Author: Evan Lemley

Dr. Tierney Harvey Takes Over as First-Year Engineering Coordinator

Dr. Tierney Harvey first joined the department as a Temporary Lecturer in Fall 2015. In Fall 2018, she was hired into a Continuing Lecturer position and tasked with developing and implementing the department’s First-Year Engineering Program. Dr. Harvey earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University and a B.S. with High Distinction in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.

As Coordinator of the First-Year Engineering Program, Dr. Harvey carries several critical responsibilities. The first includes managing the Introduction to Engineering Lab and, over the past spring and summer, she has been redesigning the lab to better meet our goals for students entering into engineering programs at UCO. In addition, Dr. Harvey coordinates the department’s recruitment and outreach efforts. In this role, she works with the department’s Engineering Student Ambassador program, which was implemented last year. The Engineering Student Ambassadors take part in outreach activities at area schools and community colleges, as well as conduct tours of department facilities for prospective students and their parents.

Broncho Powered Vehicle Team Competes in Lansing, Michigan

In Fall of 2018, a group of senior engineering design students began working on a project to design and build UCO’s first-ever entry into the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC). Many underdeveloped or inaccessible communities around the world rely on human powered transportation in their everyday lives. With this in mind, ASME developed the HPVC to task engineering students from across the country and around the world with designing and building efficient, well-engineered vehicles that can provide sustainable and practical transportation.

Taking the lead in the project (rebranded as the Broncho Powered Vehicle) were Jesse Green, Zackary Buck, Brant Davis, and Kale Harper supported by faculty member Dr. Tierney Harvey (see article above). Over half a dozen freshmen, sophomore, and junior students also supported them in various phases of the project. The team spent Fall 2018 in the design phase of their project, which included analyses of the vehicle’s strength, materials, and safety requirements. With financial support from Nortek Air Solutions and several smaller donors, the team began construction of the vehicle in January 2019. Construction was completed in March, and the competition took place at Michigan State University in April. The UCO’s Broncho Powered Vehicle placed 18th overall out of around 50 schools from across the country, which was an exceptionally strong finish for a group of first-time racers.

Dr. Harvey has already begun assembling a team for the 2020 competition and has established a crowd funding site to help support the project this year:


Simulation of Flow in Porous Media

Note, energy production is not the only application of this project. One application that could be simulated in a similar fashion would be modeling of sequestration of greenhouse gases such as CO2 in the rock formations of interest in energy production.  


In this project we aim to improve understanding of flow characteristics in a variety of media types under a range of flow conditions that are observed in production environments. The results will be of use in predicting the production value of reservoirs. 

Effects of Non-symmetric Flow Rates on Fluid Mixing in a Micromixer

We are studying the effects of a mixing two anti-parallel fluid streams with different flow rates to determine the flow rate ratios at particular flow speeds that will improve mixing in micromixers.. There are many applications of micromixers in chemical detection and in biomedical detectors and other devices. The false color plot above uses blue to represent one unmixed fluid and red to represent the other. Other colors indicate various degrees of mixing. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant ACI-#1429702.

Understanding Turbulence in Active Microscale Mixers

We are studying the effects of a variable electric field to drive mixing in a micromixer and the possible generation of turbulence in the process. Iso-surfaces of velocity are shown here, where blue indicates a low speed and red a high speed. We are also examining entropy generation rates due to advection and diffusion to understand the interplay of irreversibility increase due to entropy generation and improved mixing. This work is supported by National Science Foundation grant ACI-#1429702.