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Undergraduate Research: Mechanical Engineering

Click on the title for a full description of SURE 2015 projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

MECH-001: Design of a Spherical Cam-Roller Mechanism for Application as an Automotive Differential
Professor: Jorge Angeles
E-mail: angeles [at] cim [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6315
Website

Research Area:  mechanical systems design and control


Description
We are currently developing an innovative mechanical transmission system with two degrees of freedom, to be used as a substitute for automotive differentials. This is to be achieved by replacing the bevel gears of current differentials by spherical cam-roller mechanisms.The latter are based on a technology developed at the Robotic Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Centre for Intelligent Machines. The novel mechanism offers a reduction of the envelope volume, a major design goal in electric vehicles. Compared with gear transmissions, cam-roller mechanisms feature lower friction, lower backlash, and higher load-carrying capacity. The spherical cam-roller mechanism is capable of realizing both positive and negative actions, with the cam functioning as either the driver or the driven element, respectively. The application of spherical cam-roller mechanism for differentials is based on negative action, as it allows for a reduction of the pressure angle to an acceptable level.

Tasks:
To design a multilobe spherical cam and its conical rollers To embody the design in a differential mechanism and produce the CAD manufacturing drawings.

Deliverables:
A set of detailed CAD drawings and the Bill of Materials.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3
 

MECH-002: Development of a Reduction Method to Simplify Combustion Chemistry Models for Industrial Design Tools
Professor: Jeffrey Bergthorson
E-mail: jeff [dot] bergthorson [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2003
Website

Research Area: Combustion and energy


Description
Chemistry models are collections of elementary reactions, thermodynamic and transport properties assembled to predict important combustion-related properties as flame propagation speed, pollutant emissions, etc. Modern models are becoming increasingly large as modellers attempt to predict as many combustion properties as possible and for a variety of fuel molecules of increasing complexity. However, these models are computationally expensive, which makes them unpractical for industrial design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools. In addition, these comprehensive models are under-constrained as the pool of available independent experimental data in the scientific literature is insufficient to constrain the thousands of adjustable parameters they include. For these reasons, comprehensive chemical models are often simplified (reduced) by removing less relevant reactions and species while aiming at reproducing selected combustion properties. This project aims to use a new approach, developed within the Alternative Fuels Laboratory (AFL), to create industrially-relevant reduced combustion models for mixtures of natural gas and bio-derived alternative gaseous fuels (biogas and syngas) for gas-turbine engine, and other, applications.

Tasks:
- Literature review on current status of chemical model reduction; - Development of a computer-based chemistry model reduction method based on a novel approach under investigation by the AFL; - Run simulations using both full and reduced model to assess accuracy of reduced model

Deliverables:
The intern is expected to provide a software program (along with a user-guide/end-of-project report), which, automatically reduces the size of chemistry models enabling their practical use in CFD simulations as industrial design tools.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-003: Combustion of metal-air fuel suspensions
Professor: Jeffrey Bergthorson
E-mail: jeff [dot] bergthorson [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2003
Website

Research Area:  Energy


Description
Metal powders can burn with air to serve as a zero-carbon-emission fuel. The metal oxides formed during combustion can then be recycled back to metal powder to complete the fuel cycle. This project involves experimental studies of both stationary flames, using a stabilized burner or counterflow apparatus, and propagating flames, in a cylindrical flame tube or in a spherical dust-gas mixture contained within a balloon. The goal is to determine the fundamental flame propagation properties, including flame speed, quenching distance and flame structure in dust-air mixtures. Various optical diagnostics will be used, including particle image velocimetry, high-speed photography, optical pyrometry and spectrometry, to probe the flame structure. Numerical models will be developed to explain the observed characteristics.

Tasks:
1. Carry out experiments with various metal powders to determine flame properties of a stationary flame using optical diagnostics 2. Carry out experiments with different metal powders to determine the flame speed for dust-air mixtures in a balloon and the quenching distance for flame propagation in a tube 3. Develop models for the dust flame propagation mechanism

Deliverables:
1. Prepare a comprehensive report presenting the results (data and analysis) from the stationary flame experiments 2. Prepare a comprehensive report presenting the results (data and analysis) from the propagating flame experiments 3. Describe the results from the model developed to describe the flame propagation

Number of positions: 3
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-004: Applications of combustion of metal-sulfur mixtures
Professor: David Frost
E-mail: david [dot] frost [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6279

Research Area:  Energy


Description
When a mixture of metal powder and sulfur is ignited, it burns and produces a high-temperature melt similar to molten lava. Solidification of the melt forms a hard metal-ceramic material. This combustion synthesis process has a number of energetic applications (e.g., remote welding) as well as advanced materials applications (e.g., high-strength ceramics and metal-ceramic composites for ballistic protection). This project involves determining the properties of the metal-sulfur combustion process such as the flame speed and temperature. As well, the students will design a practical device(s) to explore particular applications of this novel combustion process.

Tasks:
1. Develop a test rig and carry out measurements of the combustion properties of the metal-sulfur mixture 2. Design and construct a practical device for an energetic application.

