Texas A&M Engineering News The Look College is one of the largest engineering schools in the country, ranking third in undergraduate enrollment and sixth in graduate enrollment by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in its 2011 survey. The Look College also ranked seventh in the number bachelor's degrees awarded, 13th in master's degrees awarded and 10th in doctoral degrees awarded. And our college consistently ranks among the nation's top public undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. http://engineering.tamu.edu Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Experts gather at A&M to discuss growing cyber threats to critical infrastructure Aubrey Bloom <abloom@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/experts-gather-at-am-to-discuss-growing-cyber-threats-to-critical-infrastructure <p><img width="400" height="225" src="/media/4594131/cybersecurity_400x225.jpg" alt="Cyber Security" class="rightalign"/>The Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure Summit had a successful inaugural event last week on the Texas A&amp;M University campus. The summit brought together experts from government, private industry and academia to debate and share ideas about protecting the United States from growing cybersecurity threats around the world.</p> <p>Overall, the three-day event had a theme of optimism. Keynote speaker Dr. John Launchbury, director of the Information Innovation Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said he believes it’s a battle that can be won despite what people may read in the news. Other keynote speakers included:</p> <ul> <li>Ray Rothrock, chairman and CEO of RedSeal, and former general partner at  Venrock, the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family.</li> <li>Dan Ennis, former director of the Threat Operations Center at the National Security Agency (NSA).</li> <li>Rhonda MacLean, CEO, MacLean Risk Partners, and former chief information security officer (CISO) for the Boeing Corporation, Bank of America and Barclays, PLC, Global Retail and Commercial Bank in London.</li> </ul> <p>For more about the issues discussed, the <i>Bryan-College Station Eagle</i> was on hand for the event, and covered both the keynote from Launchbury and the keynotes and panel discussions. </p> <p>Launchbury says issues serious, but solvable: <a href="http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/texas-a-m-speaker-cybersecurity-issues-serious-but-solvable/article_bf2447fe-0c66-5dfb-907a-dce09af8bba4.html">http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/texas-a-m-speaker-cybersecurity-issues-serious-but-solvable/article_bf2447fe-0c66-5dfb-907a-dce09af8bba4.html</a></p> <p>Cyber experts debate security priorities at Texas A&amp;M Summit: <a href="http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/cyber-experts-debate-security-priorities-at-texas-a-m-summit/article_6f3ab464-aad8-575a-a38a-e9a1bd87db99.html">http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/cyber-experts-debate-security-priorities-at-texas-a-m-summit/article_6f3ab464-aad8-575a-a38a-e9a1bd87db99.html</a></p> <p>The event was sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and hosted by the Texas A&amp;M College of Engineering and the Bush School of Government and Public Service. The event organizers were the Texas A&amp;M Institute for Advanced Study and the Texas A&amp;M Cybersecurity Center, a join partnership between Texas A&amp;M and the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station.</p> <p>The second Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure Summit is currently scheduled for April 2018. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/experts-gather-at-am-to-discuss-growing-cyber-threats-to-critical-infrastructure http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/experts-gather-at-am-to-discuss-growing-cyber-threats-to-critical-infrastructure Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Poludnenko receives the 2016 François Frenkiel Award Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/poludnenko-receives-the-2016-francois-frenkiel-award <p><img width="200" height="267" src="/media/4385404/Poludnenko_2-web_200x267.jpg" alt="Poludnenko 2 Web" class="rightalign"/></p> <p>Dr. Alexei Poludnenko, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has received the American Physical Society's (APS) 2016 François Frenkiel Award. The APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) presents this award to young investigators in recognition of significant contributions to fluid mechanics that have also been published during the previous year in either <i>Physical Review Fluids</i> or <i>Physics of Fluids</i>.</p> <p>The international award was presented to Poludnenko during the 69th Annual DFD Meeting in Portland, Oregon, and consisted of $1,000, a certificate citing the accomplishment and travel/registration expenses to attend the annual meeting. Poludnenko was invited to present a plenary talk from his award-winning research "High-Speed Turbulent Reacting Flows: Intrinsic Flame Instability and its Effects on the Turbulent Cascade."