Position Type:

  •  Lassonde Undergraduate Research Award- summer research
  •  NSERC USRA

Position Title: Research Assistant/summer researcher

Location: Mechanical Engineering

Professor: Dr. Garrett Melenka

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Contact for Professor:   gmelenka@yorku.ca, 416-736-2100 (extension 44189)

# of positions available: 1

Project Description

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 of the student:

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.

  •  Create detailed drawings and solid models for micro-braiding machine
  •  Design and fabricate micro-braiding machine using low-cost fabrication methods
  •  Present design results in regular meetings
  •  Produce initial micro-braided yarns with braiding machine

Skills and Qualifications:

  •  Solidworks for component design
  •  Matlab, Python or other similar programming languages
  •  3D Printing/ Manufacturing skills/ Hands on manufacturing
  •  (Interpersonal Skills)
  •  Student should be able to work within a team environment.
  •  Ability to work with electronics: i.e Arduino, Raspberry Pi

Degrees, courses and Disciplines prerequisite*: Mechanical Engineering

Stipend: TBD

Duration: 16 weeks minimum

Start Date: 05/01/2018 (estimated)

End Date: 08/31/2018 (estimated)

If you are interested in this research project, please contact Dr. Garrett Melenka at gmelenka@yorku.ca, 416-736-2100 (extension 44189).