Deliverables:
1. Final report giving schematics of test rig and the results of the experimental investigation. 2. Design drawings and photographs of a practical device and description of the operation procedure

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-005: Reaction of metal powder with water for sustainable hydrogen production
Professor: David Frost
E-mail: david [dot] frost [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6279
Website

Research Area:  Energy


Description
Metal powders can react with water, releasing energy and producing hot hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas can then be used in a fuel cell or burned with air to release additional energy to power an internal or external combustion engine. The metal oxides and hydroxides produced can then be converted back to metal powder to produce a sustainable energy carrier cycle with a zero carbon footprint. This project involves measuring the hydrogen production rate from metal-water reactions within a high-pressure reactor or flow reactor. The energy release from the reaction will also be determined using a thermal analysis technique such as discrete scanning calorimetry. The goal is to determine the reaction rate in metal-water mixtures and how it depends on the type, size, and shape of the metal particles and the initial temperature and pressure.

Tasks:
1. Carry out experiments measuring hydrogen production rates with a metal-water reactor with various metal powders 2. Carry out calorimetry tests to determine heat release from the metal-water reactions

Deliverables:
1. Prepare a comprehensive report presenting the results (data and analysis) from the metal-water reactor tests 2. Prepare a comprehensive report presenting the results (data and analysis) from the DSC tests

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-006: Processing and performance of composite honeycomb panels bonded repairs
Professor: Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal [dot] hubert [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6303

Research Area:  Composite materials


Description
Composite materials (carbon fibers – epoxy matrix) are increasingly being used for aerospace components because of their weight saving potential and superior mechanical properties over conventional metallic alloys. During service life, flying structures are prone to damage and more confidence is required in repair procedures of primary composite structures. As part of a larger research project involving industrial partners, McGill research team focuses on the processing aspects involved in repair in depot conditions. Several critical processing parameters have already been identified in bonded repairs of monolithic panels. Bonded repairs of honeycomb panels present additional challenges that need to be addressed (mainly ingresses water). Instrumented sandwich panels will be used to study the influence of various process parameters on the repair quality and strength recovery. Processing parameters will be measured by miniature sensors and acquired through a DAQ. The quality of the repair will be assessed by optical microscopy, X-ray and Non Destructive Techniques. Finally, mechanical tests will be performed to assess the strength of the repairs.

Tasks:
Under the supervision of the professor and with the support of a PhD student and the lab team:

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-007: Processing of composite parts on heated tooling
Professor: Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal [dot] hubert [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6303

Research Area:  Composite materials


Description
Fibre reinforced polymer composite materials, such as carbon fibre, are being used increasingly in aircraft structures due to the potential for weight savings and part reduction. Conventionally, critical composite components have been manufactured in an autoclave as this leads to the best mechanical properties. New generation materials have allowed for Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) processing, where the material is compacted using a vacuum bag, greatly reducing the manufacturing cost with only a minor reduction in mechanical properties. There are various methods for curing the parts, such as the use of convection ovens, microwaves, or conductive heating. In collaboration with industrial partners, McGill has developed a novel heated tool plate system. Before this system can be implemented in a production setting, various heating parameters need to be optimized and scale-up challenges must be addressed, which will be the focus of this research project.

Tasks:
Under the supervision of the professor and with the support of two masters students, the student will calibrate and optimize heated tool processing of composite materials. This may involve developing a heat transfer model of the system. The student will help develop processing parameters by manufacturing and evaluating the quality of composite parts manufactured on these tools.

Deliverables:
One written report & one oral presentation.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-008: Sustainability in Aerospace Advanced Carbon Fibre Composites Manufacturing
Professor: Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal [dot] hubert [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6303

Research Area:  Composite materials


Description
Economic and environmental restrictions (e.g. gas prices, CO2 emissions, noise, etc.) have driven the aerospace industry to reduce aircraft weight, increase engine efficiency, etc. Advanced carbon-fibre composites have been used successfully to reduce aircraft weight through their superior specific properties, as well as through an astounding reduction in part count that comes with single piece manufacturing. As part of a the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding grant: G8MUREFU2 – Material Efficiency – A First Step Toward Sustainable Manufacturing a project supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the McGill Structures and Composites Materials Laboratory research team is focused on developing processes that increase manufacturing efficiency through waste reduction and novel process design. In this project the SURE recipient will be required to perform an experimental characterisation of an epoxy resin system and implement cure kinetic and rheological models. The recipient will also assist in the preparation and execution of squeeze flow experiments

Tasks:
Under the supervision of the professor and with the support of a PhD student and the lab team: - Run DSC and Rheology experiments on an epoxy resin - Prepare and test carbon fibre – epoxy samples in squeeze flow

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-009: Modeling and coordination of systems of systems using OpenMDAO
Professor: Michael Kokkolaras
E-mail: michael [dot] kokkolaras [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2343
Website

Research Area:  Design Engineering


Description
OpenMDAO is an open-source framework for Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (openmdao.org); it is written in Python, and its development is led by NASA Glenn Research Center. The objective of this project is to use OpenMDAO to implement the coordination of multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) problems, which consist of multiple disciplinary optimization problems that are tightly coupled and need to be coordinated to achieve system-level optimality. For example, when designing an aircraft, structures, aerodynamics, propulsion and other disciplines that share design variables and/or interact need to be coordinated to achieve design solutions that are best with respect to the aircraft, and not with respect to the disciplines themselves. The coordination method is based on rigorous optimization formulations that use penalty functions to minimize discrepancies among disciplines iteratively. Systems-of-systems (SoS) design will be emphasized, modeled as a network of distributed design activities that must be coordinated.

Tasks:
Get familiar with the OpenMDAO framework and various MDO coordination methods; implement the latter and test them using SoS examples. Good analytical, mathematical and programming skills are required.