</p> <p>Poludnenko earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester in 2004, and worked as a research scientist at the University of Chicago (2004-07) and as a research associate/physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory (2007-16), before joining Texas A&amp;M in the fall of 2016. His research in chemically reacting flow using high-performance computation complements and augments the combustion/propulsion/turbulence research in the department. Poludnenko is the second faculty member in the department to win this award. Dr. Diego Donzis, associate professor, received the prestigious award in 2013.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/poludnenko-receives-the-2016-francois-frenkiel-award http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/poludnenko-receives-the-2016-francois-frenkiel-award Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST TEES researchers join Department of Transportation consortium Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/tees-researchers-join-department-of-transportation-consortium <p>A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the <a href="http://tees.tamu.edu/">Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)</a> has partnered with higher education institutions from across the southern United States to form the Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran- SET), a research consortium funded by the Department of Transportation (DOT).</p> <p>The researchers from TEES will focus on projects associated with the use of multifunctional materials in new component construction, remote sensing of signals potentially generated by these materials, development of new environmentally friendly cement alternatives and the understanding and investigation of corrosion in aging infrastructure components.</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/karaman-ibrahim">Dr. Ibrahim Karaman</a>, Chevron Professor I and department head in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, will lead the TEES team.</p> <p>“The consortium has the potential to highlight next generation materials needed for safer and smarter transportation infrastructure,” said Karaman. “We need new and improved materials to develop our infrastructure and I’m excited that our faculty will be joining other research from across several southern states.”</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/aerospace/people/dhartl">Dr. Darren Hartl</a>, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, will work with Karaman to design optimization and development of embedded smart material sensors.</p> <p>“I am excited to work with this local Texas A&amp;M team in addressing materials and mechanics challenges in an area that is new and exciting to all of us,” Hartl said. “I also look forward to our interactions with the other Trans-SET members.”</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/akarsilayan">Dr. Aydin Karsilayan</a>, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will develop new methods for broadcasting sensor signals at low powers.</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/mradovic">Dr. Miladin Radovic</a>, associate professor and associate department head in the materials science and engineering department, will develop new polymer-based concrete substitutes for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/castaneda-homero">Dr. Homero Castenada</a>, associate professor in the materials science and engineering department, will be involved in addressing new methods for corrosion control and mitigation in existing transportation structures.</p> <p>Dr. <a href="https://www.cm.lsu.edu/people/faculty/facstaff/marwa.hassan">Marwa Hassan</a> of Louisiana State University will lead Tran-SET, which will address novel materials and innovative construction methodologies as applied throughout the transportation infrastructure. It will also include economic limitations by considering research topics with strong potential for transition to implementation. The DOT will support the consortium with $2.5 million for the first year and determine future funding based on research success.</p> <p>In addition to TEES, other members of the consortium include Arkansas State University, Baton Rouge Community College, Navajo Technical University, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma State University, Prairie View A&amp;M University, Texas A&amp;M University, The University of New Mexico, The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Texas at San Antonio.</p> <p class="leftalign"><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/karaman-ibrahim"><img width="794" height="354" src="/media/4594121/screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-122952-pm_502x225.jpg" alt="DOT Dr. Hartl news"/></a></p> <p class="leftalign"><em>Preliminary results include experimental prototypes of shape memory alloy sensory particles embedded in a structural material (left) and the ability to computationally locate damage as sensed by these particles (right).