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April 2002




David Schmidt has been selected as an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator. This program is designed to attract young scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for outstanding  teaching and research careers. We have been informed that David was one of only 26 investigators selected from a group of 260 applicants. He emerged successfully from a very competitive pool because of his academic achievements, his ability to contribute to the strength of the Nation's research and development, and the commitment to him expressed by university administrators.

Brief description: All liquid fuel is atomized prior to combustion in engines.  The engine depends on the right spray characteristics to produce stable combustion with a minimum of pollution.  Unfortunately, current spray models may not have the correct physics, have unknown limits of applicability, and contain empirical constants. In the literature, one finds primary atomization models based on the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, Rayleigh-Taylor instability, turbulent fluctuations, and analogies. The proposed work will address the fundamental physics of spray flow without relying on assumptions about instabilities.  This project will use direct interface tracking to simulate the evolution of liquid jets and sheets into drops.  Direct interface tracking allows spray breakup to be studied, while relying only on first principles.  At the completion of the project, the spray community will have the ability to know, rather than to guess, how sprays break up.  The results will reveal high-speed atomization processes in new detail.  This understanding will facilitate the simulation and production of better atomizers for engine applications.


Ana Muriel has been awarded the highly competitive, five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards for new faculty members. The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. CAREER awardees are selected on the basis of creative career-development plans that effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Such plans build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education.”

Brief description: This CAREER project focuses on the development of algorithms for the effective integration of production, inventory, and distribution in the supply chain, especially when mass production results in lower production and transportation costs. The objective is to reduce system-wide costs, make delivery times more reliable, and provide better service to consumers. These algorithms will be applied to real large-scale distribution systems accounting for complexities such as uncertainty in demand, multiple methods of transportation, and capacity constraints of the different facilities and transportation modes. The CAREER award also has a strong educational component. This will enable Muriel to develop case studies in logistics and supply chain management for classroom use. These case studies will provide students with data to allow rigorous engineering analysis, while presenting real, unstructured situations that require sound business assessment.


Blair Perot has been named to receive the 2001-2002 College Outstanding Teacher Award. He was the unanimous choice of the College's nominating committee. In addition, he has been selected as a Lilly Teaching Fellow for the 2002-2003 academic year. Only eight faculty members across campus were awarded this fellowship from the Center for Teaching. He has also received a STEMTEC faculty fellowship for improving science and mathematics education and completed construction of his 180-processor supercomputer, one of the fastest in New England, achieving over 100 billion operations per second!!





Together with Profs. Hollot (ECE) and Misra (CS, Columbia University), Yossi Chait has been awarded an NSF grant to investigate control of networks issues.  And together with Profs. Djaferis and Hollot (ECE) he was awarded an NSF-GOALI grant to continue their work with Kollmorgen, a Northampton-based company.


CEERE’s research funding is up by 40% in FY02 to $1.4 million from $1 million in FY01.  Jim Manwell’s renewables group brought in $640,000 up from $536,000 in FY01.  Larry Amb’s Industrial Energy Efficiency program and Charlie Curcija’s Building Energy Efficiency Program received $365,000 and $265,000, respectively. Eric Winkler’s Energy and Environmental Services Program totaled $145,000 in FY02.  CEERE’s funding over the past 5 years now exceeds $5 million.


Awards and Distinctions


Don Fisher was recently appointed to the Committee on Human Factors at the National Academy of Sciences.  The Committee was established in October 1980 by the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council.  The principal objectives of the committee are to provide new perspectives on theoretical and methodological issues, to identify basic research needed to expand and strengthen the scientific basis of human factors, and to encourage the use of human factors principles and practices in the development of products and systems.  Since its inception, the committee has issued more than a twenty-five reports regarding human factors applications, the state of knowledge, and research needs on topics deemed important by the committee and its sponsors.


Stephen Malkin presented an invited lecture entitled "Simulation, Optimization, and Control of Grinding Processes" at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario on April 23rd as part of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) Distinguished Lecture Series. The MMRI Distinguished Lecture Series was initiated this year to expose and inspire the McMaster academic community and Canadian Industry through presentations by leading edge manufacturing researchers.


As part of his sabbatical, Yossi Chait was a Lady Davis Fellow at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technion, Israel from Jan 15 to March 15, 2002. He lectured at the Technion, ME and ECE Departments, Tel Aviv University, and Charlotte's Web Networks, Inc.  He was involved in research with a number of academics, especially with Prof. Yoram Halevi on equilibrium of networks.  Results from this work are to be presented in the 2002 American Control Conference  and 2002 Conference on Decision and Control.  He is presently (until July 18) a visiting scholar at the Institute of Measurement and Control, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.  In this capacity he lectures weekly on Advanced design of Feedback Systems (QFT).