Deliverables:
OpenMDAO implementations of coordination methods and strategies, case studies and final report.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-010: Identifying the critical design functions of Aerospace Product-Service Systems
Professor: Michael Kokkolaras
E-mail: michael [dot] kokkolaras [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2343
Website

Research Area:  Design Engineering


Description
Many studies have been carried out to support the design and development of Product-Service Systems, and different frameworks, tools and practices have been proposed to promote them. However, there is no implementation of such strategies into a straightforward design process or methodology. In addition, new and changing market trends force enterprises to make decisions towards innovation-driven service offers without having an effective structured way of developing and implementing design solutions, exposing thus the business case to a high risk of failure. The student will participate in a current PhD research project, whose objective is the development of a comprehensive PSSs design framework. A quantitative methodology is being developed to support engineers with the generation and evaluation of optimal PSS design alternatives. The student will contribute towards one of the building blocks of this framework that considers the identification of the critical design functions for a PSS; emphasis will be put on Aerospace PSS applications.

Tasks:
Literature review in Systems Engineering and PSS domains to identify the most relevant methods available for Systems Mission Analysis and Functional Analysis; Evaluation of a few promising methods using an example; recommendation and further implementation of one method to be used in the PSS design framework.

Deliverables:
Research report describing the findings of the literature review, performed investigations and results, and detailed implementation of the recommended method.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-011: Robust optimization for simulation-based engineering design
Professor: Michael Kokkolaras
E-mail: michael [dot] kokkolaras [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2343
Website

Research Area:  Design Engineering


Description
All engineering design problems include uncertainties: we can model the real world exactly, we cannot know the exact operating conditions, and we cannot implement our design solutions precisely. Simulation-based engineering design optimization requires evaluating hundreds or thousands of alternatives in the search for the "best" design. Representing and accounting for uncertainties increases this amount of "evaluations" significantly. We need to find clever ways to account for uncertainties to make robust design decisions in an efficient manner.

Tasks:
The student will study the literature and implement and test the most promising methods for accounting for uncertainty in design optimization. The student will also find and/or define interesting engineering examples to demonstrate the implemented methods. Good analytical, mathematical and computational skills are essential.

Deliverables:
A detailed report of the literature review, a few engineering examples (with the required analysis/simulation models), implementations (codes) of the most promising state-of-the-art techniques and results

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-012: Investigations of the aliasing phenomenon in cyclically symmetric bladed-disk assemblies
Professor: Mathias Legrand
E-mail: mathias [dot] legrand [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-5321
Website

Research Area:  Vibration of cyclically-symmetric bladed-disk assemblies in jet engines


Description
This research project is twofold. (1) Currently, a code developed in the lab and dedicated to the simulations of unilateral contact occurrences between bladed-disk assemblies (key components of an aircraft engine) and surrounding casings outputs structural displacements in the space and time domains. The student will develop an efficient Python version of a 2D Fourier Transform (2DFT) routine that will transform such results in a two-dimensional frequency domain. Extensive post-processing analyses will then be carried out using this Python routine in order to get in-depth knowledge of the observed interactions. The student will work in collaboration with lab members who develop the in-house code. (2) The second part of this research project aims at analyzing the aliasing phenomenon from a theoretical point-of-view. The objective is to clarify the existing coupling between space and time harmonics induced by the aliasing phenomenon necessarily emerging in cyclic structures. This will give the student the opportunity to become familiar with key notions in nonlinear dynamics. The proposed strategy will be developed with Python programming language and a report that summarizes both aspects of the project will be provided at the end of the internship.

Tasks:
Python programming, bibliographic review, numerical analysis

Deliverables:
one report

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-013: Modeling and Testing of Aerospace Joining Methods
Professor: Larry Lessard
E-mail: Larry [dot] Lessard [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6305
Website

Research Area:  Composite Materials


Description
The aerospace industry is constantly trying to reduce weight by using more composite materials and developing new ways to design with these materials. One critical aspect of aircraft design is in the way parts are joined together. This project focuses on hybrid joining methods (simultaneously bolted and bonded) as a novel way to design joints. Hybrid joints can potentially save weight by providing two different load paths through the structure. The problem is complex to model and to test for because each individual problem (the bolted joint, the bonded joint) is difficult in itself. This project is part of a larger project involving four academic partners and three aerospace companies.

Tasks:
Working with the project team of the COMP 506 project Attending meetings with academic and industrial project partners Developing test fixtures and performing tests on joint structures. Development of finite element models for joints.

Deliverables:
Modified/improved test fixtures. Complete series of tests. Finite Element model for verification.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-014: Further quantification of biogenic ocean turbulence originating from marine vertebrates and invertebrates
Professor: Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent [dot] mydlarski [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6293
Website

Research Area:  Experimental fluid mechanics


Description
The energy balance of the oceans depends upon i) how much energy is input into the ocean (by sunlight, waves, tides, etc.), and ii) how much (kinetic) energy is "dissipated" (i.e. converted into internal energy). However, estimates of these contributions remain subject to measurement uncertainties of certain physical oceanic quantities, as well as a less-than-full understanding of all the hydrodynamic, energy conversion processes in the various layers of the ocean. One such phenomenon, which was neglected until recently, is the input of energy into the oceans by biological organisms. To aid in the quantification of biogenic ocean mixing, further laboratory experiments will be undertaken in which the velocity field generated by schools of vertebrates (tetras, sardines) and invertebrates (shrimp, jellyfish) will be measured, by means of acoustic Doppler velocimetry, in the McGill Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory. The purpose of the experiments will be do provide a reference point to improve quantitative estimates of biogenic ocean mixing. This work in in collaboration with Professor Susan Gaskin (CIVE).

