DEVELOPMENT OF CONTROL ALGORITHMS FOR SATELLITE RENDEZVOUS AND AUTONOMOUS SPACE ROBOTIC MANIPULATOR

Position type: NSERC USRA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: George Zhu

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: gzhu@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

The project deals with control of satellite rendezvous and autonomous robotic manipulator in space. It will focus on the development of a real-time and vision-based pose and motion estimation control algorithm of a non-cooperative target by photogrammetry and extended Kalman filter for robotic manipulators to perform autonomous capture. Optical flow algorithm will be used to track the target to increase the image processing efficiency for real-time pose and motion estimation of the target. Close-loop position-based visual servo control strategy will be used to control a robotic manipulator to capture target autonomously.

The position will be focused on hands-on experimental works. We want to test our control algorithms using two air-bearing satellite simulators in zero-gravity condition. One satellite simulator will move along a pre-defined path and attitude with star-tracking navigation system and cold-gas thrusters. Another satellite simulator with a robotic arm will track the moving satellite and capture it autonomously.

Duties and responsibilities:

Implement control algorithm, conducted the experiments and improve the hardware of testing system if needed.

Requirements for technical skills: Dynamics, mechanical and electronic hardware, Matlab and Labview coding, data acquisition and analysis

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Team worker

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Mechanical and space engineering programs


microfluidic devices for disease diagnosis and drug screening applications

Position type: NSERC USRA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Pouya Rezai

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: prezai@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Our lab focuses on developing microfluidic devices for disease diagnosis and drug screening applications. We are interested in investigating the interactions between fluids and microscale objects in microenvironments at the fundamental level. We use the knowledge for developing miniaturized devices for various health and environment monitoring applications.

On the diagnostics side, we make miniaturized devices and use inertial, magnetic, elastic and other forces to sort and separate micro-particles and cells in multi-phase flows with various Newtonian and non-Newtonian properties. Our current interest is in sorting and separation of magnetic microparticles in non-Newtonian ferrofluids. These devices will have applications in point-of-care detetction of biohazards and diagnosis of disease biomarkers.

On the drug screening side, we develop Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC) devices for manipulation, chemical exposure, and neuronal and behavioral screening of various biological models of human disease. Our current projects involve testing C. elegans, D. melanogaster, D. rerio and various cells in LoC devices to enable automated and quantitative investigation of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease. Our technologies will have applications in chemical screening and toxicology in the drug discovery industry.

Duties and responsibilities:

We are seeking candidates who are highly motivated and ambitious for research in bioengineering and multi-phase micro-flows. Students in our lab will be responsible for defining research milestones, microfabrication of devices, testing the devices with various biological samples, interpretation of results and weekly delivery to the group, writing reports, and working in teams of graduate and undergraduate students.

Requirements for technical skills: Work well in a team. High level of attention to details. Strong communication skills.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Highly motivated, organized, and punctual.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Knowledge of fluid mechanics and general understanding of biology are assets.


Development of Navigation and Control System for Unmanned Aerial/Ground Vehicles

Position type: LURA

Department: Earth and Space Science and Engineering

Professor: Jinjun Shan

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: jjshan@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

This project is to develop control and navigation algorithms for multiple unmanned aerial-ground vehicles currently available at Spacecraft Dynamics Control and Navigation Laboratory (SDCNLab). Artificial Intelligence may be employed to improve the control and navigation accuracy.

Duties and responsibilities:

(1) Development of control and navigation systems for unmanned vehicles;

(2) Experimental studies;

(3) Prepare technical report.

Requirements for technical skills: Good programming skills

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Good communication skills

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Engineering students, completed ENG 4550


Fan-assisted solar walls for building heating applications

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Paul O’Brien

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: paul.obrien@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

A solar-heated wall (Trombe-Michel wall) will be fabricated with a ventilation channel sandwiched between an insulating wall (inside the building) and an outer wall that contains a thermal energy storage (TES) medium. Experiments will be performed wherein the wall comprising the TES material (e.g. a phase change material for latent heat storage) is heated with solar simulated light, and the heat stored in the wall is transferred through the ventilation channel to the “building interior”. The heat will be transferred through the ventilation channel to the building interior using Smart Booster Fans, which are quiet, low-powered fans equipped with temperature sensors. In general, Smart Booster Fans can be installed in vents throughout a home to measure the local temperature at different locations and, through wireless communication, operate in concert to optimize air flow to efficiently achieve the desired temperature at different zones throughout a home. The objective of this research project is to use a Smart Booster Fan (integrated into the solar-heated wall) to offset the buildings heating load to the greatest extent possible.

