Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

  • Fall 2023

    Presentations will take place at Floyd Hall room D-109.

    Console Lid Latch Engagement

    9 to 9:25 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Hannah Sheridan
    Kaden Van Tuinen
    John Wohler 

    Sponsor:
    Ernest Mingerink, Summit Polymers. Inc 

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Jinseok Kim 

    Current methods of securing valuable items within vehicles are in a locked glovebox or in the trunk which leaves the center console a prime target for theft. A secure locking center console was designed; however, a failure occurs when a force is applied to the armrest paddle allowing for the console to be opened when locked. Two new designed locking mechanisms were created and simulated using SolidWorks. From the simulation results, a prototype was 3D printed and force tested. The new model provides robust security, durability, and a hassle-free experience, to ensure the safety of valuable items within vehicles.

    Validation and Optimization of Porous Seal Face Materials

    9:30 to 9:55 a.m.

    Team Members:  
    Matt Blackmer  
    Patrick Nolan
    Caleb Woodward 

    Sponsor:
    Todd Andres, Flowserve 

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Parviz Merati

    Flowserve Corporation offers a specialty mechanical seal, the Bulktite. This is an aerostatic mixer seal that utilizes air rather than oil to separate the rotor and stator during operation. This specialty seal requires a porous restrictor to control the flow of air within the seal. Porous restrictors have not been manufactured by Flowserve. This project established a standardized validation process to ensure quality standards were met.  Through standardized physical testing of the porous material a baseline has been established and utilizing simulation software the performance of the mechanical seal was optimized. 

    Design of Portable Biogas Purifying Unit

    10 to 10:25 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Tim Abbott
    Vignsh Ganapathy
    Shirley Irungaray

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Bade Shrestha

    Raw biogas is a mixture of mostly methane and carbon dioxide. If the carbon dioxide is removed the biogas is intertangle with natural gas. A portable design was created based on principles of large-scale biogas production to separate carbon dioxide from methane. The design was validated using engineering software. This unit would allow small scale biogas producers to have an end product that can be sold as natural gas.

    Portable System to Convert Biogas to Liquid Fuel

    10:30 to 10:55 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Johnothan Parham
    Kathryn Piasecki
    Caden Sukich

    Sponsor:
    Dr. Bade Shrestha, Western Michigan University

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Bade Shrestha

    Third world countries lack systems that can transform readily available resources into fuel/energy. The desired solution was a mobile system which could convert biogas, a byproduct from the fermentation of organic matter, into liquid fuel. To meet this goal, a small-scale proof of concept reaction system was developed and tested to convert biogas into liquid fuel using existing chemical reaction processes. Several critical factors were considered throughout the design, analysis, and testing phases including cost, portability, durability/sustainability, and safety with the final benchmark being the production of liquid fuel.

    Rocket Launched Aircraft

    11 to 11:25 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Jack Friedle
    Matthew Guscar
    Alexander Jarrett

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Kapseong Ro

    Long range aerial surveillance has become increasingly important in the past few years especially with recent conflicts around the globe. An in-depth analysis was conducted to assess the advantages between traditional quadcopters and a rocket launched remotely controlled aircraft equipped with data-collecting systems, such as cameras and environmental sensors. Safety, financial viability, and logistical considerations took precedence in this assessment. Combining the vertical launch capabilities of a rocket with the versatility of remotely controlled flight has the potential to transform the aerospace domain, opening avenues for applications in surveillance, research, and defense. This evaluation serves as a blueprint for the development and manufacturing of a rocket-launched, remote-controlled aircraft. 

    Helmet Test Rig

    11:30 to 11:55 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Michael N. Blue
    Caleb M. Soule
    Adam J. Steiner

    Sponsor:
    FieldTurf

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Pnina Ari-Gur

    Football, one of America's favorite sports, has become increasingly associated with the issue of concussions and the long-term effects of head injuries. In response, our team has developed a helmet testing system. A Drop test apparatus, designed in CAD, this rig incorporated technology such as a 3D accelerometer and LabView processing with the goal to deliver consistent simulated impacts to football helmets. The invaluable data collected through these tests is driving the evolution of creative helmet designs and fostering groundbreaking innovations, all with the overarching goal of making the game safer.

    Induction Tankless Electric Water Heating

    1 to 1:25 p.m.

    Team Members:
    Steve Berg
    Vidya Das
    Gavin Hankins 

    Sponsor:
    Chad VanderRoest, Bradford White Corporation

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Christopher Cho

    With the rising increase in electric products and the push for electrification, there is a need for new water heating products that offer customers efficient and energy conscious water heating technologies. In the current market landscape, resistive heating elements are still used in not only storage tank water heaters but also tankless electric water heaters. With the Department of Energy (DOE), driving for more energy efficient options in water heating, thermal efficiency calculations are performed to see if the induction water heater designs and changes made to the prototypes, can achieve the efficiency requirements from the DOE. Models are generated using 3d modeling software, to determine size constraints. Prototypes were created and tested using LabVIEW, to collect experimental data to determine the technology's viability for replacing resistive heating elements and the technology's efficiency potential.

    EFI Conversion for Carbureted Marine Engines

    1:30 to 1:55 p.m.

    Team Members:
    Jordyn Barnes
    Trevor Jacobs
    Hannah Schodowski 

    Sponsors:
    Holley Performance
    Jeff McCollum, Bosch 

    Faulty Advisor:
    Dr. Richard Meyer

    Carbureted marine engines are less fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly compared to more modern engines with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) technology. Further, there are still many carbureted engines in service, which results in significant economic and environmental costs. To address these costs, a prototype EFI system specifically designed as a retrofit for carbureted marine engines has been developed and implemented. The device includes Throttle Body Fuel Injection (TBI), electronic fuel pump, O2 sensors, and controllers. Water testing shows fuel economy at cruising speeds is improved by ~10% with use of EFI compared to carburetion.

    Virtual Flywheel Torque Sensor simulation and validation

    2 to 2:25 p.m.

    Team Members:

    Leroy Collins
    Elise Quintal
    Raiyan S Tousif

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Muralidhar K Ghantasala
    Vivek Iddum

    Companies are always looking to improve fuel efficiency and overall engine performance. In order to get a more accurate torque reading, a Virtual Flywheel Torque Sensor is used to collect data from the flywheel to make the heavy-duty vehicle more efficient and accurate to real world conditions. FEA analysis is used to determine the value of crankshaft stiffness for the commonly used heavy duty truck engine which is necessary for analyzing the entire torque load conditions. AMEsim modeling will be employed to perform 1-D simulation of systems and subsystems. These results will be compared with on-road truck testing data and the torque variations, so as to help in improving Virtual torque sensor prediction accuracy. 

  • Spring 2023 Section A

    Presentations will take place at Floyd Hall in room D-109.

    Automated Inspection Cell

    8 to 8:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Ryan Ahrens
    • Evan Hughes
    • Brennen Rowell

    Sponsor

    • Melvin Eacker, GE Aerospace
    • Christopher McDonald, GE Aerospace

    Faculty advisor

    • Richard Meyer, Ph.D.

