engineering-2016US News and World Report recently released their Best Graduate Schools in Engineering of 2015. Each school’s score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma’s mechanical engineering graduate program was ranked 72nd improving greatly from 88th in 2014 and 93rd in 2013. In the Big 12 conference, both public and private, AME’s mechanical engineering graduate program was ranked third best following the University of Texas and Iowa State University. Click here to visit the list.

AME is grateful for their students, faculty and university leadership members for advancing the mechanical engineering graduate program while it continues to grow and succeed.

Tecaid LogoThe School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma was selected in late February to participate in a program called Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID). As part of the program’s initiative, TECAID selected five U.S. Mechanical Engineering departments from across the country who are working to improve diversity and inclusion related to race, gender and other social identities and that wished to benefit from an infusion of support and expertise.

“We, at AME, were thrilled to be selected for the TECAID program, because we have a vision of a fully inclusive mechanical engineering program and we see this as a great opportunity to help us reach that goal,” said Rebecca Norris, AME’s office manager and member of the TECAID team.

As part of the TECAID program, each department will define a diversity and inclusion change project and work together toward achieving their goals. Expected departmental outcomes include more diversity, less bias, greater inclusion and a more informed, responsible academic citizenry in matters of gender, race, sexual orientation and other social identities. Participation in this program means that the team from AME will attend three workshops over the next year and will also meet online.

“I am very excited about our participation in the TECAID program as one of the five mechanical engineering departments in the nation,” said Altan. “The program will give us a tremendous opportunity to transform engineering culture to advance inclusion and diversity. We have formed an outstanding AME team who will work with the national leaders to develop and implement effective strategies to enhance the recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented groups in mechanical engineering at OU.”

AME’s department team includes AME Director M. Cengiz Altan, Associate Professor J. David Baldwin, Associate Professor Wilson Merchan-Merchan, Professor Zahed Siddique and Rebecca Norris. This team will rely heavily on input from faculty members, especially female colleagues and those from underrepresented groups. AME believes the transformation of our school has to be driven from within, with the perception that the “majority” is driving the change.

“The TECAID program will help us discover more effective ways to recruit and retain underrepresented students in mechanical engineering to ensure that we are providing learning opportunities to top students from all groups,” said Siddique.

Please click here for more information.

JB2_6540Congratulations to Maryam Sabeghi, mechanical engineering graduate student, who was recognized by the National Science Foundation for Women’s History Month on her research. Maryam is a Graduate Research Fellow whose research focuses on solution space exploration in model-based realization of engineered systems. She believes her interest in engineering and how things work began when she was merely a child in Iran. To see the article featuring Maryam, please click here.

Jacob Anderson

Jacob Anderson is an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma. In fact, Jacob is a three-time alumnus. He graduated from OU and the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in the spring of 2007, followed by his Masters of Science also in mechanical engineering in the summer of 2009. Lastly, Jacob graduated with his Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering in the fall of 2013. Since then, he has worked with M. Cengiz Altan, AME Professor and Director, as a postdoctoral researcher.

Jacob recently accepted a job with PPG Industries working at the Fiber Glass Science and Technology Center. He will hold the title of Senior Researcher and Development Engineer in North Carolina. His job duties include identification, development and testing of textile composite materials for commercial development, work with customers to develop new applications, oversee production trials to evaluate material performance and more. Jacob believed working hard in both the classroom and the laboratory were key in landing his new job.

What do you enjoy most about your job/working in your field?

Composite materials are very exciting to work with because they allow materials to be developed that are optimized for a specific application or use. As such, the combinations/challenges are endless.

How did your education at AME help you to be successful in your career?

AME gave me the opportunity to pursue and overcome challenges both in and out of the classroom. As such, I have had many experiences and opportunities that have helped me grow as both a professional and a person. I feel very prepared for my career.

Why did you choose OU to pursue your degree?

The research being conducted by several members of the faculty aligned with my own interests.

What advice would you give to a current AME student?

I would tell the students:

  1. Your time at AME is what you make of it.
  2. Work hard, keep your eyes on your goal and keep pushing forward to achieve the goal, whether the distance traveled is measured in kilometers, meters or millimeters.

Who was your favorite faculty member and why?

