An unusual defense

The shooting on April 30th disrupted a lot of events on campus at the end of the semester.  That said, I was impressed with the flexibility and resilience shown by the faculty and students as they pushed forward with work that still needed to get done.  It wasn’t the venue that Ashley Ciero was planning, but she was adaptable (as well as her committee).  She deliverable an excellent defense of her master’s thesis in front of her committee and her peers (who made the drive to S. Charlotte) and was unruffled when Merle abruptly left her presentation after only 5 minutes.

Ashley Ciero and her advisor Dr. Hewlin following her successful master’s thesis defense.

Ashley Ciero’s thesis committee (+ Merle)


Dr. Hewlin, Merle, and Dr. Noras preparing for the defense.

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Conference Travel in April

April was a busy month for conference travel, with Waterpower Week in Washington and the NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program Symposium in Wanchese, NC.

Waterpower Week had numerous solid sessions and it there are some interesting resources coming online.  The big news was the Powering the Blue Economy Report, but it was also good to hear of the MHK updates planned to the System Advisor Model and the informaiton available through the MHK Atlas.  


The NCROEP Symposium and Coastal Studies Institute Open House provided a great opportunity for my students to showcase their work to peers and the general public.  The CSI was an excellent host as always, but I think my students may be jealous of the view outside of the CSI as compared to our labs in the Smith building.

C. Nichols, D. Barnett, A. Joyner, and S. Modaresahmadi at NCROEP 2019.

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Magnetic Gearing Group at Discovery Place for Engineering Week

Austin, Casey, and David volunteered at the Takeover Day at Discovery Place.  They had over 150 visitors who learned a bit about gears and magnets.

Additional photos can be found here

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Casey and Sina travel to Pittsburgh for IMECE

Casey and Sina traveled to Pittsburgh last month to attend the International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exhibition, where they presented updates on our magnetic gearing research.  Between sessions, they caught up with Dr. Goudarzi who was there to present on his CFD research. 

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Tidal Energy Turbines + Storage


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Tidal turbine success off Scotland


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Recent Research Travel: Portland, OR and Outer Banks, NC

In Portland, I attended the IEEE Energy Conversion Conference and Exposition, which featured students presenting magnetic research that we have been working on recently.  It was also a good chance to catch up in person (instead of phone call or Google Hangout) with Jonathan, who was kind enough to host a collection of other magnetics and drives researchers for dinner one night.


After a week back in Charlotte, I was off to the Outer Banks to meet with M. Muglia and M. Remige of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute and Jennettes Pier.  We had some quality meetings about data sets, educational outreach, and wind turbine performance at the coast.  I even got see one of the 10 kW turbines in action under tropical storm force winds due to the remnants of Hurricane Michael).

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