Tasks:
1) To design an apparatus in which biogenic ocean mixing of a invertebrates can be quantified. (3 weeks) 2) To construct the experimental apparatus (4 weeks). 3) To perform the required measurements of vertebrates (in an existing apparatus) and invertebrates (in the newly constricted one) (6 weeks).

Deliverables:
A report discussing the achievement of the above objectives.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-015: Effect of turbulence on a toy RC quadcopter
Professor: Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent [dot] mydlarski [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6293
Website

Research Area:  Experimental Fluid Mechanics


Description
Micro-remote-control aircraft are currently the subject active research and development, by both academics and hobbyists. As the size of these aircraft is reduced (as small as 10 cm!), the effect of turbulence in the air in which they fly becomes increasingly significant, and much larger than that for larger, heavier aircraft. Therefore, the proposed research serves to experimentally investigate the effect of free-stream turbulence on micro-remote-control aircraft. The research will be performed by flying a commercially purchased Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter in a wind tunnel in which the characteristics of the background turbulence in the free-stream air are controlled, well-defined and varied. As part of the project, the student will undertake the tasks described below, in the next section. Both strong "hands-on" and academic skills are required for this project.

Tasks:
1) Become familiar with the previous work done of this project. 2) Investigate optical tracking methods to be used as an input to a system to control the quadcopter position. 3) Implement the selected tracking method. 4) Operate the micro-remote-control aircraft in grid-generated, wind tunnel turbulence to quantify its displacement as a function of the turbulence properties.

Deliverables:
A report discussing the achievement of the above objectives.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-016: Measurement of wall-shear stress in turbulent flows
Professor: Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent [dot] mydlarski [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6293
Website

Research Area:  Experimental Fluid Mechanics


Description
As part of a previous industrial research grant, a novel wall-shear-stress sensor was developed. Although developed for low-Reynolds-number flows, the sensor can be used in high-Reynolds-number, turbulent flows due to its high frequency response. The latter allows the sensor to measure fluctuations in wall-shear stress over a broad range or frequencies, such as those that occur in turbulence. The present project will explore the capabilities of this sensor in high-aspect-ratio, fully developed turbulent channel flow by i) exploring the Reynolds number dependence of the turbulent wall-shear stress, and ii) making simultaneous measurements of velocity by means of hot-wire anemometry.

Tasks:
1) Perform a literature review of turbulent wall-shear-stress measurements. 2) Become familiar with the basics of turbulence (having taken MECH 331: Fluids 1 being beneficial to this end) and hot-wire anemometry (to quantify the turbulence). 3) Become familiar with the wall-shear stress sensor, including its design, calibration and operation. 4) Performing the necessary measurements of wall-shear stress and velocity in the turbulent channel flow.

Deliverables:
A report discussing the achievement of the above objectives.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-017: Aerodynamic Design for Advanced Winglet Concepts for Commercial Aircraft
Professor: Siva Nadarajah
E-mail: siva [dot] nadarajah [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-5757
Website

Research Area:  Computational Fluid Dynamics


Description
The objective of this project is to numerically investigate non-planar aircraft wings for increased aircraft efficiency through an automatic aerodynamic shape optimization approach. The current infrastructure developed at McGill is capable of modifying an aircraft wing shape to meet a specified objective. The long-term goal is to develop a framework that will allow for the optimization of complex 3D aircraft shapes with non-planar wing shapes and advanced winglets. To meet future aircraft standards, radical redesign of current aircraft configurations are required. Our current capabilities allow us to reduce if not eliminate the wave drag due to the presence of shock waves as well as viscous drag. However, vortex drag accounts for approximately 40% of the airplane cruise drag. Current commercial aircraft utilize winglets and raked tips to reduce the vortex drag. On the other hand non-planar wings offer the possibility of larger reductions. Improved aircraft efficiency through drag reduction would ultimately reduce the required amount of fuel and thus produce a ‘Greener’ aircraft.

Tasks:
Research Task: First, the summer scholar will numerically investigate the accuracy of the computed vortex drag by implementing several different boundary conditions on a baseline aircraft model. Second, the summer scholar will design several different types of aircraft wing tips and numerically compute the vortex drag as well as total drag. Third, compare the various designs and optimize the final design to improve its overall aerodynamic performance. Frequency of Contact with Supervisor: 4-5 times per week.

Deliverables:
Computational Grids, analysis and design of several different winglets.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-018: Flight Testing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Professor: Meyer Nahon
E-mail: Meyer [dot] Nahon [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2383
Website

Research Area:  Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Dynamics and Control. Data Acquisition.


Description
The Aerospace Mechatronics Laboratory currently houses several unmanned aerial vehicles: the Draganfly X8 rotary craft, model fixed-wing aircraft, the Pelican quadrotor from Quanser Inc., and an indoor fully-actuated blimp. Research is currently ongoing with all these platforms with the overal objective to develop autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. For example, the research ongoing with Pelican rotary craft aims to develop autonomous landing capabilities for it, in the presence of ground effect and other disturbances. The fixed-wing aircraft serve as testing platforms for the development of autonomous acrobatic maneuvers. Currently, eight graduate students are involved in different aspects of research and development of these platforms and their capabilities. A SURE student is sought with strong interest and aptitude for research in the areas of robotics, mechatronics and aerial systems. Depending on the status of the above projects, the student is expected to contribute to experimental testing of components of the above platforms and to flight tests with the platforms. In particular, thruster testing and performance modelling will be required for the Pelican platform.The student is expected to assist with the development of required testing rigs, to conduct or assist with the experiments, process the data and help to develop insights into our model validation. The fixed-wing platform has been recently upgraded with a new data acquisition system. Further improvements to the hardware and control of the aircraft are anticipated. These include adding additional sensors, telemetering of aircraft motion data in real-time, and closed loop control of the aircraft. The student is expected to assist with lab and outdoor tests, as well as the resulting data analysis.

