Sponsored Research by Engineering Technology Faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Prof. David Luneau

Prof. Luneau continued his research work in the area of “Remote Camera Sensing” with primary focus on the design and development of small wireless cameras to monitor nest activities for some of the endangered bird species. In this respect he collaborates with other researchers from Arkansas and around the country, who benefit from the advancement in camera and communication technology in their research. He and his collaborators have published their findings in suitable periodicals. These include the following: Luneau, M.D. Jr., Noel, Brandon L. “A wireless video camera for viewing tree cavities,” Journal of Field Ornithology, 81(2):176–185, 2010. It is noteworthy that the miniature cameras enclosures designed by Prof. Luneau were produced on the rapid prototype machine in the CAD lab at UALR.

Dr. Steve Menhart

Dr. Menhart authored and presented a paper entitled “Embedding Assessment Into The End of Course Evaluation Form” at the 2010 ASEE Golf Southwest Annual Conference in Lake Charles La., in March 2010.

Dr. S. Midturi

Dr. Midturi’s research in the area of material properties and applications has won him and his students a number of awards, publications, and conference presentations:

“Thermal Conductivity of Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cellular Foams” by S. Midturi , S. B. Pidugu, J. Playford, Rahul KJ, and S. Stanage won first place in the poster presentation by James Playford at the 2011 ASME Regional Student Professional Development Conference held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville March 29-30

“Thermal Conductivity of Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cellular Foams,” a presentation by James Playford, won first place in the Undergraduate Research in the Physical Sciences Category at the 95th Arkansas Academy of Sciences Conference held April 8-9 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Drs. Midturi and Pidugu were mentors on the project.

“Thermo-Mechanical Properties of Open Cell Metallic Foams” was a poster presentation by James Playford at the 19th Annual Arkansas Space Grant Symposium at Petit Jean Mountain April 20. Co-Authors: S. Midturi, S.B. Pidugu, and K.J. Rahul.

“Synergistic Modeling Study of Metallic Foams” was a poster presentation by Sam Stanage at the 19th Annual Arkansas Space Grant Symposium at Petit Jean Mountain April 20. Co-Authers S. Midturi and Jim Steuber.

The abstract was accepted for “Thermal Characterization of Open Celled Aluminum and Stainless Steel Foams”, by S. Midturi, S. B. Pidugu, James D. Playford, and K.J. Rahul for the ASME International Conference to be held Oct. 20 in Denver.

Dr. Midturi’s outreach activities include work with LM Wind Power on the mold sealing project, work with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) on providing technical assistance to the aerospace supplier base in Arkansas, and a presentation on “Partnership Opportunities Between UALR and Cloyes Gear & Products: Industrial Research Collaboration” to the President and CEO, and the Engineers of Cloyes Gear & Products Co., at Subiaco on Dec. 10.

Dr. Hirak Patangia

Dr. Patangia coordinates the Electronics and Computers program, advises students, and stays in touch with them. In addition to his teaching load, he mentors and manages a major share of the undergraduate research in the department. Among the projects he undertook in 2011 was the complete update and revision of the department-published textbook used in ECET 1302, a freshman-level course intended to inform students about the engineering technology major.

His current research activities including sponsored research:

1. Ballast design for CFL lamp for standalone solar application

2. Use of solar energy in highway deicing

3. Vibration Entergy Harvester (SURF Grant – ADHE – $3900)

4. Solar powered cooler for portable application (SURF Grant – ADHE – $3900)

5. Batteryless PV application with super capacitor for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

6. Single sideband (SSB) generation using SPWM signaling

7. Development of an efficient photovoltaic test bed for green energy education (AEDC – Energy Office – $60,126)

8. Development of Novel Learning Materials for Green Energy Education Centered around photovoltaicTest Station (NSF $200,000, three years).