Experiments will also be carried out to determine the duration and extent to which thermal energy can be stored and subsequently delivered to the interior of the building at a later time (in these experiments the Smart Booster Fan will be turned on after a variable period of time, t, has elapsed since the solar-simulator was turned off). This experiment will also involve optimizing the control algorithm that operates the Smart Booster Fan in order to deliver heated air from the ventilation channel within the solar-heated wall into buildings with different heating loads. Here again, the objective of these experiments is to offset the building’s heating load to the greatest extent possible, although this time the emphasis is on storing heat (e.g. after solar energy is no longer available) as efficiently as possible and subsequently delivering it to the building interior according to the occupants requirements.

Duties and responsibilities:

The successful candidate will work with graduate students to perform the following tasks: (1) Purchase materials to fabricate a solar-heated wall that contains thermal energy storage materials (2) Fabricate the solar-heated wall with Smart Booster Fans integrated into its ventilation channel. (3) Perform experiments wherein the effects of changing the width of the ventilation channel on the temperature and intensity of the airflow delivered by the Smart Booster Fan are measured (4) Characterize the optical properties of the materials used to build the solar-heated wall (5) Develop a model to simulate and numerically analyze the amount of solar energy stored in the TES medium and to calculate the expected rate at which heat will be delivered from the ventilation channel to the interior of the building.

While the successful candidate is expected to be capable of working independently, the hired student will work with graduate students from the Advanced Materials for Sustainable Energy Technologies Laboratory (AM-SET-LAB) and will receive training on performing optical materials characterization, carrying out detailed experiments, and developing numerical models.

Requirements for technical skills: Machine shop skills and laboratory skills are an asset

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Motivated, strong communication skills, team member

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Applicants from any engineering discipline may apply, although mechanical engineering students are preferred (training will be provided)


Enhanced Low-emissivity Coatings

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Paul O’Brien

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: paul.obrien@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Transparent low-emissivity coatings transmit solar radiation, with wavelengths ranging from ~ 0.3 μm to ~ 4 μm, but have a high reflectivity (or low-emissivity) for thermal infrared radiation on the order of ~ 10 μm. Thus, transparent low-emissivity coatings, such as those typically found on building windows, can be used to “trap” solar thermal energy. That is, solar radiation can pass through a window coated with a low-emissivity film to heat objects within a building. However, these coated windows reflect the thermal radiation emitted from the heated objects to prevent radiative heat losses to the building’s exterior. Low-emissivity coatings are also applied to solar thermal collectors for residential heating applications (e.g. rooftop solar water heater) and to receivers in solar thermal power generation plants.

The goal of this project is to fabricate and characterize low-emissivity coatings with exceptionally high transmittance for solar radiation and extremely high reflectivity towards thermal radiation. This will be achieved by depositing thin-film optical materials that have nanoscale features (e.g. less than 100 nm). These optical films can be designed to cause wave interference effects for incident light and radiation, which can be used to tailor their transmission and reflectivity.

A second goal of this project is to use the fabricated transparent low-emissivity coatings to heat highly absorbing “black” materials to the highest temperature possible. Experiments will be performed wherein an absorber material is placed in an insulating cavity and subjected to solar-simulated radiation through a window coated with the nanostructured low-emissivity film while measuring its temperature.

Duties and responsibilities:

This research project is focused on developing new low-emissivity coatings comprised of nanostructured layers. The student will calculate the transmission and reflectance of nanostructured low-emissivity coating using a computer program provided to them. Furthermore, the student will analyze, plot and present the results. The student will also fabricate and characterize nanostructured low-emissivity coatings. That is, the student will be trained to fabricate nanoparticle films using wet-deposition methods such as spin-coating, or dip-coating of pre-formed nanoparticles dispersed in solution. The student will characterize the nanostructured films using UV-Vis spectroscopy, SEM imaging, and by measuring their infrared reflectivity.

The student will work closely with graduate students in the Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Technologies Laboratory (AM-SET-LAB). The student will be trained on the different classifications of solar simulators and relevant lighting technologies. The student will also improve their analytical skills and benefit from participating in group meetings and discussions about how to optimize the performance of transparent low-emissivity coatings.

