UGROW

 

UGROW 22 Projects

The following projects are a part of UGROW 22. Details about each will appear below.

Table of projects, mentors, and titles

Title

Mentor

Dept

Investigation of the Performance of a Stirling Engine

Dr. Salim Azzouz

Engineering

Examining university professors/instructors understanding of executive functions of incoming freshmen and their ability to accommodate their instruction to support student learning.

Dr. Dennis Cavitt

Graduate and Adult Education

An Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Framework Study

Dr. Eduardo Colmenares

Computer Science

The Effect of Laminar and Turbulent Flow on Phase Change Materials for Energy Recovery.

Dr. Mahmoud Elsharafi

Engineering

Nonlinear Control – Mechanism Design Interaction for Gravity Compensation Systems

Dr. Zeki Ilhan

Engineering

Deepening of Environmental Cooperation? Explaining the Decline of International Environmental Agreements since the 2000s

Dr. Juheon Lee

Political Science

Simulation of H-Darrieus Wind Turbine using Fluid Structure Interaction in Ansys Fluent

Dr. Pranaya Pokharel

Engineering

Better data ahead: creating a new standard set for x-ray fluorescence analysis

Dr. Jonathan Price

Geosciences

New Physics in Electron Pair to Muon Pair at CERN

Dr. Preet Sharma

Physics

Using biostratigraphy to assess how quickly reefs recovered from a major warming event

Dr. Anna Weiss

Geosciences

Identification of microplastics from a barrier island beach environment

Dr. Anna Weiss

Geosciences

 


Investigations of the Performance of a Stirling Engine

Dr.  Azzouz,  McCoy School of Engineering
 
Stirling engines use a cycling fluid between a heat source and a cold source for its operations to produce mechanical power. A PA Hilton Stirling engine is used for the upcoming summer 2022 UGROW project. The purpose of the project is to make use of this engine and make it as a laboratory experiment for the junior Heat Transfer class. The apparatus can also be used for other research projects as well. During the UGROW project, three tasks will be proposed to the students, the first-one is to make the current Stirling engine work and demonstrate that heat energy can be transformed into mechanical energy, the second task is to study thoroughly the Thermodynamic cycle of a Stirling engine and calculate its performance. The third task consist of the students manipulating certain physical parameters, like the temperature and see how it affects the performances of the engines. Finally, the student will investigate some of the future application of the Stirling engine.   

YouTube Video Presentation

Contact Dr. Azzouz


An Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Framework Study

In the past research areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) almost disappeared due to the lack of computational power and data sets. Thanks to advancements in technology that include hardware with outstanding crunching number capabilities and innovative software, not only AI got a second chance, but also, an explosion of new fields emerged. Fields such as AI, Deep-Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Science (DS), although different, share a common core which requires an understanding and mastering of basic but critical AI related concepts.

AI and DL frameworks provide researchers with the building blocks to architect, train, validate, and deploy models, through a high-level programming interface. The framework provides the mechanisms needed to harness the computational power of the underlying hardware and accelerate the processing of data in order to reach a conclusion and eventually a decision. These frameworks result very difficult to use, understand and troubleshoot if the user do not have a strong AI foundation. This research proposes to walk the student through a path that will help him build the necessary foundation, and that will map theoretical concepts to two of the most popular frameworks: Tensorflow and Keras. In addition to training AI models under two different frameworks, the student will learn about how to use, install and maintain virtual environments, which are commonly used in the industry to manage multiple projects that use different versions of a particular framework.

Contact Dr. Colmenares


The Effect of Laminar and Turbulent Flow on Phase Change Materials for Energy Recovery

Dr. Elsharafi, McCoy School of Engineering

Recovery is a multiphase project oriented towards analyzing variables that improve power and energy recovery of a recovery system between a laminar flow fluid and a turbulent flow fluid. This research is based on the advancement of thermal energy storage system and selected phase change material (PCM). Thermal energy storage and recovery from PCMs is important because low cost PCMs are used to store a substantial amount of energy. The objective of this work is to determine the amount of energy that can be stored, and the power that can be generated by using paraffin wax. The experiments of this work consist of wax chamber, corrugated steel plates, and gaskets compressed within two plexiglass frames with an inlet and outlet. Water and mineral oil will be used as the medium of transferring thermal energy. Water and mineral oil will be used as the turbulent and laminar flow, frequently. In Laminar flow the fluid travels smoothly whereas in turbulent flow the fluid undergoes irregular fluctuations.  JULABO heating unit will be used to generate enough thermal energy for the steel plates. PCM will be used to absorb the energy from hot liquid and transfer it to the cold tap water during the PCM transformation. Wax melting time will be measured at several liquid temperature up to 60°C. Also, the re-solidification time will be measured at room temperature using reverse circulation of tap water through the system. The temperature in this system will be measured using several thermocouples. Flow rate, temperature, and the pressure throughout the entire will be measured every five minutes. The average flow rate of the mineral oil to the energy recovery system will be 2 GPM which is greater than the water which will be about 1 GPM and supplied at 60 degrees Celsius by the JULABO. Through this experimental data and result, considering several factors like flow rate, temperature, pressure water we will determined efficiency of mineral oil for power recovery system using paraffin wax as PCM.  The results of this work can be used to store useful energy in isolated areas even with small system unit.

