ARC Collaborative Research Seminar Series
Fall 2016

ARC seminars are free and open to the general public. Center members can download the presentation files on our password-access online portal iARC. Non-ARC attendees please email with your requests.

Parking & directions inquires: Contact by 2:00 p.m. the day before the seminar

Remote attendance via tele/video conference: Contact William Lim (

Refreshments will be served 9:15-9:30am. The talks will begin at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

Event venue alternates between University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and U.S. Army TARDEC (Warren)

September16, Friday (9:30a.m. - 11a.m.)
University of Michigan, UM North Campus, Phoenix Memorial Lab. 2000A

1. Army-Automotive Needs/Focus Areas & What the National Automotive Center Can Do For You
Mr. Paul Decker, Director, National Automotive Center (NAC), U.S. Army TARDEC

        The National Automotive Center (NAC) within TARDEC is responsible for engaging with Automotive OEMs, Suppliers, and Associations for dual-use military/automotive technologies, methodologies, and processes. The recent NAC-developed Automotive Engagement Strategy will be covered including focus on Autonomous/Connected Vehicles, Advanced Propulsion, Human-Machine-Interfaces, Vehicle Cyber-security, and Modeling & Simulation Improvements. The presentation provides an overview of the NAC's focus areas (including research needs), opportunities for collaboration, and is intended to help inspire innovative research ideas to help address these challenges.
Biography: Mr. Paul Decker is the Director of the Army's National Automotive Center at US Army TARDEC, and is responsible for identifying and pursuing dual-use military/automotive technology opportunities, and partnerships with Automotive OEMs, Suppliers, and Associations. Mr Decker was previously a Deputy PM at DARPA - for the Ground eXperimental Vehicle Technologies (GXVT) & Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) programs. Before that Mr. Decker was TARDEC's Deputy Chief Scientist - where he helped direct TARDEC's Basic Research, Innovation Programs, and involvement in Army/Defense Science Board studies. In an earlier assignment he was TARDEC's Associate Director for Analytical Simulation (Computer Aided Engineering). Mr. Decker holds a M.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and B.S.E. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Michigan.

2. Trust-Based Control, Decision-Making, and Scheduling for Human-Robot Collaboration Systems
Dr. Yue “Sophie” Wang, Warren H. Owen – Duke Energy Assistant Professor of Engineering, Clemson University

        Autonomous systems are playing an ever more important role in every aspect of society. Human-robot collaboration integrates the best part of human intelligence with the advantages of autonomous systems. This talk will begin with a brief overview of the state-of-the-art in human-robot interaction. It will then present an overview of the current research projects at the Interdisciplinary & Intelligent Research (I2R) laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University in the area of trust-based cooperative control, decision-making, and scheduling for human-robot collaboration systems. Case studies will be presented in human-robot collaboration in assembly in manufacturing and teleautonomous operations of multi-agent systems. The talk will also include a brief overview and plan for the new ARC project on the "Optimal Control, Pairing, and Scheduling for Manned-Unmanned Vehicles Teaming based on RoboTrust Algorithms".
Biography: Dr. Yue “Sophie” Wang is the Warren H. Owen – Duke Energy Assistant Professor of Engineering and the Director of the I2R laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University. She received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2011 and held a postdoctoral position in Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame from 2011 to 2012. Her research interests are the control of human-robot collaboration systems, symbolic robot motion planning, multi-agent systems, and cyber-physical systems. Dr. Wang has received an AFOSR YIP award in 2016, an NSF CAREER award in 2015, Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and the Clemson University Mechanical Engineering Eastman Chemical Award for Excellence in 2015. Her research has been supported by NSF, AFOSR, AFRL, ARO, NASA EPSCoR, and Clemson University. Dr. Wang is a senior member of IEEE, and a member of ASME and AIAA. She serves as the Co-Chair of the IEEE Control System Society Technical Committee on Manufacturing Automation and Robotic Control since 2013.

