SURE: Mechanical Engineering

Click on the title for full description of SURE 2018 projects in Mechanical Engineering.

MECH-001: Reconfigurable materials with tailored thermal expansion for aerospace
Professor:Damiano Pasini
E-mail: damiano.pasini [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5148141904
Website

Research Area: Aerospace materials


Description
Systems in space are vulnerable to large temperature changes when travelling into and out of the Earth's shadow. Variations in temperature can lead to undesired geometry deformation in sensitive applications requiring very fine precision, such as sub-reflector supporting struts. To suppress temperature induced failures, materials with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) are generally sought over a wide range of temperatures. Besides low CTE, desirable stiffness, strength and extraordinarily low mass are other mechanical properties critical to guarantee. We are developing a novel class of materials with tunable coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), low mass, besides high stiffness and strength, and capability to reversibly reconfigure their shapes..

Tasks:
The students will help graduate students in fabricating and testing proof-of-concept materials with tunable thermal expansion and reconfigurable characteristics

Deliverables:
Fabrication via additive manufacturing and other processes + thermomechanical testing of a set of material samples

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-002: Triboluminescent screen for dynamic impact fragmentation study
Professor:David Frost
E-mail: david.frost [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6279
Website

Research Area: Combustion and dynamics of materials


Description
When a metal fragment moving at hypervelocity speeds impacts a thin foil (such as a Whipple shield used to protect spacecraft from collisions with orbital debris), it breaks up into a spray of fine fragments. To determine the number and extent of the fragments, we are developing a diagnostic consisting of a transparent plate coated with a layer of triboluminescent powder, i.e., a material that emits a flash of light when impacted. The project will focus on synthesizing the powder using a combustion process, coating a surface with the powder, and developing an array of optical probes to detect the location of fragment impact and light generation. Please contact Sam Goroshin: sam.goroshin [at] mcgill.ca to interview for this position..

Tasks:
The 2-student team will first carry out the powder combustion synthesis of zinc sulfide manganese, doped with an additive to generate the triboluminescent effect. The product will be ground into a powder and used to coat a transparent plate. An array of photodiodes will be mounted behind the plate to monitor the light emission during fragment impact tests.

Deliverables:
The students will deliver a prototype of the triboluminescent impact gauge and a report describing the gauge design and operation.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-003: Impact-induced reaction of reactive materials
Professor:David Frost
E-mail: david.frost [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6279
Website

Research Area: Combustion


Description
Some compacted mixtures of metal and metal oxide powders can react upon shock loading. Impact of a reactive metal fragment with a wall at high speeds can generate a sufficiently strong shock to initiate reaction. This project will focus on the design and construction of an apparatus combining a test section with an existing gas gun for the study of impact-induced fragmentation and reaction of a spherical particle. Emission spectroscopy will be used to infer the fragment temperature after reaction..

Tasks:
Assist with the design and construction of a test section with window section coupled with a gas gun to visualize the impact of a particle with an end wall and the subsequent reaction. Carry out preliminary impact tests.

Deliverables:
Prepare a comprehensive report presenting the apparatus design and preliminary test results and analysis.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-004: Design, fabrication and testing of high performance architectured ceramics
Professor:Francois Barthelat
E-mail: francois.barthelat [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 6318
Website

Research Area: Mechanical Engineering Materials Engineering


Description
Architectured materials are characterized by structural features which are larger than what is typically considered microstructure (e.g. grains) but smaller than the size of the component. While the deformations of the blocks typically remain small and within elastic limits, their interfaces can slide, rotate, separate or interlock collectively, providing a wealth of tunable mechanisms and new pathways to extraordinary properties. In this project you will explore how the shape, size and arrangement of “building blocks” can be tuned to generate precise modes of deformations. In particular, you will contribute to the development of materials that are flexible yet hard, impact resistance and tough for a variety of applications (aerospace, industrial protective equipment). Depending on your motivation and background you will be involved in modeling (finite elements, discrete element methods), optimization, fabrication (3D printing, 3D laser engraving), testing (impact testing, stereo-imaging with 3D reconstruction), or a combination of the above..

Tasks:
1) Specimen preparation 2) Mechanical testing 3) Analyze experimental data 4) Report your progress in weekly group meetings 5) Possible contribution to a research article

Deliverables:
1) Poster 2) Possible contribution to a research article

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-005: Fabrication and testing of a new type of bone graft materials
Professor:Francois Barthelat
E-mail: francois.barthelat [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 6318
Website

Research Area: Mechanical Engineering Biomedical Engineering


Description
Millions of people worldwide suffer from bone loss and bone defects, and treatment remains a major challenge in orthopaedic surgery. Traditional bone grafting techniques have performance limitations including donor site morbidity, viral transmission, immunologic incompatibility, long rehabilitation time and structural failure. The need for new strategies for the treatment of bone defects is therefore urgent. The ideal bone graft material must: (i) match the mechanical properties of healthy bone; (ii) be biocompatible and promote healing and (iii) degrade over time to be replaced by healthy bone. To this day, there is no synthetic material that can fulfill these three requirements simultaneously. In this project you will contribute to the development of a new structural bone graft made of a bioceramic reinforced with proteins. The ceramic provides stiffness, while the proteins and the architecture of the material provides toughness. The implication is that this material can be used to fabricate load-carrying grafts, as opposed to traditional ceramics which are too brittle. This new medical technology will have a significant impact on restoring functionality and quality of life in patients requiring reconstruction of structural bone defects due to trauma, failed arthroplasties, bone tumors, maxillofacial surgery or other bone diseases..