Tasks:
The tasks will be quite varied and could accommodate a mechanical or electrical student(s); but ideally someone with experience in both. Tasks will include some interfacing of hardware with microprocessors; some CAD modeling; some Matlab/Simulink modeling; and finally, experimental testing.

Deliverables:
Improvement of landing performance of our quadrotor; and enhancement of our fixed-wing aircraft data acquisition/closed-loop control.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-019: Development of a novel hip replacement implant
Professor: Damiano Pasini
E-mail: damiano [dot] pasini [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6295
Website

Research Area:  Biomedical and mechanical engineering


Description
We are developing a hip-replacement implant produced with a mechanically biocompatible lattice material. Unlike any other hip prosthesis in the market, this implant features a novel hierarchical material with controlled cellular microarchitecture, mimicking the anisotropy and gradient density of the femoral bone, shaped in a minimally invasive implant, and possessing high porosity for osseointegration and prosthesis stabilization. We aim at making this implant design a market ready technology by going through all the technology development stages, including analysis, design, optimization, fabrication, in-vitro and in-vivo testing.

Tasks:
TASKS: Student 1) will work on in-vitro experimentation of the complete lattice implant under physiological conditions. The tests will examine the fatigue life according to ISO standards and the response of the femoral bone after implantation. Micromotion analysis will be conducted in both composite and cadaver femurs to investigate the performance predictions and to prove implant safety. Student 2) will work on design of tailored lattice structures for orthopedic implants, with a particular focus on fatigue performance. This will entail designing lattice structures to satisfy the competing requirements of bone ingrowth, manufacturing constraints, and fatigue resistance.

Deliverables:
DELIVER: Student 1) The work will include experimental design, manufacturing test jigs, statistical analysis of data, along with validating predictive numerical models. This work will play a crucial role in the development of the technology and will be the basis for moving into pre-clinical trials. Student 2) The student will work on predicting mechanical and fatigue properties of the designed lattice structures, along with exploring different additive manufacturing techniques to create the lattice structures such as electron beam melting (EBM) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM). The samples will be manufactured and assessed by micro CT and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to compare the variation between the designed and manufactured components. The predicted fatigue performance will be validated with experimental models.

Number of positions: 3
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-020: Numerical modelling of unsteady shock reflections
Professor: Evgeny Timofeev
E-mail: evgeny [dot] timofeev [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-4382

Research Area:  Gasdynamics, computational fluid dynamics


Description
Reliable predictions on how a shock wave would reflect from an obstacle are of significant importance in a great variety of practical problems ranging from air-breathing propulsion to medical applications of shock waves because various types of reflection lead to markedly different flow parameters (temperature, pressure) and hence could lead to different positive and negative consequences. Recently an interesting discovery has been made that a shock wave reflecting from a wedge may exhibit both regular and irregular reflection pattern for exactly the same shock wave intensity and the wedge angle, depending on insignificant, at the first glance, details of the wedge geometry, e.g. whether its tip is sharp or slightly rounded. The proposed project is aimed at further inquiry into these phenomena using an in-house CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software, with the goal of explaining the reasons of such behavior, conducting parametrical studies and reconciling the predictions of the existing shock theories with the results of numerical experiments. Special Requirements/Circumstances: MECH-430 course (Fluid Mechanics 2) must be already taken (preferable) or the student should be registered for it in Winter 2015 term. A laptop or desktop computer working under MS Windows will be needed to carry out on the project. Honours Thesis project on the same subject is possible, starting from January 2015. In parallel the respective experimental studies will be performed by collaborators in Australia.

Tasks:
1) Conduct parametric numerical studies of the phenomena 2) Modify the existing theories for the geometries under consideration 3) Compare the analytical and numerical results 4) Modify the existing in-house CFD software as may be required

Deliverables:
Computational results (saved data points), the results of post-processing (e.g. plots, tables). Preparation of a conference and/or refereed journal submission.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-021: Study of initiation and propagation of cylindrical detonation
Professor: John Lee
E-mail: john [dot] lee [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6301

Research Area:  Fluid mechanics and Thermodynamics


Description
The project is an experimental study of the initiation energy and the propagation limits of cylindrical detonation. The apparatus for the study is already in place and the student will carry out experiments which are continuation of current work.

Tasks:
Carry out experiment

Deliverables:
write a report at the and of the summer

Number of positions: 3
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-022: Fabrication and testing of a synthetic bone replacement material
Professor: Francois Barthelat
E-mail: francois [dot] barthelat [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6318
Website

Research Area:  Biomaterials Orthopaedic implants


Description
Major fractures or cancer can leave large gaps in healthy bone, which must be filled in order to prevent further damage and to accelerate healing. In order to overcome limitations associated with the use of bone grafts (small volume, additional surgeries, infections and rejection), synthetic bone replacement materials are becoming increasingly popular. Duplicating the stiffness, strength and toughness of bone in a synthetic material represent a significant challenge, considering the fact that the material must also degrade over time to be replaced by healthy bone. The development of new, improved bone replacement materials is therefore a very active research area. In this project you will fabricate, test and optimize a new high-performance bone-like material made of a polymeric degradable matrix layered with microscopic mineral inclusions. You will use a novel fabrication technique we have recently developed in our lab, and perform mechanical tests (stiffness, strength, toughness) on the resulting materials. You will assess and optimize the effects of ceramic concentration and microstructure in order to achieve a material with the same properties as healthy bone.

