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ME news summer 07 fin _08-34_

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					                                           University of Delaware

                                           Mechanical
                                           Engineering
                                           News




Inside this issue: Osteoarthritis Research, Fuel Cell Research, ME Business and Career Conference a Success,
                 Agrawal Receives Humboldt Award, Robots Help Stroke Patients, Laird Scholar, Larry Burns
                         Cheers from the Chair
                              This has been a year of unprecedented
                                                                               Inside This Issue
                           growth for Mechanical Engineering at the
                           University of Delaware. Our research funding        Cheers from the Chair ..............................1
                           has never been larger and our undergraduate         Editor’s Notes ............................................1
                           student body for next fall will be the largest in   Faculty and Staff Highlights .....................2
                           our history!
                              Our research funding has been especially         Department News
                           strengthened by receiving our second NIH             UD Receives $11M NIH Grant for
                           Center of Biomedical Research Excellence                Osteoarthritis Research ........................3
(COBRE) award. This $11 million grant from the National Institutes of
                                                                                Jill Higginson: Osteoarthritis Studies
Health to our Center of Biomedical Engineering Research recognizes
the excellent work we are doing in osteoarthritis research. This                   Lead to Better Therapies.......................4
particular award also recognizes our efforts to promote women in                Santare and Karlsson Part of Fuel
engineering and science and involves projects led by two of our                    Cell Team .............................................4
youngest faculty members: Drs. Liyun Wang and Jill Higginson.                   Agrawal Receives Humboldt Award ......5
  Our undergraduate enrollment has increased substantially. This
year we are revising our introductory course by offering a new                 Third ME Business and Careers
course that introduces students to all aspects of engineering (not just         Conference a Success .....6-10
mechanical). The plan is to have this course be taken by all engineering
undergraduates so that they will not necessarily have to declare which
discipline within engineering they wish to study before they begin              Robots Help Stroke Patients
their academic careers at the University of Delaware. Because we now              Regain Mobility ..................................11
have so many “undeclared” incoming students, it is a bit difficult to           General Motors VP Speaks
ascertain how large our ME freshman class ultimately will be, but it              at Delaware ........................................12
appears to be close to 50% larger than last year.                               Fuel Cell Bus Unveiled ..........................12
  One of the attractions of our program may be the new minor in
biomedical engineering that we are beginning to offer this fall. We are        Student News ....................... 13
also exploring other minors that may be attractive to our students.             ME Doctoral Candidate Wins Laird
  We have had some interesting changes in our faculty this year.                 Fellowship...........................................13
Several of our longest tenured faculty members have announced their             FSAE: Victory at Detroit (Sort of)..........14
retirements. Drs. Andras Szeri, Mike Greenberg, and Dick Wilkins                Honors Day Awards .............................15
are in the process of slowing down (some faculty members never
really retire and still stay involved in their research activities). On the
other hand, we were especially pleased to have brought onboard Dr.
                                                                               Alumni News ....................... 16
Bingqing Wei this last January. He came to us from LSU as an associate          In Memoriam: Eric D. Ramos ...............16
professor. Drs. Wei’s area of expertise is nanomaterials—an exciting            2007 DCAs ............................................16
area of research that will compliment our great work in composites.             Alum Works on Fuel-Cell
We are also looking to add several new professors to our ranks next              Bus Project ...........................................17
year.
  Many Mechanical Engineering programs are struggling, but ours                Feedback Form ..................... 18
has been thriving. It is great to be a part of such a rich academic
environment!                                                                   ME News
  Thomas S. Buchanan                                                           Managing Editor—Nate Cloud
  Chair of Mechanical Engineering                                              Contributing Writer and Editor—Diane Kukich



  Editor’s Notes:
    The Alumni Career Celebration program for 2007 culminated in our 3rd Business, Technology. And Careers
  Conference at Clayton Hall on April 27th. News coverage of the event is on pages 6–10 of this newsletter, and more
  pictures of the event and seminar presentations are posted on the UDME Alumni website www.udel.edu/alumni.
    220 alumni, students, and faculty attended the 4/27 conference at which six alums where honored with the
  “Distinguished Career” citation, bringing the total alums so honored to 21. All of the feedback on this program from
  participants has been positive, and constructive, looking toward continuous improvement.
    We have already put a hold on Clayton Hall for April 25th, 2008, and we want to find ways to increase alumni
  participation. 57 alums attended the conference, but since there are over 2800 UDME alums globally, and approximately
  1600 living in Delaware and contiguous states, we think there is good potential to increase participation. The program
  planning team is re-convening this summer, and we plan to develop ways to facilitate your input, but of course we’d
  appreciate hearing from you at any time during the year.
                                                                  1
Faculty & Staff Highlights
                          Tsu-Wei                                      Kausik         published in prominent journals, and
                        Chou, Pierre                                 Sarker has       additional papers are under preparation.
                        S. du Pont                                   been awarded
                        Chair of                                     two three-
                        Engineering,                                 year NSF           Sarker and Anette Karlsson have
                        delivered an                                 grants. One      been promoted to Associate Professor.
                        invited lecture                              of them is for
                        at the 5th                                   computational
                        International                                modeling of
                        Symposium on                                 leukocyte
                                                                     (white blood
Nanotechnology, held from February         cell) adhesion to blood vessel walls.
20–21, 2007, in Tokyo. The conference      The other will support experimental
is the biggest event in Japan for          characterization and modeling of
nanotechnology, and Chou was               functionalized microbubble contrast
one of only 12 speakers invited to         agents used for ultrasound imaging
make a presentation. He spoke on           and drug delivery. He is also co-PI on
electro-mechanical behavior of carbon      an NIH grant to ultrasonically measure
nanotubes and their composites.            pressure using subharmonic signals
Chou also presented the Newton C.          from contrast microbubbles.
Ebaugh Lecture at the Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering Department of          In addition, Sarker gave three
the University of Florida on March 6;      invited talks, one in the Department
gave an invited lecture at the 17th US     of Mathematics at the New Jersey
Army Symposium on Solid Mechanics          Institute of Technology, the second
                                           at the Center for Fluid Mechanics,         Department Chair Thomas S.
in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 5,                                                                        Buchanan is
and delivered an invited lecture at        Turbulence and Computation at Brown
                                           University, and the third at the 27th                           the PI on an
the 3rd China-Europe Symposium                                                                             $11M Center
on Reinforced Polymers in Budapest,        Leading Edge in Diagnostic Ultrasound
                                           Conference in Atlantic City, NJ.                                of Biomedical
Hungary on June 14. Chou’s innovative                                                                      Research
work on the use of carbon nanotubes                                                                        Excellence
as distributed sensor systems for            Sarker’s student Xiaoyi Li received                           grant from
damage detection and structural            the 2007 Allan P. Colburn Prize for the                         the National
health monitoring of fiber composites      outstanding doctoral dissertation in                            Institutes of
(reported in the last issue of ME          Mathematical Sciences and Engineering.                          Health (see
News) has received much attention          The work addressed the problem of                               article on page
worldwide and resulted in two more         characterizing the interface between                            3).
research grants from the Office of Naval   two moving fluids. The dissertation
Research.                                  has already resulted in five papers



   Contacts                                Fuel Cell Research                         Robotics
                                           Ajay Prasad                                Sunil Agrawal
   Osteoarthritis Research                 prasad@me.udel.edu                         agrawal@me.udel.edu
                                           302-831-2960                               302-831-8049
   Thomas Buchanan
   buchanan@udel.edu                       Anette Karlsson                            Alumni
   302-831-2423                            karlsson@me.udel.edu
                                           302-831-6437                               Nate Cloud
   Jill Higginson                                                                     cloudn@udel.edu
   higginso@udel.edu                       Michael Santare                            302-737-4111
   302-831-6622                            santare@me.udel.edu
                                           302-831-2246




