Faculty Project Proposal Summary

Calendar Year 2014 Program



Faculty Name & Department/School:  Karl R. Haapala; School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Research Project Title:  Systemic Energy Analysis of the Electrically-Assisted Machining Process


Project Overview:  The objective of this project is to work with a graduate research team to conduct preliminary investigations into a novel metal machining process that uses the passage of electricity through the metal workpiece during machining, to heat and soften the metal and thereby machine it more easily than existing machining processes. This new process can significantly improve machining process performance, expand the ability to machine a variety of currently hard-to-machine materials, and enhance machined part functionality. For any new manufacturing process to be sustainably industrialized, such as the one in this project, it is key to understand the trade-off between energy/cost savings created by improved process and part performance and the energy/cost expenditure in the new process. In this project, we will quantify the effect of this new process on machining process performance and machine part functionality, and subsequently use this data to quantify energy/cost trade-offs.


What skills will students obtain in this project?

Student researchers will gain a multitude of skills in this project including, but not limited to: machining, machining process analysis, metrology, electrical systems, energy measurement and analysis, manufacturing cost analysis, as well as the use of a variety of computer software (e.g., MS Excel, MS Word, MS Powerpoint, and NI Labview). They will also gain experience working in an engineering research environment, working directly with graduate student mentors and faculty advisors.  


Student research tasks:


Number of hours per week expected of student: 10 hrs.




Download student application HERE

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