Requirements for technical skills: Laboratory experience, analytical and critical thinking skills, experience with SEM imaging and spectrophotometry are an asset, although training will be provided.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Motivated, strong communication skills, team member

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Applicants from any engineering discipline may apply, although mechanical engineering students are preferred (training will be provided)


developing infrastructure for mining software repositories

Position type: NSERC USRA

Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor: Zhen Ming (Jack) Jiang

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: zmjiang@cse.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Software engineering data (e.g., source code repositories and bug databases) contains a wealth of information about a project's status and history. The research on Mining Software Repositories (MSR) aims to transform the data from static record-keeping repositories into knowledge, which can guide the decision processes in modern software development process. For example, one can derive correct API usage patterns and flag anomalous (and potentially buggy) API usages by mining the source code across many projects in GitHub or Google Code. In this project, the student(s) will research and develop an efficient infrastructure, where MSR researchers and practitioners can share and analyze the MSR data.

Duties and responsibilities:

The student will be responsible for designing, executing and analyzing the experiment in a collaborative setting with other graduate students.

Requirements for technical skills: Proficient in Java and Python programming

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Good communication skills, have the ability to work independently, willing to learn new technology

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: At least 3rd year in CS or SE or CE


Building the World's Largest Dynamic Scenes Video Database

Position type: LURA

Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor: Richard Wildes

Number of positions available: 

Contact: wildes@cse.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Scene classification is a fundamental challenge to the goal of automated visual perception. Although humans are proficient at perceiving and understanding scenes, making computers do the same poses a challenge due to the wide range of variations in scene appearance. Currently, there are a variety of algorithms available to attack this problem; however, algorithmic advances in this area are being held back by the lack of adequate video databases on which to train and test. This project directly addresses this shortcoming by building a video database to support the training and testing of dynamic scene recognition algorithms. The main goal of this project involves developing a large dataset with videos of a variety of dynamic scenes. This task can be categorized into the formulation of scene categories, design and implementation of tools for video collection, annotation of collected videos and testing of scene recognition algorithms on the constructed video database. By the end of summer, this project will yield a new database for release to the computer vision community that can serve as a novel benchmark to help researchers from around the world and thereby contribute to the advance of computer vision.

Duties and responsibilities:

The research in this project focuses on collecting high-quality videos from the web based on formulated scene categories, as well as annotating and analyzing them. To achieve these results, the student will: (i) Develop and use software tools to crawl popular video websites for videos of desired scene categories and their automatic download. (ii) Develop and use semi-automated software tools to select useful video frames for segmentation into scene components (e.g., sky vs. trees vs. roadways, etc.) (iii) Statistically analyze the collected videos to highlight various aspects of the database.

Requirements for technical skills: Web (e.g., PHP) and python and C programming experience; familiarity with UNIX

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Ability to work in a small team

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: EECS 4422 or other experience working with images desired, but not required


MANUFACTURE AND ANALYSIS OF BIO-BASED BRAIDED COMPOSITES STRUCTURES

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Garrett Melenka

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: gmelenka@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Natural fiber (NF) and bioplastics/bio-resins can be adapted to braided composite (BC) manufacturing. Combining NF and bioplastics/bio-resins with braiding will lead to a sustainable, automated, near-net-shape fabrication method with configurable material properties. Bio-based composites are an emerging alternative to conventional composites that can be produced sustainably while yielding comparable mechanical properties. Presently, bio-composites are regularly formed using short fibers but higher strength and stiffness is achieved with continuous fibers. Combining BC with NF and bio-matrix could lead to an automated and sustainable production method for lightweight structures that require high impact resistance like automotive front side rails or door pillars.

Duties and responsibilities:

Finalize the design and manufacture a small scale Maypole braiding machine using a low cost digital fabrication techniques like: desktop 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC machining.

This project entails unique design challenges as braiding machine components must be miniaturized and optimized to allow for manufacture using additive manufacturing processes. The braiding machine will be used for a micro-braiding process in order to produce PLA/natural fiber yarns.

Once completed mechanical testing and evaluation of the resulting micro-braided structures will be performed.

Requirements for technical skills:

• Solidworks for component design

• Matlab, Python or other similar programming languages

• 3D Printing/ Manufacturing skills/ Hands on manufacturing

• Ability to work with electronics: i.e Arduino, Raspberry Pi

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Student should be able to work within a team environment.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: MECH 2301, MECH 2302, MECH 2401


autonomous surface vessel development

Position type: LURA

Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor: Michael Jenkin

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: jenkin@eecs.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

This project involves developing a software infrastructure for Eddy II, an autonomous surface vessel. A video of the robot operating can be found here - 2018 November Eddy II trials in King City.

