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Research Awards Updates

Congratulations to the following Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering research award winners!


Two of our faculty members were awarded the SDSU Research/ Scholarship Support Fund FY17!

The SDSU Research/Scholarship Support Fund is an annual internal competitive grant program administered by the Office of Research Assurance and Sponsored Programs and the SDSU Research and Scholarship Committee. Grants are awarded to assist SDSU faculty members in established research and scholarly projects in various subject areas throughout the University.

Dr Nguyen
Kim-Doang Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen’s proposal was titled: “A Robotic Rehabilitator for Spinal Musculoskeletal Disorders.”

Dr. Nguyen is working on designing a compliant robotic rehabilitator for spinal musculosketal disorders. This would benefit patients who suffer from back and neck pain. He is especially focusing on designing a robotic rehabilitator that interacts safely with patients, can be used at home, and saves cost.


Zhen Ni
Zhen Ni

Dr. Ni’s proposal was titled: “Towards Power and Energy Security for a Smart and Connected Community: A Pilot Study of Financial Incentives for Residents.”

The PI (Dr. Ni) will conduct a pilot study on the impact of financial incentives on residents in a smart and connected community environment to improve power and energy security. Unlike many existing efforts on either abstract topological structure or load-based analysis, this approach considers both network topology and intrinsic power flow characteristics of a connected community power grid.


Scholarly Excellence Funds Awarded for 2016-2017

Eight of our faculty members won this internal award! These projects contribute to research/scholarship/creative activity goals within Impact 2018. The Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering Faculty won awards in two categories: Seed/Start Up and Undergraduate Research.


Seed/ Start Up Award

This award is designed to provide funding for seed or start-up dollars for researchers to launch research projects, develop preliminary data and initial dissemination, and become competitive for expanded external funding opportunities.


Marco Ciarcia
Marco Ciarcià

Dr. Ciarcià's proposal was titled "A Motional Capture System for Indoor Robotics."

The goal of the proposed project is to acquire and install a real-time Motion Capture System for indoor robotics applications. This sensing platform is mainly composed of a set of motion tracking cameras that are able to detect, with a high level of accuracy, position and velocity of moving objects inside a capture environment. Typical examples of moving objects, within robotics applications, are small drones/UAVs and robotic manipulators. This acquisition will represent the first mandatory step toward the establishment of the new Aerospace Robotics Testbed LABoratory (ARTLAB) in the Mechanical Engineering Department of SDSU.


Rouzbeh Ghanchi
Rouzbeh Ghabchi

Dr. Ghabchi's proposal was titled "A Proof-of- Concept Use of Plastic Water Bottles as an Additive in Asphalt Mixes."

More than 17 million barrels of petroleum are converted to plastic water bottles in America, which results in sending more than 8,834,000,000 plastic bottles to landfills, annually. In the proposed study, the feasibility of recycling plastic bottles as an asphalt mix additive will be evaluated. For this proposal, processed plastic PET bottles will be added to asphalt mixes by different amounts. Laboratory tests will be conducted to evaluate the performance of PET-modified mixes. The results of this study are expected to promote recycling of plastic water bottles in asphalt mixes for an enhanced ground transportation system, and sustainable development.


Zhen Ni
Zhen Ni

Dr. Ni's proposal was titled "A New Computational Intelligence Learning Control Framework for Human-Robot Interaction."

Current model-based control approaches cannot handle a changing environment issue robustly, and thus may not provide adaptive control for robots over time. In this project, the PI proposes to tackle this issue by developing a new computational intelligence learning control framework. The targeted application is space robot navigation and path planning.


Anamika Prasad
Anamika Prasad

Dr. Prasad's proposal was titled "Tissue Biomechanics and Biomaterials Lab Development."

Understanding tissue response to external agents is necessary in a wide variety of applications (stenting in blood vessels, radiation in cancer treatment, decreased activity and muscle degeneration), and is a complex interaction of many interdependent factors (age, sex, disease condition). The aim of the Tissue Biomechanics and Biomaterials Lab is to investigate such changes using mechanical testing, and compositional/structural analysis.


Undergraduate Research Award

This award provides funding to develop or enhance an undergraduate research program. The focus of this fund is to engage students in research with faculty who serve as mentors.


Jung Han Kimn
Jung-Han Kimn

Dr. Kimn's proposal was titled "Implementing Parallel Numerical Procedures for 3+1 Turbulence Simulations"

Our research investigates how to improve the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of a simulation of problems in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Problems in CFD can be incredibly complex and sometimes require supercomputers with multiple processors to simulate. By improving CFD programs, computational resources can be put to better use. Improvements come from developing better mathematical approaches, like employing user-defined preconditioners for iterative solvers, or making better use of existing computer hardware by being aware of how data is communicated among processors on a cluster.


