Student Research Spotlight: BBDL Member Cortland Johns

The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Cortland Johns, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Johns is a junior pre-medicine student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma. She is a national merit scholar from Bettendorf, Iowa. Cortland is currently working on the heart valve biaxial testing project, specifically assisting the data driven testing project. In the past, Cortland worked on the regional testing, layer testing, and Langendorff teams. Cortland is also a Fall 2018 MRF recipient. She is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma honor societies, and she is a certified pharmacy technician. Cortland plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in surgery.

Click here for more information about the BBDL.

Graduate Student Receives 2019 NSF GRF

Graduate student Devin Laurence was selected on April 8, 2019 to receive a 2019 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). Devin Laurence is a graduate student in the BBDL at the University of Oklahoma studying mechanical engineering.

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement, Devin!

 

Student Research Spotlight: BBDL Member Robert Kunkel

The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Robert Kunkel, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Kunkel is pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He conducts research as a part of the BBDL under Dr. Chung-Hao Lee. His primary focus is on the development of novel treatment devices for aneurysms in the brain. Outside of the lab, he plays ultimate frisbee with the OU Apes of Wrath team and participates on the manipulation sub-team of the Sooner Rover Team. Robert plans to graduate in May of 2019 and enter into an industry position where he can continue to apply mechanical engineering principles to the field of human medicine.

Click here to learn more about the BBDL.

Video Series Features Dr. Lee and his Students in the BBDL

Dr. Lee and his students are working on research projects in the BBDL to further their knowledge about the biomechanics and biomedical industry. We will be featuring a video each month about BBDL members and their specific projects in the lab.

Click here for more information about the BBDL.

Dr. Song Receives Multiple Awards for Current Research

Dr. Li Song, an associate professor at AME, received three awards for her current research projects. Two awards are from the Department of Energy, and the third award is from Battelle – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Song is the lead PI for the development and validation of a home comfort system for total performance deficiency/fault detection and optimal control project, which received a DOE fund of $993,149. The research team will develop and validate a smart thermostat-integrated low-cost home energy management system, including a data connection framework; a computationally efficient, self-learning home thermal model; automatic fault detection and analysis algorithms; and home energy management information and controls based on in-situ measured efficiencies of heating and cooling equipment, the air distribution system, and the building envelope.

The second DOE fund is $551,566 for the performance demonstration of an occupancy sensor-enabled integrated solution for commercial buildings project. The research team will validate the performance and savings of three HVAC control (fan, cooling coil valve, outside air) algorithms integrated with occupancy sensing data to optimize ventilation delivery.

A $50,000 award was given to Song from Battelle – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for her Transactive-Control Based Connected Home Solution for Existing Residential Units and Communities project.

This is a summary of Song’s research proposal sent to Battelle: To obtain the overall project aims, the development of machine learning techniques to calibrate the initial physical model that estimates and predicts energy use of a house and its response to control signals is extremely important. An effective home thermal model, that can predict the indoor air temperature dynamics under different weather, HVAC output and internal gains from appliances and occupants, is essential for the development.

BEEL initiated the development of a self-learning home thermal model two years ago. The BEEL home model, currently limited for a house with an A/C and gas-furnace heater, can automatically identify the model parameters with minimum data needed and precisely predict the space temperature and home HVAC energy uses for a house. To enhance the connectivity and compatibility of the platform proposed by PNNL, BEEL is committed to expand the home thermal model for a heat pump system and test enhanced home model using two houses located in Oklahoma through the partnership with OG&E. The challenge of modeling the heat pump is that the heating output from a heat pump is no longer constant as is for a gas furnace heater. A correlation of the heating output of a heat pump and outdoor air temperature needs to be formulated and similarly, a correlation between cooling output of a heat pump and weather might be needed for cooling season as well.

Congratulations Dr. Song!

