Full-length Featured Newsletter Stories

 Prof. Yannis Korkolis' talk at Pusan National University on August 20, 2015



Professor Yannis Korkolis co-edited a special issue in the ASME journal 

Prof. Korkolis edited a Special Issue of the ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering (JMSE) on “Forming and Joining of Lightweight and Multi-Material Systems”, along with Prof. Jingjing Li (Univ. Hawaii – Manoa), Dr. Blair Carlson (GM Research & Development) and Dr. Edmund Chu (Alcoa Technical Center). The Special Issue can be found online here: http://manufacturingscience.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/issue.aspx?journalid=125&issueid=934457&direction=P 

Also, starting in July 2015, Prof. Korkolis will serve a 3 (+3) year term as one of the Associate Editors of JMSE.

Tamir Blum's Summer in Japan

During this past summer I lived in Sendai, Japan, where I conducted space robotics research on the Google Lunar X-Prize team Hakuto rover alongside an international team while also exploring nearby areas and attending festivals and holiday events where I was able to learn about Japanese culture and lifestyle.

As a note, the photo was taken in Fukushima where I went with a small group to learn about the effects of the nuclear plant blasts following the Tsunami in 2011. We explored several areas in Fukushima, learned about the fruit farming industry and spent half a day in an elementary school sharing about our countries, hearing about theirs and learning about the Japanese schooling system.

 Sital Khatiwada's Intership at NASA

My name is Sital Khatiwada, and I interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center during the Summer of 2015. During my time there, I performed data analysis on data for in-house build spacecrafts to establish a benchmark for product nonconformance and supported an electronic process-based information system through extensive beta testing of new applications for the information system.





James Petersen named Granite State ASHRAE Chapter Engineer of the Year

by Ken Johnson

PORTSMOUTH - James Petersen, principle engineer and founder of Petersen Engineering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was named the 2015 Engineer of the Year by the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE.

In a recent release, the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE said they are, "pleased to present their Engineer of the Year Award for 2015 to James Petersen with our thanks for his outstanding works. We hope that others in our profession will see him as a role model for others to follow."

In the nearly three decades he's worked in the industry, Petersen has forged a reputation as an engineer concerned with quality and sustainability for every project he's done.

"I've been working away for 29 years trying to make buildings better," Petersen said. "And most of the time it is hard work and when you get a surprise recognition like this it feels pretty good."

ASHRAE (American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers) is the primary professional organization for people who work in HVAC engineering. Petersen has been a member with ASHRAE since he started working in HVAC in 1986, and has been a member of the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE since its inception in 1987.

Petersen's nomination for Engineer of the Year was endorsed by his clients, organizations he has done pro-bono work for, and his employees. Petersen holds a BA in Philosophy and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and is a registered professional engineer in seven states and Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1992, Petersen Engineering began with HVAC and plumbing design and has since grown to include building science, enclosure design and integrated design. A primary focus of Petersen's when designing a project is to reduce dramatically the amount of energy needed for heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water. The engineers that work at Petersen Engineering have a common passion for improving energy efficiency in buildings.

"It feels like I was born hardwired to be a steward of the environment," Petersen said. "As Petersen Engineering has grown our reputation as sustainability experts has spread beyond my expectations."

In his own right, Petersen is a strong advocate for green and environmentally sustainable practices. Petersen Engineering is a corporate business partner with the Portsmouth-based Green Alliance, a union of environmentally conscious businesses and individual members, which works to educate the public about sustainable business and buying practices.

Petersen has even converted his company's offices, located on Maplewood Avenue, in a historic 1804 federal-style building, into a space that can compete with any new building for energy conservation and environmental stewardship, while keeping it to the strict standards of the Portsmouth Historic District Commission.

Petersen and Petersen Engineering are presently hard at work with their ongoing projects and new projects that they are just starting. Among other projects currently Petersen is working on the upgrades to the Portsmouth Waste Water Treatment Plant at Peirce Island, a 100,000 square foot addition to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Massachusetts, and the Lewis Gathering Center corporate retreat, located in Kensington, New Hampshire, and designed to meet Passive House Certification.

"Passive House certified designs reduce the energy required for heating by 85% less than that necessary to heat an equivalent a code compliant building," Petersen said.