                                                               2
Department News
UD Receives                                  Research and Education Corporation
                                             will serve as collaborators.
                                                                                            grant’s five research projects. Senior
                                                                                            faculty leading two of the projects are

$11M NIH Grant                                  “What we have at UD that’s really
                                             unique is a collection of people to
                                                                                            helping to mentor the junior faculty in
                                                                                            charge of the remaining projects.

for Osteoarthritis                           address osteoarthritis across multiple
                                             levels, which is what translational
                                                                                               ME Assistant Professor Jill Higginson
                                                                                            is investigating the muscle forces and

Research
                                             medicine is all about,” Buchanan said.         coordination strategies used during
                                                “We have people who can look at             walking in individuals with age-
                                             the proteins that are important to the         related osteoarthritis of the knee. A
Editor’s Note: This article was adapted      healing of cartilage, for example, to          combination of MRI, gait analysis,
from an article by Tracey Bryant that        people who can create biomechanical            electromyography, and biomechanical
appeared in UDaily on June 14, 2007. A       models showing the movement of                 modeling and simulation will be
related story on Jill Higginson’s research   bones and joints, to people who can            employed to determine the most
appears on page 4 of this issue of ME        conduct the clinical studies critical to       effective non-surgical interventions.
News.                                        the development of therapies. We can              Liyun Wang, also Assistant Professor
   The University of Delaware has            span lots of disciplines, which is what’s of ME, is exploring the pathway of
been awarded $11 million from the            exciting here,” he noted.                      communication between bone and
National Institutes of Health for               Buchanan said the program’s focus           cartilage. Experiments have shown that
leading-edge, “translational” research       on mentoring women in science and              bone cells from osteoarthritic patients
on osteoarthritis that includes a unique     engineering evolved after the request          can cause cartilage to break down.
mentoring program to foster the              for research proposals was circulated at Wang is combining lab techniques with
development of women biomedical              UD. Women faculty submitted the top- mathematical modeling to characterize
researchers at UD.                           five research proposals.                       the movement of molecules through
                                                                                            bones in normal and osteoarthritic
   The grant, led by Thomas Buchanan,           “We wanted to find ways to use this         joints.
professor and chair of ME, is the            program as an opportunity to promote
second, five-year award to UD’s Center       their role,” he noted.                            The other projects are led by Mary C.
for Biomedical Engineering Research                                                         Farach-Carson, Professor of Biological
                                                Nationally, women continue to be            Sciences and Director of UD’s Center
from NIH’s Centers of Biomedical             underrepresented in the academic ranks for Translational Cancer Research; Lynn
Research Excellence Program. The             of science, technology, engineering, and Snyder-Mackler, Alumni Distinguished
center received a $6.4-million grant in      mathematics. At UD, the percentages
2002.                                                                                       Professor of Physical Therapy and
                                             of all tenured/tenure-track women              Director of the Graduate Program in
   The wearing down of cartilage, the        faculty are 17% in the natural sciences        Biomechanics and Movement Sciences
natural cushion between the bones and        and 10% in engineering, according to           at UD; and Katherine Rudolph,
joints, causes osteoarthritis, the most      Buchanan.                                      Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy.
common form of arthritis. The disease           “Mechanical engineering, for
typically affects the knees, hips, back      example, traditionally has been
and hands.                                   a male discipline although
   According to Buchanan, the latest         many of our new faculty are
grant will enable UD to continue             women,” Buchanan said. “Our
building the infrastructure and              goal is to find good faculty
expertise to address the mechanisms          mentors and start working
of osteoarthritis and its prevention and     with these new hires to see
treatment by examining the disease           the discipline change. We need
from the integrated perspectives of          more, better mentoring to help
tissue mechanics, biomechanics,              with the process.”
physical therapy, and clinical                  The grant’s chief
intervention.                                components, Buchanan said,
   The program will involve 14 faculty       are to create a core facility
in three of UD’s seven colleges,             for mentoring women in
including not only ME but also the           science and engineering, to
Departments of Biological Sciences           establish a new lab focusing
and Physical Therapy in the College          on cytomechanics, or cell
of Arts and Sciences, as well as the         mechanics, and to advance five Tom Buchanan is leading a major NIH-funded osteoar-
Department of Health, Nutrition and          integrated research projects in     thritis program that includes (from left in back) Kath-
Exercise Sciences in the College of          osteoarthritis.                     erine Rudolph,, Lynn Snyder-Mackler, and Catherine
Health Sciences. Researchers from the           Women faculty, including         Kirn-Safran; (from left in front) Cindy Farach-Carson,
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children       two from ME, are directing the Jill Higginson, and Liyun Wang.
and the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation
                                                                  3
Jill Higginson:                              Higginson was still a Ph.D. student at
                                             Stanford when UD received the COBRE
                                                                                          muscle co-contraction—i.e., of the front
                                                                                          and back of the knee. “The more co-

Osteoarthritis                               grant, she has benefited from the
                                             support.
                                                                                          contraction you have,” Higginson says,
                                                                                          “the more compression there is in the
                                                                                          joint.”
Studies Lead to                                 She is also a member of a faculty
                                             team that was recently awarded a five-          Although the results are preliminary,

Better Therapies
                                             year $11-million COBRE grant. The            Higginson and Zeni have found that
                                             all-female team includes two faculty         there are changes across the stages
                                             members from ME, two from Physical           of arthritis. “Co-contraction enables
   Assistant Professor Jill S. Higginson,    Therapy, and one from Biological             stability, but it also increases loads on
who joined the UD faculty in 2004, was       Sciences (see related story on page 3).      the knee, which is detrimental over
attracted to Delaware’s biomechanics            Higginson’s lab includes a dual-belt      time,” Higginson explains.
program. “I liked the strong foundation      treadmill with force plates that collect        “We can promote good compensatory
in engineering, which is complemented        multiple readings over continuous            patterns through PT and strength
by the opportunity for collaboration         cycles. She and Ph.D. student Joe Zeni       training,” Higginson says. “But from a
with investigators in the departments of     are currently using it to study the effect   biomechanical viewpoint, we need to
Physical Therapy and Health & Exercise       of asymmetry on muscle coordination          at least know how forces are affecting
Science,” she says.                          in patients with osteoarthritis (OA).        the progression of OA.” She views such
   Her expectations were borne out, as       Zeni is collecting and analyzing data to     strategies as an important component
Higginson has found a very supportive        document the effect of OA’s progression      in a suite of therapies, including
environment for her work in neuro-           on biomechanical factors such as             medication, to treat OA.
musculo-skeletal biomechanics through        strength and muscle contraction.                Higginson has plans for a new
ME’s Center for Biomedical Engineering          Subjects are asked to walk on the         study that will investigate changes in
Research (CBER).                             treadmill at two settings—a speed that       cartilage over time. She is also looking
   Higginson and her research group          is comfortable and one that is as fast       forward to the opportunities that will
are working to improve understanding         as they can go. “We want to see what         be afforded through the new COBRE
of muscle coordination in normal and         happens when they’re challenged,”            funding. Her colleagues on that project
pathological movement through coupled        Higginson says.                              include Liyun Wang in ME, as well as
experimental and simulation studies.            She and her students have developed       Lynn Snyder-Mackler and Katherine
“We hope to develop a cause-and-             a computer simulation that predicts          Rudolph in PT and Mary Farach-Carson
effect framework that relates muscle         how much force OA subjects exert             in Biological Sciences.
impairments to gait deviations and           through the knee when they walk. The         Editor’s Note: Prof. Higginson is seeking
ultimately form a scientific rationale for   simulation is important, as this force       subjects for her osteoarthritis study. If you
therapeutic interventions,” she says.        cannot be measured directly because          are between the ages of 40 and 75 and can
   A 2002 grant to UD from the National      the muscles are also contributing. The       walk on a treadmill for 8 minutes, you may
Institutes of Health (NIH) through           researchers hope to find the answers to      be eligible to participate. For participating
its Center of Biomedical Research            several questions: What compensatory         in the study, you will receive a free analysis
Excellence (COBRE) program has               measures do OA patients use? Do              of your leg strength and an analysis of your
provided significant funding to create       they use their muscles differently from      walking pattern that has been reviewed by
infrastructure and expertise to address      normal subjects? Do they change their        a physical therapist. For more information,
the mechanisms of osteoarthritis and         gait pattern to reduce the forces?           contact Joe Zeni at (302) 831-0759 or
its prevention and treatment. Although          Zeni is also looking at the effect of     jzenijr@udel.edu.