</em></p> <p class="leftalign">Contributing author: Lorian Hopcus</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/tees-researchers-join-department-of-transportation-consortium http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/tees-researchers-join-department-of-transportation-consortium Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Garcia presents posters on global opportunities for study abroad and recruiting international graduate students Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/garcia-presents-posters-on-global-opportunities-for-study-abroad-and-recruiting-international-graduate-students <p><img width="300" height="200" src="/media/4594122/Garcia-Poster-Presentation-web.jpg" alt="Garcia Poster Presentation Web" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Sonia Garcia recently presented two posters at the World Engineering Education Forum and Global Engineering Deans Council 2016 in South Korea. Garcia, who is the senior director of Access and Inclusion in the Texas A&amp;M University College of Engineering, presented on global opportunities for study abroad, recruiting international graduate students and research abroad opportunities for first generation college students.</p> <p>The theme of the conference was “Engineering Education for a Smart Society.” The main aspect of smart society, according to the conference website, is to make our society be more intelligent with new digital technologies. Engineers are crucial to applying the new digital technologies emerging today, and they must be educated and trained through innovative education.</p> <p>Garcia presented the poster “ELCIR – Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research: Global Opportunities to Low-Income First Generation Students,” authored with Maria Alves, director of the Haliburton Engineering Global Programs, as well as Matthew Pariyothorn, Dr. David De Sousa and Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina.</p> <p>THE ELCIR program was created with the intention of increasing the number of students participating in research and studying abroad, more specifically low-income, first generation underrepresented minority students. In sum, the purpose of the ELCIR program is threefold: expose sophomore students early in their studies and careers in engineering to research; immerse students in cultural and global research; and provide students with the basic tools to prepare them for future research opportunities with the college of engineering and/or to pave the way into graduate studies.</p> <p>The poster highlighted how the program was implemented, the outcomes and the impact on the students based on the analyses of a pre and two post surveys. The focus was on the global competencies developed by the students as a result of the program.</p> <p>The second poster presented by Garcia, “Targeted International Graduate Recruiting – A Case Study for Recruiting Mexican Students,” was authored by Alves, Medina-Cetina, Martha <a href="#_msocom_1">[TS1]</a> Ortega, Alicia Navarrete Alonso and Victor Camara.</p> <p>The college of engineering collaborated with CANIETI, the Mexican National Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunication, and Information Technology, on a pilot program to increase the number of high-quality graduate students recruited from Mexico. The poster presented the recruiting and selection process, the implementation and the results of the three years of the program. Insights into this project can serve as a model for international student recruitment.  </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/garcia-presents-posters-on-global-opportunities-for-study-abroad-and-recruiting-international-graduate-students http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/19/garcia-presents-posters-on-global-opportunities-for-study-abroad-and-recruiting-international-graduate-students Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Securing change: the fight to protect our online space Rachel Rose <rdaggie@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/securing-change-the-fight-to-protect-our-online-space <p>One thing we can all agree on is social media has drastically altered the way we interact with each other and the world around us. This societal shift has brought to light the need for awareness of the risks that surround it. As quickly as the landscape of social interaction changes, new threats emerge.</p> <p>While there have been extensive studies on traditional methods for targeting a mass audience such as television, print and search engine advertising, there remains a significant gap in the understanding of the vulnerability of social systems to collective attention threats. </p> <p>Dr. James Caverlee, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, is devoted to creating a world where every online interaction can be trusted, with assurances on who and what you are dealing with.</p> <p>A few examples of collective attention threats are breaking news, viral videos and popular memes that can quickly spread misinformation, propaganda and malware. Because of these, like never before, users are involuntary accomplices to the spread and success of these new hazards.</p> <p>“It is imperative to develop new techniques to detect, analyze, model and defend against collective attention threats in large-scale social systems,” Caverlee said. “The overarching research goal of this project is to develop the framework, algorithms and systems for analyzing, modeling and defending against emergent collective attention threats in large-scale social systems.”</p> <p>Since users are typically dependent on the system operators to provide protection, Caverlee and his team are working to build a threat awareness application that will serve as an early-warning system for users. This countermeasure will prevent or mitigate the effects of these potential threats.