News & Archives
|News from 2010-11|
- LSSU Engineering cutting crew cleans up Algonguin trail after storm
- Honors Course turned ASEE paper
- Senior Project presentations for 2010-2011
- Inaugural Alumni Bash!
- Solar Servers: Senior project develops "cool" solution
- SWE: Scouting for Engineers
- Order of the Engineer Class of 2011
- Team 1596 makes the cut for state FRC competition
- Spring 2011 Engineering & Technology Banquet Re-cap
- On the Wrong End of the Racquet
- On Track - LSSU engineering students kick into high gear with track and field
- Congratulations Niels-Erik Ravn!
- PDC Hits Center Ice with Skate Fenders
- LSSU PDC-Marble Arms Collaboration
- Computer Donation
- Welcome Dr. Moening!
- Camp Longevity Celebrated
- LSSU gets new Provost, School gets new Dean
|CUTTING CREW -- A team of Lake Superior State University students, faculty and staff recently took time out from their studies and work to clear trees from the Algonquin Ski Trail in Sault Ste. Marie. The trail was blocked by dozens of trees after a storm brought them down on May 11. The storm, with winds gusting to 60 mph, brought down trees throughout the area, knocked out electrical power and damaged buildings and other property. In the photo above left, LSSU Engineering Professor Paul Duesing is putting a chainsaw to work. Above right, the crew that accompanied Duesing included LSSU mechanical engineering students, from left: Jon Spencer of West Branch, Ted Dilworth of Charlevoix, LSSU Mechanical Laboratory Engineer Jon Coullared, and ME student Tim Verstrate of Greenville. The students are all in town this summer working in the LSSU Product Development Center. (Photos courtesy Jon Coullard/LSSU)|
Energy Students' Perceptions on Global Issues and Engineering drew Best Paper-2nd Place for Dr. Paul Weber and the regional ASEE NCS Spring conference held at Central Michigan University. The impetus behind the presentation was the result of surveys from Dr. Weber's freshman-level honors course, Humans and Energy, which he taught during fall 2010.
According to Dr. Weber, the class was developed to address the need to engage students in the broad context of energy issues. The course focused on understanding resources and conversions of energy, exploring the impact on human life and vice versa. Topics included energy recourses, energy consumption and conservation; social, political, financial and technical aspects of energy systems. The students participated in hands-on energy audits using Kill-A-Watt meters and toured the Cloverland Electric Cooperative's hydroelectric plant in Sault Ste. Marie.
The ASEE paper discussed the key methods and iddeas for engaging students in energy as part of the honors class at a background-appropriate level. It also presented the results of the optional survey students completed at the end of the course regarding their perceptions of energy and engineering. The key overall class results indicated an increased respect for the work done by engineers and a greater confidence in addressing problems through research, reasoning, and mathematical analysis. The class members did not necessarily indicate that as a result of the heightened awareness an increase in the likelihood of pursing a degree in engineering. Dr. Weber points out that the nature of the results were not generalizable, but instead should be used as a starting point for future research.
The public is invited to attend the project presentations and demonstrations on Friday, April 29th. All of the presentations will take place in CASET 212. Team demonstrations are at various locations throughout CASET's first floor. Look for postings. Click here for this year's brochure. For more information, contact the School office at 906-635-2207.
|Team (alpha order)||Presentations:
|Demonstrations: Time - Room|
|Innovative Solar Solutions (ISS)||2:00 p.m.||2:30 p.m. - CASET 119|
|Pioneering Race Systems (PRS) - Directed project||3:30 p.m||4:00 p.m. - CASET 122|
|Prototech (PT)||3:00 p.m.||3:30 p.m. - CASET 106C|
|Robotic Simulation Services (RSS)||1:00 p.m.||1:30 p.m.- CASET 125|
|Steering Innovations (SI)||1:30 p.m.||2:00 p.m. - CASET 124|
|Vermilion Innovation Providers of Energy Research Solutions (VIPERS)||2:30 p.m.||3:00 p.m. - CASET 122|
Keep these URLs for next year: http://www.lssu.edu/alumni/events/eng.php and http://alumni.lssu.edu/events/engineeringalumnibash2011.php The inaugural Annual Alumni Bash was a great success! The group was treated to live music by the Wild Turkeys, including our own Vaughn Alexander playing the junk drawer! The senior group, Blue Turtle Shells, won this year's spontaneous design "Mouse Launcher" competition. Team members included: John Preczewski, Jon Mitchell, Mike Gearing, Phil Nicholson, and Ben Kurth.
