Engineering Technical Communications Class Design Challenge Is No Bull!

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An undergraduate Engineering Technical Communications class recently had the unique opportunity to work with local industry leaders and create innovative designs to address a real need.  Students in a section of this Fall’s ENGR 2367 class piloted a collaborative educational model with representatives of Worthington Industries, a leader in the diversified metal manufacturing industry headquartered in central Ohio, and one of Worthington’s customers, Select Sires, a Plain City, Ohio-based industry leader in reproductive management solutions for dairy and beef producers.

An ENGR 2367 class design team shows their prototype for the design challenge.

An ENGR 2367 class design team shows their prototype for the design challenge.

The two companies presented their real-world problem to the class: they needed a vessel custom designed to effectively and safely transport hundreds of bull semen samples to farmers around the U.S.  Select Sires specializes in providing highly fertile, superior genetic products to enhance the productivity and profitability of their customers, dairy and beef producers.  The transportation of such a sensitive biological product faces many challenges, from temperature control to complex logistics management.  This challenge was not a typical assignment for the undergraduate students, who needed to quickly become knowledgeable about a broad range of topics including livestock breeding, shipping regulations, and the cost, use and limitations of raw materials such as stainless steel and expanded polystyrene.

A student design team presents their prototype to the audience.

A student design team presents their prototype to the audience.

The course was led by instructor Mary Faure, Director of the Engineering Technical Communications unit in the Department of Engineering Education, while the collaboration with Worthington Industries was facilitated by the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability staff at Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research (IMR), Dr. Jay Sayre, Assistant Vice President, and Kari Roth, Senior Technology Integrator.  This multidisciplinary pilot project attempted to fill gaps within the engineering curriculum by offering instruction and practice in communication through a high-quality, industry-led learning experience for students.  Industry partners engaged in conversations with students about their teams’ design responses to the problem, allowing the students to gain one-on-one attention from practicing engineers and to hone their interpersonal and communication skills while completing their projects.

Team presentation 3

A student design team shares their proposal with the class and judges.

“Today’s engineering students need engaging, contextually-positioned technical communications, project management, entrepreneurial thinking, and teamwork instruction and practice in order to perform well in advanced discipline-specific engineering classes, internships, capstone, and in their entry level engineering positions,” said Faure.  “This project was designed to provide important skill-building through an authentic, hands-on experience, which today’s students crave, while fulfilling an essential component of the General Education curriculum.  It gives students a unique experience without adding credit hours to their curriculum or cost to their college expenses.”

 

“This wasn’t just a hypothetical situation… It was a very real problem and we talked to real engineers, real businessmen from real companies, to solve a real need.” – Ben Beecroft, second-year student, computer science and engineering

 

Student design groups were able to present their final designs at an evening event in the new Materials Innovation space on Kinnear Road.  Each group was given up to 15 minutes to present their vessel design to the judges, Dr. Bill Benson and Michael Luh from Worthington Industries, and Mel DeJarnette with Select Sires. The lively presentations included videos, prototypes, and many unique suggestions to best transport Select Sires’ bull semen samples across the country safely to its customers.  All teams received constructive feedback from the judges, who had the difficult task of selecting a winning design.  Worthington Industries generously provided gift cards to all members of the winning team – Alex Machtay, Matt Rowland, Robert Jankovsky, and Adam DeNise.

The winning student design team (Alex Machtay, Matt Rowland, Robert Jankovsky, and Adam DeNise) joined by judges Mel DeJarnette with Select Sires and Dr. Bill Benson and Michael Luh from Worthington Industries

The winning student design team (Alex Machtay, Matt Rowland, Robert Jankovsky, and Adam DeNise) joined by judges Mel DeJarnette with Select Sires and Dr. Bill Benson and Michael Luh from Worthington Industries

The industry partners who participated in the pilot said they enjoyed working with the students, were surprised and pleased at the quality of their projects, and would welcome continuing the collaboration in the future with another cohort. One student from this class is now being considered for a summer internship with Worthington Industries.

The hope is that the success of this authentic, interdisciplinary learning experience paves the way for an “integrated curriculum” that crosses college boundaries, offering students of all majors engaging, high-quality learning experiences that more accurately prepare students to be effective in the workplace or in graduate schools regardless of their disciplinary interests.

Participants in the student design presentations event included ENGR 2367 students, instructor Mary Faure, and representatives from Worthington Industries, Select Sires, and the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program.

Participants in the student design presentations event included ENGR 2367 students, instructor Mary Faure, and representatives from Worthington Industries, Select Sires, and the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program.

