Potential Projects for Fall 2012

Please click the link for project ideas that were presented to the Mechanical Engineering Senior Design class on Tuesday, October 16, 2012.  They are available for industry sponsorship and are available for potential Seniors and Graduate students who are interested in participating in this research.

Dynamic Model of the Middle Ear Ossicular Chain


This project focused on designing and developing a prototype of middle ear ossicular chain based on the research carried out by Dr. Ravi Samy, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Pediatric and Adult Otology/Neurotology at the University of Cincinnati Medical School.  Dr. Samy’s research showed the ability to understand the properties and behavior of the different components and tissues of the middle ear ossicular chain.  The engineering team, comprising Mechanical Engineering seniors Brain Kim, Brian Kunes, Matt Schnuth, and Andy Ward under supervision of engineering faculty members, produced this prototype as a Senior Design Project in which they completed an iterative process of design and construction of this twenty times size model.  Testing was performed on the model using a wave generator and a triaxial accelerometer. The results based on this research project was published at 2011 ASME Conference on Frontier in Biomedical Devices and has been well received both within (including publications in College of Engineering Applied Science’s research magazine) and outside the UC’s research community.

Superbug Fuel Cell

This project was based on the research on genetically altered super-bug  bacteria carried out by Pilus Energy and Dr. Dan Hassett at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  His research showed the ability of aerobic super-bug bacteria to generate electricity in a controlled environment using organic waste matter.  The overall objective of the research is to be able take all waste water and all sanitation waste from the house and run it through a small version of a tertiary treatment plant-similar to what is used on the Space Station.  The plant would recycle the water for all use except drinking and would produce natural gas from the anaerobic bacteria digestion and electricity from the superbug that Pilus Energy is promoting as part of the fuel cell project.  The superbug would be part of the aerobic processing part of the plant.  
The purpose of the Senior Design Project was to design and construct two large scale fuel cells to generate electricity from waste water.  The Senior Design Team was composed of Bobby Duncan, Tyler Janzen, Eric Lindhurst and Will Morton, Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Cincinnati.  The team designed and constructed a stainless steel based fuel cell and a crushed graphite based fuel cell.  Both cells were tested with a bacteria growth media and provided excellent voltage results that had not been seen in earlier attempts to prototype the design of such fuel cells.

Human Fall Detection using Vision Sensors

This is an ongoing project which focuses on developing a non-invasive sensor based fall detection system to address the growing concerns for developing a smart home system for the care of elderly. This work is part of an innovative paradigm of research aimed at a synergistic exploitation of distributed devices via techniques that are at the intersection of data mining, inferencing and learning, and distributed decision making for developing a co-robotics based solution for personalized care for elderly with cognitive impairment. The initial part of this work, involves the implementation of a human motion tracking system for monitoring the activities of one person using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. The human gait information obtained thus would be used to determine fall by matching the gait patterns with that of the patterns associated with the fall. The overall objectives of this work are directed towards realizing the larger goal of developing a robust system for fall detection for the elderly with measures in place against false detections.