Latest Lab News

Austen Scudder earns second place award in UWM’s New Venture Business Plan Competition

The New Venture competition is designed to foster entrepreneurial spirit among UWM students and alumni, promote practical business skills and encourage the creation of new, for-profit ventures. It is made possible by private support from La Macchia Enterprises, the parent company of Mark Travel and Trisept Solutions. Judges included Robert De Vita, Common Ground Health Care Cooperative; Alan Katz, retired, Katz Bagels; Joe Kirgues,; V. Kanti Prasad, Bostrom Professor at the Lubar School; and Paul Stewart, PS Capital Partners LLC.

Earning the second-place award was Spork, a location-based social-networking, local-search and business-advertising service that focuses on connecting customers to restaurants through a website and mobile applications. Carlton Reeves (doctoral student, Mechanical Engineering) and Austen Scudder (’11 MSE Mechanical Engineering) presented the plan. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus Daniel A. Matre (’08 Executive MBA) was awarded the $7,500 grand prize in the New Venture Business Plan Competition at UWM’s Lubar School of Business. Matre presented his plan for WatercoolerTM to a panel of independent judges, besting six other plans in the final competition. Two plans tied for third place. Dwayne M. Wilson (Marketing student) was recognized for his plan for Ear Bud Buddys, an earbud attachment that allows users to custom fit their earbuds to their personal ear shape and size. Shawn Conaway (MBA student) presented his plan for Jellyfish Publishing, a vanity press that provides services for self-publishing authors.



NSF Sponsored Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Site is Launched!

National Science Foundation (Division of Engineering Education and Centers) has awarded College of Engineering & Applied Science with a three-year grant (#1132682) to launch an RET site (Research Experience for Teachers). Professors Ilya Avdeev (CEAS) and Craig Berg (School of Education) – the PI’s on the grant, will coordinate the site activities.

This award provides funding for a three year standard award for a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) entitled, RET SITE: Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative (MREEI). The rationale for the MREEI RET site is to train secondary teachers through fundamental energy-related research and translational activities that are tied to industry, and then leverage curricular approaches that allow them to directly transition this knowledge into highly inspirational STEM experiences for their students.

The three engineering colleges in Milwaukee-the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering-are partnering with regional industry and the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system, to develop a collaborative RET Site focusing on the theme of energy. MREEI will annually engage 10 local mathematics and science high school teachers for six summer weeks in hands-on, cutting edge engineering research projects in energy-related fields. Energy was specifically chosen for the theme because it is a current topic of direct interest to students and teachers, it can be easily embedded into the high school science curriculum, and it is a core area of research for the three participating engineering schools and regional industry. Potential research topics for the RET participants include renewable and alternative energy, nano-scale sensor development, advanced materials, wind turbine blade design, and carbon capture and sequestration. As part of their scientific research projects, the teachers will be linked with real-world applications through collaborations with industry partners.

MREEI will impact 30 teachers and 4500 students from high-need urban public high schools in the city of Milwaukee. More importantly, this proposal and its activities directly align with Milwaukee Public School systems new vision for science and mathematics and its Comprehensive Math and Science Plan (CMSP) which will be implemented during the 2011 academic year.


Visit the new RET homepage here:

Download a poster presentation (2012 NSF Grantee Conference) HERE!

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Dr. Avdeev attended Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators in Boston, MA (January 8-12, 2012)

Sponsored by the UWM Chancellor’s office, a group of six UWM faculty from various schools attended a prestigious Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators – a unique four-day course designed for educators from all over the World to share their ideas and experiences with each other. Dr. Avdeev represented College of Engineering & Applied Science. The interactive learning sessions covered a broad range of topics: from Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to  Understanding Entrepreneurial Finance.

About Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators(SEE):

The Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) has been the leading program to train entrepreneurship educators (academics and entrepreneurs) since its inception in 1984. Under the founding leadership of the late Jeffry A. Timmons, and under the current leadership of Heidi Neck, this program has profoundly altered the landscape of business education in America and abroad, reaching more than 2,600 individuals representing over 700 institutions worldwide.

About Babson College:

Babson has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship education by U.S. News & World Report for the past 18 years. An independent, not-for-profit institution, Babson is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). In the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 1,950 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students attended Babson, representing more than 74 countries.

