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AME News


The annual newsletter serving the students, alumni and friends of the University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

SUBSCRIBE Stay updated on AME news. Subscribe at www.ou.edu/coe/ame CONTACT US For general inquiries, write to rmorales@ou.edu RECENT GRADUATE? Remember to inform AME after you land a new job. Keeping track of recent graduates’ employment status is a vital part of our accredidation process. Email any job-related updates to AME Director Zahed Siddique at zsiddique@ou.edu or AME Communications Coordinator Rebeka Morales at rmorales@ou.edu. FOLLOW US facebook.com/ou.ame @OUAME @UofOklahomaAME blogs.ou.edu/ame

Letter from the Director It is my pleasure to welcome you to the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) at the University of Oklahoma (OU). AME continues to grow with the recruitment of world-class researchers and educators and attracts an ever-increasing number of new outstanding students. We continue in the pursuit of excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. AME is well-known for providing an exceptional educational experience through innovative classroom teaching, hands-on projects, student competitive teams and industry supported design projects. We provide experiential learning opportunities that encompass the development of technical skills and competencies needed for future engineers to be effective in the workplace. We have strong partnership and support from industry collaborators to provide excellence in education through design projects, internships and co-op programs for students. I am proud of our vibrant, active and engaged graduate student community. Our graduate programs attract talented local, national and international students, who have successful careers in research, development, academia and


industry. Both Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering programs offer a five-year accelerated BS-MS program, along with traditional masters and

doctoral degrees. Research is a major component of AME’s activities. AME’s faculty members are engaged in cutting-edge and high-impact research in aerospace and mechanical engineering. Our school has core strengths in many research topics, such as advanced materials, energy, combustion and heat transfer, design and manufacturing, modeling and simulation of complex flows, robotics, engineering education, unmanned vehicles and bioengineering. AME excels in providing a collegial and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students that serves as a positive atmosphere for achievement (research and teaching). Our faculty and students continue to be recognized nationally and internationally. Enjoy these success stories and AME news you’ll find within our site. Our newsletter contains highlights, faculty, student and alumni spotlights, and our latest events. As the director of AME, it is a privilege for me to work with the distinguished faculty members, staff, students, industry partners, alumni and Board of Advisors. Together, we creatively address issues and look for innovative approaches to meet the needs of all of our constituency groups to move AME forward. If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working with you! Sincerely,


AME News 2018


1. Letter from the Director

ArticlePage One 1–2

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Article 2. 2017 Two in Review page 2

Article Three Page 5–6

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3. New Faculty & Staff

ArticlePageFour 7–10

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4. Faculty Research Article Five page 2

Page 11–16

Article Six 5. Faculty Updates page 2

Article Seven Page 17–20

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6. Gollahalli Fund

ArticlePageTwo 21–22

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7. Student Spotlight Page 23–36

8. Outstanding Students Page 27

9. Student Updates Page 28–31

10. Student Teams Page 32–34

11. Capstone Project Sponsorship Page 37

12. Giving Opportunities Page 36

AME In Review 5




JUN 2017

Drs. Chang and Gramoll celebrate 20+ years of service at AME.

AME wins 1st place on OU Giving Day 2017.

JrSEED 2017 hosted 15+ local aspiring engineers to teach them about robotics that they built and programmed.

SEPT 2017 Dr. Li Song receives presidential appointment to Research Council for the 20172020 term.

OCT 2017

ABET reviewed the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in the Fall 2017 semester.

MAR 2018

APR 2018

AME Hosts the first Graduate Program Meet & Greet event to create awareness for accelerated undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and potential research opportunities.

MAY 2018

Billy Mays was awarded the Distinguished Performance Award on April 24th by the Hourly Employee’s Council.

2018 www.ou.edu/coe/ame

AME celebrated the graduation of 148 undergraduate students and 9 graduate students in May 2018. AME News 2018


New Faculty and Staff

Dr. Wei Sun, Assistant Professor The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is happy to announce the new hire of Dr. Wei Sun as of the Fall 2018 semester. Dr. Sun visited AME in February 2018 to host a seminar on his current research titled, “Pursuit-Evasion and Differential Games Under Uncertainties.” Differential games involve multi-person decision-making under conflicts in the context of dynamical systems. It has found applications in many areas, including aeronautics, biology, economics, engineering, management science, operations research, etc. In his presentation, he provided methods to deal with environmental and dynamic uncertainties.


Dr. Sun received his bachelor’s of science degree in Mathematics from the Peking University, China, in 2010 and his MS. degrees in both Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics in 2015 as well as his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2017 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. He is currently a postdoc at the Autonomous Control Lab (ACL) at the University of Washington. His research interests include optimal control, differential games, reinforcement learning and trajectory optimization with applications in motion planning and pursuit evasion games.

balancing system. He was involved in designing, testing, and optimizing the vestibular prosthesis from animal setup to human clinical trial. Dr. Dai’s future research is including, but not limited to: 1.Create a comprehensive ear model including cochlea and vestibule, using fluid mechanics to connect these two parts and perform the comprehensive analysis. 2. Develop new hearing protection device and protocol to prevent hearing loss during and after explosion. 3. Further measurements of hearing and balancing changes over time and create a cross age computational ear model to address the aging issue of the ear.

