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Aztec Baja 2018 Competition Results

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Aztec Baja had an incredible run in all three of their competitions this past April and May, traveling to Maryland, Kansas and Oregon. While each city and competition brought new challenges , the team was able to finish each competition with high placements. Below are notable finishes from each of the 3 competitions:

7th place – Acceleration Event
8th place – Endurance Race

3rd place – Endurance Race
5th place – Overall Competition Finish
10th place – Design Presentation (SDSU best finish ever)

3rd place – Endurance Race
3rd place – Sales Event (SDSU best finish ever)
5th place – Acceleration Event
5th place – Rock Crawl Event
7th place – Hill Climb Event
10th place -Maneuverability Event
4th place – Overall Competition Finish (SDSU best finish ever)

Aztec Baja also came in 6th place out of 21 teams eligible for the Mike Schmidt Memorial Award. The Mike Schmidt Award is the combined overall points from each of the three competitions in the 2018 season. This award is better explained in this link: . According to Max Drew, Aztec Baja Team Manager, “Being in the running for this award alone is a compliment in itself. We built a brand new car this year on a predetermined schedule that we put together in the summer of 2017. We finished on time with two and a half weeks of testing, before leaving to our first competition in Maryland back in April. The car never came back to campus at all in between Maryland, Kansas, and Oregon. The fact that we had to have 3 sets of spares made for each competition on time, is remarkable.”

Aztec Baja also was voted the BEST Baja SAE team on the west coast, and also the second best Baja SAE team up to the midwest, finishing right behind the University of Akron! The top 8 teams with the overall points were:
Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T)
Cornell University
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Akron
Ecole De Technologie Superieure (E.T.S) – Canada
San Diego State University
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Case Western Reserve

This has been this club’s most successful season so far, and the team is looking to keep the ball rolling as they have already started the transition into the 2019 season. Their goals for the 2019 season are to create a private test track within San Diego County and work to acquire a Baja specific trailer for future competitions, as well as continue to move up in the standings.

The competition line up for 2019 will be at Tennessee Tech (April), Gorman-Southern California (May), and R.I.T (June). The team would like to welcome anyone from San Diego to come up and stop by for the BajaSoCal event next year in Gorman to see this competition first hand!

Congratulations to the whole Aztec Baja team and can’t wait to see what is in store for you in 2019!


ME graduate student Luca Carmignani wins Best Poster Award at UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering 2018 Research Expo

ME graduate student Luca Carmignani won the M. Lea Rudee Outstanding Poster Award and the Katie Osterday Best Poster Award for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the 2018 Research Expo held by UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. Luca is in the joint Ph.D. program between UC San Diego and San Diego State University.

Luca was one of 209 graduate students to present their work to a group of almost 90 judges at Research Expo 2018, an annual opportunity for alumni, industry partners and faculty to connect, collaborate and recruit graduate students.

Luca works under the direction of Professor Kalyanasundaram Seshadri at UC San Diego, and Professor Subrata Bhattacharjee at San Diego State University.

Below is Luca’s award-winning poster that he presented at the 2018 Research Expo


Read the full article here

Nikolas Marquez-Maya receives Provost’s Award: Engineering at 2018 Student Research Symposium


Nikolas Marquez-Maya (Bioengineering Undergraduate) received the Provost’s Award: Engineering at SRS, which took place from March 2-3, 2018 at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. Nikolas, along with lab mates Ricardo Montes and Saniya Salim, presented their research conducted through the Cardiovascular Bioengineering Laboratory, directed by Dr. Karen May-Newman. Below is the abstract from their research:

Previous clinical studies have identified cannula malposition as a significant risk for pump thrombosis. Thrombus development is a consequence of altered flow dynamics, which can produce areas of flow stasis or high shear that promote coagulation. The goal of this study was to measure the effect of LVAD inflow cannula angle on the left ventricle (LV) flow field using a mock circulatory loop, and identify flow-based indices that are sensitive measures of cannula malposition for potential clinical use. Experimental studies were performed using a mock loop with a customized silicone model of the dilated left ventricle and the EVAHEART® LVAS. The velocity field of the LV midplane was measured with particle image velocimetry for two levels of LVAD support. A transparent inflow cannula was evaluated in the standard orientation, parallel to the septum, and an angled orientation rotated 15° toward the septum under matched hemodynamic conditions. Vortex structures were analyzed from the vorticity of the measured velocity, and localized stasis calculated in a region of interest within the inflow cannula and combined with a map of normalized pulsatile velocity. The velocity fields revealed increased apical stasis and lower pulsatility with a small angulation of the inflow cannula. A large change in vortex dynamics with the angled cannula was observed, doubling the size of the CCW vortex while reducing the kinetic energy provided by LVAD support. A statistically significant decrease in average and systolic velocities within the LVAD inflow cannula were found with cannula angulation, suggesting an increased resistance that affects primarily systolic flow and thus is exacerbated with increased LVAD support. These results distinguish the flow field changes of cannula angle from those associated with LVAD pump thrombus, which identified a significant reduction in diastolic, not systolic, inflow cannula velocity. These common echocardiographic indices offer the opportunity for immediate clinical application during ramp study assessment. Optimized cannula positioning may be determined pre-operatively using imaging techniques and these analyses to develop patient-specific surgical recommendations such as inflow cannula insertion depth and angle.