International team of educators and entrepreneurs in action (from left to right): Iman Seoudi (Egypt), Peter Russo (USA), Ilya Avdeev (USA), Patricia Krakauer (Brazil), Brian McGuire (Scotland) and Constant Beugre (USA).



Two Graduate Research Assistant Positions Open

Two exciting new opportunities for graduate research in energy storage systems have opened in the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Lab in January 2012. Paid graduate research assistant positions are available for mechanical and electrical engineering majors with an interest in multi-physics simulations and experimental validation. Read the rest of this entry to submit your name and resume.

Read the rest of this entry »


AMDL Researcher Andrew Hastert Awarded Top Graduation Honors

College of Engineering Fall 2011 graduate and Advanced Manufacturing and Design Laboratory researcher Andrew Hastert was awarded the College’s top graduating honors, the Dean’s Award, at the Fall 2011 Order of the Engineer Ceremony. The award was presented by College of Engineering Dean Dr. Tien-Chien Jen and Assistant Professor Dr. Ilya Avdeev.

Andrew joined AMDL in the Fall of 2009 and has engaged in a variety of design and research projects including the development of a multi-modal fatigue testing machine for vascular stents, mechanical stress simulation of random aggregate models in concrete, mechanical stress simulation of vascular stents, and a GE Healthcare sponsored project focused on thermal modeling of a biomedical imaging sensor array. Under the tutelage of Assistant Professor Dr. Ilya Avdeev and with the collaboration of fellow researchers Mir Shams and Austen Scudder, this work resulted in five journal and conference papers, five research awards and various presentations at national and international conferences representing the University in Mexico and Taiwan.

Outside of his lab work, Andrew remained heavily involved in student organizations, serving as President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at UWM, founder of the Human Powered Vehicle Team, founding officer of the Engineering Student Council, Student Association Senator representing the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and Vice-Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Andrew was able to combine his interests in composite structures and cycling to help design and build the Human Powered Vehicle Team’s inaugural competition vehicle that went on to win 2nd place in the 2011 International Human Powered Vehicle Competition.

In January 2012 Andrew will be joining the Global Sales Training rotational program at Rockwell Automation (ROK), a Fortune 500 company that serves as a global provider of industrial automation, power, control and information solutions.


AMDL Research Assistant Successfully Defends Master’s Thesis

Mechanical Engineering graduate student and AMDL Research Assistant Austen Scudder, recently completed his Master’s Degree by successfully defending his thesis titled, “Infrared Fracture Detection of Bare Metal Stents.” The research was conducted as a part of larger initiative to improve stent design, testing and deployment methods, led by AMDL Director Dr. Ilya Avdeev.

Over the past year, Avdeev and Scudder have developed a novel method for identifying fractures in metal stents during fatigue testing, an important validation phase for vascular stents. By applying electrical current to the metal stents, they showed that the stent will experience Joule heating. Using a high resolution infrared camera, they can detect this heating and have indentified changes in the stents thermal signature as a result of fractures. Moreover, the experimental results were very similar to simulations performed using ANSYS thermal-electric analysis.

This work may have substantial implications, potentially expediting testing and analysis of stents. Additionally, fracture events during fatigue cycling can be accurately recorded and correlated to simulations, potentially removing the need for physical testing altogether. The work was also supported by Ph.D. student Mir Shams and fellow research assistant Andrew Hastert.


Graduate researcher Austen Scudder honored as Featured Graduate

Third-generation engineer explored his options

When the engineering research in Assistant Professor Ilya Avdeev’s lab got intense last winter, he invited his lab members to unwind by playing a little pond hockey at the lakefront.

“He smoked us all,” says Austen Scudder of his adviser’s abilities on the ice. Scudder admits his stick “had gathered a little dust,” but the talented 26-year-old is not used to being trumped.

Scudder was a recipient of a Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, financial support offered to recruit and retain the most promising UWM graduate students. He also was recently accepted into Rockwell Automation’s Leadership Development Program, a two-year rotational program covering various aspects of the company’s business.

“Candidates are brought in from across the U.S., so it’s pretty competitive,” says Avdeev. “Austen has a lot of determination and the capability of sustained work for a long time.” Read the rest of this entry »


New Equipment: CNC Machining and High-Resolution Thermal Imaging

AMDL recently acquired new equipment to further aid validation of our mechanical simulation results and round out the lab’s experimentation repertoire. The latest additions include a Sherline CNC mill and lathe and a Xenics Gobi-640 high-resolution thermal imaging camera.

