Thursday, March 30, 2017

University of Hartford Alum has been appointed Deputy Minister

Nematullah Haidari has been appointed as the Deputy Minister for Management and Finance, Ministry of Public Works, Government of Afghanistan by Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan .

 Mr. Haidari received his master’s from the University of Hartford specializing in Transportation Engineering. Mr. Haidari started his education at the University of Hartford in Fall 2009 and completed his master’s degree with an impressive grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 out of 4.0.

The faculty and administration of the University of Hartford are proud of Mr. Haidari’s accomplishments and wish him success in his new endeavor.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Slaboch Publishes Journal Paper with NASA Colleagues

Paul Slaboch, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture (CETA) published a paper in a recent volume of the ASME Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. The paper, entitled "Effect of Aft Rotor on the Inter-Rotor Flow of an Open Rotor Propulsion System", was published with NASA colleagues after presenting the paper at the ASME TurboExpo in Seoul, South Korea this past summer.

The open rotor aircraft engine promises increased efficiency over the current generation of jet engines, but a few problems have stalled the deployment of these machines. One of the largest problems is the noise generated by the engine. Much of the noise is generated by the interaction of the flow between the two rotors and the aft rotor. This paper describes the fluid mechanics of the inter-rotor region of the engine and also validated a computational fluid dynamics code being used to predict the noise of future engines.

This work led to a follow up project that has recently been funded by the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium. The Faculty Research Grant was funded for $20,000 to further study the inter-rotor flow field. This grant will support graduate and undergraduate students who will work with Prof. Slaboch to determine the effects of the aft rotor on the forward rotor blade wakes.

Open Rotor Propulsion Rig at NASA Glenn Research Center

View of extent of data acquisition

Full citation:
Slaboch PE, Stephens DB, Van Zante DE, Wernet MP. Effect of Aft Rotor on the Inter-Rotor Flow of an Open Rotor Propulsion System. ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2016;139(4):041202-041202-10. doi:10.1115/1.4034356

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CETA Student Leads Team that is Bringing Water and Electricity to Schools in India

Matthew Garneau '19 and a local technician work on a water pump installation.

Stephen (Tyler) Arnold '19, Matthew Garneau '19, David Piekut '19, and Daniel Wietsman '19, with a water tank installed by UHart students nearly 10 years ago, and bearing the University's name in Hindi.

For elementary school children living in villages outside of New Delhi, India, learning in dim light and sweltering classrooms has become a way of life. With limited access to water and electricity, teachers often choose between holding classes in the hot, humid outdoors or using kerosene lamps indoors with their inherent fire and air quality risks. A group of students in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, led by civil engineering major Matthew Garneau ’19, set out to improve this difficult learning environment by increasing the water and power supply in two local schools.

This was Matthew’s second trip to India during winter break, and his first leading the team as vice president of the University’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter. “I wanted to return to India in a leadership role because our efforts made such a dramatic difference to the quality of the children’s school days,” says Matthew of South Windsor, Conn., who, during his first trip in 2015, installed faster well pumps and Uninterruptable Power Systems (UPS) in primary schools.

“Power is turned on for a maximum of only two hours a day, so classrooms are almost dark, and the heat makes it difficult for students to concentrate,” Matthew says. “Limited access to power also means less water will be available, since well pumps needs electricity to run,” he explains.

Over the course of nearly two weeks, Matthew directed the team as it installed higher-powered water pumps and UPS' in two government primary schools in the villages of Rithoj and Raisena, located about an hour outside of New Delhi. Matthew, who has been running his own landscaping company for four years, oversaw local technicians and worked with translators to negotiate prices at local parts suppliers.

“We did most of the engineering and measurement work for the installations at CETA, so we made only minor calculation adjustments to better fit both systems,“ Matthew points out. The students also had opportunities to interact with villagers and learn firsthand about Indian culture.

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering David Pines, who oversees EWB at UHart, notes the students not only successfully implemented these sustainable engineering missions, they also checked in on longer term work he and other UHart students have completed over the 10 years the chapter has been traveling to the country, and surveyed sites where future well pumps and UPS systems can be installed.

EWB projects at the University have been steadily growing. Pines and another team of students visited Kenya’s Lake Region over spring break, continuing efforts to dramatically improve the harvesting process for farmers using a threshing machine designed by a UHart student (read more here). The chapter, which has expanded to include the Hartford EWB Professional Chapter and the Hartford Art School, is working on three new challenging projects. Matthew is on board with all of them, as he plans to run for chapter president next year.

“All EWB members serve as important links to projects that give us the chance to apply practical knowledge, sometimes even before we learn the theory behind it,” he says. “Providing solutions to world problems helps us go from being students to being engineers.”
Unotes: 3/27/17

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fulbright Scholar Earns Second International Architecture Award for Innovative Mosque Design

Fahed Baker puts the finishing touches on a design sketch.
The word “prestigious” cannot be used lightly because it denotes high opinion and honor. Yet the word applies triple time to Master of Architecture (MArch) student Fahed Baker, M’17. He is a prestigious Fulbright Scholar and two-time winner of the prestigious International Architecture Award presented by the World Architecture Community. Fulbright Scholars receive highly-competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange. Eight thousand grants are given annually worldwide for graduate study, advanced research, university lecturing, and classroom teaching.

