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AME alumni:
Your school needs your help! The Mechanical Engineering Capstone program has grown in size tremendously in recent years, and we are in need of additional industry sponsored projects to support our large student cohort for Spring 2018.
 
For many years, our capstone program has collaborated with industry sponsors, like you, to provide “real-life” industry projects for our seniors to complete during their final semester in school. These projects allow our students to successfully demonstrate a variety of skills that future employers prize: analysis, design, teamwork and communication skills to name a few. Ideally, the project will feature some elements of a design process and be suited for a team of 3-5 members for a period of 15 weeks. We are also interested in interdisciplinary projects that may involve industrial or electrical engineers as well.
 
If you believe your company may be able to assist us, please contact Dr. Chris Dalton at cdalton@ou.edu.

Six AME graduate students participated in the 2017 Student Research and Creativity Day. There was a total of 65 entries in the event.  Join us in thanking the participants:

Jackson Autrey                             Siddique and Mistree

Shangyuan Jiang                          Gan

Anand Balu Nellippallil              Allen and Mistree

Mortaza Saeidijavash                  Garg

Xiwen Shang                                 Allen and Mistree

Ru Wang                                        Allen and Mistree

 

Congratulations to Mortaza Saeidijavash for placing second in the engineering category.

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Scalewings’ P51 mustang wing test

Dr. Hays’ Aerospace Structures class tested their UAV Wing Structural Design and Destruction projects on March 24, 2017 in the Rawls Engineering Practice Facility.

The task description was to design the structure of an assigned UAV wing outer mold line.  These wings were placed in a table testing mount and loaded with sandbags corresponding to the lift distribution across the wing.  While this is an older method of testing, it is still very much in use today and serves as a very definitive demonstration of strength. The objective was to construct a suitable wing structure to carry the defined load while keeping the overall structure as light as possible.

AME student, Robert Anderson, was awarded the Oklahoma National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Summer 2017 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. According to the EPSCoR website, “Award recipients, under the guidance of faculty mentors, will perform climate variability research at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.”

The student researcher will be under the guidance of Dr. Andrea L’afflitto  to conduct research titled Summer Research Experience: Programming UAS for Improved Weather Forecasts.

For the full list of recipients, click here.

ABOUT LEAN CELL ADVISING

Students must sign up for a 30-minute block using iAdvise to prevent long wait times. All advising sessions will be held in Rawl Engineering Practice Facility, Room 200. When students arrive, they should have completed all tasks under “Know Before You Go” below.

All students must attend Lean Cell Advising or students may not be able to enroll in courses until Fall 2017. 

LEAN CELL ADVISING + iADVISE

AME Students must sign up for advising with iAdvise. AME has designated a 30-minute block sign up for students. The appointment should only take approximately 10-15 minutes as long as student comes prepared. Please note, all students MUST SIGN-UP FOR A TIME WITH iADVISE IN ORDER TO BE ADVISED.

Follow the simple steps below to sign-up with iAdvise:

  1. Log in to http://iadvise.ou.edu using your 4×4 and password.
  2. Select the Department Level Advisement (AE or ME at the School of Aerosapce and Mechanical Engineering), then select Make Group Appointment. 
  3. Reserve an advising time slot (ex. 12:30 time is for 12:30-1:00pm time slot). You can only reserve one slot.
  4. Arrive at the beginning of your time slot. You will be seen sometime within that 30-minute time frame. The advising session should only take approximately 10-15 minutes if student comes prepared.
  5. If you do not reserve a time slot before attending Lean Cell Advising, you may not be seen if the time slot is full.
iAdvise
download icon iAdvise Step-by-Step
Download the iAdvise step-by-step PDF here:

ADVISING DATES

All AME Lean Cell Advising sessions will take place in the Rawl Engineering Practice Facility, Room 200.