    First part inspections from the manufacturing line involve measurements by hand with subjective results that potentially lead to significant downtime in production. To mitigate downtime and human error, the measurement process was automated and compared to current methods for repeatability and reproducibility. This was done using a global coordinate measuring machine (CMM) with an attached laser scanning sensor. Special, barcode enabled fixtures were designed to locate the part for automatic measurement, allowing the laser to access all desired dimension locations to execute programmed measurement routines. The completed inspection cell resulted in a significant reduction in line downtime.

    MIG and JIG

    8:30 to 8:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Scott Budka
    • Jacob Clark
    • Michael Doherty

    Sponsor

    • Charlie Hansen, Janus Motorcycle
    • Richard Worsham, Janus Motorcycle

    Faculty advisor

    • Jinseok Kim, Ph. D.

    Manufacturing motorcycle frames with all of the necessary hardware takes time and it can be easy to make permanent mistakes while welding the components together. In a manufacturing setting, jigs are implemented in order to minimize the number of mistakes therefore decreasing the overall scrapped frames and wasted man hours. Janus Motorcycles has three fully customizable motorcycles which are available on their website; the Halcyon 450, Halcyon 250, and Gryffin 250. Previously a small fabrication shop had been bending and cutting the raw materials by hand leaving room for error along with longer lead times for parts. Detailed prints for the Halcyon 250 were constructed to streamline the in-house manufacturing process and reduce lead times. A new jig was also designed for the Halcyon 250 improving upon the previous cumbersome jig that had too many sub-jigs making the placements of the mounting brackets and tabs inaccurate. The frame and improved jig design were both modeled in SolidWorks and given as deliverables along with the separate components part files to Janus Motorcycles.

    LA-IP Assembly Fixture Improvement

    9 to 9:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • John Buiteweg
    • Ian Juszczyk
    • Sanjay Unni Suresh

    Sponsor

    • Motus Integrated Technologies

    Faculty advisor

    • Matthew Cavalli, Ph.D.

    Motus Integrated Technologies is an automotive supplier which produces fiber headliners that are used for acoustic absorption.  An ineffective assembly fixture resulted in increased quantities of scrap and longer cycle times.  The assembly fixture was improved via analysis and modification of the fixture’s pneumatic system, control system, and other components.  The revised fixture demonstrates reduced scrap and lower cycle times while also allowing for better cycle control and future fine-tuning of process parameters. 

    Supersonic Combustion Testing Lab Development

    9:30 to 9:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Sufyan Almaghlouth
    • Tariq Drees
    • Mark Lanier
    • Allison O’Keefe

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph.D.

    Supersonic ramjet engines are becoming an increasingly popular technology. Research into this subject is currently inaccessible and expensive. The supersonic combustion lab is an accessible tool that can be used for research into optimal scramjet geometries at WMU. With inlet flows ranging from Mach 1.5 to 3, a variety of sensors, and theoretical values from verified simulations, the design can provide data on every aspect of scramjet combustion. Furthermore, all components fit on the bed of a custom trailer, allowing for easy transport to the faculty or students conducting research, showcasing outside of WMU, and efficient storage.  

    Automated Red-Rabbit Validation Test for a Rotary Dial Machine

    10 to 10:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Kyle Berry
    • Michael Howard
    • Graham Schuerman

    Sponsor

    • Tim Koryzcan, Tri-Mation Industries

    Faculty advisor

    • Jinseok Kim, Ph. D.

    Red-rabbit validation tests are essential for separating good parts from bad parts in the automotive industry. This test validates the sensors on an assembly machine to ensure faulty parts are not sent to customers. The current process is done manually by operators placing the faulty red-rabbit pieces into the assembly machines to validate each sensor individually. By using an automated pick and place module controlled by an electric actuator, the red-rabbit test required less human contact, increasing operator safety; freed up operator time; decreased machine downtime; and reduced the risk of faulty parts shipped.

    High power Rocket Motor Test Bench

    10:30 to 10:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Drake Babbitt
    • Ryan Dull
    • Jonathan Wine

    Faculty advisor

    • Muralidhar Ghantasala, Ph.D.

    Rocket motors are important components for launch vehicles and spacecraft systems. The performance parameters of the motors play a crucial role in the execution of successful missions. A rocket motor test bench 3-D CAD model was produced using Autodesk Inventor and evaluated with Abaqus finite element analysis (FEA). A physical model was constructed and tested. Using built in sensors, this test bench allows for commercial and prototype liquid and solid propellent rocket motors to be analyzed for performance parameters such as thrust, temperature, and burn time. The completed test bench provides a platform that will aid future studies of different types and configurations of rocket motors.

    Design And Implementation of Test Stand Upgrades for Investigating Gearset Churning Losses with Baffles

    11 to 11:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Tyler Bretes
    • Reno Bunce
    • Matthew Martín
    • Julissa Torres

    Sponsor

    • WMU Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS) 
    • Caster Concepts
    • Conceptual Innovations

    Faculty advisor

    • Claudia Fajardo-Hansford, Ph.D.
    • Richard Meyer, Ph.D.

    Rotating gear sets in an oil bath suffer losses due to oil churning. A means to reduce churn losses is to direct the oil using baffles. To test the effects of baffles under controlled conditions, a test stand was upgraded to improve safety and manage oil temperature. For safety, an enclosure was designed and manufactured to prevent injury from rotating and high-power electrical components. To manage oil temperature, a feedback control system was developed and assembled based on results from heat transfer analysis. Use of the improved test stand produced data on the effects of different baffle geometries and oil temperatures on churning losses.

    Design of a Lubrication and Cooling System for CAVIDS’ High-Speed Test Stand

    11:30 to 11:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Rabin Thapa Chhetri
    • Hum Gurung
    • Ashton Robinson
    • Anna Smitchols

    Sponsors

    • John Bair, Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS) 

    Faculty advisors

    • Claudia Fajardo-Hansford, Ph.D.

    Transmissions developed for e-mobility applications can operate up to 20,000 RPM. CAViDS has developed a stand to test gears at these rotational speeds. A spray lubrication and cooling system was designed and implemented to keep the test stand gears and bearings properly lubricated and cooled. Developing the test-stand consisted of evaluating data using theoretical analysis, experimental testing, and simulation. The mounting and layout were designed and modeled using 3D software (SolidWorks) for accurate assembly of the components. Experimental testing and Amesim simulations were performed to validate critical performance parameters, such as the lubricant mass flow rate and velocity. The lubrication system will enable full operation of the high-speed test stand to support research on gear performance and reliability in electric vehicle powertrains. Results will provide useful information for developing drivetrain systems within the automotive industry. 

    Mechanical Energy Converter for Workout Gear

    1 to 1:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Will Esser
    • Adam Racey
    • Val Qejvani

    Faculty advisor

    • Jinseok Kim, Ph.D.

    The global energy crisis is becoming a more pressing issue every day. To tackle this, mechanical and electrical design was performed for an energy conversion unit that can harvest and store mechanical energy in the form of electrical energy. The design of this unit was followed by the development of a working prototype that was subject to extensive testing to assess the safety, efficiency, and energy generated by the machine in order to utilize the energy expenditures in gyms.