Santare and                                     The funding will support UD
                                             research on polymer electrolyte
                                                                                          temperatures can impose large stresses
                                                                                          on the system as the water freezes,

Karlsson Part of                             membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), which
                                             Santare said have many potential
                                                                                          Santare said. These stresses in turn can
                                                                                          cause premature mechanical failure
                                             benefits for transportation applications.    of the fuel cell. Furthermore, if water
Fuel Cell Team                               Among those benefits are increased fuel      remains in the system after shut down,
                                             efficiency, lowered harmful emissions,       it could freeze and further stress the
Editor’s Note: This article was adapted      and a reduction of the world’s               system.
from an article by Neil Thomas that          dependence on petroleum.                        “The need for improved lifetime
appeared in UDaily on March 27, 2007.           However, Santare said there are still     of PEMFC necessitates that the
   Prof. Michael H. Santare and              a number of technical barriers that          freeze-thaw behavior be understood
Associate Professor Anette M.                must be overcome before PEMFCs can           clearly and that mechanical models
Karlsson, both in the Department of          be commercially successful on a large        be developed so that new materials
Mechanical Engineering, are part of a        scale. One of the most challenging           and system designs can be introduced
team headed by Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc.        issues for PEMFC-powered vehicles            to improve the cold temperature
of Cambridge, Mass., that has won a          is start-up and shut down in low             performance,” Santare said.
$5 million U.S. Department of Energy         temperatures.
                                                                                             “In automobile applications, the
grant for research and development of           Because water transport through the       requirement on durability is very high,”
fuel cells.                                  membrane is an essential part of the         Karlsson said. “We don’t expect to
                                             operation of the fuel cell, sub-freezing
                                                                  4
                                           event accumulates a small damage and        postdoctoral research at Princeton
                                           we must interpret this damage into our      University before joining the UD
                                           models to predict how the material          faculty in 2002. She is the recipient
                                           degrades with time.”                        of the 2004 Office of Naval Research
                                             She said the grant “is an important       Young Investigator Award and the 2005
                                           addition to the ongoing and growing         Francis Alison Young Scholars Award.
                                           effort in the mechanical engineering           Two faculty members from the UD
                                           department on clean energy, where           Department of Chemical Engineering,
                                           more than half a dozen faculty              Jingguang Chen and Brian Willis, are
                                           members are actively conducting             part of another team that has received
                                           research.”                                  Department of Energy funds to work
                                                                                       on fuel cell technology. That effort
                                             In addition to Nuvera and UD, other
                                                                                       is directed at finding ways in which
                                           partners in the project are W.L. Gore &
                                                                                       hydrogen fuel cells can be made
                                           Associates and SGL Carbon Inc.
                                                                                       less costly and more stable by using
                                             Santare has research interests in         materials such as tungsten carbide
                                           applied mechanics and composite             modified with low concentrations of
                                           materials. He received a bachelor’s         platinum instead of pure platinum.
                                           degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic
                                                                                          “The Department of Energy is
                                           Institute and a master’s and a doctorate
                                                                                       committed to breaking our addiction
                                           from Northwestern University. He
                                                                                       to oil by creating a diverse portfolio
have to take the car in for service once   joined the UD faculty in 1986 and
                                                                                       of clean, affordable and domestically
a month. In fact, we don’t expect to       was a Fulbright Distinguished Visiting
                                                                                       produced energy choices,” U.S. Energy
have to do anything to maintain the        Professor at the Universidade do Porto
                                                                                       Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said in
car. To ensure a reliable design of a      in Portugal in 2001.
                                                                                       announcing the award, part of $100
fuel cell, we must therefore understand      Karlsson has interests in the             million in grants announced by the
how it behaves over a long time, for       thermomechanical properties and             agency. “We expect hydrogen to play
all possible conditions. The fuel cell     response of advanced and traditional        an integral role in our energy portfolio,
gets frozen several times during the       materials. She received a doctorate in      and we are eager to see hydrogen fuel
winter and might run very hot during       mechanical and aerospace engineering        cell vehicles on the road in the near
operation in the summer. Each extreme      from Rutgers University and conducted       future.”


Agrawal Receives                           the premier technical universities in
                                           Germany, nominated Agrawal for the
                                                                                       German president, currently Horst
                                                                                       Kohler, at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

Humboldt Award                             award. Agrawal plans to visit Germany
                                           this summer and will spend periods
                                                                                         This is the second major award
                                                                                       Agrawal has been presented by the
                                           of time there over the next two years       Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Editor’s Note: This article was adapted    while continuing to teach and conduct       Four years ago, he received the
from an article by Neil Thomas that        research at UD.                             organization’s Friedrich Wilhelm
appeared in UDaily on May 3, 2007.            The laudation from his hosts,            Bessel Research Award, for younger
   ME Professor Sunil K. Agrawal has       Sawodny and Lothar Gaul, also a             researchers who have made significant
received the prestigious Humboldt          professor at Stuttgart, states, “Agrawal    impact. He was also an Alexander von
Research Award for Senior U.S.             is internationally recognized for           Humboldt Research Fellow in 1994 and
Scientists from Germany’s Alexander        his outstanding research in the area        1995.
von Humboldt Foundation.                   of methods based on differential              In addition, Agrawal was a recipient
                                           flatness for non-linear systems. He has     of a National Science Foundation
   The Humboldt is one of the top
                                           made important contributions to the         Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from
research awards given by the German
                                           systematic design procedure and for         the White House in 1994.
government to renowned scientists and
                                           the problem of trajectory generation
scholars from throughout the world. It                                                   Agrawal received his doctorate in
                                           based on optimization strategies.”
recognizes the lifetime achievements of                                                mechanical engineering in 1990 from
the recipients.                               Agrawal is an expert in robotics and     Stanford University, where he was a
                                           currently is conducting research into       research assistant in the University’s
   The award, presented to 100 senior
                                           “how to make machines run, walk, and        robotics laboratory. He taught and
scientists annually, provides funding
                                           fly with only a few actuators,” for their   conducted research at Ohio University
to enable recipients to spend time in
                                           movement and control.                       from 1990 until 1996, when he joined
Germany studying with counterparts in
their various research fields.                “This is an area of much interest to     the UD faculty.
                                           us, and we have been working on it for        He received his bachelor’s degree
   “I was very surprised, and also
                                           last 10 years,” Agrawal said. “We hope      from the Indian Institute of Technology
very honored, to receive this award,”
                                           to make additional advances as we           in Kanpur and his master’s degree from
Agrawal, who conducts internationally
                                           work with our colleagues in Germany.”       Ohio State University.
recognized research in robotics, said.
                                              While in Germany, Agrawal will be
   Oliver Sawodny, a professor at
                                           provided an opportunity to meet the
the University of Stuttgart, one of

                                                               5
                                                        University of Delaware

                                                        Mechanical
                                                        Engineering
                                                        News

                            Business, Technology &
                             Careers Conference
                                             Friday, April 27, 2007

                                                      at the
                                         Clayton Hall Conference Center
                                          at the University of Delaware




