Ann Arbor, MI, United States

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI, United States

The University of Michigan , frequently referred to as simply Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state's oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet , and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States, the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social science, and STEM fields as well as professional degrees in medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan's body of living alumni comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 22, 2017

Ford has named the head of its driverless cars division as its chief executive in a sudden regime change, as the company that pioneered the assembly line looks to the next stage of the industry’s evolution. The Detroit-based carmaker said Mark Fields, who has run the company since July 2014, was retiring with immediate effect amid an overhaul of senior management. Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, who runs the smart mobility unit that houses Ford’s autonomous vehicle projects and is close to the executive chair, Bill Ford Jr. Ford Jr, great-grandson of the company’s founder Henry, said Hackett was a “transformational leader” who would modernise the business by exploring areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing. He and Hackett also emphasised the need to make decisions faster, with Ford Jr hinting at more centralised control as he referred to “breaking the hierarchy down”. Despite posting a pre-tax profit of $10.4bn (£8bn) last year, the company has fallen out of favour on Wall Street and its stock has declined by 37% during Fields’ tenure. This year it was overtaken in stock market value by newcomer Tesla, which specialises in electric cars and is testing driverless vehicles, as investors focus on the future of transport. The 114-year-old company has also been outpaced by traditional rivals such as General Motors, which posted rising first-quarter profit this year, while Ford’s earnings slumped. Ford Jr said the decision that Fields would retire was reached on Friday but admitted there had been discussions for some time. Fields, whose pay deal last year was worth $22m (£17m), is in line for a payoff worth $14.3m, a sum he would not have been entitled to had he left the company under circumstances other than voluntary retirement. The choice of Hackett as his successor indicates a firmer commitment to driverless vehicles from the company whose founder introduced the assembly line production method that dominated the 20th century. In February, Ford announced a $1bn investment over five years in the artificial intelligence software company Argo AI, as part of its attempt to make driverless cars a reality. It hopes to have a driverless car on the road by 2021, and aims to capitalise on its progress in the emerging field by licensing the technology to other companies. Analysts say the appointment of Hackett suggests Ford wants to burnish its reputation among investors by showing that it can embrace technological change more quickly than it has done. “If we’ve learned anything from the phenomenon of [Tesla chief executive] Elon Musk, it’s that Wall Street likes a tech/innovation guy,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds. “Putting the head of their mobility division at the helm indicates Ford is trying to send a strong message to stockholders that the company intends to be a dominant player in the future of mobility.” Hackett was cagey about whether Ford might tweak its planned $4.5bn spend on electric cars and $1bn on autonomous vehicles, one of the only questions he did not answer during a lengthy press conference about his appointment. The 62-year-old does not bring a wealth of technological expertise to the role, having previously spent 30 years with office furniture company Steelcase, followed by a spell as interim athletic director at the University of Michigan. But he has been credited with a free-thinking approach in both positions and was described by Ford Jr as a “futurist” who was well connected in Silicon Valley. As chief executive of Steelcase, he moved the company away from traditional office equipment, tailoring new products towards a growing trend for open-plan working. At the University of Michigan, he won praise for convincing former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to take on the university’s underperforming American football team, the Wolverines. Developing driverless – or autonomous – vehicles is a nascent but fast-growing industry, with Ford expecting to roll out a driverless car by 2021 and some analysts estimating there will be 10m cars with some form of autonomy by 2020. That’s not much in the context of more than 1bn cars worldwide, but represents rapid progress from a standing start just a few years ago. In the US, the race pits traditional auto firms such as Ford and General Motors against technology-focused newcomers, such as Uber and Google, through its Waymo spinoff company. Also in the running is Tesla, led by futurist billionaire Elon Musk, an auto firm that bridges the divide between Detroit and Silicon Valley by specialising in electric and autonomous cars. While Ford’s management shake-up might suggest it is lagging behind, a study by Navigant Research recently put the company top of the pile among firms working on the technology. Despite the high-profile nature of efforts by technology firms, the study’s top six rated firms were traditional carmakers, with Ford followed by General Motors, Renault-Nissan and Daimler. The UK has started laying the groundwork to become a testing bed for the technology, with MPs consulting on a regulatory regime designed to ready the country for a driverless future. Opinion is divided about when the first consumer models will hit the streets, despite some rumours suggesting Tesla will release a model with a level of autonomy by 2018. Sceptics have pointed to uncertainty around the regulatory regime governing matters such as insurance, while the technology has not been without some concerning teething problems.

