Faculty from the IUSB Dept. of Physics & Astronomy are partnering with MPI Engineered Technologies to study conditions that may cause seasonal corrosion issues with the steel “clutch-separation plates” fabricated at their Fineblanking plant in Knox, IN. The team will use Arduino-based data loggers, custom designed by Prof. Brian Davis, and fabricated by a growing team including students and local high school teachers, to collect high-frequency environmental measurements throughout the plant.
This collaboration was initiated when Spencer Wesler, a chemical engineer from MPI, accompanied his grandson for an observatory tour, led by Prof. Henry Scott, during an IUSB Admissions “open house” for prospective students. Scott described recent efforts with Profs. Ilan Levine and Davis to adapt their traditional research expertise to address novel problems with greater local relevance and community-outreach opportunity. Wesler took interest, described the problem he’s trying to solve, and a pilot study is underway less than a month later.