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Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Projects

These projects MAY be available for M.Eng. Students. The list is being updated. Contact the professor/supervisor for more details.

Cartilage Deformation and Joint Forces in the CMC Joint - SAMPLE ONLY, PROJECT COMPLETED

Supervisor: Mike Raindow
September 2014

The saddle-shaped thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint contributes to the wide range of motion in the human thumb. However, the articular geometry that makes this joint highly mobile may also predispose it to instability and osteoarthritis (OA). CMC OA affects 15% of adults older than 30 years and 66% of women older than 55 years, making the CMC joint the most frequent site of OA in the hand. The pain and inflammation that accompany thumb CMC OA render daily activities difficult and lead to substantial impairment in the upper extremity. Improved understanding of the function of the CMC joint should provide insight into the effect of mechanics on the pathogenesis of CMC OA and, ultimately, influence its diagnosis and treatment.

It has been theorized that OA pathogenesis is elicited by increased joint contact forces. Unfortunately, computation of joint contact forces in the CMC joint remains challenging. This is partly due to the small thickness of cartilage in the wrist (~0.5 mm) and insufficient data on wrist cartilage material properties during physiologic loading.

The purpose of this study is to image a cadaveric CMC joint while it is loaded in physiologic positions. Using micro-computed tomography (μCT) and a mechanical testing device we will examine cartilage deformation with micron level accuracy, compute joint contact forces, and establish methods to compute these parameters using clinical CT.

Shoulder Simulator Control - SAMPLE ONLY,  PROJECT COMPLETED

Supervisor: Mike Raindow
September 2014

The shoulder joint is capable of generating large moments throughout a wide range of motion. Its function is primarily facilitated by six muscular attachments. Stability of the shoulder is maintained by a delicate balance of the forces supplied by these muscles. If one muscle is damaged, the shoulder becomes unstable, which leads to loss of function and long-term degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis. To study shoulder function, scientists, physicians, and students in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Human Mobility Research Centre have developed a shoulder joint simulator that is capable of articulating the humerus with respect to the scapula via six actuators. The simulator currently functions under load control.

The purpose of this project is to move the simulator toward position control. To accomplish this, modifications must be made to the current configuration. An optotrak motion capture system currently tracks the six degree of freedom motion of the humerus with respect to the scapula using planar marker triads connected to each bone. This configuration does not allow important motions such as internal and external rotation to be tracked. Furthermore, anatomical reference frames must be established and tracked in real time and then fed back into the controller software. We are seeking a student to address these issues and position us to implement position control.

Saline Pump Noise Reduction

Supervisor: Tim Bryant and Damian Redfearn
September 2014

Essentially i want to reduce the static electricity caused by rollers from a pump onto plastic tubing. The material would have to be conductive and remain viscous for several hours. The issues causes noise on our electrograms and so would be easy to test and look fior a suitable product.

Fuel Cell Stack Stabilization Time

Supervisor: Jon Pharoah
Industry Sponsor:
Mercedes Benz
September 2014

Mercedes Benz Fuel Cells in Burnaby British Columbia operates a fully automated automotive fuel cell stack manufacturing facility. This facility is contained inside a clean room environment which is maintained at strictly controlled temperatures and humidity levels. Many of the stack components are sensitive to humidity as they absorb water, with corresponding dimensional changes, to equilibrate with their surroundings. Accordingly, the components must spend an adequate time in the clean room before manufacturing can begin. The goal of this project is to use characterization (electrochemical impedance and other) techniques to determine how long a given material must be stored before it can be used in the process.

The project will involve working both at the Fuel Cell Research Centre in Kingston, and onsite at Mercedes.

Crack Detection in Stamped and Welded Auto-parts using Vibration Measurements - SAMPLE ONLY, PROJECT COMPLETED

Supervisor: Chris Mechefske
Industry Sponsor: 
Van-Rob Stamping
September 2014

Van-Rob Stamping makes a wide range of stamped and welded parts for the automotive industry. In one of their processes cracks randomly appear in the part at deep draw and/or weld locations. These parts are not suitable for use and need to be discarded. The goal of this project is to investigate vibration measurements as a way to detect these faulty parts (replacing visual inspections). The project will involve the search for a suitable measurement and detection protocol as well as the design and testing of a prototype inspection cell that could be incorporated into the production process.

The project will involve a four month paid internship at Van-Rob’s Aurora production facility.

Development of Optical Testing Apparatus for Dynamic Characterization

Supervisor: Yong Jun Lai
Industry Sponsor: 
ENDETEC
September 2014

This project is to develop testing platform to characterize vibration of miniature mechanical components by using a position sensor (1D-PSD). A laser will be used to shine on the vibrating component, which reflects the laser to the PSD. Due to the vibration, the reflected laser will reach the PSD at different position, inducing different voltage signal. By analyzing the output signal from the PSD, the dynamic characteristics will be determined. The student will construct the apparatus and final tuning.

Miniature pumps for IOP Control and Drug Delivery

Supervisor: Yong Jun Lai
Industry Sponsor: 
Hotel Dieu Hospital
September 2013

Intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the most critical factors that affect our vision. High IOP due to malfunctioned eye drainage system often induce loss of vision. This project is to design and prototype a set of miniature pumps which can be used to deliver liquid (aqueous humor or medicine) in a ultra low volume for the purpose of medical treatment.

Miniature Device for IOP Monitoring

Supervisor: Yong Jun Lai
Industry Sponsor:
Hotel Dieu Hospital
September 2013

Intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the most critical factors that affect our vision. Monitoring IOP is a key step for patients with improper IOP. This project is to design and prototype a set of miniature mechanisms which can passively indicate the IOP for a patient.