Wednesday, 2 of September of 2015

Category » Mechanical Engineering

Tufts Names 2015 Summer Scholars

Tufts Summer Scholars program announced the 2015 Summer Scholars.

The Tufts Summer Scholars Program is funded by the Office of the Provost and by generous gifts from: Mr. Andrew Bendetson in honor of Laura and Martin Bendetson; Steven J. Eliopoulos A89 and Joyce J. Eliopoulos; Mr. George and Ms. Susan Kokulis; Mr. John L. Kokulis; Ms. Ashleigh Nelson; and the Board of Trustees in honor of former Chairman, Mr. Nathan Gantcher.

The Program is also supported by the Schwartz-Paddock Family Fellowships in the Visual and Performing Arts, the Helen and Werner Lob Student Research Fund in Economics, the Hopkins Summer Scholar Fund, and the Christopher Columbus Discovery Summer Scholarships for research spanning disciplinary boundaries. Summer Scholars is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Congratulations to all our engineering summer scholars!

Biomedical Engineering

Elim Na will work with Professor David Kaplan on his project on the “Evaluation of Silk Fibroin Stabilization of Doxorubicin and Vincristine.”

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Sylvia Lustig will work with Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos on her project on the “The Selectivity and Efficiency of Various Single Atom Metal Alloys as Catalysts for the Dehydrogenation of Methanol.”

Mechanical Engineering

Kevin Ligonde will work with Associate Professor Robert White on a project to “Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducers for Mars Anemometry.”

Computer Science

Avita Sharma will work with Professor Soha Hassoun on a project on “Who is Doing What? Functional Matching between Metabolites and Genomics for Bacterial Pathways.”

Caleb Helbling will work with Professor Kathleen Fisher on a project to “Resequence: A Global Fine Grained Software Repository.”

Collins Sirmah will work with Assistant Professor Ben Shapiro on his project to “Peer Based Learning in Distributed and Parallel Computing Among High School Students.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Pengxiang (Jerry) Hu will work with Associate Professor Sameer Sonkusale on a project to “Study and Build Instrumentation for Saliva Diagnostics.” Peter Wu will work with Professor Jeffrey Hopwood on his project to “Improve Vintage Synthesizers for Increased Temperature Based Pitch Stability.”

Engineering Physics

Matthew Eakle will work with Professor Peggy Cebe on a project to “Understanding the Interactions Between Liquid Crystals and Carbon Nanotubes.”

 


Kullman Named NAE Fellow, Palladium Medal Winner

Ellen Kullman, E78, DuPont Chair of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Ellen Kullman, E78, DuPont Chair of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Mechanical engineering alumna, Tufts University Trustee  and Engineering Board of Advisor Member Ellen Kullman, E78, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), which is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Kullman, Chair of the Board and CEO of DuPont,  was elected “for leadership in the business growth and transformation of a global science and engineering company.”

Kullman is also the 2015 recipient of the International Palladium Medal from the The Société de Chimie Industrielle–American Section for her distinguished contributions to the chemical industry and thereby to the enhancement of the international aims and objectives of the Société de Chimie Industrielle.

Kullman was named Drexel University’s 2015 Engineering Leader of the Year. She was honored for her leadership in the development of technology-based solutions to societal problems, and as a role model for current and future generations of engineers. Kullman is the second woman after Linda M. Abriola, to receive the award.


Matson Discusses Electromagnetic Levitator with NASA

Doug Matson

Doug Matson

Associate Professor Doug Matson spoke with NASA Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer about the Electromagnetic Levitator, a piece of physics experiment hardware operating in the International Space Station’s Columbus laboratory. The EML is a furnace that can heat metals to more than 2,000 degrees Celsius and then cool them rapidly, and by doing so in a weightless environment—with the samples suspended in mid-air—allows scientists to more clearly observe some of the complex core processes of physics.

Watch the interview on YouTube.

 


Tufts University Alumni Association 2014 Senior Award Honorees

Each year, the Tufts University Alumni Association (TUAA) recognizes members of the senior class for academic achievement, participation in campus and community activities, and leadership. Twelve students are chosen from a pool of nominees for the TUAA Senior Award. This year’s cohort of Senior Award Honorees includes two engineering students: Briana Bouchard and Laura Burns.

Briana BouchardBriana Bouchard will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Bouchard served as Corporate Relations Chair and Publicity Chair for Tufts Society for Women Engineers, Tufts Admissions Tour Guide and Engineering Panelist, Senior Representative and Academic Chair for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Residential Assistant for Tufts University Office of Residential Life. As a researcher, she designed a medical device to assist in the insertion of IV catheters in babies and children, was part of a team that designed an award winning audio speaker, and has researched the use of silk for breast implants for women who have had mastectomies.


