Mechanical Engineering

SURE: Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical
Engineering

 

 

MECH-001: Impact-induced reaction of energetic materials

Professor David Frost

david.frost [at] mcgill.ca
5143986279

Research Area

Energetic materials

Description

Some compacted mixtures of metal and metal oxide powders can react upon shock loading. Impact of an energetic metal fragment with a wall at high speeds can generate a sufficiently strong shock to initiate reaction. This project will focus on the use of a light gas gun and a test section to study the impact-induced fragmentation and reaction of various projectiles consisting of compacted powders. High-speed photography will be used to observe the fragmentation process, and emission spectroscopy will be used to infer the temperature of reacting fragments. Please contact Geoff Chase (geoff.chase [at] mail.mcgill.ca) to interview for this position.

Tasks

Assist with the development of diagnostics and the operation of the light gas gun to visualize the impact of a particle with an end wall and the subsequent fragmentation and reaction. Carry out tests with various particles and gas mixtures.

 

Deliverables

Prepare a comprehensive report describing the operation of the apparatus and experimental test results and analysis.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-002: Virtual Reality and Sensor Integration for Tree Harvesting Machine:

Professor Inna Sharf

inna.sharf [at] mcgill.ca
5143981711
https://fpinnovations.ca/ResearchProgram/forest-operations/flagship-init...

Research Area

Automation of Tree-harvesting Operations

Description

Professor Sharf is starting joint research with FPInnovations on increasing robotics and automation in tree harvesting machinery. In particular, she would like to develop virtual reality (VR) for the machine, its immediate environment and interaction between machine and environment. This topic is motivated by the need for having a ‘digital twin’ of the system, that is a high-fidelity simulator that can be used for visualization, development and evaluation of new control and motion planning strategies for automating aspects of tree cutting operations. The simulator will be developed using Vortex software for a particular tree harvesting machine: the feller buncher. This is a complex articulated machine comprised of a tracked or wheeled mobile base with an articulated hydraulic arm equipped with a special purpose end-effector for cutting (felling) and gathering several cut trees, before they are placed on the ground for further processing. A big aspect of the modeling effort will go into creating representative and useful models of the environment in which the machine operates, in particular, the terrain modeling and the forest modeling. Another aspect to be investigated is the selection and integration of sensors to be placed on the machine to collect data that can assist initially in model development and ultimately in closed-loop control. FPInnovations has developed FPdat which is a box integrated on the feller buncher for collecting various diagnostic and operational data on the machine. We need to understand what data is currently being collected and whether FPdat can be used to integrate additional proprioceptive and exteroceptive sensors, such as cameras or lidar on the machine. This is a secondary aspect of the work, time permitting.

Tasks

1) Familiarize and learn basic aspects of Vortext Dynamics Software 2) Develop a basic model of the feller buncher in Vortex Dynamics 3) Integrate into the model realistic terrain properties, and a virtual forest 4) Test and validate the model through a series of maneuvers of the machine 5) Integrate into the model the specialized end-effector and tree-cutting operation

 

Deliverables

A basic model of feller-buncher and its environment; validation of the model through a series of maneuvers; report summarizing the model and the validation tests

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-003: Collaborative tasks for a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles

Professor Inna Sharf

inna.sharf [at] mcgill.ca
5143981711

Research Area

Unmanned aerial vehicles

Description

Professor Sharf has an ongoing collaboration with a local company developing collaborative behaviours for swarms of UAVs. Currently, we are investigating collaborative transport of a payload with several UAVs. Other topics of interest include dealing with an intruding UAV and autonomous recharging of UAVs. Student will have an opportunity to work on extending sim capabilities and algorithms developed to date, system integration and testing with UAVs. A minimum 3.5 CGPA is desired with completion of Year 2..