Tasks:
1) Material fabrication and testing 2) Analyze experimental data 3) Present your progress in weekly group meetings 4) Poster presentation 5) Possible contribution to a research article

Deliverables:
1) Poster 2) Possible contribution to a research article

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-006: New graphene oxide membranes for high fidelity speakers
Professor:Francois Barthelat
E-mail: francois.barthelat [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986318
Website

Research Area: Mechanical Engineering, materials, acoustics


Description
In this project, you will contribute to the development of a new type of membrane made of graphene oxide for high fidelity speakers. Graphene oxide is a single atomic layer of carbon atoms that is ultra-light and ultra-stiff, and can be easily and economically processed. Graphene oxide membranes are superior to commonly used mylar membranes for acoustic applications, simultaneously enabling improved acoustic fidelity and lower electrical power consumption. In this project you will join an interdisciplinary team from mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering and industry to apply state-of-the-art research and expertise to: 1) increase the stiffness and lightness of graphene oxide membranes, 2) increase the dissipation factor of graphene oxide membranes to improve acoustic fidelity. The project involves fabrication (deposition of films, 3D printing) and testing (static tests and dynamic response at different frequencies)..

Tasks:
1) Material fabrication and testing 2) Analyze experimental data 3) Present your progress in weekly group meetings 4) Poster presentation 5) Possible contribution to a research article

Deliverables:
1) Poster 2) Possible contribution to a research article

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-007: Dynamic Collapse of a Rotating Liquid Cavity for Magnetized Target Fusion
Professor:Andrew Higgins
E-mail: andrew.higgins [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6297
Website

Research Area: Thermofluids


Description
In a concept called Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF), a plasma is compressed to fusion conditions using a collapsing liquid cavity. The liquid must be rotating to form a spherical-like cavity but is initially injected from a stationary liquid injector, resulting in a complex flow. The liquid will be injected via a rotating mesh that assists in shaping the cavity, but the flow through this mesh can also result in instabilities that may cause the inner surface of the liquid cavity to become unstable, limiting the degree of compression achieved. This project will examine the development of instability on the liquid surface and how the instability may be suppressed. This project is done in collaboration with Prof. Jovan Nedic..

Tasks:
Student 1: Student will conduct experiments using a prototype rotating liquid cavity apparatus that has been constructed at McGill. A porous mesh will be designed and introduced and the role of the relative amount of fluid injected through the mesh to liquid already in the cavity will be varied to determine the influence on the smoothness of the cavity. An analytic model of the injection process will be developed. Student 2: Student will develop diagnostic techniques (laser Doppler velocimetry, particle imaging velocimetry) to measure the magnitude of velocity perturbations in the fluid. Software for the reduction and analysis of the data will be developed. The results will be compared to modelling predictions.

Deliverables:
Detailed drawings of design, report describing operation, and analysis of all experiments performed will be delivered. The modelling code (Matlab, etc.) will be fully documented and delivered.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-008: An experimental investigation of lift-induced drag generated by a rectangular wing and a reverse delta wing in ground effect
Professor:tim lee
E-mail: tim.lee [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986321
Website

Research Area: Experimental aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, wind tunnel testing


Description
The substantial lift augmentation and lift-induced drag reduction have long been recognized when an airplane flying close to the ground, for example, during takeoff and landing. These ground effect-induced aerodynamic benefits have also been exploited by large birds, such as albatross, in long-distance flight to conserve energy. The Wright brothers’ maiden flight was also in fact completely in ground effect. Two major wing-in-ground effect (WIG) craft: The Russian Ekranoplans (employ a giant square wing planform) and the Lippisch-type RFB X-114 (employs a reverse delta wing planform with anhedral) have been designed and constructed. Despite the extensive employment of square-wing and reverse-delta-wing planforms in WIG craft, archived data on the WIG craft, especially in ground effect, are, however, still limited. In this project, the wingtip vortices generated behind a low-aspect-ratio rectangular wing and a reverse delta wing will be measured in the J.A. Bombardier wind tunnel in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at different angles of attack and stremswise locations in both flat and wavy ground effects. These vorticity measurements will be used not only to understand the growth and development of the tip vortices and their control, but also to compute the lift-induced drag. The anticipated experimental measurements will enable us to better understand the WIG craft and their design..

Tasks:
conduct wind tunnel tests and process/plot the data

Deliverables:
a summary report

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-009: Small unmanned aerial vehicles: collision recovery, collaborative transport, indoor management
Professor:Inna Sharf
E-mail: inna.sharf [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143981711
Website

Research Area: Robotics/mechatronics: unmanned aerial vehicles, space debris capture


Description
Professor Sharf has several ongoing projects related to unmanned aerial vehicles, including, collision recovery for a quadrotor UAV, collaborative transport of a payload, and use of a robotic arm for indoor management of UAVs. A student will have an opportunity to work on these projects, specifically, provide assistance and support during flight tests, carry out special purpose design as needed, write software and process data. Student will work with some of the UAVs and instrumentation available in Aerospace Mechatronics Lab. A minimum 3.5 CGPA is desired with completion of Year 2..

Tasks:
1) carry out electro-mechanical design and testing 2) provide assistance during flight testing 3) set up robotic arm to demonstrate manipulation of UAVs

Deliverables:
working and tested designs, assistance during flight tests, robotic arm programmed to manipulate a UAV

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-010: Robotic Navigation in Unknown Environments
Professor:James Forbes
E-mail: james.richard.forbes [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143987142
Website

Research Area: robotics, state estimation and filtering


Description
Vehicles that are able to autonomously move in cities or buildings must fuse various forms of sensor data together in order to ascertain the vehicles precise location relative to objects. Typical sensor data includes inertial measurement unit (IMU) data and some sort of range data from an optical camera, radar, or LIDAR. Objects detected by a range sensor may be "expected", while others may be "unexpected". For instance, an aerial vehicle moving in a previous mapped building or construction site may "expect" to see a particular landmark such as a pillar or door, while the same aerial vehicle moving in the same building or construction site cannot reasonably predict to see a human being, or a new pillar just constructed, at any given time. This SURE project will focus on using a priori map and landmark information within an estimator, such as a Kalman filter, to enhance robot location estimation. In particular, the a prior distance between known landmarks will be used as a constraint within the estimation algorithm thereby enhancing the quality of the vehicles location estimate. Students best fit for this position are those interested in using mathematical tools, such as linear algebra, probability theory, and numerical optimization, to solve problems found in robotics. Experience with matlab and/or C programming is desired. Depending on the students interest and/or experience, the students may work more with hardware, such as cameras, IMUs, encoders, etc..