Third ME Business                          increased by about 50 percent since
                                           our first event, in 2005.”
                                                                                    structure of the discussion panel this
                                                                                    year to dive deeper into the lives of our

and Careers                                   Cloud and the other conference
                                           planners are also pleased that student
                                                                                    Distinguished Career alumni, which I
                                                                                    found to be intriguing. I enjoyed being
                                                                                    able to see where I can possibly take
Conference a                               involvement has increased since
                                           the first year. That trend has been      my mechanical engineering degree in
                                                                                    the future. I look forward to attending
Success
                                           facilitated by having two students, a
                                           junior and a senior, on the planning     this conference as an alumnus in the
                                           committee.                               years to come.”
  Some 225 alumni, students, faculty,         “This year’s conference was             Feedback on the Conference was
and guests attended the third annual       very successful,” said committee         generally positive. One attendee
ME Business, Technology, and               member Khenya Still (BME2007).           summed it up: “It was a well planned
Careers Conference at Clayton Hall         “I’ve been hearing great feedback        event, the facility was quite suitable,
on Friday, April 27. “We’re pleased        from the students on the alumni          the format with split sessions was
that attendance had risen every year,”     they networked with and also the         good and the presentation topics were
said coordinator Nate Cloud. “It’s         workshops presented. We changed the      interesting, and the opportunity for
                                                                                    networking was great.”
                                                              6                     story continued on page 9
                 Images
          A Business,
          & Careers C
Faculty      Friday, Apr
         Students


s from
, Technology
Conference
ril 27, 2007




                                       Program Planning Team




                    Speakers & Alums
The talks                                  with the University already designated     airfoil improvements and “micro-
                                           a sea, space, and land grant college and   siting.” Changes in airfoil shape can
   Associate Professor Lian-Ping           joining the University Corporation for     improve efficiency at negligible added
Wang delivered a multifaceted              Atmospheric Research (UCAR) this           cost, while micro-siting also includes
                         presentation on   year.                                      relative positioning on a wind farm.
                         environmental                                                “Both of these are fluid mechanics
                         fluid                Wang’s take-home message?
                                           “Environmental fluid mechanics             problems,” said Schwartz. “Lucky
                         mechanics, an                                                me.”
                         area of study     has many exciting applications and
                         that addresses    interdisciplinary complexities,” he           Schwartz acknowledged that
                         naturally         said. “We have to learn to talk others’    wind can never be an exclusive
                         occurring         language and to cross the boundary of      source of energy for electricity, but
                         fluid flows of    mechanical engineering.”                   interconnected wind farms can reduce
                         air and water        Although the windmill concept           fluctuations. Another solution, which
                         on the earth.     is more than 1,000 years old, wind         is being used in Tasmania, is integrated
                         Examples          energy is a topic that is receiving lots   wind and hydropower. “When the
include sea breezes and tidal currents.    of media attention as fuel costs rise      wind blows, hydro energy is stored;
                                           and fuel supplies dwindle. Two of the      when the wind is calm, hydro energy
   The topic has significant overlap                                                  is used,” Schwartz explained.
with other disciplines including           speakers at the ME event spoke about
meteorology, climatology, hydrology,       wind energy.                                  Willett Kempton, Associate
hydraulics, limnology, and                    Prof. Len Schwartz, who has been                                 Professor in
oceanography, Wang said.                                            teaching and                               the College of
                                                                    conducting                                 Marine and
   Scientific methods used in                                                                                  Earth Studies
environmental fluid mechanics                                       research in the
                                                                    area of fluid                              (CMES) at the
include field observation, laboratory                                                                          University
experimentation, theory, and computer                               mechanics
                                                                    for more than                              of Delaware,
simulation.                                                                                                    delivered
                                                                    three decades,
   Wang studies clouds and                                          has recently                               the keynote
precipitation because they contribute                               embraced a                                 lecture on
to the water cycle on earth, which in                               new interest:                              “Wind Energy
turn has an impact on global warming.                               wind energy.      Offshore: Resource, Policy and the
Clouds represent a source of significant   This spring, he began teaching an          Path Forward.”
uncertainty in numerical weather           elective course on that topic, and he         Kempton is part of UD’s Offshore
prediction and climate models, so          spoke to ACC attendees about it as         Wind Group, which is centered in
developing accurate simulations is         well.                                      CMES and also includes faculty from
important.                                                                            ME, geography, and policy, The group
                                              Schwartz began with a historical
   Wang reviewed work that he              perspective, showing pictures and          collaborates with scientists across
is doing in collaboration with             explaining the principles behind           the U.S. and Europe and is currently
scientists throughout the world,           windmills used between 1500 and            funded by the Delaware Energy Office
including Wojciech Grabowski at            1900. Early uses were primarily            and Sea Grant. A major increase
the National Center for Atmospheric        agricultural, with the mills being         in support from federal sources is
Research (NCAR), G. He at the              used to keep lowlands dry in the           anticipated to assess the entire Eastern
Chinese Academy of Sciences, and           Netherlands and to lift water from         Seaboard.
Alberto Aliseda at the University of       wells in North America and Australia.         Alternative energy sources are
Washington. He also works with other       The first modern turbine was the           important, Kempton said, to reduce
researchers at UD in ME and plant and      Danish Gedser, which was created           dependence on foreign supplies,
soils sciences.                            in 1957 and ran for 11 years without       promote economic development,
   In addition, Wang provided              maintenance.                               and reduce emissions. The biggest
highlights of work being carried out          Schwartz reviewed various wind          problem, climate change, requires
by faculty in UD’s Department of           turbine concepts and explained the         some 60 to 80% CO2 reduction in 40
Civil and Environmental Engineering,       Betz Theory of Maximum Achievable          years.
including its Center for Applied           Power. According to this theory, not          A proposed offshore Delaware
Coastal Research; the Department of        all power can be extracted, and flow       wind farm, Bluewater Wind, has the
Geography; and the College of Earth        slows down when power is extracted,        potential to contribute significantly
and Marine Studies. The work ranges        and the “stream tube” expands. The         to meeting the State’s needs for
from modeling of tsunamis and coastal      more expansion, the less wind is used.     electricity. While there is little
disaster prediction and mitigation to                                                 windpower on land, Kempton pointed
investigations of wetlands and water          According to Schwartz, “The way
                                           forward is to improve the bottom           out, the dense urban corridor from
quality.                                                                              Boston to North Carolina is home
                                           line.” The National Renewable
   Activities at UD are expanding in the   Energy Laboratory (NREL) advocates         to many cities close to the coast that
area of environmental fluid mechanics,                                                could benefit from offshore wind.



