Outstanding Thesis recipient recognized by Kettering, industry

Jun 20, 2014

“My thesis project was to develop a design process for small vacuum scaled cyclones."

Samuel Gravelle

Kettering Commencement News:

Samuel Gravelle’s undergraduate thesis was not just recognized by Kettering University -- his co-op employer took notice as well.

Gravelle, who received the 2014 Outstanding Thesis Award from the Kettering University Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences (CCUE) for his thesis entitled, “Optimization of Single Cyclone Dirt Separators,” will be recognized at an awards ceremony and at commencement for his work. His co-op employer, Bissell Homecare Inc., also considered the research for its Bissell Homecare David E McDowell Process Innovation Award.

“My thesis project was to develop a design process for small vacuum scaled cyclones,” Gravelle said. “These cyclones are generally only about 1-2 inches in diameter and a couple of inches tall. My job was to determine the best way to design these for optimized pressure drop and separation efficiency.”

The thesis was aimed at giving Bissell Homecare engineers an easy and inexpensive tool to rapidly design cyclonic separation systems in vacuums. The simulator has been used to aid in the design of several  cyclones for products currently being developed.

Gravelle, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Electrical Engineering. While attending Kettering, he was active in the welding club, Mobile Robotics Club and Kettering CRU.

Gravelle recently married wife Vanessa and leaves at the end of June for Naval Officer training in Rhode Island. He’ll then be stationed with a ship on the East or West Coast as a Division Officer. Over the next four years, he plans to complete training to become a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy.

Gravelle’s Faculty Thesis Advisor was Dr. Bassem Ramadan, professor of Mechanical Engineering, and his Employer Thesis Advisor was Aaron Griffith of Bissell Homecare, Inc.

His thesis was selected by a faculty review committee that included Dr. Denise Stodola, associate professor of Communication; Dr. David Foster, associate professor of Computer Engineering; and Dr. Justin Young, assistant professor of Industrial Engineering.

Other finalists for the award were: Amber Coe, Sean Commet, Maria Goodpaster, A. Buke Hiziroglu, Ken Kaminski, Burl Keel, Infane Lowe, Luke March, Cara Norwood, Franklin Tilocco and Joe Thielen.


Written By Patrick Hayes | Contact: Patrick Hayes - phayes@kettering.edu - (810) 762-9639