Dr. M.C. Altan: He has the ability to present material from many different directions. As a result, he makes even the most complicated material approachable. In addition, his mentorship over the years has been invaluable and greatly appreciated.

AME would like to wish Jacob great success as he begins his new job!

KumarAME Seminar Series and Southwest Mechanics Lecture Series invites you to Dr. Vijay Kumar’s seminar presentation, “Aerial Robot Swarms.” Kumar will begin the seminar at 10:30am in the Hitachi Conference Room located in 214 Felgar Hall on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Kumar is a UPS Foundation Professor for the School of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, School of Computer and Information Science and the School of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Abstract: Autonomous micro aerial robots can operate in three-dimensional, indoor and outdoor environments and  have applications to search and rescue first response and precision farming. I will describe the challenges in developing small, agile robots and the algorithmic challenges in the areas of (a) control and planning, (b) state estimation and mapping and (c) coordinating large teams of robots.

Bio: Dr. Vijay Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar received his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. Kumar has served in various leadership positions including the Deputy Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and then served as the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2008-2012. He also served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Kumar’s research interests are in robotics, specifically multi-robot systems, and micro aerial vehicles. He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Tract in Advanced Robotics (STAR). Kumar is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

This seminar presentation is sponsored by ConocoPhillips. Refreshments provided.

For more information, please click here.

For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact Danielle Geier (405) 325-1715 or dgeier@ou.edu.

KalidindiAME Seminar Series welcomes Dr. Surya R. Kalidindi for the first seminar of the new year. Kalidindi is a Professor at the School of Computational Science and Engineering as well as the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kalidindi will begin his seminar presentation at 10:30am in the Hitachi Conference Room located in 214 Felgar Hall. His presentation is titled, “Data Science Approaches for Mining Structure-Property-Processing Linkages from Large Datasets.”

Abstract: Materials with enhanced performance characteristics have served as critical enablers for the successful development of advanced technologies throughout human history and have contributed immensely to the prosperity and well-being of various nations. Although the core connections between the material’s internal structure, its evolution through various manufacturing processes and its macroscale properties in service are widely acknowledged to exist, establishing this fundamental knowledge base has proven effort-intensive, slow and very expensive for a number of candidate material systems being explored for advanced technology applications. It is anticipated that the multi-functional performance characteristics of a material are likely to be controlled by a relatively small number of salient features in its microstructure. However, cost-effective validated protocols do not yet exist for fast identification of these salient features and establishment of the desired core knowledge needed for the accelerated design, manufacture and deployment of new materials in advanced technologies. The main impediment arises from lack of a broadly accepted framework for a rigorous quantification of the material’s internal structure and objective identification of the salient features in the microstructure that control the properties of interest. Materials Informatics focuses on the development of data science algorithms and computationally efficient protocols capable of mining the essential linkages in large multiscale materials datasets (both experimental and modeling) and building robust knowledge systems that can be readily accessed, searched and shared by the broader community. Given the nature of the challenges faced in the design and manufacture of new advanced materials, this new emerging interdisciplinary field is ideally positioned to produce a major transformation in the current practices. The novel data science tools produced by this emerging field promise to significantly accelerate the design and development of new advanced materials through their increased efficacy in gleaning and blending the disparate knowledge and insights hidden in “big data” gathered from multiple sources. Our ongoing research has outlined a specific strategy for data science enabled development of new/improved materials and key components of the proposed overall framework are illustrated with examples.

Bio: Surya R. Kalidindi earned a B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After his graduation from MIT in 1992, Surya joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University as an Assistant Professor, where he served as the Department Head during 2000-2008. Under his leadership, the department experienced tremendous growth and was ranked 10th nationally among Materials Science and Engineering programs by Academic Analysts in 2006. In 2013, Surya accepted a new position as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the George W. Woodruff School at Georgia Institute of Technology, with joint appointments in the School of Computational Science and Engineering and in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Surya’s research efforts over the past two decades have made seminal contributions to the fields of crystal plasticity, microstructure design, spherical nanoindentation and materials informatics. His work has produced about 200 journal articles, four book chapters and a new book on Microstructure Sensitive Design. His work is well cited by peer researchers as reflected by an h-index of 48 and current citation rate of about 1000 citations/year. He has recently been awarded the Alexander von Humboldt award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in research.

This seminar presentation is sponsored by ExxonMobil. Refreshments provided.