YouTube Video Presentation

Contact Dr, Elsharafi


Nonlinear Control – Mechanism Design Interaction for Gravity Compensation Systems

Dr. IlhanMcCoy School of Engineering

The concept of gravity compensation was inspired from space research to perform ground-based experiments to train the astronauts under reduced gravity or even zero gravity conditions. Following the advances in the robotics and sensors, the idea quickly spread into biomechanics, and gravity compensation systems have found new applications in physical rehabilitation. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the feasibility of a novel two degree-of-freedom suspension system as a rehabilitation device for people with lower-limb injuries through nonlinear controls-mechanism design integration. The proposed mechanism, which combines a basic four-bar parallelogram linkage with an extra link and two tension springs, can provide a reduced weight or even a weightless experience for the suspended patient. A series of efforts have already been made by the senior design students to fabricate a working prototype of the theoretical linkage design.  As part of the UGROW 2022, the fabricated prototype will be refined further and finalized to provide smoother joints and optimized spring configurations to allow for a real implementation. On the other hand, a model-based nonlinear feedback control algorithm design is refined and tested through numerical simulations under both impulsive (zero gravity) and walking pattern (reduced gravity) scenarios. The immediate next step is to integrate the controller into the fabricated mechanism to initiate control experiments in the real system as the time permits.

YouTube Video Presentation

Dr. Ilhan's Contact Info


Deepening of Environmental Cooperation? Explaining the Decline of International Environmental Agreements since the early 2000s

Dr. Lee, Department of Political Science

Most environmental problems, such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, are transboundary issues, and they can only be addressed effectively through international cooperation. Therefore, countries across the world have been joining international treaties such as the Paris agreement and Kyoto Protocol to solve such critical environmental problems through bilateral or multilateral agreements. Given the intensifying impacts of such environmental problems, one may assume that international environmental agreements are increasing in numbers. However, according to the International Environmental Agreements Database (IEADB), the number of international agreements increased until the early 2000s but have been decreasing dramatically since then. How can we understand or explain this downturn, given the intensifying climate change, natural disasters, and environmental pollutions? Does it really mean a decline of international environmental cooperation? Or do countries cooperate in other ways? Do countries deepen their cooperation without signing new treaties? Through this project, we will look for some explanations by analyzing the information provided by the IEADB. We will study the member countries of each agreement, their agenda, their amendments, so that we can better understand this phenomenon. I believe that the findings of this study will be appealing to a wider audience in the fields of international law, global studies, and political science.

YouTube Video Presentation

Dr. Lee's Contact Info


Simulation of H-Darrieus Wind Turbine using Fluid Structure Interaction in Ansys Fluent

Dr. Pokharel, McCoy School of Engineering

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are at the forefront for wind energy research. Among the VAWTs, H-Darrieus type of turbines are widely used and studied. Ansys is a software with capability of simulating fluid flows and solid bodies. Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) couples the physics between fluid flows and solid bodies. Whenever any fluid interacts with solid bodies, they exert fluid pressure which acts as stresses on the bodies. The bodies then begin to react to this imposed stresses. The FSI models in Ansys Fluent accurately capture these interactions. For wind turbines, FSI models will be able to study the interaction between the wind and the turbines. When the wind passes through the VAWTs, the turbine rotates producing power. Since VAWTs are vertical, the interaction of the wind around the turbine blades are complex, and a better understanding of this interaction will lead to design of more efficient turbines. As a part of UGROW 2022, this proposed research will employ student worker to design a VAWT in SolidWorks, export to Ansys and then simulate using FSI models. The student worker required should have knowledge of SolidWorks or any other CAD software. A knowledge of simulation using any standard software is desirable but not required. Ansys Fluent simulation will be learnt by the student with help from the instructor during the course of the research. After successful simulation, analysis will be done to understand the impact of the fluid (wind) around the turbine to produce power.