|2:10 pm||Tour our updated engineering labs with our Seniors/demos by Faculty & Staff||Meet in the CASET lobby (2nd floor)|
|3:30 pm||Student (underclassmen) & Alumni Meet and Greet||Robotics Lab & Annex / CASET 125|
|4:00 pm||Impromptu Design Competition: Alumni vs Senior vs Faculty||Robotics Lab & Annex / CASET 123 & 125|
|5:30 pm||Alumni & Senior Mingle||Cisler Galley & Patio|
|6 pm||Engineering BBQ, Pig Roast & Live Music: Alumni, Faculty & Staff and Seniors - families welcome!||Cisler Galley & Patio|
|9 am||Industrial Advisory Board Meeting - RSVP required||Cisler-Great Lakes Rooms|
|Noon||IAB Luncheon - RSVP required, $10 luncheon fee for non-IAB members||Cisler-Great Lakes Rooms|
|1 pm-5 pm||Engineering Senior Projects Presentations & Demonstrations||CAS 212 & first floor (look for postings)|
Lake Superior State University School of Engineering's Team Innovative Solar Solutions (ISS) adjusts a prototype Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) array on top of LSSU's Center for Applied Science and Technology (CASET) building in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Team ISS designed, constructed, and tested the array based on a patent held by 3M. The prototype uses mirror panels with a new 3M brand Cool Mirror Film to increase the concentration of sunlight on the solar cells. The system generates concentrates 2 to 3 times as much sunlight onto the photo-voltaic arrays, thus increasing the power output without adding more solar panels, commonly the most expensive part of any solar array. The team's solar power conversion solution is more cost-efficient than current technology and demonstrates the new 3M-brand Cool Mirror Film that enables the concentration of light without heating the photovoltaic cells as much as conventional mirrors.
Left to right are faculty advisor Paul Weber, Chris Fill (computer engineering; Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), Kenneth Casperson (electrical engineering; Traverse City, Mich.), and Ray Greensky (mechanical engineering; Boyne City, Mich.).
|MIXING ENGINEERING WITH FUN - Above left, Heidi Petzold, of SWE works with Daisy Scouts and the aerodynamics of paper airplanes, while Tara Bioty, above right, helps a group of Brownies prepare their containers for an egg drop competition.|
|Members of Society of Women Engineers hosted a Girl Scout Day for troops from throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula on April 13th. More than 60 Girls Scouts ranging from Daisy through Juniors participated in the day's events which included an egg drop, flubber, paper towers and airplanes, and experiments with static electricity and the "physics" of Mentos. Plans are already underway for the third annual Girl Scout Day next spring.|
Congratulations to our new members: Christopher Fill, CE; Benjamin Kurth, ME; Philip Nicholson, ME; and Jamie Randolph, ME. Thank you to all of our guests from Teneris Algoma Tubes who took the time to come to Michigan to participate as readers for our ceremony: Chris Parlowe '08, Kris Decker '09, and Tracy McColl, P.Eng.
Our banquet continued a great tradition of fun and recognition, and a great time by all! This year was a first, with Dr. Sai Nudurupati winning BOTH the Little Screw and the Big Nut & Tool!
This year's outstanding students were:
|Modern-day pirate, "Mad Dog" Duesing takes birthday-boy Morrie Walworth hostage during the 2011 Engineeing & Technology Banquet.|
A group of senior engineering students took a racquetball course and decided to hit the court with faculty members.
They picked their best four to contend against four court-savvy faculty. It was a weary group as the seniors were treated to a pizza lunch by the victors to help "ease their pain." Perhaps a turn on the soccer field or squash court would reverse the score of 15-1 where the students would be on more familiar turf.