Laura BurnsLaura Burns will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. At Tufts, Burns was a Stern Family Scholar, was on the Dean’s List all semesters, a member of Tau Beta Pi (Engineering National Honor Society), President and Board Member of the Tufts University Engineering Student Council, Secretary and Board Member for Tufts University Society for Women Engineers, Captain of the Varsity Swim Team, and a volunteer at Tufts University Admissions Office. Burns was a research assistant in Assistant Professor Lauren Black’s Lab, where she worked with tissue engineering of cardiac tissue and design of an optical device to measure the thickness of delicate tissues.


Proof of Concept Robotic Programming Lends A Stress-Free Hand

Summer Scholar Chris Shinn, E15, hopes to reduce musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace through human-robot interaction.

The intended application is in diagnostic laboratories to reduce repetitive motion injuries. Currently lab techs must open and close hundreds of jars every day. Every year thousands of man-hours are lost due to such injuries, and costing employers and employees alike millions of dollars. While there’s plenty of room for improving the speed, Shinn’s work demonstrates a proof of concept for human-friendly robots such as Baxter to use tools to extend their utility and to integrate them into the work flow of laboratories and similar workplaces.

This video from Chris Shinn in the Human Factors program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering shows ongoing research with the Baxter robot. Located in the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), Baxter opens and closes a specimen jar using a tool to overcome positioning uncertainty in its “hands.” Another special adapter on the other hand is employed to operate a pipette.


Entrepreneurial Engineers Design Water-Saving, Color-Changing Shower head

Engineers Brett Andler, E13, Joo Kang, A13, Sam Woolf, E13, and Tyler Wilson, E13, designed a water-saving, color-changing showerhead.

The recent graduates worked on their project, Uji, as part of their senior capstone thesis with Senior Lecturer Gary Leisk. The Uji team members were winners in the 2013 $100K business plan competition hosted by Tufts Gordon Institute.

The shower turns from green to red after seven minutes of use. In initial reports submitted to the School of Engineering, the team determined that, on average the Uji showerhead, will shorten shower times by over 10 percent. This estimate is now being reported as a 12 percent decrease.

The team and the technology was featured on National Public Radio’s weekly innovation blog  “All Tech Considered”  and was subsequently featured by FastCompany, and USA Today.

The team is now piloting the technology on university campuses. The Uji website claims that Uji showerheads count as low flow showerheads enabling universities to earn LEED green credits toward certification.

Follow Uji on Twitter (@UjiShower) to keep up with the team.


Team Hoyt Recognized at ESPYs

The father-and-son team of Dick Hoyt and Rick Hoyt–Team Hoyt–was recognized at ESPN’s awards event called the ESPYs on July 17, 2013.

Rick, now 51, was born with cerebral palsy and though unable to use his hands or legs he and his 73-year-old father have run in more than 1,000 endurance events—including triathlons and marathons—with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made running chair.

In 1972, Tufts engineers gave Rick his first ability to communicate with his family. Engineers built Rick an interactive computer he used to select letters by tapping his head against his wheelchair.

At the ESPYs, ESPN recognized Team Hoyt with their Jimmy V Perseverance Award, given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.


By Hook or By Crook

Incoming Assistant Professor Jeff Guasto (Ph.D., Brown University) has been working on understanding how single-celled organisms, like bacteria, get around. Guasto, a postdoctoral researcher in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his colleagues have been studying how microbes, such as marine bacteria, use their flagella to propel themselves forward, backward, and change direction. Researchers had observed the marine bacteria changing direction using a flicking motion of the flagellum, but they didn’t understand how it was happening.

Motile marine bacteria exploit a buckling instability of the flexible hook (green) at the base of their flagellum (yellow) to change swimming direction, turning what is otherwise a structural failure into a fundamental biological function. GRAPHIC: KWANGMIN SON, JEFFREY GUASTO, GLYNN GORICK AND ROMAN STOCKER

Using high-speed video shot a 1,000 frames per second, the MIT team was able to record the flicking motion of bacteria swimming forward. They determined that the flick occurs when the “hook,” a small flexible rod connecting the flagellum to the cell’s internal motor, buckles.

“A single actuator, the flagellum, enables both propulsion and turning in these bacteria,” Guasto says. “This is a well-known principle in robotics called ‘underactuation,’ but it is rarely considered at the micrometer scale.”

“The mechanism of turning by buckling represents one of the smallest examples in nature of a biological function stemming from controlled mechanical failure and reveals a new role for flexibility in biological materials, which could inspire new microrobotic solutions in medicine and engineering,” the authors say in their July 7 paper in Nature Physics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2676