Jeffrey Doom
Jeffrey Doom
Gregory Michna
Gregory Michna

Dr. Doom and Dr. Michna's proposal was titled "Undergraduate Research: Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Arrays of Impinging Jets." 

Jet impingement has been shown to be a very effective mechanism for heat transfer, with applications such as electronics cooling and turbine blade cooling. In the work proposed here, an undergraduate researcher will use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a design tool to find the best configuration of impinging jets for heat transfer, and experiments will be performed to validate the results. This project will provide an impactful experience for an undergraduate researcher, and results obtained in this investigation will be used as preliminary data in proposals for external funding. 


Dan Kemp
Dan Kemp

Dr. Kemp's proposal was titled: "Extending the Bôcher-Grace Theorem"

The Bôcher-Grace theorem asserts that if a triangle in the complex plane has the complex numbers a, b, & c as its vertices, then there is an ellipse inscribed in the triangle, tangent to the midpoint of the sides, and the foci of the ellipse are the two critical points of the complex polynomial p(z) = (x – a)(z – b)((z – c).  This amazing result is over 125 years old and has recently been discussed in the mathematical literature.  Callie Sleep, an undergraduate student, is attempting to extend this theorem to ellipses inscribed in quadrilaterals, pentagons, and higher order polygons.  Initial results are encouraging.

 

 

 


The Following Faculty Members Have Been Awarded Funds By External Entities


Richard Reid
Richard Reid

Dr. Reid, the Associate Dean- Engineering-Academics& Extension/Professor for the JJL College of Engineering, oversees two extension programs. For the first one—the SD Local Transportation Assistance Program— he receives an annual award from the Federal Highway Administration that is significantly overmatched by the South Dakota Department of Transportation. This award goes toward visiting each South Dakota County and assisting with its transportation needs, and providing training workshops on topics such as asphalt maintenance, asphalt paving, culvert installation, defensive driving, geotextiles, personnel management, risk management, safety awareness, surveying, winter maintenance, work zone traffic control, and gravel roads. 

Second, for the OSHA consultation program, he receives funding from both the Federal Department of Labor and the SD Department of Labor. The mission of this Engineering Extension program is to assist the private and public sectors of the state with their technical safety and health needs for the purpose of saving costs for businesses and to benefit economic development. The OSHA Consultation Program is a key effort of Engineering Research. 


South Dakota Space Grant Consortium’s FY2016 Project Innovation Grant

The Space Grant Consortium is headquartered at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. It functions as a link between NASA and the citizens of South Dakota. The Consortium’s mission is to instill the spirit of exploration and discovery in students, educators and the general public. This award went to nine competitively selected projects, and the award’s objective is to provide seed funding for meritorious projects that align with NASA and SDSGC goals and have sustainable potential.

Todd Letcher
Todd Letcher
Gregory Michna
Gregory Michna

Dr. Letcher, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, and Dr. Michna, associate professor of mechanical engineering, wrote a proposal titled: “3D printable heat exchangers to enhance student learning related to space science.”

The design of an efficient heat exchanger which can be 3D printed in space and used on a 3D printed satellite (also printed in space) is a problem requiring knowledge from multiple courses throughout a typical mechanical engineering curriculum. Therefore, the researchers will develop methods and design concepts for heat exchangers that can be 3D printed in space and used in space. Tiffaney Flatta, a student on the accelerated BS/MS track, is the main student working on this project. The researchers will spread the knowledge they gain to their classrooms. The goal of this project is to develop a hands-on, simultaneous multi-course project that focuses on designing, analyzing, optimizing, prototyping, and testing a heat exchanger. This project will encourage teamwork between Mechanical Engineering students from three courses (1st year, 2nd year and 4th year), increase retention rates in the younger students, and improve workforce readiness in the older students.


South Dakota Department of Transportation Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Operation Plan

The Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) combines road and weather conditions and forecasts with winter maintenance rules of practice to develop road treatment recommendations. MDSS is a pooled fund study by fourteen state transportation departments, and South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has been the lead state since its inception in 2002.

Yilei Huang
Yilei Huang

Dr. Huang, assistant professor of construction and operations management, wrote a proposal titled "South Dakota Department of Transportation Project SD 2016-2017."

To make the best use of MDSS in the future, this research project aims to develop a MDSS implementation plan for SDDOT to identify: the key features of MDSS, the most appropriate geographic extent of deployment, the technology needed to support MDSS and mobile data collection, MDSS policies and integration with other SDDOT information systems, the resources required to support the implementation strategy, and the level of benefits expected from the implementation.