Tasks:
- Formulate the constrained estimation problem. - Write matlab code to test the algorithm in a simulation. - Test on experimental data.

Deliverables:
A report written in LaTeX must be completed.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-011: System Identification of Aerospace Systems
Professor:James Forbes
E-mail: james.richard.forbes [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143987142
Website

Research Area: aerospace, system identification, numerical methods


Description
Engineers use models to predict physical outcomes. For instance, Newton’s second law, F = ma, can be used to predict the acceleration of a mass given a force. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “perfect model”. All models, no matter what, are uncertain. For example, consider the model F = ma once more, and say F = ma is used to predict the acceleration of a 1 kg mass given a force of 1 N. In theory, the acceleration is 1 m/s^2. However, in reality, the true mass is not exactly 1 kg, but rather between 0.9 kg and 1.1 kg. As such, the acceleration is expected to be somewhere between 10/9 m/s^2 and 10/11 m/s^2. A natural question, then, is how can measurement data be used to refine the model, or ``identify the model”? Better yet, given no prior model, using only data, can a data-driven model be created? This project will investigate how to use system identification tools to identify the models of ``best fit” given measurement data. The system identification tools will be used to refine or create models of aerospace systems given sensor data. The person working on the project will work closely with a masters student and industrial partner. Students with a strong mathematical disposition (in particular, Linear Algebra, solving Ax = b, etc.), and strong programming skills, are best suited for this project..

Tasks:
- Review literature on ``open-loop” and ``closed-loop” system identification. - Code various (a minimum of two) system identification algorithms in MATLAB.

Deliverables:
- MATLAB code of various system identification algorithms. - Comprehensive report written in LaTeX. - Conference paper submission.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-012: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Environmental and Habitat Conservation
Professor:James Forbes
E-mail: james.richard.forbes [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143987142
Website

Research Area: aerospace, unmanned aerial vehicles, high-altitude balloons


Description
The primary goal of this project is to conduct preliminary research on a balloon-deployed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system able to capture inspiring images of landscapes at near-space and at ground- level altitudes for a fraction of the cost of existing technology, such as manned aircraft and satellites. Specifically, it is proposed to use a balloon to raise a UAV up to an altitude of 25 km; the UAV is then “cut down” and flies a specific flight-path down to ground level, travelling 100’s of kilometres. On the UAVs descent, images usually captured by three separate technologies (e.g., a UAV, a manned aircraft, and a satellite), will be acquired all in one flight. Doing so is motivated by the desire to better understand, document, educate, and tell the story of climate change, land use patterns, and habitat degradation in any part of the world. In particular, the first application of the proposed balloon-deployed UAV system will be in the Rwenzori mountains and surrounding area of western Uganda, where the historical migration route of elephants will be documented using still and video imagery. These images will aid in storytelling, education, and habitat conservation, ultimately having a positive impact on the elephant population in Uganda..

Tasks:
- Mechatronic integration of light control system, including autopilot, GPS, IMU, etc.

Deliverables:
- Comprehensive report written in LaTeX. - A working prototype.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-013: Force-feedback Control to Characterize the Material Properties of Lung Tissue Affected by Asthma
Professor:James Forbes
E-mail: james.richard.forbes [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143987142
Website

Research Area: biomedical engineering, control systems design


Description
Asthma is an airway inflammatory disorder that leads to shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest, and coughing. In 2014, Statistics Canada estimated that roughly 2.4 million Canadians are affected by asthma. Researchers have been able to correlate the systems of asthma with a change in the material properties of lungs. In order to develop better treatments for asthma, it is, therefore, necessary to better characterize the material properties of lung tissue affected by asthma, as well as healthy lung tissue that serves as a baseline. This project will focus on the use of feedback control to measure material properties of lung tissue. In particular, by using force sensors and position actuators, the viscoelastic properties of lung tissue will be characterized. This project is best suited to a student who 1) has taken MECH 412, and 2) has a mechatronic or microelectronics background. This research will be done in collaboration with Prof. Anne-Marie Lauzon from the Centre for Respiratory Research at McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre..

Tasks:
Mechatronic integration of control system to test lung tissue.

Deliverables:
- A working prototype. - Comprehensive report written in LaTeX.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-014: Emissions Modelling under Uncertainty
Professor:Jeff Bergthorson
E-mail: jeffrey.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143982003
Website

Research Area: Combustion & Alternative Fuels


Description
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) have been identified as a primary pollutant in the atmosphere responsible for various environmental problems requiring novel low-emissions designs. Current computational capabilities do not allow for fully resolved simulations with detailed chemistry in the turbulent environment characteristic of industrial gas turbines. Reduced order modelling is then required to predict the concentration of pollutant species produced during the combustion process. Using combustion software, such as Cantera, the turbulent flow can be approximated by a network of zero-dimension reactors to model NOx formation. The implementation of an automated network generator provides fast reduced-order models to study trends in emissions formation with various operating conditions. Validation of the methodology will be performed with one relevant burner configuration. The effect of the subjective network configuration and the uncertainties inherent to chemical models must be quantified to provide accurate and reliable emissions predictions. Quantification of the major uncertainty sources will be performed to identify important contributors to emissions and provide a numerical “error bar” on predictions. Contact Antoine Durocher: antoine.durocher [at] mail.mcgill.ca to interview for position..

Tasks:
Implement an automated methodology that builds a chemical reactor network from a user input file to quantify the impact of parametric uncertainties.

