June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1033.1 - 15.1033.10
Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Micromanufacturing
Texas A&M University provides research experiences to undergraduate students for micro turbomachinery development. The NSF-sponsored summer program allows undergraduate students, selected from a large pool of students nationwide, to work closely with TAMU investigators and graduate students on topics related to the design and manufacturing of micro turbomachinery. Some students study materials, dynamics, or thermal aspects of turbomachinery, while others explore and develop various micromanufacturing technologies for microturbine fabrication. The nature of micromachinery requires the development of novel micromanufacturing technologies for superalloys and other robust engineering materials. The selected participants study micromilling, electrical discharge micromachining, electrochemical micromachining, and vacuum assisted microcasting. They complete a research methodology workshop and then apply to their own projects through setting objectives, planning schedule, performing experiments, documenting data, presenting results at the campus-wide poster session, and then publishing on national conference proceedings. The program also allows balanced time between technical projects and group activities. The participants tour other research facilities, visit relevant industries, and complete a series of seminars on research and graduate school preparation.
Students are carefully selected from an applicant pool with special attention to those from underrepresented groups and coming from schools with limited research facilities. About 33% of participants are female; they are among the 57% of underrepresented group in this program. At the end of the 2009 summer program the participants successfully designed and fabricated the first prototype of micro turbomachinery. They overwhelmingly enjoyed the program and majority of the participants would like to continue their research careers at graduate schools.
Gas-driven turbomachinery has been developed to either generate or recover energy in power plants or advanced transporting vehicles. However conventional turbomachines are too large and heavy for a host of new applications in military, homeland security, transportation, aerospace, and other commercial applications. To address these needs, research is being conducted to develop novel micro turbomachinery systems that are small, lightweight, fuel efficient, and portable. The interdisciplinary areas of research in which students can participate include dynamics, mechanics, microfluidics, electronics, thermal science, material science, optimization techniques, and advanced micromanufacturing.
Texas A&M University aims to develop micro turbomachinery and has completed the three-year NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. This paper presents the program, its structure, activities, and results.
Hung, W., & Leon, J., & San Andres, L. (2010, June), Research Experiences For Undergraduates In Micromanufacturing Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/17002
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