Opportunities

The AARG is interested in developing new partnerships with both industrial and academic institutions.  The research into rapid response, precisely displaced actuators lends itself to nearly all fields.  Some examples of the AARG research applications include automotive engine valve, braking, steering, and suspension actuation, robotic and biomechanical devices, aircraft control surfaces, precision machining, and industrial process control.

Along with application based research, the AARG is pursuing modeling and simulation design for electromechanical devices.  Current projects are underway in conjunction with USC's Electrical Engineering Virtual Test Bed.  

Contact Dr. David Rocheleau for collaborative efforts and project funding opportunities.

NEWS

June 2005- Daniel Sloope begins his Masters of Science work with Dr. Rocheleau.  His work will entail design and testing of a third phase camless engine.  The engine will  use a planetary gear system to control valve actuation.

May 2005- Daniel Sloope graduated with a BS and John Segona graduated with an MS from the University of South Carolina.

May 2005- John Segona completed his Balance of Plant work and defended his thesis.

April 2005- Daniel Sloope is awarded with the GK-12 grant from the NSF and will be working with Dr. Lyons while assisting a sixth grade teacher.

April 2005- Daniel Sloope is accepted to the Masters program at the University of South Carolina.

Sept 2004- Daniel Sloope and Thomas Brewer participated in the annual Virtual Test Bed Conference (VTB)  and presented their work on using VTB for mechanical models.

May 2004- Joe Bonivel departs in order to attend the Biomechanical Research Program at the University of Kansas.  He will continue his work on replacing the piezoelectric stack while in Kansas.

May 2004 - Thomas Brewer has joined the AARG team as an undergraduate research assistant.

May 2004 -  Maxie Connor, Joe Bonivel, and Jason Eargle successfully created a mock up engine head and actuated the valves using solenoids.  The valves were electronically controlled using a program written by them for their microcontrollers project.

April 23, 2004 - Joe Bonivel was among the two finalists for the Miliken Award for undergraduate researchers at the Annual Discovery Day.

April 23, 2004 - Joe Bonivel and Daniel Sloope presented research posters at the South Carolina Honors College annual Discovery Day.

April 1, 2004- Joe Bonivel has been accepted into the University of Kansas, Biomechanical Research Program, and he will be attending the University from May-August 2004.  click here for link to Biomechanical Research Program

February 2004 - John Sagona joined the AARG as a Master of Science student.  His work will focus on assisting Daniel Gallagher with fuel cell balance of plant research.

January 2004- Joe Bonivel joins Research Communications Studio, which provides guidance to undergraduates beginning their research career.  click here for link to Research Communications Studio website

January 2004 - Jason Eargle, Maxie Connor, and Joe Bonivel began working on a Senior Design project for the AARG.  The project involves designing new camless technology to actuate the valves of a small Honda engine.

January 2004 - John Brader left the AARG and began employment at Raytheon Space and Airborne Division.  AARG wishes John luck with the future and thanks him for the great work he has done.

November 13, 2003 - John Brader successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on the Design, Control, Characterization, and Simulation of Piezoelectric Piloted Hydraulic Actuators.  John will continue with the AARG as a researcher until he begins his employment with Raytheon Space and Airborne Division in January.

August, 2003 - Mike Axtell joined the AARG as a Master of Science student.  His work will focus on designing a new spool valve for the new phase of the camless engine.

August 22, 2003 - Daniel Gallagher joined the AARG as a Master of Science student.  His work will focus on modeling for fuel cell balance of plant systems.

August 20, 2003 - Richard Langdon successfully defended his Master of Science Thesis on the Application of a Piezoelectric Controlled Actuator for Camless Engines.  Richard will be continuing with the AARG as a researcher until he begins his employment with Spirax Sarco, Inc. as a Product Development Engineer in October.

July 25, 2003 - Joe Bonivel won two awards at the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP) 9th Annual Science and Engineering Research Conference.  Joe was awarded third place in the research poster competition and third place in the oral research presentation.  He presented his summer research project on the preliminary testing of the camless engine.

July 14, 2003 - John Brader presented his research on piezoelectric piloted actuators at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

July 9, 2003 - Nathan Trevett successfully defended his Master of Science Thesis on Active Suspension.  Nathan has accepted a position as Automation Engineer with Reverse Engineering, Inc. of West Columbia, SC.