Dr. Chenkai Dai, Associate Professor The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering welcomes Dr. Chenkai Dai as a new faculty member. In February 2018, Dr. Dai visited AME to host a guest seminar titled, “My Research Journey in the Ear.” In the presentation he described his research over the last seventeen years on the ear, including hearing and balancing. All of his work is to answer two questions: how does the ear work and how to fix it if does not? He had been working on quantifying the mechanics change in an otitis media ear model to provide solid evidence for developing a noninvasive approach to detect early stage of the disease. At Johns Hopkins University, he extended his research to explore another major part of ear: vestibular


Dr. Dai was an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University and his past 17 years of work focused on developing medical devices to restore two functions of the ear: hearing and balancing. Dr. Dai is the key personnel in developing the Hopkins Multiple channel Vestibular Prosthesis (MVP) and has been involved in the design, manufacturing, testing and optimizing the MVP from animal experiment setup to FDA approved clinical trial in human patients. Dr. Dai has a broad background in medicine, physiology, engineering, with specific training and expertise in hearing and balancing physiology research and medical device development. Dr. Dai obtained his medical degree from China in 2000 and finished medical training specialized in ENT in 2004. Dr. Dai obtained his Ph. D. in bioengineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2008 and completed his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University in 2012.

FACULTY M. Cengiz Altan Peter Attar J. David Baldwin Jie Cai Kuang-Hua Chang Chenkai Dai Chris Dalton Rong Gan Jivtesh Garg Kurt Gramoll Thomas Hays Andrea L’Afflitto Feng Lai Chung-Hao Lee Yingtao Liu Wilson Merchán-Merchán David Miller Farrokh Mistree Kumar Parthasarathy Mrinal Saha Hamidreza Shabgard Zahed Siddique, Director Li Song Harold Stalford Wei Sun Prakash Vedula Keith Walters

STAFF Bethany Burklund Student Services Coordinator Martina Ferguson Office Manager and Assistant to the Director Melissa Foster Staff Assistant Billy Mays Shop Manager Ellen McKenzie Staff Assistant Rebeka Morales Communications Coordinator Greg Williams Shop Technician AME News 2018


Dr. Jie Cai, Assistant Professor The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is excited to announce our new faculty member, Dr. Jie Cai. He is originally from Gaomi, Shandong Province, China. Dr. Cai holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Mathematics. In 2015, he obtained his Ph.D. from Purdue University with a focus on multi-agent control for building energy system management.

control for variable-speed air-conditioning/heat pump systems, distributed control of sustainable communities, etc. He is excited about joining AME at OU and he is looking forward to working with the students, staff and other researchers at OU in establishing a vigorous building energy research program. He is hoping to see that the research work to be carried out at OU will contribute to a more sustainable and resilient society.

Prior to joining OU, Dr. Cai was a postdoctoral research associate with Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at Purdue University and also held a 50% appointment with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Within the post-doc appointment, he has been leading several industry- and DOE-funded projects related to whole-building fault detection and using building energy systems for power grid ancillary services.

Dr. Cai enjoys working at OU because it is a diverse community offering excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and it has close physical proximity to leading HVAC manufacturers. He is looking forward to working with the smart students, supportive staff members and worldclass researchers to establish a vigorous research program.

His research focus has centered around modeling and advanced controls of building energy systems and their broad applications, including grid-interactive building operation, optimized


A few interesting facts about Jie Cai are that he is enthusiastic in hearing ideas from different fields, loves outdoor activities, especially fishing, and is a big fan of math.

“I feel blessed at the wonderful opportunity to work with such a great group. The group at Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has been both welcoming and helpful.” Martina Ferguson, Office Manager and Assistant to the Director

Martina has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and master’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She worked in graphic design from 2000–2005 and has been employed by OU from 2005 to present. Also, she has taught college-level English for Rose State College since 2015. Outside of work, Martina likes to run, garden, travel, go to movies and spend time with her family and two Chihuahuas. She is a writer and works on novels in her spare time. She also likes to read, draw and paint. Martina joined the AME staff in Spring 2017.

Bethany graduated from OU in 2009 with a BA in Latin and Greek and a BA in Letters. Part of the AME staff since spring 2017, she will tell anyone who asks that she has one of the best jobs on campus. She has the privilege of looking after both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as taking care of many other tasks, and she greatly enjoys the wide scope of her role. She also believes her experience in Classics has uniquely prepared her for success in AME. When she is not in the AME office amassing large piles of paper, she enjoys reading, annoying her guinea pigs, studying some new language, and doing crafts that start with c. She is probably the biggest Lord of the Rings fan you know and she really does want to know how to pronounce your name correctly.

Bethany Burklund, Student Services Coordinator

“One of my favorite things about working in AME is getting to hear five or more languages in a single day. Optimum est!” www.ou.edu/coe/ame

AME News 2018


Faculty Research


Innovation with Unmanned Aerial Systems

The next frontier for unmanned aerial systems, aka drones, is to interact with people and the environment. Dr. Andrea L’Afflitto’s research is aimed at providing theoretical and technological solutions to this simple and yet challenging question: how can quadcopters and octocopters be used to help people in their tasks at home and work?

The challenges associated to this research topic are numerous, and his research group, the Advanced Control Systems Lab, has made exceptional progress in solving some of these challenges. For example, their control systems for drones are now able to override and correct a pilot’s hazardous maneuver. Moreover, small drones equipped with the research team’s autopilots are able to pick up and deploy objects, while remaining at a given location; www.ou.edu/coe/ame

existing autopilots are unsuitable for these purposes. In the near future, the team will implement robotic arms on multirotor aircraft, which will be used to manipulate objects collected during flight. This research would not be possible without the help of Dr. L’Afflitto’s research group, which comprises 14 of the most promising graduate and undergraduate students from AME. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Army Research Lab (ARL) through the Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance. Additional partners include the Oak Ridge National Lab and Microsoft, with whom Dr. L’Afflitto is collaborating on the creation of the next generation of flight controllers.

