2011 MSEIP

This program was awesome.

MSEIP Technical Administrator, Jan 2011 – Aug 2011 – Manage 30 students and a team of 4 chaperons. Assisted in planning and execution of the 2010 MSEIP summer program; syllabus, logistics, communications etc. Responsible developing surveys and facilitating improvements in the program.  Assisted with the communication among the participants. Assisted in developing follow up publications, posters that was used at a presentation in Europe.


My major project that I envisioned, setup and managed was the student’s portal.

Graduate School Interest

I first became interested in material engineering and the critical role it played in product and tooling design while enrolled in the Product Development (PD) course (level 1 and 2) during my sophomore year. The presentation of the material captured my interest, as it not only focused on engineering principles and material science, but also delved into the less obvious topics such as economics, patenting, ethical considerations, and team collaborations. It highlighted a comprehensive set of skills that were needed to be a successful engineer whether in research, tool design, applications, or product development. However, the emphasis was stressed on the importance of researching and developing new materials that can be used to make products cheaper, better, stronger and faster while continuously trying to improve the manufacturing processes; all in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint on this planet.

In PD, I remember learning about the machine feed rate calculations. It is so critical, depending on the material of the product being formed, that one choose the correct hardened compound to use as the cutting material, even while calculating and optimizing the cutting speed and/or feed rate, for instant. Implications for accuracy, precision, processing time, and cost, all played a role in making those decisions by closely examining the tradeoffs. For example, you can max out on the cutting rate and increase the processing time for a unit being manufactured, but you may still increase the total processing time by increasing the down time to change the tool. An alternative conclusion I derived from this discussion was that simply choosing to use a very hardened or naturally hard, high strength material like titanium or diamond was not feasible in many operations, given the cost per unit implications. On the flip side, though most of these basic calculations for known materials are already done and usually tabulated, the idea that engineering experiences and research helped determine these parameters, fascinated me. It highlighted the direct and indirect impact engineering research and designs have on improving the human life through technology. This appealed to both my engineering and business inclinations.

Product Development also spiked my interest in subsequent courses such as Experimentation 1 and 2, Mechanical Design 1 and 2, Solid Mechanics, and Material Science, where I got further into the various mechanics, testing, reporting, and science of materials and integration into systems. While I enjoyed all these areas of study, I particular enjoyed the experimentation classes where I used ASTM standards and the scientific methods to test various materials under tensile, compressive and bending stresses, and observed and analyzed the data using statistical and core engineering calculations. Generally, I am interested in surface and material engineering as the areas’ researched have direct applications in product design and manufacturing. In graduate school, I hope to be introduced to core concepts included in engineering materials, manufacturing processes, failure analysis and research new or developing materials by methodologically using theoretical, experimental and computational analysis.

My post-graduate experience as a process engineer at STEMCO Ltd (a trucking wheel end engineering and manufacturing company located in Longview, Texas), was an ideal position that confirm my desire to specialize in surface and material engineering. I was responsible for two main projects for the time spent in that group; a process line development and closing dies tool redesign. The closing die was a complex tool given the multistep and minute closing distances between processes, accomplished in one circle of the press. This was primarily achieved by preloading Belleville Washers between the dies. Though I successfully completed that project by locating and rectifying the stated issues, the time it took to complete the project, indicated that I needed either more experience and/or to obtain advanced knowledge into metal forming and materials. Given the number of faculty in the engineering program that has similar research interest and background, reinforced to me that Howard University would be an excellent place to do my graduate work. After I complete my program, I would like to work in the manufacturing industry in applications or process engineering. Eventually, I would like to use my experience to publish papers of interest, in areas of engineering that may include specific discoveries or general best practices and principles.

Howard University is an ideal place for me to continue my research. It is generally equipped with the professional expertise, the technology, and resources in the areas I hope to explore. My interests are an excellent fit for working with Dr. Owolab or Dr. Mosleh, but I would also be interested in working with Dr. Warner or Dr. Whitworth if research opportunity exists. Having attended Howard University for my undergraduate I am very familiar with the program expectations, resources and research projects and interest of the professors. After speaking with the current and past graduate students, I am very confident and looking forward to this experience and eventually adding new knowledge to the engineering community through scholarly research.

Project: Ensuring parts are fully dried

Random parts exiting the conveyor belt at the end of the zinc line in the tumble room are damaged, misplaced and not fully and/or consistently dried. This may lead to rusting, defective parts, and wasted man hours and company resources (company losses).



  • Improve dryer system at the exit end of the zinc line to ensure parts are fully dry.
    • Consider conveyor and blow off at the exit of the zinc line.
    • Parts must be dry exiting system
    • Must consider part orientation and stacking
    • Design and implement an inspection/test check for desired dryness
  • Improve packing methods into baskets
    • Consider a system where the parts do not fall into the basket from the current height. Noted defects can be partly attributed to this abrasive process (Figure 3).
  • Design out any failure modes that exist within that section of the process
    • Prevent parts from getting stuck to the sides, or the conveyor belt
    • Prevent parts from falling off and outside the system of concern


Prototyping and Testing

Dummy Run

Final Prototyping


Engineering Vs. Science

Hey Guys,

I was actually rereading my Shigley’s book (Mechanical Design Book) for an internship. This came up and I found it interesting.

