Lab Space

I have research space in two laboratories at the University of Alberta.

Room 4-28, Mechanical Engineering Building

Our research group has dedicated laboratory space with 3 m ceilings and high floor loading capability as a work & testing area for machinery diagnostics projects, embedded systems development, and robotics and UAV projects for remote asset monitoring and industrial environmental monitoring.

Equipment includes a four-bar linkage driven by a VFD-controlled 1-hp AC motor through a Spectraquest gearbox. The system is currently being used for controlled what testing studies with controlled normal forces of a stylus on coupons. This apparatus can be used as a shovel emulator that imparts external forces on a nonlinear mechanical device for system identification studies with disturbances. The system can also be configured with a brake, and alternative transmissions such as belt drives. A fixed machine bed acts as a table for a Unholtz-Dickie Model 20 shaker table for structural and machinery vibration studies.

Robotic systems include a modified hydraulic-drive Quadrover mobile robot, a heavily modified Clearwater Husky mobile robot with payloads for soil characterization, including an active trundle wheel with a 6 degree-of-freedom force-torque sensor. Other payload include remotely operated soil samplers that can be deployed several metres into soil. A DJI s1000+ octocopter is used for remote condition monitoring, with payloads such as MEMS vibration sensors, 3 FLIR infrared cameras, an A-scan ultrasonic thickness transducer, and sampling tools. Several smaller quadcopters are also available. There is a two-degree-of-freedom gantry system to emulate indoor motions.

A number of wireless embedded sensor systems allow biaxial strain measurement at >150 Hz (very useful for wireless shaft torque measurement), resolvers, differential GPS location (there are other IMUs as well), thermistors, etc. Data acquisition instrumentation includes two 16 channel Bruel & Kjaer vibration monitoring systems, twelve triaxial B&K accelerometers, Labjack computer 4 interface with Toughbook computer. The vibration monitoring system is packaged in a Pelican case and is completely portable as well as fairly weatherproof. There is also a modal analysis hammer.

There are four workstations for embedded systems prototyping, a 3D printer, and an electronics table for sensor fabrication and data acquisition system testing.

Additional equipment available in MEC E 1-38:
  • Horizontal End Mill for tire damage studies
  • Vibration Table (capable of 30 kN of force at 100 Hz on a 1 m x 1 m surface)
Room 2-14, Mechanical Engineering Building
A pipe-loop facility in Lab 2-14 is being used for wear studies that relate slurry process conditions to damage accumulation using physics-based models for metallic and composite material pipe samples. A one degree-of-freedom mechanism emulating a shovel digging in a loose medium has been developed and commissioned in MECE 4-28. This rig can be used to model the effects of specific faults (such as looseness at joints and structural cracks) on condition indicators (vibration) during time-varying operation. This instrumented rig includes microcomputer interfaces for data acquisition and control.  This slurry loop, located in Mechanical Engineering (MECE) 2-14, comprises a 7.5 kW 3×2 centrifugal pump equipped with a variable frequency drive, a slurry tank, and a straight run test section of 50 mm inner diameter, with a total loop length of approximately 12 m. The loop has been equipped with a clear sight-glass section for flow visualization and particle tracking to estimate the momentum loss from impact against the pipe wall, as well as an instrumented spool to measure the shear and normal forces on a section of the pipe wall. There is also a hydrocyclone segment that was used for separation modelling, as the first step in modelling particle impingement on the walls of the unit for wear modelling, and then turbomachinery wear studies and evaluation of novel on-line inspection techniques. There are two centrifugal pumps, one for driving the system, and one for slurry pump fault detection and identification studies. Instrumentation includes a straight Coriolis mass flow meter, pressure transducers, thermocouples, and imaging system at the sight glass. Data acquisition is done with LabWindows running on a PC.
 Additional resources include a Metso 2-litre Denver cell for flotation cell damage modelling studies.

Department Resources


Professor, Mechanical Engineering