Space Robotics Class takes Flight

David Miller’s Space Robotics Class recently tested their balloon flight. Most high altitude balloons spin uncontrollably. This project used two wings to control the yaw of the payload.

The camera pointed in a fixed direction for two minutes. It would then spin clockwise for 15 seconds, stabilize again for 2 minutes, and then spin counterclockwise for 15 seconds. This repeated for the 200 minute ascent. The balloon popped at about 90,000 feet and the payload returned using a one meter parachute. Yaw control terminated when the payload had dropped 10,000 feet below the max altitude. The payload also contained, pressure, temperature, humidity and UV sensors. The camera looked at the squeeze toy and art model of an astronaut helmet in the foreground. Most of the ascent is shown at 20 times the original speed. Stability can be observed by seeing the sun highlights in the eyes. They are steady for about six seconds, and then spin clockwise or counterclockwise for one second (15 seconds in real-time) as the payload does a spin. The highlights hold steady for another six seconds.

Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society Initiates New Members

Pi Tau Sigma 4-14-16On April 14, 2016, Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society held its 2016 Initiation Ceremony. Devin Laurence, Kirsten Perry, Courtney Baukal, Taewoong Kim, Brian Flin, Lindsey Cox and Alana Harris are the seven newly initiated members. In addition to the initiation ceremony, Pi Tau Sigma also elected the 2016-2017 executive officers as follows, Miles Burnett, President; Alexis Heuangsayaseng, Vice-President; Kirsten Perry, Treasurer; and Lindsey Cox, Secretary.

Meet the 2016-2017 Officers:

Miles Burnett is a junior from Diamondhead, Mississippi. He is a National Merit Scholar and also works as a Student Manager for the University of Oklahoma Track and Field program. He is a second year member of Pi Tau Sigma, serving as Treasurer for the 2015-2016 school year.

Alexis Heuangsayaseng is currently double majoring in mechanical engineering and mathematics and minoring in economics. In addition to becoming an engineer, Alexis plans to obtain her teaching certification in mathematics. Alexis is a transfer student from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond. During her time at UCO, she was on the Dean and President’s Honor Rolls. She was also on the University of Oklahoma Gallogly College of Engineering Dean’s Honor Roll for the Fall 2015 semester.

Kirsten Perry is a junior double major in mechanical engineering and mathematics. She is working at her third internship with Shell Exploration and Production Company this summer in Houston on a multi-disciplinary team focused on onshore unconventional completions. She has performed academic research in mechanical, industrial and systems engineering. Additionally, she was Historian of Engineers’ Club this past year.

Lindsey Cox is junior majoring in mechanical engineering. This summer she will complete her third co-op term with American Airlines in Fort Worth. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was a member of Omega Phi Alpha, National Service Sorority for two years before transferring to OU and is now an active alumna. Lindsey is a recipient of the Transfer Award of Excellence Scholarship.

Pi Tau Sigma is a National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. Members are selected on a basis of sound engineering ability, scholarship (upper 35%), personality and probable future success in their chosen field of mechanical engineering. There are three grades of membership: honorary, graduate and active. Honorary members are technical graduates who are actively engaged in engineering work or mechanical engineering faculty members. Graduate membership is designated for those continuing their education through graduate studies. Active members are selected from the junior and senior mechanical engineering classes at their respective universities whose mechanical engineering curriculum must be accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.

AME Undergraduates Receive UROP Support

Two teams of mechanical engineering seniors recently received financial support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) funded through the Office of the Vice President of Research. AME students Mckenna Beard and Tyler Spencer worked together on one project; Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus teamed up for the other project. With the support from UROP, the two teams received research grants of $1,000 each for creative, hands-on projects under the mentorship of a faculty member. Dr. Kuang-Hua Chang, AME Professor, mentored both teams while Jawanza Bassue, AME graduate student, mentored as a design consultant.

Both of the teams had similar objectives: to design a green-energy tricycle that will appeal to commuters at a sale price of $2,000. For Beard and Spencer, their ultimate goal was to create a vehicle that would allow an individual to travel more than 40 miles on a single battery charge without exerting excessive energy. As for Berryman and Burrus, their goal was to improve frame integrity through analysis and lab testing while also reducing the cost of building the frame.

Every year, UROP recipients present the results of their research or accounts of their work in progress at the Honors College’s Undergraduate Research Day. The AME teams presented their research at the annual event on Saturday, April 2, 2016.

Tyler Spencer and Mckenna Beard

Tyler Spencer and Mckenna Beard

Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus

Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus

Mechanical Engineering Pre-Capstone: Project POP

The mechanical engineering capstone students were recently given a task to complete as their pre-capstone project titled Project POP. For this project, students teamed up to design, build and test a mechanism capable of traversing and maneuvering through a given obstacle course. After that, it had to transform itself into a piercing mechanism that could pierce through a surface layer made of Styrofoam. Then the mechanism had to pop a balloon lying underneath the Styrofoam surface. Students use Project POP to learn about principles of design.