Dr. L’Afflitto received the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award in 2018 for his research. AME News 2018


Heat and Mass Transfer in Multiphase Systems

Dr. Hamidreza Shabgard is an Assistant Professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at OU. His research interests include heat and mass transfer in multiphase systems, CFD, thermal energy storage and heat pipes. Dr. Shabgard is currently working on experimental and numerical study of microencapsulated phase change slurries, various thermal desalination technologies, application of phase change materials in air conditioning systems, and multiscale modeling of liquid-vapor phase change processes in systems with various length scales. The experimental research is conducted using an apparatus developed by Dr. Shabgard’s group and enables a wide range of parametric studies to investigate the effects of various design and operational conditions on the heat transfer and hydrodynamic behavior of such multiphase heat transfer systems. The experimental and computational research on thermal desalination is focused on two novel designs based on evaporative and eutectic-freeze desalination. The 13

multiscale modeling relies on both Molecular Dynamics and CFD for better understanding of the transport phenomena occurring during vaporization and condensation of fluids adjacent to surfaces with various structures. In the “Multiphase Heat Transfer Laboratory” supervised by Dr. Shabgard, both experimental and advanced computational approaches are employed for better understanding of the complex transport phenomena involved in various types of multiphase systems. In addition to furthering the fundamental knowledge, Dr. Shabgard’s research finds application in a wide range of engineering applications including oil and gas, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, thermal management of electronics, desalination systems and solar energy among others. The broader impact of this research is paving the way for a more sustainable energy ecosystem by improving the efficiency of the existing systems and creating revolutionary energy conversion and management solutions.

AME Faculty Startup Receives Nearly $1 M in Funding from DoD A Norman based startup company, Next Frontier LLC, received nearly a million dollars in funding from US Department of Defense through the STTR program. Next Frontier LLC is focused on developing innovative software relevant to design of next generation hypersonic vehicles. Dr. Prakash Vedula is the Founder and CEO of Next Frontier LLC. He is also a Professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at University of Oklahoma (OU). His journey into exploration of high-impact fundamental research and entrepreneurship for the benefit of the local community and the nation at large is sure to inspire other entrepreneurs in the OU community. Dr. Vedula and his research group pursue high-risk research relevant to fundamental discoveries and innovations in computational algorithms applicable to a broad class of complex systems in nature and engineering. One of the long-term objectives of his research is to enable development of intelligent and energy-efficient complex systems via integration of fundamental knowledge with fast and innovative algorithms for prediction control and sensor fusion for real-time applications. His recent startup focuses on development of fast and innovative algorithms for prediction of complex flow behavior relevant to hypersonic flows. Product innovations relevant to these algorithms will not only enable efficient design of hypersonic vehicles but will also fill an important need in the context of national security. From recent news and events around the world, it appears that there has been increased emphasis to strengthen the US position in global hypersonic battlespace and Dr. Vedula believes that his company’s product could be a key player in this context. At a community level, Dr. Vedula believes that there is a great opportunity to make an impact (beyond job creation) in the great state of Oklahoma. He thinks that the environment for entrepreneurship is very promising in Norman. He believes that such an entrepreneurship friendly environment could www.ou.edu/coe/ame

not have been possible without the visionary efforts of many leaders (and donors) in the university and local community. His company has close collaborations with the OU Gallogly College of Engineering and Tom Love Innovation Hub, Norman Economic Development Coalition and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Engineering dean Tom Landers says “the Gallogly College of Engineering leads the Norman campus in bringing scientific discoveries and technology to our innovation ecosystem through invention disclosures, patents and startups. Daniel Pullin, dean of Michael F. Price College of Business, said “Dr. Vedula’s intellectual leadership, energy, and enthusiasm are emblematic of the growing innovation ecosystem we are creating at the University of Oklahoma. His engagement with the Tom Love Innovation Hub and other collaborators is catalyzing the future economy of Oklahoma and advancing the global competitiveness of the nation.” Tom Wavering, Executive Director of Tom Love Innovation Hub, said “The mission of the Tom Love Innovation Hub is to increase innovation and entrepreneurship and Dr. Vedula is a great example of our model at work. We are so excited for his success and proud to have been a critical resource to help him realize his vision and secure SBIR/STTR funding for Next Frontier, LLC.” Next Frontier LLC is also part of a business incubator program, Startup 405, operated by the Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC). Maureen Hammond, Vice President of NEDC said, “It is exciting to see the results of our joint efforts to cultivate entrepreneurial activity materialize through success stories such as Next Frontier LLC. Dr. Vedula’s leadership and commitment to research and development of his innovative products will have a considerable impact within the state of Oklahoma and nation, yielding job, knowledge and wealth creation.” AME News 2018


Development of Novel Medical Device for Intracranial Aneurysms AME Assistant Professors Chung-Hao Lee and Yingtao Liu collaborated on the development of a novel medical device for surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Incidental rupture of an intracranial aneurysm results in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which causes about 10% of an individual’s death before reaching medical attention. The overall objective of this research project is to identify objective hemodynamic and biomechanical criteria derived from predictive computer simulations for designing embolic devices and to develop the prototypes of embolic devices using aliphatic urethane shape memory polymers (SMPs), which possess excellent shape memory property, as a novel therapeutic technique for patient-specific endovascular embolization of intracranial aneurysms. The developed SMP foam-based embolic devices are expected to achieve short preparation time, optimal complete occlusion, and a significantly reduced rate of aneurysm recurrence.


The development of such innovative technologies is expected to be beneficial to the healthcare of Americans with a stroke history and will dramatically reduce the corresponding in-hospital expenditure. The collaborative team for this interdisciplinary research has been established among bioengineer Dr. ChungHao Lee (OU AME), material scientist Dr. Yingtao Liu (OU AME), and neurosurgeon Dr. Bradley Bohnstedt (OUHSC), as well as student researchers in various engineering disciplines of the Gallogly College of Engineering. This project is currently supported by the 2017 Gallogly SEED Funding for Interdisciplinary Research, Faculty Investment Program (FIP) sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Pilot Research Program from the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources (OSCTR).