For more information, please click here.

For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact Danielle Geier (405) 325-1715 or dgeier@ou.edu.

Charles BertThe AME family lost one of its valuable members, Dr. Charles W. Bert, on February 3, 2015. Bert began his journey at the University of Oklahoma in 1963, where he served the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as a Professor for 41 years before retiring in 2004. During this time, Bert served as Director from 1972-1978 and again in 1990-1995. He also held the Benjamin H. Perkinson Chair during his time at AME. In 1981, he was the recipient of the highest recognition for research at the University of Oklahoma—the George Lynn Cross Research Professorship. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2011.

“I am deeply saddened to lose one of our best. Charlie was a giant in the broad field of mechanics and composite materials,” said M. Cengiz Altan, AME Director. “He has been such a positive influence on me since I started my career at OU. He has always been supportive and provided encouragement to many AME faculty, as well as to countless undergraduate and graduate students. I will miss him greatly as a mentor and a friend.”

Charles Bert

Bert’s work in composite materials earned him an international reputation in the field; he authored and co-authored 205 papers in refereed journals, published one monograph, edited three books, produced 13 book chapters and 158 other papers. In connection with his research, he mentored 26 doctoral students and over 40 master’s students. He was a registered Professional Engineer, and consulted on numerous projects including the design of the propulsion clutch for the USS Nautilus (first nuclear submarine), first annular air-oil shock absorber, steel-belted radial tires and NASA Space Shuttle payload-bay doors. Charlie was elected as Fellow to seven technical organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society for Composites.

“Dr. Bert was a great mentor and guided me well throughout my career. His reputation and research accomplishments were spread worldwide. In international or national meetings I attended, there were always people who enquired about him when they saw my name tag mentioning OU,” said Subramanyam R. Gollahalli, AME Professor. “Above all, he was a great person. We miss him very much.”

The AME family would like to send its deepest condolences to the Bert family. Charlie’s kind heart, his encouraging words and supportive attitude along with his teaching, excellent research contributions and his friendship will be dearly missed by all.

Bert Family

CHARLES WESLEY BERT, III—Obituary

Charles Wesley Bert, III was born November 11, 1929 in Chambersburg, PA to Charles W. and Gladys R. Bert. He passed away surrounded by his loving family on February 3, 2015 in Norman, OK. Charlie was a quiet gentleman who truly cared for others. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. He is now with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Heaven. Charlie grew up in Greencastle, PA and graduated from Greencastle High School in 1947. He received two mechanical engineering degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951 and a Master of Science degree in 1956 from Pennsylvania State University. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Reserve, proudly served on active duty during the Korean War from 1952-54 and retired as a Captain in 1963. Charlie worked at Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown, MD where he met his wife, Charlotte. They were married in 1957 and moved to Columbus, OH to pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Ohio State University, graduating in 1961.

They moved to Norman in 1963 where Charlie served for 41 years as a Professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, retiring in 2004. He served as Director of the School from 1972-78 and 1990-95. He was named a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in 1981 and held the Benjamin H. Perkinson Chair.

Charlie’s work in composite materials earned him an international reputation in the field; he authored or co-authored 205 papers in refereed journals, published one monograph, edited three books, produced 13 book chapters and 158 other papers. In connection with his research, he mentored 26 doctoral students and over 40 master’s students. He was a registered Professional Engineer, and consulted on numerous projects including the design of the propulsion clutch for the USS Nautilus (first nuclear submarine), first annular air-oil shock absorber, steel-belted radial tires and NASA Space Shuttle payload-bay doors. Charlie was elected as Fellow to seven technical organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society for Composites. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2011. He was a longtime member of McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church and the Norman Club of Rotary International. Charlie was a huge Sooner football and basketball fan for over 50 years.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Charlotte Bert, Norman; a sister, Grace Cannon of Walnut Creek, CA; two sons, Charlie Bert and his wife Pam Bert of Oklahoma City, and David Bert and his wife Susan Bert of Edmond; granddaughters Bailey, Brianna and Alyssa Bert; grandson Michael Maples, US Navy and his wife Miranda Maples; and a great granddaughter, Mia Maples.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 12 at 2 p.m. at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Blvd. in Norman, OK. Services are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Service, Norman, OK. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to The Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma, 720 W. Wilshire Blvd., Suite 109, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 or The University of Oklahoma Foundation (Bert Family Scholarship in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering), 100 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019.

