Gas Bearing Technology for Oil-Free Microturbomachinery: Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program at Texas A&M University Conference Paper uri icon


  • The education of undergraduate mechanical engineering students (UGME) in state of the art technology development for microturbomachinery (MTM) is of importance to ensure the availability of qualified labor satisfying MTM manufacturer and end used needs, as well as to encourage the students towards pursing advanced degrees in science and engineering. National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a three-year summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program (#0552885) to conduct hands-on training and research in mechanical, manufacturing, industrial, or materials engineering topics related to technological advances in microturbomachinery. The paper details the progress in research achieved by four UG students during 10 weeks in the summer of 2008. The students, assisted by seasoned graduate students and expert faculty, conducted work in aspects of gas bearing technology from manufacturing bearing components, to conducting rotordynamic performance tests, and to predicting rotordynamics performance. During the program, the students attended to a number of technical seminars including vocational and counseling presentations and preparation for admission to graduate school. The paper showcases the students' technical posters produced upon completion of their 10 week research program: (1) Precision Tooling for Manufacturing an Underspring of a Generation II Foil Bearing, (2) Measurements of Imbalance Response of a Rotor Supported on Gas Foil Bearings, (3) Predictions of Nonlinear Rotordynamics of Rotor-Foil Bearing Systems, and (4) Measurements of Rotor Lift-Off and Break Up Torque in a Metal Mesh Foil Bearing. NASA GRC and Honeywell Turbocharging Technologies also provided support that enabled the success of the NSF REU program. URL provides full descriptions on the program, topics of study, faculty involved and participating students. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • San Andrés, L., Kim, T. H., Ryu, K., Chirathadam, T. A., Hagen, K., Martinez, A., ... Johnson, M.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • January 2009