Student Spotlight: Evan Harris

Evan HarrisYSU STEM loves to highlight student achievements and experiences! Please email us about students who have accomplished great things at STEMNews@ysu.edu so we can get the word out about our exceptional students!

Evan Harris is a junior Electrical Engineering student. He is a research assistant at YSU that helps collect data in groundbreaking experiments involving 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

Evan performs his research under Dr. Eric MacDonald, a professor and distinguished researcher in YSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has also worked with several of Dr. MacDonald’s co-workers, other distinguished professors and researchers on staff at YSU, as well as his classmates Andrea Beck and Chad Lynagh.

“Our group is currently handling projects dealing with Additive Manufacturing ranging from Commercial 3D printing to Industrial Sand Casting utilizing Computer Vision and Machine Learning, to recognize when a print is failing or about to fail,” said Evan. “We are also using the university’s S-Max 3D printer to gather experimental data on sand molds containing cavities of complex geometries to be used in metal casting, something that wasn’t previously possible. YSU is one of only two universities in the country with S-Max printers.”

“We hope to increase the efficiency, quality, and performance of both methods of 3D printing,” said Evan. “The commercial project aims to create a closed-loop system that recognizes common hazards, stops defective prints, and saves filament (feedstock) in the process. We’re comparing data we collect from our sand casting experiments to today’s models, looking for inconsistencies. Porosity is a very complex, yet important, property when it comes to casting metal, so the more data we can collect, the more we can learn about what causes defects and how that compares to current models.”

Through this research project, Evan hopes to learn more about Additive Manufacturing and have the opportunity to help advance the field in future.

“It’s an exciting area of study that could expand existing technologies and lead to new ones,” said Evan. “Large companies are beginning to take advantage of 3D printing metal parts that are currently out of production.”

When speaking about the 3D printing, “our YSU professors are also pioneering research into the way metal casting works. We’re one of only two universities in the country to have an S-Max 3D printer, and that gives us the ability to design our own experiments and try things that have never been explored, which to me is really exciting,” said Evan.

In addition to his research, Evan is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society, and a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Evan is also a huge Steelers fan.

To find out more about the research Evan participates in, visit the Google Scholar page for Dr. Eric MacDonald. You can also email Evan at emharris@student.ysu.edu.

Staff Spotlight: Jason Walker

Jason WalkerDr. Jason Walker, Additive Manufacturing Research Scientist, has been working under Dr. Conner in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering since November 2016.

Earlier in 2016, it was announced that YSU would be partnering with the Air Force and other research centers to work on a grant-funded project involving additive manufacturing. With this new project came the need for additional personnel.

Walker majored in both mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University before earning his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Toledo. He completed his postdoc in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Ohio State University.

“I am the technical lead on the metal additive manufacturing efforts,” said Walker. “Within the scope of the grant it’s mostly applied research—making and validating parts for the Air Force using 3D printing.”

Walker explains that he’ll be working closely with Friedman Chair Dr. Eric MacDonald as well as several students in the materials science PhD program.

“Eric MacDonald and I are looking at process monitoring of these 3D printing manufacturing processes,” he said. “We want to put a bunch of high-speed cameras and thermal cameras in them, and video record everything that’s happening in real time.”

The project is set to end in March 2018. Walker has expressed the possibility of becoming an engineering professor in the future, so maybe we won’t be saying our goodbyes next year.

Like a true engineer, he enjoys tinkering with things in his spare time, including vintage motorcycles.

For more information on the grant-funded project, read these resources from The Business Journal, WKBN, and the Tribune Chronicle.

Faculty Faction: Dr. Eric MacDonald

Eric MacDonald
photo credit: YSU News Center

Dr. Eric MacDonald is a professor of electrical engineering and YSU’s Friedman Chair in Engineering. He holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

He worked as a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso for 15 years after leaving industry as a chip designer. He created microprocessors for products including computers and game systems and he worked for companies like IBM and Motorola.

In 2003, Dr. MacDonald teamed up with a mechanical engineer at UTEP to experiment with the mixing of 3D printing and electronics, which was almost unheard of at that time.

“So you could make a ball that’s a circuit board for instance, or you could make a prosthetic hand,” said Dr. MacDonald. “We ended up getting a lot of interest from NASA and the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the intelligence community even.”

He had strong ties to Youngstown before he even considered coming here to teach.

“In 2011, President Obama in his State of the Union address basically said that he was going to invest in manufacturing by setting up institutes, the first of which was additive manufacturing… and it came to Youngstown,” said Dr. MacDonald.

A grant from this institute based in Youngstown brought him and Dr. Brett Conner together for collaboration.

Dr. MacDonald was very interested in coming to Youngstown through a recent endowment. He is now the first Morris and Phyllis Friedman Chair in Engineering at Youngstown State University.

He plans to continue his hands-on research with 3D printing and electronics while also incorporating Youngstown’s history of metal manufacturing.

Last semester, Dr. MacDonald published a paper in the journal Science along with former colleague Ryan Wicker of UTEP. Science is a highly prestigious magazine and it is very difficult to be accepted for publication.