October 7, Friday (9:30a.m. - 11a.m.)
U.S. Army TARDEC, 6501 E. 11 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48397-5000
Building 200B TARDEC University Class Rooms A&B

Thrust Area 4: Advanced and Hybrid Powertrains
Internal Combustion Engine & Fuels

Projects presenting:
1. Fuel Surrogates Studies and their Relation to Advanced Engine and Vehicle Development
Dr. André Boehman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

        The pursuit of effective surrogate fuel mixtures remains an important task for engine and fuels researchers. In this presentation, we will survey some recent efforts to improve the surrogate formulation for describing the combustion of JP-8 fuels. Also, other recent surrogates and fuel composition studies will be surveyed. Then the presentation will cover the role that these surrogates studies played in the recent DOE-funded "SuperTruck" program, in the development of an engine concept to achieve 55% BTE. Finally, the presentation will briefly highlight some accomplishments of the Volvo SuperTruck team.

2. Thermal Barrier Coatings for Reduction of Cooling Loads in Military Vehicles (project link)
Dr. Marcis Jansons, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University

        Significant under-armor volume of a military vehicle is devoted to the thermal management system comprising ballistic grilles, fans, ductwork and radiators. Reductions in cooling load are therefore sought to make greater under-armor volume available for mission-critical sub-systems or crew and to improve mobility and fuel efficiency by diminishing vehicle weight. While the commercial automotive sector has recently implemented thermal barrier coatings to increase efficiency, TBCs have military applications as a means of re-distributing energy from the cooling load to engine exhaust. Titanium-based coatings applied with a novel aqueous electro-deposition process show promise in overcoming the durability issues of previously researched materials. This presentation will introduce a simulation and experiment-based project that evaluates durability and thermal shock response of TiO2-based and other potential TBCs, and examines their thermal properties and in-cylinder behavior using optical diagnostic techniques.

October 28, Friday (9:30a.m. - 11a.m.)
University of Michigan, UM North Campus, Duderstadt Center, room 1180

Thrust Area 4: Advanced and Hybrid Powertrains

Projects presenting:
1. A Smart Thermal Bus for Ground Vehicle Cooling Applications (project link)
Dr. John Wagner, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University
Dr. Richard Miller, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University

        Designing an efficient cooling system with low power consumption is of high interest in the automotive engineering community. Heat generated due to the propulsion system and the on-board electronics in ground vehicles must be dissipated to avoid exceeding component temperature limits. In addition, proper thermal management will offer improved system durability and efficiency while providing a flexible, modular, and reduced weight structure. Traditional cooling systems are effective but they typically require high energy consumption which provides motivation for a paradigm shift. This presentation will examine the integration of passive heat rejection pathways in ground vehicle cooling systems using a “thermal bus.” Potential solutions include heat pipes and low-weight advanced materials with high thermal energy transfer rates to move heat from the source to ambient surroundings. An initial case study focuses on the integration of heat pipes into both a “cradle” (thermal connector between heat load and bus) and the thermal bus to transfer heat from the thermal load (e.g., internal combustion engine, electric motor, battery pack, power electronic, etc.) to the heat exchanger. A bench-top experimental component is being constructed to facilitate model validations.

        Dr. Wagner holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Purdue University. He was previously on the engineering staff at Delphi Automotive Systems (formerly Delco Electronics) designing, testing, and analyzing automotive electronic control systems. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University in 1998. His research interests include nonlinear and intelligent control theory, dynamic system modeling, diagnostic strategies, and mechatronic system design with application to transportation systems. Dr. Wagner has established the multi-disciplinary Driving Simulator Laboratory and the Rockwell Automation Mechatronics Educational Laboratory at Clemson. He has served as an associate editor for the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement & Control. Dr. Wagner is a registered professional mechanical engineer, ASME Fellow, and serves as the faculty advisor for the Clemson University SAE student chapter.
        Dr. Miller joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University in 1999. He has been working in supercomputing simulations of turbulent combustion and heat transfer for more than 20 years. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also served three and a half years as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Miller's research involves the large scale simulation and modeling of turbulent air-hydrocarbon mixing and reaction at both atmospheric pressure and supercritical pressures relevant to modern and forthcoming gas turbines and diesel engines. The research is directed at fundamental studies of single-phase and multiphase flows involving complex physics in relatively simplified geometries such as homogeneous turbulence, mixing layers and jets. He has published more than 40 refereed journal publications, 2 book chapters, and 50+ conference papers/presentations. He received the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award for young investigators in 2000 for his work in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Dr. Miller is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Combustion Institute.