Improving Software Tools for Analyzing Engineering Systems Dr. Keith Walters’ research interests lie in the area of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of complex fluid flow and heat transfer processes. His focus is on the development of physical models and mathematical algorithms to improve the accuracy and efficiency of computer simulations for a wide range of engineered and natural systems, especially those that include turbulent fluid flow. The size and complexity of these simulations requires the use of high performance computing (HPC) resources, such as those available at the OU Supercomputing Center for Education and Research (OSCER), and simulations often require hours or even days while running on hundreds of parallel processors. Example applications range from energy and biological systems to marine and aero vehicles. His research efforts produce improved software tools that are used by engineers and researchers in government labs, industry partners, and academia to improve analysis and design of complex systems.


Current research projects include the enhancement of CFD software for analysis of high-speed flow in Scramjet combustors, computational evaluation of novel wind turbine designs for improved energy efficiency, and the development and testing of new models for predicting heat transfer in liquid-metal-cooled nuclear reactors. Current research sponsors and collaborators include the Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, ATA Engineering Inc. and XPEED Turbine Technologies LLC. Dr. Walters’ research team includes three Ph.D. students and two M.S. students who actively contribute to the success of the overall research goals. At OU he hopes to expand his research into new application areas while continuing to train the next generation of computational fluid dynamicists and enhance the performance of computational engineering tools.

AME News 2018


Faculty Updates


Dr. Cengiz Altan Honored with Plaque in Engineering Quad The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) Board of Advisors (BoA) honored former AME Director Cengiz Altan with a plaque outside the Rawls Engineering Practice Facility in the Engineering Quad. The BoA presented to the plaque to Altan during the Fall 2017 Board of Advisors meeting on November 10, 2017.

The plaque reads “M. Cengiz Altan, Director AME 20132017” to commemerate his four academic years of service to AME as director. The BoA, faculty and staff appreciated Altan’s hard work and dedication to AME, leading every day with a smile and his “It’s all good” mentality.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Harold Barnes The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) remembers a longstanding member of its Board of Advisors and University of Oklahoma alum, Kenneth Barnes. He passed away on Sunday, April 16, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 84. Barnes graduated from OU with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955 and later earned a Master’s degree from Southern Methodist University in 1960. His career included aerodynamic design and development work on the B-58 bomber, F-111 fighter/bomber, the F-16, F-16XL and other F-16 derivatives. He helped develop the design of the flight control system for the Space Shuttle Orbiter and enjoyed working with several astronauts. Furthermore, Barnes received a patent in 2003 for the design of a Space Shuttle Flyback Booster. “He has been a tremendous supporter of AME, particularly the aerospace program for many years. His friendship, advice, and support will be sorely missed,” said M. Cengiz Altan. Barnes participated as a member of the AME Board of Advisors since 1984. The AME family would like to send condolences to the Barnes family. He will be dearly missed by all. www.ou.edu/coe/ame

AME News 2018


Dr. Rong Gan Awarded Presidential Research Professorship Dr. Rong Gan received a Presidential Professorship award at the Tribute to the Faculty ceremony on April 11, 2017. Dr. Gan is a world-expert on biomechanical modeling and characterization of blast-induced hearing injury and protection.

colleagues (both at OU and within their disciplines nationwide) the ideals of a scholar through their endeavors in teaching; research and creative scholarly activity; and professional and university service and public outreach.

The Presidential Professorships were established to recognize those faculty members who excel in all of their professional activities and who relate those activities to the students they teach and mentor. The Professorship is awarded for a four-year term.

In addition to the Presidential Professorship, Dr. Gan was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She was among 145 engineers selected in the 2017 College of Fellows. AIMBE advocates for health care research at the national level. Fellows are nominated by their peers. Dr. Gan was recognized for outstanding contributions in fundamental and applied research on the biomechanics of the ear.

The criteria for selection for the Presidential Professors is that they inspire their students, mentor their undergraduate and/or graduate students in the process of research and creative scholarly activity within their discipline, and exemplify to their students (both past and present) and to their

Congratulations, Dr. Gan, for the fully-deserved recognitions! The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is proud to have you as a professor.

Dr. Keith Walters Awarded Tom and Mary Dugan Professorship Dr. Keith Walters was recently named the Tom & Mary Dugan Professor. The professorship is funded by a generous endowment from the Dugan family to support the research mission of a deserving OU engineering professor. Professorships provide recognition both to the recipient and to the individuals honored in the title, in this case Tom and Mary Dugan, who were lifelong supporters of education and the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Walters plans to use this generous gift primarily to provide additional student research opportunities in his group and to support additional student travel opportunities to scientific and technical conferences.


Dr. David P. Miller Appointed to National Science Foundation

Dr. David P. Miller was appointed as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Office starting in January of 2018 in Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) directorate. The appointment is a rotating position that can last 2-plus years. While Dr. Miller will be splitting his time at AME with his time at NSF, he will be conducting important work for the future of innovative research.

Dr. Miller is the Wilkonson Chair Professor at AME. Additionally, he is a member of the Institute for Biomedical, Engineering, Science and Technology faculty and the Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology Graduate Program faculty. His major research area is in robotics, particularly robots used for planetary exploration, assisting people with disabilities, and for educational purposes.

Dr Miller will be a part of NSF CISE, which is “organized into a small number of programs that are responsible for managing a portfolio of grants and proposal competitions within a broad area of research and education.”

Dr. Miller has the Intelligent Robotics Lab (IRL) at AME, in which the lab is “mainly concerned with solving problems that require a mixture of mechanics and computation, where neither will suffice on their own.” He is also the sponsor the for Sooner Rover competition team.