“Engineers use science to solve their problems if the science is available. But available or not, the problem must be solved, and whatever form the solution takes under these conditions is called engineering.”

(Budynas−Nisbett: Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design, Eighth Edition II. Failure Prevention 6. Fatigue Failure Resulting from Variable Loading © The McGraw−Hill pg267 Companies, 2008)

Unless engineering is a stepping stone to something else, and even despite of this, I believe it is most important that you spend hours understanding the basics and applying them as oppose to cramping theories and standard solutions for an exam. I urge the excellent teaching force we encounter and students to remember the true meaning of education and not get bug down with solely completing a syllabus or passing an exam. I am experiencing the “joy of engineering” by applying the tools I have gathered throughout my engineering studies and from a lifetime or breaking and “fixing” things.

To me, engineering education is only a means to pass on proven results and applicable mathematical and scientific patterns/formulas and to capture new knowledge acquired through research and job experience. However, the core idea of systematically experimenting and solving “real” engineering problems, should remain a critical emphasis in all learning or imparting of knowledge.

I hope this was a good read and feel free to share your comments.

HU Minority Science Engineering Improvement Program 2010

Howard University Hosts 30 Future Scientists, Engineers, Mathematicians

By Andre Nicholson
University News
Monday, August 09, 2010

At the end of the nearly four-week academically enriched program this summer, 30 high school students are much more knowledgeable in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) due to the annual Howard University Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (HU MSEIP).

The program, which is in its second year, is run by mechanical engineering Professor Emmanuel Glakpe, Ph.D., Howard University College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences.

During HU MSEIP, high school juniors from all across the country are engaged in research activities, field experiments, offered tours of research facilities, participated in symposiums and seminars that expand their knowledge of current technology in science, engineering and communication skills.

“Students were absolutely having fun and engaging in subject areas such as physics, engineering, chemistry and other life skill classes,” said Jason Alexis (B.S. ’10), a mechanical engineering graduate who served as the evaluator and research assistant for the program this summer. “They have done college level presentations, designed posters and worked with advanced simulation and modeling software, solving real life problems.”

Alexis interacted with the students, faculty and staff. He conducted short rapport sessions with the students and gave them input on their team projects, presentation skills and the college experience. He said it is extremely important for more minority students to consider careers in a STEM-related field.

Faculty members who participated in lecturing the students included Professors Grant Warner, Nicki Washington, John Harkless, Marcus Alfred and Evens Dure from Archbishop Carroll High School. Other program mentors and chaperones included Ashley Johnson, Nirvanna Deonauth, Iran Heavey, Quincy Stewart, Jason Alexis, Keron Bradshaw and Sheku Kamara.

“The number of minority students who are in STEM related fields do not represent the populous of the United States,” Alexis said. “I think more can be done. STEM jobs usually provide stability and a sense of satisfaction. Additionally, advancement in these STEM fields needs the full input of all constituents, so the final solutions will positively benefit all concerned.

“On the flip side, great entrepreneurship and scholarly opportunities are derived from these advancements that ensure the minority communities can gain resources and are enabled to develop sustainable business and scholarly success for the benefit of future generations within and outside those communities.”

Alexis is confident that the students are the future scientists, engineers and mathematicians, because many of them expressed their interest in attending Howard and studying areas within STEM after the program.

“Over the course of the program, I feel that I have truly grown as a person,” said Tia Watkins, of Maret School in Washington, D.C. “I have acquired new, useful skills such as molecular modeling, computer animation and science, and virtual design using computer programs like GAMBIT, FLUENT, NX and GaussView and ALICE.

“We worked with various professors with a range of knowledge from physics to chemistry to engineering; absorbing their professional feedback to better our own work. I sincerely believe that the culmination of everything I have learned at this program will make me far more prepared to pursue a future in science.”

Many of the students share Watkins’ sentiments, and as they went back to their hometowns across the country and prepared to settle back into their last year of high school, they did so much more knowledgeable and prepared to tackle the world ahead.

“When I returned to North Carolina, I believe I came back more mature, educated, and appreciative,” said Victoreah Brunson of Success Institute High School in Greensboro, N.C. “I say mature because living on my own for three and a half weeks really taught me to stop relying on my mom and take things into my own hands.”

“I say educated because I know much more about the STEM related subjects than I did before I came, and I say appreciative because of Mrs. (Emma) Johnson, program assistant, reminding us how blessed we are.”

“Lifetime friends have been made, great relationships have been started and successful STEM related careers are planted in us because of HU MSEIP. Howard University is now at the top of my college list. So, I hope to see you in a year.”

Summer 2010
By HU Mseip  |  View on Facebook

My Spring Break 2008 | Giving Back

Howard Students to Spend Spring Break Helping Orphans in Panama

WASHINGTON (March 8) — For many college students, spring break means ditching the books and heading south for sun and sand. But, the Howard University chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-HU) will skip the beach and trade their swimsuits for work boots and hard hats to help others in rural Panama.

Nearly twenty Howard students and their advisors will travel 2,000 miles to Coclé, Panama, 71 miles west of Panama City, where they will spend seven days (March 16-23) making a difference in the lives of the 28 girls who call the Hogar de Niñas de Penonomè orphanage home. The shelter houses children ages 7 to 18 years, many of whom have been removed from abusive and incestuous homes. The students will be traveling under the institutional umbrella of their partnering organization, Global Business Brigades.

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