“Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” That’s a line from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s also the reality for thousands of people every year when disasters strike along coastlines and broken pipes and flooded infrastructure leave access to nothing but seawater. 

This past academic year, a team of undergraduate mechanical engineering students set their sights on providing clean, drinkable water during an emergency situation like this by turning seawater into ice.

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For the first (and last) time, Global Formula Racing brought three cars to competition.

Global Formula Racing — the partnership between Oregon State University and German university DHBW Ravensburg— has a storied and stellar track record. Since 2010, the team has racked up multiple top-10 finishes in race cars designed and built from the ground up.

So when the team took second place at Formula Student Germany earlier this month, it was no surprise. But when the car rolled across the finish line in Hockenheim, it was more than the end of the race, it was the end of an era.

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Joseph Agor, assistant professor of industrial engineering

Agor’s main research interest is in data driven optimization with applications in health care. More specifically, he is interested in using linear, integer, and multilevel optimization techniques to develop data driven decision support tools for decision makers in health care both at a system and patient level. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Research at North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Oregon State, he was research assistant for Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering where he worked on a National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Health funded project investigating patient progression in those susceptible to sepsis.

Bradley Camburn, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Camburn’s work in design explores conceptual ideation, prototyping, and testing to support the embodiment of complex systems at low cost. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 2015 and his Bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, both are in Mechanical Engineering. He then joined former Citibank executive Adam Gilmour as chief engineer, then later head of research and development at Gilmour Space Technologies. He led the research and development team at Gilmour to produce the world’s largest hydrogen peroxide oxidised hybrid rocket engine at 70 kilonewtons of thrust. This engine is believed to have set a record for shortest orbital class engine development program duration and lowest cost threshold. Camburn completed the engine qualification at Gilmour through Series B venture Capital funding, to receive in total $13.7 million. Before joining MIME at Oregon State, he also worked as a Research Scientist at the Singapore University of Technology of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology International Design Centre.

Andy Dong, professor of mechanical engineering (joining December 2019)

Dong researches the characteristics and attributes of the structures of designs and design processes and their causal relationship to design-led innovation. His background in artificial intelligence in design has also led him to collaborative work across a wide range of topics in behavioral economics, cognition, and computational fabrication. Previously, he was the Professor and Chair of the Graduate Design Strategy Program at California College of the Arts and an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where he also received his Ph.D.

by Kelly Fox and Peter Beck (both ’19 B.S., Mechanical Engineering)

(Editor’s note: Four students traveled to Ghana in spring 2019. This is their story with minor edits for style and flow.)

What brought us to Ghana: a groundnut (peanut) roaster

There were four of us on our senior design project: Peter Beck, Kelly Fox, Carter Marr, and Alex Katzung. We were working with a company called Burro in Ghana to make a peanut roaster and the trip was sponsored by Oregon State alumni Dick and Gretchen Evans. We developed our prototype in Oregon and were planning to work on a second iteration in Ghana.

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OSU Overclocking provides students with real-world industry experience

Mechanical engineering student Alec Nordlund uses liquid nitrogen to cool a CPU.

Seeing frost form on your computer parts would usually be cause for alarm – but not for the members of OSU Overclockers. Frost is to be expected when the key ingredient of your cooling system is liquid nitrogen.

Overclocking, or pushing a computer’s processor past the manufacturer’s designed limits to achieve greater performance, introduces many challenges that cover various engineering disciplines. Key among them, not turning expensive components into melted junk.

Across the world, overclockers compete to build and run the fastest and coolest (literally) machines.

At Oregon State, this challenge has brought students from various major across the College of Engineering.

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Tim Weber
(Photo courtesy of HP.)

Tim Weber (’91 Ph.D., mechanical engineering) has been spearheading innovation at HP for more than 25 years. As global head of 3D metals for HP, he focuses on bringing mass production of printed metal parts to the $12 trillion global manufacturing industry for the first time.

One of HP’s early inkjet pioneers, he was part of the team responsible for product quality for the first thermal inkjet printers. He also managed the development of the scalable print solution that ultimately became HP’s PageWide technology, which is now used everywhere from the desktop to the factory floor.

Weber’s career includes numerous research and development innovations, such as printing technology platforms, microelectromechanical technologies (such as HP’s state-of-the-art accelerometer), applied molecular systems (nanotechnology), solar applications, printed electronics, and 3D thermoplastics and ceramics. He holds 52 U.S. patents. He credits his Oregon State education for providing “a strong engineering foundation and an approach to problem solving, which has helped me in business and technology development.”

Ken Funk

Thirty-nine years ago, Ken Funk traveled from one OSU (The Ohio State University) to another (Oregon State University). He’d just graduated with a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering, and headed west to start his appointment in the (then) Department of Industrial and General Engineering. He would eventually serve as the interim head of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from 2005 to 2006 as it merged with the Department of Mechanical Engineering to become the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering.

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At the heart of Oregon State University’s pursuit of excellence are faculty — scholars and educators who advance knowledge while teaching, challenging, and guiding students. These are the individuals in whom Oregon State’s mission lives and breathes.

Named faculty positions bring resources and prestige to Oregon State, allowing the university to recruit and retain the world’s foremost experts. The additional resources help build excellent programs and inspire faculty and the students around to thrive. In short, named faculty positions raise the university to a higher level of excellence.

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Burak Sencer receives Blackall Award.

Burak Sencer, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded the Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his paper, “Frequency Optimal Feed Motion Planning in Computer Numerical Controlled Machine Tools for Vibration Avoidance.

The award recognizes the best original academic papers that have “resulted in a significant contribution to the manufacturing processes and systems for the design or application of machine tools, gauges, dimensional measuring instruments, or new manufacturing technologies and metrology approaches.”

Brian K. Paul, professor of manufacturing engineering, was elected to the SME College of Fellows.  

The honor recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the social, technological, and educational aspects of the manufacturing profession over 20 or more years of service.

“It is great to be recognized for my contributions to the manufacturing engineering community,” Paul said.

Paul teaches manufacturing process design and performs experimental and computational studies in materials joining, thin-film deposition, and hybrid additive manufacturing.

His collaborative publications on the scale-up of nanomaterial synthesis and deposition are on SME’s “Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture” watch list. Paul has authored more than 110 refereed publications, received 12 U.S. patents (six licensed) and helped 15 companies advance micro and nanotechnologies toward the marketplace, four formed from work with his graduate students. Several of his joint patents established the core for a spin-out, which, in 2010 received the largest first-round venture capital funding in the history of Oregon. In 2013, Paul was invited to serve as the assistant director of technology within President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, to help devise a federal strategy to overcome industry impediments to manufacturing innovation, now known as Manufacturing USA. After his return to OSU, Paul helped establish the Rapid Advancement of Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute within Manufacturing USA where he is lead of the Module Manufacturing technology focus area.

In addition to SME, Paul is also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.