Tasks:
1) Material fabrication 2) Microstructure characterization 3) Mechanical testing 4) Analyze experimental data 5) Report your progress in weekly group meetings

Deliverables:
1) Final report 2) Poster

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-023: Fabrication and testing of bio-inspired composites
Professor: Francois Barthelat
E-mail: francois [dot] barthelat [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-6318
Website

Research Area:  Bio-inspired materials


Description
This project focuses on the fabrication and testing of novel composites materials inspired from natural materials such as seashell and bones. The challenge is to duplicate the properties amplifications observed in nature. For example seashells are mostly made of a fragile mineral (calcium carbonate), but they are 3000 times tougher than that mineral. To this day no manmade material can achieve this kind of improvement. Your contribution to this project will be to design and fabricate novel bio-inspired composites using innovative fabrication methods based on three dimensional laser engraving and rapid prototyping. You will also characterize the performance of these new materials using our small-scale mechanical testing facilities.

Tasks:
1) Material fabrication 2) Mechanical testing 3) Analyze experimental data 4) Report your progress in weekly group meetings

Deliverables:
1) Final report 2) Poster

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-024: Design, construction and testing of a high spatial and temporal resolution pressure sensor for measurements in turbulent flows
Professor: Professor Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent [dot] mydlarski [at] McGill [dot] Ca
Telephone:514-398-6293
Website

Research Area:  Experimental fluid mechanics


Description
Historically, turbulent flows have been mostly characterized by their velocities fields -- firstly by the use of hot-wire anemometry, then subsequently by laser Doppler anemometry and particle image velocimetry. These tools have provided substantial information on the nature of turbulent velocity fields over the years, and have formed the basis of our understanding of turbulence. Comparatively, however, much less is know about the turbulent pressure field. As a result, the objective of this work is to sensor a to design, construct and test of a high spatial and temporal resolution pressure sensor for measurements of the fluctuating pressure field in turbulent flows.

Tasks:
1) Perform a literature review of state-of-the-art pressure measurement techniques in turbulent flows. 2) Become familiar with the basics of turbulence (having taken MECH 331: Fluids 1 being beneficial to this end) and the measurement of turbulent flows. 3) Design a pressure sensor capable of measuring the turbulent static pressure fluctuations in a gaseous (air) flow. 4) Construct the said sensor. 5) Validate its performance in the turbulent wake of a circular cylinder.

Deliverables:
A report discussing the achievement of the above objectives.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-025: Development of PVA models to study the effects of stiffening on toughness and elastic properties
Professor: Rosaire Mongrain
E-mail: rosaire [dot] mongrain [at] McGill [dot] Ca
Telephone:514-398-1576

Research Area:  Biomechanics


Description
Arterial stiffening is a common manifestation associated with aging, atherosclerosis and other degenerative arterial conditions. Atherosclerosis can modify the composition of the arterial wall including remodelling, fibrous cap formation, and deposition of lipid, calcium and fibro-fatty tissue. It has been reported that calcified inclusions found in plaques can be, on average, 4-5 times stiffer than the rest of the plaque and also that degenerative diseases of aortic tissue, such as cystic medial necrosis, can cause stiffening of the vascular wall. In fact, the range of arterial stiffness between healthy and pathological cases is wide. It has also been shown that atherosclerosis and cystic medial necrosis are associated with vascular tissue rupture (coronary plaque rupture and aneurysm rupture, respectively). In this work, the relation between the elastic properties and toughness of vascular tissue are investigated. It is hypothesised that, as for regular engineering materials, an increase in elastic properties (stiffness) is associated with a decrease in toughness. In order to investigate the relation between elastic properties and toughness, Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) specimens will be fabricated to act as models of vascular tissue.

Tasks:
The elastic properties and toughness values will be obtained by varying the number of freeze-thaw cycles (cryogenic polymerization cycles) and by adding Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) to the compound in order to model the effect of calcium deposition. Laminate PVA specimens will also developed to model the layered arterial structure. Three layers of PVA were used to mimic the intimal, medial and adventitial layers of arterial tissue. The freeze-thaw cycles of each layer need to be tailored the mechanical responses of each layer. Specimens of increasing medial layer stiffness were developed in order to examine the effects of medial degeneration on stiffness and toughness values. The candidate will be involved for the 1) PVA specimen fabrication, 2) PVA/CaCO3 Sample Preparation, 3) Stiffness measurement and 4) Fracture toughness experiment.

Deliverables:
A final report is needed where the experimental data will be presented and analyzed.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-026:  Study of degradation and mechanical characteristics of nanostructured degradable stent using cold spray
Professor: Rosaire Mongrain
E-mail: rosaire [dot] mongrain [at] McGill [dot] Ca
Telephone:514-398-1576

Research Area:  Biomechanics


Description
Very late stent thrombosis (ST) stent fracture (SF) increases restenosis rate of permanent drug eluting stents (DES). In fact, permanent stents after arterial remodeling (change of artery dimensions during atherosclerosis) process becomes a supportive part inside our body and this idea lead us to develop biodegradable stents which will support till arterial remodeling and progressively degrade thereafter. This project is about the development of a new biodegradable metallic stent based on micro-galvanic corrosion.