 

 

Researchers Mistree and Allen Publish New Research Findings

AME and ISE researchers Farrokh Mistree and Janet K. Allen released a monograph containing a fail-safe supply network that is designed to mitigate the impact of variations and disruptions on people and corporations. Mistree and Allen co-direct the Systems Realizations Laboratory at OU, which focuses on collaborative research in intelligent decision-based realizations of complex social systems. Ultimately, this work is aimed at educating strategic engineers.

In this monograph, they propose a framework, develop mathematical models and provide examples of a fail-safe supply network design. This is achieved by developing a network structure to mitigate the impact of disruptions that distort the network structure and planning flow through the network to neutralize the effects of variations.

The researchers asses current thinking at different levels of management within a network. The strategy revolves around 5 elements: reliability, robustness, flexibility, structural controllability, and resilience. Organizations can use the framework presented in this monograph to manage variations and disruptions. Managers can select the best operational management strategies for their supply networks considering variations in supply and demand and identify the best network restoration strategies. The framework is generalizable to other complex engineered networks.

The monograph was published October 15th, 2018 and is available for purchase here:

https://www.amazon.com/Architecting-Fail-Safe-Supply-Networks/dp/1138504262

OU students chosen for peace grant to educate women in India on menstrual health

This summer, after being chosen for a $10,000 grant to promote peace, three OU students carried out their project proposal to provide menstrual health education in India.

Senior Pranav Mohan, senior Cindy Belardo and graduate student Abhishek Yadav won United World Colleges’ Davis Project for Peace Grant after forming a proposal to travel to India to educate women about menstrual health. This summer they put the proposal into action with Mohan travelling to villages and schools in Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and educating women about menstrual health in areas where it is a taboo subject.

“Menstruation is a topic of taboo and it’s also a topic of shame,” said Mohan. “We wanted to create that friendly environment where women can talk about it. Menstruation is such a thing that it creates a pressure, it creates a boundary around women where they are not able to open up, where they are bounded, so we wanted to break those cages and empower them.”

Yadav said that Mohan and Belardo were very passionate about the subject and his role was to help them do the research to find their main focus point, which was educating women about the menstrual cup.

The lack of education about menstrual health means that women aren’t aware of all their options and it can make menstruation a negative experience for women, said Mohan, a mechanical engineering major. Mohan said the team sees the menstrual cup as the best menstrual health option for many women.

Mohan said that there are a variety of reasons they suggest women use the menstrual cup, including that it lasts up to 12 hours, there’s less of a risk of toxic shock syndrome as there is in tampons, you can use the same cup for 8-10 years, it’s silicone so it molds to your body comfortably and it’s environmentally friendly and cheap.

Belardo, an environmental studies pre-medicine major, was involved the preparation and organization of the project. After the group conducted research, the information they gathered was used to create manuals which they gave to volunteers from the NGO they worked with, Belardo said. They chose to use the volunteers to speak with the women because they felt that it would be easier to hear about menstrual health coming from Indian women they could relate to, she added.

“Basically we were kind of showing the pro’s and con’s of using cloth, that was like the primary use of most of the ladies there, so like what are the good things, bad things, and then also disposable pads,” Belardo said. “Then we also showed the pro’s and con’s of menstrual cups, so we looked at all of them and they could decide from there if they want to try it, so it’s in their hands.”

Mohan said there were about 12 seminars lead by the volunteers, each 2 hour long sessions, reaching around 300 women. Though 300 seems like a small number, he said the women are likely to talk about the menstrual cup with their friends and spread the idea by word-of-mouth.

Mohan said the students bought the menstrual cup in bulk and sold it at a cheaper price to the women, with 138 buying one. One of the volunteers is following up with the women who chose to try the menstrual cup to see if they are experiencing any problems and if they like it, Belardo said.

Other than promoting the menstrual cup, their main purpose was to educate, Belardo said.