Standing, from left: Dr. Janjua Mansoor, Prof. Jim Devaprasad, Dr. Sai Nudurupati, Sean DeCarlo, EE of Alpena, Mich.; and Kevin Lidbeck, ME of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Front row from left: Dr. Paul Weber, Phil Nicholson, ME, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; and Ben Kurth, ME, of Cheboygan, Mich.
John Preczewsi, a junior in EE from Roscommon, competes in the high jump (above), hurdles, and long jump (right).
Lauryn LaFoille, an EE student, hefts the women's weight throw. The junior from Colorado Springs, Colo. also throws hammer, javelin, discus and shot put.
Riley Lytwynec, of Wawa, Ont. keeps the pace in the 400 meter dash. The freshman CE student also competes in hurdles, and the long and triple jumps.
Dion Tchokreff (left and above) runs in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meter events. The junior from Iron Mountain is in general engineering. Love those shoes!
|Our congratulations to freshman mechanical engineering student, Niels-Erik Ravn. The 6-1 Laker goalie from Boucherville, Que. made his debut as a Laker during the Winter Classic Exhibition in North Bay, Ont. on Jan. 1 making 10 saves during the third period against Nipissing. The Lakers defeating Nipissing the next day 7-1 with Ravn stopping 14 shots on goal. The Lakers added a third win 11-1 against the University of Ottawa in Rockland, Ont. Ravn had starting honors in goal and tallied xx saves. The Lakers' 5-stop exhibition tour of Canada finished with a shutout against Ryerson 3-0 on Jan. 4 and a win against York 3-1 on Jan. 5.|
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A unique piece of protective skate gear is raising eyebrows in the hockey world and especially in the National Hockey League. Lake Superior State University’s Product Development Center worked with inventor Frank McClelland of Gaylord to develop "Skate Fenders," tough, clear guards that fit over ice skate boots and fend off injuries to the foot and ankle from hockey pucks. McClelland's patented idea has caught on with hockey players everywhere.
|CLEARLY PROTECTED – Skate Fenders, hockey gear designed to protect a player's ankles, was created through a partnership with inventor Frank McClelland of Gaylord and Lake Superior State University's Product Development Center (LSSU/John Shibley)|
McClelland's product was given a boost by LSSU's relatively new PDC, which offers its engineering resources and expertise to any small-to-mid-sized manufacturer that wants to develop and bring new products to market. It puts manufacturing methods, mechanical services, materials testing, electronics, computers and robotics at a company's disposal so it may create functional prototypes of any product.
Before McClelland's project came to the PDC, several prototype sets were made and distributed for testing. The original design was prototyped using a thermal molding process that heated sheet plastic until it melted and formed around a mold. Unfortunately, the process gave inconsistent results and lacked the aesthetic quality required of a commercial product.
Enter the LSSU PDC. McClelland said his neighbor heard about the PDC after attending a local entrepreneurs’ event. He contacted the PDC and began working with David Leach, one of the center's engineering project managers whose specialties are in mechanical engineering and plastics.
Leach and a team of LSSU engineering students determined that an injection-molded design might be the solution. The team went to the virtual drawing board using 3D computer-aided drafting (CAD) to design a guard that matched McClelland’s concept sketches.
The PDC used a 3D laser scanner to model a variety of hockey skates, allowing a ‘virtual fit’ to be tested before making sample prototypes. A number of prototypes were "printed" on the PDC’s rapid prototyper. Instead of a two-dimensional image on a piece of paper, the prototyper prints out three-dimensional images made of a plastic that allows pieces to be assembled and checked for fit and function. These samples were matched to a variety of skates, both amateur and professional, and an improved design was developed that could be manufactured using the injection mold method.
Leach worked with Michigan companies to machine the mold and set up the tooling and manufacturing arrangements to produce the guards. The Skate Fenders are currently manufactured in Gaylord. McClelland graciously placed LSSU’s logo and references to the PDC on the packaging. The guards have a patent in the U.S. and a patent pending in Canada.