Tasks:
In this project, cold gas dynamic spray technique, simply referred to as cold spray is introduced to spray micro particles on metallic plane and cylindrical substrate. 99.25wt% pure iron particles are mixed with 316L particles in different proportions to induce micro-galvanic corrosion effect on as sprayed specimens. Immersion and potentio-dynamic polarization tests under Hank’s physiological solution indicate that corrosion rate of as sprayed composite increases as amount of iron increases. Stent prototypes and coupons will be used to investigate corrosion and stress-stress characteristics.

Deliverables:
A final report where the experimental data are presented and analyzed.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-027: Dynamics and Design of Haptic Systems and Virtual Contact Representations
Professor: Jozsef Kovecses
E-mail: jozsef [dot] kovecses [at] McGill [dot] Ca
Telephone:514-398-6302
Website

Research Area:  dynamics and control of mechanical systems


Description
This project particularly deals with the dynamics and design of force-feedback based haptic systems. Such systems have elements on both the physical and the digital, virtual domains, and generally include a robotic mechanism, the haptic device, operated by the human user to interface a computer-generated virtual environment. The use of the haptic device makes it possible to transfer the sensation of touch, force and physical interaction from the virtual environment to the human operator. One element of this project deals with the dynamics characterization and design of haptic devices. This includes the development of dynamic formulations and models for the robotic device, experimental and simulation based validation of these models, and the application for the synthesis of mechanism concepts for the design of the device. The other main part addresses the contact dynamics simulations in the virtual environment and the haptic interfacing of the simulation with the human user. A particular emphasis here is the different representations of friction and multiple-point contact scenarios.

Tasks:
Develop formulations, carry out simulations and experiments, write project report

Deliverables:
simulation and experimental results, project report

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MECH-028: Development of paper-based nano-biosensors
Professor: Xinyu Liu
E-mail: xinyu [dot] liu [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1526
Website

Research Area:  Bioengineering


Description
Paper-based microfluidics, the technology of manipulating small amounts of fluids in patterned channels in a single- or multi-layer paper device, has emerged as a simple yet powerful platform for bioanalysis. The Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory (BML) is focused on developing paper-based biosensors for use in a wide range of applications, such as point-of-care diagnosis, environmental sampling testing, and large-scale drug screening. In this project, two summer research positions are available to SURE applicants (U2 and above). The research tasks mainly include: (i) fabrication and testing of two paper-based microfluidic nano-biosensor for detecting multiple disease markers (for positions #1 and #2); (ii) development of a smart phone app for telemedicine. The students will perform device design and fabrication, circuit design and debugging, bioanalytical experiments, data analysis, and Android/iOS app development. The students may also have the opportunity to interact with medical research groups for patient sample tests.

Tasks:
Positions #1 and #2: device design, fabrication, and testing; data analysis Position #2: smart phone app coding

Deliverables:
Comprehensive technical reports of the expeirmental results (one report for each position)

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-029: A microfluidic device for DNA application
Professor: Xinyu Liu
E-mail: xinyu [dot] liu [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1526
Website

Research Area:  Bioengineering


Description
This project aims at developing a simple-to-use microfluidic device for parallel DNA amplification. A survey on existing microfluidic designs will be first conducted to choose the most suitable design for this project, and cleanroom microfabrication will be then performed to implement the design and construct the microfluidic device. Proof-of-concept experiments will finally be performed to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed device.

Tasks:
literature survey, device design and fabrication, and microfluidic experimentation

Deliverables:
A comprehensive technical report

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-030: Development of flexible physical MEMS sensors
Professor: Xinyu Liu
E-mail: xinyu [dot] liu [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:
Website

Research Area:  Advanced Materials


Description
This project targets the use of non-conventional fabrication processes (e.g., inkjet and 3D printing) for developing flexible physical sensors (force/touch sensors and accelerometers). The major research tasks will include functional material synthesis, flexible device design and analysis, fabrication process development, and prototype construction and testing. Preference will be given to candidates with lab experience on inkjet or 3D printing, mechanical design, finite element simulation, and/or circuit development.

Tasks:
material synthesis, mechanical design, finite element simulation, sensor fabrication and testing

Deliverables:
a comprehensive technical report

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2, Year 3

MECH-031: INTRALATTICE 3D printing design software development
Professor: Yaoyao Fiona Zhao
E-mail:  yaoyao [dot] zhao [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2523

Research Area: Open source design software development Additive manufacturing (3D printing) design


Description McGill Additive Design and Manufacturing Lab (ADML) has recently developed a versatile plugin to CAD software Rhinoceros, which allows users to generate 3D lattice structures within a predefined design space. The plugin was built as a flexible alternative to software like Within and Mimics, and has sparked the interest of various research labs worldwide. We are looking for a candidate to help test and package the plugin for an official open-source release. Consisting of various Python scripts and Grasshopper algorithms, this project is not very code-intensive. However, candidates are expected to be familiar with CAD, polygon meshing and open-source workflow (i.e. GitHub).

Tasks: The candidate’s responsibilities include: 1. Thorough testing/debugging: Two known issues currently need to be addressed.; 2. Since this plugin is very open-ended, you may find yourself extending functionality.; 3. Developing a workflow for managing this project once it is released.

