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The students of the course User-Centered Design along with their professors Dr. Diana Bairaktarova and Dr. Zahed Siddique explored design-thinking, innovation, creativity, prototyping, empathic and verification design throughout the semester. The focus of the course was learning and experiencing design as a space rather than a step by step process with a toy prototype as a course project.

The students individually applied their knowledge from the course on a toy design project. They created blueprints for the design, a prototype of the toy and an informational poster about the toy. Students hosted a Toy Fair for others to view their toys and meet the designers. The toys along with their posters and the designers’ biographies are now on display for the months of December and January in the main lobby of the Bizzell Library.

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To view more photos of the Toy Fair, please click here.

Recently the Mechanical Engineering Capstone students were given a task. The task was to design, build and test a SHARK system capable of moving over land a distance of eight feet, and then enter a harbor. The SHARK must cover the eight feet as rapidly as possible. Upon entering the ‘harbor’ the SHARK must retrieve as much Klepp as possible within set time limits.

The design and construction of the SHARK were subject to the restrictions and conditions.

Restrictions

  • The design must start and operate with one switch
  • The design must be completely autonomous
  • The design must be self-contained
  • The total system weight (dry) should not exceed 5lbs
  • The system at rest should fit in an imaginary cube
    • 1 ft. X 1 ft. X 1 ft.

Performance Tests

The performance of SHARK was tested in two areas:

  • Land speed – this event measured the speed of the SHARK over a distance of eight feet. The course began at a start line eight feet away from the ‘harbor’ and finished in the ‘harbor.’ Timing began when the foremost part of the SHARK crossed the start line and ended when the SHARK entered the pool.
  • Retrieval rate – this was a measure of how much Klepp the SHARK could retrieve. Upon entering the water, the SHARK had two minutes to retrieve as much Klepp as possible. In the test, Klepp was represented by Styrofoam packing ‘peanuts.’ The number of peanuts collected or retrieved by the SHARK in two minutes was counted and expressed as a rate: Klepp retrieval per minute.

Each group was allowed to put their SHARK through the test twice. Groups were allowed two minutes to set up for a test and one minute to remove their device from the testing area.

Scoring was completed for points of land speed and points for retrieval rate. The total points for a test was the sum of the land speed and retrieval rate minus deductions due to penalties, i.e. The final score for a group was the highest from the two tests. Lastly, the group with the most points was announced as winners of the competition. The winning team consisted of Jacob Pickle, Scott Maxwell, Brooke Hitt, Lars Glasemann, and Jackson Autrey. Congratulations!

Winning Team

The winning team with their SHARK.

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The team overlooks the judge as he counts the ‘Klepp.’

 

ReidOn Tuesday, November 25, 2014, Dr. Tahira Reid visited AME for a seminar presentation. Her seminar presentation was titled, “The Influence of Social and Cultural Considerations on Engineering and Design.”

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Reid will discuss two projects to illustrate how social and cultural considerations influence design methods. In the Beauty of Mechanical Engineering project, Dr. Reid and her students are conducting experiments to understand how heat moves through curly hair and the mechanisms that cause permanent structural changes in the hair (i.e., heat damage). Currently, trained professionals in the hair industry cannot predict when heat damage will occur and often rely on heuristics and intuition in their hair care approaches. In addition, scientists that have conducted studies with heat and hair have often used Caucasian hair which cannot be generalized to all ethnic groups; they have also conducted experiments that are not ecologically consistent with individuals’ use context. As a result, a number of lay scientists have emerged whose use of contexts are ecologically valid, but are lacking the experimental and quantitative rigor that engineers can provide. With hair care being a multi-billion dollar industry and having meaning for a vast majority of the population, research of this kind is important. In the Socially Conscious Design project, Dr. Reid and her students are exploring ways that compassion can help with problem framing and enhancing design solutions. There are some product interactions, namely in medical environments, in which the design of a product/system elicits fear and anxiety within individuals. The ultimate goal of this research is to use interdisciplinary methods to examine ways in which these emotional needs can be considered during the design process.