Deliverables:
Provide an implemented and automated framework that constructs a chemical reactor network in Cantera to quantify the uncertainties in NOx predictions for a burner configuration relevant to gas-turbine engines. A detailed report summarizing the code and ho

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-015: Studies of metal flames in Hele-Shaw Cell
Professor:Jeff Bergthorson
E-mail: jeffrey.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143982003
Website

Research Area: Alternative Fuels


Description
Powders of micron-sized metallic particles can be used as a fuel in a large range of applications such as, for example, in propulsion or as an additive in slurry fuels. Recently, metal powders, such as iron or aluminum, have been proposed as an energy carrier which can be burned in a reactor to produce energy without carbon emissions. The combustion process may be accompanied by the formation of flame instabilities which may affect the structure and safety of the reactor. This project investigates the formation and development of instabilities using a parallel-plate Hele-Shaw cell. Contact Jan Palecka (jan.palecka [at] mail.mcgill.ca) to interview for position..

Tasks:
Carry out experiments to study flame propagation and stability in the Hele-Shaw cell. Use MATLAB to process and analyze the data.

Deliverables:
Prepare a comprehensive report presenting results (both data and analysis) from the flame tests.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-016: Fundamental studies of metal flames
Professor:Jeff Bergthorson
E-mail: jeffrey.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143982003
Website

Research Area: Alternative Fuels


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 will focus on experimental study of these flames, using a stabilized counter flow apparatus. Students will help perform experiments, implement different diagnostics, and process data. Students will be expected to use their engineering knowledge to address a wide range of challenges presented in this setting. Please contact Philippe Julien (philippe.julien [at] mail.mcgill.ca) to interview for this position.

Tasks:
Carry out experiments with combustible mixtures to determine the fundamental properties of metal flames.

Deliverables:
Prepare a comprehensive report presenting results (both data and analysis) from the flame tests.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-017: Aerodynamic characterization of a morphing wing
Professor:Jovan Nedic
E-mail: jovan.nedic [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-4858
Website

Research Area: Aerodynamics


Description
Current aircraft wing designs are optimized for cruise condition as it is by far the longest segment of a flight mission profile. The lift force generated during this condition, however, is insufficient at take-off and landing and thus high-lift devices are used to generated the additional lift. As these high-lift devices are deployed, a penalty is incurred in the form of additional drag force and low frequency noise owing to the increased bluffness of the wing section and the parasitic drag create by the high lift mechanism itself. With the improvements in materials and control engineering, the use of morphing wings is slowly becoming a viable alternative. This is particularly true for smaller commercial aircraft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. Morphing wings are continuous airfoil structures which flex to change their shape, thus ensuring a continuous surface for the airflow which reduces unsteady aerodynamic noise and increased drag. Two Mech. Eng. Capstone teams have currently developing a smaller prototype of the morphing wing. The SURE student will build on the work done by the Capstone teams and build a full scale morphing wing, based on the prototype design, and then perform aerodynamic measurements of the wing in the low-speed wind tunnel..

Tasks:
1) Conduct brief literature review on aerodynamics of morphing wings 2) Extend the current morphing wing prototype to span the height of the wind tunnel 3) Perform aerodynamic measurements for a fixed Reynolds number

Deliverables:
The extended wind tunnel model must be built and a final report, written in LaTeX, to be presented with the aerodynamic findings.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-018: Aerodynamic loads on unmanned aerial systems
Professor:Jovan Nedic
E-mail: jovan.nedic [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-4858
Website

Research Area: Aerodynamics, control


Description
The stability and control of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has been an extensive area of research over the past few decades, and has significantly accelerated recently owing to the increased demands of such systems for various commercial applications. Our ability to adequately control UAS in a quiescent environment is well established, however, the vast majority of the commercial applications of such systems would see the UAS operate in a variety of steady and unsteady flow conditions. In order to improve the accuracy and performance of controllers in such conditions, one must first have an adequate understanding of the basic aerodynamics of the system, specifically the loads that will be experienced by the UAS. This is precisely the main focus of this SURE project. This particular project is part of a much larger project being undertaken by professors in the department; as such, the results of the SURE project would be integrated into it..

Tasks:
1) Develop a simple controller for a UAS 2) Perform aerodynamic load measurements in a quiescent environment 3) Repeat measurements in a low-speed wind tunnel to check for confinement effects and ascertain change in performance for various UAS orientations

Deliverables:
A simple controller must be developed and a final report, written in LaTeX, on the main aerodynamic findings must be presented.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-019: Analysis of Planetary Exploration Rovers
Professor:Jozsef Kovecses
E-mail: jozsef.kovecses [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6302
Website

Research Area: Dynamics and Control


Description
The Applied Dynamic Laboratory at McGill has been conducting research on the dynamics behaviour of planetary exploration rovers for almost ten years. Impacts between rover components and ground obstacles need to be studied in detail, as they may give rise to significant forces that can damage the robot or its scientific instruments and also affect vehicle mobility. Multi-rigid body models of these vehicles have been developed to simulate and analyze obstacle negotiation manoeuvres involving impacts. However, rigid models do not capture the effect of structural rover flexibility, which can significantly change vehicle behaviour and the outcome of the manoeuvre. This project aims to study how the presence of flexible components in the rover structure modifies its ability to undergo impacts, minimize component damage, and improve obstacle negotiation. Computational models that represent the most common rover designs will be built using the multibody dynamics library developed by the Applied Dynamic Laboratory; flexible elements will be introduced in these models to represent the rover stiffness distribution. Impact manoeuvres will be simulated to represent common operation scenarios, evaluating how stiffness distribution affects impact development for different robot configurations, mass distributions, and impact velocities. Because these impact cases may differ considerably between each other, defining suitable performance indicators will be necessary to obtain design and operation guidelines that remain valid for a large range of rover prototypes. These indicators and guidelines will constitute the final objective of this research project..

Tasks:
- Building parametric multibody models of the most common planetary exploration rover designs (e.g., rocker-bogie, double bogie). - Identifying relevant sources of flexibility in each rover design. - Introducing stiffness distribution in the computational model of the rovers. - Evaluating the effect of impact configuration and stiffness distribution on the forces and torques experienced by the rover during impact. - Defining performance indicators and actuation guidelines to optimize impact manoeuvres with exploration rovers.