Petersen is also working on Avesta Housing's 28 unit affordable senior housing project which is currently under construction in downtown South Berwick, Maine. And the firm just completed the construction documents for the occupied rehabilitation of a 12 story building, built circa 1900, located on Chauncey Street in downtown Boston featuring 88 units of affordable apartments and ground floor retail.

Some of the pro bono projects Petersen is working on are an expansion of the Seacoast Waldorf School in Eliot, Maine, to expand the school to pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade, and replacement of the facility mechanical systems at the Portsmouth Indoor Pool.

"It is very rewarding to play a meaningful role in creating better buildings now totaling hundreds of thousands of square feet each year," Petersen said. "With each passing year we have greater influence in elevating the performance of buildings on behalf of our clients, building occupants and the planet, and that keeps me going."


Eric Corum, president elect of the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE presents the Engineer of the Year Award plaque to James Petersen
Photo Courtesy of the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE

Yong Zhao M.S. '12

I graduated in May 2012 and started to work for a small product development company called Resolution Development Services located in Wilmington MA in August 2012. At Resolution Development, I designed various machine vision based turnkey inspection systems, life science automation systems and medical devices.

After working for Resolution, I found a new exciting job at SimpliSafe located in downtown Boston in May 2015. SimpliSafe is a great startup company making home security systems. We offer an easy-to-install, completely DIY and most affordable and yet no contract needed solution for customers to make them feel safer and help them save money. At SimpliSafe, I am working as a Mechanical and Product Engineer. I am responsible for prototyping, resourcing, planning and solving design and manufacturing related issues to launch our new critical products. I love my work at SimpliSafe a lot because everyday is fresh and new to me since I am faced with new problems every single day. Solving new problems is exciting but yet challenging. I feel highly motivated everyday and am proud to be part of a great team to deliver greatest home security products. 

Measuring Ultrasound Waves

Mr. Nick DeMarchi graduated with his BSME degree from UNH in May 2011. He is presently a Ph.D. student at UNH working with Professor Christopher White. 

Nick's interest in fluid dynamics began during his undergraduate studies while taking Introduction to Fluid Dynamics with Professor Chini.

Nick's research project is to study and quantify the rheology and flow behaviors of liquefied lignocellulosic biomass. The work is important for the production of ethanol from non-food biomass resources or so-called waste agriculture. A primary component of Nick's research is to develop and validate a new measurement technique that uses ultrasound waves to 

measure two-dimensional fields of fluid velocity through opaque boundaries or in opaque fluids (see Fig. 1). In 2012, DeMarchi and White published an article in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoCVE) detailing the EPIV method: DeMarchi N. & White C.M. Echo Particle Image Velocimetry. J. Vis. Exp. 2012.70:e4265. DOI:10.3791/4265. The accompanying online tutorial video to the article (see link below) has been viewed over 4000 times from national and international institutions with subscriptions to JoVE. http://www.jove.com/video/4265/echo-particle-image-velocimetry

Nick is especially looking forward to the summer months. In particular, in addition to a productive summer of research, he is looking forward to many games of disc golf, grilling, playing music, working on cars, and spending time with friends and family.



Figure 1. (Top) Brightness-mode ultrasound image acquired in pipeflow. The pipe wall appears as high contrast horizontal layers near the top and bottom of the image. The fluid tracer particles appear as high intensity speckle. (Bottom) Ensemble average vector plot averaged over 1000 instantaneous EPIV vector plots. The vector plot shows velocity vectors every fourth column, and the background color contour map corresponds to velocity magnitude.

Designing the Future with Energy

I am a graduate of Trinity High school in Manchester, NH and an international student who was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I am a senior interested in energy and fluid mechanics. Since my sophomore year here at UNH, I have been actively involved with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter here at UNH. I had a successful year as the president last year as we our members were able to attend site visits to numerous companies like Thermofisher and Volpe, and also attend the annual, national conference in Nashville, TN. We were also able to plan outreach to a Manchester middle school where Dean Samuel Mukasa joined us in providing students with a STEM related exercise in hopes of raising their awareness of the many career fields in STEM. I have also been a proud member of Men of Strength, Diversity, Education, and Family (MOSDEF), a multicultural support group on campus where we discuss major issues affecting men of color around the world and on campus and also offer support to men of color on campus.

During the summer of 2013, I worked with Xemed LLC in Durham, NH. This is a company that originated from UNH research. Xemed builds polarizer machines to polarize gases such as Xenon. Their machines help to make high-resolution imaging of lung functional characteristics and pre-symptomatic detection of respiratory pathology a reality. Under the guidance of Dr. Bill Hersman and the staff, I worked on redesigning the polarization oven for their hydrogen polarizer machine. This gave me a great introduction to machine design and also fluid dynamics as I helped design a system to regulate temperature in the oven to a specified range. At the end of last year, I also worked on a redesign of the laser system whose specific wavelength is utilized for the polarization of the gas in the polarizer machine.

This past summer, I spent my time in Shellsburg, Iowa working at the Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Palo, Iowa.  I worked for NextEra Energy, a company with one of the largest energy fleets in the U.S.  They are also the largest renewable energy fleet in the U.S. I had a great introduction to Nondestructive Testing (NDT) methodologies such as Magnetic Particle and Ultrasonic inspections. I worked on the plant check valves to determine the effects on check valve deterioration through their minimum and maximum required flow conditions compared to operating flow conditions of the systems they’re implemented in. This was a great experience for me as I gained an introduction to the energy industry.

This year, I am the Academic Excellence Chair for the NSBE -UNH chapter, continuing my strong participation in the chapter. I am a community assistant at Babcock Hall, continuing meeting and building great relationships with people. I am now working on a senior project with fellow Mechanical Engineering students Ian Gagnon and William Hall and under the guidance of Prof. Martin Wosnik. We are working to accurately model offshore wind turbine arrays. We will work with OpenFoam, an open source computational fluid dynamics software, to model the wind turbines. We will then set up scaled wind turbines in the UNH Flow Physics Facility wind tunnel to test our results. We are all very excited for this challenging project and are looking forward to the learning experience.

During my free time, I enjoy watching and playing soccer. I also love astronomy and like to go observe the planets every once in a while with my telescope. In the future, I hope to attend graduate school to pursue a MS and possibly a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. I hope to contribute in the energy industry with high interests in renewable energy. 


Baja SAE 2014

Every year, UNH Baja is tasked with designing and building a one man off-road vehicle capable of surviving the courses at the competitions based around the country. The team is a group of like-minded individuals with common interests in off-road driving, vehicle design and fabrication. While the team is usually mostly seniors doing this as a senior project, anyone can get involved. We encourage underclassmen to come into our shop to see what’s happening and become a part of the team.

This year’s team was made up of 11mechanical engineers: Andrew Nelligan, Tucker Nugent, Dan Holm, Jeff Moore, Taylor Gamble, Cameron Keefe, Jon Slowe, Ethan Morris (junior), Josh Feltner, Chase Borden and Hau Doan. In addition to them, we also had 3 marketing students: Bridget Fay, Cole Jaillet, and Dan Crowley. The first semester was mostly design work for the engineers, as well as ordering materials. The marketing students researched the industry for the best way to pitch our vehicle. Over winter break, fabrication began. This lengthy process is one of the most rewarding parts, seeing the SolidWorks model come to life. As the spring semester progressed, we went from a pile of metal, to a rolling chassis, to a fully completed vehicle just before we departed for competition. So we packed up everything we had and set off for Peoria, Illinois. Twenty-four hours and a few cases of red bull later, we pulled into the hotel. There were teams from other schools already there, working and testing their vehicles. Over the course of the next four days, we shuttled back and forth between the hotel and the competition, held at the Caterpillar testing facility. After a lot of long lines and a few quick fixes, we passed technical inspection and began the dynamic events. The design presentation and the sales presentation (provided by the marketing students) were scheduled throughout the first two days. We placed 45th overall, and had a great performance in the rock crawl with a 5th place finish. 

The 24 hour ride home left plenty of time to celebrate our success and talk about what worked and what didn’t. We have plenty of tips for next year’s team. The general consensus between team members was that this project was a lot of work. Many late nights, hectic moments, and other classwork made this project a huge challenge, not to mention working with a large team. But everyone agreed that after going to competition, we would not trade this experience for anything.


Manufacturing Dreams


Yannis Korkolis is passionate about manufacturing. “It is one of the main pillars of security and prosperity in the history of most, if not all, developed nations” he says. Korkolis joined the department in August 2009, after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Fittingly, his research helps develop novel manufacturing processes. But in contrast to the time consuming and costly trial-and-error development, he works with his students to create a scientific understanding of what works and why, when transforming a raw material to a finished product.

But what is to research in manufacturing? Here is an example: for decades, car bodies were made out of mild steel. But in the last 15-20 years, the automotive industry, driven by regulations on fuel consumption, pollutant emissions but also crashworthiness, has created and introduced many advanced, strong, lightweight materials, such as dual-phase steels, transformation-induced plasticity steels and aluminum and magnesium alloys. The problem is that none of them is as formable as mild steel, so in order to make a car body out of these materials, new manufacturing processes that suit then have to be developed.

Take the recent example of continuous bending-under-tension, or CBT, which Korkolis is investigating along with Profs. Kinsey and Knezevic under a National Science Foundation research award and with Ford, Alcoa and US Steel as the industrial partners. “We have built a custom CBT testing machine in Kingsbury, and we have been able to stretch an automotive aluminum alloy that typically fails at about 20-25% strain to more than 50%. That’s doubling the strain before failure”, says Korkolis. “And frankly, I don’t know if anyone in industry or academia clearly understands what causes that improvement (hence the research grant to figure it out). But beyond just satisfying our curiosity, if we understand this effect and come up with a manufacturing process that takes advantage of it, that would be a big step in making car bodies from aluminum and other lightweight materials, as we’ll be able to stretch and form them like mild steel.”

Korkolis uses both experiments and analysis in his work. The experiments often require his team to create unique testing machines, such as the one for the CBT research above. Another example is a testing machine that Korkolis and his students are building for testing very small, stainless steel tubes for biomedical applications. The microtubes will be loaded under axial force and internal pressure. “We are trying to understand how much we can stretch this material under different combinations of stresses before it fails, so we can decide what is the best way to manufacture a biomedical component”, says Korkolis. “When this machine is up and running, it will be a unique research tool, perhaps the only one of its kind for these microtubes around the world.”

How about teaching and student involvement? “I happen to always be building a machine of some kind or the other, so I appreciate everything that we learn from books when it comes to design, but also everything else that we can’t learn from them”, says Korkolis. “When I was teaching Machine Design, I would have the students design a mechanism using dynamics, strength of materials and all of these good things, and then print the components in the ME 3D printer, assemble the mechanism and power it up with a motor to see if it works as planned. The inevitable mix of surprise, frustration, brainstorming, solution and satisfaction that the students would go through during the implementation & testing phase was very gratifying to see. Realizing that sometimes they couldn’t even assemble properly the mechanism they themselves had designed, much less someone else in a factory, was as useful as understanding the stresses in beam bending. It is a unique experience, this transition from the paper (or the screen) to the real component, the real assembly, the real world, and it is very instructive to have someone go through it at the same time as they are learning the equations and all these other great things. At the end of the day, our main mission is to educate good engineers, whether in the classroom, or the teaching lab, or the machine shop, or a research project”, says Korkolis. “Ideally, in all of these together!”


Life has no boundaries for Paige Balcolm

Paige BalcomPaige Balcom is a sophomore in the UNH ME program. Born and raised in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Paige is heavily involved on and off campus.

Paige is a Project Lead for Engineers Without Borders (EWB) student organization. EWB’s mission is to encourage, support, and implement environmentally and economically sustainable technical projects in local and international communities, while developing globally responsible and knowledgeable students. Since 2010, the UNH chapter has been working in a rural community of Lukodi located in Northern Uganda. In January, Paige and four other students traveled to Lukodi to complete a potable water project and start a new project. They tested 10 wells (half of which were contaminated), disinfected the water, built fences to keep animals from infecting the wells, and trained the community in pump maintenance. For the new project, the team gathered data and gained government approval to construct teachers’ quarters and latrines at a primary school where teachers are unable to make it to school everyday because their commute is too far and expensive. Building housing at the school will allow the teachers to teach everyday and improve the children’s education.

Paige is also a student leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship—a student organization striving to build an open, close-knit community and transform students’ lives through the power of Jesus Christ. InterVarsity hosts weekly meetings for students to discuss the Bible, pray together, and worship God. Since Paige has a passion for foreign cultures, she started an outreach ministry to international students. Through a weekly Bible study, students can ask open questions, build friendships, and discover God’s truth which many have never heard before.

Paige Balcom Pump Work

  Last semester, Paige obtained a part-time internship at HydroComp, Inc. Conveniently located in  downtown Durham, HydroComp is a naval architecture firm internationally renowned for its modeling  software. At her internship, Paige learned Visual Basic to code new features for the HydroComp  programs.

 In high school, Paige was a founding member of The Inventioneers, LLC. Their team of six teen  entrepreneurs invented and patented the SMARTwheel—an anti-distracted driving device. They  performed a pilot study at MIT and presented to the US Secretary of Transportation. In February 2013  they were featured on the national television show, Shark Tank.

 Paige’s career goal is to work as an engineer helping people in developing countries. The UNH courses  she has taken so far have piqued her interest in mechanics and CAD. Paige’s story is an example of the  great opportunities UNH offers its students to prepare them for the workforce.



Senior Project: QuadSat C

Quadsat USE.JPG

   Top row: Sean Patry, Brendan Martin, Drew Stock, Jesse Mailhot

   Bottom row: Tim Patterson, Nick Frederico, Brad Poegel, Mike Boyd


The Buzz About Kevin Jerram

After graduating from the UNH B.S. Mechanical Engineering program in 2007, Kevin combined his interests in engineering and the marine environment for positions with Shoals Marine Laboratory and Ocean Classroom Foundation.  It was during a voyage on SSV Westward that Kevin decided to return to graduate school for research in underwater acoustics, an area that had piqued his curiosity while taking Ocean Engineering classes as an undergraduate.

Kevin returned to UNH to start the M.S. Ocean Engineering (Ocean Mapping option) program in early 2011 and has since been working with Dr. Thomas Weber to improve acoustic techniques for detecting, locating, and characterizing midwater plumes of bubbles from natural marine gas seeps.  There is widespread interest in these capabilities because marine gas seeps often support diverse biological communities on the seafloor and occasionally provide direct pathways to the atmosphere for greenhouse gases, such as methane.  The distribution of seeps over the planet’s seafloor and the behaviors of those seeps are not completely understood, especially with regard to the temporal variability of gas flow.  Many seeps have been observed turning ‘on’ and ‘off’ or appearing to change their vent locations on the seafloor. 

In 2011 and 2012, Kevin and Dr. Weber took part in two research cruises in the northern Gulf of Mexico aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect acoustic data for seeps using an echosounder system traditionally employed for fishery research.  The echosounder enabled estimates of gas flow based on calibrated measurements of the acoustic scattering strengths of bubbles, a metric typically applied to the gas-filled swim bladders of fish for species identification and density calculation.

Figure 1 (below) shows three plumes as they appear in the echosounder data over the course of hundreds of pings.  The top panel depicts acoustic scattering strengths throughout the water column, in which the seafloor appears as a horizontal meandering red line at approximately 1500 m range; there are also horizontal bands of biological scatterers at 1100-1500 m and 200-500 m.  Target angles in the alongship (fore-aft) and athwartship (port-starboard) directions are shown in the middle and bottom panels, respectively.  The angle data are used in conjunction with two-way travel time, sound speed profiles, and ship position and attitude to determine plume positions, their sources on the seafloor, and the minimum observable depths reached by the bubbles.  The calibrated scattering strength data inform estimates of gas flow, a major goal of remote sensing for gas seeps.

During his graduate program, Kevin has thoroughly enjoyed opportunities for field research in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans.  After graduation this May, he intends to remain connected with Dr. Weber’s ongoing seep mapping efforts at UNH CCOM/JHC and already has plans to join a research cruise for similar work along the Siberian continental shelf this fall.

Below are a few images of Kevin in the field.  These are in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in 2011.  Kevin is helping to do an at-sea field calibration of a sonar system.

      Kevin-Pic-1.gif           Kevin-Pic-2.gif         Kevin-Pic-3.gif

        Figure 1:       Kevin-Jerram-graphic-fig.gif