the research community. New course materials will be developed for undergraduate and graduate education. Undergraduate and graduate students involved in the research program will obtain diverse knowledge in hardware design and data analytics. For K-12 students, the PIs will provide an integrated research and educational experience through unique programs at Michigan Technological University including Engineering Exploration Day for Girls and the Summer Youth Program (SYP). A research demo and hands-on experience for triboelectric generation in textile materials will be developed and provided to K-12 students.
The research goal of this proposal is to understand the fundamental mechanism of motion artifacts in wearable devices and provide synergistic solutions to mitigating the artifacts. Three approaches are proposed to achieve the goal: 1) understanding generation mechanism of triboelectric charge generation in wearable condition; 2) guided by the understanding, developing tribomaterial-based sensors to manipulate triboelectric charges for triboelectric artifact removal; 3) leveraging new tribomaterialbased sensor data statistical data analytics for true electrophysiological signal estimation. If successful, the synergic knowledge of accurate signal acquisition produced by the project will not only enhance the traditional bioinstrumentation in medical society, but also benefit industrial community of consumer wearable electronics.

Awarded Amount: $330,504

Carbon Nanotube Speaker for Exhaust Active Noise Control

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

Confidential

Awarded Amount: $154,037

Past Projects

Evaluation of Additive Manufactured Part Integrity

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
College/School:  College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary
The goal of this program is to gain insight into what methods can be used to evaluate the structural integrity of additive manufactured parts. The parts, provided by the buyer, will be evaluated from a structural dynamics perspective exploring the concepts of different excitation and methods to measure the part response to allow the calculation of Frequency Response Functions and estimates of natural frequency, damping, and possibly mode shapes. The project is to provide proof of concept.

Awarded Amount: $30,000

Fixture Design and Damage Potential

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator:  Charles Van Karsen
College/School:  College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary:
The goal of this program is to gain insight into what variables effect the damage potential of a unit under test on a surrogate fixture. The project will use a combination of modeling and testing to attempt to develop insight into a testing approach which generates a given damage potential at the unit under test.
 
This project will explore how to model and test the surrogate fixture dynamics. Analytical and experimental studies will be performed to understand the critical parameters in modeling and testing the surrogate fixture to understand what variables effect the part under test damage.
  • FEA models of the surrogate fixture will be created.
  • FEA models will be used to explore the critical design factors in understanding the relationship between the energy input location/direction and the damage produced at the unit under test.
  • Modal analysis will be performed on the surrogate fixture and unit under test to validate the FEA models.
  • A shaker test will be performed on the surrogate fixture to explore the effects of input location and drive file shaping on the strains and acceleration measured at the unit under test.

Awarded Amount: $30,900

Development of Dynamic Torsional Measurement Capability using Hybrid Electric Motor – Year 1

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator:  Wayne Weaver
College/School:  College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Abstract and Research Summary
As the role of the torque converter in the vehicle has changed with the increasing need for better fuel efficiency it has become important to better understand the torsional isolation properties of the torque converter. The torsional isolation performance is accomplished by the fluid coupling portion of the torque converter at low speeds, and by the torque converter clutch assembly once the converter clutch is applied. Recent changes in the operational profile of the torque converter to improve fuel efficiency require that the clutch be applied at lower and lower vehicle speeds. In addition, the use of reduced displacement engines and engine cylinder deactivation results in greater engine torsional excitations at lower engine firing frequencies, demanding increased isolation capability from the torque converter. Due to these changes in operation, as well as the increased torque carrying capacity of the clutch assembly, there is an important need to be able to study the response of the torque converter and clutch assembly to torsional inputs which are representative of the torsional excitation provided by an engine.
 
This project seeks to develop the necessary test stand to perform these required torsional isolation studies. The hardware will be developed from a hybrid electric drive motor. This project aims to use this motor to develop a torsional dynamometer that can be used to input a torsional excitation to a torque converter that has frequency content similar to an operating internal combustion engine.Once the dynamometer is functional it will be used to study the isolation performance of torque converter clutch and isolator assemblies, with specific emphasis on the turbochargers impact. The specifics of turbomachinery are examined, including the thermodynamics associated with energy extraction and gas compression.

Awarded Amount: $94845

Sound Power Measurement System for Fire Protection Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Andrew Barnard
College/School:  College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Tech will provide support for acoustic baseline testing of the Inergen product line of fire suppression systems. MTU will travel to Tyco's facility in Marinette, WI, to measure the sound absorption coefficient in the two acoustic test chambers. These coefficients will then be used to the measure sound power levels of gas discharge nozzles. A Lab VIEW data acquisition program will be designed to collect temporally varying sound power levels in the test chambers, record time histories of sound pressure, and display results. This program will be used to collect acoustic data on a baseline set of nozzle configurations to be mutually analyzed by Tyco and MTU personnel. MTU will also create a basic design tutorial on predicting sound pressure level in any room, based on the measured sound power levels in Tyco's test chambers.
At the end of the effort, MTU participants will travel to Marinette, WI, to present findings, discuss follow-on design studies, and data set demonstrating concept validation.