The Sherline 2010 CNC Mill and 4410 CNC Lathe offers full Computer Numeric Control of 4-axis milling and 3-axis lathe operations. Maximum part size on the mill is 9″ x 12″ x 6″ and preferred materials are plastics and aluminum.

The Xenics Gobi-640 is a high resolution uncooled microblometer infrared thermal camera. The sensor resolution is 640×480 with a 25 µm pixel pitch. We use this hardware in conjunction with some of our stent fracture detection and mechanical modeling research as seen on the Projects page.


Real-Time Finite Element Analysis Framework for Vascular Implants

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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) affects 15-25% of Americans over 55 years of age, 12 million overall, and its incidence increases with age.  Afflicted patients experience pain or weakness in the legs, slow-healing wounds or sores, pale or cold limbs, and sometimes gangrenous tissue loss.  PAD is now considered a substantial precursor to coronary and cerebral vascular risk.

Treatment options include risk-factor modification and exercise for patients only experiencing intermittent claudication and pharmacologic therapy for the moderately afflicted.  Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), plaque excision, and bypass are the surgical means reserved for patients with worsening atherosclerosis.  Unfortunately, PTA often leads to arterial dissections, vessel recoil, and up to 20% of the time the undergoes residual stenosis.

Percutaneous transluminal stent installations offer a more permanent solution, but clinical trials have shown that up to 60% fail within two years of installation.  Given the high failure rate, the FDA has halted clinical stent usage.  Researchers and stent manufacturers must now simulate in vivo testing and offer substantial design and material improvements before surgeries can resume.

Peripheral arterial diseases are often treated by using stents that act as scaffolding and facilitate smooth blood flow through the artery. Self-expanding Nitinol stents are becoming the ubiquitous choice for long-term treatment because they eliminate the need of balloon-aided deployment. Both the affected artery and the implanted stent undergo complex three-dimensional deformations, which over time lead to device fatigue and stent fracturing and to the artery wall tissue stimulation and in-stent restenosis.

Using high-speed photogrammetry of a stent in-situ (CCD) or in-vivo (ultrasound or HD-MRI) augmented by real-time edge detection, the tortuous multi-modal displacement local to selected nodes can be measured and collected.

The resulting displacement results can be converted to boundary conditions for transient mechanical analysis using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This process allows for real-time stress simulation, opening the door to real-time simulation-augmented surgical procedures, vastly improving fatigue life of a biomedical device thus a patient’s potential lifespan.


AMDL Visits Trek Bicycle Corporation

On Wednesday, members of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Laboratory had the wonderful opportunity to tour Trek’s world headquarters in Waterloo, WI and meet with members of their prototype engineering team.

Trek Bicycle Corporation is a major bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor under brand names Trek, Gary FisherBontragerKlein and until recently,LeMond Racing Cycles. With its headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek bicycles are marketed through 1,700 dealers across North America, subsidiaries inEurope and Asia as well as distributors in 90 countries worldwide.

Trek’s domestic high-end frames are manufactured in Waterloo, Wisconsin with assembly in Whitewater, Wisconsin — with the majority of company’s bicycles manufactured in Taiwan and China.

After years of behind-the-scenes support for the League of American Bicyclists and the Bikes Belong Coalition, Trek announced its 1 World 2 Wheels bicycle advocacy campaign at its annual Trek World dealer convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Central to 1 World 2 Wheels is its “Go By Bike” initiative, which urges Americans to ride their bikes instead of drive their cars for trips of two miles (3 km) or less. Through 1 World 2 Wheels Trek also pledged $1,000,000 to help fund the League of American Bicyclists’ “Bicycle Friendly Community” program and committed $600,000 to theInternational Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Trail Solutions Services.

For the year 2010, Trek teamed with multiple suppliers to provide eco-friendly products. This includes brand new bikes that are economically priced and are made out of steel. Steel is an easier material to obtain and recycle. Also, Trek is starting to provide bike shops with funds to start recycling old tubes to be sent to Alchemy Goods in Seattle, Washington, to be made into bags, seat bags, and panniers. (source)