Deliverables 1: Debugging and beta testing of the current INTRALATTICE software; 2: Packaging the software for open-source platform release; 3: Looking into the integration of INTRALATTICE with either medical CT scan software or 3D printing process planning software.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-032: Spectrometer for hypervelocity impact diagnostics
Professor: Andrew Higgins
E-mail:  andrew [dot] higgins [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6297
Website

Research Area: Combustion and energy


Description: This project will construct a spectrometer for studying hypervelocity impacts. Spectroscopy is the main optical technique used to study remote objects (such as in astronomy) and in extreme environments (plasmas and combustion). It is now being applied to studying hypervelocity impacts that occur when, for example, orbital debris impacts a spacecraft and when asteroids collide with other objects. This project will develop a spectrometer to be used to diagnose hypervelocity impacts utilizing the McGill implosion-driven hypervelocity launcher, which is capable of launching projectiles up to velocities in excess of 10 km/s. The flash generated upon impact will be studied spectroscopically to determine the atomic and chemical constituents in the flash. Students should have some familiarity with optics, electronics, modern physics, and quantum mechanics. Coding skills (Matlab) is also desired.

Tasks: Student will work under supervision of graduate student to assemble and test spectrometer on bench-top apparatus. Student will also be responsible for data analysis (done in, for example, Matlab). Student will operate the spectrometer for impact testing done with the implosion-driven hypervelocity launcher.

DeliverablesStudent will be responsible for designing and building the respective experimental test apparatus. Testing will be done in collaboration with the professor and the graduate students involved in the project. Deliverables include design drawings of spectrometer, documentation of testing and analysis of results. Also, written description of code developed must be provided.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year2, Year 3

MECH-033: Flyer Plate Compression of Magnetic Fields for Fusion Applications
Professor: Andrew Higgins
E-mail:  andrew [dot] higgins [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6297
Website

Research Area: Combustion and energy


Description: A concept called Magnetized Target Fusion uses the collapse (implosion) of a cavity to compress a plasma to fusion conditions, releasing energy. A key component of this concept is the compression of the magnetic fields that help confine the plasma. How these magnetic fields, in turn, affect the collapse of the walls is an important, unsolved question. This study will use flyer plates to compress the magnetic field generated by a strong, permanent rare earth magnet. The motion of the flyer plate and the magnetic field will be monitored during the dynamic experiment. Students should have some familiarity with optics, electromagnetism, and modern physics. Coding skills (Matlab) is also desired.

Tasks: Student will work under supervision of graduate students and professor to develop an experiment to measure magnetic field compression and its effect on flyer plate motion. Diagnostic techniques will be reviewed and a technique selected. The student will be responsible for building a benchtop set-up to demonstrate magnetic field measurement. Student will also be responsible for data analysis (done in, for example, Matlab). Student will operate the diagnostic for magnetic field compression tests.

Deliverables Student will be responsible for designing and building the experimental test apparatus and diagnostic. Testing will be done in collaboration with the professor and the graduate students involved in the project. Deliverables include design drawings of apparatus, documentation of testing and analysis of results. Also, written description of code developed must be provided.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1

MECH-034: Detonation-like Waves in a One-Dimensional Lattice
Professor: Andrew Higgins
E-mail:  andrew [dot] higgins [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6297
Website

Research Area: Fluid mechanics and Thermodynamics


Description: Detonation waves are an interesting phenomenon with numerous technical applications and appearances in natural processes, but are difficult to study due to the time scales involved. This project examines shock-like and detonation-like waves in a one-dimensional mechanical analog, namely, a system of beads sliding along a wire. One candidate system of beads is strong, rare earth magnets that alternate north-south, south-north in their alignment. The resulting waves in this system propagate with a speed of meters per second, making them easy to track with high-speed videography. A metastable arrangement of magnets results in a bead that is able to release energy into the system if it is sufficiently perturbed by its neighbor. Detonation-like waves will be initiated by launching a strong pulse into the system, and the resulting wave dynamics will be observed and analyzed. Student familiarity with compressible flow and shock waves is desired. Also, experience with photography is desirable.

Tasks: Student will focus on developing mechanical model, including prototype fabrication and testing. Student will conduct tests and record results via high-speed videography. Student will also be responsible for analyzing results using image analysis software, modeling the results using numerical simulations, and comparing to continuum-based nonlinear wave equation models.

Deliverables Student will provide design drawings of all prototypes tested, documentation of test conditions and analysis of results. Student will also provide documented numerical code with simulation results, and formal write-up of analytical modeling and comparison to experimental results.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year2, Year 3

MECH-035: Stability of Imploding Liquid Cavities
Professor: Andrew Higgins
E-mail:  andrew [dot] higgins [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6297
Website

Research Area: Fluid mechanics


Description: A fusion concept called Magnetized Target Fusion uses the collapse (implosion) of a cavity in a liquid to compress a plasma to fusion conditions. The collapsing of a liquid cavity is inherently unstable, however, resulting in perturbations that will limit the degree of compression achieved. This project is an experimental investigation that will use a cylindrical chamber rotating a high speed to create an annular column of liquid (water) with a central cavity. The cavity will be collapsed by the impact of pistons, and the resulting implosion observed. The project will use an existing prototype device that utilizes gelatin to make the central cavity, while also constructing the second generation of this device that will use a liquid in a rotating cavity. Students with a strong background in design, CAD, and fabrication are desired.<

Tasks: Student will conduct experimental testing, including analysis and presentation of results using current prototype device. Student will work under supervision of graduate student in the set-up and commissioning of the next generation device using liquid in a rotating cavity.

Deliverables Student will provide report of all results conducted in prototype device. Student will provide design drawings and operation manual of next generation device to be constructed in the Summer 2015.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year2, Year 3