</p> <p><img width="458" height="305" src="/media/4592094/caverlee-research-2_458x305.jpg" alt="Caverlee Research Jan 17_2" class="rightalign"/></p> <p>“YouTube, itself, is responsible for monitoring and expelling videos that are conduits to spam and malware; Twitter attempts to block spam accounts and messages once it collects sufficient evidence,” Caverlee said. “This one-size-fits-all method ignores individual risk profiles and suffers from either blocking too much content or allowing all content. Instead, we propose to develop a personalized awareness app that will communicate to each user their exposure to collective attention threats.”</p> <p>The way the app will work is that on opening a user’s Twitter timeline, for instance, the app will highlight tweets that are associated with a threat. This will give each user more control over their social experience.</p> <p>The idea is that the app may be able to sample evidence of collective attention threats early in the lifecycle of a collective attention phenomenon, for example sampling and labeling spam tweets from a trending topic. Based on this early evidence, the app will be able to identify and eliminate developing threats.</p> <p>As a result of these threats growing and changing so rapidly, Caverlee recognizes the need to have a continually upgraded design. His team will provide its initial thoughts on the most relevant features influencing and predicting threats and will continue to explore the most computationally efficient features in order to maintain the responsiveness.</p> <p>Caverlee began studying this topic in the mid-2000s by looking at web spam. That led to the study of emerging social systems, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the creation of "social honeypots" to lure social spammers and content polluters. Taking this further, Caverlee has also studied how online spaces can be manipulated by online campaigns and crowdsourced attacks.</p> <p>“The ultimate goal is to build a scientific foundation for the deep understanding of these new threats, including new algorithms, frameworks and systems; give companies new tools to fight back against threats within their systems; and to give users themselves new power to make sense of their online experience,” Caverlee said.</p> <p>This research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Anna Squicciarini, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, and is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) as part of a three-year effort. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/securing-change-the-fight-to-protect-our-online-space http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/securing-change-the-fight-to-protect-our-online-space Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Fossum appointed vice president and chief operating officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/fossum-appointed-vice-president-and-chief-operating-officer-of-texas-am-university-at-galveston <p><img width="220" height="216" src="/media/4592092/220px-fossum_0.jpg" alt="220px -fossum _0" class="rightalign"/>Texas A&amp;M University graduate and astronaut Michael E. Fossum has been appointed as the new vice president and chief operating officer of Texas A&amp;M University at Galveston. Fossum’s appointment is effective March 1.</p> <p>Fossum, a 1980 Texas A&amp;M mechanical engineering graduate, recently announced his retirement from the National Aeronautics &amp; Space Administration (NASA). In 2013 Fossum received the Outstanding Alumni Honor Award from the college of engineering.  </p> <p>Fossum worked for NASA since 1983 and was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He is a veteran of three space flights, logging more than 194 days in space, including more than 48 hours in seven spacewalks. His most recent role at NASA was as assistant chief for the International Space Station.</p> <p>Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Fossum grew up in McAllen, Texas. He attended Texas A&amp;M and was a member of the Corps of Cadets, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and receiving his commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1980.  </p> <p>After completing a Master of Science in systems engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, he was detailed to NASA Johnson Space Center, where he supported space shuttle flight operations.</p> <p>In 1985, he graduated from Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and went on to serve first as a flight test engineer in the F-16 Test Squadron and later as a flight test manager at the Air Force Flight Test Center. </p> <p>Fossum resigned from active duty in 1992 to work for NASA as a systems engineer. In 1997, he earned a Master of Science in physical science (space science) from the University of Houston ‒ Clear Lake. He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 2010.