Tasks

1) familiarize with simulation tools developed to date; 2) extend sim capabilities and algorithms; 3) carry out electro-mechanical design and testing necessary for demonstration on real vehicles; 4) provide assistance during flight testing

 

Deliverables

Demonstration on a fleet of 3-4 vehicles; final report documenting the work

Number of positions

2

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-004: Study of discrete flames in suspensions of metal particles

Professor Jeff Bergthorson

jeffrey.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
5143982003
http://afl.mcgill.ca

Research Area

Combustion

Description

owders 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. In some instances, the combustion process may occur in the so-called discrete regime of propagation, in which the properties of the flame significantly differ from classical combustion theory. This project investigates experimentally the properties of dicrete flames. Contact Jan Palecka (jan.palecka [at] mail.mcgill.ca) to interview for position.

Tasks

Carry out experiments to study discrete flame propagation in tubes. 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

No preference

MECH-005: Emissions Modelling under Uncertainty

Professor Jeff Bergthorson

jeffrey.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
5143982003
http://afl.mcgill.ca

Research Area

Combustion

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 chemical models perform relatively well at atmospheric conditions, but emissions predictions at pressures relevant to the gas turbine industry present significant discrepancies with experimental measurements. With the complexities involved in designing an apparatus to study NOx formation at elevated pressures, few measurements are available to optimize and constrain chemical model. By identifying sensitive parameters at engine conditions, one can develop experiments at lower pressures, achievable in the laboratory, that trigger a similar set of parameters to further our knowledge of pollutant formation. The student will have to identify such experimental conditions that can be performed in the available experimental setups in the Alternative Fuels Laboratory. Under physically realistic uncertainty limits, this design of experiments will support the ongoing experimental campaign to better understand the formation of NO to reduce emissions in the gas turbine industry. Contact Antoine Durocher: antoine.durocher [at] mail.mcgill.ca to interview for position.

Tasks

Perform a Design of Experiment (DOE) to identify low-pressure conditions where a similar set of chemical reactions are active as for pressures found in gas turbines.

 

Deliverables

Experimental conditions to perform NO measurements. A detailed report summarizing the analysis and the implication of the DOE on future experiments.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

MECH-006: Reaction of Metal Powders with Water for Sustainable Hydrogen Production

Professor Jeff Bergthorson

jeff.bergthorson [at] mcgill.ca
5143982003
http://afl.mcgill.ca

Research Area

Alternative 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 modelling the hydrogen and steam flowrates and ratios of hydrogen to steam needed to power a gas turbine engine. Preliminary work on the development of a prototype reactor may also be part of the project. The goal is to further our understanding of such a fuel system and move toward the development of a prototype. Please contact Keena Trowell (keena.trowell [at] mail.mcgill.ca) to interview for the position.

Tasks

Carry out calculations needed to design a prototype metal-water reactor to be used in a power application

 

Deliverables

Prepare a comprehensive report presenting findings from the above research

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-007: Aerodynamic loads on unmanned aerial systems

Professor Jovan Nedic

jovan.nedic [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-4858
http://fluids.lab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Experimental aerodynamics

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) Perform aerodynamic load measurements in a quiescent environment; 2) Repeat measurements in a low-speed wind tunnel to check for confinement effects and ascertain change in performance for various UAS orientations.

 

Deliverables

Data acquired during the measurements, plus any controllers developed for the control of the system during experimentation. A final report, written in LaTeX, which includes the analysis and discussion of the aerodynamic performance.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-008: Validation and analysis of a multi-fan wind tunnel facility

Professor Jovan Nedic

jovan.nedic [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-4858
http://fluids.lab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Experimental fluid dynamics, control, unsteady aerodynamics

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. To study the unsteady aerodynamics effects, a unique multi-fan (81 fans in total) wind tunnel has been developed at McGill, where each fan can be independently controlled to create bespoke unsteady velocity fields. This SURE project aims at developing a robust controller that can create bespoke velocity fields, as well as perform some rudimentary flow field analysis.