  • Returning Seniors & National Merit Scholars: Tuesday, February 28th from 12:00-3:00pm
  • Sophomores & Pre-Med: Wednesday, March 1st from 1:00-4:00pm
  • Juniors: Thursday, March 2nd from 12:00-3:00PM
  • Freshmen: Monday, March 27th from 1:00-4:30PM

Unsure of your academic classification? Go to oZone > click the academic tab > click academic profile > select the current semester

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Prepare a course plan in Degree Navigator by logging on to ozone.ou.edu (The course plans on oZone do not check for pre-requisites nor will it verify courses offered during a specific semester)
  • Bring prepared course plan, degree check sheet and degree flowchart with the classes you have taken checked off, current courses circled and courses you plan to take in Fall 2017 highlighted
  • If you are not prepared upon arrival, your time will not be guranteed
  • A staff member from the Williams Student Services Center will be in attendance to remove your advising hold and answer any enrollment/graduation questions
  • A Pre-Med representative will be in attendance on Wednesday, March 1st

OTHER INFORMATION

Freshmen are required to be advised by their University College, Athletics, or Honors/Scholars Advisor in order to be able to enroll.

Do you have questions or concerns about advising, classes, your current major or school in general?

Please know that aside from Lean Cell Advising, you are encouraged to meet with your College Advisor in the Williams Student Services Center (WSSC) any time you have questions, or concerns you wish to discuss in a one-on-one meeting. Lean Cell Advising is an advising process intended to provide a stream-lined process for meeting with your major faculty advisor while also addressing the multiple steps in theadvising/enrollment system without having to visit multiple offices and staff. HOWEVER, you can, and are encouraged to, meet with your WSSC advisor if you require or would benefit from more in-depth guidance and academic counseling. It’s easy to do! Log into: iadvise.ou.edu to access available appointment times for your specific advisor. Don’t see any openings? Click here to contact your WSSC advisor or call WSSC directly at (405) 325-4096.

Do you have questions about career fairs, graduate school, internships and co-ops? 

WSSC advisors are here to assist you with Career Counseling. We encourage you to take advantage of this guidance as you prepare for your future as an engineer!

QUESTIONS?

For more information or accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact Kate O’Brien at kobrien@ou.edu.

A group of students from Dr. Andrea L’afflitto’s Flight Controls class created the following video:

According to Dr. L’afflitto, this project consisted of designing an autopilot for a quadrotor using some modern, very aggressive control techniques. The purpose of this video is to show the results achieved graphically, however, the mathematical models, the control design problem and the numerical simulations have very deep roots.

“I am extremely proud of their work because these are all undergraduate students, but the quality and the mathematical complexity is the one of a graduate project,” said Dr. L’afflitto. “We all can imagine the impact of the development of such technology, considering the growing attention that OU is putting on the UAS technology.”

Video Transcript:

This video shows the result of a students’’ project developed as part of the AME 4513/5513 “Flight Controls” course at the University of Oklahoma in Fall 2016. A DJI F450 will inspect some buildings of OU’s main campus. The drone’s autopilot implements an algorithm based on Model Reference Adaptive Control.

An important feature of this simulation is that the quadrotor dynamics is not captured by a set of nonlinear differential equations, but it is deduced from a SimMechanics model of a DJI F450. This guarantees high accuracy of the results presented.

The adaptive control technology allows precise, aggressive maneuvers in the vicinity of obstacles, such as buildings.

[VIDEO]

Next, we compare the performance of a quadrotor (in white) implementing an adaptive control law and a quadrotor (in black) implementing a classic PID controller.

[VIDEO]

Created by: Blake Anderson

Riley Cotter

Jordan Logue

Kevin Murray Jr.

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Dr. Michael Zavlanos visited AME on February 2, 2017 as part of Dr. Andrea L’Afflitto’s Dream Course, Modern Control Theory and Applications.

Abstract: Current robotic systems have the potential to accomplish a previously intractable scope of tasks. Their ever growing capabilities will soon allow them to operate autonomously outside the lab, in remote, unpredictable, and uncertain environments, where the presence of humans is dangerous or even impossible. For this to become possible, a fundamental challenge is to develop new methods that will enable teams of robotic sensors to collaboratively explore unknown environments and extract concise actionable information. In this talk,we present a novel approach to dynamically synthesize optimal controllers for a robotic sensor network tasked with estimating a collection of hidden states. The key idea is to divide the hidden states into clusters and then use dynamic programming to determine optimal trajectories around each hidden state as well as how far along the local optimal trajectories the robot should travel before transitioning to estimating the next hidden state within the cluster. Then, a distributed assignment algorithm is used to dynamically allocate controllers to the robot team from the set of optimal control policies at every cluster. Compared to relevant distributed state estimation methods, our approach scales very well to large teams of mobile robots and hidden vectors. We also present a distributed state estimation method that allows mobile sensor networks to estimate a set of hidden states up to a user-specified accuracy. This is done by formulating a LMI constrained optimization problem to minimize the worst case state uncertainty, which we solve in a distributed way using a new random approximate projections method that is robust to the state disagreement errors that exist among the robots as an Information Consensus Filter (ICF) fuses the collected measurements. To our knowledge, even though the distributed active sensing literature is well-developed, the ability to control worst-case estimation uncertainty in a distributed fashion is new. We present numerical simulations and experimental results that show the efficiency of the reposed methods.

