Flint, MI, United States

Kettering University

Flint, MI, United States

Kettering University is a university in Flint, Michigan, focusing on STEM and Business fields. It offers bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, math, science, and business. Kettering places a strong emphasis on experiential learning and cooperative education, with undergraduate students required to successfully complete at least five co-op terms to graduate. The campus is located along the Flint River on property that was formerly the main manufacturing location for General Motors. It is named after inventor and former head of research for General Motors Charles Kettering. The school's student population is approximately 2,000 students. Wikipedia.

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Kettering University | Date: 2015-09-03

A power transfer system and method are provided for transferring power from an AC supply outputting a first AC voltage. The system includes a controller and a matrix converter coupled to the AC supply for converting the first AC voltage to a second AC voltage. A primary coil is connected to the matrix converter and a secondary coil is in communication with the primary coil for producing an induced AC voltage. A secondary rectifier is connected to the secondary coil for rectifying the induced AC voltage to produce a secondary DC voltage. A sensor is coupled to the secondary rectifier and to the controller for monitoring the secondary DC voltage and outputting a proportional signal. The controller is configured to control the matrix converter producing a desired second AC voltage at a desired operating frequency and maintain a predetermined secondary DC voltage in response to the signal from the sensor.

Kettering University | Date: 2015-09-02

A power transfer system and method are provided for transferring power from an AC supply outputting an AC voltage. The system includes a controller and a primary rectifier coupled to the controller and to the AC supply for converting the AC voltage to a DC bus voltage. An inverter is coupled with the primary rectifier and the controller for converting the DC bus voltage to a primary AC voltage. A primary coil is connected to the inverter. A secondary coil is in communication with the primary coil for producing an induced AC voltage. A secondary rectifier is connected to the secondary coil for rectifying the induced AC voltage to a secondary DC voltage. At least one sensor is connected to the secondary rectifier for outputting a signal proportional to the secondary DC voltage and the controller is configured to vary the DC bus voltage based on the signal from the sensor.

Kettering University | Date: 2016-03-21

A fiber-optic force and displacement sensor includes a mirror comprising a plurality of sectors extending from a center point to a peripheral edge. Each of the sectors has a high reflectance corresponding to only one of a plurality of single wavelength light beams having different wavelengths transmitted from a laser light source. A method of measuring force and displacement includes measuring the radiant flux between each of a plurality of reflected single wavelength light beams that change as the area of the sectors are displaced towards and away from a center of projection of a combination light beam that comprises the plurality of single wavelength light beams projected towards the center point of the mirror when the mirror is in a rested position. Forces acting upon the mirror are measured as a function of the displacement of the mirror and the transverse and the axial stiffness of a connector.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 552.65K | Year: 2014



The project involves acquisition of an X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) instrument at Kettering University to support materials research, integration of research and education, and outreach programs. With the development of new degree programs at Kettering, new initiatives in innovative materials research have been launched with participation across disciplines and involving external industrial and academic partners. The XPS provides much-needed capabilities to enable the projects to significantly advance their objectives and make important contributions. On-campus availability of XPS also strengthens integration of teaching and research, with incorporation of the equipment in classes spanning physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering. Additionally, this equipment significantly enhances the unique undergraduate research experience at Kettering. Kettering has a long history of outreach activities for local youth, in which faculty members open research laboratories and equipment, including characterization instruments such as XPS, and create engaging demonstrations that highlight the relevance of such technologies in everyday life.


The instrument is a Physical Electronics X-Tool model, designed specifically to reach a wider audience by adding automatic and easy-to-use features, without compromising full capabilities to obtain elemental identity and quantification, chemical states, depth profiles, and chemical surface mapping. The research activities supported by the XPS equipment are addressing a multitude of scientific problems across disciplines, including advanced coatings to improve medical implants, improvement of materials for dentistry and orthopedics, materials to improve disease treatment and imaging, lightweight materials for transportation, enhancement of battery technology for electronic vehicles, development of protective coatings, materials for energy storage to address increasing energy demand, and membranes to improve biogas production, among others. While the specific objectives vary by project, general goals and scope include development of innovative materials and coatings, process characterization, and tailoring the materials to meet the objectives. The data from the XPS is evaluated to determine and quantify the links between the process parameters, the material chemical properties, and the application performance.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENGINEERING EDUCATION | Award Amount: 367.09K | Year: 2015