Diana Bairaktarova, Assistant Professor of Engineering Practice, utilizes technology in the classroom in more ways than one. In the spring of 2014, she recorded her thermodynamics lectures using an Apple iPad. Bairaktarova would then upload the lectures to D2L for the students to view along with their reading before they would meet to cover the material in class. This allowed class time to not be solely lecture-based. As time went on with the iPad being one of her biggest teaching tools, she knew the idea of students using the same technology would be very beneficial. After receiving financial support from the OU Center of Teaching Excellence, the use of iPads for her students became a reality. In the fall of 2014, the students in her thermodynamics section each had an iPad. With the help of a few apps, students used the iPads for everything for the course. At the beginning of each class period, Bairaktarova asked students questions, which they then answered using iClickers. Another bonus of using the iPads was that students were able to have all of their material and learning resources in one place from notes to lectures to homework. If they solved problems in class, it was available on their iPad for future reference. Students turned in homework using their iPads, which Bairaktarova would grade from the iPad and would even record her voice offering assistance to solve problems that may have been missed. While students worked on their end-of-semester creative group projects, they were able to virtually meet each other using the technology and working together when they could not meet.

iPads

“By using the newest technology and teaching students in interactive ways, I’m meeting them where they are in their current lives,” Bairaktarova said. “I am finding my students more engaged and providing more feedback in class.”

iPads

At the end of the semester, students were given a survey to identify what they enjoyed most about their thermodynamics class; the consensus was the use of the iPads and the creative group project. It is safe to say Bairaktarova’s use of technology and creativity was a fun and innovative way for engineering students to learn, even in a difficult subject like thermodynamics.

3Bairaktarova continues to use iPads in the spring 2015 semester in the design and manufacturing processes class. The above photos feature students from this course using their iPads.

Kuang-Hua ChangKuang-Hua Chang, AME and David Ross Boyd Professor, recently finished and published his fourth book in a four-book series. Chang was approached by Academic Press, a leading publisher of scientific books, in 2005 to write a textbook focused on computer aided engineering design. He began writing The Computer Aided Engineering Design Series in 2009 while on sabbatical leave, publishing two books in 2013 followed by the final two in 2014.

“I have been interested in writing such a book for a long time,” said Chang. “These books are very unique as many engineering design books discuss conventional design principles. This series focuses on modern e-Design paradigm, computer design tools, current technology and different perspectives.”

The textbooks target mechanical, aerospace and industrial engineers studying design as well as engineers interested in learning computer design tools such as Pro/ENGINEER® and SolidWorks® in the context of the e-Design paradigm. Chang also uses his textbooks to teach four courses at AME as electives for seniors and graduate students. These courses include Intro to CAD, Concurrent Design and Manufacturing, Computer-Integrated Manufacturing and Design Theory and Methods.

For more information on each textbook, please click the corresponding title:

“These books benefit the students while learning design,” said Chang. “It sets them up to learn the methods and tools used in the industry while allowing the students to be competitive in the field.”

Next on Chang’s to do list is combining all four books ranging from 418 pages to 549 pages into one single book, e-Design: Computer-Aided Engineering Design, to be published by Academic Press in 2015.

 

Yingtao LiuAME Assistant Professor Yingtao Liu received a $15,000 research grant from the OU Research Council Faculty Investment Program to develop novel polymers with self-healing capability. Once complete, this exploratory project will be a solid foundation for the design, fabrication and development of multifunctional polymers and composites for aerospace, mechanical and civil engineering applications.

“We will focus on the synthesis and characterization of self-healing polymers in this project,” said Liu. “The self-healing process of the proposed polymers will mimic the biological systems that can autonomously repair the physical damage and recover the load ability after damage.”

Liu’s long term career goal is to develop an adaptive structural health management system for multi-physics damage diagnosis and prognosis by combining multifunctional materials, intelligent and multi-scale sensing, nondestructive evaluation, multi-scale and probabilistic modeling into a general framework. The successful development of intelligent materials and structural systems will be a game changing improvement of damage diagnosis, structural maintenance and risk management for various engineering applications. This project, which focuses on the self-healing capability, is one of the key elements in Liu’s long term research plan.

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