Momentum - February 2020 - 14

BRIEFS
TEXAS A&M RESEARCHES
SUPERCAPACITOR ELECTRODES

UC SAN DIEGO STUDIES SELF-DRIVING-TRUCK FUEL
CONSUMPTION

A research team from
the Texas A&M University
College of Engineering
is approaching the
mass problem of
electric vehicles from
Photo credit: Texas A&M Engineering
a unique angle. Most
of the research aimed
Sample of new electrode developed
at Texas A&M.
at lowering mass has
focused on increasing
the energy density of the battery or supercapacitor.
However, a team led by Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus, professor
in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical
Engineering, believes that lighter electric vehicles and
aircraft can be achieved by storing energy within the
structural body panels. This approach requires the
development of batteries and supercapacitors with
the same mechanical properties as the structural body
panels-a particular challenge regarding the typically
brittle electrodes. The research team has a process of
creating new electrodes that have drastically improved
mechanical properties via the use of dopamine
functionalized graphene and Kevlar nanofibers.

Enhancing safety
and helping combat
driver shortages are
two benefits that heavyduty autonomoustruck proponents
have preached during
development. You can
now add significant fuel Photo credit: TuSimple
savings to the list. Results The study found that at highway speeds, the
of a new study from the difference in fuel consumption between autonomous
University of California
and manual modes is negligible, with greater fuel
savings realized at lower-speed driving conditions
San Diego's Jacobs
that are more complex.
School of Engineering
and TuSimple show that
the San Diego-based company's autonomous technology reduces fuel
consumption of heavy-duty trucks by at least 10%. Researchers fitted
TuSimple Level-4 autonomous trucks with "black box technology"
to extract driving data over a six-month period that included 122
autonomous missions totaling nearly 6,700 miles. Fuel consumption was
analyzed across different ranges of speed: 0-30 mph, 30-40 mph, 4050 mph, 50-60 mph, and 60+ mph. TuSimple reports that at highway
speeds, the difference in fuel consumption between autonomous and
manual modes is negligible. Greater fuel savings come at lower-speed
driving conditions that are more complex and benefit more from the
autonomous control system.

SPACE MISSION DESIGN
CMU SOFTWARE MAKES SCIENCE MORE REPLICABLE

Photo credit: Lara Streiff

Scientists and engineers from satellite startup Astranis answer
questions from Stanford students in the introductory seminar, How
to Design a Space Mission, about the challenges of space flight.
Stanford University students in the introductory seminar,
How to Design a Space Mission: From Concept to
Execution, have the opportunity to do more than just
learn about space missions-they design their own and
present the plans to NASA scientists. To get into the
class, each student listed this course as their top choice
for a freshman introductory seminar and expressed an
interest in either aeronautics, physics, or engineering as
a career path. Being mostly first-year students, none has
officially declared a major. Simone D'Amico, assistant
professor of aeronautics and astronautics who teaches the
course, has two reasons for targeting frosh: recruitment
to his department and his space research lab, and more
poetically, to change students' lives by teaching them how
to think through the mindset of a systems engineer.

14 February 2020

Everyone agrees on the need for specialized equipment in research
to get replicable results. Shouldn't the same mindset apply to every
aspect of the scientific process? Why is it, then, that when writing
scientific reports, most researchers still use the same program that
came with their first computer? "Most people write their papers in
Word, which is not a good scientific publishing environment," said
John Kitchin, professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon
University. "For example, Word has no way to log your data as you go
or record exactly how it was analyzed. It isn't practical to see where
the data in a figure came from. So when researchers are making their
supporting information file - which contains much of the data and
analysis that explains just how the study was done - they're forced
to reconstruct what they think they did from memory." Kitchin didn't
just ask the right questions. He came up with an answer. He calls it
SCIMAX, a software specifically designed for the purpose of writing
scientific reports. SCIMAX is an open-source, fully integrated program
that combines the function of Word - namely, the narrative portion of
the report - with everything else that one might need when writing a
research paper. The data, the code, the bibliography - there's a place
in the program for everything, already perfectly formatted and ready
for input. And this is key, because doing these things in other programs
often leads to serious problems.

MOMENTUM



Momentum - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2020

Momentum - February 2020
Contents
Getting schooled on benefits
BENEFITS U
STUDENT GENERATION
One-on-One – Grant Prins
Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
BRIEFS
Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Proving ground heroes
Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Beyond the textbook
SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Momentum - February 2020
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2020 - Contents
Momentum - February 2020 - Getting schooled on benefits
Momentum - February 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - February 2020 - STUDENT GENERATION
Momentum - February 2020 - 5
Momentum - February 2020 - 6
Momentum - February 2020 - One-on-One – Grant Prins
Momentum - February 2020 - Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Momentum - February 2020 - 9
Momentum - February 2020 - Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
Momentum - February 2020 - 11
Momentum - February 2020 - 12
Momentum - February 2020 - 13
Momentum - February 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - February 2020 - Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Momentum - February 2020 - Proving ground heroes
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Momentum - February 2020 - Beyond the textbook
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Momentum - February 2020 - Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Momentum - February 2020 - 23
Momentum - February 2020 - Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover4
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