Deliverables:
A report on the effect of structural flexibility on obstacle negotiation manoeuvres with planetary exploration rovers.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-020: Mechanical characterization of composites manufactured by Automated Fiber Placement (AFP)
Professor:Larry Lessard
E-mail: Larry.Lessard [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986305
Website

Research Area: Composite Materials


Description
The Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) process has gained traction as an efficient manufacturing method for advanced composites. While AFP methods offer benefits through automation, certain defects inherent to the manufacturing method are induced due to machine limitations. These defects include gaps between adjacent tows, missing tows, tow misalignment, and tow overlaps. Thus, accurate characterization of defects and an understanding of their effects on the failure mechanisms are crucial in determining design allowables. The work done by this student will focus on the fatigue behaviour of composite parts which have been made using AFP with side to side gaps imbedded within them at controlled locations. The student will go about this study by performing physical tests on coupons as well as through finite element simulations. The results will then be compared to validate the simulation methods for future use. By completing this work, the SURE student will gain knowledge on the AFP process, experience in using finite element software, and experience performing fatigue testing for tensile failure..

Tasks:
With the support of a Master student and the lab team: - Test coupons under tensile fatigue loading - Use a FE model on Abaqus or on similar software

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation to be presented to the composites research group

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-021: Composites Hockey Stick Development
Professor:Larry Lessard
E-mail: Larry.Lessard [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986305
Website

Research Area: Composite Materials


Description
This project involves research into the development of carbon fibre hockey sticks. The project is part of the Ice Hockey Research Group (IHRG), headed by Professor David Pearsall partnered with Professor Larry Lessard. Analysis and testing of composite hockey sticks is not a simple task because of the complex composite construction in certain areas of the stick coupled with a loading condition that is difficult to model. Testing is also non-trivial because of the dynamic nature of the loading during a typical shot. The student will work with graduate students in the IHRG in the continuing development of carbon fibre hockey sticks..

Tasks:
Testing Methods for Hockey Sticks, Finite Element Analysis

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation to be presented to the composites research group

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-022: Comparison of statistics of turbulent flows and financial markets
Professor:Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent.mydlarski [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6293
Website

Research Area: Fluid mechanics


Description
It has been long since anecdotally noted that time series of velocity within turbulent flows (e.g. http://www.thermopedia.com/content/5645/TURBULENCE_FIG1.gif) and price dynamics of financial markets (e.g. https://blogs.sap.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/axp_332930.jpg) bear certain similarities. The latter have been investigated, but with only little input from fluid dynamicists. The object of this work is develop a computer code in FORTRAN that will compare time series data of turbulent velocity with time series (so-called "tick data") of the S&P 500 index. This code will then be used to investigate the similarities and differences in the evolutions of these two fields. The vast majority of this work will be computational in nature,although some experiments may be possible to assist the student in understanding turbulent flows. (MECH 331 or equivalent course in fluid mechanics is required.).

Tasks:
1) Undertake a review of the existing body of literature comparing the statistics of turbulent flows with those of financial indices and other finance-related quantities 2) Gain a basic understanding of turbulent flows 3) Familiarization with a FORTRAN code to analyze turbulent flow data. (May include performing a few experiments to gain a better appreciation, if needed.) 4) Modification of the above code for use with "tick data" of the S&P 500 spanning a 5-year period. 5) Analysis of the two types of time series using the developed code.

Deliverables:
1) A computer code for the analysis of price dynamics of financial markets. 2) A final report documenting the work.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-023: Validation of a wind tunnel to study fully-developed, turbulent, internal flows and refinement of a high spatial and temporal resolution pressure sensor for turbulence measurements
Professor:Laurent Mydlarski
E-mail: laurent.mydlarski [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6293
Website

Research Area: Fluid mechanics


Description
A channel-flow wind tunnel in the McGill Aerodynamics Lab has been relocated and needs to be reassembled, tested, and have its flow benchmarked. The latter will be undertaken by way of hot-wire anemometry measurements. To this end, the student will i) learn the fundamentals of turbulent flow, ii) be trained in hot-wire anemometry, and iii) learn how to perform data acquisition (DAQ) before undertaking these delicate measurements. Once the tunnel is operational, the student will move onto the second phase of this project, which is to refine the design of a high spatial and temporal resolution pressure sensor that was developed by a previous SURE student. The improved pressure sensor will then be tested in the flow of the aforementioned wind tunnel..

Tasks:
1) Reassemble wind tunnel 2) Be trained in hot-wire anemometry, data acquisition, and turbulent flows 3) Validate the quality of the flow in the 8-m-long test section of the reassembled wind tunnel 4) Become familiar with the original pressure sensor 5) Propose a refined design to improve its performance 6) Design and build the second version of the sensor 7) Test the sensor in the wind tunnel 8) Prepare a report summarizing the student's activities

Deliverables:
1) A report documenting i) the flow quality in the reassembled wind tunnel, ii) the new design of the pressure sensor, and iii) its performance.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-024: Creation of a phantom for the study of heart sounds.
Professor:Luc Mongeau
E-mail: luc.mongeau [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-2777
Website

Research Area: Biomechanics and acoustics


Description
Design, build and tes a phantom for heart sound measurements. Make flow and acceleration measurements to characerize the sound emissions and try use the acoustic signature for diagnostics..

Tasks:
All tasks

Deliverables:
Phantom and results.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-025: Nonlinear dynamics of human descending aortic segments
Professor:Marco Amabili
E-mail: marco.amabili [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514 398 3068
Website

Research Area: Dynamics of systems


Description
The nonlinear dynamics of human descending thoracic aortic segments is investigated. The aorta segments are modelled as straight axisymmetric circular cylindrical shells with three hyperelastic anisotropic layers and residual stresses. Material data and residual stresses are obtained from layer-specific experiments for human aortas. Cases with different ages are studied. The material model adopted in the study is the Holzapfel-Gasser-Ogden (HGO). Dynamic stiffness and modal damping dissipation are modelled by using experimental data. The dynamic load is given by the physiological pressure, which pulsates during the heart beating. The inertial effect of the contained blood fluid is taken into account..

