Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Department News

Biorobotics Team, Led by Dr. Roger Quinn, featured in CNN News Article about Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Sick and tired of plowing your driveway during these Cleveland winters? Well, so are we! And the Case Autonomous Snowplow Team led by Dr. Roger Quinn is here to make sure that humans plowing snow becomes a thing of the past! Ten students, ranging from 1st year to PhD, as well as an adviser from our corporate sponsor, MTD, will be making the trek up to St. Paul from the 22nd to the 25th of January to compete in the 5th annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition. This national competition brings in teams from all over Midwest to compete for a prize pool of $15,000. Robot performance, as well a professional report and presentation on all aspects of the robot, will be used to determine a winner. Please join us in supporting the team! And, check back soon for the results.

CNN Article

Sickle cell research using biochip technology advances at University Hospitals, CWRU

A new study that recently began enrolling patients at University Hospitals Case Medical Center is using biochip technology that one day may help physicians better manage the treatment of patients with sickle cell disease. The biochip technology determines the "stickiness" of red blood cells – a quality that physicians think can indicate something about disease activity. One of the big benefits of the biochip technology – developed by a team led by Umut Gurkan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University – is that it provides important information with just a few drops of blood from patients, and without drastically changing the blood's composition. In December 2014, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, the UH and CWRU researchers presented results of an earlier study launched in late 2013. Based on the promising findings, researchers have begun obtaining consent from child and adult sickle cell patients to use their blood samples for the new study. While previous research has been done in a small number of patients, the biochip technology makes it possible to analyze blood samples from hundreds of patients.

(Based on an article by Angela Townsend, The Plain Dealer)

Learn more about this research

Meet Philos, a Robot Caregiver

Professor Kiju Lee's research group is developing a social robot, called Philos, that can interact with people while monitoring their bio-behavioral data."Philos" means "Friend" in Greek. The current version of Philos can track and recognize human faces, generate simple facial expressions and gestures, and make penguin-like sound. More entertaining features, such as online speech recognition and generation and music play, are being added. Philos has been recently featured on a local television show, WVIZ/PBS Ideastream. 

The video clip can be found on the following link:

Learn more about Philos

Student Research Fund

Mustafa Unal, EMAE graduate student and Ph.D. candidate in Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory led by DrOzan Akkus, has received the student research fund from
The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation by means of think[box] at CWRU for his ongoing research. His research includes developing a novel diagnostic technique to assess bone quality through Raman Spectroscopy; the novel technique would potentially help to improve the current diagnostic technique for those who may be at risk of bone fracture due to the bone diseases (e.g., osteoporosis). By 2025, the annual fractures due the osteoporosis are estimated
to surpass 3 million for the United States with the medical costs of $25 billion.

The raman system

Read more about the research

Graduate student's abstract highlighted by ACR

A diagnostic technology developed in Dr. Ozan Akkus' lab by MAE graduate student Bolan Li, was highlighted by a press release from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The abstract was selected among thousands of submissions as a proof of concept in demonstrating the utilization of Raman spectroscopy to diagnose patients who are stricken with the gout disease.
The disease is on the rise and affects 8 million Americans.

The abstract that was highlighted by the ACR
can be accessed here.

BAJA team competed in a regional event - “Midnight Mayhem”

Midnight Mayhem is an annual competition held in Louisville, KY. On Saturday, Oct.4th, the CWRU Baja team entered two vehicles into a field of 76 cars from top universities across the United States and Canada. With three first-time drivers at the wheel of our cars and great teamwork from the pit crew, we completed the race 15th and 21st overall. This was a fantastic finish for our team and we look to build upon our experiences as the season progresses.

Read more about Baja competitions

CWRU Team led by EMAE’s Graduate Student Yunus Alapan has won the first place in 2014 NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest in Medical Category

Yunus Alapan, EMAE graduate student and PhD candidate in Case Biomanufacturing and Microfabrication Laboratory led by Umut Gurkan, has won the first prize in Medical Category in 2014 NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest. CWRU Team lead by Yunus utilized a microengineered design in developing HemeChip, a new device that can identify hemoglobin type in a drop of blood rapidly to diagnose hemoglobin disorders in newborns early.

Read more about the contest

A grant from NASA for Dr. Kamotani

We are proud to announce that Professor Yasuhiro Kamotani received a grant from NASA totaling $ 660,000 to perform a two-phase flow experiment in space. Professor  Jay Kadambi is the Co-I of the project. They are preparing an experiment to be performed aboard the International Space Station
around 2019.

See photos