Undergraduate Rocket Research Group has Successful Launch

The University of Oklahoma’s Undergraduate Rocket Research group launched a rocket in Argonia, Kansas on March 10th, 2019. Dr. Thomas Hays and his students are proud of the results.

The rocket had a maximum speed of Mach 1.15 and weighed 105 pounds. The students involved in the launch were Kaley Hassell, Jarod Manning, Alex Speed, and Scott Tesser. Congratulations on your successful launch!

Click here to watch the video of the rocket.

Aerospace Engineering Student Featured in OU Crimson Spotlight

Sarah Ciccaglione, an aerospace engineering student, was featured in the “Crimson Spotlight” segment of the Inside OU newsletter on March 13, 2019. In the video, she speaks about her involvement at OU and how the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has made her feel at home.

Ciccaglione is a member of the Sooner Racing Team. She enjoys the mechanical systems behind the cars and competing with her team. Ciccaglione is interested in the technical side of aerospace engineering and she enjoys the math and science involved in her major. Furthering her career in the engineering field, she also got the opportunity to intern with Tesla in Palo Alto, California.

Ciccaglione is very involved on campus. She is a member of the rowing team and double majors in aerospace and vocal performance. Ciccaglione loves all of the opportunities that OU provides for its students and the support system she has gained.

Click here to watch the Crimson Spotlight video featuring Sarah Ciccaglione.

Dr. Zuo Presents Seminar at OU

Dr. Jian Zuo gave a seminar over drug discovery for hearing loss on Thursday, March 14th at OU. Dr. Zuo is a chairman and professor from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University School of Medicine.

Abstract: Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, cisplatin toxicity, or other insults affects 360 million people worldwide, but there are no Food and Drug Administration–approved drugs to prevent or treat it. We first performed high-throughput screens for small molecules that prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss in a cochlear derived cell line. The hit compounds were further validated in cochlear explants, zebrafish lateral-line neuromasts in vivo, and eventually in mouse and rat’s cochleae in vivo. We have so far identified and characterized several potent compounds that exhibit protection against not only cisplatin but also antibiotics and noise-induced hearing loss. We further investigated several targets of top compounds in knockout mouse models. To treat hearing loss, we first developed genetic mouse models in which hair cell regeneration occurred at adult ages. Based on the genetic manipulations, we performed high-throughput screens of small molecules that mimic the genetics models. We further tested these top compounds in adult mice for hair cell regeneration. Combinatory applications of these top compounds could provide therapeutic intervention of hearing loss in clinics.

Biography: Jian Zuo obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China in 1985. He then immigrated to the US for his Ph.D. in Physiology from UCSF in 1993. After postdoc training in Rockefeller University, he became a faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis since 1998. After 20 years, he recently moved to Creighton University School of Medicine as the Chairman and Professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences in April 2018. He has published >100 research articles and >20 reviews with high impacts. He currently has 2 R01 grants, 2 DoD grants, and one MRC grant. He has trained many successful students and postdocs and has interests in the commercialization of his discoveries.

AME Hosts Seminar by Dr. Srinivas Kolla

Srinivas Swaroop Kolla, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Tulsa, presented a seminar Friday, March 8th at OU. He spoke about the design and performance of gas-liquid cylindrical cyclone compact separators.

Abstract: Compact separation technology has continuously improved significantly in recent years, due to its applications in a variety of industries, such as Oil & Gas, Chemical, Environmental, and Aerospace. The conventional separators that are based on gravity, are bulky, heavy and expensive, which are being replaced by compact separators that have smaller foot-print, higher productivity and are less expensive to procure and operate. Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC©) separator is one such compact separator that is simple and easy to install and operate with more than 6800 applications including subsea. The presentation covers various aspects of design modifications of GLCC separators and quantifying its performance under the limiting conditions using control strategies. Details of experimental research conducted to investigate the two undesirable phenomena, namely, Liquid Carry-Over and Gas Carry-Under are presented. The Structural integrity analysis of the GLCC inlet section is conducted using the FEA and the design modifications are validated using CFD simulations. A comparative study of the FEA analysis results and Fluid-Structure Interaction analysis results is presented. In addition, different mechanistic models developed to quantify the LCO and GCU of the GLCC are discussed. Finally, short-term and long-term research goals are presented along with guiding principles of teaching philosophy.

