Friday, June 17, 2016

Materials for Lightweight Vehicle Design-AERIM REU Program Seminar

Yesterday the REU students got to attend an AERIM REU program seminar that was co-sponsored by the OU SAE chapter and which was also opened to the OU community. The presentation titled “Materials for Lightweight Vehicle Design”, was presented by Dr. David Wagner as part of the SAE Industrial Lectureship Series. Dr. Wagner is a Technical Leader in Materials & Manufacturing Research & Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Company where he helps shepherd cutting edge technologies developed by Ford researchers to the company's products and conducts his own research in the areas of lightweight vehicle structures.  He has been at Ford for twenty-five years in research and advanced engineering, working on lightweight vehicle design, durability, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), safety, materials and CAE modeling.  Recently he and his team helped develop the lightweight frame and aluminum cab and cargo box for the 2015 F-150. He researches future uses of magnesium and carbon fiber through the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) with colleagues from China and Canada. Dr. Wagner holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering 1990, and Civil Engineering degrees (M.S.C.E ‘82 and B.S.C.E. ‘80) from the University of Notre Dame. He has over 20 patents and over 50 publications.

Exposing REU students to automotive technologies and facilities

One of the goals of the AERIM REU program is to expose student participants to different automotive technologies and to give them the opportunity to visit automotive industry facilities. Two examples of such recent activities are listed below.

  • Detroit SAE 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Vehicle Event
The 10 AERIM REU students attended the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Vehicle event on June 8, 2016. Organized by the Detroit section of SAE, such vehicle events provide an opportunity for attendees to hear presentations from key members of the vehicle development team and to network with engineers working in the automotive industry.

AERIM REU students at the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Vehicle Event

More pictures from the event can be found here

  • Tour of FCA Aeroacoustics tunnel facility at the Chrysler Technical Center (CTC) in Auburn Hills, MI:
CTC image from this link
AERIM REU students also got to tour the Chrysler aeroacoustics wind tunnel facility at CTC on June 17. The tour was organized by Todd Lounsberry and Greg Fadler of the Aerodynamics and Thermal Systems/Wind Tunnel Operations group at Chrysler. The tour started with an introduction to vehicle aerodynamics presentation by Greg Fadler and was then followed by a tour of the facility, which included walking through the wind tunnel circuit, going through the huge wind tunnel fan (super cool!!) and witnessing a smoke visualization demo over a 3/8 scale clay model of a vehicle. We also got to experience the sound dampening features of the acoustic wall treatments throughout the wind tunnel. We are grateful to the FCA wind tunnel operations group for organizing this tour for us!

2016 AERIM REU students by the Chrysler wind tunnel fan.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Midterm project presentations

This morning, REU students had the opportunity to present what they have learned and done so far. They did an amazing job presenting their projects clearly, it was obvious that they have a good understanding for the projects and goals that they have to achieve in future. Here are some photos were taken during today’s midterm project presentations.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

AERIM REU students are off to a good start

After receiving their project assignments last week, REU students quickly dove into their respective research tasks. It is always amazing to see how quickly they are able to take ownership of their projects and how about a week into the program (interrupted by the long Memorial day weekend) they are already starting to articulate the motivation and goals of their research. Many have been spending time delving into the published literature or learning necessary background material. Others are learning how to use equipment or how to run simulations. We look forward to seeing what they will come up with in the weeks to come. Some groups have already set up blogs or websites to document some of their progress. Please feel free to follow their work at the links below:

Other news:
The REU students attended the First Oakland University Graduate Student research Conference on May 27, 2016. There they got attend oral research presentations by graduate students from a variety of disciplines as well as explore poster presentations by other students. We expect this experience to help them when it will be their turn to give oral and poster presentations.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tour of GM Powertrain testing lab facilities

Yesterday the REU students got to meet with Dr. Ed Groff. Dr. Groff spent over 30 years in different capacities at General Motors (GM) working on engine and powertrain research and design, including the development of stratified charge engines. Dr. Groff discussed his career and experiences with the students, then took them on a tour of GM's powertrain testing labs at the General Motors Global Propulsion Systems facility in Pontiac. There they got to tour the engine mockup lab, engine test cells, powertrain test cells and various labs that are used to test various powertrain components. It is amazing how much testing must be done during the development of a vehicle!

One of the cool things that they got to saw and try out are special hovercraft-like pallets that GM uses to instrument and move engines for testing in the dyno. When the pallets were lifted off the ground using a layer of air, the students could easily move a 3000+ lbs system around. Images of the systems and information about them can be found at

Image from

Thank you Dr. Groff for arranging the tour for us!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 AERIM REU Project Assignments

2016 AERIM REU Project Assignments

Characterization of sheared edge for sheet materials employed in automotive industry (Dr. Golvashchenko) 
Erika Rugh - Sweet Briar Colleg
Collin Malek - Oakland University

       Edge Crack Characterization Using Digital Image Correlation for Aluminum Alloy (Dr. Yang)
Lisa Branchick - Oakland University 
Emily Duan - University of Maryland Baltimore County

        Numerical Simulation of Oil-Jet Cooling of a Flat Plate (Dr. Guessous)
Morgan Jones - Trinity University
Aaron Demers - University of Wisconsin Whitewater

      Experimental Investigation of Antiwear Film Growth (Dr. Schall)
Erik Romero - Tyler Junior College 
Colleen Fritz - University of Alabama

       Thermal Measurement of Coated Composite Panels for Insulated Structures (Dr. Schall and Dr. Kobus)
Leanna Ngo - John Brown University
Michael Goldhammer - University of Alabama