Eric Becks, Leach’s counterpart who specializes in electrical engineering, said, “It was our great pleasure to be able to work on this project from conception through mold-making and pre-production.”
|BUSINESS MEETING – Skate Fenders inventor Frank McClelland (l) and partner Don McClelland discuss marketing during a planning session with Maryellen Becks of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center and Ralf Wilhelms Ph.D. of LSSU's School of Business - seated opposite McClelland. (LSSU/John Shibley)|
The new design was manufactured with a clear polycarbonate which is barely noticeable when being worn and does not cover skate branding. A limited run of the newly christened “Skate Fenders” was distributed during the winter of 2010 to various teams for testing. The outcome resulted in added upgrades for the model released for this season.
The guards were initially developed with the local amateur hockey player in mind, but the biggest surprise was the demand from NHL teams. According to McClelland, the force of a slap shot in professional hockey is the equivalent of being hit by a .22 caliber bullet and teams were eager for something to protect players.
LSSU alumnus Paul Boyer, equipment manager for the Red Wings, convinced the Wings to try them out. Praise from Red Wings commentator Mickey Redmond during a TV broadcast caught the attention of other NHL teams. Since then, Skate Fenders has fielded requests for exclusive sales rights and overseas interest.
Skate Fenders are currently being sold in the USA and Canada by 16 retailers and two distribution companies, as well as direct on the Skate Fender website, skatefenders.com. Distribution in Europe is currently in the works.
Fourteen NHL teams, plus nine NHL farm teams and 12 NCAA Division 1 teams, including LSSU, are using Skate Fenders. The Philadelphia Flyers wore them during the Stanley Cup Finals this year.
Although most of the Skate Fenders produced are clear, McClelland and his partner Don McClelland recently manufactured and donated 25 purple pairs of Skate Fenders to a cancer awareness project conducted by the Alaska Aces, an East Coast Hockey League team. The Aces players wore the equipment, autographed them and used them in an auction, where they raised $33,600 for the American Cancer Society.
|FLYING PURPLE SKATE FENDER – An ECHL Alaska Aces player warms up before a recent game while wearing a pair of purple Skate Fenders that the McClellands donated to the team for an American Cancer Society fundraiser that brought in more than $33,000. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Aces)|
Recently, McClelland presented Laker equipment manager Scott McLay with 16 additional pairs of Skate Fenders when he and Leach were guests of President Tony McLain during the LSSU-Bowling Green series at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena in the James Norris Center.
"Seeing the product being worn by our team, as well as pro teams like the Red Wings, is a real point of pride for the engineering students who developed it while working for the PDC," Leach said.
"This project is one of many success stories coming from our Product Development Center," said Ronald DeLap Ph.D., LSSU’s dean of the College of Engineering, Technology and Economic Development. "The PDC plays a key role in our engineering program, enabling our students to gain hands-on experience by working on leading edge projects which are being brought to production."
The PDC continues to assist McClelland and the project has now included LSSU's School of Business, which is assisting with marketing, along with the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone, and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, which is providing guidance on business management and financial issues.
Meanwhile, back on the PDC's virtual drawing board -- an additional adult-sized Skate Fender which fits (depending on boot width) sizes 8 down to 5 was released this fall. A third size that would fit larger feet – sizes 12-15 – is being considered.
LSSU Product Development Center makes business easier for Marble Arms, Gladstone | December 16, 2010
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – An Upper Peninsula gun sight-maker that has been in business for more than 100 years has been able to dramatically improve production and hire more employees since working with Lake Superior State University's Product Development Center.
The LSSU PDC has completed a major automation project for Marble Arms, which has been manufacturing gun sights and other wares in Gladstone since 1892. The PDC took Marble's time-tested method of making sights by hand and automated the process.
READY TO SHIP -- LSSU PDC workers and manufacturing engineering technology seniors Steve Solack (left), from Marine City, and Mark Rodriguez of Vermontville, secure a new piece of automated assembly equipment for Gladstone's Marble Arms in a delivery trailer. Solack and fellow students and PDC staff designed and built the equipment for the gun sight manufacturer that has been doing business in the Upper Peninsula for more than 100 years. (LSSU/John Shibley)
"Automating the assembly of gun sights was a complicated task requiring the handling of several small parts and automatically assembling them into a flip-up rear gun sight," said Eric Becks, one of the PDC's engineering project managers.