Biography: Dr. Srinivas Swaroop Kolla received his B.S degree (2002) from Nagarjuna University in India and M.S. (2007) and Ph.D. (2018) degrees from The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, all in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kolla has 9 years of experience pursuing a professional career working in cross-functional teams across Europe and India on industry projects including Oil & Gas, Medical and Automotive sectors. Between 2007 and 2015, he worked in various roles starting as a Research Engineer to Project Manager leading teams developing components and systems. During his career with FMC Technologies in France, he worked on the project “PRELUDE” an FLNG/FPSO unit being developed currently by Samsung Industries. Dr. Kolla has a multi-disciplinary background in mechanical and petroleum engineering and his research focus on Multiphase Flow, Separation Technologies, Pressure vessels, Flow Assurance, Pumps and Design of components & Systems using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI). He has published several refereed journal and conference papers, while some are under review.  He has also applied for 2 US patents and few more are being prepared for submission this year. He serves on executive committee of ASME Mid-Continent Section and Co-organizer of Multiphase Flow Technical Track in ASME Fluid Engineering Division Summer Conference and a member of FMTC, CFDTC, MFTC technical committees.  He also serves as a reviewer for several conferences and journals. Dr. Kolla has received several awards, scholarships, and fellowships during his career. His awards over the past 3 years include ASME Petroleum Division Scholarship, ASME Fluid Engineering Division-Graduate Scholarship, The University of Tulsa Distinguished Chapman Scholarship, Graduate Student Fellowship and Bellwether Fellowship.

Dr. Edward Guo Presents Seminar over Bone Bioengineering

Edward Guo, Ph.D., a Chair and Stanley Dicker Professor for the department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, gave a seminar on Wednesday, March 6th at OU. His seminar was over bone bioengineering: microstructure, mechanics, mechanobiology and beyond.

Abstract: Bone Bioengineering Laboratory is developing innovative technology in microstructural assessments, biomechanical modeling, multiscale and mechanobiological approaches in skeletal research. Bone Bioengineering has both basic science and clinical significances in many medical fields, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or intervertebral disc degenerations. I will highlight our development of a three-dimensional imaging analysis and modeling technique for trabecular bone microstructure, its applications in basic science research of bone mechanics, and clinical applications in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. We will discuss bone microstructural phenotypes in difference races and their implications in genetic and precision medicine, anthropology, evolution and mechanobiology of the skeletons. In parallel to these developments, we will also discuss our multiscale mechanobiological approaches in understanding the mechanisms of how bone senses and responds to mechanical loading and showcase how mechanobiology links to bone microstructure and mechanics.

Biography: Dr. Guo received his M.S. in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1994 in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from Harvard University-MIT. In 1994-1996, Professor Guo did his postdoctoral fellowship in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with Professor Steven A. Goldstein in orthopaedic bioengineering. In 1996 he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and then Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, Associate Professor with tenure in 2003, Professor in 2007, and named as Stanley Dicker Professor in 2018. He directs the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia focusing his research interests in micromechanics of bone tissue, computational biomechanics, and mechanobiology of bone. His past honors include Young Investigator Recognition Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, National Research Service Award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a CAREER award from the US National Foundation of Science (NSF), Funds for Talented Professionals (Joint Research Fund for Overseas Chinese Young Scholars) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is elected fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineerin. He was one of the founders and served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE), an international journal of US Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). He has served many review panels for NIH, NSF, and NASA. His research has been supported by the Whitaker Foundation, the NSF, and the NIH. He served as President of International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Society, the Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine, Member of Board of Directors of Orthopaedic Research Society, and Member of Board of Directors of AIMBE. He also founded the Special Interest Group (SIG) in CMBE in the BMES and served as its founding Chair.

Assistant Professor Mohammed Al Dushaishi Presents Seminar over Drilling Optimization Using Drill Stem Vibration Modeling

Mohammed Al Dushaishi, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, gave a seminar Friday, March 1 about drilling optimization using drill stem vibration modeling.