Tasks:
Help with the experiments and identification of the mechanical properties. Help with the numerical simulations.

Deliverables:
Figures and Tables related to the experiments and the numerical simulations, as requested during meetings.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-026: Vibrations of mechanical systems
Professor:Marco Amabili
E-mail: marco.amabili [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143983068
Website

Research Area: Vibrations of mechanical systems


Description
The project will involve the study of mechanical systems modelled with one and many degrees of freedom. The study will have a theoretical part but it will involve applications..

Tasks:
Use of Matlab or Mathematica or similar software for obtaining a plotting solutions. Use of CAD software for drawings of the mechanical systems. Computer graphics skills are a requirement.

Deliverables:
High quality plots of the results. Quality drawings of the systems under study.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-027: Improvement of a robotic human spine
Professor:Mark Driscoll
E-mail: mark.driscoll [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986299
Website

Research Area: Musculoskeletal Biomechanics


Description
Spinal disorders and associated back pain will be experienced by 4 of 5 adults, per Statistics Canada, and hence currently represent an epidemic hindering productivity and creating a massive economic burden to developed nations. The presentation of a spinal disorder, mechanically, represents a flawed stability mechanism. Many new theories of spinal stability and how spinal disorders occur have been proposed over the last 50 years. Although mathematically plausible, in vivo verification is difficult to achieve provided the high variability between patients and the complexities in acquiring relevant, objective, and quantitative validation data. An intermediate step would be moving from in silico (finite element modeling) to ex vivo (bench side) tests. Within the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab at McGill University, many elaborate finite element models of the spine are being worked on to evaluate stability and develop new treatments. Hence, a bench side robotic spine will now be improved (construction started in September 2017) to pose as an intermediate objective validation step prior to moving towards human in vivo testing. In brief, the project will comprise assembling a novel robotic spine inclusive of analogue bone, passive soft tissues, and active muscles. Several key manufactures have been identified to work with the research intern to make this project feasible while the equipment will be in place and available at the beginning of the internship. Once the spine is assembled, stability will be tested (i.e. loading the robotic spine) while evaluating muscular contributions in contrast to the in-house theories put forth via the corresponding in silico models. The summer intern will join another intern, from China, who will be dedicated to the control system in place of the pneumatic muscles..

Tasks:
Assembly and testing of robotic spine mobility and performance in contrast to FEM results of spinal stability.

Deliverables:
Performance testing report of spine robot under physiological loading conditions.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-028: Nonlinear Modal Analysis via the Convolution Quadrature Time Domain Boundary Element Method
Professor:Mathias Legrand
E-mail: mathias.legrand [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514.398.5321
Website

Research Area: Nonsmooth dynamics: Vibration of mechanical systems undergoing unilateral contact constraints


Description
Nonlinear Modal Analysis of vibratory systems undergoing unilateral contact is becoming a significant topic in mechanical engineering. Both analytically methods and numerical methods are being developed to accurately predict the behavior in time and frequency domains. The Time Domain Boundary Element Method is one possible solution method for simplified one-dimensional systems such as rods. The Convolution Quadrature Boundary Element Method (CQ-BEM) is one variant which provides high accuracy in describing wave propagation and has the capability to maintain numerical stability which is crucial here. Combined with a shooting strategy, time domain output achieved from CQ-BEM could transformed into frequency analysis..

Tasks:
The selected student will be asked to perform the following tasks: • Implement the one-dimensional version of the CQ-BEM • Conduct time domain elastodynamics analysis with unilateral contact condition via CQ-BEM • Combine CQ-BEM to a shooting technique and conduct frequency domain analysis of the vibratory response of a simplified one-dimensional system

Deliverables:
• One report summarizing the achievements • Developed Matlab scripts

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-029: A Machine Learning Approach to Nonlinear Normal Modes Detection
Professor:Mathias Legrand
E-mail: mathias.legrand [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514.398.5321
Website

Research Area: Nonlinear vibration analysis of turbomachine blades


Description
Predicting natural frequencies of vibration and companion normal modes is crucial in the vibratory analysis of oscillators. The detection of linear normal modes has been studied thoroughly and and is now completely understood. However, the study of nonlinear normal modes (NNMs) has proven to be a much more difficult task. The exploration of such modes of vibration plays an important role in turbomachinery rotor-casing impact dynamics which generates nonlinearity in the response. The structural health monitoring of engine blades depends largely on the detection of NNMs. Thus, the direct application of this research is to elongate the life cycle of jet engines and to contribute to the design of more environmental-friendly airplanes. In this project, a novel method for the detection of NNMs involving machine learning and statistical methods will be used. Knowledge of machine learning and/or vibrations is an asset. The study has application in a variety of other scientific fields; thus, student from other disciplines (computer sciences, electrical engineering etc.) are welcome..

Tasks:
The student will study the most recent articles involving the application of machine learning in the detection of NNMs. Then, a test to verify the validity of the method for the detection of NNMs in the domain of nonsmooth dynamics will take place. The student is expected to generate the required machine-learning algorithm in MATLAB and investigate the effectiveness of the method in the field of nonsmooth nonlinear dynamics.

Deliverables:
The selected student will be asked to prepare a final report consisting of theoretical works, implemented scripts, and numerical testing.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-030: Detection of periodic solution families in nonlinear Ordinary Differential Equations
Professor:Mathias Legrand
E-mail: mathias.legrand [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514.398.5321
Website

Research Area: Nonlinear vibration of aerospace systems


Description
Nonlinear ordinary differential equations do not generally exhibit closed-form solutions. Therefore, the study of their solution space is conducted numerically. Specifically, the periodic solution of blade-casing interactions within the frame of impact dynamics will be studied. The analysis of their periodic solutions contributes to a more cost-efficient and durable design of more sustainable airplane engines. This project will explore existing methods for detecting periodic solution families (or manifolds) of nonlinear ODEs. The objective of the project is the reduction of computation complexity as well as the determination of the completeness of the solution space. Knowledge of ODEs and numerical methods is required. The study has application in a variety of other scientific fields; thus, student from other disciplines (electrical engineering, chemical engineering etc.) are welcome..