Programming will be in Python primarily, using the Robot Operating System middleware. Students will be expected to not only write code to drive the robot but also to help deploy the robot in off-site and on-campus water trials. The robot uses a collection of on-board computers to power two thrusters that provide motion of the vehicle and utilizes cameras, GPS, a compass, depth sensor and IMU to drive the vehicle. If possible, communication with an underwater vehicle operating in proximity to Eddy 2 will also be examined.

Duties and responsibilities:

Software and hardware development of an autonomous surface robot

Requirements for technical skills: 3rd/4th year student in CS or CE

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Ability to work independently

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: N/A


Mechanical and structural properties of boiler grade steel

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Aleksander Czekanski

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: alex.czekanski@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Steels containing chromium, nickel and molybdenum are proposed as materials with good mechanical properties combining high temperature strength and creep resistance, additionally they characterize a good thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. These properties of such steels have attracted special interest for application in energy industrial processes where they are used as heat exchangers, walls of boiler and pipes.

Unfortunately, boiler steel and others parts of energy plants are exposure on high temperature and pressure for the long period of time, and corrosion environment connected with fuels combustion. During combustion of solid fuels there are generated solid, liquid and gaseous compounds that can be corrosive to heat-transfer surfaces. Coal and biomass can contain significant amount of sulphur or chlorine which can accelerate steel corrosion leading to important operating problems because of the degradation of metallic material. Moreover the chemical composition of coal and biomass ashes can cause operating problems like slagging, fouling, agglomeration leading to degradation of metal surface as well. Thus, the strength of boiler steel decreases with the time under high temperature and corrosion environment.

In this project at least two kinds of boiler steel with different amount of chromium (from 2 % to c.a. 10 % of Cr) and corrosion resistant will be studied. The main aim of this project is to study the mechanical and structural properties of boiler grade steel. The study the influence of temperature, the studied steel samples will be heated in muffle furnace at 700C through 2 months and then they will be investigated. The following mechanical properties are planned to study of the reference and after the temperature tests steel samples: hardness of steel, tensile strength, flexural strength, yield stress, dynamic strength and dilatometry investigation. Furthermore, the structure analysis of steel will be carried out using scanning electron microspore with EDS detector and the thermal analyser will be used to study the thermal behaviour under oxidizing/reduction atmosphere.

Duties and responsibilities:

1. Student will do the literature review of boiler steel properties investigation.

2. Student will carry out the long term high temperature tests of studied steel samples.

3. Student will characterize the mechanical properties doing selected tests.

4. Student will study the structural changes using electron microscope and thermal properties using thermal analyzer.

5. Student will summarize his outcomes in a report

Requirements for technical skills: Office Skills (Word, Excel); Matlab; Conducting tests (material characterization) skills are an asset

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Ability to work in team environment; Ability to work with minimum supervision

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites:

1. Mechanics of materials (MECH 2301)

2. Macro-and-Micro Manufacturing Methods (MECH 3503)

3. Solid Mechanics and Materials Laboratory (MECH 3502)


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF A CLOSED LOOP WIND TUNNEL

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Ronald Hanson

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: hansonre@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

The objective of this project is to contribute to the design and manufacture of a custom closed-loop wind tunnel. The main components of a closed-loop wind tunnel include the test section, settling chamber, contraction, diffuser(s), blower/fan, turning vanes, flow conditioning, and heat exchanger. Careful design considerations to the aforementioned components are necessary to achieve a low level of flow turbulence and high uniformity that is required to simulate atmospheric conditions for aerodynamic measurements. Closed-loop systems provide recirculation of air that can be seeded for purposes of optical-based measurements and reduced system losses.

The key goals of this project include research, development and manufacturing of two wide-angle diffusers, one downstream of the test section, and the other downstream of the fan. Wide-angle diffusers are an important component of a wind tunnel to make economic use of space and design is critical to ensure attached flow. Since the diffusers are part of a larger system, computational fluid dynamic simulations will be used to determine the performance of the diffusers in the wind tunnel circuit. A second related project includes the design of a test section with variable pressure gradient adjustment to account for boundary layer growth of the tunnel walls. Many experiments are sensitive to pressure gradients that can alter flow characteristics. Analysis of the boundary layer growth and simulations are required to design sufficient variability of the test section dimensions.