Dr. Lee Named Awardee of Nancy Mergler Faculty Mentor Award Dr. Chung-Hao Lee was recently named an awardee for the Nancy Mergler Faculty Mentor Award for Undergraduate Research for 2017-18 during the Annual Faculty Tribute. The award nomination comes from undergraduate researchers submitting either a survey or a letter that presents examples of the mentor’s leadership skills. Through his mentoring of undergraduate research students, he has provided them with outstanding research experiences where he supports individual and professional development of the mentee. Dr. Lee’s award is based on his qualities such as: investing in the work of his students through guidance, instruction, and encouragement, as well as fostering an environment with mutual respect and providing timely, explicit, and constructive feedback for intellectual growth.


AME News 2018


Emeritus Professor Creates ‘Gollahalli Fund’ for Hands-On Lab Experiences Professor Subramanyam Gollahalli, Lesch Centennial Chair at the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME), retired and transitioned to emeritus status in May 2017, after 41 years of service at OU (52 years including his tenure at the Indian Institute of Science, India and the University of Waterloo, Canada). His service included eight years of directorship at AME.

experimental experience” is an essential component of engineering education to prepare well-rounded engineers. He was the founding chair of the AME Laboratory Committee (1989), in which capacity he served until retirement (with a break during his directorship). He was the author of the “AME Lab Plan” required by the accreditation agency, which provides guidelines for various laboratories (two required labs and five elective labs). It deals with coordination, safety aspects and general guidelines for funding and conducting laboratory courses. During his tenure as the chair, he raised funds and arranged allocation of funds through the Lab Committee to modernize the lab education to keep pace with technological innovations.

His distinguished career was marked by many awards from various professional organizations and many recognitions from OU, including the Regents Superior Teaching Award and Regents Professional Service Award. A few of the awards bestowed upon Professor Gollahalli are the Westinghouse Gold Medal, the Energy Systems Award, the Ralph James Award, the Ralph Teetor Award, the Samuel Collier Award and the Sustained Service Award. Professor Gollahalli’s research in energy and combustion involved many experimental studies. He founded the internationally-recognized Combustion Laboratory, where he mentored over 100 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) and post-doctoral associates and produced nearly 300 publications. He involved many undergraduate students in his laboratory research as well. Professor Gollahalli strongly believes that “hands-on

“Dr. Gollahalli is a truly dedicated professor, he inspires his students to solve problems and make a difference,” said Sai Gundavelli, AME alum. His passion for giving students hands-on experience resulted in the modernization of the AME machine shop with numerically controlled equipment. During his directorship, he gave priority to funding labs and the machine shop in which students were given the opportunity to work by themselves under the supervision of machine shop staff. The capstone design project program, which involves industrial projects, saw a major growth in size and increase in funding during his directorship. The AME Capstone Project Poster Fair, where students exhibit their handson developed creations and win awards at the conclusion of judging by the industry personnel, became an annual popular event during his term as the director.


retirement, to mark his passion and belief in providing valuable laboratory hands-on experience to students, Professor Gollahalli’s family decided to make a significant contribution to this fund to make it a permanent endowment, which will serve as a source of funding for this cause. “I am grateful to the AME Board of Advisors for establishing Gollahalli Legacy Fund to support instructional labs. I thank my wonderful students and friends for their generous donation for this cause, which will facilitate production of well-rounded future AME engineers,” said Professor Gollahalli. During his tenure as the director, he encouraged and supported the student competition activities, such as Sooner Racing Team, Human-Powered Vehicle Team, Robotics Team and Design-Build-Fly Team. The teams facilitated direct student involvement in designing, manufacturing and competing in national events. He personally attended some of the competitions to encourage students. He took great pleasure and felt proud when the teams achieved high national rankings. When Professor Gollahalli stepped down from the directorship after eight years, the AME Board of Advisors started a fund to honor his legacy, which was intended to support the undergraduate laboratories. Now, after his

The School of AME requests your contributions to this fund to mark your name and help fulfill Professor Gollahalli’s long-standing desire. To contribute to the Gollahalli Legacy Fund please visit: https://giving.oufoundation.org/OnlineGivingWeb/Giving/OnlineGiving/Gollahalli


AME News 2018


Student Spotlight


AE Undergraduate Feature: Tayera Ellis

Tayera Ellis is an enthusiastic senior Aerospace Engineering student at AME. With a clear vision of her future career goals, she attended the AT&T Summer Bridge Program before the start of her freshman year. During her Sophomore year, she traveled with Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Tayera got her first inperson NASA experiences during this trip.

pressure vessels (COPs). After returning to school for a year, she received an official phone call from NASA in Houston offering her a Pathways Position.

During the same year, Tayera was the Vice President of the newly created “Sooner Rocket Team,” now known as Boomer Rocket Team and she was appointed Chief Engineer for her Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class final project.

In order to gain a different perspective in the aerospace industry, she interned with Spirit AeroSystems as a Stress Engineer in summer 2017. According to Tayera, “It seems as if I have spent more time interning than I have spent in school, but I know that without OU and the leadership opportunities I have gotten as an undergraduate, I wouldn’t have been competitive for the internship positions.”

“I think the accumulation of these leadership positions is what set me apart to get my first internship as a sophomore,” said Tayera. Tayera interned at Marshal Space Flight Center in Alabama, where she tested a mechanical system to verify a new tuned mass damper approach discovered by her mentor’s team. To continue gaining valuable NASA experience, she decided to delay her graduation and continue interning at a new location at White Sands Test Facility. Tayera helped verify a system that tested critical space hardware known as composite over wrapped www.ou.edu/coe/ame

“I got to be a test subject and wear an actual space suit! I met so many astronauts, and I was a part of the team that made it safe for them to go into space. The whole experience was so amazing!” said Tayera.