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Graduate ME student, Vi Vu, wins Women in Engineering Award at the 2018 Student Research Symposium

Vi Vu, a Mechanical and Aerospace Graduate Student, received the Women in Engineering Award, sponsored by Satish Sharma. Below is the research that was presented at SRS.

This research is a collaborated work between Dr. May-Newman’s Cardiovascular Bioengineering Lab at SDSU and Dr. del Álamo’s research group at UCSD. Dr. May-Newman’s research lab dedicate to improving the lives of patients with heart disease through innovative approaches to medical device design and integration. The presented work is an experimental study using a mock circulatory loop and customized silicon left ventricle (LV) model, which focused on studying the effect of prosthesis mitral valve design and orientation on the flow inside patient’s LV. We used particle image velocimetry to measure the 2-dimensional velocity field inside the LV, characterized different flow properties, and assessed how the changes in flow patterns and properties may associate with higher thromboembolic risk. The findings indicated that the flow patterns varied considerably, and certain valve designs and orientation are more favorable than the others in decreasing thromboembolic risk. This work is in the process of publication.


Pictured above: The Cardiovascular Bioengineering Lab’s mock circulatory loop




Pictured above: 2-dimensional velocity field inside the LV

Dr. Youssef and graduate students receive Special Recognition Award at 30th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium

A team of two graduate students and a faculty member, named ‘Team FOAM’, was competitively selected through a proposal process as part of the 8th cohort in the California State University I-CORPS program to learn about advanced techniques and methods for customer discovery and pathways towards commercialization. The I-COPRS program is a National Science Foundation sponsored project to introduce scientists and engineering to evidence-based entrepreneurship.  Team FOAM consisted of Nathan Reed (MSME student), Scott Newacheck (Ph.D. student) and Dr. George Youssef (Assistant Professor), who worked collaboratively for over 10 weeks on interviewing end-users, domain experts, and professionals in the area of orthotics and foam manufacturers. The team presented their findings and experience during the 30th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium and won the Judges Special Recognition Award. The team continues to work on developing their foam technology while seeking industrial collaborators to transfer the technology.

Dr. Youssef receives $26,697 grant from Amorcast Products Company

Dr. Youssef received a $26,697 grant from Amorcast Products Company to conduct research on the characterization of creep behavior of E-glass/Epoxy composite panels.

In this project, we are trying to answer a fundamental question about the effect of creep on the mechanical performance of E-glass/Epoxy composite panels used in the construction industry. In previous efforts, we characterized the dynamic properties of these panels after field deployment. The sponsor estimates that outcomes of our experimental investigation will expand their market share.

Dr. Youssef receives $18,354 grant from NASA

Dr. Youssef received a $18,354 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to conduct research on rim driven impeller pumps for space application.

The objective of this proposal is to develop and investigate the technical feasibility of rim driven impeller pumps for space applications. Rim driven thrusters have been recently investigated for propulsion applications to simplify the powertrain/drivetrain systems by integrating the motor and propeller in one unit, which over unprecedented technological flexibility in placement and integration for vehicle mobility and agility. The outcomes of this project include a new architecture for multifunctional cooling/fluid transfer/navigation system.

Dr. Olevsky wins $358,735 award from the US Department of the Army MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium

Dr. Olevsky is the designated PI from SDSU to lead the 3-year program titled “Stable Manufacturing of Advanced Powder Components by Ultra-Rapid Pressure- and Assisted Sintering.” Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) aka Field Assisted Sintering (FAS) has recently emerged as a viable manufacturing technology, capable of reducing sintering times from hours to minutes for nearly all classes of materials. However, there have been challenges with achieving near-net- shaped parts, as well as developing new tooling materials to address challenges with graphite such as limited strength and inherent carbonization of samples. Microwave sintering has also shown promise for reducing sintering times and energy, but has always lacked a pressure component to aid in obtaining higher density and better uniformity. There is a need to investigate the integration of SPS/FAS with microwave sintering to push the boundaries of sintering science.

Dr. Youssef Appointed as a Summer Fellow to NSWC-Carderock in the 2018 ONR SRFP

Dr. Youssef has been appointed as a Summer Fellow to NSWC-Carderock in the 2018 ONR Summer Faculty Research Program. The Office of Naval Research sponsors the annual 10-week Summer Faculty Research Program to provide faculty members from US institutions to participate in research with their professional colleagues at U.S. Navy laboratories. Dr. Youssef was also appointed a Summer Fellow for ONR SRFP in 2016.