The successful applicants will gain skills in computational fluid dynamics, engineering design/analysis and practical manufacturing skills, which will support future employment in a range of Ontario companies in the aerospace, wind engineering, and consulting sectors.

Duties and responsibilities:

(a) Research wide angle diffuser shapes and profiles to obtain attached flow.

(b) Apply computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to model flow performance.

(c) Prepare engineering drawings.

(d) Prepare a final report of the design.

Requirements for technical skills: Experience with Solidworks or other CAD packages Mechanically oriented, i.e. ability to work in machine shop 3D Printing/ Manufacturing skills LE/MECH 3202 3.0 Fluid Dynamics / Heat and Flow Engineering Principles, use of CFD Software as an asset

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Student should be able to work within a team environment. Student should be able to communicate challenges and express problems logically.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: LE/MECH 3202 3.0 Fluid Dynamics preferred


3D BONE MARROW ENGINEERING

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Terry Sachlos

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: sachlos@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Bone tissue contains the bone marrow that houses hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that are responsible for continuously regenerating blood tissue throughout one’s lifetime. Bone marrow transplants, also called HSC transplants, are life-saving procedures used to treat leukemia patients, but in short supply. Many more patients could benefit from a bone marrow transplant if the number of HSC in each donor sample could actually be augmented. For this advancement to be achieved a more detailed understanding of the interplay between HSC and their native bone marrow environment, or niche, is required. However, experimentation with HSC and progenitors (HSPC) is challenging. When removed from their native bone marrow niche and placed in vitro, HSC and progenitor (HSPC) cells very quickly (24-72h) lose their function. Mounting evidence suggests that the bone marrow extracellular matrix (ECM) is a critical, yet underappreciated, component of the niche that may be instructive to stem cell regulation. If the desire is to expand these cells in vitro, then culture conditions that recapitulate the ECM environment need to be developed. This proposal aims to develop technology that discovers in vitro niche conditions and applies this knowledge to elucidate niche interactions. A combinatorial, bottom-up approach that systematically assembles and tests individual and combinations of ECM components will be developed 3with the intent of elucidating the contribution of each component to HSPC function. In addition, 3D Printing technology will be employed to create a vascular system with the ECM and support HSPC survival in thick 3D constructs. Finally, these technological developments will be implemented in a novel 3D assay able to identify molecular targets that regulate stem cell function.

In the long term, this research can lead to the development of readily available tissue-matched engineered bone marrow tissue to be used for transplantation. Canadian bone marrow transplant patients stand to benefit the most with shorter waiting times. Canadian healthcare savings can also be realized by quickly treating patients and removing them from ever-lengthening transplant waiting lists and the associated healthcare costs in managing sick waiting patients.

Duties and responsibilities:

1) Designing and manufacturing of 3D tissue engineering scaffolds

2) Assisting graduate student with experiments

Requirements for technical skills: Experience with cell culture would be an asset but not essential

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Strong communication and organizational skills, independent worker.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: N/A


COMPRESSIBILITY AND SHEAR STRENGTH OF SOIL-RUBBER CRUMBS MIXTURES

Position type: LURA

Department: Civil Engineering

Professor: Jit Sharma

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: jtsharma@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Given the increasing emphasis on sustainable construction practices, recycled materials, such as rubber tire crumbs, are increasingly being used either in place of or in combination with granular fills for the construction of earth structures, such as highway embankments. Rubber tire crumbs have the dual advantage of being lighter than soil while mobilizing comparable shear strength; however, they are also considerably more compressible than soil grains, which can potentially result in serviceability issues emanating from excessive deformation. Existing soil mechanics theories, which assume the soil grains to be incompressible, are unable to explain the stress-deformation and shear strength behaviour of fills that include substantial amounts of rubber tire crumbs in them. The main goal of the project is to correlate the compressibility and shear strength behaviours of soil-rubber tire crumbs mixtures with the amount of rubber tire crumbs in the mixtures. This goal will be achieved using a comprehensive laboratory testing program involving compaction tests, direct shear tests and one-dimensional compression tests with settlement and pore pressure measurements. Two different grades of sand and rubber tire crumbs will be used to ascertain the effect of particle size on the compressibility and shear strength of the mixtures. Findings from this project will be used by the proponent to develop a more comprehensive research program of investigating the stress-deformation behaviour of various kinds of compressible geomaterials, including municipal solid waste, peat, etc.