She is now the Project Manager for her Rocket Design Capstone project, for which her team is designing a cold gas nozzle system and testing each nozzle iteration to improve the design. Tayera’s future plans are to work for NASA and is taking the steps to meet the qualifications for a full-time position. She hopes to work in the same area that she got to work in during her time in the Pathways Position. AME News 2018


ME Undergraduate Feature: Guy Elisha them has already been accepted to International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics. This experience provided Elisha with hands-on engineering practice as well as showed her the way in which engineers can influence or contribute to public safety using preexisting technology and therefore minimizing cost. Elisha is an active member of the University of Oklahoma Cycling Club, where she organizes and leads group rides, as well as introduce people to the discipline of bicycle racing. As a mechanical engineer, the design and mechanical aspects of the bicycle fascinate her even more than simply riding it. “Although the science behind bicycles seems to be simple and complete, bicycles are not just two-wheel human powered vehicles and there is room for a lot of improvement,” said Elisha. Consequently, she joined the engineering student competition team, Sooner Powered Vehicle. As the safety officer and an older member of the team, Elisha takes part in multiple design and administrative duties, such as writing the Safety Manual, making sure that the team members follow the workspace regulations, and presenting in team leadership meetings. Guy Elisha is a junior mechanical engineering student, pursuing her bachelor’s degree with a mathematics minor. She was born and raised in Israel and moved to Norway at the age of 16 after receiving a scholarship to study at a private international school called United World College. Elisha came to OU after receiving a full scholarship from the Davis foundation.

Elisha works as a mechanical engineering and mathematics tutor at the Student Learning Center, where she assists and instruct students in mechanical engineering and mathematics courses. The position involves collaborating with professors and fellow employees in developing effective teaching strategies, forming study groups and increasing students’ confidence.

As an honors student, Elisha was chosen to take part of HERE- Honors Engineering Research Experience, and had the great pleasure to work with Dr. Scott Harvey on a project that combined both civil and mechanical engineering. The research examines alternative, affordable and safer methods to determine the shape of a building in the aftermath of an earthquake. During this period, she was exposed to a large-scale lab environment, processed data, met and communicated with a range of people with different academic backgrounds, and gave presentations about her work. Moreover, as a co-author, they sent two academic papers to publish, in which one of

Due to Elisha’s interest in learning, teaching, and research, she sees herself staying in school and extending her academic career, possibly pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Having her first academic paper accepted for publication as an undergraduate encouraged her to continue along this path. In Elisha’s future studies, she hopes to continue to look for affordable and sustainable ways to increase people’s safety and quality of life. Her goal is to work for improving and expanding the field of renewable energy by looking for ways to increase efficiency and decrease the cost such that it will be affordable.


Graduate Student Feature: Marcus Brown

Marcus Brown is a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant for Dr. Rong Gan. His research includes the biomechanics of the ear and finite element modeling of sound transmission throughout it. Specifically, Brown’s recent work has been investigating how blast waves (like the pressure wave from an explosion) affect the inner ear and contribute to hearing loss. In October 2017, Brown presented his research, titled “3D Finite Element Modeling of Blast Wave Transmission from the External Ear to the Cochlea,” at the BMES annual meeting. Also, he did some imaging to visualize the damage done to the inner ear. He used the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma (OU) to take scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the hearing sensory cells in the inner ear to visualize the damage done by the blast waves. In February, this study was presented by a poster titled, “SEM Imaging of Cochlear Hair Cell Damage Caused by Blast Exposure,” at the ARO 41st Annual Midwinter Meeting. Brown has held multiple teaching assistantships at the University of Oklahoma. These appointments were www.ou.edu/coe/ame

both in the AME and BME departments. The range of classes include: statics, design of thermal fluid systems, biomechanics, bioimaging, and capstone. After receiving his master’s in mechanical engineering at Purdue University, Brown worked as a Systems Engineer at Nanosphere, Inc. In this position, he worked in product development, designing and testing new instruments, in order to ready them for clinical trials and FDA clearance. In addition, Brown determined the requirements and technical hazards, and performed verification and validation testing for new and existing products. “I consider this career path to be where I will have the most impact on the improvement of medical therapies,” said Brown. “Working in a research laboratory (academic, national, or industrial laboratory) would make the best use of my experiences gained thus far and the knowledge I’ll gain while completing my Ph.D.” After graduation, Brown would like to apply the skills gained at the University of Oklahoma to further advance biomedical technology through research.

AME News 2018


Oustanding Students & Scholarship Recipients 2017

The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Students were recognized at the Board of Advisors Spring 2017 Luncheon. The students are selected by AME’s Undergraduate Committee every academic year based on academic excellence, leadership and campus involvement. Oustanding Students for 2017 (from left) are Coleton Domann, Aerospace Engineering Junior; Christine Greve, Aerospace Engineering Senior; Pranav Mohan, Mechanical Engineering Sophomore; Jenna Ewert, Mechanical Engineering Junior; and Cameron Fielden, Mechanical Engineering Senior. Alexander Bryant, Aerospace Engineering Sophomore, not pictured.

The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering graduate students were recognized at the Board of Advisors Spring 2017 Luncheon. Graduate students awarded the various scholarships (from left) are Anand Balu Nellippallil, Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship recipient; Mortaza Saeidi, ConocoPhillips Scholarship; Maya Pishvar, Jim and Bee Close Engineering Scholarship recipient; Mehrad Amirkhosravi, Jim and Bee Close Engineering Scholarship recipient; and Gorkem Guloglu, Thomas Milam Sr. Endowed Fellowship recipient. Jelena Milisavljevic, Chevron Texaco and John E. Francis Scholarship recipient, not pictured.