YouTube Video Presentation

Dr. Pokharel's Contact Info


Better data ahead: creating a new standard set for x-ray fluorescence analysis 

Dr. Price, Kimbell School of Geosciences

Geochemistry is served by accurate data collection. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is a technique that rapidly ascertains the concentration of elements in solids and liquids by measuring the intensity of their characteristic x-ray peaks. But accurate quantitative assessment of multi-elemental materials (such as rocks) requires careful calibration against a known set of standards; these standards need to share the bulk properties of the unknown samples to be analyzed. The current standard set at MSU is dominated by a set fabricated at another facility under slightly different conditions. Analyses would be better served by a new set of standards that utilizes the process employed in our lab.

UGROW 22 is supporting a project to aid in developing a new standard set for the analysis of rocks. The project involves the careful preparation of international standard reference materials as well as well-characterized in-house materials. The student researcher will be fully involved in the preparation of the standard set, and the construction of an analytical routine on the instrument. The researcher will learn facets of analytical chemistry, preparation of crystalline materials, contamination reduction techniques, fluorescence resolution, and statistical evaluation of chemical data. Successful work will produce and test a new series standards and instrument settings, noting improvements over the prior materials and instrument protocols. Although a familiarity with chemistry and earth materials is useful, no prior knowledge is required,; all necessary training will be provided by the faculty mentor.

YouTube Video Presentation

Contact Dr. Price


New Physics in Electron Pair to Muon Pair at CERN

Dr. Sharma, Department of Chemistry and Physics

The Electroweak theory of particle physics is a fundamental theory which explains the formation of matter in this Universe with a very high degree of accuracy. The Electroweak theory has been very successful in describing the interactions of leptons. The various leptons are electron, muon, tau, electron neutrino, muon neutrino, tau neutrino, and their respective anti-particles. In the Standard model of Particle Physics, the interactions between leptons undergo through a Z-boson or W-boson. There are multiple interactions, scattering and decay events which are extremely important in describing the formation of matter. One such interaction is that of an electron and an anti-electron (also known as positron). This particular interaction was formulated by Homi J. Bhabha and is of prime importance because this interaction sets the calibration of almost all high energy physics accelerators. Bhabha scattering is the scattering of an electron and anti-electron to electron and anti-electron. In the Standard Model. This involves the exchange of a Z-boson. Our work will be centered on calculating the scattering amplitudes of the various channels through which Bhabha scattering can occur and to improve the accuracy of the experimental results by calculating the higher order corrections in the electron mass, anti-electron mass and the Z-boson mass. These calculations will be a major step towards understanding the Electroweak Theory in more detail and see if there is any underlying new physics involved in the Standard Model or beyond.

Dr. Sharma's Contact Info


Using biostratigraphy to assess how quickly reefs recovered from a major warming event

Dr. Weiss, Kimbell School of Geosciences

Coral reefs today are at risk of ecosystem collapse. This leaves ecologists with many questions, such as how do ecosystems recover following such a major event, and how long does it take for reefs to return following collapse? The fossil record provides evidence that lets us answer these questions for the past, and thereby helps us project future reef responses. The goal of this project is to assess how quickly reefs recovered from collapse during a major climate change event that is a great analog for today, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. For this project, a student will use taxonomy to identify large benthic foraminifera – unicellular organisms that lived in the sediment amongst the reef – from the first reef to recover following the PETM. Once identified, the species can be assigned to specific time periods, a tool called biostratigraphy. The student will then calculate how much time elapsed between the collapse of the last reef in the region and the recovery of the first reef. From this data we can tell how long it took for reefs to recover from major collapse. The student will gain skills in microscopy, foraminifera taxonomy, and ecology. They will also gain knowledge in extinction and recovery dynamics and reef ecology in general.

YouTube Video Presentation

Contact Dr. Weiss


Identification of microplastics from a barrier island beach environment

Dr. Weiss, Kimbell School of Geosciences

Plastic is pervasive in nearly every environment. Microplastics in particular are a major problem because they mimic food particles causing organisms to starve, and work their way through the food chain to disrupt major biological processes such as in the endocrine system. Though it is clear there is a pollution problem, the quantity of the problem is still unclear in many environments. One such environment is within urban barrier beaches. This project aims to quantify the amount of microplastics in an urban barrier beach environment and to identify the types of plastic present using microscopy. The student will process and filter previously collected sand samples, collect data on the types and amounts of plastics present, and integrate this with previously collected data to assess whether there are seasonal differences in microplastic deposition. This student will gain microscope and wet lab skills, as well as general knowledge of coastal sedimentology and microplastics.

YouTube Video Presentation

Contact Dr. Weiss