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Mechanical Engineering Seminars

  •  ME Winter Seminar - 1/28/2015

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar

    Speaker: Yanchu Xu
    Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    Location: EC 326
    Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Title: Structural Dynamics Tuning: a Systematic and Practical Approach


    From a combination of the fundamentals of structural dynamics, experimental modal analysis and modal decomposition, as well as modal synthesis, this seminar introduces an systematic but practical approach on how to use experimental data and simulation to guide structural design for achieving desired dynamic performance.


    Dr. Yanchu Xu is an expert in Noise and Vibration and is currently a Senior Technologist with Apple. He received his B.S. (1981) and M.S. (1984) in Mechanical Engineering from Southeast University in China, and was an assistant professor and head of mechanical design program at Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering before he came to the states in 1991. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from State University of New York at Binghamton in 1994. With more than 30 years’ experience, he is a multi-discipline expert in structural dynamics, acoustics, electro-magnetics, smart materials, as well as experimental instrumentation.  He has proven track records in various industries from machine tools, automotive, rotary machines, sport equipment, hard disk drives and consumer electronics. During his 15-year tenure in the hard disk drive industry, he developed various creative and effective approaches for structural dynamics characterization and prediction that expedited product development. He can be contacted at 


  •  ME Winter Seminar - 1/21/2015

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar

    Speaker: Chris Yu
    Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015
     Location: EC 326
    Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Specialized Bicycle Components


    With any powered vehicle, particularly ones used in competition, the primary design goals are to increase speed and efficiency for a given amount of energy used. In almost every case, aerodynamic drag is the biggest limitation that must the addressed to reach those goals. This is especially true in cycling where the power source, humans, is relatively weak. In this talk, the role of aerodynamics in the development of cycling equipment as well as in elite athlete body positioning will be highlighted. An overview of the design cycle utilizing Formula 1 level technology, including extensive wind tunnel


    Chris Yu received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering at Caltech and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He currently leads the Aerodynamics R&D program at Specialized Bicycle Components, a world leader in advanced bicycles and equipment as well as sponsor to numerous elite world-class athletes.

  •  ME Winter Seminar - 1/7/2015



    Santa Clara University Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Graduate Seminar Winter 2015

    January 7, 2105 4:00 PM,  EC 326



    Ferdinand Hendriks



    Dynamic soaring is a form of flight in which propulsion is derived from special flight patterns through non-uniform wind.   Given enough wind shear, Albatross execute high speed, meandering flight trajectories that have been copied by radio-controlled gliders.  Applied mathematical modeling, analysis and numerical computer simulation allow us to understand the essence of dynamic soaring: why high wing loading is preferred for soaring in wind shear and why the mean bank angle is about 55 degrees as observed by early French investigators.  In one math model I show that dynamic soaring in wind shear is analogous to the mechanics of a pumped swing.  Ever since John Montgomery’s era glider pilots have tried to harness the turbulent energy of the wind, called gust soaring.  My analysis suggests that gliders with low wing loading are favored when gust soaring.   



    Ferdi Hendriks grew up in The Netherlands during the heyday of aviation.   He became an avid model airplane builder and flyer, specializing in F1A class gliders in which he was the 1962 European Champion.  From the Technical University of Delft he received a MS in Aerodynamics and in 1972 from UCLA a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from UCLA in 1972.  His Dynamic Soaring thesis pioneered the use of perturbation techniques and numerical methods to study how birds stay aloft without flapping and without a mean vertical wind component, such as an albatross flying through vertical wind shear, and birds and insects with very low wing loading.

     In 1973 Ferdi joined IBM at the T.J. Watson Research Center, where he designed and built micro wind tunnels for high speed ink jet printers.   In 1983 he came to San Jose to help ship the 3380 IBM Hard Disk Drive.  This ignited his interest in air bearings, HDD internal aerodynamics and air filtration.   He wrote IBM’s first finite element air bearing code. 

    He returned to Watson and worked on air bearing sliders with programmable fly height.   He then led a crusade within IBM to give up air bearings with large front tapers.   This class of air bearing sliders is called Tango which has inlet throttled leading edges in which the lift is generated in front and rear pads without “rails.”  In 1991 he received a fundamental patent for HDDs with aerodynamic bypass.

    In 2002 IBM sold its HDD division to Hitachi.   Ferdi joined the new company and worked closely with Andre Chan to implement a revolutionary bypass principle in 15 krpm and small form factor HDD, which saved about 1 Watt in power.  He recently retired from the company after in was acquired by WDC with more than 50 patents.  HGST’s HDDs are arguably the best in the business.

  •  ME Winter Seminar - 3/12/14

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Davood Abdollahian
    Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)
    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    Experimental Study of Two-Phase Flow in Microgravity


    Davood Abdollahian


    March 12, 2014



    The increased power requirements of modern day spacecraft require more efficient thermal management methods. In comparison to single phase liquid or gaseous loops, flow boiling systems take advantage of heat of vaporization and can remove considerably larger heat loads. Flow boiling loops can reduce the size and weight of spacecraft and have been considered for application in space based systems.