Restrictions:

  • The weight of the mechanism, including the power source, should not exceed two pounds
  • The device should have dimensions no longer than 1 ft. x 1 ft. x 1 ft. in any direction

Performance Test:

The Performance Test consisted of two parts:

  • Prospecting the obstacle course—This part tested the ability of the mechanism to traverse any kind of terrain, including sand, gravel, road bumps and grease. The amount of time taken to traverse the track from start to finish was used in the calculation of points.
  • Piercing—This part tested the versatility of the mechanism. After the mechanism crossed the finish line, it had to pierce through the Styrofoam layer and pop a balloon underneath the surface. The time clock started as soon as the mechanism crossed the finish line and then stopped when the mechanism had completely pierced the balloon. The time was used in the calculation of points for this portion of the test.

Each team was required to go through both performance tests twice. Students were allowed two minutes to set up their mechanism before each run on the obstacle course. The weight of the mechanism was measured before undergoing any of the performance tests. Lastly, the sum of the original points from both runs + bonus points – penalties was considered the group score. The team with the most points was granted as the winners of the competition.

1st Place: Team 2.8

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Members: Jeremy Adams, Michael Allen, Keelan Prewett and Kyle Wager

2nd Place: Team 1.6

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Members: Garrett Svane, Michael Howell, Tyler Spencer and Colin Sullivan

3rd Place: Team 2.11

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Members: Joshua Ellenburg, Remington Butler, Michelle Musgrove and Marli Sussman

Congratulations to all the teams! Next stop: Capstone Poster Fair

To view more photos of Project POP, visit the AME Facebook page. 

Project Flyoff with Intro to Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Thomas Hays’ Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class recently designed and built gliders for testing. In teams of two, students chose one of three “proposals” to design and build a prototype for:  Range, Endurance or Payload.

On Dec. 10, 2015, the teams tested their glider prototypes in the field house. Each team launched their glider from a sled capable of propelling a one pound aircraft at 20 feet per second.

In addition to building the gliders, students wrote fully detailed reports requiring them to compute aircraft performance across the full range of possible speeds and all three mission objectives. Students developed code to calculate the best flight speed for their aircraft and perform simple trade studies to further optimize their score.

“The project naturally exposes students to the need for their future courses in flight mechanics, aerospace structures, aerodynamics and optimization,” said Dr. Hays. “It generated an environment where students naturally asked questions from these advanced topics, and the project also helped generate an eagerness to more completely answer questions about aircraft design.”

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The winners of the Endurance Challenge were Colton Johnson and Jerrod Watson.

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The winners of the Range Challenge were Sung Jae Kim and Shaik Zehad.

Check out the video of Kim and Zehad’s winning Range Challenge here.

Dr. Hays will continue this project in future classes, allowing each year to compete against the best records set by previous participants.

For more photos, please click here.

Lean Cell Advising at AME

This year, AME has implemented iAdvise as a new feature to Lean Cell Advising. Before AME students attend their advising session, they MUST sign up for a 30-minute block using iAdvise. We hope this will prevent long wait times. Please follow the below steps to sign up using iAdvise:

  1. Students can sign up for Lean Cell Advising by logging on to iadvise.ou.edu with 4×4 and password.
  2. Select the Department Level Advisement (AE or ME at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering), then select Make Group Appointment.
  3. Reserve an advising time slot. You can only reserve one.
  4. Arrive at the beginning of your time slot to ensure you will be advised during that time. 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 before attending Lean Cell Advising, you may not be seen if the time slot is full upon arrival. For more detailed information, please click here.

All advising sessions will be held in room 200 of the Rawl Engineering Practice Facility.

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Before You Come:

  • Prepare a course plan in Degree Navigator
  • Bring prepared course plan, degree check sheet and degree flowchart with the classes you have taken checked off
  • If you are not prepared upon arrival, your time will not be guaranteed

Before You Leave:

  • Meet with a Williams Student Services Center Staff member to remove holds
  • Pre-Med Students, a representative will be in attendance on October 21st

Students not advised through Lean Cell Advising may not be able to enroll in courses until Spring 2016.

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Lean Cell Advising at AME is sponsored by Shell.

Meet & Greet with New AME Students

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On Friday, August 21, 2015 the Gallogly College of Engineering hosted the annual Meet & Greet for the incoming engineering students. The new AME students then attended a session with AME faculty and staff in attendance. There were over 100 students and parents in attendance. The students were ready and eager to begin their journey at AME. During the session there was great discussion about mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering as well as student teams and internships. It is safe to say the new engineering students are looking forward to starting this new adventure at OU and AME.

AME Class of 2019, welcome to OU and AME! Good luck on your first week of classes!

AME Graduate Students Receive Scholarships

Recently several Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering graduate students received scholarships at AME’s senior luncheon.