Awarded Amount: $28,352

Suspended Floor Material Testing

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

Michigan Tech will test materials according to EN 29052-1. There will be two batches of testing. The first will consist of 10 baseline materials. The second batch will consist of 7 prototype materials. Each material will include averaging of data from three test samples. Dynamic stiffness from the EN 29052-1 test will be reported to the sponsor. In addition, damping values, using the half-power bandwidth method, will be reported for A-B comparisons. It should be noted that these damping values will not represent as-installed damping values for the materials. Finally, Michigan Tech will provide a load-deflection curve for each material based on results from an MTS machine test. Four of the baseline materials will also undergo a creep test, where they will be loaded over a 48 hour period and re-tested for dynamic stiffness. Data will be presented in the form of a 1-2 page report for each material, showing raw data and computed values of dynamic stiffness, damping ratio, and load-deflection.

Awarded Amount: $22,188

Characterization of Torque Converter Cavitation Level during Speed Ratio Operation - Year 3

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator:  Carl Anderson
Co-Investigator:  Mark Johnson, PE
College/School:  School of Technology
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Introduction/ Abstract

Torque converter torus designs have evolved from axially long and round shapes to axially thin and elliptical shapes as automatic transmission content has increased in numbers of gears and in damping capability of the torque converter clutch. Future designs will include torque converters with even thinner tori with the torque converter to be used strictly as a vehicle launch device and the converter clutch applied in low gear at low vehicle speed.  These changes result in improved vehicle fuel economy, however, thinner torus torque converters are at increased risk for high levels of cavitation. The fluid in a small torus torque converter versus large at the same level of torque has greater pressure gradients across the blades of the converter pump, turbine, and stator. Greater pressure gradients result in lower pressures on the low pressure side of converter element blades which can lead to cavitation. Smaller torus converters also contain less transmission fluid which can lead to localized regions of higher temperature, further contributing to increased risks for high levels of cavitation. Understanding torque converter cavitation and noise characteristics, and the Influences of design parameters and operating conditions on cavitation level is vital to enabling new generations of transmission designs.

This research seeks to build upon knowledge gained from previous torque converter cavitation and noise studies executed at MTU. Previous research has established that moderate levels of cavitation are present in many torque converters under normal operating conditions. This research intends to quantify the level of cavitation present under normal and overload operating conditions and to develop a method to compare designs relative to design parameters and loading.

 Introduction

Starting in 1997, extensive research was conducted into techniques for detecting the presence of cavitation in the flow field of an operating torque converter. These studies have produced novel methodologies for sensing the onset of cavitation and quantifying its intensity at various operating conditions using microwave telemetry and specially instrumented torque converters. In 2000, a separate project was undertaken to develop a technique to acquire and evaluate noise generated by a torque converter during operation using acoustic measurements. Large quantities of data were acquired in both vehicles and in the dynamometer lab, advanced software was used to disassemble the noise spectrum into its critical components. Very successful measurement and analysis methodologies were developed, but no attempt was made to utilize these tools on converters of widely different sizes and designs. In 2004, a project was undertaken in which converters of different sizes and designs were operated over a range of charge pressures and torques at the stall operating condition. Noise data was acquired during the tests, processed by the recently developed numerical techniques, and non-dimensionalized or otherwise correlated against the converter's design and load parameters. The acoustical method of cavitation sensing was employed to similarly define the influence of converter design on cavitation potential. This data was used to validate the dimensional analysis approach to cavitation prediction suggested by the earlier work. To provide the precision and repeatability necessary for testing performed, both the dynamometers and hydraulic system of the test facility were updated to full computer control. The body of work has nicely correlated the cavitation characteristics of torque converters at stall conditions. In 2007, a project was initiated to characterize torque converter cavitation through a range of speed ratio operation and normal input torque and power levels. Test data was analyzed to develop dimensionless models to predict the speed ratio for cavitation desinense based on torque converter design parameters and operating conditions.

The research established that moderate levels of cavitation are present with no adverse effects in many production torque converters functioning under normal operating conditions. There are no complaints of objectionable noise from cavitation and no evidence of material wear or damage due to the implosion of cavitation bubbles. As torque converter torus designs continue to get smaller, this may no longer be the case. This study proposes to develop a method to measure and quantify the level of cavitation in a torque converter, determine criteria for acceptable levels of cavitation, test a matrix of torque converter designs for cavitation, and perform dimensional analysis to create a model capable of predicting cavitation level based on design parameters and operating conditions

Awarded Amount: $98,837