    Water Electrolysis for Cube Satellite Propulsion

    1:30 to 1:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Alexander Adams
    • Jenna Wolf

    Sponsors

    • Logan Ritten, MARS Aerospace Company

    Faculty advisor

    • Kristina Lemmer, Ph.D.

    Cube satellites are typically used by universities and emerging aerospace companies, but their current propulsion options are plagued with safety concerns, complex designs, and expensive materials.  A new method uses water as fuel by performing electrolysis in orbit and burning the derived hydrogen and oxygen gasses to generate thrust.  Electrolyzer models were designed and tested to minimize their power requirements while the remaining components in the propulsion system were optimized using MatLab and NASA’s CEA software.  The resulting water electrolysis propulsion system is inexpensive and poses zero threat of early combustion making space research more accessible.

    Compresses Air-Powered Golf Cart

    2 to 2:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Kaitlyn Baetz
    • Thomas Herron
    • Sam Proos

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph.D.

    There is a growing demand for sustainable energy to combat climate change and global warming. The transportation sector is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for sustainable transportation in the world. As a result, it was proposed to design a golf cart powered by compressed air for neighborhood travel. A donated golf cart was utilized as a base for the theoretical design of this project. This design in SolidWorks, if constructed, would allow for demonstration of the numerous possibilities within the sustainable engineering.


    FSAE Drag Reduction System (DRS) 

    2:30 to 2:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Scott Heeney
    • Alex Means

    Faculty advisor

    • William Liou, Ph.D.

    In motorsports aerodynamic performance is essential to the vehicle and the team’s performance.  Using STAR-CCM+, the rear wing layout and performance were optimized to decrease the overall vehicle drag and increase the overall top speed.  This rear wing was built in Solidworks then the design was simulated using OptimumLap software, which showed an increase in overall top speed and reduced drag.  This enhanced design allows the driver to reduce or increase the drag depending on the circuit’s configuration of corners and straight-aways by allowing the driver to control the pitch of rear wing elements.  Better performance in these areas means higher competition scores via reduced lap time. The rear wing is manufactured using lightweight carbon composites for the skin and sparring and polycarbonate ribbing.


    Automation of the One-Point Michigan Cone Test

    3 to 3:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Tyler Blakely
    • Connor Franklin

    Sponsors

    Justin Foster, Michigan Department of Transportation

    Faculty advisor

    • Muralidhar Ghantasala, Ph.D.

    The One-Point Michigan Cone test, which consists of a mold being packed with soil by pounding it against a wooden block, is a specialized method of determining the maximum density of certain granular soils for roadway construction applications. While the method is proven to be reliable, it is also very labor intensive, and can even carry risk of nerve damage. A portable supporting frame housing an electric pounding mechanism was developed and prototyped to automate the strenuous aspects of the process. The frame was also fitted with on-board sensors (load cell, displacement sensor) and a microcontroller designed to assist with necessary signal conditioning and control.

    Heavy Lift Drone for Remote Water Sampling

    3:30 to 3:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Jacob Bodzianowski
    • Sam Phillips
    • Devin Tully

    Sponsor

    • Arthur Ostaszewski, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

    Faculty advisor

    • Richard Meyer, Ph.D. 

    Water sampling is required to maintain the quality of water bodies, fulfill regulatory requirements, and maintain public safety. Water sampling is currently a manual process that is time-consuming and exhaustive. To improve this process, remotely operated drones with water samplers/carriers have begun to be utilized in the field. To meet evolving needs, a waterproof drone with a lift capacity of 8 pounds was developed. As part of the work, a water sampling probe was designed to obtain surface water samples of up to 250mL. The resulting drone demonstrated successful sampling while achieving the desired minimum flight time of 10 minutes.

    Affordable High-Performance Drone for Enhanced Surveillance

    4 to 4:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Romer Baldera 
    • Paulo Campos Gonzalez
    • Max Doggett 
    • Cristian Sivira

    Faculty advisors

    • Muralidhar Ghantasala, Ph. D. 
    • Tianshu Liu, Ph. D.

    A cost-effective surveying Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capable of carrying enough payload to hold data and image acquisition devices. The drone manufactured consists of the most efficient configuration of components into an optimum frame, engineered parts sourced from retailers, and 3D printed assembly items, in conjunction with mission planning software that assembled this Unmanned Vehicle. To attain the desired performance, it was necessary to conduct aerodynamic, electrical, and structural analyses. As a result of the design and optimization efforts, costs were minimized compared to commercially available, ready-to-fly drones while maintaining comparable capabilities and performance.

  • Spring 2023 Section B

    Presentations will take place at Floyd Hall in room D-201.

     

    Design of a  Dynamometer Test Platform for Formula SAE Internal Combustion and Electric Poertrains

    8 to 8:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Ryan Bare
    • Jack Bos
    • Jacob Chavis

    Sponsors

    • FSAE

    Faculty advisor

    • Claudia Fajardo-Hansford, Ph.D.
    • Parviz Merati, Ph.D.

    Western Michigan University participates in the Formula SAE (FSAE) competition, an international collegiate event hosted annually by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). For this event, teams are required to design and build an open-wheel, formula-style race car. Testing the vehicle powertrain ahead of the competition is very important to ensure adequate performance and reliability. The objective of this project is to design and validate a custom dynamometer mounting system for FSAE internal combustion engine and electric motor powertrains. Using computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering simulation software, custom mounting and dynamometer upgrade components were designed and validated to enable steady-state tuning of both powertrains before vehicle assembly. The new dynamometer will enhance the competitiveness of WMU FSAE vehicles.


    Electric Propulsion System for CUBESAT

    8:30 to 8:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Abdulaziz Alaqeel
    • Amy Belmares 
    • Mayank Churiwala

    Sponsors

    • Logan Ritten, MARS Aerospace Company  

    Faculty advisor

    • William Liou, Ph.D.

    Recently, micro- and nano-satellites have become an emerging technology in the space industry due to their low cost and low mass. A reliable propulsion system is necessary to produce enough thrust for steady operation. With limited space and a mass budget, an electric propulsion system was developed for use on a conceptual nano-satellite. The electric propulsion system will aid in further space studies and scientific research.  


    Analysis and Mitigation of Pneumatic Regulator Resonance

    9 to 9:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Brennan Boone 
    • Luke Fouch 
    • Matthew Spencer 

    Sponsor

    • Parker Hannifin 

    Faculty advisor

    • Kapseong Ro, Ph.D.

    Internal resonance among pneumatic regulators can cause heavy leakage, leading to less efficient processes. A mathematical model of the equations of motion for a regulator was derived and applied using MATLAB. This model was verified using physical testing data. Once verified, the models were modified in various ways to observe the main drivers of resonance in a pneumatic system. This investigation provides tools that will aid in mitigation of resonance in both existing and future regulator designs. 


    Sunseeker Dynamic Battery Thermal System

    9:30 to 9:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Jason Hansen
    • Joseph Walega
    • Chad Wrege

    Sponsor

    • Sunseeker Solar Car Project

    Faculty advisor

    • Tianshu Liu, Ph.D.