Duties and responsibilities:

The student will be responsible for: preparing samples; carrying out the laboratory tests; collecting, plotting, analyzing, and reporting test results; and, writing a technical report. The student is expected to work closely with the technical support personnel in the Geotechnical Engineering lab as well as with the graduate students in the proponent's research group.

Requirements for technical skills: Conducting geotechnical lab tests, including electronic data collection; data plotting and analysis using MS Excel or equivalent (some training in both will be provided at the beginning of the project). Previous experience of working in a geotechnical lab would be an asset.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Ability to work independently as well as in a collaborative team environment.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Ideally, the student should be in Civil Engineering program and have taken CIVL 2120 Civil Engineering Materials and CIVL 3110 Soil Mechanics; however, the proponent is willing to consider a student from another program who is able to demonstrate relevant skills and aptitude that the project needs.


TESTING AND MODELLING OF THE ELASTOMERS IN TENSION AT HIGH STRAIN RATES

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Aleksander Czekanski

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: alex.czekanski@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

The mechanical response of elastomers are greatly dependent on the applied strain rate. Nonlinear constitutive models can be used to model the response of the Elastomers at high strain rates. Experimentally testing the stress strain response of elastomers sample is used to derive the model parameters. To test elastomers at high strain rates a modified Kolsky tension bar is developed at IDEA-Lab.

This research objective is to conduct experiments on the newly developed Kolsky tension bar to evaluate the stress-strain characteristics of elastomer materials. The strain rate at which the testing will be conducted ranges from 100-10000/s.

Duties and responsibilities:

Task 1 - Literature review about Elastomers

• Student is to run a literature review on various types of rubber, rubber modifiers and their engineering applications.

• The student will summarize their findings in a report.

Task 2 - Experimental characterization of Elastomers

• Conduct high strain rate tension experiments on elastomeric samples.

• Perform FE analysis to validate the experimental design.

• Extension of the experiment to incorporate the temperature effect.

Requirements for technical skills: 1. Office Skills (Word, Excel); 2. Matlab; 3. Machine shop and prototyping skills

Requirements for interpersonal skills: 1. Ability to work in team environment; 2. Ability to work with minimum supervision

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites:

1. Mechanics of materials (MECH 2301)

2. Machine elements design (MECH 2409)

3. Macro-and-Micro Manufacturing Methods (MECH 3503)

4. Solid Mechanics and Materials Laboratory (MECH 3502)


THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENGINEERED MATERIALS DEGRADATION IN POROUS CONSOLIDATED MEDIA

Position type: LURA

Department: Civil Engineering

Professor: Magdalena Krol

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: magdalena.krol@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

This project will examine the physical and chemical processes occurring in a deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel, including the interactions of the containers, corrosion, groundwater, clay, and microorganisms. This project will increase confidence in the plan for safe permanent disposal of Canada's nuclear fuel waste.

Duties and responsibilities:

Lab work, computer modelling, and literature review.

Requirements for technical skills: Good understanding of environmental processes. Computer simulation experience as an asset.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Good communication skills, team player.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Completed CIVL 3240 and CIVL 3110.


GREEN WALL EFFECT ON INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Position type: LURA

Department: Civil Engineering

Professor: Magdalena Krol

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: magdalena.krol@lassonde.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Implementation of indoor and outdoor green walls can be very beneficial to humans and our environment. Therefore, the goal of this project is to determine how common indoor plants would affect indoor air quality; specifically indoor temperature, humidity, and removal of indoor air pollutants.

Duties and responsibilities: Lab work, literature review.

Requirements for technical skills: Good understanding of environmental processes. Previous lab work as an asset.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Good communication skills (written and oral), team player.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Completed CIVL 2240.


DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTH MONITORING SENSORS FOR ADVANCED CARBON FIBER COMPOSITE STRUCTURES

Position type: LURA

Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor: Gerd Grau and Garrett Melenka

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: grau@eecs.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Braiding is a high rate fabrication method that produces near-net-shape structures by interlacing continuous fibers into a pre-form architecture. Braided composites are created by impregnating the braid pre-form in a matrix material. Braiding is an attractive manufacturing method since a variety of matrix, fiber and braid geometries can be used to tailor mechanical properties. BC offer improved impact resistance and energy absorption characteristics over conventional laminated composite structures.