                                                              9
  While windpower has tremendous           and engineering. Today’s graduating
potential, Kempton acknowledged            engineer has a great opportunity                Jody Kuchler Morgan (BME1985),
that there are problems associated         to contribute to our nation’s                                          President of
with it, including public opposition to    competitiveness.”                                                      SPI Polyols,
the change in familiar landscapes, the       Thackrah has developed an acronym,                                   Inc., brought a
mismatch between power fluctuations        “CRISP,” to represent five traits that are                             sense of reality
and load fluctuations, and avian deaths.   fundamental to success: Commitment,                                    to the subject
One poll conducted, however, shows         Results, Investment, Sweat the                                         of starting
that Delawareans overwhelmingly            details, and Personal performance and                                  a business.
prefer offshore wind to coal or natural    perception. “These things mean more                                    While there
gas, even if wind costs slightly more      today than ever,” he said.                                             are lots of
initially.                                                                                                        good ideas,
                                             Thackrah’s talk was well received.
  Kempton cited statistics showing         “He delivered a message that every                                     she pointed
that concerns related to avian deaths      engineering undergrad needs to hear,”                                  out that 50%
are largely unfounded. The vast            said one alum. Another commented,             of small businesses fail in the first five
majority of birds, he said, just fly       “John Thackrah’s talk on C.R.I.S.P.           years. “Most are started by equally
around the turbines, and fossil sources    would benefit all students, so it would       enthusiastic entrepreneurs,” she said.
typically cause far more deaths—in         be a good introductory or closing talk.”      “What will make you different?”
humans as well as birds.                                                                   Failures result from insufficient
                                             Gary Hecht (BME1980), a partner
  In concluding with “the path                                        in the law firm    capital, poor inventory management,
forward,” Kempton said that CO2                                       of Synnestvedt     low sales, poor credit arrangements,
policies will create many opportunities                               & Lechner LLP      lack of experience, and a host of
for new technologies and businesses.                                  in Philadelphia,   other problems. These can be
In Delaware and the coastal Atlantic,                                 PA, spoke on       overcome, however, through thorough
offshore wind could be a dominant                                     “Patent Law:       preparation and planning, business
power source. Finally Kempton                                         Innovation,        insight, a willingness to work hard,
emphasized that planning the path                                     the Process,       and a bit of luck.
forward will take engineering,                                        and a Student’s      Morgan compared the pros and
geophysical fluid dynamics, law and                                   Perspective.       cons of starting a new business
policy, economics, and social science.                                Hecht has been     versus buying an existing business
  “My favorite talk was the keynote                                   practicing law     or a franchise. She then provided an
address,” said one attendee. “He made      for 16 years.                                 overview of the various steps involved
wind energy seem like a no-brainer.”         Hecht began by pointing out that            in evaluating a prospect, determining a
  John Thackrah (BME1979), Deputy          promotion of innovation in our                price, and developing a strategic plan.
                          Assistant        country goes back to the Constitution.          With the business launched, Morgan
                          Secretary of     Patents, which are a way of protecting        said, “Remember—obtaining your goal
                          the Navy for     innovators’ rights to the products that       will take teamwork, problem solving,
                          Management       they have invented, fall into three           and critical thinking. Don’t go it alone.
                          and Budget,      categories: utility patents, design           There are people, organizations, and
                          called on        patents, and plant patents. Key               information available to help.”
                          his prior        requirements are that the invention             “Most importantly,” she concluded,
                          experience       must be novel and not obvious.                “Have fun! You are going to spend
                          with United        Hecht reviewed the parts of a utility       a significant amount of your time
                          Technologies     patent, with one of the most famous           working on your business. Learn,
                          Corporation      examples being the telegraph. He also         grow, enjoy. It’s all part of the
                          in the Pratt &   presented some case studies to get the        journey.”
Whitney and Otis Elevator divisions        audience to think about whether an
in delivering his talk on what it takes                                                    “I wish a seminar on this topic was
                                           invention was patentable.                     offered during my UD years,” said
to be successful in the twenty-first
century workplace.                           Finally, Hecht described patent law         Tom Frey (BME1984, MME1990).
                                           as a career. Patent attorneys, he said,         The fourth ME conference has been
  “Twenty-first century engineering        must have a science or engineering
graduates find themselves in a very                                                      scheduled for April 28, 2008.
                                           degree (or enough credits in one of
different world than just 20 to 30 years   these fields to sit for the bar exam),          “We really hope to continue the
ago when considering a career path or      as well as a law degree. He gave              trend of increased attendance next
further education,” he said. “The post-    examples of what patent attorneys do          year,” said Cloud, “with strong
9/11 world we live in is filled with       and outlined other desirable traits.          representation from all groups,
higher risks and, at the same time, the                                                  including students, faculty, and
opportunity for higher reward. One           “It’s good to have good writing skills,     alumni.”
fact remains constant—the United           good grades as an undergraduate, and
States is losing its edge in science       good nerves,” he said. “It’s also good
                                           to be creative and detail oriented.”



                                                               10
Robots Help Stroke                               of the leg swing. With an orthosis that
                                                 alters gravity at the joints, the joints can
                                                                                                 a fair amount of plasticity in the human
                                                                                                 brain that enables it to be trained with a

Patients Regain                                  swing through a larger range of motion for
                                                 the same human-applied joint forces.
                                                                                                 force-field environment. We believe that
                                                                                                 there is great potential for gait retraining
                                                                                                 using these robotic tools, but what we’ve
Mobility                                            “As a result,” says Agrawal, “this device
                                                 enables a person with a weak musculature        learned so far is on healthy subjects. We
                                                 or poor motor control to gradually              won’t know about the effects of these
                               For stroke                                                        exoskeletons on stroke victims until we
                             and spinal-cord     improve his or her gait and strength as the
                                                 percentage of gravity assistance is reduced     try these.”
                             injury patients,
                             regaining the       during training. And the GBO is tunable            The third device, SUE, is designed for
                             ability to walk     to the geometry and inertia of a specific       use with victims of spinal cord injuries,
                             can seem like       human subject to achieve the desired level      where the problem is weak musculature
                             an unreachable      of gravity balancing.”                          that prevents the legs from swinging
                             goal. But robotic      So far, the device has been tested on        correctly. In contrast to GBO and
                             devices being       healthy control subjects as well as on          ALEX, SUE is not attached to a walker.
                             developed in        stroke patients with hemiparesis—partial        The device, which is un-motorized,
                             the UD-ME           paralysis affecting one side of the body,       lightweight, and portable, exploits the
                             Mechanical          which is a typical result of stroke. The        propulsive force of springs at the hip and
                             Systems             data show improved range of motion for          knee to aid the patient.
Laboratory may bring this dream closer to        the stroke patients with the use of GBO,           “The idea here is to harness the energy
reality for some patients.                       but the most striking results were obtained     from the treadmill to help swing the legs,”
   A research group led by Professor             with a chronic stroke patient who               Agrawal says. “The movement charges the
Sunil K. Agrawal is developing a variety         volunteered for training to determine the       springs, and the energy is then released to
of exoskeletons for gait assistance and          long-term training effects of the device.       propel the patient forward.” SUE has been
training of the movement impaired.               Agrawal explains that the term chronic as       tested on a single healthy subject to show
The current group includes ME doctoral           applied to stroke patients generally refers     how the springs can be tuned to the needs
students Sai K. Banala and Vivek Sangwan,        to those who are past the critical window       of the individual patient.
as well as Prof. John Scholz and members         of time when the brain can be retrained to         “We believe that devices like GBO and
of his group from UD’s Department of             restore lost functionality.                     ALEX can make a substantial difference
Physical Therapy (PT).                              Surprisingly, it was found that this         in future gait training of patients suffering
   The research is funded primarily by the       patient not only improved during training       from stroke, while exoskeletons such as
National Institutes of Health through a          but actually continued to improve after         SUE and ALEX can impact training of
Bioengineering Partnership Grant and by          the training regimen was over. “The             spinal cord injury patients,” Agrawal says.
the National Institute on Disability and         improvement was reflected in all aspects        “Rehabilitation using such devices reduces
Rehabilitation Research through a grant to       of his performance,” Agrawal says,              the number of rehab personnel needed,
a team led by the Rehabilitation Institute       including gait symmetry, speed, weight          and repetitive and task-specific gait
of Chicago.                                      bearing, and range of motion.”                  training can be provided more easily than
                                                    “This suggests that his brain had been       with conventional therapies. The visual
   Over the past five years, the work has                                                        feedback provided by the monitor also
resulted in the development of three             triggered and that the effects of the
                                                 training were still ongoing even though         engages the patient more actively in his or
lower-extremity exoskeletons for neuro-                                                          her recovery.”
motor training. The first is known as            he was no longer using the machine.
a gravity balancing orthosis, or GBO,            Although these results were obtained with          For Agrawal, there is almost no limit
while the other two are referred to by           just one subject, we are very encouraged        to the potential of robotic assistance for
the nicknames ALEX (actively driven leg          by this outcome.”                               disabilities. His research group has built
exoskeleton) and SUE (swing-assist un-              In contrast to GBO, which is passive,        novel designs for ankle orthoses and
motorized exoskeleton).                          ALEX features motors at the hip and knee        neutrally balanced “sit-to-stand devices”
                                                 to supplement what the human subject            that can be used to assist and train the
   “Each device has a unique design                                                              elderly in getting up from a chair. He is
principle targeted for a specific population     can’t do to execute a certain gait pattern.
                                                 With this device, the desired trajectory of     currently investigating new designs for
group, while addressing the issue of                                                             upper-arm exoskeletons. “Biomedical
providing a flexible motor-learning              the foot during walking is defined by a
                                                 tube. The controller guides the foot back       robotics is evolving to be a major theme
environment,” Agrawal says. “All three of                                                        for our lab,” he says.
them are designed for use on a treadmill         into the tube if it deviates outside. So far,
equipped with a video monitor to provide         ALEX has been tested only on healthy
the user with visual feedback on his or          subjects, but it has demonstrated success
her gait motion through sensors on the           in training them to walk differently from
exoskeletons.”                                   their natural gait through selective control.
                                                 One remarkable result found was that in
   GBO is an un-motorized exoskeleton            about 45 minutes of training with ALEX, a
that can alter the level of gravity at           healthy person can be taught to walk in a
the knee and hip joints during motion.           significantly altered gait.
Agrawal explains that gravity plays an
important role in human movement by                 ALEX is now being tested with a
assisting, or resisting, the motion of a joint   larger sample of subjects. “What we’re
such as the hip or knee over different parts     learning,” says Agrawal, “is that there is
                                                                       11
General Motors VP                             and I was impressed by his passion and
                                              his energy and his desire to transform
                                                                                            auto business, where we are 98 percent
                                                                                            dependent on petroleum for our energy
Speaks at Delaware                            automobile. And it is our good fortune
                                              that we have Larry in person here to talk
                                                                                            sources, imagine the business risk in not
                                                                                            having solutions to these issues.”
Editor’s Note: The following article was      about this topic. It is really an exciting      Burns holds a doctorate in civil
adapted and condensed from an article by      opportunity for all of us.”                   engineering from the University of
Martin Mbugua that appeared in UDaily            Speaking to about 100 students and         California at Berkeley. He also has a
on April 19, 2007.                            faculty, Burns said, “It is very, very nice   master’s degree in engineering/public
                                              to see that you have a hydrogen fuel cell     policy from the University of Michigan
   The ME Department hosted Larry
                                              bus running here on your campus. You          and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical
Burns, VP of R&D and Strategic Planning
                                              need to be enormously proud of that           engineering from General Motors
at General Motors, on April 13, 2007.
“Larry Burns is a strong believer in fuel     fact. There are not many of those buses       Institute (now Kettering University).
cell technology,” said ME Prof. Ajay          that exist in the world and to be able to
Prasad, “and we were really pleased to        experience this cutting-edge technology
hear him praise our fuel cell bus effort      firsthand and, importantly, to have
during his talk. It’s not often that the      created the relationships that allows you
VP of a $200 billion company comes to         to get this bus built and on your campus
campus.”                                      is something that you should be very
                                              proud of.”
   In introducing Burns, Prasad said, “I
first got to know about Larry from a             “We are in a situation where energy is
show on PBS called Scientific American        at the heart of the future of the world,”
Frontiers, hosted by Alan Alda. This          Burns pointed out, adding that demand
particular episode was called ‘Future Car’    for petroleum is expected to grow by
and featured some of the current pioneers     70 percent in the next 23 years. “If we
in the field of advanced automobile           have energy security concerns today,
technologies. One of the people whom          imagine what those concerns are going
Alan Alda interviewed was Larry Burns,        to be in the year 2030. If you are in the