Many undergraduate engineering students choose to pursue a masters degree, some immediately after finishing their bachelors degree and others after working in industry for a period of time. These students may choose to leave the workforce temporarily, or they might continue to work while they pursue their graduate study. The goal of this project is to learn more about how their work influences the way in which they learn and how they integrate new knowledge with their previous knowledge and experiences. Understanding how industry experience influences learning will be used to develop recommendations to improve masters degree programs both for returners, those who are coming back from industry, and for their classmates. Greater understanding of how these returning students learn will allow masters degree programs to better serve their needs, tailoring programs so that they can take full advantage of their experience and learn more deeply and effectively. It will also allow universities to enhance the learning environment for those students who proceed directly from their undergraduate institution to graduate school, because they can leverage the knowledge and experiences of returners to enhance project teams and classroom discussions and to situate technical knowledge in real world applications so that students can better understand the ways they can apply what they are learning.

Lifelong learning is widely acknowledged to be critically important for engineers to maintain and improve their skills, and to advance in their careers. While learning can take place in many different settings, one avenue for continuing education is obtaining a graduate degree, such as a masters degree in engineering. The impact of a masters degree on a students knowledge level and career trajectory depends, in part, on a students background, interests, and capabilities. Returners, those with engineering undergraduate degrees who work for at least five years and then pursue a graduate degree, bring a wide variety of real-world experiences to their degree programs. These experiences can enhance their own educational experiences, provide context for the new knowledge they obtain, and enrich the academic climate for their fellow students. This project will focus on those returners with an undergraduate degree in engineering who are pursuing a masters degree in engineering, and will investigate the skills that returners and direct-pathway students have and the approaches they take to learning new material through a survey, and will explore knowledge construction, in both returners and direct-pathway students, through semi-structured interviews and concept mapping activities with a smaller number of participants. This project will create new knowledge about returners in the masters program, particularly in the areas of what skills are developed through work experience, and how knowledge construction is influenced by work experience. Better understanding of how returners construct knowledge will allow them to consciously leverage their work experience and other strengths in order to be more successful in the classroom. This will enhance the overall classroom learning environment, which will benefit direct-pathway students as well. For institutions, better understanding of knowledge construction in both groups will allow them to improve their learning environment in general, and to specifically tailor their programs in ways that will appeal to returners and support their success. As the returners are successful in enhancing their knowledge, and in enriching the classroom environment for all students, the engineering profession will benefit from more skilled and knowledgeable engineers.

This Major Research Instrument (MRI) grant will support the acquisition of a High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM) to enhance Kettering Universitys efforts in interdisciplinary undergraduate education and research in nanotechnology and materials characterization. This instrument will be used by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in a wide range of fields including biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics for a large number of research projects and classroom activities. The availability of a HRTEM on the campus of Kettering University has a number of benefits including: (1) A stronger integration of the on-campus and co-op-mediated education (for which Kettering University has long been known) into a holistic educational model; (2) Strengthening Kettering Universitys role as a steady partner in the economic redevelopment of the state of Michigan and, in particular, the city of Flint; (3) Enabling original contributions to research in areas identified as national grand challenges with broad social impact; (4) Bolstering Kettering Universitys efforts to recruit and retain students; (5) Further expansion of professional development programs for in-service teaching professionals in the STEM disciplines; (6) The initiation of a program to develop a center for advanced materials characterization at Kettering University to provide services and training to industrial organizations. Furthermore, work resulting from the use of this instrument will allow a number of undergraduate students to attend and present original research at local, regional, national and international meetings. Most importantly, at least 15 courses offered across six academic departments will benefit from the use of this instrument in the development of new laboratory experiments and teaching aids.