Tasks:
The student will study existing methods for the detection of periodic solution manifolds, and more specifically, shooting methods and continuation methods. Next, the student will be required to perform an analysis of the solution space for a system of interest. Of special interest are the relationships between non-forced and forced systems as well as the stability of algorithms and solutions. Application of numerical methods implemented in MATLAB will be required to test theoretical assumptions.

Deliverables:
A final report consisting of theoretical works, implemented scripts, and numerical testing is required.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-031: Flight Testing, Hardware Interfacing for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Professor:Meyer Nahon
E-mail: Meyer.Nahon [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-2383
Website

Research Area: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Dynamics and Control


DescriptionThe Aerospace Mechatronics Laboratory currently houses several unmanned aerial vehicles: both quadrotor platforms and model fixed-wing aircraft. Research is currently ongoing with all these platforms with the overall objective to develop autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. For example, some of the research ongoing with quadrotors aims to integrate wind sensing into our flight platform, and use this data for close-loop feedback, and for its own sake (e.g. monitoring local wind conditions). The fixed-wing aircraft are used for the development of autonomous acrobatic flight through obstacle fields. 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 and to flight tests with these platforms. In addition, the student will be involved with interfacing new sensors into the platforms, for the purposes of acquiring data and for closed loop control. Some programming experience would be useful for the development of a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The student is expected to assist with hardware interfacing, programming, conducting experiments, and processing the data.

Tasks:
The tasks will be varied and could accommodate a mechanical, electrical or software engineering student; but ideally someone with experience in all aspects. Tasks will include some interfacing of sensing hardware with microprocessors; programming; some CAD modeling; some Matlab/Simulink modeling; and finally, experimental testing.

Deliverables:
Assist in the improvement of autonomous flight performance of our quadrotor and fixed-wing aircraft under closed-loop control.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-032: Aerospace Composite Recycling Prototype Development & Industrial Demonstrator Fabrication
Professor:Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal.hubert [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986303
Website

Research Area: Composite materials


Description
Composite materials have been implemented with great success to reduce aircraft weight through their great specific properties, their mechanical tailorability, and their ability to reduce assembly part count. That being said, fabrication of composite aircraft structures through the use of pre-impregnated materials (prepreg) results in large amounts of uncured waste. This manufacturing waste presents an excellent opportunity for recovery and recycling. In this project, the SURE recipient will work alongside a PhD student to design and build a system that can convert recovered prepreg scrap into a usable compression moulding compound. If successful, the recipient will then also assist in the manufacturing of an industrial demonstrator part using the recyclate produced by their prototype..

Tasks:
With the support of a PhD student and the lab team: - Design and build a prepreg conversion prototype - Produce all design documentation associated with the prototype - Manufacture industrial demonstrator parts

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation to be presented to the composites research group - One SURE poster

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 3

MECH-033: Thermomechanical Characterization of Shape Memory Alloys for Hybrid Composite Structures
Professor:Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal.hubert [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986303
Website

Research Area: Composite materials


Description
Shape memory alloys are a family of metals which exhibit a hysteretic non-linear elastic response and are sensitive to thermomechanical state. The research being conducted is investigating the integration of shape memory alloys into composite structures to enable non-linear passive control of hydrodynamic structures (sailboat hydrofoils). Various effects, including “training” and thermomechanical coupling are to be studied in support of this investigation. In this project, the SURE recipient will be required to perform experiments to investigate the thermomechanical behavior of Nitinol, a type of shape memory alloy, using digital scanning calorimetry (DSC) and digital mechanical analysis (DMA)..

Tasks:
With the support of a M.Eng (Thesis) student and the lab team: • Prepare Nitinol samples for characterization • Perform thermomechanical analysis using protocols developed with the graduate student.

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation to be presented to the composites research group - One SURE poster

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-034: Characterization of Thermal Dimensional Stability of Discontinuous Long Fibre Advanced Carbon Composites Materials
Professor:Pascal Hubert
E-mail: pascal.hubert [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986303
Website

Research Area: Composite materials


Description
Composite materials have been successfully replacing aircraft metal parts for the last decades due to their high strength–weight ratios, tailorability, life-cycle, and manufacturing advantages. An increasing interest has been shown by the aerospace industry in using discontinuous long fibre composite materials to manufacture components with complex shapes. Discontinuous long fibre (DLF) composites consist of pre-impregnated thermoset or thermoplastic tape chopped into small chips of predefined dimensions that offer the possibility to produce intricate features such as ribs and thickness variations. In this project, the SURE recipient will be required to manufacture DLF thermoplastic composite parts by compression-moulding and evaluate their thermal dimensional stability..

Tasks:
With the support of a Postdoctoral fellow and the lab team: - Manufacture discontinuous long fibre (DLF) carbon/PEEK composites by compression moulding - Characterize the thermal dimensional stability of the composites processed.

Deliverables:
- One written report - One oral presentation to be presented to the composites research group - One SURE poster

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

MECH-035: Friction characterization between catheters and vascular tissue
Professor:Rosaire Mongrain
E-mail: rosaire.mongrain [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 398-1576
Website

Research Area: Cardiovascular biomechanics


Description
Catheters and guidewires are frequently used for cardiovascular procedures for diagnoses and therapeutic interventions (stenting, drainage). The practitioner experiences significant resistance when navigating and positioning the catheter. This resistance is due to friction between the catheter body material and the endothelial surface of the vessel. This directly affects the precision of the positioning which is critical for the success of the procedure. It can also be responsible for vessel wall damage that can lead to detrimental and lethal consequences. However, there is limited knowledge and characterization of the friction between catheters and soft vascular wall surface. The friction is modeled with a non-linear relationship. The model takes into account the global friction coefficient, the sliding speed and the fluid viscosity, The model incorporates the blood properties under different flow regimes. Low sliding speed generates the highest friction thus producing the high resistance experienced by the practitioner. The project is about characterizing the effect of blood rheology on the overall friction..

