COSI Academy Students Experience Science in Action at Nanotech West

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IMR staff recently hosted a group of high school students from COSI Academy, an exploration program for high school students interested in STEM and STEM related careers.  Run through the Center for Science and Industry (COSI), Columbus’ science museum, the COSI Academy connects students with professionals in the areas of engineering, biotechnology and health and medicine through site visits to local science-based corporations, organizations, and universities, guest speakers, and hands-on activities.

COSI Academy students watch an instrumentation demonstration at Nanotech West Lab – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

 

Twelve students toured the Nanotech West Lab facility on April 8, including its cleanroom and Materials Innovation Lab, and learned about different career paths in STEM fields. Nanotech West Lab is Ohio State’s nanofabrication research facility and the largest and most comprenhesive micro- and nanotechnology user facility in the state of Ohio. The lab is home to more than 50 large pieces of user accessible material synthesis, fabrication and metrology equipment and research capabilities include e-beam lithography, nanolithography, device fabrication, MOCVD epitaxy, device processing, and clean room processing.

 

IMR Member of Technical Staff Aimee Price discusses nanotechnology with COSI Academy students in the Materials Innovation Lab – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

COSI Academy students gowned up to tour the Nanotech West cleanroom – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

 

This outreach event was well received by the COSI Academy students and their chaperones, and our staff enjoyed the opportunity to share their work with the next generation of scientists. Students particularly enjoyed the monochromator demonstration by Nanotech West engineer Dave Hollingshead, and seeing the plotter in action on the feature wall of the Materials Innovation Lab.

 

Senior Technology Integrator Kari Roth explains the Materials Innovation model being developed through IMR’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

All photos courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

M&MS Hosts New Faculty Welcome Event

IMR recently hosted a welcome event for the nine new faculty members who have joined The Ohio State University through our Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability  (M&MS) program. The event was informative as well as social – an opportunity for the faculty hires to meet and learn more about their research endeavors.

New faculty hired through the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) program attended an informal gathering in the Materials Innovation Lab

With five of the new hires starting in January 2017, this informal gathering, held at our Materials Innovation Lab on Kinnear Road, was the first official event where all of the faculty hires were able to meet one another and discuss their backgrounds and research interests.  Steve Ringel, IMR Executive Director and M&MS Faculty Director, offered a brief presentation with an overview of the M&MS initiative, its goals and activities to date, and IMR’s programs and opportunities.

Steve Ringel, IMR Executive Director and M&MS Faculty Director, provides an overview of IMR and M&MS

Presentation slide showing the building of the M&MS faculty cohort with its first nine hires

Each M&MS faculty member then shared a short, one slide presentation introducing their work, followed by additional time to network and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Professor Jeanie (Chun Ning) Lau, Physics, discusses her research activities

The nine M&MS faculty hires who joined The Ohio State University during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years are:

 

  • Marc Bockrath, Professor, Physics
  • Carolin Fink, Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Ned Hill, Professor, Public Affairs, City and Regional Planning
  • John Horack, Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy and Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Glenn College of Public Policy
  • Joerg Jinschek, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Jung-Hyun Kim, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering
  • Sanjay Krishna, George R. Smith Chair in Engineering and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Chun Ning (Jeanie) Lau, Professor, Physics
  • Farhang Pourboghrat, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Integrated Systems Engineering

 

With twelve additional faculty searches currently active, we continue to build the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability cohort of people, research and innovation within our Discovery Themes program.

 

Steve Ringel, Dr. Jay Sayre (Assistant Vice President of M&MS), and M&MS Professor Farhang Pourboghrat

Professor Sanjay Krishna and Jay Sayre

New M&MS Professors Carolin Fink and Joerg Jinschek

 

 

M&MS Leaders Participate in Germany-US Industry 4.0 Workshop

The Ohio Manufacturing Institute, University of Cincinnati and Ohio partners recently hosted a workshop featuring a delegation of industry, university and economic development representatives from the Baden-Württemberg state of Germany. The March 27th international workshop featured discussion on how Ohio and Germany are participating in the fourth industrial revolution, or “Industry 4.0,” the current trend of manufacturing technologies maximizing efficiency through automation and data exchange.

The workshop included keynote addresses by representatives from GE Aviation and Baden-Württemberg addressing the question of automation and how the workspace will evolve in the future.  Panel discussions on “Smart Factories – Towards the Factory of the Future,” and “Work 4.0 – How Next Generation Industries Will Change the Working Reality of the Future” included three experts IMR’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) program – moderator Glenn Daehn, Fontana Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and M&MS Deputy Faculty Director, and panelists Jay Sayre, Assistant Vice President for M&MS and IMR Director of Innovation and Ned Hill, Professor of Public Administration and City and Regional Planning, who was hired in 2015 through the M&MS program.  The workshop concluded with an evening reception attended by state government and university dignitaries.

 

Presentations from the Industry 4.0 workshop are available on OMI’s website: https://omi.osu.edu/Industry4.0

Engineering Technical Communications Class Design Challenge Is No Bull!

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.