Wind for Schools (WfS) Wind Application Center (WAC) Operation Plan

History of this grant: The Department of Energy (DOE)/National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched a wind for schools (WfS) pilot project in Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 in Colorado which resulted in one school small turbine project and many lessons learned. Eventually twelve states (CO, KS, NE, AZ, PA, MT, SD, VA, NC, AK, ID, and IL) were funded under the WfS program. The WfS program’s first long term objective was to develop in-state technical assistance capacity through the development of Wind Application Centers (WAC) located at a college or university in each state, in order to educate engineers in wind applications analysis and developing knowledge/skill sets that would make them more valuable to a growing wind workforce. The second objective of the WfS program was to educate students in wind energy and inspire them to pursue renewable energy areas of learning/ careers past high school.

Michael Twedt
Michael Twedt

This grant allows Michael Twedt, lecturer / program engineer of mechanical engineering, to continue another year of developing and implementing the South Dakota Wind for Schools (WfS) Wind Application Center (WAC) Operation Plan. South Dakota’s Wind for Schools program supported by the SDWAC has 10 permanent turbine sites at K-12 schools and another 3 supporting sites.

The SDWAC objectives include:

  • College educational objective: equip juniors and seniors with real-world skills and experience in wind energy applications through a structured program that familiarizes university students with the wind industry and wind deployment process. The WAC shall also transmit knowledge about wind energy to teachers and students at the K-12 host schools.
  • Support K-12 educational objective: introduce teachers and students at the K-12 level to renewable energies, specifically wind energy, and provide educational tools that aid in this effort.
  • Integrate the OpenEI networking tool (i.e. Wind for Schools Portal) into the SDWfS network to serve as a central database for each turbine’s performance data.

Multi-State Soybean Field Research Data

Gary Hatfield
Gary Hatfield

Dr. Hatfield, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, helped write a proposal titled: “On-Line Summarization Tool for Soybean On-Farm Replicated Strip Trials.”

This grant was awarded by Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Board. Sharing soybean field research data across different institutions greatly increases the value of the data. This project will develop an online summarization tool that will combine and summarize soybean field-scale on-farm strip trials conducted by the Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network and similar on-farm groups from South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Michigan. The tool will inform farmers and agronomists about the probability of different practices and technologies to provide economic benefits under different management, soil and weather conditions. In addition, the tool will provide summaries of the power analyses to estimate the number of trial locations, treatment replications and years needed to detect statistically and economically significant soybean yield responses.


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at SDSU in the JJL College of Engineering

Stephen Gent
Stephen Gent
Jung Han Kimn
Jung-Han Kimn

This project engages ten undergraduate students per summer from around the country in the research process. It enables students whose universities do not have as large of a research capacity to gain ten summer weeks of research experience with SDSU faculty members. The three year grant, beginning in 2016, focuses on High Performance Computing (HPC) research. This program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and is led by PI Dr. Stephen Gent and Co-PI Dr. Jung-Han Kimn. This opportunity provides undergraduate students with a holistic experience in conducting cutting-edge research under the mentorship of several SDSU faculty members. This program includes faculty mentors from Mathematics and Statistics, Electrical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, and BioChemistry.  Once students complete the ten week program, they are encouraged to present their research findings at regional and national conferences.


Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of Endovascular Devices

Stephen Gent
Stephen Gent

Dr. Stephen Gent has been working with Dr. Patrick Kelly and Dr. Tyler Remund of Sanford Vascular Innovations within Sanford Hospitals for three years on simulations and analysis of endovascular devices. The researchers are finding a niche in figuring out how these devices work. They have created and tested the stent grafts used to repair thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, and they are now conducting clinical trials for these new stent grafts. Two articles about this work have been published to Newswise: Saving Lives Using New Stent Graft Design and Fluid Flow Model Evaluates Clotting Risk in New Stent Graft Design


Flood Hydrograph Generation for Predicting Bridge Scour in Cohesive Soils

Francis Ting
Francis Ting

In this project, Dr. Ting, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will develop a decision tool to identify the types of field situations where the Scour Rate In COhesive Soils (SRICOS) method can be used for prediction of bridge scour with confidence and is cost-effective. The project will produce design guidelines and step-by-step instructions on how to construct flood hydrographs for use with the SRICOS method based on site conditions, project type, and acceptable risk; and will illustrate these instructions using worked-out examples. These methods will include hydrograph generation in both gauged and ungauged streams.