University of Dayton School of Engineering

S.U.R.E. Projects 2017

Faculty Mentor Undergraduate Students Research
Kristen Comfort, bioengineering Cameron Crasto, Maggie Jewett and Jacob Reynolds

Air Force personnel are routinely exposed to harsh working conditions and external stimuli. The Air Force employs numerous applications that utilize nanomaterials (NMs), which at low levels are generally inert for acute exposure. Even in the absence of significant toxicity, these NMs introduce the potential to augment cellular stress, induce inflammatory reactions, and modify signal transduction pathways, which directly impacts health and safety. We propose to elucidate the presence of negative combinatorial responses within a mammalian lung model (A549) following exposure to aluminum oxide (Al2O3) NMs under both normal and reduced oxygen levels.

Kimberly Bigelow, biomechanical

Sarah Hollis An interdisciplinary project focused on improving the effectiveness of ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) to improve mobility and balance while preserving strength and energy for individuals with multiple sclerosis and stroke. Research out of the U.K. suggests that mobility-related outcomes are vastly improved when AFOs are individually customized with alignment based on engineering measurements related to tibia incline, motion capture data, etc. This has been shown in a pediatric cerebral palsy population. We will now work with orthotists from Hanger Clinics, physical therapists from Kettering Health Network, and UD doctorate of physical therapy faculty and students to carry out case studies on other populations  that will position us for federal funding.