The International Architecture Awards honors designs, built and unbuilt, that recognize architecture as a high art while answering complicated problems of environment, social context, quality of life, and sustainability. Fahed won the 2017 award for his design of a mosque. He received the 2016 accolade for his creative interpretation of a modern Italian piazza. The projects were completed following visits to Florence, Italy and Montreal, Canada as part of Architectural Studio III, a second-year graduate course. 

The 2017 award is particularly meaningful to Fahed, who came to the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) in 2015 from politically-conflicted Gaza, a small territory located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Egypt. Leaving behind his wife, three young daughters, and an established architectural business, he felt compelled to explore the latest technologies in western design and fabrication in hopes of one day helping to rebuild Gaza’s fragile infrastructure.

“Gaza continues to confront unique architectural challenges because of the conflicts it has endured,” Fahed says. “Restoring the infrastructure of schools, mosques, and other landmarks will result in greater unification among people and improved economic opportunities. This award confirms I can be a vital contributor to such a goal.”

Fahed says he chose a tranquil design for the mosque project, which he titled ‘Transcendence of Light’. “I drew inspiration from the Muslim belief that emphasizes light as a mark of God’s presence. The openness of the mosque and the light leaning in invites all people to come in and learn about a peaceful, transparent, and welcoming faith while speaking to the architectural context of cities in the 21st century,” he explains.

The CETA MArch program is one of only two (Yale) in Connecticut that is nationally accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), a factor Fahed says gave him peace of mind in deciding to study at UHart. “I discovered most state registration boards require a degree from an NAAB-accredited program as a prerequisite for architectural licensure, which I plan to pursue,” he says.

Architecture Graduate Program Director Daniel Davis considers Fahed’s award-winning designs innovative and professional. “Fahed is capable well beyond his years and the architecture faculty is immensely proud of his accomplishments,” says Davis. “Not only has he brought international attention to our graduate program, but he is also a natural teacher, mentoring both our international and domestic students while he continues exploring diverse academic topics.”

One such topic is developing parametric models for mapping weather data with University Assistant Professor of Architecture Seth Holmes and Assistant Professor of Architecture Nicholas Rajkovich of the University of Buffalo, the research of which is on its way to being published and submitted to the 2017 Building Simulation Conference.

Fahed has mentored students at Islamic University of Gaza, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He plans to pursue his doctorate in architecture so he can teach after he spends time “solving human problems. This is why I push the boundaries of design and building.”

He is motivated by the thought of reuniting with his family following the 2017 commencement ceremony. “They have the greater courage. They have given me a gift in allowing me to focus in-depth on my passion. These awards are for them and because of them.”

Design and sketch (unbuilt) of "Crystal Piazza" Cultural Center in Florence, Italy.

Design and sketch (unbuilt) of "Transcendence of Light" Islamic Center in Montreal, Canada.
Unotes - 3/17/17

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Eppes and Milanovic Publish the Paper on Development of Hybrid Courses

Eppes and Milanovic Publish

Tom Eppes, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), have published an article in the Academic Journal of Science (AJS) Vol. 6, No. 1. The IJAS publishes original contributions on all aspects of science from the academic perspective.
The paper, "Development of Hybrid Courses by Applying Best Practices from the Online Environment" describes how four on-ground engineering courses were transformed into a hybrid mode using best practices found in online environment.
The objective was to overcome two major teaching issues present in the courses: (1) over-reliance on advanced mathematical tools that hampered students understanding of the underlying principles, and (2) the absence of immersive and exciting visuals. In these hybrid courses, facilitation is required on the part of the instructor while the student must become more active in the learning process.
The result was an integrated learning environment (face-to-face and online) with comprehensive information sources, a knowledgebase, and experiential learning elements. In addition, modeling, simulation, visualization, and application building are incorporated to further extend learning outcomes.  
Course Design Elements
Application: Optical Fiber Drawing Furnace

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Assistant Professor Eoin King Elected to Board of Directors

Assistant Professor Eoin King Elected to Board of Directors for the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA

Eoin King, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and acoustics in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA (INCE-USA).

As the only professional society devoted solely to Noise Control Engineering, INCE-USA provides a unique forum for technical exchange, networking, and professional growth. INCE-USA provides a wide range of services to it's nearly 1,000 Members and Associates and is also a Member Society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering, an international consortium of organizations with interests in acoustics and noise control.

King was elected following his position as Technical Chair of NOISE-CON 2016, the INCE national conference, which was held in Rhode Island in June 2016.

Unotes - 3/1/17