LSSU engineering students, under the direction of PDC engineering project managers David Leach and Becks, started the project by developing an animated functional design on computers using 3-D CAD software. Next, the various parts were made using CNC equipment and a rapid prototyper that "prints" plastic parts directly from the computer without first needing to make an expensive mold.
The LSSU PDC was able to assemble the prototype using an industrial programmable logic controller that receives information from various sensors to detect that the gun sight parts are where they should be in the assembly process. The program then drives motors, actuators and a rotary table. A touch screen display allows the operator to control the action.
"This machine is awesome," said Marble Arms plant manager John Thomas. "It is really helping us out."
The new piece of equipment is allowing the manufacturer to pursue other contracts that were not previously possible.
"All of our parts are very small and tedious to work with," said Marble Arms President Craig Lauerman. "Being able to automate our process has saved us labor costs but also has prevented potential carpal tunnel issues and fatigue."
While some may cringe at the thought of losing jobs due to automation, this project had the opposite effect.
"Since this was a new project, we did not replace anyone in our assembly area," Lauerman said. "As a matter of fact, the assembly machine that our employees call SASA (Semi-Auto Sight Assembler) has allowed us to price the part competitively so that when we received the order we were able to hire four other machine operators to machine the component parts. Some people state that automation eliminates jobs, but in our case it has given us the opportunity to expand our business and hire new employees in other supporting areas."
Becks said Joel Schultz of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center brought Marble Arms and the LSSU PDC together. Schultz worked with Marble Arms to develop a business plan to present to Northern Initiatives for funding. Northern Initiatives is a private, nonprofit community development corporation that provides rural entrepreneurs – from start-ups to established businesses -- with access to capital, information and markets. Its goal is to keep rural Michigan a viable and valuable participant in the economy.
The PDC use of facilities and equipment through LSSU's College of Engineering, Technology and Economic Development, along with a portion of the Product Commercialization and Manufacturing Center grant awarded to the PDC by the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurism, and combined with funding from Northern Initiatives, made the project possible.
"This is a success story that shows how organizations like SBDTC connect manufacturing businesses with the educational community to bring more business to the UP and employ more people," Lauerman said. "We now are working with the LSSU PDC to automate another high-volume part that mates two small components together. We assemble 250,000 of these parts every year."
"This sort of project, that engages our engineering students in real-world development while making an economic impact, is exactly what the LSSU PDC is all about," said Becks. "Our PDC student workers can graduate and point to a list of the real engineering experiences that they’ve gained while completing their studies at LSSU."
Gun sights have been the most enduring of Marble Arms' products. The company has produced knives, axes, compasses, matchboxes, scopes and more, but gun sights have been its backbone for more than a century. Today it has an impressive line-up of traditional and modern sights for most American gun makers.
- Find out more about Marble Arms at marblearms.com.
- Find out more about the LSSU PDC at lssu.edu or by calling 906-635-2738.
- More information about the MiSBTDC is at misbtdc.org or 906-789-0558.
- Watch the TV 9&10 video report
COMPUTER DONATION -- Sault Area High School students and staff pose with Lake Superior State University Mechanical Laboratory Engineer Jon Coullard (center, blue jacket) and a trailer full of computers, many of which LSSU is donating to Sault High. The computers, which were replaced in LSSU engineering and technology labs, still have a lot of life in them and will provide an upgrade to those used in some of Sault High Career Center's Computer Aided Drafting laboratory.
With the donation, more students in the classroom will be able to work on CAD projects simultaneously, as opposed to having to wait for an available computer work station or having to schedule time on it. Anything that Sault High can't use will be forwarded to the local Goodwill organization.