Abstract: Drilling optimization is the process of improving drilling efficiency and reducing non-productive time caused by multiple issues such as drilling vibrations, fluid losses, wellbore placement, etc. Drilling-related problems such as drill stem vibration are one of the leading causes of premature failure of drill stem components. In severe cases, drill stem vibration will lead to wellbore instability that will result in an increase in the operating cost. High vibration level has been linked to bottom hole assembly configurations, bit design, selection of operating parameters, fluid flow, and frequent lithology changes. In this seminar, a presentation of drill stem vibration modeling and vibrations effect on drilling performance will be presented. Drilling dynamics was used to optimize drilling performance by developing a non-linear drill stem vibration model. The model is used to analyze drilling dynamics and predicts critical operating parameters to be avoided. Brief introduction of the modeling procedure and its capabilities are outlined. The model was developed in stages, including quantitative assessment with vibration data collected from wells in the North Sea. Further discussions will include a more recent model development, which addresses drill stem torsional vibrations for reaming while drilling operations.

Biography: Mohammed Al Dushaishi joined Texas A&M International University in 2017, as an Assistant Professor at the School of Engineering. His research area is related to vibration modeling of discrete and continuous systems, fatigue analysis, fluid interaction with structures and data analytics. His work generated several publications that contributed to drilling dynamics and optimizations in well-respected journals. He is a CO-PI in a project that addresses real-time optimization of drill stem vibration and rate of penetration for geothermal drilling, where the project is sponsored by DOE. Dr. Al Dushaishi holds a Ph.D. and MS degrees in Petroleum Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering, all from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Kazempoor Presents Seminar over Driving Sustainable Performance in the Oil and Gas Industry

Pejman Kazempoor, Ph.D., gave a seminar on Thursday, February 21, about driving sustainable performance in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Kazempoor is a senior engineer and project manager at Baker-Hughes, a GE company.

Abstract: The world energy consumption is projected to grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040, with fossil fuels accounting for more than three-quarters of the world energy mix during this period. As oil & gas (O&G) will remain essential to global economic development for decades to come, global concerns about climate change and pollution are leading to a focus on the amount of energy it takes to produce hydrocarbon fuels. Energy efficiency and emissions reduction, which are intrinsically connected, have been identified as important challenges to the O&G industry and positive drivers that can improve productivity, lower operating costs, and reduce environmental impacts. This presentation is designed to provide a deeper understanding of sustainable energy in the O&G sector and to offer a comprehensive explanation of the opportunities available to achieve it. The main emphasis will be on natural gas and its associated production, processing, and transportation technologies. Specifically, emissions reduction and mitigation technologies, waste energy, and fuel utilization techniques, and natural gas process optimization will be discussed in more detail. The author’s previous and current fundamental research projects and industrial work experience in the same field will be presented. The seminar will conclude by highlighting future research directions and potential projects.

Biography: Pejman Kazempoor is a senior engineer and project manager at Baker-Hughes, a GE company (formerly known as GE Global Research -Oil and Gas Technology Center). He is responsible for driving innovative research and development activities and taking new technologies from the conceptual stage to full commercialization. His current and previous projects at BHGE focus on four specific areas: emission reduction techniques and technologies, sustainability, and energy efficiency, natural gas monetization, and renewable energy application in the Oil & Gas Industry.  Pejman graduated with his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in Dec. 2009 from Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), Tehran in partnership with EMPA, Switzerland (ETH-Zurich Domain), where he investigated building integrated co- and poly-generation systems in the framework of the multi-national Polysmart project. He received the Presidential Award, two best conference paper awards, and the TMU outstanding Ph.D. student award for his Ph.D. work and accomplishments. Pejman is the recipient of BHGE’s 2018 Technology Excellence Award, a referee for 15 high-prestige journals in the field of thermal and fluid sciences, and Associate Editor for Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering-Elsevier. He also published more than 50 papers in various national and international peer-reviewed journals and conferences, including a book chapter. Pejman innovative experience is also highlighted by three issued patents, as well as four pending patents.

