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Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science project summaries

Supervisors 

Jana Abou-Ziki Ibrahim Dincer Kamiel Gabriel Ramiro Liscano Atef Mohany Carlos Rossa
Martin Agelin-Chaab Moustafa El-Gindy Sayyed Ali Hosseini Brendan D. MacDonald Scott Nokleby Ying Wang
Akramul Azim Khalid Elgazzar Haoxiang Lang Ruth Milman Ghaus Rizvi Mohamed Y. Youssef
Ahmad Barari

 

Summaries

Supervisor name: Jana Abou-Ziki, PhD

Project title: Investigating the surface texture formed on features machined by Spark Assisted Chemical Engraving

Summary of research project: 

This project aims to investigate the surface texture that is formed while micro-machining using a non-conventional micro-machining process called Spark Assisted Chemical Engraving (SACE). During SACE, local high-temperature etching of the workpiece (beneath the tool) occurs as a result of applying a voltage between the tool and a counter-electrode (both dipped in electrolyte). The local flow in the machining zone, due to tool motion and the process dynamics, affects the surface texture. This project involves a detailed study to quantify the effect of the local flow and process parameters on the texture in a step towards controlling it.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student should initially become familiarized with the topics relevant to the project (through assigned readings). The student will plan the machining experiments and do them in an organized manner to investigate the effect of different process parameters on the machined surface texture. The experiments will be designed to investigate the effect of different fluid parameters on the machined surface appearance. The student has to program the tool motion and control the process parameters (through a control-loop). The machined samples will be analyzed using an optical microscope. The student will report the work during weekly meetings/reports.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

The student must be enrolled in an undergraduate program in Mechanical, Manufacturing, or Mechatronics Engineering. The student will do experimental work, therefore he/she should be willing to operate a machine. The project involves recording results in an organized manner and analyzing them as well as relating that to theory. The student should have good oral and written communication skills as well as the capability to do literature review and write engineering reports. Knowledge of basic programming skills (C/C++) and fluid dynamics is required. Experience or basic knowledge of feedback control is an asset.

 


Supervisor name: Martin Agelin-Chaab, PhD

Project title: Aerodynamic devices that minimize soiling of road vehicles

Summary of research project: 

Automotive aerodynamics covers a wider domain than just the aerodynamic forces and moments experienced by vehicles in motion. The deposition of rain, soil and other contaminants, which are influenced by aerodynamics, impairs safety and is of great concern to aerodynamicists. This is more critical with the emergence of autonomous vehicles, which greatly depend on numerous sensors for navigation. The proposed project aims to develop and test active aerodynamic devices and strategies to minimize soiling of surfaces on vehicles that must be kept clean.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  • Develop active aerodynamic devices to minimize rear surface contamination by dirt-laden airstream.
  • Use CFD to optimize the devices before 3D printing scale models.
  • Assist in setting up the experiments and calibrating a model wind tunnel for testing.
  • Conduct a number of experiments to test the effectiveness of the devices using the 3D printed models in the wind tunnel.
  • Analyze the experimental data, interpret the results and write a technical report.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 required.
  • Must have taken MECE 2860U: Fluid Mechanics or in the process of taking it.
  • Prior experience working with another professor is an advantage.

  


Supervisor name: Akramul Azim, PhD

Project title: A hardware-in-the-loop testing framework for connected/autonomous vehicles software

Summary of research project:

Connected/autonomous vehicles are disruptive technologies, and the software on these vehicles is always on the rise. Software bugs in these vehicles can have a significant impact if they are not detected and handled properly. For example, a recent 'Jeep Hack' incident showed us a car be controlled remotely. We need effective testing strategies in place to run the connected/autonomous vehicles safely and securely. The project involves identifying the key safety and security aspects to test them in real-time; the framework can help us enable useful features (over-the-air updates) safely or securely in next-generation vehicles.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

Configure/set-up experimental platforms and develop tools/prototypes.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Good systems programming skills.

 


Supervisor name: Ahmad Barari, PhD


Project title:
Design and Development of Drone-Based System for 3D Scanning of Objects

Summary of research project:

Digital reconstruction of 3D objects has various applications in many industries. This project aims to develop a system for 3D scanning and then reconstruct the 3D model of objects. The project may focus on: 

  • Designing the hardware and software required for this system including selection and design of the required components, path planning, data capturing, data registration, and processes required for full 3D CAD modeling.
  • Developing a Photogrammetry sensor for this system.

This project includes hardware and software development in various stages of conceptual design, detail design, verification, and prototyping.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student works with a team of graduate students in the Advanced Digital Manufacturing and Metrology Laboratories. The tasks include: 

  • supervised research
  • literature review
  • mechanical design
  • working with CAD/CAM/CAE software tools
  • running tests and experiments
  • documentation

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Mechanical or Electromechanical with high GPA. Software, computer, and programming skills are very important.

  


Supervisor name: Ibrahim Dincer, PhD

Project title: Design and Testing of Solar Hydrogen/Ammonia System

Summary of research project:  

Hydrogen energy has appeared as a unique solution in achieving carbon-free solutions and combating global warming. Although there are conventional fossil fuels-based hydrogen production methods, solar-based hydrogen and ammonia production systems are recognized as the most appealing. In this summer work, the student is expected to assist with designing, analyzing and testing a solar system for hydrogen and ammonia production. In this regard, both theoretical (through thermodynamic analysis, including energy and exergy analyses) and experimental measurements are to be conducted.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • Assisting in the system development phase, including a literature survey.
  • Assisting with experimental setup, model drawing and building.
  • Helping grad students run experimental tests.
  • Performing thermodynamic calculations.
  • Data collection and analysis.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

  • Experience with Matlab, EES and CAD package.
  • A strong background in Thermodynamics and Energy Systems.

 


Supervisor name: Moustafa El-Gindy, PhD

Project title: Development of an autonomous scaled 8x8 combat vehicle

Summary of research project:  

Current literature pertaining to multi-steerable mobile platforms and the progression of military vehicles in the past few decades suggest a lack of effort in pursuing advanced technologies in this joint area. As a result, a novel 1:6th scaled electric combat vehicle prototype that features eight independently driven and steerable wheels is designed and developed and will be used in this study. The intent is to create a proof of concept model for future autonomous 8x8 combat vehicle.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

Perform literature survey of recent autonomous vehicles technology and develop automatons scaled 8x8 combat vehicles that will be built during a series of capstone projects.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

Must have Mechanical, Automotive, and Mechanical Engineering background and GPA above 3.8.

 


Supervisor name: Khalid Elgazzar, PhD

Project title: Ubiquitous Data Collection in Smart City Settings

Summary of research project:  

The overarching objective of this project is to create a platform that probes a pool of available sensors in a specific geographical region to collect real-time data that enables ubiquitous data services (e.g. traffic information), and to demonstrate the potential benefits of mobile sensing as a core enabling technology for Internet of things. The platform will disassociate sensor functionality from application demands to allow for fixable data repurposing. The project will demonstrate the applicability of utilizing multipurpose sensing objects (e.g. smartphones) in various ways to flexibly satisfy varying application sensing demands.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will develop a proof-of-concept prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of mobile sensing. A number of sensors will be used to measure real-time data. A TI SensorTag will report a variety of environment measurements (ambient light, noise, pressure, etc.). Aeroqual SM50 will measure air quality that will assist in delivering urban sensing scenarios (e.g. air-quality monitoring). An Android application will be developed to visualize and provide statistical analysis of collected data. An open-source time-series data management platform will be deployed on the cloud to collect, manage and visualize time series sensor data.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Senior students with solid programming/computer science background are eligible to carry out this project. Strong familiarity with Python/C++ programming is required. Some familiarity of database management systems and distributed systems is also valuable.

 


Supervisor name: Kamiel Gabriel, PhD

Project title: CO2 Reduction in Large Emitter Industries

Summary of research project:

The project explores the use of renewables and alternative fuels in heavy pollutant industries such as steel-processing and cement-production plants.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will work on the implementation of a hybrid system that utilizes hydrogen as an alternate fuel in a typical steel processing and/or cement plants. The student will use a combination of experiments and simulations using available software.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

The student must: 

  • Have successfully passed courses on heat transfer and thermodynamics.
  • Be registered in Mechanical, Mechatronics or Automotive Engineering.
  • Have an accumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

 


Supervisor name: Sayyed Ali Hosseini, PhD

Project title: Finish Machining of Additive Manufactured Metallic Parts

Summary of research project:  

Additive manufacturing creates geometries by depositing material layer-by-layer wherever desired. One of the major roadblocks toward the wide application of additive manufactured metallic parts is the lack of dimensional accuracy and poor surface quality, which necessitates post-process finish machining. This project aims to perform an extensive literature review and set up a test configuration to study the effects of post-process finish machining on the surface integrity and dimensional accuracy of machined surface. The participant will acquire extensive literature review skills along with hands-on experience in setting up machining tests.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will be stationed in the Machining Research Laboratory and will work directly with the Principal Investigator and his research group. The main task for the student is to gather information pertinent to the machinability of Additive Manufactured metallic parts. Upon the completion of sourcing information and literature review, the student will be involved in configuring a test setup, including installing a dynamometer on a CNC mill and acquiring data using a data acquisition card during the machining tests. The student is also responsible for writing reports and manuals. The required training will be provided to ensure safety.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

  • Must have taken and passed MANE 3190U Manufacturing and Production Processes with minimum B+.
  • Interpersonal, teamwork, communication, CAD Software, and academic report writing skills.
  • Preferably familiar with machine tools and manufacturing processes such as turning and milling.

 


Supervisor name: Haoxiang Lang, PhD

Project title: Design and Development of a Dexterous Robotic Hand for Manipulation

Summary of research project:  

The project aims to design and develop a dexterous robotic hand that can handle different objects while providing multiple sensory feedback including tactile, force, torque, distance and object identification using vision.

The developed products could be applied in either autonomous robots or tele-operated robots for grasping and manipulation applications.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  • conceptual design
  • computer-aided design (CAD) modeling
  • building of the hand (mechanical, electrical and software).
  • testing and improving the design

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

Students should have a background in Mechatronics.

 


Supervisor name: Ramiro Liscano, PhD

Project title: Support of the development of a network simulator for SDN-enabled WSNs

Summary of research project:  

In the Distributed and Mobile Systems Laboratory (DaMSeL) at Ontario Tech University, we are performing research in mobile sensor networks and software-defined networks (SDNs). To this end, we are developing a wireless sensor network (WSN) simulator that incorporates adaptive clustering and interfaces with software-defined controllers. The research objectives are to investigate intent-based networking and service-driven network management.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will be performing improvements to the simulator such as: 

  • Adding to the simulator data analysis and filtering capability.
  • Adding to the simulator an SDN interface.
  • Improving the user interface and network configuration parameters.
  • Performing testing on the simulator.
  • Supporting graduate students perform networking experiments using the simulator. 

The actual topic of work will become clearer by the start of the summer term.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

Applicants with a strong software background, with experience and/or courses in the Python language and networking, are preferred. Students studying in the software engineering, computer science, and IT networking and information technology security programs are preferred. Applicants should also demonstrate that they can work and communicate well with working colleagues.

 


Supervisor name: Brendan D. MacDonald, PhD

Project title: Development and testing of external heat engines

Summary of research project: 

External heat engines are capable of providing power from a wide range of heat sources, since the heat is external to the piston cylinders. This can include sustainable sources such as wood, waste, solar, etc., which means these engines have a high potential to provide sustainable power. The Stirling engine is an external heat engine with high promise, and we are developing prototype engines with some new technological advantages to produce competitive and commercially viable engines. This work includes design work, analysis, and experimental testing.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

There are many tasks required for our current external heat engine prototyping. The tasks are primarily related to examining specific aspects of the engine design and improving the design. This can include numerical modelling of engine parts, building experimental test rigs to analyze design changes, or testing with our current prototypes to assess design enhancements. Some examples include analysis of heat transfer into the cylinders, regenerator design, the impact of the temperature of heat source, friction and wear on the mechanical elements, and others. Specific tasks will be determined with the student to ensure interest and compatibility.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Most importantly, students should be curious, have a passion for discovery, and honesty. It is beneficial for students to have thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and/or heat transfer knowledge.

 


Supervisor name: Ruth Milman, PhD

Project title: Integrating Quad-copter flight with autonomous interconnected systems

Summary of research project:  

Drones have become very popular research tools as they are capable of stable flight and hovering and can easily be equipped with cameras and/or sensors that are capable of sending remote data to other systems. In our research lab, we are working on using drones for various situational identification purposes. This can be accomplished using image processing with machine learning that is based on images that are collected from quad-copters. Two current ongoing projects in this area include the identification of broken insulators on power lines and the identification of traffic and parking information using drones for a vehicle system.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The successful student can work within different areas of the project. The project will involve both hardware and software aspects. The student will work on various dedicated tasks within the project, working as a collaborative team member. Specific tasks will be tailored to the student's skills and interests. Some areas that we are actively working on include processing of sensor images, improving hardware options for a specific quad-copter setup, quad-copter flight and controller programming.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Applicants must have completed the second year and have a working knowledge of Matlab. Applicants must be able to both works independently at times as well as work within a team, furthering the team research goals.

 


Supervisor name: Atef Mohany, PhD

Project title: Investigation and Mitigation of Over-Testing Behaviour in an Industrial Seismic Qualification Table

Summary of research project:  

Seismic table is an equipment that is used to shake structure models or components with a wide range of simulated ground motion. This is done in order to seismically qualify critical components in nuclear power plants. An over-testing behaviour has been observed in an industrial seismic table. This research project is in collaboration with a major industrial partner and will focus on investigating the dynamic characteristics of the seismic table using state-of-the-art numerical and experimental techniques. This will provide the much-needed knowledge to pinpoint the reason for the over-testing behaviour, thereby mitigating it.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The successful candidate will work closely with my research group to learn and apply state-of-the-art techniques used for dynamic characterization of structures. This includes:

  • Developing a 3D CAD model to simulate the motion of the seismic table for a given input signal.
  • Performing a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and harmonic analysis to predict mechanical resonance frequencies/mode shapes of the seismic table.
  • Performing coupled vibration-acoustics measurements to validate the seismic table response against the simulated response.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

The ideal candidate for this position should have completed the Mechanical Vibration course (MECE 3210) with a minimum grade of A- and have the following skills:

  • Advanced knowledge of CAD modeling.
  • Advanced knowledge of Matlab or Python.
  • Good communication skills.

 


Supervisor name: Scott Nokleby, PhD

Project title: Co-ordinated Control of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Systems

Summary of research project:  

This project involves the coordinated control of systems comprised of a mixture of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). In particular, the successful candidate will focus on the development of an Autonomous UAV to be used to provide motion planning information to a series of UGVs. The candidate will work as part of a team.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The successful candidate will focus on research tasks related to the design and development of advanced robotic systems, which may include tasks related to the design, analysis, assessment, modelling studies, and development of novel or innovative products, processes and/or systems. Duties include, but are not limited to: designing, developing, and building prototypes; designing and conducting experiments; analyzing experimental results; writing reports and peer-reviewed publications. In addition, the candidate is expected to collaborate with other personnel working in the Mechatronic and Robotic Systems Laboratory.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

The successful candidate must have strong engineering, design, mathematics, programming, and written/oral English communication skills. Robotics experience, particularly with Robot Operating System (ROS), is an asset. A minimum GPA of B+ and completion of the second year of their engineering program is preferred.

 


Supervisor name: Ghaus Rizvi, PhD

Project title: Optimization of scaffold degradation rate for tissue engineering

Summary of research project:  

3D printing is widely used in tissue engineering. We use fused deposition modeling to make precise scaffolds using biocompatible materials. These scaffolds help native bone cells growth for a short period during which the new native cellular structure replaces tissue scaffold, which undergoes biodegradation at a certain rate determined by many factors. This project assesses the effect of geometric properties on the biodegradation rate. Scaffolds with different geometries are evaluated for degradation rates in incubator that mimics human body environment. Then a Micro-CT scanner is used to characterize the morphology of the degraded scaffold.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  • Preparation of material formulation.
  • Extrusion of filament for use in 3D printer.
  • Production of CAD drawings of different scaffold.
  • Printing the 3D scaffold.
  • Testing the scaffold for degradation.
  • Analysis of results.
  • Writing reports and presenting the results in group meetings.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

About three years of engineering course work with a GPA greater than 3.0.

 


Supervisor name: Carlos Rossa, PhD

Project title: FireNav Smart Helmet: Localization and Mapping for Structural Firefighters

Summary of research project:  

Visibility and navigation are major challenges in structural firefighting. The two most common tasks that firefighters face are finding the location of the fire and survivors in an unknown environment and evacuating the building. However, in a typical fire scene rescuers work in low visibility conditions due to smoke, dust and darkness. In this project, students will work on a smart helmet for firefighters that combines reading from different embedded sensors to scan the environment, create a real-time map of the building, locate the firefighter in that map, and share the information with the incident commander in real-time.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will develop a system that fuses the information of helmet-mounted sensors (Lidar, IMU and mmWave sensors) to create a map of the environment and locate the firefighter in that map using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). SLAM is widely used in robotics, autonomous vehicles, and rescue scenes. The created map along with the current location of the firefighters and points of interest can then be shared in real-time with other rescuers to guide them in and out of the building. A user interface software will also be developed. 

See biomechatronics.ca for more details.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

  • Third-year Mechatronics or Software Engineering students with a minimum GAP of 3.6 will be given preference.

 The project requires a strong interest in one or more of the following areas: 

  • programming
  • sensors and instrumentation
  • electronics
  • software development

 


Supervisor name: Ying Wang, PhD

Project title: Computer-Aided Design and Measurement of Reconfigurable RF/Microwave Circuits

Summary of research project:  

Reconfigurable RF/Microwave circuits have attracted much attention, and can be used in all types of electronic systems, such as wireless communication systems. The objectives of the research project include the development of both highly efficient reconfigurable microwave circuits, and modeling tools for computer-aided design and diagnosis of the performance of the tunable/reconfigurable circuits. Through this research project, the student will have the opportunity to get training on microwave circuit design, optimization, measurement techniques, and software development.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

The student will assist with: 

  • literature survey
  • comparative study of different reconfigurable circuits and modeling techniques
  • simulation of devices
  • fabrication and measurement of circuits

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills): 

Applicants should be a third-year Electrical Engineering student with a GPA of 3.7 and above.

 


Supervisor name: Mohamed Z. Youssef, PhD

Project title: Design and simulation of hybrid electric vehicle (EV) battery charger for optimum grid utilization

Summary of research project:  

The global shift to electric cars is now well underway, accelerating and bringing with it big changes for drivers, companies, industries, and governments around the world. Reliable chargers are of a big demand, with carbon foot print applicability being a must. The main aim of this project is to design a charging system coupled with solar energy for electric vehicles.

Student responsibilities/tasks: 

  • Modeling of the system using Matlab or PSIM.
  • Verification of the model using Hardware-in-the-Loop technique.
  • Writing a final technical report.

Student qualifications required (e.g. courses completed, minimum grades, skills):

Preferably a third-year Electrical Engineering student going for fourth-year Electrical Engineering.