Ardeshir Contractor Gives Energy and Environment Discovery Themes Seminar February 7

Join us Tuesday, February 7th at 2:00 PM for “Factors Influencing Product Innovation in Solar Markets,” an Energy and Environment Discovery Themes Seminar with Ardeshir Contractor, Founder and CEO of Kiran Energy, IMR Executive in Residence, and Ohio State Mechanical Engineering alumn. This talk will focus on both product innovation in solar energy and innovation in sustainability financing, and will be of interest to those working in materials science, energy policy, clean tech, entrepreneurship,  global sustainability, business and finance, and innovation.

 

Energy and Environment Discovery Themes Seminar

 

 

Contractor photoArdeshir Contractor, Founder and CEO, Kiran Energy

Factors Influencing Product Innovation in Solar Energy Markets

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2:00 – 3:30 PM

Mason Hall, 2nd Floor Rotunda, 250 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210

Reception immediately following program

Registration: Discovery Themes Survey RSVP 

 

 

 

Co-sponsored by the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme focus area, Institute for Materials Research and Fisher College of Business

 

Abstract

Background

In 2010, Ardeshir Contractor raised $80M from three US private equity investors and a joint venture with First Solar to build Kiran Energy – a solar energy utility at the forefront of India’s solar energy market.  In its journey, the company examined and deployed multiple innovative products seeking higher performance with leap-frog cost economics and also set early benchmarks in non-recourse project financing.

This talk will focus on both product innovation in solar energy and innovation in sustainability financing.  The size of the solar energy market is significant – nearing an annual investment in solar energy new power plants of $250B.  Solar modules, inverters, monitoring systems, and storage comprise most of this number.  The addressable market for the introduction of new solar technology or product innovation is very large and allows for immense scalability.  The solar market is truly global both in terms of markets and suppliers.

 

Product innovation in solar energy

The seminar will include a review of effective product introductions, many of which exhibit similar characteristics of product astuteness and a drive to forward-looking performance and commercial targets.  Not all successes have been smooth, some of the leaders have had setbacks including unforeseen technical issues.  The large amounts of investment required for manufacturing and selling implied a constant requirement to maintain the path and story of strong financial returns.  Blending aggressive technology and commercial innovation appears to have worked. It is useful to examine how such dual innovation is embedded in a product offering.

 

Innovation in sustainability financing

Solar energy components and systems are expected to function for 20-30 years and the overlay of bankability and financing are critical especially for innovative technology.  The long-term nature of the finance and returns – coupled with the very scale of the explosive investment needs – has required the development of new financial market products and market sources.  Very quickly the sustainable financing story has evolved from government and agency support to mainline financial markets.  However, analytical processes and the banking institutions are still retooling for this.  In addition, an asset that functions over such a long term would require financial evaluation and analysis methods that align with its characteristics.  The approach is to describe these efforts, the evolution of sustainable financing and what it implies to product innovation.

 

Speaker Biography 

Ardeshir Contractor chairs India’s solar energy task force at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and partners with the government in developing policy, standards, and technological opportunity for Indian manufacture in solar.  He is also an adjunct Research Associate with Edhec Infrastructure Institute, Singapore, investigating long term asset finance principles.  In December 2015, he addressed the United Nations at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), and he was deeply involved with the UN Environment Programme’s Enquiry on the design of a global sustainable financial system.  Mr. Contractor has served on the boards of Nature India, Government Committees, and Clean Energy Ministerial.  He received his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, was the recipient of the 2015 College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and is currently an Executive in Residence with the Institute for Materials Research.

 


Ohio State’s materials research engine and the Discovery Themes program it drives are helping to position Ohio State as a model 21st-century land-grant university focused on interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. The depth and breadth of our faculty, the ingenuity of our students and the global reach of our partners is at the heart of Discovery at Ohio State.

From Mobile Phones to Russian Dolls to MASERs – January 20

Join us January 20 for “From Mobile Phones to Russian Dolls to MASERs,” an IMR Distinguished Lecture with Neil Alford, Imperial College London. In 2011, Alford and his colleagues discovered that a Bragg resonator with sapphire plates of aperiodic thickness could achieve an extraordinarily high Q factor for the resonator. This led them to the discovery that it was possible to construct a MASER operating at room temperature and in the earth’s magnetic field. This research was published in Nature doi:10.1038/nature11339.