Wang Y.,Nanjing University of Science and Technology | Wang Y.,University of Michigan | Wang L.,Nanjing University of Science and Technology | Ma Z.-D.,University of Michigan | And 2 more authors.
Materials and Design | Year: 2016

Jounce bumpers in automotive suspension can absorb impact energy and improve Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance of entire vehicle. In this paper, a negative Poisson's ratio (NPR) structure was introduced and applied on the jounce bumper. The NPR jounce bumper can be primarily described by few parameters and is convenient for design, analysis and optimization. Three NPR jounce bumper prototypes were manufactured and tested. The test results of prototype 1 indicated that the NPR jounce bumpers had excellent viscoelasticity characteristic to absorb impact energy owing to its high damping. Compared with traditional jounce bumper, the NPR jounce bumper can achieve similar mechanical behavior but with a smoother load-displacement curve, which is beneficial to the NVH performance. Moreover, numerical calculation was conducted. Its results were fairly reliable for the prediction of mechanical behavior of NPR jounce bumper. The numerical results implied the stress concentration areas and the displacement of failure. The deformation shapes of NPR jounce bumper were also discussed. Finally, prototypes 2 and 3 manufactured from 3D printing technology were tested to explore the possibility of the application of 3D printing technology on NPR structures. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: I-Corps | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2017

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project will derive from a new 3D printing technology that can address critical needs in small volume/smart devices by providing products with increased strength-to-weight ratios, integrated materials that enable designed functionality, and a high degree of feature customization. 3D printed components with optimal shape and functional properties have a multitude of potential applications in the automotive, aerospace, environmental monitoring and medical fields. With the potential introduction of commercial drone applications, this technology will meet an increased need for flexible payload carrier fabrication techniques that can be customized for payload specific weight, strength, and design requirements. Additionally, the technology described in this project will provide an alternative fabrication approach for customized assistive devices that has the potential to decrease production time, lower waste and energy consumption, decrease costs, improve assistive device customization and user performance. Lastly, the ability to embed novel capabilities such as monitoring acceleration or temperature and pressure at the skin interface into these devices aligns with a growing societal interest in wearable sensors.

This I-Corps project will identify the key value propositions of a novel 3D printing technology for targeted customers and quantify the market value for devices fabricated with this technology across several application areas. Key strategic partners and major competitors within the general areas that align with this technology will be investigated. The intellectual merit of this project lies in the new knowledge that will be obtained regarding application driven needs for 3D printing of fiber reinforced polymers that enable customized fabrication of smart, functional devices. This advanced 3D printing technology reconfigures and extends the functionality of a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing approach to enable 3D printing of continuous fiber composite materials along curvatures on multiple planes, including overhanging features. Preliminary results from this technology have demonstrated the first example of out-of-plane 3D printing at the meso-scale. The new knowledge resulting from this I-Corps project will inform and direct further technological advancements towards the development of a printing system targeted for specific application needs in size, strength, resolution, and material diversity.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Manufacturing Machines & Equip | Award Amount: 294.50K | Year: 2014

Additive manufacturing includes a variety of 3D fabrication technologies. Starting from early powder-based 3D printing, commercial machines are now capable of producing thermoplastics using fused deposition modeling, ultraviolet curable polymers using stereolithography, and metals using laser sintering techniques. However, additive manufacturing of composites or bi-materials remains challenging, particularly for two materials with significantly different properties that can be combined in various ratios to create different mechanical behaviors. This research aims to develop a manufacturing method, in which 3D printing is utilized to make specific scaffold structures, allowing polymer to infiltrate and reinforce the part. This new method will enable development of functionally gradient materials, light-weight design, and reinforced structures for applications of additive manufacturing in rapid prototyping, healthcare, automotive and aerospace. Outcomes of this research will stimulate the next-generation additive manufacturing technology and provide education and research opportunities for students of many different backgrounds.

This research focuses on understanding the infiltration mechanism of the polymer through certain parameters, such as viscosity and surface tension, and mechanical behaviors of the polymer infiltrated composite in order to customize material properties, including stiffness, hardness, strength, and isotropy or anisotropy. To this end, this research includes two tasks. First, the research team will study and simulate the infiltration phenomenon using computational fluid dynamics and validate with design of experiments. The results will define the structural limits to capsulate or drain liquid polymers prior to solidification. In the second task, they will investigate the rule of mixtures for composite mechanics under a variety of scaffold structures and the non-linear behavior of the composite under extreme loads. Results from this research can be used to establish a material decomposition algorithm. This algorithm can thus be used to define scaffold structure and polymer selection given a set of desired material properties.

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