Fuel Cell Bus                                 The team also includes Suresh Advani,
                                              George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical
                                                                                            Kaler, who also spoke at the event.
                                                                                            “Demonstration projects are critical to
Unveiled                                      Engineering, and Ardeshir Faghri,
                                              Professor of Civil and Environmental
                                                                                            public acceptance of new technologies,
                                                                                            and this bus is a perfect example of
A fuel-cell-powered bus that is now part      Engineering. The project is supported         how our work on clean energy is being
of the University of Delaware’s campus-       by a $1.7 million grant from the U.S.         reduced to practice.”
wide fleet was unveiled on April 9, 2007,     Department of Transportation’s Federal          After a period of service on UD’s Laird
at a press conference at the Bob Carpenter    Transit Administration, matched by            Campus, the bus will be turned over
Center. The event was attended by             private financing from companies              to the Delaware Transit Corporation
close to 100 people, including U.S. Sen.      working in partnership with the               for use with the larger community.
Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.); U.S. Rep.          University.                                   “Every trip this bus takes will increase
Michael Castle (R-Del.); UD faculty, staff,     Senator Carper referred to the vehicle      our knowledge base about fuel-cell
and students; school children from the        as the “Magic Bus,” and both he and           technology,” said Prasad.
local community; and reporters from TV        Congressman Castle acknowledged                  According to Faghri, the program’s
and print media in the region.                that while it is “just one little bus,” it    long-term goal is for UD to be positioned
                                              will go a long way toward educating           at the forefront of research, development,
  The bus is the tangible culmination of
                                              the public about alternative energy           and implementation of the state of the art
a demonstration project being carried out
                                              sources and answering questions about         in hydrogen-based fuel-cell transit buses.
by a multidisciplinary team in the College
                                              implementation of new technologies.
of Engineering and led by Ajay Prasad,
Professor of Mechanical Engineering.            “Engineering is all about reducing
                                              science to practice,” said Dean Eric




                                                                  12
Student Highlights
ME Doctoral                                   Koepf grew up in Half Moon Bay,
                                           California, a small coastal community
                                                                                          Funded by the National Science
                                                                                       Foundation, the IGERT (Integrative

Candidate Wins                             south of San Francisco. The son of a
                                           commercial fisherman, Koepf worked
                                                                                       Graduate Education and Research
                                                                                       Training) Program is aimed at training
                                           the nets with his father during school      Ph.D. scientists and engineers with “the
Laird Fellowship                           breaks, and the two collaborated            interdisciplinary background and the
                                                           to launch the Fishing       technical, professional, and personal
                                                           Families Project. “There    skills needed to address the global
                                                           are lots of issues and      questions of the future.”
                                                           misconceptions about           The multidisciplinary Solar Hydrogen
                                                           commercial fishermen,”      IGERT Program at UD was a perfect
                                                           Koepf says, “and our        fit for Koepf, and his Ph.D. research
                                                           goal was to spread the      will focus on solar thermal hydrogen
                                                           word that fishermen         generation for fuel cell applications
                                                           are ‘real people’ too.”     under Profs. Ajay Prasad and Suresh
                                                           The program included        Advani.
                                                           organizing field
                                                           trips and developing           An IGERT Fellowship will support
                                                           demonstrations for school   Koepf’s graduate education, but the
                                                           children.                   Laird, he says, will “free him to pursue
                                                                                       such ideas that might otherwise merely
                                                              After earning his        remain in the back of my mind and
Erik Koepf                                                    bachelor’s degree        imagination.”
                                                              in physics from
                                                              Occidental College in       For Erik Koepf, everything he has
                                                              2004, Koepf accepted     done so far in his life is “connected
   Erik Koepf came away from the Laird     a position as a teacher at a boarding       through common themes of
Fellowship social event thinking that      school in Japan, where he instituted a      understanding, cooperation, modeling
he probably wasn’t going to win but        cross-cultural environmental awareness      and restructuring our energy use and its
that at least he had had a good time. “I   program that connected his students         interrelationship with the atmosphere
really didn’t have an agenda,” he says.    with their peers at schools in California   and the built and natural environment.”
“I was just myself.”                       and Maine.                                  The Laird Fellowship will undoubtedly
   Apparently that was good enough for                                                 allow him to pursue the aspects of
                                              Koepf has also worked in                 that theme that aren’t addressed in his
the Laird Selection Committee because      construction, including one project that
Koepf was chosen for the prestigious                                                   classes and the research labs here at
                                           involved the sustainable remodeling         UD.
$25,000 award, which comes with no         of a historic home in Maine owned by
strings attached. Established in honor     the CEO of an environmental nonprofit          “Bridging the gap in understanding
of George W. Laird, the Fellowship is      group with which Koepf was involved.        and education about sustainable,
given annually to a graduate student in                                                renewable energy sources and
engineering “to encourage the recipient       And, although his undergraduate          technologies and making connections—
to become engaged in a broadening          degree is not in engineering, Koepf         the personal, human connections
intellectual pursuit that may or may       crafted an education for himself in this    necessary to truly impart a sufficient
not be of direct application to the        field by attending classes at various       level of understanding—are almost
recipient’s chosen field of study.”        colleges and universities during the        more critical than the raw science of
                                           summer.                                     the matter itself,” he says.
   Like the 29 Laird Fellowship
recipients who have preceded him,             With all of those elements forming
Koepf, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical     his personal background, it was not
Engineering, is a well-rounded student     surprising that Koepf set his sights
with a variety of outside interests        on a career in energy engineering.
ranging from Ultimate Frisbee, soccer,     One of the schools where he took
and kayaking to music, art, and world      engineering courses in his travels was
travel. He sky-dives, surfs, and runs      the University of New South Wales
marathons.                                 in Australia, an institution where UD
                                           Prof. Christiana Honsberg has strong
   But what apparently caught the          affiliations. All of the stars lined up
attention of the committee was Koepf’s     right for Koepf to come to Delaware—
passion for environmental awareness,       he expressed an interest in studying
education, and outreach. He has            sustainable energy as a graduate
already amassed an impressive amount       student and was immediately directed
of experience in this area, even though    to UD and the Solar Hydrogen IGERT
he is only 25 years old.                   Program that Honsberg directs.
                                                                                       George W. Laird
                                                              13
Victory at Detroit                          eleven laps of a roughly one-mile
                                            course. None of the competitions
                                                                                      relatively easy things to fix. The fixes
                                                                                      must be made back in the team’s pit,