The acquisition of a HRTEM will greatly benefit a number of ongoing research projects at Kettering University including investigations into the construction of reduced graphene oxide films for use in the development of a super-capacitor, characterization of novel materials for advanced solid oxide fuel cells, cathode materials for Na-ion batteries and characterization of magnetic nanoparticles for a number of biomedical applications. The proposed instrument will allow up to 0.1 nm crystal lattice resolution and up to 0.23 nm point-to-point resolution thus providing meaningful magnification for direct imaging of nanomaterials for size distribution and morphology determination for the applications outlined in the proposal. In addition, the ability to perform scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) in conjunction with its energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis system allows for elemental mapping at the nanoscale allowing for size determination and elemental mapping at grain boundaries and other locations within bulk materials. Highlighted ongoing research projects which will benefit from this instrument include: (1) The characterization of magnetic nanoparticles for use in targeted drug delivery and as mediators in the magnetic fluid hyperthermia treatment of malignant tumors, (2) The fabrication and characterization of reduced graphene oxide films using atmospheric plasma and surface annealing, (3) characterization of polymer and composite fibers and films for biomedical applications, (4) Synthesis and characterization of Na4Mn9O18 cathodes and iron oxide anodes for sodium ion batteries, (5) Synthesis and characterization of materials for advanced solid oxide fuel cells, (6) Growth and characterization of magnetosomes produced by magnetotactic bacteria for hyperthermia and micro- and nanorobotics, and (7) The study of the interactions of ligand-capped fold nanostructures with metal ions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 183.84K | Year: 2016

This Major Research Instrumentation Award supports the acquisition of a three dimensional Digital Image Correlation (DIC) system, including a pair of high speed cameras and associated software and hardware. DIC is state-of-the-art optical measurement technology that uses photographs to monitor the dynamic movement of objects. Kettering researchers will use the DIC instrumentation to advance fundamental research in a number of areas leading to more fuel efficient and crash-resistant vehicles, a more effective renewable energy supply, and improved human health. The DIC system will provide data for the study of advanced materials at Kettering University. It will facilitate the development of computational models to predict the behavior of complex structures; in wind energy, automotive and medical applications. It will highlight opportunities for improving the performance of structures used in a broad range of fields. Conventional measurement tools, such as accelerometers, cannot be used for these applications because several sensors are required to adequately instrument a large surface area, and adding so many sensors to a lightweight structure may alter the dynamic response of the structure, obscuring the true problem or opportunity. The non-contact measurement system will allow Kettering researchers to understand these systems in new and deeply important ways. In addition to supporting research and development at Kettering, the DIC system will also be integrated into the curriculum in several courses (e.g. Experimental Mechanics and Automotive NVH). In these courses, the visual representation of the deformation field will enhance the students understanding of the physical behavior of structures. It will also ensure that undergraduate and graduate students are exposed to state-of-the-art experimental techniques, equipping them for the work of creating the next generation of structural designs. The new instrument will also be used for outreach to K12 and pre-college students through existing Kettering outreach programs such as Academically Interested Minds (AIMs) and Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) programs. By providing graphically stimulating photos and videos, it will make the science of design analysis approachable to a broader audience, inspiring an interest in engineering design.

The DIC system will enable several fundamental research activities at Kettering University. For example, Kettering researchers will use the non-contacting capabilities of the DIC system for fundamental research on structural health monitoring (SHM) of rotating structures such as wind turbines and helicopter rotors. Blade failures are a significant problem for these systems, but challenges with data transmission and mass loading limit the effectiveness of monitoring with conventional contact sensors. This award enables researchers at Kettering University to develop new SHM techniques to prevent catastrophic failures in these structures. By integrating the finite element method with digital image correlation and a modal expansion technique, the researchers will enhance DIC capabilities for identifying damages inside structures and on locations where cameras do not have line of sight. In another area of study, researchers at Kettering will use the instrument to advance work underway within the orthopaedic biomechanics research group. This project focuses on improving methods used to treat bone fracture. Current treatments involve plates, screws, and nail designs that are based on devices used in non-biological environments. Clinical use has shown that problems unique to the living environment plague these devices and can lead to poor healing. By using the full-field data from the DIC system, and working between experiments and simulation, researchers aim to identify best practices for modeling the bone/metal interface. This knowledge will facilitate further experimental and simulation work toward optimizing the interface to provide optimal pressure and strain fields for healing.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 597.96K | Year: 2014

The need to increase the number and quality of STEM graduates in the workforce both nationally and in Michigan is well documented. A 2010 state-level analysis study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (http://cew.georgetown.edu/jobs2018/states) projects that by 2018 45 percent of STEM jobs in Michigan will be in Engineering and Technicians Occupations and 94 percent of these jobs require postsecondary education.

