Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category

2014 Engineering Job Fair Oct. 16

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

More than 80 companies will be represented at the University of Maine’s annual Engineering Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at the New Balance Student Recreation Center.

Co-sponsored by the UMaine College of Engineering and Career Center, the event is an opportunity for students to learn about some of the engineering firms in Maine, New England and throughout the country; meet company representatives; and possibly find a job after graduation or on-the-job experience through a co-op or internship.

Students are advised to bring resumes, prepare 30-second introductory pitches and research the companies they plan to speak with before attending.

More information, including a list of the companies scheduled to attend, is on the Career Center website.

The event is underwritten by General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works, with additional support from several industry sponsors.

Think Big, Go Small, Mass Produce

Monday, September 29th, 2014

University of Maine researchers have been awarded $700,000 to develop eco-friendly particleboard panels with adhesive made of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), as well as design a commercial-scale plant to manufacture the CNF.

With one $350,000 grant, UMaine scientists Mehdi Tajvidi, William Gramlich, Doug Bousfield, Doug Gardner and Mike Bilodeau, as well as John Hunt from the USDA Forest Service (USFS), are tasked with making strong, stiff and fully recyclable particleboard panels that can be used in countertops, door cores and furniture.

UMaine researchers taking part in the project have areas of expertise ranging from forest products to chemistry to chemical and biological engineering.

The adhesive in the particleboard will be made from CNF, rather than what has commonly been used — urea-formaldehyde. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen.

Cellulose nanomaterials are natural structural building units from wood; they’re 1/100,000th the width of a human hair and can be used in high-value products with superior properties, including exceptional strength.

“High-volume applications of cellulose nanomaterials, such as what we will be doing in this research, are a key step toward commercialization of these wonderful all-natural nanomaterials,” says Tajvidi, assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials in the School of Forest Resources.

“Replacing formaldehyde-based resins with a biomaterial has always been desired and we are happy this is happening at UMaine.”

University scientists say utilizing CNF in particleboard has considerable market promise, and optimizing both techniques and methodology are key to successful mass production and commercialization.

To optimize techniques and methodology, UMaine has been awarded another $350,000 to construct a commercial-scale CNF manufacturing plant with a capacity of 2 tons per day.

“This first commercial cellulose nanofibril manufacturing plant is the next phase in demonstrating the scalability of the technology,” says Bilodeau, director of the UMaine Process Development Center.

“It will accelerate commercialization of CNF by making large quantities of CNF available to support the growth in application development activities.”

Paperlogic, a Southworth Company, is a collaborator on the plant project. The CNF plant is slated to be built at Paperlogic’s mill in Turners Falls, Massachusetts; it is expected to be commissioned in late 2015.

Both projects are funded through P3Nano — a public-private partnership founded by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the USFS.

The goals of the project are to commercialize cellulosic nanomaterials, create jobs and improve forest health.

Experts in business, government and academia chose to fund the UMaine proposals and seven others from 65 submissions.

Carlton Owen, chair of the P3Nano Steering Committee and president of the endowment, said in addition to creating high-value products, the research could result in jobs and improve the health of forests.

Federal matching funds are provided by the Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry and Research and Development branches and work is coordinated with the USFS Forest Products Laboratory.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Project>Login Event Oct. 16

Monday, September 29th, 2014

University of Maine students interested in computing and IT internships and jobs next summer are invited to a Project>Login networking reception, 4–6 p.m. Oct. 16, Bangor Room, Memorial Union. The reception is an opportunity for students in computer science and computer engineering to talk with IT professionals and recruiters from Maine companies. It is sponsored by Project>Login, a program of Educate Maine, a business-led advocacy organization whose mission is to champion college and career readiness and increased education attainment.

Project>Login’s vision is that Maine will have a sufficient and sustainable network of well-prepared professionals to fill high-demand computing technology careers in IT-enabled organizations.

Five networking receptions for college students were held last winter at University of Maine System campuses. This third round of receptions kicks off the 2015 paid internship recruiting season. More information about the receptions is online.

Students planning to attend the Oct. 16 event can register online to upload their resumes. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, email professor Harlan Onsrud at harlan.onsrud@maine.edu.