A major challenge with braided composites is the measurement and prediction of failure. The difficulty in predicting failure limits the use of braided composites in industrial applications. Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a technique which integrates sensors in advanced engineering structures. The addition of SHM sensors within braided composites will help to increase industrial adoption of braided composite structures.

Duties and responsibilities:

Integrate health monitoring sensors within braided composite structures. Conductive carbon fiber yarns will be incorporated into composite braids to perform health monitoring. Experiments will be required to validate the integrated health monitoring sensors accuracy and repeatability.

This work will involve the fabrication of conductive carbon fiber yarns for integration within braided structures. Mechanical testing will be required to validate in-situ strain measurements for braided composite structures.

Requirements for technical skills:

Working knowledge of chemistry to treat carbon fiber yarns for health monitoring. Experimental data collection and reporting skills. Documentation and analysis of experimental results. Solidworks, MATLAB or similar programming language as an asset.

Requirements for interpersonal skills:

Student should have team working skills to work with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering student.


SOLAR DESALINATION AND STEAM GENERATION

Position type: LURA

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Thomas Cooper

Number of positions available: 1

Contact: tcooper@yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Sunlight constitutes a virtually inexhaustible source of clean and freely-available energy. The vast majority of solar energy technologies rely on the photovoltaic effect which directly converts incident sunlight into electricity. However, sunlight can also be efficiently converted into heat, which can then be used for a wide range of applications including: space heating, domestic hot water production, industrial processes, or even to displace fossil fuels as the heat source in conventional power plants. One process of particular interest is solar desalination, where solar heat is used to sustainably convert undrinkable seawater and contaminated water into clean drinking water. A significant challenge of this process is that the salts and impurities in the feed water tend to clog and degrade the system. This project will investigate a new type of solar desalination technology which is inherently resistant to clogging. The goal of the project will be to build a prototype of the new solar desalination system and test it under real outdoor conditions.

Duties and responsibilities:

The student will be responsible for designing a prototype of a solar desalination system, developing a thermal model to predict the performance of the prototype, and ultimately building and testing the prototype under real outdoor conditions.

Requirements for technical skills: Knowledge of heat transfer. Experimental/hands-on experience is an asset.

Requirements for interpersonal skills: N/A

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: N/A


MICROFLUIDIC CELL CULTURE FOR DRUG TEST

Position type: LURA

Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor: Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh

Number of positions available: 2

Contact: egz@cse.yorku.ca

Summary of project: 

Traditional cell culture routine relies on using large petri-dishes and large amount of cell culture medium. This routine allows biologists to study cellular activities using a large number of cells. For instance, in order to test the effectiveness of a drug on cancer cells, the cancer cells should be cultured in a petri-dish and specific amount of drug should be introduced to the cells. In this drug test process, different concentrations of drugs should be tested on cells using a large number of petri-dishes including cells and culture medium. Given the fact, each test requires a 24-hour time for the cell culture and cell viability test, for 100 different petri-dishes, the drug assessment process requires more than 3 months. Therefore, this is a time consuming and expensive procedure. The miniaturization of cell culture is a solution using microfluidic technology. Microfluidic Technology has attracted the attentions for developing micro-scale fluidic capillaries, chambers and other devices suitable for cellular analysis. A microfluidic fabrication process consists of photo-lithography and polymeric techniques to build for instance, an array of microfluidic cell culture wells. As described in [1], a single cell or a limited number of cells (e.g. 100) can be cultured in a microfluidic structure. A large number of micro-chambers in a single microfluidic chip enables high throughput analysis of cells. High-throughput analysis of cellular behavior requires uniform conditions that can be provided using microfluidic structure similar to [2]. High throughput cell culture is a challenging approach suitable for accelerate the drug test an drug discovery.

In this project, the students will first be trained to

1. Design and implement some microfluidic devices

2. Perform the culture, cell counting and cell viability test

Then, they will be involved in team for designing an array of 10x10=100 small chambers for cell culturing purpose.

Duties and responsibilities:

After training ( see the description of project), the students should use design the microfluidic structure ( using CAD tools), implement the device ( using lithography) and culture the cells, The cells in each chamber should be counted after 24 hours. The process should be repeated in order to optimize the cell viability. In this process, N2A cell line is used.

Requirements for technical skills: N/A

Requirements for interpersonal skills: Hardworking and interested in life science applications.

Degree, courses and discipline prerequisites: Second year (or upper) in any field of Engineering/Science.