    Western Michigan University’s Sunseeker Solar Car Project competes internationally in the American Solar Challenge, where the intense heat of the solar-electric race vehicle’s battery operation can lead to vehicle shut-down, combustion, and potential injury or death of the driver. A 3-dimensional model of the battery ventilation system was created using the NX CAD package, in order to perform structural and thermal simulation using Ansys Workbench. Star CCM+ was utilized to simulate the airflow traveling through the new-and-improved model. The implementation of the active ventilation system created a reduction in operating temperature, which extended the range and efficiency of the Sunseeker Solar Car.  


    Saginaw Hinge Assembly

    10 to 10:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Marquese Bell
    • Jay Doshi
    • Jonah Pflug

    Sponsor

    • W-L Molding of Michigan

    Faculty advisor

    • Javier Montefort, Ph.D. 

    Assembly often creates bottlenecks in the production line. A machine was created and tested using SolidWorks that aids in product assembly. The workstation style design allows for quick alterations to accommodate new part designs. Plastic deformation was studied to ensure part failure caused by assembly was limited. This design also allows for products to be assembled faster while reducing wear on the worker. This allows for more parts to be manufactured with less worker fatigue.


    Multiplatform RC Aircraft

    10:30 to 10:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Octavio Garcia Amaral
    • Pasa Bhui
    • Jefferson Ben Lee

    Faculty advisors

    • Judah Ari Gur, Ph.D.
    • William Liou, Ph.D.

    Inspired by the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue, the goal of this design was to assist in the rescue of the survivors that are difficult for humans to reach. A miniature-scaled version of a rescue aircraft that can operate on land, air, and underwater was built. The aircraft was designed to carry emergency supplies by deploying a mini-submarine that dives underwater. SolidWorks CAD software was used extensively for the design and analysis of the structures.  


    Data on Compacting and Stripping of Sand Specimens

    11 to 11:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Anthony Chan
    • Alexander Shoemaker
    • Avadhesh Thakkar

    Faculty advisors

    • Muralidhar Ghantasala, Ph.D.
    • Sam Ramrattan, Ph.D. 

    A retrofit of an existing instrument for compacting and stripping an America Foundry Society (AFS) standard and WMU standard green sand samples, to obtain data on the stripping force needed to extract the specimen of the standard molds and digitize the method of measuring the compactablity of the sand. An installed load cell was used to measure stripping force, and an installed potentiometer to measure compacted distance. A program was written to read the stripping force and compactablity. With the new data obtained, mechanical properties of the green sand can be related to one another.


    Air-bearing Table Design

    11:30 to 11:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Luke Dibley 
    • Drew Lewis 
    • Bowen Quist 

    Sponsors

    • Nate Allwine, Western Aerospace Launch Initiative 
    • Brendan Schulz, Western Aerospace Launch Initiative 
    • Matthew Minor, B.S.’03, Triple Incorporated 

    Faculty advisor

    • Kristina Lemmer, Ph.D.

    Testing satellites on the ground is difficult as the environment in a laboratory is very dissimilar from the orbital environment in which the satellite is expected to operate. An air-bearing table was modeled in SolidWorks and constructed from PLA using 3D printing. The air-bearing table provides near frictionless rotation within a Helmholtz cage to simulate an orbital environment. The design has an adjustable mounting system allowing for nonsymmetric satellites to be balanced on the table. The completed air-bearing table will allow accurate tests to be done on the rotations of both satellites and individual subsystems.


    Fuel Cell Powered Vehicle

    1 to 1:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Yann Hermann Degri 
    • Nathan John
    • Zachary Drass
    • Fahim Irfan Bin 
    • Mohamed Fadzil

    Sponsor

    • Tom Nickel, Golf Cart World

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph. D.

    With the environmental challenges becoming more and more important, the urge to develop new sustainable means of transport is also growing even stronger. A four-wheel drivable vehicle powered by a 1.2 kW fuel cell stack was designed, built and tested using Matlab simulation for the electrical circuit, SolidWorks for the mechanical design and manual assembly for a working physical prototype of a car that runs on hydrogen fuel cells. The design calls for a fuel cell that can deliver at least 1 kW of electricity to the wheels and has a flexible requirement of 2 passenger duty. The final model provides a sustainable alternative for local commute around campus.


    Thermal Control for a Miniaturized Fabry-Perot Interferometer in a CubeSat

    1:30 to 1:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Luke Bartley
    • Lukas Hayes
    • Callie Pilkington
    • Justin Poole

    Sponsors

    • Michigan Aerospace Corporation

    Faculty advisor

    • William Liou, Ph.D.

    Thermal control systems are needed for protecting CubeSats and instruments in the extreme environment of the thermosphere. Thermal models of control systems were designed and tested with flow simulations. Different thermal control solutions were designed and simulated to meet the CubeSat deliverables. Sets of solutions were tried and iterated to achieve different variable constraints that were posed. A proper thermal control system can increase the life of a CubeSat and provide the internal electronics with the necessary protection to complete the mission.


    Real-Time Measurement of Iconic Liquid Flow Rate within a Passively Fed Electrospray Thruster

    2 to 2:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Mickayla Greiner
    • Samantha Moranko

    Faculty advisor

    • Kristina Lemmer, Ph.D.
    • Nicholas Taylor, Ph.D.

    Current methods of obtaining the mass flow rate for electrospray thrusters are not sufficient for on-board space missions. A compact design for a mass flow rate sensor was completed. SolidWorks was used to create a 3D CAD model of the thruster platform and LTspice was used to simulate the sensor circuit. The platform and mass flow rate sensor were used in conjunction to serve as a simple configuration to measure mass flow rate for on-board space missions. This sensor will provide better insight into real-time mission diagnostics, thruster performance analysis, and experimental platforms for data acquisition.


    TecNiq Led Vision Tester

    2:30 to 2:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Kyle Baker
    • Zachary Grear
    • Jonathan Weber

    Sponsor

    • Justin Osentoski, TecNiq Inc

    Faculty advisor

    • Christopher Cho, Ph.D. 

    An LED light tester was developed for TecNiq Inc, an LED light manufacturer whose products are often used on utility and emergency vehicles. This LED light tester consolidated several previously discrete pieces of testing equipment, increased the speed of their QA process, and decreased man hours needed to test the lights. The tester combines an electrical current test along with an AI-driven vision inspection process using a programmable current testing circuit and a Keyence IV3 600 Vision system. The tester uses a Programmable Learning Controller (PLC) to collect failure rate data and switch between programs for the Keyence vision system, and is operated by a resistive touch screen. Individual programs were developed for 32 different LED products produced by TecNiq. The machine can test all 32 LED variations while requiring only one operator and provides failure rate statistics to TecNiq Inc.


    Design and Optimization of HEPS powered Light Aircraft to Maximize Range and Endurance

    3 to 3:25 p.m.

    Team members

    • Elijah Kauffman
    • Sam Hoisington

    Faculty advisor

    • Kapseong Ro, Ph.D. 

    Ever increasing CO2 emissions and noise pollution within the aerospace industry motivates research into the electrification of propulsion systems for aircraft. Models of the Hermes 450, a UAV, with a hybrid electric propulsion system were created with Simulink and MATLAB. The model allows for testing flight performance across various missions and flight paths to benchmark the increased efficiency. Through refinement in a Simscape model a HEPS augmented version of the aircraft will be produced with improved performance.