New technical procedures, developed by the Building Energy Efficiency Program team at CEERE, lead by Dr. Charlie Curcija, are incorporated into the new ISO FDIS 15099 and National Fenestration Rating Council's NFRC 100-2002 standards.  This important milestone marks the beginning of the new improved and more accurate window energy ratings in United States and more importantly, fully harmonized with international standards.  Dr. Curcija has been recognized for his efforts in international research collaboration by being named co-leader of Project A1 (Performance Assessment Procedures) of IEA Task 27, Performance of Solar Facades.  Dr. Curcija attended the IEA meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in the beginning of April.





John Wiley & Sons has just published a textbook on wind turbine engineering that was written by Jim Manwell, Jon McGowan and Tony Rogers. Wind Energy Explained - Theory, Design and Application is a textbook for senior and graduate level courses that covers all aspects of the design and installation of modern wind turbines. "Recent years have seen a growth in the implementation and economic viability of wind energy technology. This safe and abundant source of clean, renewable energy is now making a significant contribution to electricity supplies worldwide. Addressing the growing requirement for information on the theory and practical application of wind technology, Wind Energy Explained provides a thorough introduction to this multi-disciplinary field.” The comprehensive coverage ranging from wind turbine control and operation to system design and public policy will appeal to engineering students from a variety of backgrounds. Practitioners new to the field of renewable energy will find this a valuable introduction to an emerging energy source."


Robert Gao is co-author (with David Kazmer and their graduate students Li Zhang and Charles Theurer) of the paper "Design of a Wireless Sensor for Injection Molding Cavity Pressure Measurement", which was presented at the annual ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition in New York. The group also has two more papers to be presented at the 30th North American Manufacturing Research Conference (to be held in May at Purdue University) and the IEEE Sensors 2002, the first IEEE international conference on sensors (June 12-14, Orlando). The papers are based on their NSF project "Self-Energized Micro Sensors for Process Monitoring of Injection Molding''. Furthermore, Professor Gao is co-author (with Kourosh Danai and their graduate students Abhijit Suryavanshi and Shengda Wang) of the paper "Condition Monitoring of Helicopter Gearbox by Embedded Sensing", to be presented at the 58th Annual Forum and Technology Display conference of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) in Montreal in June. The work has been sponsored by NASA Glenn Research Center.


Based on a collaborative study with the sensor development group at NIST, Robert Gao has co-authored a paper titled “Sensor Network and Information Interoperability”, to be presented at the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference in Anchorage in May, 2002. At the conference he will also present another two papers, one of which co-authored with Sundar Krishmanurty and their graduate student Rajesh Luharuka. The paper is titled “A Microcontroller-Based Data Logger for Physiological Sensing”, and describes their work in assistive technology.



Presence at conferences and other professional activities


Kourosh Danai presented two papers at the ASME Mechanical Engineering Congress in November, entitled "Input Shaping in Injection Molding by Reinforcement Learning," (Authors: Wang, F., Dong, S., Danai, K., and Kazmer, D.) and "Methodology for Continuous Infeed Cylindrical Plunge Grinding," (Authors: Xu, H., Danai,

K., and Malkin, S.).


This spring CEERE hosted a conference at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for the Metal Processing Industry.  More that 80 attendees from industry, academia, trade associations, Federal and State government participated in this roundtable discussion.  As part of the USDOE funded Industries of the Future, the group put together the foundation for a Massachusetts metal processing industry technology roadmap.  Keynote addressed from Joe Goldstein, Paul Mikkola, and Congressman Jim McGovern (Worcester) highlighted the event.


Eric Winkler and Jim Manwell recently testified at the Massachusetts Government Regulations Committee hearing on electricity deregulation.  State Representatives Gail Candaras and Dan Bosely (Chair) hosted this “Cracker barrel” session.  CEERE presented the challenges being addressed through its programs on industrial and building energy efficiency and the efforts to grid connect additional renewable energy resources.


Staff at RERL recently completed oversight on installation of a new 660 KW wind turbine for the city of Hull.  Hull Power and Light received bid specifications for a replacement turbine from RERL through the contract service agreement between CEERE/RERL and the MA Division of Energy Resources.  The Boston Globe reported resident’s satisfaction with the turbine, which can be seen from downtown Boston.  RERL will continue to monitor performance of the turbine for the town for the near term.


CEERE recently added two new professional staff to the program.  Susan Guswa, PE has been hired to support the Energy and Environmental Services Program, which delivers technical service to State, Federal and private sector.  Sue comes from a design-engineering firm in the Bay area and has extensive experience in infrastructure design and control technology.  Lisa Kosanovic (UMass, 1995) has returned to CEERE to expand the center’s technology transfer efforts and program development.  Lisa worked in CEERE’s Industrial Assessment Center in the 90’s and brings back to the program excellent skills in process engineering and communications.