Tasks

1) Determine dynamic response of multi-fan wind tunnel facility. 2) Development and validation of a controller to create steady, shear and parabolic velocity profiles. 3) Development and validation of a controller for random fan speed array to create bespoke turbulence profiles. All velocity field measurements will be taken with hot-wire anemometry.

 

Deliverables

LabVIEW code with controller for different flow scenarios. A video clearly demonstrating how the code work. A final report with the same details, as well as analysis and discussion on the flow field properties developed by the multi-fan wind tunnel.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-009: Modelling the effect of mechanical properties and structural flexibility in planetary exploration rovers

Professor Jozsef Kovecses

jozsef.kovecses [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-6302

Research Area

Mechanical Engineering

Description

The Applied Dynamics Laboratory at McGill has been conducting research on the dynamics behaviour of planetary exploration rovers for almost ten years. Interaction 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. Models of these vehicles have been developed to simulate and analyze obstacle negotiation manoeuvres involving impacts. However, rigid-body models fail to capture the effect of structural rover flexibility, which can significantly change vehicle behaviour and the outcome of the manoeuvre. This project aims to further 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; novel representations of the rover stiffness distribution will be developed. Impact and contact manoeuvres will be simulated to represent common operation scenarios, evaluating how stiffness distribution affects obstacle negotiation for different robot configurations, mass distributions, and operating velocities. These 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

- Developing interaction models among components of a rover to represent structural properties. - Building models of the most common planetary exploration rover designs (e.g., rocker-bogie, double bogie). - Studying the relevant sources of flexibility in each rover design. - Evaluating the effect of configuration and stiffness distribution on the forces and torques experienced by the rover during obstacle negotiation. - Defining performance indicators and actuation guidelines to optimize obstacle negotiation manoeuvres with exploration rovers.

 

Deliverables

A report on the modelling and analysis of structural flexibility on obstacle negotiation manoeuvres with planetary exploration rovers.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-010: Recycling of Aerospace Waste Composite Materials

Professor Larry Lessard

Larry.Lessard [at] mcgill.ca
6305

Research Area

Composite Materials

Description

As composite material usage continues to increase, so does the waste generated by the manufacturing process and from end-of-life parts. The aim is to find solutions for recycling of both carbon and fibreglass from aerospace sources. They must be reprocessed into useful products in a sustainable way.

Tasks

Work with graduate students on experimental aspects of recycling Characterization of recycled materials Material testing

 

Deliverables

Develop a manufacturing process Developi a suitable test plan Conduct a meaningful series of tests

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

MECH-011: Further refinement of a high spatial and temporal resolution pressure sensor for turbulence measurements

Professor Laurent Mydlarski

laurent.mydlarski [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-6293

Research Area

Fluid mechanics / turbulence

Description

A high spatial and temporal resolution static pressure sensor has been developed by two previous SURE students. This sensor requires further refinement, to increase its signal-to-noise ratio at high frequencies (> 1 kHz).

Tasks

1) Become familiar with the current pressure sensor 2) Propose a refined design to improve its performance 3) Design and build the second version of the sensor 4) Test the sensor in both a turbulent jet and in high-Reynolds-number, grid-generated wind tunnel turbulence. 5) Prepare a report summarizing the student's activities

 

Deliverables

A report documenting i) the new design of the pressure sensor, and ii) its performance.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-012: Experiments on large amplitude vibrations

Professor Marco Amabili

marco.amabili [at] mcgill.ca
5143983068

Research Area

Mechanical vibrations and dynamics

Description

The research focuses on experimental activity to identify the nonlinear damping and nonlinear stiffness of mechanical systems. Very advanced laser Doppler instrumentation will be applied. Data analysis and simulations will follow.

Tasks

Experimental activity in collaboration with post-doctoral and graduate students. Data analysis and simulations.