    Noise Reduction of a Wind Turbine System

    3:30 to 3:55 p.m.

    Team members

    • Sunil Basnet
    • Isiah Ellsworth
    • Drew Sitto

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph.D.
    • Rishav Mishra

    One of the most frequent obstacles to the development of wind energy is noise pollution caused by wind turbine blades. To address this problem, several 3D airfoil models with various aerodynamic properties were developed, integrating various design techniques to reduce the aero-acoustic noise produced at the trailing edge. These models were reduced in size, 3D printed, and put through their paces in an acoustic wind tunnel. Using ANSYS simulation, the pressure variations of the airflow over the airfoils were made visible. The noise-reduction strategies that were suggested are supported by the iterative experiment results. Expanding the usage of wind energy will be possible after wind turbine blade noise is reduced.

  • Fall 2022

    Hybrid endurance drone

    Student team 

    • Charlie Baker
    • Mohammad Riashad Reza
    • Caleb Wold

    Faculty Advisor

    • Kristina Lemmer, Ph.D.

    Quadro helicopter drones have many great uses but suffer from limited flight time. By increasing flight duration, drone usage can expand into new sectors of search and rescue, surveillance, communications, and security. This was achieved by incorporating properties of lifting gas and solar energy into an existing drone platform and creating a hybrid endurance drone with significantly increased flight duration. 

    SCRAMJET Combustion Lab development

    Student team 

    • Drew Daenzer
    • Shane Ferguson
    • Raul Rangel III

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph.D.

    As the desire for high-speed atmospheric propulsion grows, scramjets are seeing more potential applications. A mobile scramjet combustion lab offers the ability to develop and analyze different components to determine optimal geometries for new scramjet designs at an affordable cost. Thanks to sound dampening system, quieter operation makes testing practical in more locations than conventional jet engines. With inlet flows ranging from Mach 1.5 to 3.0 and a multitude of sensors, the design can perform experiments with every aspect of scramjet combustion. With the help of computational fluid dynamics software and thermal simulations, the design is verified to meet required testing durations and parameters. 

    The musical water fountain

    Student team:

    • Joseph Bonnen
    • Amy Nielsen
    • Gavin Peddie

    Faculty advisor

    • Bade Shrestha, Ph.D., and Javier Montefort, Ph.D.

    The musical water fountain was designed to be an affordable and innovative addition to residential homes. With more walks around the neighborhood since the outbreak of Covid-19, it is a neat way to glorify the natural scenery. The electromechanical devices used to control the dynamic movements and flow rates within the model were programmed and synchronized with Arduino microcontrollers. Through SolidWorks, the model was generated and used for assembly reference. As a whole, the water fountain acts as an enchanting piece to the surrounding with its combination of water, light, and music.

    Paddle port-the small watercraft launch

    Student team

    • Tony Dougherty
    • Nathan Ely
    • Elijah Kilian
    • Josie Sibley

    Sponsor

    • Lifts Ladders and Docks and 4Ever Aluminum

    Faculty advisor

    • Daniel Kujawski, Ph.D.

    Kayaks and canoes can be unstable and hard to board while sitting in water near the docking platform. The design of a kayak and canoe lift was first created with brainstorming and 2D sketches, then a 3D model in SolidWorks followed by an analysis of weight capacity, material selection, functionality, safety, ease of installation, and long product life. A functioning prototype was built for testing, and changes to the design were made as needed. The final kayak and canoe lift design can attach to a dock for safe lifting or lowering of a person seated in a kayak from the dock level into the water.

    Design of 6-way tunable take-apart damper for formula SAE vehicle

    Student team

    • Danh Do
    • Derek Monje
    • Anthony Sweier

    Faculty advisor

    • Daniel Kujawski, Ph.D.

    Western Michigan University’s student chapter, Bronco Racing FSAE, competes in a world-recognized collegiate competition that is hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Recent changes to the design of the vehicle have been made to progress and remain competitive as a racing team. A6-way tunable take-apart damper was created to decrease cost and increase the vehicles dynamic performance. The damper allows user modifications to vehicle handling characteristics for a variety of track scenes by adjusting low, mid, and high-speed damping forces in rebound and compression. The design report also increased the FSAE team’s knowledge on automotive damper function and theory.

    Radiator core straightener

    Student team

    • Dylan Presnail
    • Pasindu Takeshi
    • Muhammed Zia

    Sponsor

    • DENSO Manufacturing

    Faculty advisor

    • Daniel Kujawski, Ph.D.

    In the production of the multiflow radiator cores, a warp has been found in the post-brazing process. This warp caused many of the cores to fail in the final testing process. Using SolidWorks, a model core straightener was designed to amend this issue. This design was then built and integrated into the radiator assembly process. The final design fixed the warp of 2200 cores a day and eliminated the fallout due to this issue later in the assembly.

    Digitizing sand testing machines

    Student team

    • Levi Koebbe
    • Rehan Manimaleth

    Faculty Advisor

    • Sam Ramrattan, Ph.D.
    • Peter Thannhauser, Ph.D.
    • Muralidhar Ghantasala, Ph.D.

    As the manufacturing industry improves, automating the process for the collecting and analyzing data has become a crucial aspect with the implementation of new technology. Improving the process of collecting data allows engineers to have the information needed to solve problems they are facing. There are currently three sand testing machines in Dr. Sam Ramrattan’s lab that require improvement in the design of the physical equipment itself or the way the system outputs data. These tests include a compression test, an impact test and a hot friability test. Having a test that can display and store data improves the process.

    Muffler for FSAE

    Student team

    • Steve Nemeth
    • Sabina Tamang

    Faculty advisor

    • Richard Meyer, Ph.D. 

    The Bronco Racing Formula SAE car cannot pass competition sound level requirements. Further, the current muffler is heavy and lowers performance. The goal of this project was to reduce sound levels, muffler mass, and performance penalty. Analytical and numerical methods were used to perform an initial muffler design. Based upon this initial design, a prototype was created to verify performance. The prototype’s sound levels, backpressure (restriction to flow that lowers engine performance), and mass were evaluated and compared to the original muffler. Results showed that the designed muffler was sound compliant, had reduced backpressure, and was lighter.

    Two-tier hydraulic cart for industrial use

    Student team

    • Santosh Nepal
    • Sachin Bala

    Sponsor

    • Technic Inc.

    Faculty advisor

    • Richard Meyer, Ph.D.

    Industry that produces large numbers of different goods with various shape and size goods need to be moved frequently and having two tiers in the cart can separate the large good with small goods and can transport both goods at same time saving the time and effort. A full-scale design of hydraulic cart with two tiers one of it attached to top of another one. The cart can be lowered to safe transporting height to load materials then lift to unload at specific height. The cart also has pressure release valve to slowly lower the cart. It has two speed auto shifter pump that automatically shifts the pump when certain weight is loaded. Though the cart is designed specifically for Technic Inc, similar companies can use it.