Bio: Michael M. Zavlanos received the Diploma in mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Athens, Greece, in 2002, and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, in 2005 and 2008, respectively. From 2008 to 2009 he was a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He then joined the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, where he remained until 2012. Currently, he is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, Durham, NC. He also holds a secondary appointment in the department of electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include a wide range of topics in the emerging discipline of networked systems, with applications in robotic, sensor, and communication networks. He is particularly interested in hybrid solution techniques, on the interface of control theory, distributed optimization, estimation, and networking. Dr. Zavlanos is a recipient of the 2014 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, the 2011 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, as well as Best Student Paper Awards at GlobalSIP 2014 and CDC 2006.

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The course consisted of different terrains and obstacles.

Throughout the fall semester, students taking the pre-capstone AME course, “Principles of Engineering Design” worked on a project that led up to a final performance test. The problem description is created out of a fascinating anthology of problems.

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The students prepped the robots at the starting line.

The students’ task was to design, build and test a robot that has the ability to travel through an obstacle course and end by piercing a Styrofoam board, hopefully popping the balloon housed underneath. The teams were given 2 attempts to complete both aspects of the task with an optional 5-minute break to fix their robot or make alterations.

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Chris Sanders, Pamela Duarte, Dallas Milligan, and Ian Wright choose to take time to fix their robot before their 2nd attempt at the course.

 

Each team consisted of a group of 4-5 interdisciplinary engineering students, ranging from mechanical to petroleum.

 

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According to Senior Mechanical Engineering student Ciore Taylor, the class consisted of lessons about the design and planning phases. Teams initially determined the different skills each person in the group had, then moved on to coming up with different designs, then come to conclude the design process. Students were encouraged to use their imagination when coming up with the designs of the robot.

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The winning teams were announced after each team had the opportunity to test their robots. precapstone-winners-ameprecapstone-winners-ameprecapstone-winners-ame precapstone-winners-ame

ame-glider-2Dr. Thomas Hays’ Introduction to Aerospace Engineering course tested their model gliders in the Armory on Thursday, December 1, 2016. The student teams choose whether they wish to compete for either range or endurance and then they must predict how far or for how long it will fly.

 

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“It is nice to be able to apply what you have been learning all semester to something as fun as constructing your own glider and testing it,” said Ryan Tullius (pictured left).

 

ame-glider-3 The students had the option to make the gliders out of any materials they want. Some of the common materials used were paperclips, balsa wood, and tape. Many students decorated their glider with different themes as well to represent each team.ame-glider-4

hamidreza-shabgard-bioDr. Hamidreza Shabgard joined AME as an Assistant Professor in the Fall 2016 semester. He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in thermal-fluid sciences at the University of Connecticut in 2014. Dr. Shabgard holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration of energy conversion from the Amirkabir University of Technology (Iran) and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Azad University of Mashhad (Iran).

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Shabgard took a post-doctoral position at Drexel University, where he worked on advanced dry-cooling technology for power plants. Dr. Shabgard’s research interests include multiphase flow and heat transfer, particulate flow, CFD, thermal energy storage, and heat pipes. His work is focused on the development of efficient and sustainable energy systems through a fundamental understanding of the underlying physics involved in fluid flow and heat transfer, as well as, innovative thermofluidic design.

Dr. Shabgard has big plans for his time at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, “Energy is critical in our daily lives and is closely tied to environment and natural resources. My work is related to energy and in particular the thermal-fluid systems involved in production, conversion, storage, transfer and management of energy. As a faculty member in AME, I will have the opportunity to work with students and carry out cutting edge research in one of the finest educational institutions.”

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