Kettering University, Support Through Robotics for Underserved Talented Students (STRUTS) enrolls full-time, 10 academically talented but financially disadvantaged students in their pursuit to become leaders in a high quality scientific and technical workforce. The number of scholars is optimal for creating camaraderie within a cohort which is large enough to be diverse but not too large to marginalize students. Kettering University attracts students interested in computer and technical fields who have financial need. STRUTS funding bridges the gap between available financial support and the cost of tuition so removing financial barriers which result in attrition of students with financial need. Academic support through experiential learning, leadership opportunities, FIRST Robotics, multi-level mentorship, and rigorous academics ensures the success of scholars and is centered around Ketterings new FIRST Community Center (FCC), which houses high school FIRST Robotics teams on campus. Scholars receive targeted academic support, have a strong cohort and a cadre of peer mentors who have completed a class in mentoring. In addition they are provided with challenging paid co-op work assignments to prepare them for professional success and workplace leadership. STRUTS Scholars acquire essential leadership skills when they mentor the FIRST Robotics participants working in the FCC. Simultaneously, STRUTS Scholars are mentored by an extensive pool of committed Kettering faculty from a variety of disciplines. A required research-based thesis is focused on professional practice with an interdisciplinary focus which provides an opportunity to apply academic and co-op experience with research to solve a real problem at a pre-selected organization.

A comprehensive, culturally responsive assessment plan for continuous improvement and overall success will be implemented. At least 90% of STRUTS Scholars are retained and graduate. Programmatic successes are documented to insure sustainability at Kettering and replication at other elite technology schools. Results are disseminated to enhance the benefit of need-based support, FIRST Robotics, and mentorship on STEM higher education. The STRUTS project is a showcase to potential donors with a view to sustaining matriculation and graduation of talented students who have financial need.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 91.60K | Year: 2015

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program (MRI) and the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Program, Kettering University will acquire an isothermal scanning calorimeter (ITC). Isothermal titration calorimetry has become a powerful technique for obtaining quantitative thermodynamic information about molecular interactions. It does so by sensitively measuring heat generated or absorbed by a compound upon titration using another compound. This leads to understanding the strength and structure of the interaction between the compounds. Binding between proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, small molecules, metals, nanoparticles, and polymers dissolved or suspended in aqueous or select non-aqueous solvents are accessible, making ITC extremely versatile. At Kettering University, the instrument will also be used by undergraduate students in their research projects. It will be incorporated into laboratory courses to provide training to students in several disciplines. It will be used in demonstrations and in hands on usage in outreach programs for middle and high school students.

The proposal is aimed at enhancing research especially in areas such as (a) investigating protein-small molecule binding to explain the molecular evolution of the Yersina phosphatase YopH; (b) elucidating potential cytochrome c-dependent cardiovascular disease protection mechanisms for catechins, protein-metal complex binding; (c) determining the affinity of blood serum proteins for anti-cancer Ru(II)-mono-arene complexes; (d) determining protein-RNA binding for RNA sequence specificity of a T. brucei protein known to regulate gene expression and (e) studying small molecule-nanoparticle binding to understand the thermal properties of sodium acetate trihydrates for their use in non-electric incubating blankets.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 279.52K | Year: 2016

This REU Site award to Kettering University, located in Flint, MI, will support the training of ten (10) students for eight (8) weeks during the summers of 2017-2019. The REU Site focuses on the use of plants and plant products in innovative scientific and engineering research, and faculty from the biological, chemical, and physical sciences as well as math and engineering will be involved in mentoring and conducting directed research with participants. In addition to undertaking research during the eight-week program, students will participate in seminars and journal clubs, including training in ethics and responsible conduct of research and field trips to other research institutions. Participants for the REU site will be widely solicited, to include students enrolled in schools on the quarter-system and those who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering. A committee of faculty members from Kettering University will select REU participants based on academic performance, interest in research, and phone interviews.

It is anticipated that a total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities will be trained in the program. The interdisciplinary approaches employed in the REU research projects to tackle real-world issues will help to foster the students ability to collaborate with people from across STEM fields, allowing participants to better engage with and solve 21st century problems. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences.

A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine student career paths. Students will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available by visiting http://TBD, or by contacting the PI (Dr. Lihua Wang at lwang@kettering.edu) or the co-PI (Dr. James Cohen at jcohen@kettering.edu).

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