    Green camping station

    Student team

    • Roj Marahatta
    • Ashley McCoy
    • Omar Halawa

    Faculty advisor

    • Christopher Cho, Ph.D.

    There are many outdoor adventures and camping is a favorite for many people. Our team designed a product where camping lovers can enjoy the outdoors with use of technology. This Green camping station will not only have storage for emergency gear, but also solar-powered utilities all combined into a station in the back of your car. This portable compact camping station has a one-of-a-kind design. The development of this technology has the potential to lessen the cause of forest fires while also keeping this new generation of campers linked to the social world.

    Chevy Traverse kneel system

    Student team

    • Daniel Munson
    • Kabya Paudel
    • Aadarsha Thapa

    Sponsor

    • Freedom Motors USA

    Faculty advisor

    • Jinseok Kim, Ph.D.

    The wheelchair accessible Chevy Traverse conversion has a ramp with a slope angle of 9.4 degrees which makes it difficult for handicap users in non-powered wheelchairs to enter the vehicle. Three hydraulically powered systems that compress the vehicles’ suspension were designed in SOLIDSWORKS, prototyped, and tested on vehicles. Finite element analysis, fatigue analysis, and failure mode analysis was performed. A comparison of the designs was performed, and best design was selected considering cost, supply-chain, and performance. The kneel system reduced the angle of the ramp by three degrees resulting in easier entry to the vehicle for wheelchair users. 

    VA basket bae interface

    Student team

    • Ryan Chisek
    • Cameron Rendo

    Ellis Woollatt

    Sponsor

    • Whirlpool Corporation (St. Joe Tech Center)

    Faculty advisor

    • Jinseok Kim, Ph.D.

    This session is closed to the public.

    Component cross-compatibility allows for an efficient and cost-effective use of inventory in a manufacturer’s product lineup. The objective was to design and validate a drive attachment that adapts other shaft styles to the existing basket drive system. This component will allow the modified spin tube to basket base attachment to be installed in applications where the original high cost design is not required. Using PTC Creo and ANSYS simulations alongside physical prototyping, a robust drive attachment with verified design properties was proposed. This adapter will reduce material and manufacturing costs while having a minimal impact on service life.

  • Spring 2022 Session A

    CAViDS Thermal and Efficiency Analysis for a High-Speed Gearbox

    As the implementation of electrified vehicles (e-vehicles) grows into the medium-duty class, more robust and reliable gearboxes are required for safe operation. These gearboxes will be subjected to greater loads, speeds, and heat generation than passenger vehicles. WMU’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS) is developing computer simulation models for e-vehicle systems. These models require physical testing for validation. As a result, this project focused on the design and implementation of a stand to test a high-speed gearbox. The gearbox and electric motor were connected to an intermediate transmission for speed-torque curve matching on the CAViDS’ dynamometer. The test stand required custom designed mounting fixtures and instrumentation hardware; monitored and controlled through a LabVIEW interface. Critical components were analyzed with engineering software against limiting design criteria. This setup significantly expands CAViDS’ capability to validate computer models for e-vehicle research.

    Team members

    • Reid Larson
    • Austin Owen
    • Noah Schultz

    Sponsor

    • WMU Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS)

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Claudia Fajardo-Hansford

    Use of Construction Adhesives and Fiber-Reinforced Membranes to Top Plate-Rafter Connections

    The use of mechanical fasteners such as nails and hurricane ties in buildings may be a poor choice for protection against hurricanes and natural phenomena. The objective of this study is to develop an efficient, non-intrusive, and inexpensive top-plate rafter connection for wood-frame structures by using high-performance construction adhesives and fiber-reinforced polymer composites to minimize the intrusive design, the methods of application, the cost of these procedures, and a viable alternative to the existing mechanical fasteners for new and existing structures.

    Team members

    • Juan Miguel Lajara Hallal
    • Israel Jose Medrano-Almonte

    Sponsor

    • Brian Montgomery, Bronco Construction Research Center

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Daniel Kujawski

    Medical Ceiling Lift

    People of old age and physical impairments are restricted to movement and highly at risk of injury if left unattended. A medical ceiling lift helps a person move from place to place in a room using a sling and motor connected to a tracking system attached to the ceiling. Most lift systems used by hospitals or bought for home use are awfully expensive and complex. An economic-friendly system serves to be a cheaper option using a simpler design compared to other lift systems and maintains a level of safety and comfort found in the other models.

    Team members

    • Luke Dexter
    • Jack Kelly

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Daniel Kujawski

    Thermoelectric Generator for Wood Stove

    Despite a large portion of the world having a well-established modern power grid, 13% of the world's population does not have access to electricity, while just over 89% of the population owns a cell phone. A thermoelectric generator is a device that can create electricity from a difference in temperatures, which can be used to charge a cell phone. A simple thermoelectric generator device was designed and prototyped to be used in conjunction with a heat source to demonstrate that the sensor can produce electricity. A three-dimensional model of the device was constructed using Catia, then the thermal behavior of the model was simulated using the software ANSYS. Along with the CAD model and simulations, a physical prototype of the device was built and its performance was tested, as well as optimizing the heat sinks using Mathcad. This device offers a simple and inexpensive way to provide access to electricity to someone who may not have easy access to it.

    Team members

    • Cole Revore
    • Dylan Seymour

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Hosung Lee

    Self-Regulating Flow Control Valve

    Large fish tanks typically consist of a display containing aquatic livestock and a sump for filtration. If the flow between these tanks is not consistently maintained, then issues like loud noises and tank overflow can occur. Therefore, a new type of flow control valve was developed using the principles of fluid mechanics to achieve the function of self-regulating water flow. Through 3D modeling, several alternatives were developed. One of the alternatives was chosen, and the feasibility of it was ensured through physical experiment and analytical analysis. This valve can also be implemented in engineering fields that require similar water flow control.

    Team members

    • Ruiyuan Chi
    • Burton J DeYoung
    • Uresh G Wijayasinghe

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Javier Montefort

    Optimized Chain Reduction System for a Modified 4-Stroke Paramotor Engine

    As the emerging sport of paramotoring grows, modified 4-stroke engines have the potential for vast improvements in their cost, accessibility, and efficiency over current 2-stroke paramotor designs. A new chain reduction system was developed to reduce the output RPM of a 4-stroke engine to safe levels for a paramotor propeller. Using a modified Predator 212 engine as a reference, a test stand was constructed to measure the RPM of the engine and propeller, as well as their produced thrust. The collected data was then used to optimize the reduction design. With this new reduction system, 4-stroke engines can now become a viable option for future paramotor designs.

    Team members

    • Kyle Cunnigham
    • Alexander Hinz
    • Mattias Stremler

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Judah Ari Gur

    Directional Vibration and Coil Feeding Efficiency

    CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

     Efficiency is key when running successful production. To increase the efficiency of spring coil production, low friction Teflon tubing was implemented with the assistance of isopropyl alcohol to increase the feeding speed of the coiling machine. Directional vibration was used in conjunction with this tubing to further increase the number of cycles per hour and decrease production time.

