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Mechanical Engineering Seminars

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Department Seminar Series
    Speaker Aaron Weast
    Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
    Location: EC 326
    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
    A theme of how my SCU engineering education has led to success within Nike, talking about the Nike+, FuelBand, Back to the Future shoe, etc.  Also touching on unique factors and qualities that help engineers become successful within non-engineering organizations and leadership—talking through my interaction with our Nike's CEO and Exec teams (communication skills, learning the audience, conciseness, etc.).  Things that resonate with SCU's mission and unique breadth of content for an engineering degree.

    Aaron Weast (BSME '99) is one of the original founders of the underwater robotics programs at SCU.  He has most recently taken his talents to form the engineering team for Digital Sport (the team responsible for Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Basketball/Training, etc) where he led all engineering disciplines including the development of the science of NikeFuel.  Aaron also helped create the Nike Air Mag 2012, which raised over $11 million dollars for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Most recently Aaron joined Nike's innovation team as the innovation lead for Nike Basketball and Brand Jordan.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Engineering Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Timothy Hight
    Location: EC 326
    Time: 4:00 - 5:00

    Topic:  SCU Solar Decathlon Design and Technology

    Abstract:  SCU has participated in the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon intercollegiate competition in 2007 and 2009, and is preparing our design for the 2013 competition.  This talk presents an overview of our past entries and competition results, as well as a look ahead at our 2013 design.  I will highlight some of our design innovations in the context of our overall approach to the contest, and our successes.

    Bio:   Tim Hight has been at SCU since 1984, and was chair of the mechanical engineering department from 1998 to 2011.  He has his MS and PhD from Stanford University, and BS from CalTech.  His major teaching interest is in mechanical design, and he developed and supervises the senior design project program for the department.  Dr. Hight has been the faculty project manager for SCU’s 2007, 2009, and 2013 Solar Decathlon projects.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, January 30, 2013


    You are cordially invited to the Mechanical Engineering Department Seminar Series

    Speaker: Pete Woytowitz, Sr. Manager Lam Research Corp.
    Topic: Computational Modeling in Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

    Date: Wednesday, January 30th
    Location: EC 326, Bannan Engineering
    Time: 4:00 - 5:00




    The name "Silicon Valley" was coined as a reflection of the prowess of the the Santa Clara Valley and surrounding regions in the area of semiconductor electronics research, design and development.  Originally all major electronics firms manufactured their own integrated circuits, mostly on silicon, and also designed the processes and equipment needed to build and manufacture the microelectronic circuits.  Today only the largest and leading edge electronics firms continue to manufacture their own chips in closely guarded fabrication facilities or fabs.  Also today almost all major electronics firms purchase the processing equipment from companies that specialize in wafer processing equipment.  Silicon Valley continues to have a high density of semiconductor equipment manufactures including several major players along with many smaller companies and start-ups specializing in a particular applications and processes.
    This talk will outline the electronics food-chain showing how consumers drive the electronics economy.  We will then talk about the typical design goals for semiconductor processing equipment.  Finally examples of Computational Modeling analyses that are used to help achieve the design design goals and speed time to market will be presented.



    Pete Woytowitz, Ph.D., P.E. is Sr. Manager of Computational Modeling and Reliability at Lam Research Corp.  He has worked in the semiconductor manufacturing equipment area for over 12 years and has in the past worked for companies including Exponent Failure Analysis, Ford Aerospace and Communications (now Loral Space Systems) and Boeing Commercial Airplane company.  He is an adjunct professor in Mechanical and Civil engineering at SCU and teaches courses in finite element analysis, advanced vibrations and related areas.
  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, January 23, 2013



    Please mark your calendar for speaker T. Calvin Tszeng

    Location: EC 326

    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

    Date: 1/23/13

    Topic: Residual stresses in engineering components


    Residual stresses in engineering components originate from irreversible, non-uniform changes, like inelastic (plastic) deformations or structural changes (phase transformation). Uncontrolled residual stresses always appear in components due to manufacturing processes. Desirable compressive residual stresses, on the other hand, are implanted in critical components through various surface modification techniques for enhanced resistance to fatigue and stress corrosion. While sub-surface residual stress is critical to fracture resistance, bulk residual stress is responsible for excessive distortion during machining processes or during thermal loading. Knowledge of residual stress distribution in engineering components shall greatly improve predictions of component performance and geometrical stability. This talk is to give a brief look at state of the art in the following topics pertaining to residual stresses: processing techniques, thermal and mechanical stability, and measurement methods, including a very recent research on non-destructive measurement method for full-field 3D bulk residual stresses.


