Kettering leaves its mark

Nov 9, 2006

Kettering University students and faculty leave favorable impressions at the 2006 Electrical Manufacturing and Coil Winding Association (EMCWA) annual conference through presentations of research involving fuel cell technologies and other industry-related studies.

Kettering received an exorbitant amount of exposure and recognition during the Electrical Manufacturing and Coil Winding Association (EMCWA) 2006 conference titled "Succeeding in Times of Change & Challenge" Sept. 18-20 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. This conference focused on the changes and challenges EMCWA members are facing, many of which are driven by the shift of manufacturing in their industry sector from the U.S. to China. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Insulation and Dielectrics Society co-sponsored the event. Dr. Huseyin Hiziroglu, professor of Electrical Engineering, is a member of the Board of Governors of this prominent IEEE Society.

The conference and associated exposition is considered by many industry leaders to be one of the world's largest and most important gatherings of engineers and technical experts with interests in coil winding and electrical manufacturing technology, and related computer modeling tools: electric machines, robotics manufacturing, magnetic cores, transformers, transformer wire, electromagnetic field solvers, EMI protection technology, and inductors among others. Design innovations, cost reductions and robotic manufacturing in these technology areas are critical to the future of electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

More than a decade ago, Dr. Mark Thompson, professor of Electrical Engineering, initially developed a relationship with EMCWA, which has provided the University scholarship support for students. To date, the EMCWA has donated approximately $65,000 in scholarships to the University over the past decade.

This year, the following Kettering faculty, students and recent graduates participated, wrote and/or presented research papers.

  • Brenda Lemke, lecturer of Mechanical Engineering;
  • Dr. Craig Hoff,professor of Mechanical Engineering;
  • Dr. Etim Ubong, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering;
  • Dr. James Gover, professor of Electrical Engineering;
  • William Sommerville, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in Electrical Engineering;
  • Mike Krummery, a 2006 Electrical Engineering graduate;
  • Jim Doolittle, a 2006 Electrical Engineering graduate;
  • Shaun Anderson, a Mechanical Engineering 2006 graduate;
  • Mechanical Engineering graduate student and 2005 Electrical Engineering graduate Sonja Slivar;
  • Mechanical Engineering graduate student and 2005 Electrical and Mechanical Engineering graduate Nick Lovaria; and
  • Courtney Holder, a 2006 graduate in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Etim Ubong, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering and the current EMCWA Education Committee director, organized and chaired the session titled "Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology" and presented a paper titled "Energy balance in a PEM Fuel Cell" that he co-authored with master's degree candidate Kondayath Prasad. Ubong also co-authored a paper titled "Optimizing Serpentine Channel Geometrics in PEM Fuel Cells" with colleagues from Oakland University. In addition, the student session organized and chaired by Gover on hybrid vehicle technology featured papers by four Kettering students and had the highest attendance of any of the conference sessions.

Kettering also brought the University's GEM fuel cell vehicle for display at the conference and exposition, as well as the hybrid drive train from a Ford Explorer. According to Gover, "these two exhibits had the most visitor traffic at the expo."

Gover also said that the student presentations were well polished and very well received by the attendees. In fact, several faculty searching for prospective Ph.D.and master's degree students spoke with Kettering students about possibly enrolling in advanced courses of study following graduation. Additionally, an employment consultant made a point of contacting all of the Kettering students. Gover presented the paper of keynote speaker Dr. Eshani of Texas A & M University, who was unable to attend. Gover also taught a one-half day short course and was elected to the EMCWA Board of Directors.

He also explained that because of Dr. Mark Thompson's involvement with the EMCWA, more and more Kettering faculty and students continue to attend this annual conference. Since the association pays for travel and lodging for faculty and students, this is an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to network and present research to a wide industry and academic audience.

Fred A. Brown, president of the EMCWA, applauded Kettering's participation in this conference.

"Kettering's enthusiasm was overwhelming and a breath of fresh air," he said, adding that "these are difficult times for technical conferences and quality papers, presentations, and participation has been a real challenge. But the Kettering team has made the conference a true success and given the expo a real shot in the arm. My hope is that they had fun and found it stimulating in terms of bridging the gap into the commercial/industrial world. If that has happened, then I'm confident we will soon see new members fresh out of school ready to take-on leadership rolls in the EMCWA and guide us as we grow."

Written by Gary J. Erwin
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