(Sort of)                                   can be undertaken until the technical
                                            inspection is completed. Last year, at
                                                                                      which is a 20-minute push from Tech.
                                                                                        So the car gets rejected, the fixes are
                                            the California competition, the UD        made, and the car moves to the end of
by Steve Timmons, Formula SAE Team          team competed all events except the
Advisor                                                                               the line to await re-inspection, which
                                            Enduro. Halfway through the event         takes a few hours, and time slips gently
                                            a lug nut was determined to be loose,     by. On the second round, since there is
For the first time in the history           and the team was disqualified. As a
of Formula SAE at University of                                                       a different set of judges, a whole new
                                            result, the securing mechanism was        set of “infractions” is found, and the
Delaware, our team finished the             redesigned for this year’s competition.
Enduro, the climax of the five-day                                                    process is repeated. It doesn’t much
international competition held at the          On Wednesday morning, we               matter that the first judges, or those at
Ford Proving Grounds north of Detroit,      looked good. The presentations were       the previous competition missed them;
Michigan. A team of eleven, including       given, and the car was prepped for        they need to be fixed, and so goes the
students, alumni and the advisor, made      competition. Technical inspections        loop.
the 1300-mile round trip. A group of        began on Thursday, and the students         Now it was 2:30 PM Thursday. The
eight students drove nearly non-stop        assumed this would be an easy trial       braking, acceleration, and skid pad
in a large rented box van containing        because the car had passed at the         competitions closed at noon on Friday.
the precious car, followed by a UD          previous competition. This proved to      Now for the fun part. One of the
minivan. The journey to Auburn              be an extremely poor assumption….         judges decided that the fuel filler neck
Hills took nearly eighteen hours to         Tech, as it is called, can be difficult   was not constructed in accordance with
complete, since the navigator stipulated    and unfortunately can also be up to       the rules. The rules stipulated that the
that no tolls were to be paid. This         the whim of the individual inspectors     neck had to be at an angle of zero to
decision, luckily, was overturned for       looking at the car.                       45 degrees from vertical. While our
the ride home, which took the more-            Here’s how it works: The car           neck was at 15 degrees, it also curved
standard ten hours.                         goes into an inspection area, and a       to allow the cap to be mounted flush
   The competition comprises a design       group of judges closely examines          with the bodywork, at 90 degrees from
presentation, a cost report presentation,   the car looking for safety infractions,   horizontal. While the judges agreed
a technical inspection, a “tilt test” in    rules violations, things they would       that this was not a safety issue, they
which the car is tilted on its side at 45   have done in some other way, etc.         did insist that it be remedied, since the
degrees and must not leak fluids (or        Essentially any “suggestion” they         rules showed a straight tube.
flip over!), a braking competition, an      make must be implemented before             The fuel tank is an aluminum
acceleration competition, a skid pad        the car passes tech. The car went         fabrication with the filler neck welded
competition, an autocross competition,      through the first time with only minor    on. It contains roughly 3 gallons of
and finally an endurance-economy            issues—a few gaps in the bodywork         fuel (and was full), along with a foam
competition of approximately 45             around suspension members, some           insert to minimize sloshing, and is
minutes, covering two stints of             trim around the seat belts, small and     mounted under the driver’s seat. After




                                                               14
an hour or so, it was removed and we         was the decision made by the team          housing appeared during the Autocross
took it to the Lincoln Welding booth,        members, i.e., worry about it the next     indicating loose metal objects within!
where free welding services are offered      day. It was of little surprise the next    Nothing could be done, but we did
for consultation. We were told that          day, when the fuel tank was installed      realize that if the differential leaked
it could be welded if we could find a        and filled with gas, that the engine       fluid (as it had in the 2005 competition)
new pipe for the filler neck and if the      would not start. All the fuel lines were   we would be disqualified. As a result,
tank was filled with water to prevent        full of a murky water-gas mixture, and     the entire housing was wrapped in duct
explosion. We begged the required            time was running out. The solution         tape several layers thick, so that even if
tubing from another team, cut up the         was to use the fuel pump to pump           the internals let go, the leakage would
tank and filler, and filled it with water,   the remaining mixture out, fill the        be minimized.
then waited in line for our turn with        tank with fresh gas, then repeat this         So on to Saturday, and the Enduro.
the welder. Carl from Lincoln Electric       process until no more water appeared.      Amazingly, the car ran flawlessly, and
did a wonderful job, and the tank            This took until noon, so the first three   45 minutes later we had completed
was good to go by 5 PM. Only one             competitions were forfeited.               it, something only 36 of 106 entrants
problem. It was full of water.                Next was the Tilt-Test, which we          managed to accomplish. Overall we
   Despite protests from the advisor,        passed after some application of duct      ranked 57 out of 106, which is better
the solution to the water problem            tape. We barely got the car ready for      than any year previous.
was to let the tank dry out overnight.       the Autocross and finished mid-pack.
                                             Friday was over, and all that remained        For next year, an entirely new car will
How the foam in the tank would                                                          be constructed for what we are sure
magically release thousands of water         was the Enduro. Unfortunately, the
                                             differential was making some rather        will be an entirely new adventure.
droplets through the 1-inch filler neck
was beyond comprehension, but that           bad noises, the axles were somewhat
                                             loose, and a series of dents in the

 Honors Day                                   Junior Year Awards                         Other Department
 Mechanical                                     W. Francis Lindell Mechanical                 Awards
 Engineering Award                               Engineering Award to the
                                                    Distinguished Junior
                                                                                           Delaware Section of The
                                                                                        American Society of Mechanical
 Recipients                                           MATTHEW JASKOT                    Engineers Outstanding Student
 May 4, 2007                                          RONALD CAPALBO
                                                                                                JULIANNE TWOMEY
                                               BENJAMINE BINDER-MACLEOD