2. Thermal Management Strategies Based on Active Monitoring and Control (project link)
Dr. Lin Ma, Professor of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering, Virginia Tech

        This talk describes our ongoing efforts to study battery thermal management in electric or hybrid powertrain systems, with a particular focus on the thermal behavior in a relatively large pack. An experimental platform was developed by combining dummy and real prismatic cells so that controlled tests can be performed in a battery pack consisting of 16 or more cells, and corresponding instrumentation developed to monitor fundamental thermal and fluid properties of the pack. Results have shown the effectiveness of this platform to study key aspects of cooling in a large pack, including both fundamental aspects such as model development/validation and applied aspects such as the design of active monitoring and control algorithms. A control strategy based on the model developed based on this platform was demonstrated to significantly reduce the parasitic power consumption of the cooling system.

        Dr. Ma started his faculty career after completing his PhD work in 2006 from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. His research focuses on the study of thermal-fluid systems, with a unique strength on the development and application of novel diagnostic techniques. He has authored over 70 archival journal papers in these research areas, and his work has been recognized by various awards, including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, SAE Ralph Teetor award, and Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research.

December 2, Friday (9:30a.m. - 11a.m.)
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library Classroom at the University of Michigan North Campus
1000 Beal Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Thrust Area 2: Human Centered Modeling and Simulation

Projects presenting:
1. Teleoperation with Semi-Autonomous Behaviors and Latency (project link)
Mr. Justin Storms, Ph.D. Student, University of Michigan
Dr. Dawn Tilbury, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

        Teleoperation of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in distant environments is plagued with difficulties including communication delay and poor perception of the UGV’s environment. This project has explored the impact of delay on teleoperation performance, as well as methods for automating portions of the UGV operation. We have considered navigation for tasks involving path following and less structured exploration of environments. Operation modes ranging from pure teleoperation to semi-autonomous control have been tested with human subjects. One key finding has been that while semi-autonomy can improve teleoperation performance, the improvement is highly dependent on operation conditions. For example, semi-autonomy offers little improvement over teleoperation at low delay, however there are significant improvements at high delay.

        Justin Storms is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM). He has been working with TARDEC in the Automotive Research Center at UM since 2014. His research focuses on understanding the impact of communication latency and semi-autonomous control on the performance of teleoperated unmanned ground vehicles.

2. Quantifying the Benefits of Haptic Shared Control for Remotely Controlled and Semi- Automated Ground Vehicles (project link)
Dr. Amirhossein Ghasemi, Research Fellow, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Dr. Brent Gillespie, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

        Haptic shared control promises to improve performance in remote control of unmanned ground vehicles by combining the best attributes of human and automatic control. In this framework, the driver remains bodily in the loop, monitoring the automation’s behavior with a minimum of conscious attention. While a fluid definition of authority can ensure smooth transitions between automatic and human control, a risk arises when rules are not imposed to ensure that only one agent functions as leader at any given time. When rules involving role adoption are not imposed, the human and automation may attempt to impose differing control actions simultaneously that may cancel each other out. In this talk we present results from a series of experiments designed to investigate and resolve the question of role and authority negotiation in a haptic shared control task. In particular, we consider situations in which the negotiation over control authority is essential to avoid misinterpretation between the two collaborating partners. We manipulate leader/follower roles and investigate the effect on obstacle avoidance and lane following performance.

ARC members can download the presentation files on our password-access online portal iARC.
Non-ARC members please email with your requests.