In a lab on the third floor at SyracuseCoE headquarters, a group of Syracuse University graduate students works on a prototype for a heat exchanger that transfers heat with a low-pressure draw. Later that afternoon, another team will work on a structural analysis of a low-vibration cryo frigeration system in an attempt to find ways to reduce the vibration level even further.
They’re working in the Analysis and Design Center, a NYSERDA funded resource created to assist firms in Central New York’s thermal and environmental control cluster accelerate development of innovative products. Under the super vision of faculty members from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, these students are helping solve real-world problems for AM-TEC companies such as Cryomech, a world leader in cryorefrigeration and helium recovery systems.
“As a small company, we have limited manpower,” says Chao Wang, Ph.D., director of research and development at Cryomech. “Collaborating with the resources at Syracuse University and SyracuseCoE gives us research and development capabilities we just don’t have on our own.”
That’s where the Analysis and Design Center comes in. The center provides AM-TEC companies with assistance from a team of specially trained students from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, who work under the super vision of faculty members. The students per form analysis and design using software for computational fluid dynamics or finite-element analysis.
In addition to helping AM-TEC manufacturers develop new products, the Analysis and Design Center also benefits the students who are engaged. “By getting to work on problems not ‘well-posed’ in classroom homework or an exam, students have to make their own assumptions to solve the problem,” says Thong Dang, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Syracuse University.
One of those students is Pratik Manandhar, a master’s student in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Syracuse University, who has worked on projects for Ekostinger and Kohilo Wind. “Working in the Analysis and Design Center has provided me with an excellent opportunity to work hands-on in a professional environment and gain practical experience in implementing classroom knowledge to solve real-life problems,” he says. “In addition, attending meetings and interacting with company professionals has also helped me learn how to communicate effectively and will help me make a smooth transition from academia to industry.”