“The whole premise of this project is to talk about menstruation and trying to break that taboo, which is here too, like even for me, my own life, I was not comfortable talking about that and especially also in India,” Belardo said. “So that’s our main goal, just to educate. A lot of women don’t even realize what is happening to their body, and to me, that’s a right just to know, it’s such a natural process, you shouldn’t be ashamed, you shouldn’t be embarrassed.”

Article written by Evelyn Scafe

from OUDaily

http://www.oudaily.com/news/ou-students-chosen-for-peace-grant-to-educate-women-in/article_7839283a-8f72-11e8-b930-df1240528951.html

Launching Rockets in Kansas with Dr. Hays

On August 5th 2018, Dr. Hays’ research group in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering launched two 12.5 ft.-tall, 60+-pound rockets carrying customer payloads in Argonia, Kansas.  Undergraduate aerospace engineering students Alex Speed, Trevor Trevino, Christopher Hughes, William Wadkins and Jarrod Manning successfully built and flew the two rocket systems with assistance from Dr. Hays.

 

Senior aerospace engineering student Alex Speed obtained the University’s first undergraduate Tripoli Rocket Association Level 3 certification as a result of his successful launch of “Godspeed.”  The second launch of “Spednik” brought OU Aerospace into the supersonic realm by reaching Mach 1.15.  Both rockets successfully delivered customer data from the payload, and were tracked directly to their landing site using Telemega GPS telemetry systems.

ame-alex-speed

The AME department would like to thank our payload customer, the Kansas ‘Kloudbusters,’ and Tulsa TRA prefecture members for their help in making the launch such a success.

Wind Tunnel Design Team Takes 2nd Place at AIAA Student Conference

AME’s student wind tunnel design team recently accepted an award in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the weekend of April 13th at the student conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Representing the team, Karen Martinez Soto traveled to the conference to accept the 2nd place award on behalf of her team for the AIAA region IV team technical paper category. In addition to Soto, her teammates include Samuel Jett, Orhan Roksa, and Marko Mestrovic, who are all undergraduate students at AME.                                         Their paper highlights the design, fabrication, and uniformity testing of a low-budget, wind tunnel. With a budget of only $5,000, their group examined characteristics of wind tunnels through computer models and they continued their study further by building a tunnel of their own to test other aerodynamic components. The focus of their design and construction for this tunnel, according to their paper, serves to provide “a robust platform for development and testing of many aerodynamics components, including UAV propellers.” Congratulations to Karen, Samuel, Orhan, and Marko for their impressive efforts to design and test a wind tunnel and their 2nd place award from the AIAA student conference.

Link to the team’s paper: design-fabrication-uniformity (1)-1ghgtt2

3 Minute Thesis Competition Winners

The Gallogy College of Engineering would like to congratulate those who participated in the 3 Minute Thesis competition, which was held on January 23, 2018.  The University of Oklahoma’s Three Minute Thesis competition is an opportunity for people to share their research with a broad audience as well as compete for competition prizes.

A special congratulations goes out to Lin Guo (ISE) for placing first in the 3 Minute Thesis competition for her presentation “Improving Social-Ecological System through Dam-Networking Planning.” Lin will proceed to represent OU at the Regional 3 Minutes Thesis competition later this year. Additionally, Lin is a member of the Systems Realization Laboratory here at OU and is being mentored for her dissertation by Janet K. Allen and Dr. Farrokh Mistree.

A second congratulation goes out to Bhagyashree Waghule (AME) for placing second in the 3 Minute Thesis competition for her presentation “Artificial Gravity for Long Human Space Flight Missions.” Bhagyashree is currently being mentored for her master’s degree by Dr. David Miller.

We would like to thank the Graduate Student Community (GSC) leadership team for helping Bhagyashree, Lin, Abhishek Yadav (ISE), and Reza Alizadeh (ISE) prepare for the first round of competition. Lastly, thank you to Mustafa Ghazi for preparing and sharing material, along with his experience to help the competitors prepare for the 3 Minute Thesis Competition. It was great to see the excellent turnout of GSC members at the 3 Minute Thesis Competiton!