Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IME presentations earn kudos at annual ASEE conference

Two papers presented by IME students won awards at the Annual North Central Sectional Conference, sponsored by the ASEE North Central Section and held near the end of the Spring 2010 semester at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sean Derrick

Sean Derrick, a graduate student studying manufacturing engineering, won first place in the “Best Student Paper / Presentation” competition with “Dual Impeller Drive System (D.I.D.S.).” The paper that he presented was co-written with Jeffrey Rauen, who earned a BS in mechanical engineering last spring but who did not attend the conference.

The paper is based on a project the duo presented at the Spring 2009 44th Conference on Senior Engineering Design (SEDP). It details the design, analysis, construction, and testing of a D.I.D.S., which is a  pumping system intended for stealth marine propulsion. The pair came up with the original idea for the project and then designed and built a working prototype in order to prove their concept. The design is now patent pending.

According to Dr. Betsy Aller, an IME faculty member who attended the conference, the ASEE reviewers recommended about 20 papers for inclusion in the competition. She said the list was “painstakingly reviewed down to five” and that Derrick’s paper was the “runaway winner.” “It was described at the conference as being the quality of an MIT graduate project,” she said.

Aller and Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, an IME faculty, advised the original D.I.D.S. project.

Derrick is presently a graduate researcher for the Green Manufacturing Initiative a program established through WMU’s manufacturing research center that offers cooperative green research and development programs of mutual interest to industry. Rauen is completing U.S. Navy officer / nuclear engineering training.

A paper by Steven Srivastava, Rob Simmons, and Anson Clawson – all recent WMU alums who have earned BS degrees in engineering technology – was runner-up. "A Sustainable Waste Oil Solution" was based on a project they completed and presented at the Fall 2009 45th SEDP.

For that project, the students assessed waste oil from a food manufacturing process for its potential use as feedstock for biodiesel and designed and built an automated prototype biodiesel reactor, which produces ASTM D6751 standard biodiesel.

ASEE Winners: Dr. Andrew Kline, Rob Simmons, Dr. Betsy Aller, Steven Srivastava, and Anson Clawson
Aller and Joe Petro, an IME faculty member, served as advisors for the design project. “The students all did us proud,” Aller said. “We received many compliments from our ASEE colleagues on the quality of WMU students' work, presentations, and professionalism.”

Dr. Andrew Kline, a faculty member in the Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging, also attended the ASEE Conference.