Timothy Reissman, biomechanical

Kevin Nowacki This project is a mechanical design of an omnidirectional treadmill to be used as an advanced Biomechanics research tool by my lab and our Biomechanics / Physical Therapy faculty. Typical treadmills only allow motion along one axis making studies of human gait limited. By extending a simultaneous orthogonal axis to a treadmill’s capabilities, studies can be extended to allow turning, side steps, etc. Such a treadmill would allow researchers at the University of Dayton access to a scientific tool that no other university currently has, yielding many possibilities for engineering and scientific studies exploration. 
Kellie Schneider, engineering management, systems, and technology Alexis Wingfield The Beaver Water District (BWD) provides drinking water in Arkansas. They are committed to source water protection and have established a multi-year collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering and The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas. In addition to the development of a risk assessment methodology, this project will include an evaluation of the need for future data collection, analysis and potential best management practices.
Sidaard Gunasekaran, aerospace Nathan Thomas Develop a new approach to increase aerodynamic efficiency (Lift-to-Drag ratio) by allowing the air to pass through inbuilt channels in certain areas of the wing. This new approach will be tested on a 2D wing and also on a 3D finite wing. The problem is most of the present day airliners do not cruise at maximum aerodynamic efficiency lift condition because it is too slow. It is hypothesized that by allowing the air to pass through certain areas of the wing, the loss of freestream momentum in the wake can be minimized decreasing parasite drag and increasing aerodynamic efficiency. On a 3D wing, the roll-up of wingtip vortices causes lift induced drag. It is hypothesized that by channeling the freestream air into the wingtip vortex, the induced drag can be minimized and aerodynamic efficiency can be increased.
Kevin Myers, chemical Shannon Hoffman Gas dispersion is a common agitator operation, often used to produce pharmaceutical and food products via fermentation. An alternative approach uses a gas induction impeller that eliminates gas compression. This approach reduces material use and energy consumption. The proposed project would determine key performance parameters such as agitator power requirement and induced gas flow rate as functions of operating conditions. The goal is to gather sufficient performance information to develop a design procedure that would permit optimized a priori design of agitators for future applications without the need for additional experimentation.
Robert Lowe, mechanical, and Thomas Whitney, civil Alex Elsbrock and Rocky Bowman Fiber-reinforced polymer composites with woven architectures are becoming increasingly popular in debris containment and load-bearing structural applications because of their exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. The structure must be designed to sustain dynamic loadings due to impacts, blasts, and other high-strain-rate events. Finite-element software often plays a pivotal role in the structural design and certification process. Currently, there is no consistent procedure for generating experimental data for woven fiber-reinforced polymers (WFRPs) at high strain rates. Hence, bridging this critical structure-property-performance gap is key to enabling (a) uniform experimental testing programs for WFRPs at high strain rates, (b) the development of robust and reliable material models for WFRPs based on consistently generated data, and ultimately (c) the implementation of these WFRP material models into finite-element tools for truly predictive design of critical automotive, aerospace, and defense-related structural components. Hence, a key goal of the proposed research is to lay the basic theoretical and computational groundwork for developing an appropriate specimen geometry, or representative unit volume, for high-rate testing of WFRPs.
Erick Vasquez, chemical Connor J. Evans, Duquesne University, and Hannah E. Sims In brief, the first part of this project will consist on a unique method for the separation of ethanol from water use an economic, environmental friendly and non-toxic solvent as the extractant phase. The second part of this work will involve multi-phase flow analysis of water and air. A correlation at different vertical upward flow regimes with volumetric flow rates will be obtained. Two high-speed closing valves have been installed in the developed fluid flow region of a vertical pipe in the unit operations lab. Through this research, the correlation of trapped volume of the two fluids, water and air, to the input flow meter values for each fluid phase will be determined experimentally.
Sandra Furterer, engineering management, systems, and technology Baxter Rechtin Strategic Business Process Architecture (SBPA) models identify the key elements and their relationships that can be used to document, design and improve operational processes across any process type or industry. The critical SBPA process architecture elements was previously combined with a traditional process map to develop a novel process architecture mapping tool enabling the capture of important elements needed to design streamlined processes. The goal of this research project is to apply the process architecture meta models and the process architecture mapping tool to the healthcare industry, and subsequently develop a standard healthcare process architecture reference model. The process architecture reference model can be used by healthcare organizations as a basis for process management, including to document, design and improve their processes to provide excellent patient care.
David Myszka, mechanical, and Andrew Murray, mechanical Joseph Raffoul The objective of this project is to create principles for the design of automation mechanisms that have reduced energy needs. To successfully accomplish the objective the following two core research challenges have been identified: I. To determine general relationships for energy used in controlled moves of common industrial automation actuators based on torque, prescribed motion and time on task. II. To generate a set of principles for the mechanical design of automation mechanisms that have reduced energy needs.
Feng Ye, electrical and computer James Althoff The project is to conduct research on wireless security in body area network. Smart wearing devices are being more popular in daily life. In this project, we will study energy efficient security protocols/mechanisms that can better support wearable devices based on IEEE 802.15.4 (Zigbee) technology, which is similar to Bluetooth but is much friendlier to research. The student will study computational and energy efficient security protocols/mechanisms that can achieve authentication, confidentiality, message authentication and non-repudiation. The design will address some of the denial-of-service issues. The proposed schemes will be evaluated with computer-based simulation first. Then, a testbed evaluation using Raspberry-Pi with Zigbee transmission module will be conducted to demonstrate the design.
Imad Agha, electro-optics, and Jay Mathews, electro-optics Anna Mathews The student will work on supporting an on-going project involving the periodic poling of lithium niobate crystals for nonlinear optical applications. The poled crystals will be used as part of a larger project for lifetime measurements of infrared emitting materials via upconversion detection. This will enable my research group to implement a testbed of various materials such as black silicon, germanium and germanium alloys that are currently poorly characterized because of the nature of their optical emission in the infrared wavelengths.
Andrew Murray, mechanical, and David Perkins, mechanical Luke Schepers Rapidly locating and accurately tracking the center of mass (COM) in human beings is an ongoing challenge. Accurate COM determination is very desirable in both medical rehabilitation and sports science. The challenge of COM determination is because it is an abstract point, typically inside the body, that moves as we move. Methods to accomplish this are typically slow and expensive. The DIMLab is developing a method that is fast, accurate and inexpensive to implement.
Allison Kinney, biomechanical Kayla M. Pariser Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) or implant is a common treatment for patients with severe shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff muscle tears and/or severe arthritis by stabilizing the shoulder and improving a patient’s range of motion. The positioning of the implant is important as it directly affects the necessary torque for functionality after an RTSA. The purpose of this study is to use simulation and optimization methods to optimize placement of the shoulder implant, and therefore, the deltoid muscle force for fourteen RTSA patients. For the fourteen patients, a model of the shoulder joint, implant, and muscles and an optimization framework will be used to calibrate muscle parameters and predict the shoulder muscle forces.
Robert Penno, electrical Joe Vinci A primary air traffic concern is the relative location of other aircraft nearby. The accuracy and speed with which location and velocity of surrounding aircraft can be identified is acutely important. The N-arm spiral antenna has long been the object of investigation primarily for its application to the problem of direction finding over a broad band of frequencies. Analytical models of this antenna have evolved, which have explored the antenna operation, specifically the radiating regions, as an array of concentric, traveling wave loop antennas. The work proposed here will more accurately predict the onset of these spurious modes by modeling its operation in the active region as an ungrounded, multi-conductor coplanar waveguide. It is expected that such a model would improve the accuracy of the phase velocity, and hence, the number of spurious modes that exist at a given frequency. More important, a transmission line model would better explain the amount of power actually reaching the antenna terminals from induced radiation on such spurious modes.
Robert Wilkins, chemical Ronald Knapp Salt and brine removal from soil is becoming a more important environmental issue as salt storage piles and oil field brine spills are contaminating drinking water resources at an increasing rate. An alternative process, the use of electromigration to remove chloride and sodium from soils in-situ, has been demonstrated to work in our laboratory and is already showing commercial promise. The work is a collaboration between myself and Terran Corporation. Specifically, the student will analyze the electromigration of sodium and chloride ions through model soils and field soils. Contaminated soil samples will be exposed to a low voltage gradient to induce ionic migration. Pore water outflow at the cathode will be analyzed for composition over time. In-situ monitoring along the migration path will also be conducted to monitor concentration profiles and soil resistance with time. An end-of-study homogenization of soil regions will be used to verify the concentration profiles.


School of Engineering

Kettering Laboratories 565 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254