Bio: Dr. Tahira N. Reid is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is the director of the Research in Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (REID) Laboratory. Her research interests include developing methods that help engineers think critically about non-technical issues and their impact on engineered design solutions. Prior to arriving at Purdue in 2011, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Mechanical Engineering department at Iowa State working in the Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainable (IRIS) Design Laboratory under the mentorship of Erin MacDonald. In 2010, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Design Science, with Mechanical Engineering and Psychology as her focus areas. Dr. Reid received both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2000 and 2004, respectively. She received national attention for patenting a childhood invention: a Double Dutch jump rope device. In 2000, she exhibited her device at the Smithsonian during the Playful Mind’s exhibit and demonstrated it on NBC’s Today Show. Her story has been featured in numerous news media sources and is featured in two children’s books.

On October 25, 2014 students of OU’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) attended the Society of Flight Test Engineer’s Symposium at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth, Dallas. The symposium was attended by companies like Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Bombardier and Scaled Composites. The event was directed by the high level test engineering field engineers and was an eye-opening experience for the students.

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“This was the greatest opportunity of my college career to meet and socialize with industry professionals.”- Josiah Lund, President AIAA

In addition to the symposium, the students also had the opportunity to visit the Lockheed Martin to see the F35 Assembly Line and Simulators. Several students also went to Love Field to visit the Maintenance and Engineering Department of Southwest Airlines. These events are very important to both inspire the students and also create valuable relationships with potential mentors in the industry.

“I really like that our sophomores were able to visit a company. The F35 line was exhilarating!” – Bipin Varghese, PR AIAA

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AbotOn Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Dr. Jandro Abot visited AME for a seminar presentation. His seminar presentation was titled, “Self-Sensing Composite Materials Using Carbon Nanotube Yarns: A New Paradigm in Structural Health Monitoring.”

Abstract: Composite materials are widely used in aerospace structures and many applications because of their superior specific stiffness and strength respect to weight. However, monitoring their structural health still remains too complex and difficult to implement in an integrated and distributed manner. This presentation is about integrated structural health monitoring in polymeric and composite materials using carbon nanotube yarns. Carbon nanotubes are grown into arrays that can be drawn into webs and further twisted into yarns that contain thousands of carbon nanotubes in their cross-sections. These carbon nanotube yarns are lightweight, stiff, strong, ductile and electrically conductive fiber-like materials that we are studying as piezoimpedance-based sensors. The proven concept of real-time, integrated, and widely distributed damage detection and strain measurement using carbon nanotube yarn sensors is presented including the latest experimental results. The coupled mechanical, electrical and thermal response of the carbon nanotube yarns is of significant importance for their use as sensors and recently obtained results are presented including a not-before observed negative piezoresistance response. The effect of composition and structure of the carbon nanotube yarns on that coupled response is also discussed. The present challenges and proposed approaches for robust real-time structural health monitoring that eventually leads to condition-based maintenance are outlined for aerospace structures and other components, devices, and structures.

Dr. Jandro Abot is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Director of the Intelligent Materials Laboratory, and Director of International Engineering Program Development of the School of Engineering at The Catholic University of America. He was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University where he had received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Dr. Abot also holds a 6-year degree in Structural Engineering from the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay. Dr. Abot’s expertise is on the science and technology of composite materials and structural health monitoring of structures using carbon nanotube-based sensors. Dr. Abot authored or co-authored one hundred journal and proceeding papers and led research projects sponsored by AFOSR, NASA, and Fulbright and collaborated on projects sponsored by NSF, ONR, and industrial consortiums. Dr. Abot taught nineteen different engineering courses in Solid Mechanics, Materials Engineering, Experimental Mechanics and Introduction to Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, always receiving very good students’ evaluations. Dr. Abot is always committed to advising many graduate students and mentoring undergraduate students in the framework of research projects, and actively engaged in many departmental and school service activities such as recruitment, accreditation and international programs.

BOA Fall 2014The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Board of Advisors attended their annual fall meeting on Friday, November 7, 2014. The BOA had a busy day with a full agenda. They held their meeting in the Hitachi Conference Room in Felgar Hall. In addition, the Chesapeake Scholars were invited to the luncheon with the BOA and received their Chesapeake Scholars certificate from BOA Chair and Chesapeake Vice-President, Dave Bert. The Chesapeake Scholars are Morgan Andersen, David Doshier, Cameron Riney and Timothy Willis.