    Team members

    • Benjamin Bondy
    • Sam Bondy

    Sponsors

    • Kurt Witham, Automated Industrial Motion 
    • Ambrose Fickel, Automated Industrial Motion

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Jinseok Kim

    Modular Utility Trailer

    Concepts of utility trailers have evolved since there was nothing to transport them. From carts pulled by people to horses and then the automobile, different needs and uses for utility trailers come in all shapes and sizes as do the trailers themselves.  The idea of a Modular Utility Trailer involves the idea of one single trailer that can be modified to fit uses from hauling smaller supplies and products to large items such as small vehicles.  Using 3D-modeling software, a working concept for a Modular trailer will be developed with the necessary legal and physical constraints for any need.

    Team members

    • Joshua Ivey
    • Timothy Leaver
    • Mattson Perry
    • Aboda Radwan

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Jinseok Kim

    Electromagnetically Propelled Garage Door

    Garage door systems are loud and energy inefficient, given their many contact points and need for continual maintenance. To reduce noise and energy loss due to friction, electromagnetic forces used in Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS) trains were researched and adapted to a garage door system. The electromagnetic garage door system was designed and validated using SOLIDWORKS and ANSYS simulation with significantly less contact points due to non-contact electromagnetic propulsion (EMP). A prototype was built to show proof of the concept of the garage door system. The completed models provide further insight into EMP technology and its use in garage door systems.

    Team members

    • David Boktor
    • Rachel Cavan
    • Connor Seifert

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Jinseok Kim

    Port Selector Flow

    CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

    Extensive flow testing of valves must be done during prototyping, prior to the initial release of a product. Due to this time-consuming task, a more efficient process needed to be implemented. Our project involved creating an automated process to change the porting and supply pressure of a valve being tested. This project required the production of a hydraulic schematic, electrical diagram, 3-D solid modeling, and detail drawings of the fixture. It also involved the manufacturing of the fixture as well as purchasing and assembling all necessary hardware. Finally, a program was written to control the flow path and supply pressure of the test fixture. The final design accommodates a variety of 3 & 4-way valves, which simplifies and streamlines the flow testing process.

    Team members

    • Cameron Brown
    • Isaac Dean
    • Eric Fritz

    Sponsor

    • Humphrey Products

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala

    Multiple Applications Table (MAT)

    The MAT started as physical therapist Brian Sherff, was frustrated with the lack of equipment in the physical therapy field. The MAT table was built with five main goals in mind. It was going to be used as a manipulation and treatment table to perform gravity resisted LE exercise with a functioning pulley and unique traction system that tilts up to 45 degrees. The finished design allowed therapist to work safely with patients weighing up to 500 lbs without needing to use gym equipment.

    Team members

    • Jing Chan
    • Pravena Chandra Sekharan
    • Aaron Conley
    • Jaron VanFleteren

    Sponsor

    • Brian Scherff, Excellence in Rehabilitation LLC,

    Faculty advisor

    Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala

    FSAE Vehicle Instrumentation and Validation

    Western Michigan University’s Formula SAE team designs, builds and participates in a formula one style vehicle competition each year. Each component of the vehicle is designed from scratch, using calculated load cases to optimize weight and strength. These designs are often not validated due to limited equipment and time constraints. WMU’s 2021 Formula SAE vehicle was fully instrumented to validate worst-case load scenarios. Data acquisition was completed using linear and biaxial strain gauges, thermocouples, and other devices. WMU’s Chassis Dynamometer and on-track testing were used in tandem with LabVIEW to collect data. The recorded data was analyzed and compared to previous design benchmarks to determine the true scope and validity of the full vehicle design methods.

    Team members

    • Alexander Anthony
    • Collin Howard
    • Mitch MacDermaid
    • Jared Walejewski

    Sponsor

    • Eaton Corporation

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala

    Sonar Doppler Blood Flow Sensor

    CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

    It is often difficult for a physician to feel a weak pulse after a patient has received chest compressions during a “code blue.” Using LTspice, iCircuit, and SolidWorks, simulations of the sensor were performed to reduce the number of changes made to the physical prototype. In addition to using simulations, physical testing of the sensor was performed to ensure that the sensor worked as intended. The creation of this prototype sensor reduced the amount of time it takes to physically check the pulse, as well as ensure that there is sufficient blood flow through a patient’s carotid and femoral arteries.

    Team members

    • Jake Affaneh
    • Austin Fecteau
    • Zach Gallaher
    • George Wetzel

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Parviz Merati
  • Spring 2022 Session B

    Aero-acoustic Noise Reduction of Wind Turbine Blades

    Noise pollution created by wind turbine blades is one of the most common barriers to wind energy development. Several 3D airfoil models with varying aerodynamic characteristics were created to solve this issue, combining multiple design strategies for decreasing aero-acoustic noise generated at the trailing edge.  These models were scaled-down, 3D printed and tested in a low-speed acoustic wind tunnel. The pressure fluctuations of the airflow over the airfoils were visualized using ANSYS simulation. The results of the iterative experiments support the noise-reduction measures that were introduced. Reduced low-frequency noise from wind turbine blades will allow wind energy uses to expand more widely.

    Team members

    • Rishav Mishra 
    • Dylan Von Oppen

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Bade Shrestha

    Commercial Musical Fountain with A Light Show

    With advancement in entertainment and outdoor decorations, musical fountains have become more and more common, yet only those shown at large venues offer a light show. A smaller consumer aimed version of these fountains was designed and developed using premade and manufactured parts. The base fountain was built, and then the added music, and light show were implemented and synchronized. The light show consisted of both installed water lights, and a projection played alongside the music, all this accompanied with moving water. The fountain provided a new product, that was previously only available at a large and more expensive scale.

    Team members

    • Hussain Drees 
    • Gavin Hutchins

    Sponsor

    • Jeffery Michaels, Pondering Waters

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Bade Shrestha

    Scramjet Combustion Lab Development

    Scramjet engines have the possibility of traveling faster than ever before, drawing attention from many aerospace companies. The scramjet combustion lab is a less expensive, small-scale mobile way to research fuel combustion in supersonic flow ranging from Mach 1.5 to 3.0. MATLAB, SolidWorks, ANSYS Fluent, and 3D Printing was used to design and develop the lab. The scramjet combustion lab will help faculty and future students in researching supersonic combustion properties.

    Team members

    • Tyler Clifford
    • Tyler Dittmar
    • Jonah Sparkia

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Bade Shrestha

    Proximity Awareness for Towing/Taxiing Business Aircraft

    CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

    The production floor of an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility is a busy place, especially one with multiple facilities and internationally recognized service. With this in mind, the day-to-day operations of such a facility require not only advanced coordination and communication, but also movement of potentially large aircraft around workstations, toolboxes, specialized equipment, and tooling. Safety of personnel is number one requirement with the safety of the aircraft a close second when dealing with multi-million-dollar pieces of equipment. The modern technology can be implemented to reduce collision risk, the Proximity Awareness System for Towing/Taxiing Business Aircraft is designed using a Bluetooth sensor array system which can be deployed to the leading edge of the aircraft wing, wing tips and tail to better alert the tug operator to potential collision hazards in and around the aircraft movement environment. With further development, and a Supplemental Type Certificate, this system can be incorporated into aircraft leading edge design and into tug design allowing the system to require tow operator override to continue the tow after a collision warning has been issued.