His recent publications and conference presentations include:

H. Patangia and D. Gregory,”An Efficient Cascaded Multilateral Inverter Suitable for PV Application,” Proceedings of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC35), Honolulu, Hawaii, June 2010

H. Patangia, S. Gourisetti, A. Siddique, and S. Sharma,” A Simplified PV Model for Low Power MPPT Controller Design,” Asia Pacific Conference on Circuits and Systems (APCCAS), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 2010

H. Patangia, “Development of Novel Learning Materials for Green Energy Education Centered around a PV Test Station,” 2011 ASEE Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 2011

In addition, Dr. Patangia has a strong interest in encouraging and sponsoring undergraduate student research. His students are regular participants in the UALR Annual Undergraduate Research Expo, and many have been recognized with awards. In the 2011 competition, he mentored the top award winner.

Dr. Srikanth B. Pidugu

Dr. Pidugu’s research work, including sponsored research:

1. Modeling of Mixing and Micro Channels (SURF – ADHE – $3,900), 2. Modeling of Bubble Micromixers (SURF – ADHE – $4,000), 3. Thermal Conductivity of Foam Materials, 4. Application of FLUENT Computational Fluid Dynamics Software

He has also encouraged and mentored undergraduate student research.

His recent publications and conference presentations include:

Pidugu, S. B., Abdel-Salam, T., & Bayraktar, T. “Flowfield Analysis in T-Junction Microchannel with Bubble Formations,” Proceedings of 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Montreal, Canada, August 1-5, 2010 Abdel-Salam, T., Pidugu, S. B., Bayraktar, T. “Two-Dimentional Numerical Study of Two-Phase Flow (gas-liquid) in a Microchannel Mixer,” presented in the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Vancouver, Canada, November 12-18, 2010

Abdel-Salam, T., & Pidugu, S. B. “Mixing Characteristics of a Two-Phase Flow (gas-liquid) Microchannel Mixer,” to be presented at ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 19-22, 2011

Prof. George Tebbetts

Prof. Tebbetts, Department Chair, maintains up-to-date training in CAD software, and has helped students and faculty in designing and producing parts for their own projects and research, using the rapid prototyping machine, housed in the CAD lab.

Prof. Pete Tschumi

Prof. Tschumi is active in faculty governance, and participates in a number of department, college and university committees. He provided studies and research to support the revision of the university admission policy, which seems to be bearing fruit. In addition, he shepherded a two-year effort to develop and receive the approval for an “Ethics in Engineering” course in May 2010. The course is available for adoption by other EIT departments to satisfy the requirements of the accrediting organizations.

Dr. Wenle Zhang

Dr. Zhang’s research focus is in Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks. His current publications and conference papers include:

Zhang, Wenle, “MADALINE Neural Network for Parameter Estimation of LTI MIMO Systems,” Proceedings of the 29th Chinese Control Conference (CCC2010), pp. 1346-1351, Beijing, China, July 29-31, 2010

Zhang, Wenle, “System Identification Based on an Improved ADALIN Nureul Network,” accepted for presentation in the 2011 Chinese Decision and Control Conference (CDCC2011).

Dr. Mo Bakr

Dr. Bakr’s research activities centered around senior projects and included:

1. “Mold Sealing Application.” The project was jointly undertaken and funded by LM Wind Power, which manufactures wind turbine blades. The purpose of the project was to improve and simplify the mold sealing process in preparation for resin casting.

2.”Fixture Design to Improve the Productivity of Mid-Cabin Curtain Production”

The project was jointly undertaken with a local business aircraft finishing company. The project was considered to be a labor and cost saving measure and was aimed at producing mid cabin curtains for a line of aircrafts produced by the company.

3 “Mini Baja Race Car Project” The project involved evaluation of the previous race performance, identifying systems and components on the vehicle that did not perform well enough in the past, perform the necessary technical and stress analysis, redesign and reconstruct these systems and components, and test the vehicle on a simulated race track to evaluate the design improvements.

4. “Design, Construction and Testing of a Four-Point Vehicle Low-Lift System.” A team of three seniors in mechanical engineering technology conceived the need, analyzed the market demand and conceptually designed a system consisting of four electric-powered scissor-type jacks that are remotely controlled from a portable central platform. The project involved the design, development, construction and testing of a prototype.