    A two-phase test loop was designed and constructed to generate reduced gravity data for two-phase pressure drop and Critical Heat Flux (CHF). The experiments were performed during a set of airplane trajectories aboard the NASA KC-135 and DC-9 aircrafts. The test results were used to demonstrate the applicability of the earth gravity models for prediction of reduced gravity two-phase friction pressure drop.



    Davood Abdollahian has over thirty years experience in thermal hydraulic application and R&D. He worked for over 20 years at S. Levy, Inc. where he conducted research and applied engineering projects in support of nuclear industry. He joined General Electric Company in 2000 and was involved in GE Loss of Coolant Accident and transient analysis. In 2008 he joined Areva, Inc. as an advisory engineer and worked in development of computer models and methodology for accident analysis. He retired from industry in December 2013 and is presently adjunct lecturer at Santa Clara University and San Jose State University.


  •  ME Winter Seminar - 3/5/14

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Eduardo Chan

    Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)
    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


    P-Version Finite Element Method in Creo Simulate




     Majority of commercial finite element analysis packages are based on h-version finite element methods. The alternative p-version finite element methods provide several advantages to the traditional h-approach. This presentation will provide an overview of the specific implementation of the p-method in the Simulate module within Creo (formerly known as Pro/ENGINEER & Pro/MECHANICA). A few recent advances in its analysis capabilities will also be covered.


    About the speaker:


    Dr. Eduardo Chan is primarily interested in finite element methods in structural and thermal problems. For over 16 years, he was a member of the analysis technology group that covers all simulation capabilities of Creo (formerly known as Pro/ENGINEER) and was the technical manager of the group for the last 8 years. Recently, Dr. Chan joined Solar Junction, a solar cell startup in San Jose, as their development manager in charge of all simulation and software needs. Dr. Chan graduated from Caltech with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1997.

  •  ME Winter Seminar - 2/2614

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Sathish Manickam
    Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)
    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    Mechanistic Modeling of Pool Boiling Heat Transfer

    Experiments Heat Transfer to a Sliding Vapor Bubble


    Sathish Manickam, PhD




    Boiling is a complex and technologically relevant yet commonly observed natural process involving change of phase of matter from liquid to vapor by creation of vapor bubbles on heated surfaces. High rate of heat transfer observed during boiling makes it ideally suitable for applications ranging from power generation to electronics cooling. Much effort has been made to understand the process, and to develop correlations for use in design. However due to the complex nature of the process, many of them are empirical in nature, offering only limited insights into the nature and help in unknown design situations. Such observations have led studies in the past two decades to focus more on the mechanism of boiling and to develop correlations based on fundamental heat transfer mechanisms associated with the process. This talk presents a broad outline of such mechanistic models for boiling, and discusses in particular experiments related to heat transfer measurements on a sliding vapor bubble, a commonly encountered sub-process during boiling.



    Sathish Manickam obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in boiling and two-phase flow heat transfer, under Prof. Vijay Dhir at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He has also done Post doctoral work at UCLA on film boiling and at the Stanford University School of Medicine on development of biomaterials and novel drug delivery systems. Prior to his graduate studies, he worked at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, a premier graduate research institution in India, for about ten years on research areas including HVAC, Food Precooling and Alternate Energy Systems. Currently he is working on early stage development of a biomedical startup in the Bay Area. Beginning Spring 2014, he will also be an Adjunct Faculty at the Mechanical Engineering Department at SCU.
  •  ME Winter Seminar - 2/1914

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Yasdani P. Razi

    Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)

    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.




    An Introduction to Smart Home



    A Smart home is defined as a 'building' where various devices, equipment, and products can be monitored and controlled through the application of smart mobile devices. This includes the control of lighting, heating, cooling, consumer electronics, safety, smoke and hazardous gases.

    In this talk, an introduction to Smart Home will be given. Different aspects of Smart Home will be explored. Then some of the experiments conducted on it will be discussed. These experiments were conducted during summer of 2013 and temperature variations were measured. Natural and forced convection aspects will be explored. Also material radiative properties are examined. Different design aspects will be presented. In the end, other experimental equipment in this context will be introduced  




    Dr Yazdan P. Razi is an Associate Professor in Silicon Valley University, San Jose USA. Previously he was Assistant Professor at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. He is the author of more than 30 research papers and book chapters on heat transfer. He is one of the pioneers of thermo-vibrational convection in fluid and porous media.

    He was Sr. Thermal engineering manager at Flextronics International where he was responsible for thermal simulations and testing of power supplies ranging from 4W to 1400W. He was also is thermo-mechanical engineering manager in camera modules division in Tessera Company focusing on the thermo-deformation aspects of lens design.

    He also specializes in geometric optimization method, constructal theory, heat transfer enhancement in natural and forced convection, thermal stability analysis in fluid and porous media with industrial applications, TIM (thermal interface materials) selection and testing. He is currently Thermal Engineering Consultant at Xicato Company focusing on thermal management of LED modules.


  •  ME Winter Seminar - 2/1214

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Kedar Hardikar
    Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)
    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


    A critical failure mechanism of PV modules is the degradation in performance as a result of exposure to temperature and humidity during typical product life of over 25 years. The time to failure of a PV module under given field conditions attributable to moisture ingress involves multiple factors including encapsulant and edge seal moisture barrier performance as well as the degradation rate of particular solar cells when exposed to moisture. The work presented is aimed at establishing a conservative estimate of field lifetime by examining the time to breakthrough of moisture across the edge seal. Establishing a lifetime model for the edge seal independent of the characteristics of the encapsulant and solar cells facilitates design optimization of the cells and encapsulant.  A novel test configuration is proposed for accelerated testing of edge seal materials in standard temperature-humidity controlled chambers that is amenable to varying dimensions of the edge seal and decoupled from encapsulated components. A theoretical framework is
    developed to analyze moisture ingress performance of edge seal accounting for the presence of desiccants. An approach to analyzing test data from accelerated testing is developed that incorporates temperature dependence of material properties of the edge seal. Proposed equations and functional forms have been validated by demonstrating fits to experimental test data.
    These functional forms and equations allow prediction of edge seal performance in field conditions characterized by historical meteorological data. In the specific case of the edge seal used in certain MiaSole glass-glass modules, this work has established that the edge seal can prevent moisture ingress well beyond the intended service life in the most aggressive climate conditions evaluated.

    Kedar Hardikar is a Staff Scientist at MiaSole and an adjunct faculty member at San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. Kedar holds a Ph.D from the Division of Engineering, Brown University. His roles at MiaSole include assisting product development, improving reliability of the product and leading selected research and development projects using analysis and computational models. Kedar has held several key positions over more than 10 years in semiconductor capital equipment industry and consumer electronics industry before joining MiaSole.
  •  ME Winter Seminar - 1/29/14


    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Daniel White
    Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Location: Bannan Hall 142 (Law Building)
    Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


    Frontiers of In-Space Propulsion


    Space propulsion refers to the application of propulsive forces required for orbit maintenance, station-keeping and deep-space maneuvers on vehicles outside planetary atmospheres. A broad range of flight proven systems and engineering concepts exist to provide this function. This survey presentation will cover the current state-of-the-art for in-space propulsion, including both chemical and electric propulsion systems, and explore some of the current hardware development efforts for near-term future applications. Some additional medium- and far-term concepts will be outlined, including discussion of their utility in furthering human exploration of the solar system and beyond.


    Daniel White has a background in the fields of electrical and aerospace engineering. He completed his BS at Texas A&M University in Electrical Engineering in 2006, and his MS and Ph. D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering at MIT in 2008 & 2011 respectively. Daniel has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for approximately 7 years. He has worked for Defense contractor Lockheed Martin, as well as in the commercial sector for Space Systems / Loral on commercial spacecraft electric propulsion systems.

  •  Winter Seminar: Monday, March 11, 2013

    Nanoscale strain engineering for energy

    Marina S. Leite

    CNST, National Institute for Standard and Technologies

    Maryland Nanocenter, University of Maryland

    Date: Monday, March 11th                Location: Bannan Hall 238                            Time: 4:00 ? 5:00

    ABSTRACT: The ability of controlling strain at the nanoscale governs numerous materials? properties, from structural morphology of solid-state batteries to band gap engineering for photovoltaic devices. Depending on the mechanical strain between a substrate and an epitaxially grown material, different morphologies can be achieved ranging from strained planar films to 3-dimensional nanocrystals. In this talk, I will discuss how strained nanoarchitectures can be used for improved energy generation and storage applications. First, I will discuss the driving forces for alloying in quasi-equilibrium Ge-Si nanocrystals, which results primarily from entropy. I will describe experiments in which we tailored adatoms diffusion mechanisms to achieve both open and closed thermodynamic systems at the nanoscale. Second, I will discuss the role of strain engineering in thin films to achieve >50% multjunction solar cells with optimized bandgap energies. I will also discuss how we can resolve the photo-electronic properties of thin film solar cell technologies using near field scanning probe techniques. Such measurements help elucidate the main limitations of these devices, which currently dominate the PV market. Lastly, I will discuss design alternatives for tailoring the anode structural properties of solid-state thin film batteries to extend their lifetimes and improve their performance.

    BIO: Marina Leite is a CNST/UMD Research Associate in the Energy Research Group. She received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Physics from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, in 2007. She was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Harry Atwater in the departments of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech until 2011 when she moved to NIST. Her research interests include multijunction solar cells, nanoscale-resolution measurement techniques for photovoltaic materials, epitaxial quantum dots for solar cells, and solid-state batteries. Marina has published in journals such as Phys. Rev. Lett., Adv. Mat., and Appl. Phys. Lett., and received a number of recognitions, including from The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).