 

Deliverables

Experimental and numerical data.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-013: Modelling and optimization of a floating modular cover for direct absorption solar receivers

Professor Melanie Tetreault-Friend

melanie.tetreault-friend [at] mcgill.ca
5143986949
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038092X18310

Research Area

Thermofluids/Alternative Energy Technologies

Description

Harnessing the Sun’s energy into a renewable, low-carbon heat source for power generation is the basis of solar thermal energy technologies. Concentrated solar power plants use mirrors to concentrate natural sunlight hundreds to thousands of times, producing excess thermal energy during the day that can be stored at low-cost, and used during night-time operation to dispatch electricity 24/7. Increasing the operating temperatures of the solar receivers used to capture and convert solar energy into thermal energy leads to higher heat engine efficiencies, which in turn reduces the levelized cost of electricity. However, the benefits of operating at higher temperatures are often offset by significant thermal losses. We recently developed a new solar-transparent floating modular cover for molten salt solar receivers. The insulating cover significantly reduces convective and radiative losses, and minimizes the surface area available for evaporation losses. This project will focus on modelling and testing the radiative losses through the insulating cover to further optimize the design. Monte Carlo ray tracing methods will be used to calculate photon transport in the system. Students interested in alternative energy technologies, numerical methods, radiative heat transfer, and optics are encouraged to apply.

Tasks

(1) Develop a Monte Carlo Ray-Tracing simulation in Matlab to parametrically study losses for different floating geometries. (2) Develop a preliminary lab-scale experiment to verify the results experimentally.

 

Deliverables

Prepare a report describing the code developed and the design and procedure for the lab-scale experiments.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-014: Flight Testing, Hardware Interfacing for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Professor Meyer Nahon

Meyer.Nahon [at] mcgill.ca
5143982383
http://aerospacemechatronics.lab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Dynamics and Control

Description

The 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

2

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-015: Development of composites with shape memory alloys

Professor Pascal Hubert

pascal.hubert [at] mcgill.ca
5143986303

Research Area

Composites

Description

Smart composites are an active field of research and development, with many challenges to be overcome prior to widespread commercialization. This SURE project will address one of those challenges, the processing of shape memory alloy wires to be integrated into Smart Composites. The SURE student will work with a graduate student to calibrate and validate a fixture which allows SMA wires to be thermomechanically cycled.

Tasks

The student will prepare samples using the SMA processing fixture, and then test those samples using DSC, DMA, and resistivity measurements to confirm the fixture functionality. Following that, the student will work to improve the fixture by further automating the process.

Deliverables

At the completion of the project the SURE student will provide a written report and oral presentation detailing and discussing their experimental methods, results, and conclusions to the Structures & Composite Materials Laboratory group. The student will also create a poster in accordance with SURE requirements.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-016: 3D printed cores for the fabrication of composite sandwich structures by liquid moulding processes

Professor Pascal Hubert

pascal.hubert [at] mcgill.ca
5143986303

Research Area

Composites

Description

Sandwich structures, which consists of two thin face sheet materials separated by a low-density core, are highly efficient constructions which applications in a broad array of industries (aerospace, marine, wind energy, etc.). They are mainly recognized for their high specific flexural rigidity but also boast excellent energy absorption, thermal and acoustic properties. In a sandwich construction, the exterior face sheets react in-plane loads and bending moments while the core reacts out-of-plane loads and provides shear rigidity. Fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) represent ideal face sheet materials due to their high in-plane stiffness properties and low-density cellular materials such as honeycomb are classically used as core structures. The fabrication of FRP parts by liquid molding processes such as resin transfer molding and vacuum assisted resin infusion offer appealing advantages over hand layup of prepreg material. Lower cycles times and material costs, out-of-autoclave curing, near net-shape parts as well as the possibility to incorporate details prior to molding justify why liquid molding processes are now widely used across the industry. However, due to the low viscosity of the resin, core materials are limited to closed cell foams which present lower performance to weight ratio compared to open cell honeycomb. Additive manufacturing (AM) opens new opportunities to fabricate novel composite sandwich structures. Through AM, the barrier of geometric complexity is broken and highly optimized core structures presenting double-curvature surfaces, improved cell architectures and graded-densities can be considered. The proposed research project focuses on developing 3D printed cores adapted to liquid molding processes. Based on literature research and experimentation, the objectives of the project are to provide information on key design parameters such as wall thicknesses, in-fill patterns and in-fill percentages as well as an evaluation of important mechanical properties of the sandwich construction such as core-to-face sheet bond strength and flexural properties.