A frequent traveler, Dr. MacDonald has been to many different countries all over the world. Even so, he still thinks Ohio is a beautiful place to live.

Staff Spotlight: Jonathan Kelly

Jonathan KellyJonathan Kelly is a YSU STEM alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering. As of November 2016, he’s back at YSU working with Drs. Brett Conner and Hazel Marie.

Earlier in 2016, it was announced that YSU would be partnering with the Air Force and other research centers to work on a grant-funded project involving additive manufacturing. With this new project came the need for additional personnel.

Jonathan is a project leader, meaning he works more behind-the-scenes than hands-on. With research and paperwork making its way back and forth between organizations and facilities, someone needs to be there to organize everything and help coordinate so that the project runs smoothly. He is here to assist Dr. Conner from an administrative view on this project.

Since earning his degree, Jonathan has worked as a quality engineer and as a quality and safety manager. This project will give him the opportunity to gain more experience while working on earning his MBA. He also works as a real estate agent on the side.

Jonathan Kelly is here for the duration of the project, ending in March 2019. For more information on the grant-funded project, read these resources from The Business Journal, WKBN, and the Tribune Chronicle.

Making a Difference: Ashley Martof named STEM Exemplar

Photo by Justin Wier/The Jambar.

Last year Ashley Martof was named STEM’s Intern of the Year. This year, she has been working hard and has been named a Believe in Ohio STEM Exemplar.

The Ohio Academy of Sciences named 58 students as STEM Exemplars this year. A STEM Exemplar is someone who serves as a role model for students to pursue STEM careers and innovative thinking.

She said she was excited and felt blessed when she found out she was named an exemplar.

It is such a great feeling to go around and promote STEM education.”

Students named as exemplars had to apply or be nominated for the title. Martof said that her professor Guha Manogharan encouraged her to apply.

Of course I applied because this is a wonderful opportunity to express my love of teaching children by educating kids in STEM,” Martof said.

When Martof was named STEM Intern of the Year, she had interned with America Makes, where she was able to show her passions for advanced manufacturing and education. One of her first projects at America Makes was develop an additive manufacturing curriculum for teachers.

Other projects Martof completed at America Makes include developing a 3D printing student camp, where she took children from 2D to 3D basics to designing and printing their own products in five days. All of these projects have led to her being named and exemplar.

I have hosted STEM camps, mostly related to additive manufacturing,” Martof said. “I am currently holding a 3D printing club two days a week at the Lewis School in Youngstown. I am also a part of the [Center for Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing] at YSU; this allows me to give tours and work on the 3D printing equipment at YSU. I also help out with any STEM related camps [or] sessions at YSU or in the community.”

Martof is working on her master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

Martof still has a few years left in her degree, but she said she knows additive manufacturing will definitely be in her future.

My love for additive manufacturing continues to grow each day. I plan to look for a career in additive manufacturing,” she said. “I am not sure if I will pursue a career in the actual manufacturing companies or fall towards the educational side. Either way, I will be happy!”

Faculty Faction: Guha Manogharan

guha-1
Mr. Guha Manogharan

Youngstown State University and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are always looking for the best and brightest to teach our best and brightest. This last semester, the STEM College has been breaking in a new professor and researcher, Mr. Guha Manogharan.

Guha is an assistant professor with the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and is also a part of the new Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing (CIAM). In fact, CIAM and the many opportunities that the Valley brings for 3D printing and additive manufacturing, like America Makes and our budding program, are what brought Guha to the area.  Continue reading “Faculty Faction: Guha Manogharan”

Student Spotlight: Ashley Bowers

AshleyBowers
Ashley Bowers

Much of what YSU STEM stands for can be shown through students like Ashley Bowers, a junior Industrial and Systems Engineering student with a minor in Mathematics. Ashley, who will become the new President of the STEM Leadership Society next fall, displays the top characteristics that STEM works hard to instill in its students.

Ashley, an Austintown Fitch graduate and valedictorian, has worked her way through the last three years of college like many other students. What is different about Ashley is how she has also worked her way up in the STEM Leadership Society (SLS). Starting with a basic position she moved to being the Vice President this year. Next year, Ashley will be the new President. SLS isn’t the only organization that Ashley is a part of; she is also a part of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society and the YSU Honors Society. Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Ashley Bowers”

The Summer Manufacturing Institute!

Harris and Pizza Box Circuit
Mr. Harris helping the students build a pizza box circuit. More pictures below.

The Youngstown area is busy with both new and old industry. These industries work together to form our economy, but it is the job of educators and the community to bridge the gap between our children and industry. The Summer Manufacturing Institute, a collaborative effort between OH WOW!, The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, Senator Sherrod Brown’s Office, Youngstown City Schools, and the YWCA of Youngstown, did just that; it bridged the gap between students and future careers in manufacturing.

The Summer Manufacturing Institute is a pilot program this year that introduced children, from grades four through six, to the wonders and possibilities of careers in manufacturing. While most programs of its kind focus on children in grades six and above, the collaborators believed it would be more beneficial to focus on children a little bit younger. Continue reading “The Summer Manufacturing Institute!”