</p> <p>Among his many honors and awards, Fossum has received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and two NASA Spaceflight Medals, as well as the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. </p> <p>He is especially proud of his Boy Scout awards, which include Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver and Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/fossum-appointed-vice-president-and-chief-operating-officer-of-texas-am-university-at-galveston http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/fossum-appointed-vice-president-and-chief-operating-officer-of-texas-am-university-at-galveston Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Shamberger to receive New Materials Educator Award from ASEE Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/shamberger-to-receive-new-materials-educator-award-from-asee <p><img width="200" height="300" src="/media/4592091/dsc_2370mod.jpg" alt="Dsc _2370mod" class="leftalign"/>Dr. Patrick Shamberger, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been selected to receive the New Materials Educator Award from the materials division of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).</p> <p>Shamberger, who is also the undergraduate degree program director in the department, was nominated for the award by Dr. Ibrahim Karaman, head of the department. The award recognizes exceptional achievements in materials science engineering education made by early career professionals.</p> <p>“The nomination package submitted by Professor Ibrahim Karaman was very impressive and distinguished you out of a large number of highly qualified nominees for the award,” wrote the committee. “We were particularly impressed with your highly-viewed video lecture series available on YouTube, your work in establishing an undergraduate minor in materials science at Texas A&amp;M University, your leadership in developing a new Bachelor of Science curriculum and your work in engineering education research.</p> <p>Shamberger will receive the award at the ASEE annual conference this June in Columbus, Ohio. He has also been invited to give an honorary lecture about his experience in materials education engineering.</p> <p>Shamberger has been a faculty member since 2013 and received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Washington. His research interests include science and engineering of phase transitions, functional materials, thermal energy storage, transport and conversion. He is actively involved in undergraduate science and engineering education and mentoring.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/shamberger-to-receive-new-materials-educator-award-from-asee http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/shamberger-to-receive-new-materials-educator-award-from-asee Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Satchidanadnan wins best student paper award at COMSNETS 2017 Deana Totzke <deana@ece.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/satchidanadnan-wins-best-student-paper-award-at-comsnets-2017 <p><img width="149" height="166" src="/media/4592090/bharadwaj_2_149x166.jpg" alt="Satchidanadnan" class="leftalign"/>Bharadwaj Satchidanadnan, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, won the best student paper award in the 9th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS 2017) in Bangalore, India.</p> <p>Satchidanadnan co-wrote the paper "On Minimal Tests of Sensor Veracity for Dynamic Watermarking-Based Defense of Cyber-Physical Systems," with his Ph.D. adviser, Dr. P.R. Kumar from the Computer Engineering and Systems Group.</p> <p>Their paper addresses the problem of secure control of networked cyber-physical systems. More specifically, they consider the problem of controlling a physical plant with multiple inputs and multiple outputs, where the sensors measuring some of the outputs may be malicious. The malicious sensors can collude and report false measurements, fabricated possibly strategically, in order to achieve any objective that they may have, such as destabilizing the closed-loop system or increasing its running cost. In his paper, Satchidanadnan proposes a general technique termed Dynamic Watermarking, which allows the controller to detect such malicious sensors in the system and prevent them from causing performance degradation.</p> <p>Satchidanandan earned his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, where he worked on wireless communications. Between May 2015 and August 2015, he interned at Intel Labs in Santa Clara, California, where he worked on interference cancellation algorithms for next generation wireless networks. His research interests include cyberphysical systems, power systems, security, database privacy, communications, control and signal processing.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/satchidanadnan-wins-best-student-paper-award-at-comsnets-2017 http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/satchidanadnan-wins-best-student-paper-award-at-comsnets-2017 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Texas A&M to lead advanced robotics manufacturing institute for South Central Region Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/texas-am-to-lead-advanced-robotics-manufacturing-institute-for-south-central-region <p>The Texas A&amp;M University College of Engineering will lead a new South Central Regional Robotics Innovation Collaborative, part of the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub announced Friday (Jan. 13) by the Department of Defense.</p> <p>American Robotics, Inc., an independent institute founded by Carnegie Mellon University, will lead the institute. The ARM institute joins the Manufacturing USA network in its collective effort to help revitalize American manufacturing and incentivize companies to invest in new technology development in the United States.   </p> <p>The use of robotics is already present in manufacturing environments, but today’s robots are typically expensive, singularly purposed, challenging to reprogram and require isolation from humans for safety. The ARM institute’s mission is to create and deploy robotic technology by integrating the diverse collection of industry practices and institutional knowledge across many disciplines to create a robust manufacturing innovation ecosystem.</p> <p>“We are excited to participate in this sustained contribution to ARM’s public-private partnership in support of the expansion of advanced robotics for our nation’s manufacturing growth,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&amp;M University System. “This represents a significant investment in the robotics manufacturing space. Texas A&amp;M already has some of the nation’s most outstanding faculty and researchers in the field of robotics. And soon, our new RELLIS campus will provide them and their research partners with premier test bed facilities and training space.”</p> <p>Over the past year, Texas A&amp;M Engineering has been chosen to lead two other Manufacturing USA’s nationwide initiatives. Texas A&amp;M and the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) are leading the Gulf Coast Regional Manufacturing Center, one of five regional centers located across the country as part of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute. In addition, the Texas A&amp;M Energy Institute, a partnership between Texas A&amp;M and TEES, has been selected to lead the modeling and simulation efforts of the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Manufacturing Institute of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.</p> <p>“Having Texas A&amp;M leading this effort in robotics for advanced manufacturing is going to have significant and long lasting impact, opening new avenues for education for our students and positively impacting the economies of our community, state and nation,” said Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&amp;M University.</p> <p>The robotics-manufacturing consortium, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is comprised of more than 220 partners from state and local governments, industry, universities, community colleges and non-profit organizations. Partner organizations contributed $173 million, combined with $80 million in federal funding. The substantial cost matching reflects the importance the U.S. robotics community places on this institute and its value to U.S. businesses, academia and state and local governments. </p> <p>“As the lead of the South Central Regional Robotics Innovation Collaborative, we look forward to advancing the ARM institute mission to improve U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing through development of smart collaborative robotic solutions,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor of Texas A&amp;M Engineering. “Texas A&amp;M Engineering has strong existing partnerships with two-year colleges and key state agencies that support workforce development and education opportunities. We will leverage these and other resources, and develop new robotics curricula and training activities for manufacturing.”</p> <p>The ARM institute joins the Manufacturing USA institute network, a program with industry, academia and government participants who co-invest in the development of innovative manufacturing technologies and capabilities. Each Manufacturing USA institute focuses on a technology area critical to future competitiveness – such as additive manufacturing, integrated photonics or smart sensors. The federal government has committed over $1 billion, matched by over $2 billion in non-federal investment.</p> <p>TEES brings a network of regional expertise in engineering and design, manufacturing, and robotics for collaborative manufacturing to bridge the gap between innovative research and industry need. By offering workforce training, skills development and stackable certificates based on local robotics and manufacturing demands, TEES is uniquely able to create career pathways across all educational levels to increase the number of qualified employees in the industry.</p> <p>Dr. Prabhakar Pagilla, the James J. Cain Professor II in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M, served as principal investigator from Texas A&amp;M on the proposal and also represented Texas A&amp;M Engineering at the announcement in Washington, D.C. Dr. Ben Zoghi, professor in engineering technology and industrial distribution, and Stavros Kalafatis, professor of practice in electrical engineering, actively participated in the proposal’s development and industry partnerships. Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, deputy director of TEES and senior associate dean for research in the college of engineering, continuously provided guidance and support throughout the long proposal effort and championed Texas A&amp;M’s participation in this multi-university partnership.</p> <p>For more information regarding Manufacturing USA, please visit <a href="https://www.manufacturingusa.com/">https://www.manufacturingusa.com/</a>. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/texas-am-to-lead-advanced-robotics-manufacturing-institute-for-south-central-region http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/texas-am-to-lead-advanced-robotics-manufacturing-institute-for-south-central-region Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST Rapid ceramic-metal processing for superior composites  Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/rapid-ceramic-metal-processing-for-superior-composites <p>Recent advancements in automotive, aerospace and power generation industries have inspired materials scientists to engineer innovative materials. Ceramic metal composites, or ce<img width="453" height="302" src="/media/4586121/a26u1071_453x302.jpg" alt="Dr. Radovic with SPS" class="rightalign"/>rmets, are an example of a new and improved class of materials that can enhance transportation and energy conversion technologies.</p> <p class="p3">Cermets combine useful properties from each of their primary constituent materials such as high temperature stability of ceramics and machinability and ductility of metals. However, cermets are effective only if their constituent materials do not react with each other during their processing.</p> <p class="p3">Researchers at Texas A&amp;M University have developed a rapid and efficient technology that enables processing ceramics and metals together into cermets with little to no reaction between constituent materials. This breakthrough opens the possibilities for development of new and superior composite materials.</p> <p class="p3">Most ceramics and metals are unstable when combined at high temperatures and are known to react with each other, leaving the final composite materials with undesirable properties such as brittleness or low temperature resistance.</p> <p>“This severely limits the number of new composite materials that can be developed for our growing needs,” said <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/mradovic">Dr. Miladin Radovic</a>, associate professor and associate department head in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.</p> <p class="leftalign"><img width="466" height="310" src="/media/4586122/lh2_596x397.jpg" alt="Liangfa SPS"/></p> <p>Radovic along with <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/karaman-ibrahim">Dr. Ibrahim Karaman</a>, Chevron Professor I and head of the materials science and engineering department, and former doctoral students Dr. Liangfa Hu and Dr. Ankush Kothalkar, and Morgan O’Neil, an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have developed the current-activated pressure-assisted infiltration (CAPAI) method to combine ceramics and metals resulting in stable, high performance composites.</p> <p>In only nine seconds, the CAPAI method combines ceramics and metals with little to no reaction between constituent materials. It uses electric current to instantly heat the metal, and applied pressure to drive the molten metal into foam made of ceramic.</p> <p class="p3">In their initial study, the researchers selected aluminum for its light weight, corrosion resistance and popularity in automotive and aerospace industries, and ceramic foams of titanium aluminum carbide (Ti<sub>2</sub>AlC) for their good fracture toughness, electrical and thermal conductivity, and combined them into lightweight cermets with high strength and good temperature stability.</p> <p class="p3">“The electric current and the pressure together provided simultaneous heating and pressure that actively drove the molten metals into the ceramic preform,” said Radovic. “The fast and controllable heating rate, which was as high as 700 degrees Celsius, offered an easy and efficient way to avoid reactions between ceramics and molten metal.”</p> <p class="p3">The researchers discovere<img width="304" height="486" src="/media/4586123/slide1_304x486.jpg" alt="CAPAI method" class="leftalign rightalign"/>d that the resulting composite (Ti<sub>3</sub>AlC<sub>3</sub>/Al) was lightweight with competitive mechanical properties at both ambient (room) temperatures and elevated temperatures. It was 10 times stronger at room temperatures and 14 times stronger at 400 degrees Celsius than aluminum alloys, and was less prone to severe degradation after exposure to high temperatures.</p> <p class="p3">“Both aluminum and titanium aluminum carbides challenged the conventional methods for producing desirable composite materials because they react to each other at temperature that is well beyond that needed to combine them in the composite material,” said Radovic. “The CAPAI method allowed processing novel ceramic-metal composites which could not otherwise be obtained using powder metallurgy and conventional infiltration techniques.”</p> <p class="p3">Radovic is optimistic about the limitless opportunities that new and advanced composite materials will offer for both economical and sustainable manufacturing on an industrial scale.</p> <p class="p3">The research was supported by grant awarded to Texas A&amp;M University researchers by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI).</p> <p class="p3">Read more about the research in <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/srep35523"><i>Scientific Reports</i></a>.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/rapid-ceramic-metal-processing-for-superior-composites http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/01/18/rapid-ceramic-metal-processing-for-superior-composites Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST