Mechanical Automotive and Materials Engineering

UWindsor engineering researchers receive nearly $2 million in government funding

Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. 

An injection of nearly $2 million in federal funds will aid University of Windsor researchers like Daniel Green, who is helping automakers incorporate lightweight sheet materials into their vehicles.

The automotive sector is turning to lightweight materials as an alternative to steel to improve fuel efficiency. However, lower-density metals tend to have limited formability, says Dr. Green, an associate professor who specializes in materials engineering.

“Innovative forming processes need to be developed and optimized for the production of automotive parts,” he said. “With high-speed forming, we can get 100 per cent more formability than we can with conventional stamping.”

Green is one of 14 UWindsor engineering professors who was awarded funding through the 2017 Discovery Grants Program — an annual competition run by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to advance research in Canadian universities.

UWindsor students use 3D printing to help complete one-of-a-kind muscle car

(L-R) Hamed Kalami, Saad Zafar and Chris Darmon, part-owner of Xcentrick AutoSports, pose in front of a 1967 Mustang at  Xcentrick AutoSports in Oldcastle. Kalami, a PhD canadidate at UWindsor and Zafar, an engineering alumnus, helped Darmon create custom engine valve covers for the one-of-a-kind car.

Not only were they the finishing touches, custom valve covers engineered by University of Windsor students were “one of the nicest touches” on a one-of-a-kind Mustang custom-built by a local auto shop.

“On a car that’s extremely beautiful front to back, the engine compartment we worked on with the university is now the sharpest part of the car,” says Chris Darmon, one of the owners of Xcentrick AutoSports, a shop in Oldcastle that specializes in classic and custom cars for a local and global market.

Darmon said they usually do everything in-house, but they needed outside help to bring to life a Toronto customer’s vision for his 1967 GT500 Mustang.

“The customer wanted the valve cover on a 2014 Ford Coyote 5.0L V8 engine to look like a 1960s design,” said Saad Zafar BASc ’11, who was introduced to Darmon through the university’s EPICentre. “There was nothing like that on the market, so we had to start from scratch.”

UWindsor rocketry team soars in international competition

The University of Windsor Rocketry Team finished third overall in its first-ever competition: (from left) professor Jeff Defoe, Liza DiCecco, Shannon Bosilac, Anthony Gudisey, Sam Randall, Michael Gyan, William Oudomsouk, Alexandra Rose, Patrick Pomerleau-Perron, Jonathan Schreiber.

In its first-ever rocket competition appearance, the University of Windsor Rocketry Team finished third overall out of 82 teams.

Nine senior members of UWindsor’s inaugural rocketry team traveled to New Mexico to compete in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition’s (IREC) 2017 Spaceport America Cup held June 20 to 24. While first and second place were announced at the competition, the 80 other participating teams had to wait more than a month for competition results.

“We were pretty ecstatic,” says Liza DiCecco, a fourth-year materials option mechanical engineering student. “The results came right before our capstone report was due, when we were stressed out trying to finish. So this news made us pretty happy.”

Students display the latest engineering innovations

A team of students who designed a system to help visually impaired people navigate their surroundings are particularly excited about one aspect of their project: the difference it can make in the lives of users.

“It could help people in the real world,” says Hejir Rashidzadeh, one of three fourth-year students of electrical and computer engineering behind the “Intelligent Blind Man Aid,” which combines a camera and ultrasonic sensors with a voice command system.

The team set up an obstacle course to allow blindfolded guests try the experience for themselves, as part of Capstone Design Demonstration Day, Friday in the lobby of the Centre for Engineering Innovation. It was one of dozens of displays by groups of students in various engineering disciplines: electrical and computer; civil and environmental; and mechanical, automotive and materials.

Dean Saif inducted as an engineering fellow

His lasting contributions to engineering education and research in health, automotive, and aerospace industries earned UWindsor dean of engineering Mehrdad Saif induction as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Saif was one of 52 new fellows inducted at a ceremony June 26 in Ottawa during the academy’s annual general meeting. His citation noted more than 250 publications, discoveries incorporated into vehicles from the Chevrolet Malibu to the Cadillac Northstar, and innovative interdisciplinary academic programs including the UWindsor master’s program in engineering management (MEM).

Engineering professor wins royal accolade

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences has elected UWindsor professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering Hoda ElMaraghy to international membership.

Founded in 1919, the organization is the world´s oldest academy of engineering sciences, and numbers about 1,000 Swedish and 300 foreign members.

Dr. ElMaraghy is one of only two non-Swedish engineers among 12 new fellows elected this year.

“This is a great international recognition of my scientific and engineering contributions and stature in the world,” she said.

Dean opens door of discovery to aspiring engineer

Andrew Jenner, the team lead technologist for the Faculty of Engineering, shows Masha Dmitrenko the structures lab in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.​

It’s not often the dean of engineering receives hand-written letters, let alone one printed in pencil describing robots that catch and clean up after litterbugs.

Dean Mehrdad Saif was pleasantly surprised when he received a letter from Masha Dmitrenko, a Grade 4 student at John Campbell Public School. Dmitrenko wanted to know what she should do to become an engineer.

“What is the hardest part of engineering? What is the coolest part of engineering? I always wanted be an engineer. I have a question: can you make art robots?” the eight-year-old asked in her letter.

Scholarship keeps student's legacy alive

Most people say they’ve never met anyone quite like Luigi Zanettin.

As a son, he always carved out time to fish and hunt with his dad and once gave up six months’ worth of Saturdays to help his father refurbish a fire truck for firefighters in Africa.

As a husband, he bought his wife flowers every week and worked two jobs while attending school so they could build a future together.

As a student, he never missed class and his curiosity-driven questions propelled him to the top of his program. Even after he was delivered a blow in 2013 when he found out he had a rare form of cancer, he never slowed down.

“When he had every reason to say I’ve had enough, he fought against it,” said Dr. Bill Altenhof, a University of Windsor mechanical and materials engineering professor who mentored the 27-year-old through graduate studies. “He just simply would never quit; I was awestruck by his level of determination.”

Student rocketry team readying for lift-off

A team of Windsor Engineering students is having a blast as it prepares for the University’s first-ever entry in an international rocketry competition.

“It’s loud, it involves explosions — it’s rocket science!” says Liza DiCecco. “What’s not to love?”

The fourth-year materials option mechanical engineering student is one of nine senior students completing a 2.4-metre rocket as their capstone project. In June, they will travel to the New Mexico desert to test their skills alongside more than 100 teams from a dozen countries in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition.

Their entry will be up against 50 other teams in the same category, carrying a payload of four kilograms to an altitude of 10,000 feet (more than three kilometres).

Team captain Patrick Pomerleau-Perron recalls launching rockets with his father, fostering a passion that led him to the aerospace option in mechanical engineering.