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In a Nutshell: Buckeye Engineering briefs

Buckeye Engineering issue 26 news briefs

Driven to be the best

Smiling EcoCAR team members stand in front of the Chevy Blazer, with four members spelling O, H, I and O.Ohio State EcoCAR team.

Ohio State’s EcoCAR team earned first place in year one of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, making it the sixth consecutive year Buckeyes have won the national Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition.

The automotive engineering contest challenges 12 North American university teams to reengineer a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer utilizing electrification, advanced propulsion systems and automation to improve the energy efficiency, safety and consumer appeal of their vehicle for the carsharing market. The competition is headline sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and Mathworks, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory.

In addition to the first-place overall finish, the team won eight other awards, including top honors for its final technical report, target market presentation, and controls, systems modeling and simulation presentation. They also received the NSF Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Award for the second year in a row.

“These students have been an inspiration in their hard work, dedication and optimism,” said Associate Professor Shawn Midlam-Mohler, Ohio State EcoCAR’s faculty adviser. “Facing a very challenging competition and high expectations, the team put everything they could into their deliverables and presentations.” Read the full story.

Better batteries

Pieces of the unassembled oxygen container and KO2 battery.The black, coin-sized membrane is the new cathode.Researchers have built a more efficient, more reliable potassium-oxygen battery, a step toward a potential solution for energy storage on the nation’s power grid and longer-lasting batteries in cell phones and laptops.

In a study published in the journal Batteries and Supercaps, Ohio State researchers detailed their findings centering around the construction of the battery’s cathode, which stores the energy produced by a chemical reaction in a metal-oxygen or metal-air battery. The finding, the researchers say, could make renewable energy sources like solar and wind more viable options for the power grid through cheaper, more efficient energy storage.

“If you want to go to an all-renewable option for the power grid, you need economical energy storage devices that can store excess power and give that power back out when you don’t have the source ready or working,” said Vishnu-Baba Sundaresan, co-author of the study and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “Technology like this is key, because it is cheap, it doesn’t use any exotic materials, and it can be made anywhere and promote the local economy.” Read the full story.

Grads to watch

A smiling Armani Hrobowski stands outside of Hitchcock Hall in his graduation regalia.Armani HrobowskiArmani Hrobowski was part of Ohio State’s champion EcoCAR team, now the new grad is pursuing his passion for the automotive industry at Ford.

On May 5, 2019, the College of Engineering welcomed hundreds of new alumni into the Buckeye engineering family. Meet Armani and four other members of the class of 2019 who combined their passions with Ohio State’s offerings to engineer an extraordinary education. Read the full story.

At the helm

The college welcomed three new members to its leadership team: Michael Mills, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Umit Ozkan, chair of the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; and Stephanie Morgan, the inaugural executive director of the Air Transportation and Aerospace Campus at the Ohio State University Airport.

Widely recognized for his research in the relationship between microstructure and structural properties of materials, Michael Mills has authored or co-authored over 220 journal articles and chaired numerous international conferences. His research team utilizes advanced instruments at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) to provide insights into the mechanical behavior of several important metallurgical systems through a detailed understanding of elementary deformation mechanisms. He joined Ohio State in 1994. Read more.

An internationally recognized expert in catalysis and electrocatalysis with over 200 refereed publications and seven patents, Umit Ozkan received her PhD from Iowa State University in 1984. She has been a trailblazer as the first woman to join Ohio State’s Department of Chemical Engineering in 1985, and now as the first woman to be named chair of the department. From 2000 to 2005, she served as the College of Engineering’s first female associate dean for research. Read more.

Stephanie Morgan will be responsible for setting the strategic vision and operational blueprint for the air transportation and aerospace facilities on West Case Road. She has managed two airports in Idaho and Florida, and gained valuable experience in operations, business development and community relations in various roles at Jacksonville Aviation Authority, which oversees four airports. She has overseen millions of dollars in airport improvements, directed numerous strategic initiatives, and worked extensively with airport community neighbors. Read more.