Tasks

• Conduct literature survey on 3D printing of cores for sandwich structures • Define 3D printing parameters to be studied based on the literature research • Produce experimental plan to evaluate mechanical properties of the sandwich construction • Fabricate test specimens: o Design sandwich structures o Fabricate core structures using FDM printer o Fabricate sandwich panels by vacuum resin infusion process o Cut and prepare test specimens from panels • Conduct experiments • Document results

 

Deliverables

• Written report documenting the research and results. • Design guidelines for the fabrication of cores by AM.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-017: Development of a viscoelastic vascular graft

Professor Rosaire Mongrain

rosaire.mongrain [at] mcgill.ca
5149243521

Research Area

Cardiovascular biomechanics, implant design, soft tissue mechanics, blood flow, numerical simulations, phantom design and experiments

Description

Current synthetic vascular implants are fabricated using standard textile manufacturing techniques such as weaving, knitting, braiding and exhibit negligible viscoelastic and bi-directional capabilities. An artery shows a very low stress response at low pressures and exhibits a steep increase as the pressure is increased. On the other hand, a woven Dacron graft exhibits a linear response with low deformation. The viscoelasticity property influences the hemodynamic behavior and assist in attenuating forward pressure pulses. The project aims at investigating new materials to bio-mimic the viscoelastic properties of native tissue.

Tasks

Characterization and modeling of viscoelastic hydrogels using dedicated bio-mechanical testers (bi-axial DMA, micro-nano indenter, profilometer).

 

Deliverables

The candidate will contribute for the identification of visco-elastic properties of hydrogels.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-018: Understanding the environmental impact of bioresources in aerospace part design and usage

Professor Yaoyao Fiona Zhao

yaoyao.zhao [at] mcgill.ca
5143982523

Research Area

Sustainable manufacturing Eco-design Additive manufacturing Life cycle assessment

Description

This project aims to analyze the environmental impact when bioresources such as bio-fuel and bio-renewable material is used in the design and usage of additively manufactured products. The case studies in this project will focus on aerospace component design and usage.

Tasks

1: establish unit process of alternative fuel or renewable material in life cycle assessment 2: conduct life cycle assessment of the alternative fuel or renewable material with products designed and fabricated via additive manufacturing process 3: conduct comparative life cycle assessment of conventionally manufactured product 4: analyze the life cycle assessments results and produce recommendations to AM designers

 

Deliverables

1: develop unit process model for selected bio-fuel and renewable material 2: incorporate the process model with established AM design methodology 3: produce comparative life cycle assessment results

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 2

MECH-019: Development of Numerical Methods for the Design of Natural Laminar Flow Aircraft Wings

Professor Siva Nadarajah

sivakumaran.nadarajah [at] mcgill.ca
5143985757

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-020: Aerodynamic Design for Advanced Winglet Concepts

Professor Siva Nadarajah

sivakumaran.nadarajah [at] mcgill.ca
5143985757

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-021: Aerodynamics of cylinders with an outer layer of porous media, with applications to the spread of forest fires by the spotting mechanism

