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Mechanical Engineering Seminars

  •  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.