Oustanding Students & Scholarship Recipients 2018

The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Students were recognized at the Board of Advisors Spring 2018 Luncheon. The students are selected by AME’s Undergraduate Committee every academic year based on academic excellence, leadership and campus involvement. Oustanding Students for 2018 (from left) are Colton Ross, Mechanical Engineering Junior; Sarah Libby, Mechanical Engineering Senior; Duncan Merchan Breuer, Mechanical Engineering Sophomore; Glenn Medina, Aerospace Engineering Sophomore; Alex Bryant, Aerospace Engineering Junior; and Alexander Speed, Aerospace Engineering Senior. Joseph Sullivan, Aerospace Engineering Senior, not pictured.


The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering graduate students were recognized at the Board of Advisors Spring 2018 Luncheon. Graduate students awarded the various scholarships (from left) are Mohammad Abshirini, Jim and Bee Close Engineering Scholarship recipient; Tausif Jamal, Jim and Bee Close Engineering Scholarship recipient; Alireza Abdi, Chevron Texaco Scholarship recipient; Timothy Blackford, Thomas Milam Sr. Endowed Fellowship recipient; Mohammad Charara, John E. Francis Scholarship recipient; Jingyu Wang, Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship recipient; Robert Blake Anderson, Thomas Milam Sr. Endowed Fellowship recipient; Rajmohan Muthaiah, Jim and Bee Close Engineering Scholarship recipient; and Julius Marshall, Thomas Milam Sr. Endowed Fellowship recipient.

Graduate Student Community Feature

AME congratulates Pranav Mohan, an undergraduate student at AME, for his recent success and awards. Pranav, along with Abhishek Yadav, an industrial and systems engineering major, and Cindy Belarado, an environmental studies and pre-med major, crafted a proposal titled, “Money Spent Right – Menstrual Cup for Women’s Empowerment.” They were awarded $10,000 for their distinguished proposal. Both Janet K. Allen and Farrokh Mistree mentored Pranav and Abhishek through this project proposal. Additionally, Pranav is one of 20 OU male juniors and seniors to be recognized with the “Big Man on Campus” award this year. This award aims to recognize students for their outstanding accomplishments in leadership, service, honors, and academics. Pranav exemplifies each of these qualities and was recognized at the campus awards ceremony on April 17, 2018 for his distinctions. During Summer 2018, Pranav and his team won the United World Colleges’ David Project for Peace grant, which funded travel to India to educate women on menstrual health. They sold 138 menstrual cups during the education seminars as a cheaper and safe alternative to tampons or sanitary napkins.


AME News 2018


Bass Family Bike Project

The Bass Family asked the team to find a way to allow their son, Titus, who is physical and mentally handicapped, to participate with their other son, Tobias, in the cycling portion of a triathlon. It is Tobias’ dream to be the youngest person to complete the Ironman triathlon while accompanied by a disabled partner. After meeting with the Bass Family and researching several ideas, the team decided to follow through with a sidecar design for Tobias’ bike. The sidecar includes a steel frame, fiberglass nose shell, and arms that can detach from the frame of the bike. The fiberglass nose shell is connected to the front of the sidecar frame by hinges, allowing the shell to open and close. This will make loading Titus in the sidecar an easy task. The sidecar is attached to the frame of the bike with attaching arms that have clamps at the end. These clamps allow the user to attach and detach the sidecar. The position of the third wheel of the sidecar is also adjustable. The height and lateral position of the third wheel can be adjusted using similar clamps. A 3D model of the sidecar frame was designed in SolidWorks. Several loading simulations were performed on the frame using ANSYS to ensure safety. The results of the FEA showed that under the loading conditions, the sidecar frame would remain a safe option for Titus. Tests on the actual prototype were also done by the team. 29

Again, the results showed that the sidecar was safe. The sidecar designed and manufactured by the team provides Titus and Tobias a light-weight and low-cost solution to their initial problem.

Italy Summer Abroad

Students and faculty after presenting their mobile app for the city of Arezzo’s mayor, pictured in the center.

The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering’s own Dr. Zahed Siddique accompanied engineering students on a one-month trip to Arezzo during summer 2017. Faculty and students had the opportunity to sightsee around other cities in Italy, such as Florence and Rome. They visited with industry leaders in engineering, such as General Electric’s Nuovo Pignone where they were guided around by Dr. Massimiliano Cecconi. Additionally, students and faculty also toured the Pantheon and Colosseum in Rome and even did group projects such as making homemade pasta. While students were in Arezzo, they worked on completing a project for the city’s mayor, where the students split into

groups and commutatively designed an innovative phone application that focused on helping people explore the city of Arezzo. Towards the end of the student’s trip, they presented their project to the mayor and city officials. In addition to the final project, courses are also offered for engineer majors while they’re in Italy. Course include: ENGR 4510 - Design Thinking and ENGR 4510 - Global Communication. The students, along with Dr. Siddique and other faculty, gained a wide array of experiences while on their trip to Italy, not only with classes, but with the cultural experience as well.

College of Engineering students and faculty at the Colosseum in Rome. www.ou.edu/coe/ame

AME News 2018


Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, North American witnessed an amazing solar eclipse. It was the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States in the past 38 years. The path of totality (the path that the moon’s shadow traces on Earth during a total solar eclipse) stretched from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The University of Oklahoma was outside the path of totality. However, a partial solar eclipse, with 83.48 percent obscuration, brought all of campus outside to look up at the sky together. Due to the strength of the sun, it was very important to have the proper eyewear. For this reason, Dr. David Miller brought extra pairs of the special glasses to the Engineering Quad for everyone to share and enjoy. He also setup his telescope with the proper lens to make it safe to look through. Engineering students fashioned their own solar eclipse viewing apparatus out of cracker boxes, aluminum foil, paper and cardboard. Around 12:06 p.m., the maximum obscuration of the solar eclipse occured. Miller encouraged everyone to look at their shadows on the ground as well as the solar eclipse. The shadows created by the obscuration mimic the crescent shape created by the moon overlapping the sun. Instead of seeing a complete shadow, it creates a whispylooking version of one. The solar eclipse viewing in the Engineering Quad gave everyone a chance to enjoy the miraculous event. 31

