Michael Ulrich Jurczyk ( Spring 2002)

  • Research: Telerobotics and Sensors
  • Summary:

    While working in the REU program, I was able to work in the field of telerobotics and set up a sophisticated sensor array under the supervision of Dr. Dubey, chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

    It was my responsibility to configure and set-up a Hitachi KP-D50 color CCD camera as well as a force-torque sensor from the company JR3. These sensors were mounted to a robotic manipulator provided by the Robotics Research Corporation (RRC). The sensor array was to be used to provide feedback to the user of the robotic manipulator and ensure that no excessive loads were applied.

    The color camera was used in conjunction with a frame-grabber and sophisticated vision system software from the German company MVTec. Besides taking care of the hardware side of the system, I was also responsible for creating custom vision system software to provide more than visual feedback to the user. The subroutine provides the robotic manipulator with an x- and y-coordinate of the object of interest that is to be picked up or manipulated.

    All in all, the sensor system was set-up and configured successfully and the robotic manipulator is now being used in further research in the area of rehabilitation robotics.

Sheldon Minto (Spring 2002)

  • Research: Thin Film Deposition by Laser Ablation

David Sharp (Spring 2002)

  • Research: Synthesis and Characterization of micro diamond coatings using CVD technique

Nivedita Gulati (Summer 2002)

  • Research: Chemical Mechanical Polishing and Electrochemical studies of Cu as an interconnect material in Semiconductor Industry
  • Summary: My research experience at the Center for Microelectronics Research (CMR) here at USF has been extremely rewarding. It has helped me realize the direction in which I would like to pursue my graduate and post-graduate education. My research has also provided me with the subject for my Senior Honors Thesis. I have gained some invaluable experience working closely with a group of extremely dedicated and talented people.

Mark Holly (Summer 2002)

  • Research: Synthesis of nano diamond thin films for MEMS applications using CVD technique

Jeff Ohlinger (Fall 2002

  • Research: Thin Film Deposition using Sputtering (PVD) technique

Ryan Sanchez (Fall 2002)

  • Research: Synthesis for Super Hard Diamond coatings for Cutting Tools

James Stevens (Spring 2002)

  • Research: Tribology and Wear Testing
  • Summary:

    During the spring semester of 2002 (Jan through May), I was fortunate enough to be allowed to participate in the University of South Florida’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (R. E. U.). As an undergraduate in this program, I was paid to assist in a professor’s efforts to perform research at the university. I worked an average of ten hours per week.

    The specific research I was involved in was for Dr. Daniel P. Hess and concerned the coefficient of friction, as well as the rate of wear, between combinations of two of several different materials. I was not only exposed to, and trained to use, a very sophisticated piece of friction analysis test equipment (CETR Micro-Tribometer), but I was also able to observe and participate in many aspects of doing research at a university. Some of the skills I feel were strengthened most by the experience are my ability to organize and coordinate efforts, as well as demonstrating patience when there is a need to share research facilities. I was also able to use some of the design and drafting skills I developed as an undergraduate in redesigning a clamping fixture for test samples.

    Overall, I feel the experience of working under the USF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program was very rewarding. I appreciate the opportunity and recommend that the continuation of the program. I also strongly urge all students, who have the time and need a little extra money, to apply for a position.

Aaron Stolpe (Summer 2002)

  • Research: Electronic Packaging
  • Summary:

    Moiré Fringes are a series of light and dark bands created when two arrays of equally spaced lines are viewed through after they are arranged slightly offset from each other. The patterns will be used to determine displacements and calculate strains. This method of Moiré Interferometery is being setup at the USF Department of Mechanical Engineering to determine the thermally induced displacements and strains in a Ball Grid Array (BGA). A BGA is an electronic packaging method used to mount the chip to the printed circuit board via solder balls.

    After moving into the newest engineering building, much of the time has been spend assembling the experimental laboratory which is required to perform Moiré interferometery on the BGA’s. So far the initial procedures have been perfected to accurately transfer a Moiré Fringe Pattern to the BGA for experimental analysis and to set up the optics table such that it floats on air for vibration damping.

    Upon completion of the experimental analysis, a comparison will be performed using Finite Element Analysis. Here the goal is develop an accurate model for the system to predict the stresses and strains in the BGA package. Once the model is verified against the experimental data, damage initiation and progression in the BGA package can be performed to determine the life the package.

    From my experience thus far, the process of creating an experiment to find required data has been invaluable. I anticipate any research work that may encounter in the future will be enhanced by my involvement with the Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Paul Sanders (Summer 2002)

  • Research: Thermal Analysis and Numerical Simulations
  • Summary:

    During the summer of 2002, I participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program offered at the University of South Florida. I worked with my professor, Dr. Rahman, and assisted in one of his research projects.

    The project I was involved with was a continuation of another student’s research project from the previous semester. The main goal of my work was to perform repeated calculations in order to find the most desirable conditions for electronics going into space orbit. I also researched many types of refrigeration systems to find the best system for the application. In doing the work, I learned how to use MathCAD and also increased my skills with Microsoft Office. I learned how to effectively research topics in modern engineering and found what resources were available to assist in the research process.

    I believe the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program was very worthwhile. I strongly believe that the skills I have obtained while working on this project will help me in the future. It was very rewarding to be able to start working on a project in which I had no previous background and end up with a strong grasp of the concepts involved. I would recommend this program to any student who wants to take their engineering work one step further. The out of the classroom experience is challenging and rewarding, and the pay is a bonus all students could enjoy.

Michael Keteltas (Fall 2002)

  • Research: Numerical Methods
  • Summary:

    Working under the guidance of Dr. Kaw during the Fall 2002 semester in USF's Research Experience for Undergraduates Program has been a very good experience. The work has been extensive, but it has made me realize how much work goes into a project that may seem simple to the outside viewer. The Holistic Numerical Methods Institute , a prototype for a possible future series of web-based teaching tools funded by the National Science Foundation, is taking shape, and I am proud to say that Dr. Kaw has made me a small part of this grand task. In addition to being paid for my efforts and receiving credit for (not-so-desirable) classes, I quickly learned how to manage my time wisely, carry out effective research, and compromise alternatives. All the habits I learned to use in the REU Program will assist me for the rest of my working career, and I don't really think any course lectures would be able to help in this way. I would recommend this experience to any student motivated to seeking alternative forms of teaching (yourself, and others...).

Dwayne Polzer (Summer 2002)

  • Research: Rehabilitation Robotics
  • Summary:

    I am a senior mechanical engineering undergraduate. During the summer semester of 2002, I had the privilege of being able to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduate program with Dr. Dubey for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. The program permitted me to get paid while learning about and assisting with research for about ten hours a week.

    During the term of my employment, I worked closely with Dr. Dubey and his research faculty in the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab. I was given the opportunity to study the needs of disabled persons and how robotics could help to enable them. Building on the shortcomings of current robotic grippers (which must act as a hand for persons with certain disabilities), I was able to research and present a design concept for a new gripper that can mimic the sensitivity of human fingers without force feedback.

    The experience was a welcome one, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in research to take part in the program. I would also like to thank those that gave me the opportunity to participate and those that aided me during my involvement in the program – thank you.