    Team members

    • Dylan Oonk
    • Cole Simpkins

    Sponsor

    • Ben Hammond

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Kapseong Ro

    Design Build Fly

    Due to the ongoing pandemic crisis there is a current need for a quick distribution method of vaccinations. The AIAA “Design, Build, and Fly” international competition requested universities to develop a UAV capable of short field takeoffs while carrying payloads made up of syringes as well as vaccine vials on separate missions. The aircraft was designed using software packages such as SolidWorks, XFLR5, and MATLAB as well as the Advanced Design Wind Tunnel at WMU. The aircraft will be manufactured in the UAV Lab to participate in the AIAA competition in April of 2022.

    Team members

    • Eric Beauregard
    • Scott Boeberitz
    • Chase Fulco
    • Ashleigh Heath

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Kapseong Ro

    CPAP Belly Preventative, Neonate Feeding Tube

    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) belly is common among neonates who need respiratory assistance. Through practical testing and design improvements, a proof-of-concept device was created to simultaneously remove air from the stomach cavity and provide liquid nutrients. The device uses a floating apparatus and a distal suction tube to ensure the excess air is removed while avoiding suction of stomach fluid. A feeding line is located proximal to the floating apparatus to avoid unintended removal by the suction tube. This device allows for a safe and effective way for medical professionals to prevent CPAP belly and its potential complications.

    Team members

    • Isaac Blickley
    • Grant Broski
    • Peter Hilts

    Sponsor

    • Michael J. Leinwand, MD, FACS, FAAP
      Pediatric Surgeon, Director of Surgical Innovation, Bronson Children’s Hospital
      Associate Professor, Department of Surgery 
      Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
      Western Michigan University, Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Peter A. Gustafson

    Design Optimization, and Construction of Flexure, Damping, and Leveling Systems for Electric Propulsion Thrust Stand

    Western Michigan University hosts two organizations and participates in a third that work with low thrust and electric propulsion devices. Currently, none of these organizations has a way of obtaining direct experimental thrust data. Three subsystems will be redesigned, optimized, and integrated into a thrust stand for use by student organizations. A modular design will be used to allow for the different organizations to share the same thrust stand. Accuracy, compatibility, size, cost, and the vacuum environment will drive the design criteria for each unique subsystem. The thrust stand will be operated inside WMU’s Aerospace Laboratory for Plasma Experiments (ALPE) large vacuum chamber to verify theoretical thrust data.

    Team members

    • Nate Allwine
    • Jeremy Baiocchi
    • Logan Hefferan

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Kristina Lemmer

    Prevention of Thermal Failure in WALI PEP-GS Mission

    Thermal management is an important part of spacecraft design. When planning a spacecraft mission, it is crucial that the engineers plan for their spacecraft to be able to handle the harsh heat flux associated with space. Using Thermal Desktop CAD software, the satellite for the Western Aerospace Launch Initiative (WALI) Performance of Electrospray Propulsion on Ground and in Space (PEP-GS) mission was modeled and tested for thermal survivability. The model can be used to analyze a variety of orbits and multiple worst-case scenarios to find operational and survivable ranges of the satellite. This ensures that the WALI PEP-GS mission will not experience thermal failure.

    Team members

    • Austin Capozello
    • Stephanie Howard

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Kristina Lemmer

    Optimization of ACS Closing Machine

    The cope and drag ACS mold closing machine currently uses hydraulic actuators, which results in unacceptable alignment errors and the need for highly frequent maintenance. To address these issues, electrically driven actuation is investigated. A three-dimensional model of the ACS mold closing machine was created. The 3D model was used to simulate the system to choose the placement of the proposed actuators. The simulation was used to study the forces and deformations within the equipment and to predict the performance of the proposed updates. The completed model provides tools that will aid in future additional upgrades of the mold closing machine.

    Team members

    • Sam Mazurkiewicz
    • Temiloluwa Nathan
    • Pawanjeet Singh

    Sponsors

    • Harrison Cannon, CWC Kautex Textron
    • Joshua Hoeh, CWC Kautex Textron

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Richard Meyer

    2021 Sunseeker Performance Simulation

    The Sunseeker Solar car student team has been a part of WMU’s engineering history since 1990 taking place in competitions with other US universities and international teams. While primarily focusing on car design and fabrication in recent years, race performance can be significantly enhanced by car modeling and simulation under actual race conditions. This knowledge is obtained for the optimal strategy of competing the most laps or miles in the least amount of time. A model involving theoretical equations will be created to collect data on the vehicles input power to velocity using the dynamometer, road testing, rolling resistance, and aerodynamic wind resistance. The solar car will be simulated with respect to road conditions, weather conditions, speed, and efficiency. This will give the maximum benefits for race performance this upcoming summer, as well as enhancing the teams readiness to improve future models.

    Team members

    • Alexis Audia
    • Kyle Carmack
    • Gianni Guido

    Faculty advisors

    • Dr. Richard Meyer
    • Dr. Bradley Bazuin

    Dead Downwind Faster Than the Wind Travel Analysis

    Understanding dead downwind faster than the wind travel has implications in greener transportation, as well as a deeper understanding of aerodynamics. The aerodynamic phenomena behind dead downwind faster than the wind travel was examined to determine the validity of various popular explanations to explain the effect. A theoretical model was created in Matlab, and wind tunnel testing was conducted to evaluate the different explanations. The analysis hopes to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms causing the effect.

    Team members

    • Sam Christensen
    • Nathan Thorn
    • Adrian Potok

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Tianshu Liu

    Prediction of Unsteady Aerodynamic Behavior of MAVs through Biomimetics

    In recent years, a renewed interest in the study of avian aerodynamics has been spurred on by the need for micro air vehicle (MAV) platforms of sizes less than 15 cm in length. However, understanding the aerodynamics of such flight mechanics is quite the challenge, as avian flight differentiates itself from classical fixed-wing aerodynamics in its time dependent nature and increased dependency on turbulent flow dynamics. Understanding this and implementing flapping wing behavior in a  MATLAB program is the intended goal of this project. A vortex sheet of varying camber will be used in tandem with a flow field of varying intensity and angle of attack to simulate a flapping wing. Various wing ‘slices’ will also be implemented to simulate the varying lift over the wingspan.

    Team members

    • Dan Henrich Caluya
    • Anthony Makkonen

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Tianshu Liu

    Reaching Orbit with a Lightweight Compact Rocket

    Large scale rockets that reach orbit are known to be expensive and heavy. However, for smaller low Earth orbit missions, rockets can be scaled down. A lightweight and compact rocket design that reaches low Earth orbit containing a payload of cube satellites makes for a more cost-effective mission. Having only used the minimum required components in the design, the cost and scale of the rocket was optimized within the necessary safety parameters. The design was completed through a computer aided design program called SOLIDWORKS. This program allowed the design to be run through various simulations on the critical points of the rocket to confirm the validity of the design. Results were used to prove the safety and success of the mission.

    Team members

    • Lauren Dickinson 
    • Alexis Lind 
    • Zach Polakowski

    Faculty advisor

    Dr. William Liou