Professor Frederico Cruz from the Department of Statistics of the Federal University in Minas Gerai has been visiting with Professor Smith this last year and they are jointly collaborating on a number of new projects one of which has resulted in a new simulation model for M/G/C/C/ state dependent queueing networks. Other projects include a new algorithm for stochastic network analysis of M/G/C/C queueing networks as well as the design and control of these queues.  This work is directly applicable to the design and performance analysis of evacuation problems in high rise buildings and other related heavily congested systems. Professor Smith is also working with a new Ph.D. student, Alexander Stepanov, who hails from Pskov, Russia, on vehicular traffic flow models. Alexander is designing network algorithms for traffic assignment, routing, and M/G/C/C stochastic network analysis. Alexander is coupling his expertise in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) together with this research on vehicular traffic network flow algorithms. Mustafa Yuzukirmizi, a Ph.D student from Turkey, is also working with Professor Smith on the design and performance analysis of closed queueing network models with finite buffers. These closed queueing network models are very useful in manufacturing and service system applications. Badri Toppur just recently finished his Ph.D. in February 2002 with Professor Smith on Three-dimensional Steiner Minimal trees and Margaret Patterson is finishing up her Ph.D dissertation on graph theoretic models for facility layout and location.


Shanti Nair will be presenting a paper at the ASME turbo expo in Amsterdam June 3-7 on "Characterization of the Cohesive Strengths of Environmental Barrier Coatings to Ceramic Substrates using Compression Tests" co-authored with researchers at UTRC (H. A. Eaton, E. Y. Sun and G. C. Ojard).  The paper will be published in peer-reviewed proceedings. Professor Nair  has filed two patent applications on "EBC for Silicon Based Substrates Such as Silicon Nitride" co-authored with H. A. Eaton and E. Y. Sun and on "Toughened Environmental Barrier Coatins"

co-authored with H. A. Eaton, E. Y.Sun, G. C. Ojard and Y. A. Gowayed.



Graduate Student News


The Link Foundation located at the University of Central Florida and dedicated to the advancement of simulation and training technologies has awarded a doctoral fellowship to Kim Hammel for the upcoming academic year.  The $25,000 fellowship includes salary as well funding to offset equipment and publication costs incurred during future investigations into driver distraction due to the introduction of advanced technologies (telematics) in the automobile cockpit.  This promising new investigations are made possible via the combination of advanced driving simulation and eye tracking technologies.  


Rosa Motley was awarded a Doctoral Fellowship by the Northeast Alliance. Currently, the per-mile crash rate for older drivers is nearly as high as the rate for teenagers, which presents a threat to the safety of the motoring public.  The number of older drivers will increase two-thirds by year 2030, posing a greater threat to driver safety in the future.  Among other risky situations, older adults are especially over-represented in crashes at signalized left turn intersections.  It is hypothesized that older adults have such a high crash rate because they drive less safely in high-risk scenarios than younger adults. It is further hypothesized that older drivers drive less safely because: (1) their functional field of view (FFOV) is decreased due to their inability to pay attention to central tasks and peripheral tasks simultaneously; and (2) their cognitive processes and response times are reduced.  Two experiments on an advanced driving simulator have been designed to test these hypotheses by evaluating the effects of training and experience on older drivers’ behavior when presented with risky traffic scenarios


Jiachuan Wang and Naga Krothapalli were selected to attend the 1st Annual Doctoral Student Colloquium at the IIE Solutions/IERC conference to be held in May in Orlando.


Undergraduate Student News


K. Michael Taugher - won the 2002 Senior Leadership Award from the University of Massachusetts.  This award is a competitive university-wide award that requires significant service, leadership, and academic excellence.


Suzanne Sposato will be receiving the Hamilton Sundstrand - UnitedTechnologies Woman in Engineering Award.  Suzanne has been the president of the Industrial Engineering Honor Society, Alpha Pi Mu, this past year and holds an outstanding GPA as an excellent student.


WHIZ KIDS: Michelle Ingalls, a outstanding senior in our Mechanical Engineering program with a GPA of 3.94, has been profiled in the April 15-21 issue of “Mass High Tech” as part of a very select crowd, the six top graduates (Whiz Kids) in New England.


And some of our outstanding undergraduate engineers are also great athletes….

Brian Peterson, Jr., and Nathan Barr, So., undergraduates in our mechanical engineering program that also find time to excel in men’s gymnastics and men’s skiing, respectively, were named to the Athletic Council Honor Roll for the 2001 Fall semester.




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