Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Submission Due on 30-September

Just a reminder that the DoE Marine Energy Collegiate Competition is accepting applications (5 pages) through September 30th.  This is a good opportunity to get insight into marine renewable energy research and a student team from NC A&T State university made a strong showing last year.  I think UNC Charlotte students are poised to make a similar showing, so contact me if you are interested in participating.


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Undergrad Research Assistants….Upgraded

With all of the uncertainty out in the world these it is nice to have some familiar faces returning this Fall.

Peter and Tyler graduated with BS MET degrees back in May and supported the magnetic gearing research team through design and manufacturing on a number of fronts during the 2019-2020 school year.

Lucky for us, both decided to pursue their MS in Applied Energy and Electromechanical Systems.

Peter will continue working with me on magnetic gears and power take off research, while Tyler has joined Dr. Elizabeth Smith’s team looking at augmented reality technologies.  They were solid as undergrads, so we have nothing but high hopes for these new graduate research assistants.



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Waves To Water Success

In all the chaos and uncertainty that has characterized the summer, I am happy to report some good news.  The WaterBros team was successful in the second round of the Waves to Water competition and will be moving forward in the ADAPT round of the competition to refine our design for conditions at the Jennette’s Pier testing site, right here on the North Carolina Coast.  I’m looking forward to working with Landon again and appreciate the work that David and Rusabh putting into our winner submission.

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Sina’s new journal article to be published in August

I am proud of all of the hard work that Sina did to get this paper to publication.  It took diligence from the initial experiments and simulations all the way through the revisions and submission process.  Thanks as well to Peter and Tyler for finding the formatting, grammar, and spelling mistakes that eluded prior my review.


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Local Makers Contributing PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic

I’ve been impressed by the response of makers in the Charlotte community to the need for PPE in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It would be easy to just crank up the 3D printer and think that you are making a difference, but Charlotte MEDI has taken the right path by linking closely with the end users to make sure that what they are manufacturing matches the need.

On a personal front, it was a nice feeling to see the little Lulzbot Mini cranking out some faceshield parts for the effort, but hats off to Charlotte MEDI for making sure that effort wasn’t just a feel good, but an actual benefit.

The College of Engineering has had a strong showing, with Terrence Fagan in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science coordinating the effort from the beginning and Joshua Tarbutton bring his machines at his company online to laser cut the faceshields.  I couldn’t be prouder to have them as colleagues.

A nice write up on the efforts can be found here.


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Magnetic Gearing Students produce…Mechanical Gears

Tyler and Peter were able to help out the NASA Lunabotics team this semester by doing the CAM work in Fusion 360 to replace a couple of custom gears that had worn out over the years.  The group has produced parts on the CNC numerous times before, but this time had the added wrinkle that we didn’t actually run the code (Mr. Pritchard in the machine shop ran it), which gave us all a bit of an education on what information needs to travel along with the file when someone else is going to be doing the final manufacturing.


Fusion 360 Simulation of the Gear being milled out


Final part as machined by Mr. Pritchard

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Waves 2 Water: Round 2

Even with all of the COVID-19 chaos in the background, Landon and I got our submission into the Design Stage of the Waves to Water Prize.  We ended up bringing in some UNC Charlotte to help us get across the finish line in the form of David Barnett (UNC Charlotte December graduate for mechanical design and visualization help) and Rusabh Gandhi (current UNC Charlotte MS student in Applied Energy and Electromechanical System for modeling assistance).  It involved the four of us distributed among 3 different states at times, but hopefully they like our submission.


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