Professor Bantwal R. (Rabi) Baliga

bantwal.baliga [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-6287

Research Area

Aerodynamics

Description

In the spread of forest fires by the spotting mechanism, burning pieces of branches and bark, cones, twigs, and leaves (called firebrands) are ejected from the burning trees into the prevailing winds, transported to locations up to a few kilometers from the main fire, and ignite new fires. To accurately predict such propagation of forest fires, the aerodynamics of wind-borne firebrands must be well understood. In current versions of cost-effective mathematical models of spotting, 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 (that forms on the firebrands) and the atmospheric turbulence. The importance of including these effects has been conclusively demonstrated by recent work undertaken in the Aerodynamics Laboratory at McGill. In the proposed SURE project, the drag on cylinders, without and with an outer layer of porous media (to mimic the porosity and depth of the char layer), in cross flow, with turbulence intensity in the range 0.4%-13%, will be investigated. The goal is to quantify the related effects, and propose suitable correlations that could be incorporated in mathematical models for cost-effective numerical predictions of the spotting process. The long-range goal is to contribute to improved strategies for containing and extinguishing forest fires.

Tasks

1) Familiarization with the pertinent literature, wind tunnel, passive and active grids, hot-wire anemometry, a wind tunnel balance, and related experimental apparatus; 2) Construction of cylinders with porous outer layers; 3) Measurements of drag on the cylinders, with and without porous outer layers (of different porosity and depth), in cross flows of varying turbulence intensity, and formulation of suitable correlations.

Deliverables

One written report summarizing the experiments undertaken during the SURE project, along with a concise presentation and discussion of the results.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-022: Fatigue Mechanics of Soft Biomaterials

Professor Jianyu Li

jianyu.li [at] mcgill.ca
(514) 398-1526
https://sites.google.com/view/libiomater/home

Research Area

Fracture mechanics, biomaterials

Description

Recent progress highlights novel biomaterials with unprecedented mechanical performance that open up many opportunities in engineering and medicine. However, little is know about the fatigue fracture behavior of soft biomaterials like hydrogels. This project is to develop and apply new methods in experimental mechanics to characterize the fatigue fracture properties of hydrogels and to correlate the findings with biomedical applications such as tissue repair and tissue adhesives.

Tasks

The student needs to learn knowledge and experimental techniques related to fatigue mechanics and soft biomaterials, and conduct material synthesis and mechanical characterization independently, in addition to the literature review.

Deliverables

Literature review, material synthesis, fatigue and fracture characterization.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-023: Rotor-Stator Flow Interaction In Rotating Liquid Cavities for Magnetized Target Fusion

Professor Andrew Higgins

andrew.higgins [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-6297

Research Area

Themofluids/Energy

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 stationary mesh into a rotating mesh that assists in shaping the cavity, but the flow through this rotor-stator 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.

Tasks

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

1

Academic Level

No preference

MECH-024: Testing of Lightsails for Laser-Driven Interstellar Flight

Professor Andrew Higgins

andrew.higgins [at] mcgill.ca
5143986297

Research Area

Aerospace

Description

The use of lasers to propel sails via direct photon pressure has the potential to achieve very high velocity spaceflight, greatly exceeding traditional chemical and electric propulsion sources, and enables the serious consideration of interstellar flight. However, the dynamics and stability of thin sails (lightsails) under intense laser illumination is an outstanding problem. The impact of the interstellar medium and dust grains are also a concern, particularly during laser drive. This project will examine the dynamics of very thin membranes both theoretically and experimentally. The response of a lightsail to perturbation will be analyzed both analytically and via computer simulation. Use of gasdynamic loading techniques (shock tube) and impact loading (gas gun) will enable the same conditions encountered in spaceflight to be applied in the laboratory, but without the use of gigawatt-class lasers. Experimental diagnostic techniques (photonic doppler velocimetry, 3-D digital image correlation) will be developed to study the lightsail dynamics that will eventually be applied to a laser-driven sail proof-of-concept facility.

Tasks

Student 1: Will examine the dynamics of sails under dynamic loading both experimentally and via finite element modelling. The experiments will use gasdynamic techniques to simulate the loading of the laser. Student 2: Will examine the impact of interstellar medium (protons, alpha particles) via molecular dynamics modelling. Concepts for shielding against charged fundamental particles will be explored. Student 3: Will examine impact of dust grains on thin films. Experimental tests will be conducted with a small gas gun. Concepts for shielding against dust grains will also be explored.