UMaine to Have Strong Presence at MTI TechWalk, Press Herald Reports

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Portland Press Herald advanced the Maine Technology Institute’s second annual TechWalk to be held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Oct. 2. More than 90 Maine high-tech firms and organizations will showcase their innovations at the event, and the University of Maine will have a strong presence, the article states. The exhibition, which is free to the public, is expected to draw about 800 attendees, according to the article. UMaine will have several representatives in attendance including those from its centers for aquaculture research, advanced manufacturing, and advanced structures and composites.

Ward Quoted in BDN Report on Offshore Wind Power Vote in Bristol

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Jake Ward, vice president for innovation and economic development at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about Bristol residents voting whether to allow UMaine’s proposed offshore wind power project to connect to the grid in town, should the project reach construction. The project would consist of two floating wind turbines in a test site about three miles south of Monhegan and 12 miles southeast of Bristol, according to the article. Ward said the project’s design and engineering phase will be completed using a federal grant, and the project will then remain on standby for more funding.

The Guardian Interviews Peterson About Track Conditions to Lower Injury Rates

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was interviewed by The Guardian for an article about the U.S. horse racing industry looking at track conditions to lower horse injury and fatality rates. Peterson spoke about his research on the correlation between racetrack surfaces and racehorse injuries and his work introducing science and uniformity into racetrack maintenance to help reduce the variability of a  racing surface. “The consistency of the racetrack changes from day to day as well as around the track,” Peterson said. “You can hear all sorts of controversy surrounding the biomechanics of horses, about different types of surfaces, about horses adapting to different surfaces, but I’ve never found anyone who could argue that horses aren’t looking for a consistent or even surface.”

UMaine Mentioned in Sen. King Op-Ed Published in Sanford News

Friday, September 19th, 2014

University of Maine programs were mentioned in an opinion piece by Sen. Angus King that was posted on Fosters.com, a service of Sanford News. In the column, titled “Education must be dynamic to keep pace with changing world,” King wrote about partnerships between UMaine and state high schools, including the Bridge Year Program and the College of Engineering’s agreement with Thornton Academy in Saco. “These partnerships and programs all recognize the same truth: If Maine is to grow and succeed in an increasingly complex world, the way we deliver education to our students must be as dynamic as the world into which we’re sending them,” King wrote.

Free Press Advances Goupee’s Searsport Talk on Offshore Wind Power

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Free Press reported University of Maine Assistant Libra Professor of Mechanical Engineering Andrew Goupee will discuss “Floating Offshore Wind: Becoming a Reality?” at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery in Searsport on Sept. 25. Goupee is an engineer at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

WABI Reports on New Wind and Wave Facility

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the new wind and wave laboratory being built at the University of Maine. Earlier this summer, UMaine broke ground for an $8 million facility that will house W² — the world’s first wind and wave lab to feature a rotating open-jet wind tunnel above a 100-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-deep wave basin. Waves and wind can be created from different directions converging at a point and creating a storm. The W² facility is an expansion of the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “We’ve surveyed over 50 companies across the U.S. that are in different sectors — in the oil and gas sector, in the ocean energy sector, as well as in the boat-building sector. And they all are excited about a facility like this, where they can come and test their devices,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. “If you’ve seen the movie ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,’ essentially we’ll be shrinking ships here, we’ll be shrinking offshore wind devices, tidal devices and testing them here under these extreme storms.” The Maine Edge also carried a report about the facility.

Environmentalist, Author McKibben to Speak at UMaine Oct. 7

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Environmentalist Bill McKibben will speak about “Making a Life on a Tough New Planet” at the University of Maine’s Collins Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

The lecture, which runs from 3:30–5 p.m., is hosted by the UMaine Honors College as part of its Honors Read program in which entering students read and discuss an important recent book as part of the curriculum. The Honors Read for 2014–2015 is McKibben’s book, “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.”

Described by The Boston Globe as “probably America’s most important environmentalist,” McKibben is the author of 15 books and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Outside and The New York Review of Books. His 1989 “The End of Nature” is often regarded as the first book on climate change written for a general audience. McKibben is founder of 350.org — a worldwide, grassroots climate change movement — and he currently serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, McKibben received the Gandhi Peace Award and the Thomas Merton Award for his ardent environmental activism.

Honors students who chose “Eaarth” as this year’s Honors Read were persuaded by McKibben’s argument that the “reality of global climate change is not up for discussion.”

The event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series; School of Policy and International Affairs; School of Marine Sciences; Maine Business School; College of Education and Human Development; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; UMaine Humanities Initiative; Department of Chemistry; School of Earth and Climate Sciences; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; and Department of History.