David Doshier & Dave Bert

David Doshier & Dave Bert

Timothy Willis & Dave Bert

Timothy Willis & Dave Bert

DSC_0905The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Community (GSC) hosted their first research poster fair on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Devon Energy Hall. The student participants were all AME graduate students ranging from first-year graduate students to those nearing Ph.D. completion. The fair hosted over 15 participants who presented their research ranging from theoretical modeling research to experiment-based research. Three judges evaluated each participant’s poster and information along with a five minute explanation of the research from the participant. The judges were Dr. Yingtao Liu, AME Assistant Professor; David Campbell, Engineer at Tinker Air Force Base; and Beth Murray, Career Manager of Engineering Workforce Development at Tinker Air Force Base.

The hope of the poster fair was to provide students with presentation experience as well as respond to the judges challenging questions and critiques.

“Anybody can get up and do a slide show presentation, but when you have someone who actually knows [what] you’re talking about, they’re going to ask you critical questions,” Stewart Ohler, Ph.D. candidate, said.

The GSC awarded the top four winners with a cash prize and a certificate. The winners were as follows:

1st Place: Arun Balakrishnan (Ph.D. Candidate, Aerospace Engineering)

2nd Place: Lucas Balmer (Master’s Degree Student, Mechanical Engineering)

2nd Place: N. Anand Balu (Master’s Student, Mechanical Engineering)

2nd Place: Maryam Sabeghi and Jelena Milisavljevic (Master’s Students, Mechanical Engineering).

Congratulations to the winners and congratulations to the GSC for a successful event!

GSC Poster Fair

 To view more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook Page.

Dr. Feng C. LaiAME Professor Dr. Feng C. Lai was appointed as Associate Editor of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer. Dr. Lai’s term will begin immediately and last through December 2017. As an Associate Editor, Dr. Lai will have the unique opportunity to serve his fellow engineers and scientists in the field of aerospace.

Congratulations, Dr. Lai!

Tulsa Flight Night LogoIn September 2014, Jonathan Meyer, David Miller, Robert Huck and Austin Lee participated in Tulsa Flight Night. Tulsa Flight Night is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fundraiser for the Tulsa Area. For the event, the OU team created an autonomous quad-copter dance act. This involved two quad copters flying in a 20×20 foot area, moving and adjusting lighting in coordination with a musical piece selected by the event. The system utilized a downward looking camera from each copter that tracked a lighted target on the floor. Size, frame position and frame orientation of the target image, when combined with information from the copters inertial system (gyros and accelerometers) allowed the autonomous system to calculate the copters position, orientation, pose and make the proper adjustments to carry out a pre-choreographed dance. This was new work done over the summer for a complete budget of under $25,000. The work was done by recent AME M.S. graduate, Jonathan Meyer.

David Miller is an AME Professor, Robert Huck is the Director of Applied Research and Unmanned Systems and Austin Lee is an Electrical and Computer Engineering M.S. student.

To view the encore of the even held in Felgar Hall 300, please click here.

As the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering continues to grow, the faculty and students keep things exciting with great accomplishments and honors. We want to recognize some of the recent accomplishments with AME kudos’.

  • Dr. Rong Gan and Dr. Takumi Hawa for receiving $619,001 from the U.S. Department of Defense, Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity for their research project, “Biomechanical Modeling and Measurement of Blast Injury and Hearing Protection Mechanisms.”
  • Dr. Li Song for receiving $272,020 from the U.S. Department of Defense for her research project, “Demonstration of a Building Automation System Embedded Performance Degradation Detector Using Virtual Water/Air Flow Meters.”
  • Joshua Page, senior in Aerospace Engineering, was selected as one of 52 Air Force ROTC cadets from across the nation to attend the Euro-NATA Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. His selection to the program was recently featured in the Norman Transcript: http://www.normantranscript.com/news/article_c1ea4390-441e-11e4-a70a-c30ca12f481e.html
  • Arun Balakrishnan, Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering, (Faculty Advisor: S.R. Gollahalli) for receiving a Robberson Conference Presentation & Creative Exhibition Travel Grant in the amount of $500.
  • Juan Felipe Correa Pugliese, M.S. candidate in Mechanical Engineering, (Faculty Advisor: Wilson Merchan-Merchan) for receiving a Robberson Conference Presentation & Creative Exhibition Travel Grant in the amount of $500.

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