    Dr. Tszeng is a Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer with Mechanical Engineering Department. He earned his Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley. Dr. Tszeng used to be a faculty member at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Dr. Tszeng was the Principal Investigator of several research projects funded by US Department of Defense.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Please mark your calendar to hear guest speaker: Jeremy Munday

    Location: EC326

    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

    Abstract: When light interacts with matter, a rich variety of phenomena can occur leading to both energy generation and mechanical motion under appropriate conditions. In this talk, I will present our recent results on two fronts: (i) energy generation from photons (quanta of light) and (ii) mechanical motion of microscale objects using either photon pressure or nanoscale quantum mechanic forces. In the first part, I will discuss how we can design and implement small-scale optical components in order to greatly improve the amount of absorption possible in thin photovoltaic devices—leading to significant efficiency improvements. We will also discuss new energy generating concepts that take advantage of so-called ‘hot electrons’ that are usually lost to heat. In the second part, I will discuss our work using both photon pressure and the Casimir force (a quantum mechanical phenomenon) to manipulate nano- and microscale objects. I will describe experiments in which we tailored these interactions between solid materials to achieve both attractive and repulsive nanoscale forces. While these projects are scientifically challenging, the graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in our lab have made great progress. I will highlight our team’s future directions for advanced energy generation.

    Bio: Jeremy Munday is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland with affiliate appointments in the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) and the Chemical Physics Graduate Program at UMD. He received his PhD in Physics from Harvard in 2008, under the supervision of Federico Capasso, and his BS in Physics and Astronomy from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003. He was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Harry Atwater in the departments of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech until 2011 when he moved to UMD. His research endeavors range from near field optics, photonics, and plasmonics for energy harvesting to quantum electromechanical phenomena (such as the Casimir effect) for manipulating micro- and nano-mechanical devices. He has received a number of recognitions, including the NASA Early Career Faculty Space Technology Research Award.



  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Wednesday, March 14
    Speaker: Chelsey Simmons
    Topic: Dynamic Cell Culture Systems for Stimulation and Assessment of Cardiovascular Cells
    Abstract: The heart and blood vessels are dynamic, active tissues subject to a variety of mechanical stimuli like tensile strain, positive pressure, and shear flow. Researchers are beginning to examine the impact of these mechanical factors on cardiovascular physiology, and sophisticated tools can advance our understanding of these interactions to improve medicine and healthcare. I have developed a variety of tools to replicate aspects of the cardiovascular system in vitro, specifically, a silicone and acrylamide system to modulate strain and stiffness parameters independently. This presentation will also describe image processing tools I have developed to assess heart cell contractility and applications of this system to a cure for inherited heart disease.
    Bio: Chelsey is currently finishing her PhD at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering as a member of Beth Pruitt's Microsystems Lab. She graduated from Harvard cum laude with a B.S. in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, completing a Co-Op with DePuy Spine, a Johnson and Johnson Company, along the way. Chelsey has received a number of competitive grants, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to her research, Chelsey has developed and led a recurring summer seminar series for high school math and science teachers. She is also a founding officer and the current President of Stanford's American Society for Engineering Education.
  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012
    Speaker: Panthea Sepehrban
    Topic: Computational Modeling for Tomorrow's Technologies
    Computational materials modeling is one of the fastest growing areas within the field of materials science. It has been developed with the goal of pushing theories and experiments beyond the limits of manageable mathematics and practicable experiments. This talk addresses the role of computational modeling in design of new materials through tailoring structural properties at various length scales. To elaborate the subject, a recently developed computational
    technique for microstructural simulation is described. This model has been developed to simulate microstructural evolution during thermomechanical processing of precipitate hardenable alloys. It specifically aims to enhance fabrication of aluminum sheets with advanced properties that are required in light energy-efficient vehicle. The simulation algorithm is generated based on a Monte Carlo technique. At each stage of the process, microstructural properties are simulated on the basis of a competition between recovery and recrystallization for reduction of system’s
    energy. To obtain reliable results, the effects of deformation-induced and pre-existing inhomogeneities, precipitates, and grain boundary pinning on the competitive recoveryrecrystallization process are included in the simulation algorithm. The developed technique is implemented to predict the microstructural evolution during processing of fine grained Al-Mg-Si sheets. The good quantitative agreement found between the model predictions and the results from the experimental investigations validates the modeling approach.