                                                                                        American Society of Mechanical
  Senior Year Awards                           W. Francis Lindell Mechanical
                                              Engineering Achievement Award
                                                                                          Engineers Student Section
                                                                                                MARY C. WIONCEK
    W. Francis Lindell Mechanical                      NICK HIRANNET
     Engineering Award to the                          JESSICA DIBELKA
                                                                                        Robert T. Bosworth Scholarship
        Distinguished Senior                          DANIEL GEMPESAW
                                                                                              MICHAEL A. MORTON
         ANDREW SEAGRAVES
          JOSHUA TREISNER
            HADI FATTAH
                                                 Sophomore Year                                Redden Scholarship
                                                     Awards                                       ROBERT T. LORT
      Mary and George Nowinski
       Award for Excellence in                      W.J. Renton Award for                 J.L. Nowinski Annual Lecture
       Undergraduate Research                      Outstanding Sophomore
                                                                                            PROFESSOR HUAJIAN GAO
              AARON WINN                               THOMAS MINTEL
                                                                                           Newman Fund Scholarship
                                                                                               CHAD AGOSTINELLI




                                                                15
Alumni News
Tom Aukzemas (BME1991) and his                  consulting opportunities in heat transfer      Schweitzer, on December 30, 2006.
wife, Barbara (Hymowitz) Aukzemas               and thermodynamic applications for             Schweitzer is a Group Engineer at The
(BA 1992), spent the summer of 2006 in          industrial equipment (you MEs out there        Lee Company in Westbrook, CT, where
Shenzhen, China. Tom is a Senior Design         will appreciate the significance of the        she has been working for 11 years.
Engineer for Southco in Concordville, PA,       business name).                                The Lee Company manufactures flow
and was on assignment working for his            Dave and Susan Deppert Hutton                 controls for the aerospace, downhole
company. They are expecting their first         (BSHE1967) will celebrate their 40th           oil tool, formula one racing, and
child at the end of August 2007.                wedding anniversary later this year and        medical industries.
David Hutton (BMAE1967) has retired             have two grown children. Dave and              On January 4, 2007, Jack N. Pezza
after 38 years in various engineering           Susan reside in Baltimore, MD, and St.         (BME1998) and his wife Marylou
and marketing management positions              Michaels, MD.                                  celebrated the birth of a healthy and
with Baltimore Aircoil Company. He              Angela (Miller) Schweitzer                     beautiful baby girl, Brianna Nicole Pezza.
has established a consulting business,          (BME1994) had a son, Mathias Joseph
Delta-H Systems, LLC, to pursue



  Eric D. Ramos                                  in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament
                                                 Injured Knee: Motion Analysis Using a
                                                                                               Engineer for Millennium Validations.
                                                                                                 Born in Davao City, Philippines,
                                                 Perturbation Device.”                         Eric was the son of Felicissimo Sr. and
    Eric Dayrit Ramos, age 34, died Friday,         “Eric was a great member of the lab,”      Amelita Dayrit Ramos. He is survived
  May 18, 2007 from injuries sustained           Buchanan recalls, “and his enthusiasm         by his wife Beatrice Frask-Ramos, and
  in an auto accident in Tannersville,           for his work and his love of life will be     their daughter Ellyse Hyacinth Ramos,
  PA. Ramos graduated from UD in                 missed.”                                      28 months old; two sisters and a brother;
  1997 with honors and completed an                                                            and several aunts and uncles. Originally
  undergraduate thesis with former ME               Ramos was a Lead Commissioning
                                                 and Qualification Engineer with the           from Newark, Del., Ramos will be
  professor Tony Wexler. He then earned                                                        buried in the All Saints Cemetery at
  a master’s degree in 1999 under the            Jacobs Engineering Group in New Jersey
                                                 at the time of his death. Eric had joined     6001 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington,
  advisorship of Prof. Tom Buchanan. His                                                       Del.
  thesis was entitled “Dynamic Stability         Jacobs Applied Technologies in 2003.
                                                 In 1999, he had started as Validation




Alums Honored at Spring Conference
  Six distinguished alumni were honored at the Mechanical Engineering Business, Technology, and Career Conference, held on April 27,
2007. Alumni are selected for recognition based on several criteria, including achievement, impact, uniqueness, and interest. The following
are this year’s Distinguished Career Alumni (DCA).




Donald R. Cohee          James B. Foulk         Michael J. Doyle         Jerry Kegelman           Jodie (Kuchler)         Nancy Sottos
  PE (BME1968)              (BME1959)              (BME1992)                (BME1978)                Morgan                (BME86 and
                                                                                                     (BME1985)               PhD91)




                                                                    16
Alum Works on Fuel-                          ME faculty members Ajay Prasad and
                                             Suresh Advani are investigating fuel-
                                                                                           with getting it to full power, according to
                                                                                           Brunner.

Cell Bus Project                             cell technology, while Ardeshir Faghri,
                                             Professor of Civil and Environmental
                                                                                              He is currently waiting for delivery of a
                                                                                           mechanical hydrogen pressure regulator
                                             Engineering, is involved in the transit       to replace the electronic one currently in
  Even though he graduated just a year       aspects of the project (see related article
ago, Research Associate Doug Brunner                                                       use. “The new regulator should provide
                                             on page 12).                                  us with better matching of pressure,
(BME2006) is already making a significant
contribution to a major research and           Brunner is well suited for the fuel-cell    which should extend the stack life,” says
demonstration project at the University of   bus project. He has not only a degree         Brunner.
Delaware. The ME staff member spent          in mechanical engineering but also               Although Brunner realizes that an
the first eight months of his University     experience in electronics, which he           ME career in the private sector would
employment in Los Angeles, where             gained doing projects for himself and         probably have been more lucrative for
UD’s first fuel-cell bus was undergoing      working on UD’s Formula SAE race car.         him, he is quite satisfied with where he
construction and initial testing by EBus,    Brunner actually designed the circuits for    is. “I have the freedom to take initiative
Inc.                                         the voltage monitoring system, which          on things,” he says, “and I’m working in a
                                             monitors the voltage in each cell.            very interesting field.”
  “I was sent there to work with their
engineers and scientist to fabricate the       “We want to figure out how long the            This summer, he will also have the
bus and instrument it with a variety         cells will last in actual service,” Brunner   opportunity to mentor an undergraduate
of sensors so that we can monitor the        explains. “Ballard achieved 10,000 hours      researcher. Under Brunner’s supervision,
efficiency, reliability, and durability of   in the lab, but we know that the actual       ME junior Shawn Nicholson (BME2008)
the bus,” Brunner says. The instruments      service life will be much less, maybe one     will investigate control of air pressure in
include flow meters and humidity sensors     to two thousand hours.”                       the fuel-cell system.
as well as a voltage monitoring system.        Although the bus is now servicing the          “Doug came up with many design
  The bus, now part of UD’s campus-          University’s Laird Campus, it is still a      changes to improve the fuel cell and bus
wide fleet, is part of a research and        work in progress. The cells are sensitive     performance,” says Advani. “This project
demonstration project being carried          to cold, and the system sustained             would not be as successful as it is without
out by a multidisciplinary team at UD.       some freeze damage during the trip to         his involvement.”
                                             Delaware. This resulted in challenges
Feedback Form
Do you have any feedback (comments, questions)? Or let us know any current events or info not covered by the data sheet below.




Information form for the department’s records

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Please identify if your company is an affiliate or subsidiary of a larger company
Return this form to: Nate Cloud, 126 Spencer Lab, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716 and/or contact me at cloud@
me.udel.edu or 302-737-4111




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gifts are used for many worthwhile purposes, including support of our research and educational programs. To make
a donation, please fill out the form below and return it with your check made payable to the University of Delaware.
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Department of Mechanical Engineering
126 Spencer Lab
University of Delaware
Newark DE, 19716

				
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