Tasks:
The candidate will help develop the testing setup using standardized weights with a fix flat applicator attached to a linear motion system for force measurement. The candidate will also contribute for the preparation of the testing specimens using catheter material and hydrogel for simulating vascular tissue. The person will also be involved in the data analysis and curve fitting.

Deliverables:
-Experimental setup design -Polymer and hydrogel specimens preparation -Friction data collection and data fitting

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-036: Development of Numerical Methods for the Design of Natural Laminar Flow Aircraft Wings
Professor:Siva Nadarajah
E-mail: siva.nadarajah [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143985757
Website

Research Area: Fluid Mechanics, Aerodynamics, Numerical Methods, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Aircraft Design, Computational Aerodynamics


Description
The objective is to design the next-generation of environmentally friendly aircraft where extensive amount of laminar flow is present on the aircraft wings, engine nacelles, and the horizontal and vertical tails. The contribution towards the project will primarily fall within two areas. First, extend and employ an adjoint-based turbulence-transition model based on the gamma-Re_{theta} formulation for the analysis and design of three-dimensional flows. We have concluded extensive validations of the underlying transition model that have improved the robustness of the scheme as well as the accuracy for higher Reynolds numbers. Redesign of three two-dimensional airfoils for total drag while maintaining lift as well as increasing the lift-to-drag ratio has resulted in airfoils with Stratford-type pressure recoveries with a significant delay in the transition location. In the past year, we have extended the scheme for three-dimensional flows and currently extensive validation studies are being conducted. For the first month the student will linearize the three-dimensional transition model and validate the accuracy of the Jacobian matrices against that acquired through a complex-step approach. The next step would be to linearize both the far-field and wall boundary conditions for the transition model and ensure that they are accurate. The final step would be to include the Jacobians into the adjoint solver and subsequently verify the accuracy of the gradient. The project will provide the student with a greater in depth knowledge and experience in computational fluid dynamics, aircraft design, and the work will provide an improvement to our current capabilities..

Tasks:
The student will perform an aerodynamic design optimization at a single point of a simple two-dimensional geometry and perform a cross-comparison analysis. The aerodynamic performance of the final geometries will be investigated at off-design conditions as well as for a fully turbulent flow. Frequency of Contact with Supervisor: 2-4 per week

Deliverables:
(1) Algorithms to evaluate the sensitivity of the aerodynamic forces with respect to parameters that influence transition (2) Technical Report

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-037: Aerodynamic Design for Advanced Winglet Concepts
Professor:Siva Nadarajah
E-mail: siva.nadarajah [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143985757
Website

Research Area: Fluid Mechanics, Aerodynamics, Numerical Methods, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Aircraft Design, Computational Aerodynamics


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, induced drag accounts for approximately 40% of the airplane cruise drag. Current commercial aircraft utilize winglets and raked tips to reduce the induced 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:
First, the summer scholar will numerically investigate the accuracy of the computed induced 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 induced 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:
(1) Generate initial Aircraft wings with planform variations and winglet configurations. (2) Design a number of advanced winglets (3) Technical report.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-038: Development of a hydrogel mixer for gradient biomaterial 3D printing
Professor:Yaoyao Fiona Zhao
E-mail: yaoyao.zhao [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143982523
Website

Research Area: 3D printing, biomaterial, hydrogel


Description
The aims of this project is to develop and build a hydrogel mixer for the 3D printing of gradient biomaterials. The mixer needs to achieve the mixture of dissimilar hydrogel components at arbitrary mixing ratios. The mixer is connected to a customized syringe-based 3D printer..

Tasks:
Understand basic cross-linking mechanism of hydrogel materials. Investigate the mixing ratios of a given set of hydrogel materials Design and fabricate a mixer for the customized syringe-based 3D printer Conduct validation experiment to understand the properties of the gradient 3D printed materials

Deliverables:
A hydrogel mixer

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-039: Lift and drag on wind-borne firebrands that cause the spread of forest fire by the spotting process
Professor:Bantwal Baliga
E-mail: bantwal.baliga [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-6287
Website

Research Area: Experimental Fluid Mechanics


Description
Firebrands are burning pieces of branches, bark, twigs, etc. that are often ejected from the burning trees in a forest fire. Firebrands can be lofted by the fire plume, transported by the prevailing wind, land at locations up to a few kilometers from the main fire, and ignite new fires in a process called spotting. To accurately predict such propagation of forest fires, the dynamics of wind-borne firebrands must be well understood. In current versions of mathematical models used to predict the trajectories and evolution of wind-borne firebrands, the lift and drag on the firebrands are calculated using empirical correlations that are strictly applicable to smooth non-burning cylinders. Such models do not explicitly account for the effects of the porous char layer on the firebrands and the atmospheric turbulence. In the proposed work, burning branches and twigs will be modelled experimentally by cylindrical rods with porous outer layers of varying thickness and porosity (to emulate the burnt outer layer of char). The lift and drag will be measured using a wind-tunnel-balance and hot-wire anemometry in a wind tunnel in the McGill Aerodynamics Laboratory. The effect of differing levels of background turbulence (to emulate differing atmospheric conditions) will also be studied. The acquired data will ultimately be used to improve existing mathematical models and numerical predictions of the atmospheric transport of firebrands, to enable better predictions of the spread of forest fires, such as those in Fort McMurray in 2015, and the more recent ones in British Columbia and California..

Tasks:
1) Familiarization with the pertinent literature, wind tunnel, wind tunnel balance, and other experimental apparatus 2) Construction of cylinders with porous outer layers 3) Measurements of lift and drag on the cylinders with porous outer layers, in different orientations, using the wind tunnel balance in flows of varying turbulence intensity

Deliverables:
One written report summarizing the experiments undertaken during the SURE project

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 2

MECH-040: CANCELLED