300 Braunstein Hall

2825 Campus Way, Cincinnati, OH, 45219

Time: Fridays, 11:15 – 12:10 p.m. 

Headshot of Dr. Robert Gao

Title: Multiphysics Sensing and AI-Enhanced Human-Robot Collaboration for Smart Manufacturing

Abstract: As the fundamental building blocks of Industry 4.0, sensing and artificial intelligence play a critical role in advancing the science base for manufacturing. The ability in acquiring data in-situ and extracting clues from the data to guide the action of assistive infrastructure such as robots is essential to enhancing process control and production planning. This seminar highlights research on the design, modeling, and experimental evaluation of miniaturized sensors for manufacturing process monitoring, using a multiphysics-sensor with acoustic wireless data transmission as an example. The sensor enables the online quantification of four process parameters within a plastic injection mold, by using only one sensor package. The second part of the seminar illustrates AI/ML-enable robot learning of parts and human motion trajectories for coordinated, safe human-robot collaboration in assembly. The seminar illustrates the potential of convergent research that integrates physical science with data science to push the envelope of smart manufacturing, with potential impacts on data collection and visualization across supply chains, predictive maintenance, digital performance management, and intelligent process planning.

Bio: Robert Gao is the Cady Staley Professor of Engineering and Department Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 1991, he has been working on physics-based signal transduction mechanisms, multi-resolution signal processing, stochastic modeling, and AI/machine learning for improving the observability of cyber-physical systems such as manufacturing processes, with the goal to improve process and product quality control. The outcome of his research has been reflected in more than 400 refereed technical papers, including 200 journal articles, three books, and 13 patents. Professor Gao is a Fellow of the ASME, SME, IEEE, and CIRP, and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). He has received several professional awards, including the ASME Milton C. Shaw Manufacturing Research Medal (2023), ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award (2018), SME Eli Whitney Productivity Award (2019), IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Technical Award (2013), IEEE Best Application in Instrumental and Measurement Award (2019), Hideo Hanafusa Outstanding Investigator Award (2018), and several Best Paper awards. He serves as the Chair of the Scientific Committee of the North American Manufacturing Research Institute of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (NAMRI/SME) and Chair of the Collaborative Working Group on AI in Manufacturing (CWG-AI) of CIRP. He also served as an Associate Editor for several journals, and is currently a Senior Editor for the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.

Headshot of Dr. Kevin Walsh

Title: The NSF NNCI KY Multi-scale Manufacturing Node - its origin, purpose, and research activities

Abstract: Professor Kevin Walsh will provide an overview of the KY Multiscale Manufacturing and Nanotechnology Integration Node housed at the University of Louisville.  KY Multiscale is part of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (www.nnci.net). The 16-site NNCI network provides valuable nanotechnology tools, training, and expertise to the United States. These expensive state-of-the-art shared university facilities are open to all users from academia, industry, startups, and government. The UofL KY Multiscale node focuses on the converging fields of micro/nanotechnology and additive manufacturing. This talk will present an overview of the NSF NNCI network, introduce the KY Multiscale node and its diverse toolset and capabilities, and conclude by highlighting two of its interesting research projects. The first project is focused on how nanotechnology and glancing angle deposition can be used to replicate the unique properties of bio-inspired surfaces, including Cicada wings, rose petals, butterflies, and shark skin. The second research project is in the area of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) and demonstrates how MEMS technology can be used to design and fabricate no electrical power (NEP), event-driven sensors.

Bio: Kevin Walsh is the Associate Dean of Research, Graduate Studies, and Facilities for the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville.  He is also the Fife Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the founder of the $30M 10,000 sq ft UofL Micro/NanoTechnology Center (MNTC), and the director of the NNCI KY Multiscale Advanced Manufacturing node (www.kymultiscale.net), which is part of the NSF 16-site Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Network (NNCI). Dr. Walsh has published over 150 technical papers in the areas of micro/nanotechnology, sensors, semiconductors, microelectronics, and MEMS. His research group has received over $35M of external research funding from DoD, DOE, NSF, NASA, NIH and industry. Prof. Walsh has 12 awarded patents and is the co-founder of 4 technical start-up companies.  Dr. Walsh has taught over 20 different courses, advised over 30 completed theses, and has twice been presented with the school’s top Research Award. In 2014, he was inducted into the United States National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Dr. Walsh received his PhD in Electrical Engineering (Microelectronics focus) from the University of Cincinnati in 1991.

Headshot of Dr. Farhang Pourboghrat

Title: Moving Toward Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing

Abstract: Manufacturing processes, such as stamping, forging, and rolling rely heavily upon process simulation and in-situ correction to produce high volume of complex parts. Incremental sheet forming and polymer additive manufacturing (AM) processes are used to make small volume of specialty products. AM processes rely heavily on CAD models for process design and closed loop control for production quality. In comparison, a hybrid autonomous manufacturing system designed for on-site manufacturing of custom parts will require considerable automation based on incremental deformation, utilization of sensors, feedback control, and integration of highfidelity forming and material modeling tools with ML, DL, and AI, to optimize forming processes, and production paths. To the best of our knowledge, a fully autonomous manufacturing system does not currently exist. However, the author and several co-investigators from multiple universities and national labs are working on projects with the goal to develop the framework for hybrid autonomous manufacturing systems for metals and polymer composites. In this seminar, I will present some preliminary results from physics-based models developed to predict the microstructural evolution of metals deformed in thermo-mechanical manufacturing processes. The results from these models are then used to develop surrogate deep learning (DL) models to predict the evolution of mechanical properties of materials accurately and efficiently.


BSME and MSME - University of Iowa (1981 and 1983, respectively)

PhD in Mechanical Engineering - University of Minnesota (1990)

1990 to 1998 - Staff Scientist at the Alcoa Technical Center

1998 to 2015 - Faculty in the ME Department at Michigan State University

January to June 2005 – sabbatical leave at Rice University

2015 to 2017 - Professor in the Integrated Systems Engineering Department at The 

Ohio State University. Also holds a joint appointment in MAE Department at OSU

2017 to present - Professor and Chair of the Integrated Systems Engineering at OSU

Research Interests - Multiscale characterization of materials and microstructure-based modeling of forming processes, including additive manufacturing, sheet metal forming, tube hydroforming, incremental sheet forming, and thermoforming of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. Currently, applying machine learning (ML) to corollate microstructural properties of metals and fiber-reinforced polymer composites with their anisotropic properties.

Headshot of Dr. Ming Tang

Title: Digital Twin, Extended Reality, and Human Performance

Abstract: This seminar will show case some research projects conducted by the Extend Reality lab (XR-Lab) at College of DAAP and UC Digital Future. The topics include (1) Implementation of digital technology to create a digital twin (DT) in a smart environment system. (2) Implementation of sensing technology to fuse the DT with Extended Reality (XR) and (3) Using sensing technology to evaluate human performance in XR by capturing motion and biometrics.

Bio: Ming Tang, Registered Architect, RA, NCARB, LEED AP (BD+C), is a Professor at the School of Architecture and Interior Design, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati. He is the Director of the UC Extended Reality Lab located at the UC Digital Future. He is also the founding partner of TYA Design and served on the committee of the UC Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS). His research includes Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, Digital twins, Game-based learning, Computational design, Digital fabrication, Generative and performance-driven design, AI, Human behavior analysis and simulation. His recent projects focus on using VR and gaming technology for job training, health education, and public safety funded by the Office of Criminal Justice Service, Ohio Dept. of Transportation, Cincinnati Insurance Company, and Council on Aging.

Headshot of Dr. Michael Susner

Title: Ferroelectric and Magnetic Thiophosphates: A Novel 2D Materials Platform

Abstract: Correlated two-dimensional (2D) materials offer a new avenue for the development of next-generation electronic devices. Since the discovery of Dirac physics in graphene, research in 2D materials has grown exponentially with two main aims: 1) the discovery of new (and preferably functional) 2D materials, 2) developing new and innovative techniques to harness and tune their optical, magnetic, and electronic properties. Though most research on 2D materials has focused on graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal chalcogenides (TMCs), new 2D materials classes are coming into the forefront, including metal thiophosphates which, in many ways, are the 2D equivalent of complex oxides as changes in composition, stacking, or pressure in turn lead to large changes in bandgap, magnetic ordering temperature and type, ferroelectric ordering temperature, quadruple potential wells for neuromorphic computing and even the appearance of superconductivity. I shall present the materials characterization of CuInP2S6 and related self-assembled CuInP2S6/In4/3P2S6 heterostructures as a case study for this materials class in particular and 2D materials in general to show how the underlying physics is affected by chemical and structural modifications. I will also discuss recent efforts in materials characterization where our team determined that the heterostructured phase evinces a tunable quadruple potential well for the ferroelectric phase which has possible implications as a route information processing and storage. Finally, I will discuss recent experimental efforts on magnetic MTPs and their rich physics which offer an opportunity for potential for possible terahertz optoelectronic devices.

Bio: Michael A. Susner earned his B.S. in Chemistry (2005) from Michigan State University and his M.S. (2009) and PhD. (2012) in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. From 2014-2016 he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Correlated Electron Materials Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He joined the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2017 as a NRC Fellow and worked in the Soft Matter Materials Branch in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate as a UES Research Scientist from 2019 to 2020. He became a staff scientist for AFRL in the Photonic Materials Branch in 2020 in order to establish a crystal growth center at AFRL. He is interested in establishing structure-property correlations in functional materials, i.e. those evincing magnetic, ferroelectric, and superconducting behaviors. His current research focuses on the development of materials for second harmonic generation for laser conversion and for quantum information materials.

Headshot of Dr. Raj Narain Singh

Title: Perspective on diamond as a wide band Gap material for quantum devices and applications

Abstract: Diamond is a fascinating material due to its wide band gap, optical transparency, and high thermal conductivity rendering it an ideal wide band gap semiconductor for quantum electronics and optical devices useful under ambient and extreme conditions of high temperatures and intense radiation. Specifically, diamond has nitrogenvacancy (N-V) defect centers with unusual characteristics making it attractive for these unique applications. One can control by microwave, optical signal, electric and magnetic fields the qubit states in N-V centers for quantum network, quantum memory and quantum sensing. Some of these applications require small nanometer or micrometer size diamond crystals containing preferably only one type of N-V defects for greatest sensitivity, individual addressability, and applicability. We are addressing these challenges by developing processing approaches to synthesize diamond single crystal arrays containing only one type of N-V defect centers by microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. These results along with a brief overview on the promise of diamond for quantum applications and our current research activities will be presented and discussed.

Bio: Dr. Raj N. Singh is a Regents Professor and served as a founding Head of School of Materials Science and Engineering, Williams Companies Distinguished Chair Professor, Director Energy Technologies Programs at the Oklahoma State University (OSU). He received his Sc.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and B.S. from IIT Kanpur in Materials Science and Engineering. He worked at Argonne National Laboratory, GE-R&D Center and University of Cincinnati before joining OSU in 2012. Dr. Singh has been recognized for his engineering leadership through his scholarly activities (260 journal articles, 95 referred reports, and 270 presentations), pioneering inventions of MI composite processing technology leading to commercialization (27 granted patents), for graduating 36 students with MS and PhD degrees and through numerous professional awards in recognition of his engineering leadership such as Rishi Raj Medal for Innovation and Commercialization from American Ceramic Society (2023), National Academy of Inventors Fellow (2015); Albert Sauveur Achievement Award of ASM International (2016); Regents Professor (OSU 2015); Fellow of the ASM International (1996); Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (1992); Fellow of Graduate School (UC 2007); Whitney Gallery of Technical Achievers GECR&D (1990); Publication Awards GE-CR&D (1984, 1988); Patent Awards GE-CR&D: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Patent Medallions (1983, 1987, 1988). He also serves as member of editorial boards of 5 international journals.

Headshot of Dr. Yuehwern Yih

Title: Human technologies and innovations in health and humanitarian relief

Abstract: Technologies and innovations are advancing rapidly to meet human needs. However, in complex environments, such as healthcare and humanitarian aids, the interactions between human, technologies, and innovations could present unintended consequences that lead to suboptimal outcomes. In this lecture, Dr. Yih will use examples from her research in healthcare and humanitarian relief operations to illustrate the gaps between (1) the “work imagined” embedded in the original design (intended use) of technologies and innovations and (2) the “work done” in the field, especially when there are multiple stakeholders/users, each holds different role, responsibilities, and priorities. For example, in a study on the therapeutic drug management (TDM) of a popular antibiotic, Vancomycin, for pediatric patients, we illuminate the complexity of TDM processes where nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians interact with “smart” device, information system, and population-based model to manage its dosing. The misalignment of IT design and user’s workflow may create discrepancies that impact patient outcomes. Similarly, in the case of managing supply chains for emergencyresponse or in a low-resource setting, the use of IT applications without comprehensive considerations limits thedata quality and its usefulness for effective decision making (by human or AI).

Bio: Dr. Yuehwern Yih is Professor of Industrial Engineering and currently serves as the Director of LASER PULSE ($70 million 10-year program funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID)). Prior to LASER PULSE, she served as the Associate Director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. Dr. Yih’s core research focuses on understanding system dynamics and improving the outcomes of complex systems under volatile environments including manufacturing systems, supply network, humanitarian assistance, health care delivery, and international development. In addition to her scholarly achievements, Dr. Yih is recognized by her translational research, receiving the highest honor at Purdue, the inaugural Faculty Engagement Fellow, the Most Impactful Faculty Inventors, and the Outstanding Leadership in Globalization Award. Dr. Yih also received the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the Dell K. Allen Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, the Melinda and Bill Gates Grand Challenge Award, multiple Best Paper awards, and multiple Outstanding Teaching Awards. Dr. Yih earned her Ph.D. degree from the University of WisconsinMadison. She is a GE Faculty Fellow, NEC Faculty Fellow, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Fellow, and Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Fellow.

Headshot of Dr. Dieter Vanderelst

Title: Robotic and computational methods of bat echolocation behavior

Abstract: Popular and scientific literature often refer to bat echolocation as "seeing with sound". Bats are assumed to infer objects' 3D position and identity from the echoes they receive. This view originates from experimental findings showing that bats can accurately locate single targets. However, unlike the artificial targets used in experiments, most natural objects, including vegetation and human-made objects, typically return many overlapping echoes. Theoretical limitations and recent evidence suggest that it is highly questionable whether bats can interpret echoes from these complex natural objects in terms of a 3D model or acoustic image. In our lab, with Occam's razor in mind, we take a bottom-up approach to construct simple models for the extraordinary capabilities of echolocating bats to navigate and forage in complete darkness. We use simulations and robots to model bats' behavior, seeking robust acoustic cues and sensorimotor loops supporting foraging and navigation tasks. This talk will give an overview of our recent work on modeling prey capture, navigation, and foraging in nectarivorous bats.

Bio: Dr. Vanderelst obtained a MSc in Theoretical Psychology (Ghent University, Belgium, 2005) and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence (Leuven University, Belgium, 2006). He received his Ph.D. in 2012 (University Antwerp, Belgium) in Biology. Before joining UC in 2016, he worked as a Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Bristol and a postdoctoral fellow at the Bristol Robotics Lab. He is generally interested in bio-inspired artificial intelligence and models of cognitive functions in humans and animals. In particular, he models echolocation-based navigation, flight control & foraging in bats. In his research, he uses simulation methods, artificial sonar systems, and robots to study the sensorimotor loops underlying bat biosonar.

Headshot of Dr. Soumya Nag

Title: Novel alloy development strategies using directed energy deposition additive manufacturing technique

Abstract: Additive manufacturing (AM) provides a tremendous opportunity to synergistically couple materials, design, and manufacturing strategies. This seminar would focus on the fundamentals, current state of art and future of one such AM modality – the blown powder Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technique. Much of the content would be a scientific deep dive on novel alloy development strategies using the unique attributes of DED-driven manufacturing. Specifically, examples for development of Titanium alloys as well as high temperature Ni and Nb alloys would be discussed. The first example employs build parameter DOEs of Ti64 alloy to determine defect density and microstructural descriptors, which in turn may be mapped with the material property values. Armed with this information, physics based predictive models were generated to develop response surfaces. The next topic explores phase transformations and deformation mechanisms in additively manufactured Ni-base superalloys (IN718/IN625) graded to Nb-based refractory alloys (C103). Insights would be provided on connectingin-situ sensor and modeling tools to understand the phase/stress evolution of additive builds in a spatio-temporal manner. Some of the concepts would be material-agnostic and can be beneficial for fabricating next generation components for a wide range of applications in aerospace, marine, and energy sectors.

Bio: Soumya Nag is a Senior R&D Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is also an adjunct faculty at Clarkson University, Capital Region Campus and has a joint faculty appointment with University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His background is in phase transformation, physical metallurgy and nanoscale characterization of metallic and hybrid materials. His research interest is understanding processing (additive and conventional) - structure (phase transformation across different length and time scales)- property (mechanical and environmental property) relationships of light weight and high temperature structural alloys. Currently he has more than 70 peer reviewed publications and is a key reader/reviewer of various technical journals. He has given more than 100 technical presentations in national and international conferences. He also has a Six Sigma Green Belt (DFSS) Certification.

Headshot of Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy

Title: Using UC libraries as a graduate student

Abstract: The transition to graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati presents new opportunities for scholarship, research, and teaching and the UC Libraries is here to support you. This talk will provide an overview of the library resources available to you at UC as well as tips for approaching research projects, managing citations, and exploring publishing options.

Bio: Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy is the Science & Engineering Global Services librarian at the University of Cincinnati Libraries. Based in the CEAS Library, she supports the Mechanical & Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments. Prior to joining the faculty at UC, Aja was a librarian at the University of Kentucky and the Oregon Institute of Technology. Aja’s research interests include information behavior, fostering inquiry and entrepreneurial mindsets in STEM, and instruction best practices.