|November 22, 2005|
Union students present at national engineering conference
Tim Roth '06 and Amy Butterfield '05 presented posters at the 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 9. The conference is the largest event focused on mechanical engineering technology and innovation.
SHEDDING LIGHT: Tim Roth '06 is pictured with his poster at the ASME conference.
Roth's presentation, Light Transmission Characteristics of Thermochromic Liquid Crystals, was co-authored by Ann Anderson, professor of mechanical engineering.
Butterfield's Design and Performance Evaluation of Advanced Window Systems was co-authored by Richard Wilk, professor of mechanical engineering.
Both papers are published in the conference proceedings.
Roth's project involves the development of a novel temperature sensor that detects the amount of light transmitted through thermochromic liquid crystals as a technique for measuring temperature. Thermochromic liquid crystals are materials that change color with temperature.
"Tim has been working on this project for over a year, and he presented a poster at the conference on the first phase of the work, which was to test the feasibility of the idea," Anderson said. She, Roth and Smitesh Bakrania '03 recently filed a provisional patent on their Light Transmission Based Liquid Crystal Temperature Sensor.
Butterfield's senior project in mechanical engineering last year focused on the design and evaluation of the performance of advanced window systems.
"A significant amount of energy is consumed for the purpose of heating and cooling buildings, and windows are the key building component through which energy is gained and lost," said Wilk. "Amy designed, built and tested prototypes of advanced concepts, including an air curtain window system and an aerogel window system. The ASME paper focused on the aerogel aspect of the project."
One window unit incorporated aerogels made by Anderson's students in the College's NSF-funded Aerogel Fabrication Laboratory. Aerogels make promising window materials because they can be made almost completely transparent to light but extremely resistant to heat flow.
"At Union, we have the capability of making and characterizing our own aerogels and designing them for different applications," Wilk said. "The ultimate goal is to one day have extremely efficient building envelopes, approaching the so-called "zero energy building."
Butterfield is currently pursuing a master's degree in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. She and Roth were part of a select group of students whose attendance at the meeting was funded by the heat transfer division of ASME.
The 125-year-old ASME is a 120,000-member professional organization focused on technical, educational and research issues of the engineering and technology community. It sets internationally recognized industrial and manufacturing codes and standards that enhance public safety. The conference presents cutting-edge engineering research.