Research

Externally Funded Research Projects:

  • W. B. Williams, M. A. Noras, “3D Printed Optics for Directed Energy Applications”, sponsor: U.S. Dept. of Defense/Optimax Systems, Inc. (SBIR).

Lightweight mirror structures for space applications. Specific task: optimization of geometries based on numerical objective-seeking methods.

  • B. Chowdhury, V. Cecchi, R. Cox, J. Enslin, M. Manjrekar, M. A. Noras, B. Parkhideh, Z. Salami, “Leveraging Industry Research to Educate a Future Electric Grid Workforce”, sponsor: U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)/Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Incorporated new developments in smart grid and renewable energy sources integration into the
courses curricula. More at http://grided.epri.com/universities.html.

  • M. A. Noras, A.Browne, “Development Platform for FPGA-Controlled, Portable Processing Systems”, sponsor: Army Research Office (DURIP).

Development system allowing for design and testing of small, lightweight and power efficient internet-of-things (IoT) sensors.

  • M. A. Noras, “Proposal for Pulsed Electroacoustic Volume Charge Measurement Test Setup and Thermally Stimulated Depolarization Current Test Setup”, sponsor: DOW Chemical Company.

Design and fabrication of an industrial-grade, precision measurement system for investigations of a space charge distribution in solid dielectric materials.

  • M. A. Noras, “A Novel Sensor for Projectile Detection”, sponsor: Army Research Laboratories.

Design and development of a new concept in electric field sensing with particular applications in bullet detection.

  • A. Brizendine, N. Byars, G. Gehrig, M. A. Noras, A. Sleiti,  “Net-Zero Energy Building Operator Training Program”,  sponsor: U.S. DOE.

Development of a training program on energy savings strategies and methods for commercial and government building managers. Specific task: prepared materials and teach seminars on efficient lighting and electric power distribution systems in buildings

  • B. Gehrig, J. Hildreth, M. A. Noras, P. Schmidt, “Lunar Regolith Excavator  and Student Competition Support Proposal”, sponsor: National Space Grant Foundation.

Development of the excavator for the NASA regolith mining competition.

Other Academic Research Projects

Supervised M.Sc. Theses:

• A. Phatak, “Development of a Phasor Measurement Unit for Low Voltage Power Networks”, Fall 2017.
Developed a PMU feasible for power distribution and residential networks, also intended as a part of a microgrid control.
• A. Rolle, “Advanced Control of Triboelectrically Charged Fuel using Electric Fields under High Pressure in Internal Combustion Engines”, Summer 2017.
Developed a fuel injection and combustion system where injected fuel plume and combustion processes can be controlled by electric fields.
• K. Davda, “Interaction of Femtosecond Laser Beam with Atmospheric Low Temperature Plasmas and Electric Fields”, Spring 2017.
Investigated and observed influence of external fields on power of a femtosecond lasers.

• A. Akumawah, “Thermal Modeling of HV Cables”, Spring 2017.
Tested the HV cable behavior under electric load and developed a dynamic thermal model allowing for temperature prediction under different load conditions.
• R. Garris, “The Advanced Manipulation of an Electrosprayed Dielectric Fluid Using Electric Fields”, Summer 2016.
Investigated a novel concept of controlling electrosprays in cylindrical geometries.
• M. Mvutu, “Understanding and Mitigating the LID in SP Al-BSF Cz-Si Solar Cell by Use of IR-Belt Furnace Rapid Thermal Processing”, co-mentored with A. Ebong, Fall 2016.
Researched influence of fast thermal annealing on reversing the light induced damage of solar cells.
• B. Cockerham, “Understanding Power System Frequency”, Fall 2016.
Investigated frequency estimators used in phasor measurement units, developed a new numerical method of frequency measurements from sampled signals.
• M. N. Vo, “Electromagnetic and Vibration Energy Harvesting Utilizing a Piezoelectric Device”, Fall 2015. 1st place award at the 15th UNC Charlotte Graduate Research Symposium.
Developed an energy harvester based on a flexible macro-fiber composite to power small sensors.

Supervised M.Sc. Non-Thesis Projects:

• L. Benitez-Peralta, “Control of a load cycle system”, Spring 2017.
Implemented a programmable logic controller in operation of a high voltage load cycle test system.
• A. Muthumani, “Study of Thermal Models of HV Cables”, Fall 2017.
Expanded existing dynamic model developed earlier by A. Akumawah to different types of cables. Verified the model with experimental data from Southwire, LLC.
• A. Joshi, B. Amirneni, P. Sathe, K. Davda, H. Muppalla, A. Phatak, A. Akumawah, R. Garris, “Optimization of a Microgrid Utilizing Renewable Energy Sources for an Air Force Field Deployable Hospital”, Fall 2015, presented by students at the 16th UNC Charlotte Annual Graduate Research Symposium, April 2, 2016.
Concept verification of an emergency power microgrid of a field hospital, utilizing renewable energy sources instead of traditional diesel generators or a national rid connection.

Supervised Undergraduate Research Projects:

• D. Watson, “RF Energy Harvesting”, Spring 2016, funded by the UNC Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), ETCM Departmental award at the 2016 UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Research Conference.
Developed a system for harvesting energy of radio frequency waves (such as Wi-Fi) to power small sensors and other devices. The system can be worn, or deployed inconspicuously on plants or building structures.
• M. N. Vo, “Energy Harvesting from Electromagnetic Field Surrounding a Current Carrying Conductor”, Spring 2013, funded by EPIC.
Investigated feasibility of harvesting energy from an energized wire using piezoelectric materials.

Collaborative Work and Consulting:

• Atom Power, member of the Technical Advisory Board, support in design of a solid state programmable circuit breaker: component selection, layout, performance modeling (contact: R. Kennedy).
• Physical Optics Corp., SBIR phase I project “Outer Potential Scanner”, collaborative work on electrostatic corrosion detection, helped with numerical modeling of electric charge detection and localization, performed comparative tests of scanning instruments (contact: M. Reznikov),
• School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa, collaborative effort on design of an electrostatic precipitator. Provided resistivity and permittivity testing services for the fly ash samples from various coal fired power plants in South Africa (contact: R. Everson),
• Shell International Exploration and Production Inc., 5521 Gasmer Road, Houston, Texas 77035, USA, Dielectric properties of underground heating cables – advised on testing procedures and setup (contact: D. Arora),
• InSituTec, Inc., 45 Odell School Road, Suite A, Concord, North Carolina 28027, assisted with 1 kV power supply design for piezo positioning application (contact: S. Woody)
• Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California, assisted with the electric charge measurement setup and methodology (contact: J. Polansky),
• Duke Energy McGuire Power Plant, Huntersville, NC. Study of the power inverter noise in the auxiliary supply network (contact: D. M. Houser).