    Biography: Dr. Panthea Sepehrband earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering from The University of Tehran, and Sharif University of Technology, respectively. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Waterloo in 2010, and followed her research as a postdoctoral fellow at the same university. Her research is mainly focused on development of new generation of materials with specific properties through a synergy of multi-scale computational modeling and experimental analysis. She has authored 23 journal and conference publications in the area of materials modeling and microstructural development.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Please mark your calendars to hear guest speaker - Will Anderson

    Location: EC 326

    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 PM

    Title: "Wave Glider"

    The Wave Glider is a new type of ocean going autonomous vehicle that is unique in that it is propelled
    by the ocean’s waves. Developed at Liquid Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup, the vehicle harvests wave
    energy using a mechanical mechanism, converting it into thrust. Since no motor or fuel is required, the
    Wave Glider can stay on the water for a year or more at a time and cross entire oceans unattended,
    exploring the sea along the way. This talk will briefly review the development history of the vehicle,
    discuss how it works and illustrate the concept using underwater video of an actual vehicle, and explain
    the motivations for developing the vehicle. A few of the accomplishments and missions to date will be
    described along with some of the challenges a vehicle of this type encounters while conducting long
    endurance missions. Finally, the presentation will provide a brief glimpse into the future of the Wave
    Glider, where the vehicles are going and what is hoped to be achieved.

    Will Anderson earned his BSME degree from San Jose State University and spent the first 10 years of his
    career designing missiles and satellites at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale. He left
    aerospace to work on commercial products and spent the next 10 years engineering audio and video
    conferencing devices, graphic supercomputers, and optical networking equipment at such companies as
    Plantronics, Polycom, and Silicon Graphics as well as various startups. Since then he spent 7 years in the
    consulting field working on a variety of projects including robotic power tools, cooling systems for laser
    TV’s, ultralow flow toilets, and novel solar array technology. During this latter period he went back to
    school and earned a MSME in mechatronics from Santa Clara University. He is currently a Principle
    Engineer at Liquid Robotics where he is working on the next generation of the Wave Glider, a wave
    powered autonomous ocean going vehicle.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Please mark your calendars to hear guest speaker - Dante Zeviar

    Location: EC 326

    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 PM

    Title: "Electric Vehicle Technology"


    KleenSpeed Technologies Inc. is a local company focused on the development of innovative and advanced technologies and intellectual properties that will revolutionize the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry and create systems and vehicles that truly realize the full potential of electric vehicles.  The company is currently focused on three core competencies – ESS, Energy Storage Systems; EPS Electric Propulsion Systems; and EVI, Electric Vehicle Integration – which they combine to develop complete EV Systems and EV Platforms.  As a means of accelerating their technology development process, they have taken on the challenge of developing the world’s fastest EV race car, and they have built several record-setting EVs.  In this talk, company CTO Dante Zeviar will present an overview of Kleenspeed's vision, technology and systems, to include their line of EV products and their EV-X11 Race Car.


    EVP / CTO / Director

    Dante has several years of automotive experience, including leading numerous teams through the automotive development process and building formula style race cars. A graduate from the University of California at Berkley, he has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, a M.Sc. in Automotive Engineering from Technical University of Munich, and a Professional Automotive Technology degree from Universal Technical Institute. During his time in Germany, he has worked in BMW’s R&D department and developed ground breaking aluminum electrical connectors for high current applications in hybrid and electric vehicles.  Dante’s passion and mission is to establish the electric vehicle as a superior mode of transportation in the 21st century.

  •  Winter Seminar: Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Please mark your calendars to hear guest speaker - Dave Wyland

    Location: EC 326

    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 PM

    Title: "The Field Robotics Age"


    Great engineering opportunities are opening up in field robotics.
    Like factory robots, these are pick-and-place machines that move things around.
    Unlike factory robots, they move things around in open, changing environments.

    Robotic vacuum cleaners were the first commercial examples of field robotics.
    These were enabled by laser distance sensors and new algorithms.
    Example: Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM).
    These products also made use of mechatronics, an interdisciplinary area of engineering that combines mechanical and electrical engineering with computer science.

    Field robotics is a fast growing market with huge potential.
    The US military wants to have one-third of its vehicles autonomous (robotic) by 2015, and commercial applications are equally important. Instead of humanoid forms, we should expect to see a wide variety of very different machines for different environments and tasks.