Deliverables

Student 1: Detailed drawings of design, report describing operation, and analysis of all shock tube experiments performed will be delivered. The modelling code (Matlab, etc.) will be fully documented and delivered. Student 2: A simulation code for modeling interaction with interstellar medium will be developed and validated against test cases in literature and available codes. A design of a sail with shielding elements will be presented and documented. Student 3:Detailed drawings of design, report describing operation, and analysis of all gas gun experiments performed will be delivered. The modelling code (Matlab, etc.) will be fully documented and delivered.

Number of positions

3

Academic Level

No preference

MECH-025: Rapid Transit within the Solar System via Laser Thermal Propulsion

Professor Andrew Higgins

andrew.higgins [at] mcgill.ca
5143986297

Research Area

Aerospace

Description

Directed energy in the form of a ground or space-based laser providing power to a spacecraft is a disruptive technology that could enable a number of rapid-transit missions in the solar system and interstellar precursor missions. This project will compare two different approaches for a spacecraft to utilize beamed laser power: (1) laser thermal propulsion, wherein a laser is focused into a chamber to heat propellant that is expanded through a nozzle and (2) laser electric propulsion, wherein a laser directed onto a photovoltaic array generates electricity to power electric propulsion (ion engine, etc.). These two concepts will be compared for a number of missions of interest, as defined by NASA: (1) Earth orbit to Mars orbit in no more than 45 days and (2) Traversing a distance of 125 AU in no more than ten years.

Tasks

Student will develop mission design for Rapid Transit within the Solar System using laser-driven thermal propulsion in comparison to laser-powered electric propulsion. A mission-design calculator will be developed to compare these two missions.

Deliverables

Design documents (spreadsheets, MATLAB code) for mission designs will be provided with documentation. A validated and tested online calculator for mission design calculations will be delivered.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-026: Robot Navigation Strategies in Unknown Environments

Professor James Forbes

james.richard.forbes [at] mcgill.ca
514 398 7142

Research Area

Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Marine Engineering

Description

Vehicles that are able to autonomously move in the air, on the ground, or underwater 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. This SURE project will focus on sensor fusion with application to the air and/or underwater robotics domains using both traditional tools, such as the Kalman filter, and untraditional tools, such as Gaussian process regression. 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 data, or more with theory.

Tasks

Literature review. Formulation of problem. Implementation of various filters.

Deliverables

Report written in latex. Code written in matlab or C++.

Number of positions

2

Academic Level

Year 3

MECH-027: Design and assembly of a robotic spine V3

Professor Mark Driscoll

mark.driscoll [at] mcgill.ca
514-399-6299
https://www.mcgill.ca/mbr/

Research Area

Biomechanics

Description

If you are lucky, you have spinal stability and are free of discomfort. Unfortunately, for many, a form of collapse or mechanical failure is present. 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 such as Canada and, more locally, in the province of Quebec. The presentation of a spinal disorder, mechanically, represents a flawed stability mechanism. To better study spinal disorders and plausible solutions to correct such disorders, an analogue or robotic spine was designed. This spine uses synthetic bones (sawbones), elastics, and pneumatic muscles (McKibens). The spine has been assembled in a manner that muscle activity may be controlled by way of inflating the pneumatic muscles while the corresponding movement is documented and compared to in vivo or regular human movement. The role of this year’s SURE project will be to automate the spine robot’s behavior through control of air compressor, electric valves (currently they are manual), a positional tracking system, and to link all to a computer control system. Once complete, the robot spine should be able to move in a controlled physiological like manner while being submitted to a compressional weight.

Tasks

Compare different loading and response scenarios

Deliverables

Report on behaviour of spine in regards to loading.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3