Explorations in Engineering & Computing Camp

FMRL has been co-leading the ECC camp by representing the Mechanical Engineering Department. The camp targets rising 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students and aims to familiarize them with engineering. The camp hosts approximately 60 students each year. Below is what we contribute to the camp:

  1. We invite the department’s chairman to present a general talk on mechanical engineering to the students to explain what mechanical engineering is. We then follow up with three 10-minute, specialized talks by Mechanical Engineering faculty members to dive deeper into materials, vehicle engineering, and renewable energy concepts.
  2. We give students a tour of mechanical engineering labs, including the Automotive Powertrain and Emissions Control Lab by Dr. Chen, the Dynamic & Smart Systems Lab by Dr. Anton, the Mechatronics & Intelligent Machines Lab by Dr. Canfield, and the Fluid Mechanics Research Lab (FMRL) by Dr. Vasel!
  3. Students participate in a design challenge. In the past few years, Dr. Vasel, assisted by his graduate students and Dr. Anton’s graduate students, led the challenge by allowing the students to explore the impact of blade length, shape, and number on the power production of a wind turbine. We teach students how to use SolidWorks and 3D printers for this challenge.
  4. We close our effort with a competition where different groups’ designs will compete using a large fan and multimeter to identify the winning design!
Dr. Vasel and Dr. Anton explaining a wind energy concept to a group of high school students
Dr. Vasel and Dr. Anton explaining a wind energy concept to a group of high school students

Governor’s School for Emerging Technologies

The lab also represents the Mechanical Engineering Department within the Governor’s School event, a four-week-long summer camp to introduce STEM to a selected group of high school students! Each year, we form an R&D team led by Dr. Vasel, one of his graduate students (Reza Nouri in 2022), and an undergraduate student (Nathan Lee in 2022) to provide hands-on experience to approximately eight students in the area of wind energy!