Research Experiences For Undergraduates (REU)

REU 2001 Projects


Modeling the Dynamics of a Motorized Wheelchair

Sponsor: DEKA Research
Advisor: Christopher Larsen

Rachael Hageman    Katherine Kline    Leonard Wilkins
Rachael Hageman    Katherine Kline    Leonard Wilkins

The iBot is a motorized wheel-chair, designed by DEKA, that sits on two axles with equally sized wheels. The iBot is able to perform tasks such as climbing stairs, and going over curbs. The wheelchair is also able to transfer into a 2-wheel mode, with one axle on top of the other. Our job is to model the system's transition from two wheel to four wheel mode. We are using methods such as Hamilton's Principle, dynamics, and time-optimal control.


Modeling Fluid Flow in a Positive Displacement Pump

Sponsor: DEKA Research
Advisor: Suzanne Weekes

Blythe Ashcraft    Erin Renk    Jennica Sherwood
Blythe Ashcraft    Erin Renk    Jennica Sherwood

A lack of potable water accounts for widespread illness in more impoverished regions of the world; the problem can be addressed in part by implementing efficient water distillation systems. In conjuction with DEKA Research and Development, our task is to model fluid flow through a positive displacement pump within a dynamic distillation system. Emphasis is placed on describing the physical properties of the water flowing through the pump, particularly phase-transition during compression and expansion states.


Detecting Failure in Vapor Return Systems

Sponsor: Veeder-Root
Advisor: Arthur Heinricher

Ivan Ramler    Thomas Wakefield    Thomas Wright
Ivan Ramler    Thomas Wakefield    Thomas Wright

This year's project with Veeder-Root involves monitoring vapor return equipment for gasoline stations. When a vehicle refuels at a gas station, gasoline vapors escape from the vehicle's tank into the atmosphere. Environmental regulations now require stations in several states to capture these emissions and prevent their escape into the atmosphere. In addition, the EPA has mandated controls on all new cars and light-trucks to capture these gasoline vapors. Our goal for the project is to determine when the vapor return system at the gas station has failed. Failure occurs when the system returns no vapors. We must determine when little or no vapor returned is due to the refueling of these new vehicles or to the failure of the vapor return equipment. Various statistical tests are employed to determine true failure of the vapor return systems.

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Last modified: Jun 20, 2010, 15:42 EDT
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