 

 

Dr. L’Afflitto is Guest on “Just Sow” Podcast

Wednesday, February 20, Dr. L’Afflitto was featured on an episode of OU’s “Just Sow” podcast where he spoke about drone technology.

In the podcast, Dr. L’Afflitto spoke about the future of drones at home and in the office. According to Dr. L’Afflitto, drones could be especially beneficial to those who have mobility impairments. The drones he is designing right now will help people with disorders to more easily manipulate and operate the world around them. He is currently trying to overcome the many technological challenges that go along with this project.

Dr. L’Afflitto said he believes that drones will be one of the many tools available for us in the future. He sees us using drones for picking up groceries, lifting heavy objects in warehouses, and supporting our ground troops. Teaching the drones to do these activities are just some of the things he’s working on in the lab. He also spoke about how he incorporates biology into his drone technology. However, he said that mathematical problems are at the heart of this research. Dr. L’Afflitto said it’s hard for him to imagine someone who would not be fascinated by drone technology.

Click here to visit Dr. L’Afflitto’s website.

Dr. Song Receives 2018 ASHRAE Technical Paper Award

Dr. Song and her student Shima Shahahmadi will be presented with the 2018 ASHRAE Technical Paper Award on June 22 at the Society’s Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. This award recognizes the best papers presented each year at Society meetings.

The paper is titled “Value Flowmeter Enhancement through Computing Valve Dynamic Behaviors” and AME is very proud of Dr. Song for winning this award two years in a row!

 

Dr. Garg Receives NSF CAREER Grant

On February 7, Assistant Professor Jivtesh Garg was awarded the CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation. He will be working on the investigation of strain and superior functionalization schemes for large enhancement of thermal conductivity in polymer-graphene nanocomposites and binary semiconductors. The NSF grant award for this project is a total of $500,000.

The NSF CAREER project targets large enhancement in thermal conductivity of polymer-graphene nanocomposites and group III-V semiconductors. Such high thermal conductivity polymers and semiconductors will significantly improve thermal management in electronics, automotive, aerospace, power generation, and energy harvesting applications. The approach involves simultaneously aligning the most thermally conductive paths in polymer and graphene particles and also covalently bonding the two to enhance thermal conductance at the polymer-graphene interface. Promising results have been achieved by our group in preliminary work. The thermal conductivity of semiconductor materials will be enhanced through phonon lifetime engineering.

The project also aims to enhance the participation of high school students through a summer camp program. To stimulate fascination with thermal transport, high school students will measure thermal response through colorful visualization of temperatures maps using infra-red imaging. Simultaneously the program will aim to enhance diversity by engaging American Indian students from various colleges in Oklahoma. The participants will develop an understanding of both atomistic simulations and perform experimental characterization of thermal transport.

Within polymers, thermal conductivity is highest along the polymer chain axis. Similarly, graphene nanoplatelets have dramatically higher in-plane compared to through-plane thermal conductivity. Simultaneous alignment of polymer chains and planar direction of nanoplatelets is achieved in this project through strain. Alignment is characterized through microscopy and imaging. As a second aspect, non-equilibrium Green’s function computations are used to achieve understanding of covalent bonding schemes enabling superior interfacial thermal conductance between polymer and graphene. Functionalized polymer composites will be prepared through such efficient schemes and thermally characterized in this work both experimentally and via atomistic simulations.

Finally, energy gap in the vibrational spectra of certain group III-V semiconductors has been shown to dramatically suppress scattering of low energy phonons, leading to large enhancement in phonon lifetimes, thus increasing overall material thermal conductivity. We have demonstrated this effect in ideal short-period superlattices and more recently in Gallium Nitride. This project will computationally explore strain engineering to further increase energy gap, resulting in higher phonon lifetimes. Strain effects will be quantified accurately through a first-principles approach based on deriving interatomic force interactions from density-functional theory and using them in an exact solution of the phonon Boltzmann transport equation.

Dr. Garg says that he is very thankful to National Science Foundation (NSF) for awarding him this grant. It will allow him to significantly enhance research, in his group, related to thermal transport at the atomistic scale for design of advanced materials for thermal management and energy conversion applications.

Congratulations Dr. Garg!