 

IMR Distinguished Lecture

From Mobile Phones to Russian Dolls to MASERs

 

alford-photoNeil Alford, Head of Department of Materials, Imperial College London

Friday, January 20, 2017

9:30 AM

Smith Seminar Room, 1080 Physics Research Building

 

Talk abstract and speaker bio: http://imr.osu.edu/seminarsandevents/imr-distinguished-lecture-series/

CEMAS Digital Theater Renamed OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory

The Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) hosted an event on Monday, June 13th, to dedicate and thank FEI Company for their continued support in developing the new digital learning environment. The digital theater is an electron microscopy training feature unique to CEMAS and the cornerstone of the facility’s commitment to providing full-service microscopy services to business and academia.

McComb Rice Kania

CEMAS Director David McComb, Vice President of FEI Company Materials Science Business Unit Trisha Rice, and CEO of FEI Company Don Kania with the plaque dedicating the digital theater

This digital environment, now named the Ohio State – FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory, reflects the efforts of CEMAS and FEI Company to expand the accessibility of electron microscopy to students, researchers, and industrial partners. During this event, a plaque celebrating FEI Company’s contributions to this collaboratory was unveiled, which is now permanently placed within the Electron Microscopy Collaboratory. Opening remarks were given by Ohio State’s Vice President for Research, Caroline Whitacre;  Dean of the College of Engineering, David Williams; the CEO of FEI Company, Don Kania; and the Director of CEMAS, David McComb.

 

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About the OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Colalboratory

World-class microscopy education in the theory of electron microscopy and all aspects of its use and operation is also available at CEMAS, both in-house and remotely, through our digital theater. Students have live access to CEMAS instruments in real time within a state-of-the-art classroom environment to meet every microscopy training need. Video wall technology provides multiple display screens and projectors, allowing simultaneous display of microscope controls, microscope outputs and lecture slides. Students and lecturers can interact with and operate electron and ion microscopes from within the digital theater in a live, seamless manner – as if one were sitting in front of the instrument. Control of the microscope can be transferred to members of the audience using wired and wireless connectivity.
The microscopes can also be shared with students and researchers at geographically distant locations. Remote operation capabilities connect directly to the 100 Gb/s Ohio OARnet network, providing a unique opportunity for remote teaching and research to partners across the state of Ohio. CEMAS is pioneering the practical application of this
technology for research and training of the next generation of electron microscopy specialists, providing an environment to facilitate world-class collaborative research, and maximizing productivity while minimizing economic and environmental impact. This remote electron microscopy collaboratory system has been installed at the University of Dayton,
The Ohio State University’s Wooster campus and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton), with additional locations planned for the near future.

 

 

For more information about the collaboratory, CEMAS, and its services, visit:

https://cemas.osu.edu/

2016 OSU Materials Week – Student Poster Awards

Congratulations to the 15 Ohio State students who received awards for having the highest rated posters and presentations at the two Student Poster Sessions at 2016 OSU Materials Week!

2016 Student Poster Award Winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ohio State President Michael Drake stopped by our closing session to say a few words about the importance of materials science on society, and congratulated the Student Poster Award winners.

 

 

2016 OSU Materials Week – Student Poster Awards

Michael Page, Physics (Advisor: P. Chris Hammel)

Sarah Watzman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Advisor: Joseph Heremans)

Kevin Galiano, Physics (Advisors: Jonathan Pelz, Physics and Steven Ringel, Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Paul Gilmore, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Advisors: Vishnu Sundaresan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Yiying Wu, Chemistry and Biochemistry),

Jose Lorie Lopez, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Advisors: Philip J. Grandinetti, and Anne C. Co)

Brandon Giles, Materials Science and Engineering (Advisor: Roberto Myers)

Steven Tjung, Physics (Advisor: Jay Gupta)

John Jamison, Materials Science and Engineering (Advisor: Roberto Myers)

William McCulloch, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Advisor: Yiying Wu)

Chris Ehemann, Physics (Advisor: John Wilkins)

Elizabeth Bushong, Physics (Advisor: Roland Kawakami)

Janani Sampath, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Advisor: Lisa Hall)

Travis Hery, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Advisor: Vishnu Baba Sundaresan)

Maxx Arguilla, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Advisor: Joshua Goldberger)

James Rowland, Physics (Advisor: Mohit Randeria)

 

For the full listing of their posters and co-authors, and other awards given at today’s closing session, visit: http://imr.osu.edu/seminarsandevents/materials-week/


 

2016 OSU Materials Week is brought to you by the OSU Institute for Materials Research (IMR) and the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme focus area

OSU-IMR-2C-HorizK-PANTONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2016 OSU Materials Week is sponsored by Center for Emergent Materials, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), and the Office of Energy and Environment