June 6, 2003 - Joe Bonivel, a mechanical engineering undergraduate, joined the AARG as a South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP) summer intern.  Joe will be working with Richard Langdon on preliminary camless engine testing.

April 21, 2003 - John Brader was awarded the American Society for Engineering Education - Educational Research Methods (ASEE-ERM) Apprentice Faculty Grant.

April 21, 2003 - Daniel Sloope has been invited to work with NASA Goddard as a research intern during the upcoming summer.  Daniel is the second member of the AARG to receive this invitation and continues the AARG's effort to work more closely with NASA.  See a picture of Daniel hard at work for NASA.

April 17, 2003 - John Brader was invited to become an associate member of Sigma XI.  Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is the global honor society of scientists and engineers that recognizes scientific achievement.

April 2, 2003 - Richard Langdon was named the USC Department of Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student.  This is the second consecutive year that this honor has been awarded to a member of the AARG.

March 18, 2003 - John Brader was awarded a NASA Space Consortium Grant for continued advancements in the field of hybrid actuation.  He will be sharing results with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's  Nondestructive Evaluation and Advanced Actuators (NDEAA) group.

February 12, 2003 - The AARG has entered into a collaborative project with  John Deere ePower Technologies to examine High Level Analysis Techniques for Balance of Plant (B.O.P.).  This program is part of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/U CRC) for Fuel Cells, sponsored by the NSF.  Project 18 of the USC I/U CRC for Fuel Cells involves performing a high level balance of plant analysis on vehicle components (compressors, fans, pumps, etc.), subsystems (cooling, airflow, hydraulics, electrical, etc.) as well as the entire vehicle platform.  The balance of plant work will give insight into future programs focused on the establishment of pi groups and other nondimensional metrics for easier system optimization of performance and operation.

February 1, 2003 - John Brader was nominated to the MIT Technology Review TR100 - a list of the world's top 100 researchers under 35 years of age.

January 13, 2003 - Daniel Sloope joined the AARG as an undergraduate researcher.  Daniel will be assisting the group with data acquisition and analysis on the two active phases of camless engine research.

September 10, 2002 - Hans Musielik joined the AARG as an undergraduate researcher.  Hans will focus on locating and understanding applicable patents and technology, especially foreign documentation.  He will also assist with the implementation of dSPACE control to the phase I actuator system.

August 16, 2002 - John Brader was asked to join the NSF Research Communication Studio (RCS) as a mentor for undergraduate researchers.   The RCS provides guidance for undergraduates beginning a research career and allows for the Ph.D. students, i.e. future faculty candidates, to become accustomed to mentoring researchers.

August 3, 2002 - Cody Ford, the AARG's summer undergraduate research intern, won two awards at the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP) 8th Annual Science and Engineering Research Conference.  Cody was awarded second place in the research poster competition and third place in the oral research presentation.  He presented his summer research project on the step response of the camless engine actuator.

June 21, 2002 - John Brader was awarded  a full conference and travel scholarship to attend the 2002 American Association for Artificial Intelligence Conference in Edmonton Canada.  John will participate in the Robot Building Competition, during which, teams of professors and graduate students will design, program, and build autonomous vehicles to complete the posed challenge. 

June 11, 2002 – The Advanced Actuators Research Group was awarded the USC Vice President of Research Opportunity Fund grant to establish a collaborative research program with the Technical University of Graz (TUG), Austria.  The joint project will focus on the integration of the AARG’s actuator development and TUG’s automotive engineering group.  The combined technologies will be used to develop the next generation of “X-by-Wire” products. 

 June 10, 2002 – The Advanced Actuators Research Group represented the USC Department of Mechanical Engineering at the launch of the nation’s first Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells.  The group provided examples of dynamic, stress, and computational fluid analysis techniques along with research into advanced manufacturing to be used in support of the newly formed research center.

 May 5, 2002 – Nathan Trevett was named a National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow for the upcoming academic year.  Nathan is the third member of the Advanced Actuators Research Group to be awarded the NSF GK-12 Fellowship.

 May 1, 2002 – John Brader was awarded the South Carolina Space Consortium & NASA Space Grant for his research into hybrid actuators.

 April 19, 2002 – Richard Langdon was awarded a Research Internship position with NASA Goddard for the 2002 Summer.

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