Low-Cost Direction of Arrival System using Software-Defined Radios

Cory J. Prust; Steven S. Holland; Robert Pohlman (EE ’16); Michael Turney (EE ’16)

 
prust1_pic_smallA low-cost direction of arrival (DOA) system utilizing a two-element dipole array and Software-Defined-Radio (SDR) receivers was developed through the MSOE Academic Undergraduate Research (AUR) Program. This program promotes research experience as a vital component of the undergraduate education. During the 2014-15 academic year, two undergraduate electrical engineering students completed the project through the UR4981/4982/4983 course sequence. Each student had primary responsibility for separate but complementary tasks within the overall project. The project was advised by two faculty members, both of whom had technical expertise in the corresponding research fields. Faculty advisors provided project oversight, technical guidance, and mentorship.

The high technical level of this project was achievable due to the collaboration between two student researchers, directing their individual topic to serve the larger project. Their work resulted in a fully-functional demonstration DOA system operating in the VHF radio band (30-300MHz), utilizing the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards broadcast towers as signals of opportunity.

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Fostering Early Interprofessional Collaboration between Medical Students and Nursing Students

Jane Paige PhD, RN; Vikky Carlson-Oehlers DNP, RN; Carly Ademi (NU ’15)

 
paige1_pic_smallThe IPE program utilized standardized patients with targeted scenarios focused on collaborative management and communication (SBAR format) of problems experienced by geriatric clients (e.g. delirium, safety issues). The pilot brought 20 second-year medical students and 20 third-year nursing students together for two separate training sessions. Twenty standardized patients played geriatric patients and their significant others in simulation labs representing outpatient and inpatient environments. Each institution hosted a session in their respective simulation center. The pilot evaluated the achievement of learning objectives, validated scenarios with content experts, and tested the feasibility of joint (medicine and nursing) lead debriefings.

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Teaching through Research and Scholarship

William S. Gonwa P.E., Ph.D.; Alexandra Gilgenbach (AE-MSEV ’15); Jon Allen (CVE ’15); Jesse Becker (CVE-MSCVE ’16)

 
gonwa_pic_smallIn the fall of 2013, Mr. Peter Jensen of the Eagle Spring Lake Management District sent an inquiry to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to request assistance in developing rating curves for the two outflow locations of Eagle Spring Lake. Estimates of outflow rate from the lake will assist the National Weather Service in flood forecasting for the Mukwonago River watershed.

Associate Professor William Gonwa agreed to work with the Lake Management District assigning the task as a term project for the CV-415 Hydraulics class that he taught in the winter term of 2013-2014 at MSOE. Professor Gonwa and students made two trips to the site during the winter of 2013-2014 to become familiar with the site and to survey the outlet structures. In developing the recommended rating curves students applied hydraulic theory, developed computer simulation models, and constructed a 1:33 scale physical model of the Kroll Millrace in MSOE’s water resources/environmental engineering laboratory. The final report, published in September of 2014 documents the results of the MSOE’s efforts to develop practical outlet rating curves.

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Roasted Corn Stripping Device

Nebojsa Sebastijanovic, Ph.D., P.E.; Daniel Franke (ME ’15); Nicholas Gardner (ME ’15); Lucas Kuhn (ME ’15); Maxwell Wasscher (ME ’15)

 
sebastijanovic_picThis project was brought to MSOE by the New Berlin Lions Club. The goal of the project was to design a roasted corn stripping machine that the Lions Club can use during the Wisconsin State fair. The machine would replace the one currently used for their increasingly popular “Corn in a Cup” option in which the corn is sold removed from the cob. The current tool that the Lions Club uses to remove kernels from the cob is not meant for their scale of production and cannot keep up with the growing demand. The new device needed to meet several criteria, which, among others, included being capable of stripping at least 150 cobs per hour, be safe, easy to use, easy to clean, have replaceable parts, and meet food grade standards. Over the course of three quarters, the Senior Design student team has successfully researched, designed, analyzed, as well as built a prototype that meets all the requirements.

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1) Automatic Learning and Recognition of Post-Operative Shoulder Surgery Physical Therapy Exercises Using Depth Camera Images

Jay Urbain; Sean MacAveny (SE ’16)

 
urbain1_pic_smallShoulder rotator cuff surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed today, particularly in adults over the age of 65. To restore range-of-motion after this surgery, physical therapy exercises are important, but are often not completed in full due to long recovery times, overly-optimistic patient expectations, and the cost of clinical appointments. This project presents an application that uses a depth camera (Microsoft Kinect) to aid in shoulder surgery physical therapy exercises by recognizing, measuring, and providing immediate feedback about exercises performed by a patient.

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2) An Analysis of a Large Data Set Using Entity Relation Algorithms

Jay Urbain; Eric Raut (SE ’15)

 
urbain2_pic_smallGraph algorithms can be used to gather information from the entity relations contained in graphs. Graphs are general data structures that can model a wide variety of entities in everyday life. Graphs have increased in importance since the world has become more interconnected. Several algorithms for analyzing entity-relations in graphs are described. They are then evaluated in terms of their ability to discover important and relevant entities in a database containing a large number of linked entities.

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3) Activity Recognition using Accelerometer

Jay Urbain; Jan Mikeš (SE, Czech Tech)

Smartphones are built with many diverse sensors including accelerometers. Existing data from a smart phone 3-axes accelerometer was used for human activity recognition. Multiple data preprocessing methods, and features were evaluated. A multinomial logistic regression classifier was trained to recognize several activities including walking, jogging, sitting, standing, ascending stairs, and descending stairs. Using 5-fold cross-validation, our best performing model had an accuracy of 78%, matching previously reported results.

1) Creation of Additive Manufacturing Models of Intracranial Aneurysms

Dr. Subha Kumpaty; Dr. Jeff Lamack; Brittany Callan (BE ’15)

 
kumpaty_pic_smallIntracranial aneurysm is a condition in which weakening of the blood vessel wall in the brain, along with the pressure of blood flow, results in a protrusion from the vessel wall that becomes filled with blood, often resulting in a rupture. This research focused on creating patient-specific 3D models of the inner lumen of aneurysms with their connected significant vasculature using additive manufacturing. These models will be used for the education of patients to increase compliance for surgical procedures.

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2) Mold Sub-Microliter Test Tubes in Hydrogels for 3-D Micro-tissue Growth using Additive Manufacturing

Dr. Subha Kumpaty; Dr. Vipin Paliwal; Justin Clough (ME ’16)

 
This research is focused on the creation of reusable molds made of DuraForm PA on a Selective Laser Sintering machine to create micron sized, test tube-like indentations in hydrogel. The sub-microliter test tubes in the hydrogels are designed to be used to culture 3D mammalian cells into micro tissues.

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3) The Modeling and Simulation of a Quadruped Robot

Dr. Subha Kumpaty; Dr. Luis Rodriguez; Kevin Lee (ME ’16)

 
Legged robots are superior to wheeled and tracked robots in traversing unpredictable terrains. They are also capable of complex dynamic movements. With the use of forward and inverse kinematics, simple movements and gait patterns were simulated using MATLAB and SolidWorks. The animations were used to visualize and calculate movement workspaces of each leg. Static and dynamic analyses of the robot were conducted to determine the forces and torques necessary to hold its weight and for walking.

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Food Security, Food Systems

Michael H. Carriere; Blake Stacks (SE ’18); Alexandria Cook (BE ’18); Matthew Czaplewski (EE ’18); Guinevere Dickinson (IE ’18); Jessica Bilskie (EE ’18); Alexandra Delonay (AE ’18)

 
carriere_pic_smallFor the 2014-15 academic year, the curriculum for the University Scholars Honors Program – a three-quarter sequence based in the General Studies department – focused on the overarching topic of “Food Security, Food Systems.” Professor Michael Carriere, a trained social scientist and director of the honors program, team-taught each course with a faculty member from another department: Debra Jackman (CAECM) in the fall; Michael Payne (Rader School of Business) in the winter; and Michael Swedish (Mechanical Engineering) in the spring.

Students had a full academic year to think up, design, and present a project that spoke to the subject matter of the courses: sustainable food production and the resources needed to produce such food. The students representing the five projects highlighted the research they conducted under the auspices of the honors program – and then showcased the outcomes of this research.

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Researching First Year Students and the MSOE Academic Experience

Dr. David Howell; Maya George (TC ’16)

 
howell_pic_smallIn the winter quarter of 2014/15, TC 261 (Research Methods) engaged in a research project—one that would enable the students to experience what it is like to be an academic researcher. The instructor decided to enable the students taking TC 261 to engage in the FYE data gathering and analyzing process; as a result, the students not only fulfilled the course outcomes (understanding scholarly research, utilizing the tools of research, including the library and computers, recognizing the importance of clearly defining the problem for research study, understanding the methods of conducting research, designing a survey questionnaire, and designing interviews and telephone surveys), but they also experienced ethnography—a blend of both quantitative and qualitative data gathering techniques that places focus on cultural understanding.

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Learning and Teaching Engineering Dynamics Through Play

Vincent Prantil, Ph.D.; Scott Connors (ME ’16)

 
prantil_pic_smallFor the past decade, Dr. Brianno Coller and a group of students at Northern Illinois University (NIU) have been designing, developing, testing, refining, and implementing video games for direct use in core mechanical engineering courses in dynamics, vibrations and control systems. Recently, they have developed a platform called Spumone1 in which a Spu-craft must navigate obstacles with well-defined objectives for achieving milestones. The challenges are ingeniously designed to be nearly impossible to solve with manual dexterity of the game pad controller alone. Successful navigation of the challenges eventually requires a student to code an equation parser with the Newtonian laws of mechanical motion, including programming the craft’s motion via specification of applied forces and torques, as well as relations between work and energy. These are all basic learning objectives of a course in undergraduate engineering dynamics.

Our work outlines how misconceptions can be addressed within the constructs of the simulation platform of Spumone. Scott will address how students cognitively come to the game and surveys during execution are reported to give feedback to game developers on what is and is not augmenting retention of course outcomes.

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The Grand Engineering Challenges Project

Dr. Nadya Shalamova; Darrin Cernohous (IE ’18); Mark Dunston (BioM ’18); Robert Gillig (EE ’18); Caleb Schober (EE ’18)

 
shalamova_smallA research project was conducted in one section of EN-241 Speech class. This section of EN-241 deviates from a traditional EN 241 Speech class and focuses on helping MSOE students develop their communication skills in technical contexts. This goal is achieved with the research project, in which students study the fourteen Grand Engineering Challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering. Students discuss in the project the feasibility and sustainability of fusion as an alternative source of energy of the future.

Students start working on the project by familiarizing themselves with the fourteen Grand Engineering Challenges. The next step is to pick one challenge and form a small team (three-four students) to research scalable and feasible solutions to the chosen challenge. In the course of the project each team formulates a focused research question, conducts a thorough secondary research, organizes research findings, discusses limitations of their study, and speculate about the future research directions. Next, students learn how to present their research in a clear, concise, and visually appealing graphic format. Students present their posters at a poster presentation event at the end of the term.

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