Sooner Off-Road Team Has Their Most Successful Year

Since 2010, Sooner Off-Road has engineered a vehicle at the University of Oklahoma. Every year they design, manufacture, and compete with a Baja SAE vehicle. Baja SAE consists of three competitions that simulate real-world engineering projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are given a mission to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle that performs well with speed, handling, ride, and ruggedness over rough terrain and off-road conditions. This year the team was led by co-captains Ben Basden and Advika Kamatar and their advisor Dr. Chris Dalton to their most successful year ever!

The Sooner Off-Road team was able to compete in three events this year. One in-person event and, because of Covid-19, one event that took place virtually. In these events the team competed against teams from across the US as well as universities from around the world.

In the virtual competition, the team received 9th place in design presentation, 3rd in the business presentation, and 1st place in the cost presentation. Each of those results is the best the Sooner Off-Road team has ever done in the respective events. Overall, they ended up in 7th place, which is a fantastic result for the team!

For the in-person competition, they achieved 12th in maneuverability, 9th in hill climb, 3rd in suspension, and 2nd in acceleration.  Out of 45 teams who attempted the suspension course, they were one of only three teams to actually complete it. Amazingly, this is the best the Sooner Off-Road team has ever done in those events as well!

We are very proud of the Sooner Off-Road team and congratulate them for their tremendous success!

For more information about the Sooner Off-Road team, check out their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram.






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!

Additional News About Dr. Song’s Research:
Dr. Song’s Research is Promoted in the Press
Dr. Song Receives 2018 ASHRAE Technical Paper Award


Student Research Spotlight: BBDL Member Devin Laurence

The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Devin Laurence, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Laurence is a graduate student in the BBDL at the University of Oklahoma studying mechanical engineering. His specific research project involves computational modeling of the tricuspid heart valve to move towards patient-specific therapeutics. He plans to pursue his Ph.D. with an emphasis on cardiovascular biomechanics and to continue into academia afterwards. In his free time, Devin enjoys playing chess, disc golf, and hiking/camping.

Click here for more information about the BBDL.

Student Research Spotlight: BBDL Member Sam Jett

The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Sam Jett, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Jett is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, working on his master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. Sam started out in the BBDL working on the biaxial testing project for heart valve leaflet tissue and is currently working to design a collagen imaging system that will integrate with the biaxial tester to study how dynamic loading affects collagen fiber orientation and alignment in biological tissues. In the lab, he enjoys exploring the biological imaging field, writing code to gain valuable insights from data, collaborating with other lab members, and exercising the freedom to work with teams to develop innovative solutions to research goals. Outside of school, Sam spends time walking his dog, reading, exercising, hanging out with his friends, and enjoying the occasional night out on the town. He hopes to work on biomedical device and software design and after completing his M.S. studies at OU.

Click here for more information about the BBDL.

Student Research Spotlight: BBDL Member Colton Ross

The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Colton Ross, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Ross is a senior student studying mechanical engineering in the Accelerated BS/MS program. In the BBDL, Colton’s research involves mechanical characterizations of heart valve structures. Specifically, his research project involves analysis of the chordae tendineae of the atrioventricular heart valves. Upon completing his thesis and receiving his MS, Colton plans to pursue a Ph.D. to continue performing research in the field of biomedical engineering. In his future Ph.D. research and career (in either academia or industry), Colton wants to focus on the development and improvement of medical devices or limb prosthesis. Outside of his coursework and the BBDL, Colton enjoys playing guitar, going to concerts, and playing video games with his friends.

Click here for more information 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.

AME Represented at AERO Oklahoma Day 2019

Professor Thomas Hays and AME Communications Coordinator Rebeka Morales represented AME at the AERO Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Awareness Day on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. The event was held at the Oklahoma City Capitol and open to the public.

“AERO Oklahoma” Day places aviation and aerospace organizations front and center. As Oklahoma’s second largest industry, the purpose of this awareness day was to recognize this vital economic engine and to provide a greater understanding of the impact aviation has on the lives of Oklahoma’s citizens. It is a unique opportunity for Oklahoma aerospace companies, private and commercial pilots, airport managers, municipal officials, drone pilots, educators, flying clubs, and many other users of the Oklahoma Airport System to meet one-on-one with state legislators and other elected officials regarding aviation. During this aviation and aerospace awareness day, free exhibit booths from over 80 companies were represented.

For more information on the event, visit the Facebook event page.

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.