Graduate Student Scholarships

Arun Balakrishnan received the Thomas Milam, Sr. Scholarship. Arun is a Ph.D. Candidate from India studying aerospace engineering. His research interests and objectives include biofuel combustion, characterization of global and in-flame properties of pre-vaporized and partially premixed laminar flames, investigation of NOx formation and mechanisms at various flame conditions.

Bipul Barua received the Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship. Bipul is a Ph.D. Candidate from Bangladesh studying mechanical engineering. His research interests and objectives include electrospinning, polymer nanofiber, carbon nano-fiber/tubes, composites, polymer foam, metal oxide and experiential learning.

Jelena Milisavljevic received the Conoco Phillips Scholarship. Jelena is a graduate student from Serbia pursing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Her research interests and objectives include complex systems, disorganized and organized complexity and robust and resilient multistage manufacturing (RRMM).

Oluwaseyi Ogunsola received the Jim and Bee Close and John E. Francis Scholarship. Oulwaseyi is a Ph.D. Candidate from Nigeria studying mechanical engineering. His research interests and objectives include development and validation of thermal models for HVAC systems control and optimization.

Congratulations from all of us at AME! Keep up the good work!

The Baker Hughes 21st Century Co-op

In 2013, Baker Hughes teamed up with the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma to start a partnership with its students and Baker Hughes known as the 21st Century Co-op. The BHI 21st Century Co-op is a five year accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree program in mechanical engineering or petroleum engineering. In addition to the required courses for both degrees, the BHI 21st Century Co-op curriculum includes customized courses offered by faculty and BHI engineers during summer internships, a senior capstone course, graduate cross-disciplinary courses and graduate theses all relevant to Baker Hughes and its initiatives.Baker Hughes Scholars

Through the BHI 21st Century Co-op, sophomores studying mechanical and/or petroleum engineering are invited to apply for the program. Students must submit an application including a resume, transcripts and an essay. Baker Hughes personnel interview a short list of candidates, and in consultation with the OU mentors, invite sophomores to become BHI Scholars. Baker Hughes and the OU mentors seek students who want to further their education with a master’s degree and those who are very career-driven with high professional goals.

“Integrity, teamwork, performance, learning and courage are the core values of Baker Hughes. These traits are what it takes to be a BHI Scholar,” said Jerry Varughese, mechanical engineering junior and BHI Scholar. “Our team seeks individuals who are willing to go above and beyond expectations. Our team looks for individuals who are willing to work hard but also always ready to learn.”

The aim of the program over the next three years is to enable BHI Scholars to work as a team on different aspects of a challenge problem identified by the BHI mentor. This year 11 BHI Scholars worked on the challenge problem. The mechanical engineering BHI Scholars are Wiley Abbott, Miles Burnett, Eric Douglas, Brandon McCabe, Chris Sanders and Jerry Varughese. The petroleum engineering BHI Scholars are Bryan Bodie, Pamela Duarte, Dallas Milligan, Dana Saeed and Alex Smith.

“The mix of petroleum and mechanical engineers brings a unique dynamic that allows us to constantly keep learning different perspectives,” said Eric Douglas, mechanical engineering senior and BHI Scholar. “The best part of this experience is the ability to work as a team.”

Something different with this program is its focus on interdisciplinary and collaborative learning. “Taking both petroleum and mechanical engineering classes is beneficial to creating a diverse educational background that will brand the BHI Scholars as a more valuable asset in the workplace, as well as well-rounded engineers,” said Dallas Milligan, petroleum engineering sophomore and BHI Scholar. “Having a perspective from both disciplines gives the BHI Scholars a chance to see problems from a different view, which can make all the difference in creating a unique solution.”

BHI 1 CroppedOn April 26, 2015, the Baker Hughes Scholars presented their solutions to the challenge problem to BHI mentor and engineer Larry Watkins. The challenge presented to the BHI Scholars focused on an overview of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, primarily shale plays and to review and identify the go forward challenges facing development of shale.Baker Hughes Co-op

On April 27, 2015, Rustom Mody, Vice President/Chief Engineer for Baker Hughes Enterprise Technology and the principal sponsor of the BHI 21st Century Co-op Program, presented a check for $160,000 in support of the program.

“The commitment from both Baker Hughes and the faculty sponsors to the program is encouraging. The faith they have in the scholars as they develop us into future contributors to the oil and gas industry definitely drives us to do our best,” said Alex Smith, junior in petroleum engineering and BHI Scholar. “Having this support system to challenge and force us out of our academic comfort zone has been my favorite part of this experience.”

Faculty sponsors of the BHI 21st Century Co-op are Farrokh Mistree, AME; Maysam Pournik, PGE; Chandra Rai, PGE; and Zahed Siddique, AME. For additional information, please contact Farrokh Mistree, farrokh.mistree@ou.edu.