Pictured from left to right with computer equipment are students Aaron Lasecki, Nate Fitzpatrick and Gavin Burbach. Behind them are Sault Area High School Career Center Director Joanne Lussier, and SAHS District PC Specialist Mike Furr. (LSSU/Tom Pink)
LSSU's School of Engineering & Technology welcomes Dr. Joseph Moening to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
He recently received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio where he served as both an instructor and research assistant. He also earned his BS and MS in EE from Toledo.
Dr. Moening looks forward to spending time in the UP outdoors duck hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.
Kudos and thanks went to LSSU alum Ben Miller upon completing his tenth summer as a counselor for the summer robotics camps.
The summer of 2001 found Miller at a loss for seasonal employment. Kahler Schuemann, then director of student and residential life, asked if Miller would be interested in being a camp counselor. The secondary education major leapt at the chance. Since then, Miller has continued his summer pilgrimage to the EUP.
"I love Lake State and I love the area - I can't get enough of it. I also love seeing the kids and hearing their stories."
At first, he thought maybe he'd continue assisting as a counselor for just a couple of years. The Quincy, Mich., native graduated in May 2003 with his teacher certification in computer science-secondary teaching, a minor in geography teaching, and an associate's in internet/network specialist. He accepted a teaching position outside of Michigan, but found himself back at LSSU's robotics camps come the summertime. Eventually, he returned to Michigan. Two years became four and so on, until he hit his landmark tenth anniversary this summer.
"We really appreciate Ben for all he has done, there really aren't the words to express it," said Prof. Jim Devaprasad at a presentation on the last day of the last camp session for 2010.
The robotics camps were established by Devaprasad of manufacturing engineering technology and the Provost, Morrie Walworth, then professor of electrical engineering. Both had a strong interest in LSSU's robotics program and developed the university's first academic summer camp.
According to Walworth, at the conclusion of their first summer institute and robotics camps, it had become obvious that good counselors were a key factor for success. Having someone of Miller's caliber approach them about working as a counselor was a gift.
One of the camp activities includes a series of networked computers where participants can compete in games. Once the computers are shut down, Miller gets the campers outside.
"I like to show them that there is more to life than computers and games: the woods and St. Mary's River, the Soo Locks, and the beaches." Weather permitting, the participants have a farewell fire and festivities during their last evening of camp at a park and picnic area along Lake Superior's shoreline.
The former cross country/track and field athlete is proud to be from Laker Country. Two other LSSU alums work in the Intermediate School District office where he teaches at Bronson Schools. He is always taking the opportunity to spread the word about LSSU.
Miller beefed up his technology background by picking up a master's in educational technology this past winter. Asked if he'll return as a counselor next summer, he replied, "Maybe for another couple of years." But then, that's what he said the last time.
Doorplates are shuffling in the College of Engineering, Technology and Economic Development. Morrie Walworth, the college dean, has been appointed by university president Dr. Tony McLain as provost and executive vice president to replace Tony Blose, Ph.D., who is resigning July 1 to take a position at Angelo State University in Texas.
Walworth will serve as associate provost effective immediately, working with Blose to make the transition to provost in July.
"Our thanks go to Dr. Blose for his service to the university as dean and interim provost during his time here, and we wish him well in his new endeavor," McLain said. "Meanwhile, I am pleased that Morrie Walworth has accepted the position of associate provost right now, so the two may start work toward a seamless transition in July."
Walworth accepted an assistant professor position in the Robotics and Automation program at LSSU in 1991, coming from Purdue University's Statewide Technology Program. He later led the development of the electrical and computer engineering degree programs and chaired those programs for several years before becoming dean. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the Product Development Center and in working with the city of Sault Ste. Marie to bring in its "SmartZone" designation. In addition, he held the title of director of Intellectual Property and Economic Development.
In the wake of Walworth's move to the administration building, the mantle of dean has been passed on to Dr. Ron DeLap, a recent addition to the electrical engineering faculty. DeLap brings a background of military, industrial and university classroom experience to the position. A search for DeLap's replacement is underway.
Mr. Eric Becks is now the new director of Intellectual Property and Economic Development which includes the Product Development Center of which he was a project manager. Becks is also the president and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone.