AMO Announces First Annual IAC Student Research Awards

October 3, 2012

The Advanced Manufacturing Office has launched a new annual research awards competition to honor exceptional students participating in the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program. The program provides students at 24 university-based IACs with hands-on training and real world experience in energy engineering and management.

Beginning this fall, each winning IAC will receive an additional $25,000 in IAC program funds. The research awards are designed to create incentives for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue assessment-inspired research projects in the areas of manufacturing and industrial energy efficiency. The awards are intended to enhance traditional student-led research efforts and to formally recognize those research proposals that stand out as being exceptional and particularly innovative. Information about this year's five winning student projects follows below: 

  • San Diego State University: Mike Soda, IAC Student; Dr. Asfaw Beyene, Advisor
    "Ultra Low Grade Heat Recovery Using Organic Rankine Cycle: An IAC Inspired Project":
    The goal of this project is to design, construct, and test a small-scale heat recovery Organic Rankine Cycle for industrial processes, with potential application to solar thermal recovery. 
  • Texas A&M University: Dr. Bryan Rasmussen, Advisor
    "Multi-Disciplinary Senior Design Projects in Efficient Manufacturing":
    Two multi-disciplinary teams of senior undergraduate students will identify, prototype, and validate energy efficient designs for solving specific manufacturing problems at Allegheny Technologies Incorporated in Houston, TX. These teams will be part of a larger effort by IAC Director Dr. Rasmussen to create a recurring senior design studio focused on energy efficient design. 
  • University of Alabama: Hamid Najafi and Lee McNorton, IAC Students; Dr. Keith Woodbury, Advisor
    "Outside Air for Compressor Intake":
    The goal of this research project is to systematically investigate air compressor operations under a variety of conditions to determine the effects of inlet air condition on overall system performance. 
  • University of Dayton: Dustin Pohlman, IAC Student; Dr. Kelly Kissock, Advisor
    "Energy Efficient Humidity Control in Manufacturing":
    This research project investigates whether technological improvements to typical manufacturing air conditioning systems can meet humidity and cooling requirements more energy efficiently. The project will examine whether facilities with roof-top units could make cost-effective improvements to the control of those units that would reduce overall air conditioning energy consumption while still achieving moisture control. 
  • University of Michigan: Xinyu Ming, Dan Borgnakke, Marco Campos, and Sriram Yarlagadda, IAC Students; Dr. Arvind Atreya, Advisor
    "Possibility of Combustion Furnace Operation with Oxygen-Enriched Gas from a Nitrogen Generator":
    This project will investigate the possibility of oxygen enrichment of natural gas furnace combustion air using exhaust gases from a nitrogen generator as a supply of additional oxygen.

Further information about the IAC program may be found on AMO's webpage.