Student Teams

OU Design Build Fly Places 6th at Competition

The Design Build Fly Crimson Skies team finished sixth out of 95 teams at the AIAA DBF competition in Tucson, Arizona this year! The team finished all missions and received many compliments from judges and competitors on the novelty of their inflatable fabric wing. SpaceX, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Textron, and Northrop Grumman were just a few of the companies on-site recruiting. A SpaceX recovery systems employee was particularly interested in our inflatable wing and came by our work tent several times to chat with students. According to the DBF rules, student teams had to design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that could best meet the specified mission profile. The goal was to have a balanced design possessing well-demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable

manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance. The objective for this year’s competition was to design a tube-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV must fit complete inside the launch tube, which also acts as the UAV handling and storage container. The launch tube must protect the UAV from damage during normal handling and storage. Upon removal of the UAV from the launch tube, all folded or stowed surfaces or features must move into the flight condition. Teams had to design a UAV and launch tube that minimizes system weight while maximizing speed, range, endurance and payload capacity. DBF Crimson Skies tested multiple designs before creating the successful “Batwing II,” which is the given name of their winning aircraft.

Team Highlights AME’s student teams will host online fundraisers through the OU Thousands Strong crowdfunding website. Stay updated with the student teams by following AME and each individual team on social media.

The 2016-2017 Sooner Off-Road team finished 36th place overall out of 110 teams at the Kansas competition, which is two consecutive years of doubledigit improvement in final placement. The team achieved a personal best performance in the suspension event, finishing sixth, and dramatic improvements in both the acceleration (30th) and maneuverability (30th) events. The team successfully finished the four-hour endurance race for the second consecutive year.

The Sooner Racing Team competes annually at the FSAE Lincoln competition. Highlights of the 2017 Lincoln competition include a 16th place finish in Design Presentation, 19th place finish in Business Presentation, and 28th place finish in the SkidPad event out of 80 teams. The team placed 40th overall. In 2018, the Sooner Racing Team placed 21st place overall, 23rd place in the SkidPad event, and 25th place for the design.

The Sooner Powered Vehicle Team completed the endurance race in 13th place with their “Steel Schooner.” They were 12 laps behind the leader (South Dakota State) over a 2.5-hour course.

The Sooner Rover Team competed in the 2017 University Rover Challenge from June 1-3. The team placed 23rd out of 86 teams at the competition held at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) near Hanksville, Utah. At the 2018 competition, the Sooner Rover Team improved with a score of 191.31, though placing again at 23rd.

In 2017, the Boomer Rocket Team placed 24th out of 45 teams competing at the SpacePort America Cup, which is an internaional competition in White Sands, New Mexico. In 2018, the “Spednik” rocket launch experienced a destabilizing wobble in flight. The team planned to rebuild and relaunch “Spednik” in August. www.ou.edu/coe/ame

AME News 2018


Capstone Project Sponsorsip Options The Mechanical Engineering Capstone program has grown in size tremendously in recent years, and AME is in need of additional industry sponsored projects to support our large student cohort for Spring 2019. For many years, our capstone program has collaborated with industry sponsors to provide “real-life” industry projects for our seniors to complete during their final semester in school. These projects allow AME students to successfully demonstrate a variety of skills that future employers prize: analysis, design, teamwork and communication skills to name a few. Ideally, the project will feature some elements of a design process and be suited for a team of 3-5 members for a period of 15 weeks. We are also interested in interdisciplinary projects that may involve industrial or electrical engineers as well. If you believe your company may be able to assist us, please contact Dr. Chris Dalton at cdalton@ou.edu.

Project Identification Projects in most areas of mechanical engineering, including mechanical design, thermal or fluid systems, control systems, etc., are accepted. The successful completion of these projects is as important as the instructional and educational value. The following guidelines are offered to identify a suitable project for the program. • • • • • • • • • •


Choose a problem that you really want solved. Choose a project that emphasizes design, experimental, and hands-on skills. Do not choose a project involving only the collection of published materials. Choose a problem that allows teamwork and offers opportunity for creativity. Avoid projects involving classified materials. The project scope should be limited to about 1000 person-hours of a senior engineering intern. The project schedule should be limited to about six months (mid-October to April). Seek a project that is not on the critical path of a program with a stringent deadline. Establish concrete, measurable goals. Define how success will be determined.

Giving Opportunities Are you interested in making a gift to the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering? To contribute, visit www.ame.ou.edu.

The University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is home to more than 800 undergraduate students, 60 graduate students and 277 faculty members. We are pleased that our programs have continued to attract highly qualified students and have grown considerably over the past several years. The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has the highest number of students in the Gallogly College of Engineering, graduating nearly 30 percent of all engineers. To ensure that AME students have the facilities, programs and teaching excellence needed to have a succeessful career, the school must secure strategic resources to recruit, retain and graduate the very best. For questions or more information, please contact Stephanie Buettner, director of development, at (405) 325-1957 or sbuettner@ou.edu.

Funding Priorities Student Support: -Fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students: $200,000 Program Support: -AME Machine Shop and Capstone Program enhancements: $250,000 Facility Enhancements: -Renovations of Experimental Laboratories: $200,000

The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to: admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Bobby J. Mason, University Equal Opportunity Officer and Title IX Coordinator, (405) 325-3546, bjm@ou.edu, or visit www.ou.edu/eoo. • This publication, printed by University Printing Services, is issued by the University of Oklahoma. • 200 copies have been prepared and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma.


AME News 2018


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AME Newsletter 2018  

AME Newsletter 2018  

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