Engineering Building E157
Conference Publications (Peer - Reviewed)
Conference Presentations / Publications (Not Peer Reviewed)
Textbook Problems Storyboarded / Authored
Thermal Science Laboratory
Wind Tunnel Laboratory
Dr. Gerhart, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, joined the faculty of Lawrence Technological University's Mechanical Engineering Department in 2002. His main area of interest is the Thermal-Fluid Sciences concentrating on experimental fluid mechanics & heat flow as well as power generation. Dr. Gerhart received his Master's degree from the University of Wyoming. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.
Prior to joining LTU, Dr. Gerhart spent four years at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico studying large-scale buoyant flow and boundary layer structure with innovative optical techniques. Prior to his time in New Mexico, he was funded for two years by the Department of Energy while developing a solids flow meter and an axial flow solids separator for circulating fluidized beds. He co-lead the design of a hydrogen mitigation system for a vacuum induction melt furnace. Dr. Gerhart spent a year at Black and Veatch in Kansas City working with power plant design & feasibility and coal load studies. He has multiple papers published by ASEE, ASME, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, among others, and has contributed and reviewed texts for national publishers.
Dr. Gerhart is the director of the Thermal Science Laboratory and Aerodynamics Laboratory, Coordinator of the Certificate of Energy and Environmental Management Program and Aeronautical Engineering Minor/Certificate, and Chair of the Leadership Curriculum Implementation Committee. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and serves on their Performance Test Codes Committee for Air-Cooled Condensers. He is the faculty advisor for the LTU student section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and for the Society of Automotive/Aeronautical Engineering Aero Design student competition team. He was also one of the advisors for the 2005 Detroit to Pittsburgh Canoe Expedition. Dr. Gerhart is a member of and actively involved with the American Society for Engineering Education. In addition, he chairs the Engineering Society of Detroit's Awards Committee for young engineers, high school students and college students. He also serves on ESD's Young Engineers Council and the Experts Bureau Committee.
In 2005, Dr. Gerhart was awarded Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year by the Engineering Society of Detroit. His 2005 paper, "K-12 Summer Engineering Outreach Programs - Curriculum Comparisons Between Ages, Minorities, and Genders" was awarded Best Paper - PIC V at the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference. He is the recipient of a 2004-05 and 2005-2006 Kern Faculty Incentive Grants for research with Turbine Technologies, Ltd, and recipient of portions of the 2006 KEEN grant and 2007 Chrysler Foundation grant.
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The University of New Mexico,
Dissertation: PIV/PLIF Experiments of a Boundary Layer in a Large-Scale Buoyant Turbulent Helium Plume
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, The University of Wyoming,
Thesis: Development of a Solid Particle Separator for CFBs
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The University of Evansville, Indiana,
Fluids, Heat Transfer, and Thermodynamics concentration
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Lawrence Technological University.
2002 to present
Chair, Leadership Curriculum Development and Implementation. Coordinator, Energy and Environmental Management Certificate and Aeronautical Engineering Minor/Certificate. Supervisor, Thermal Fluids Laboratory.
Engineering Consultant, Wirth Pumps.
2003 to 2004
Graduate Research Assistant, Sandia National Laboratories, The University of New Mexico.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, The University of New Mexico.
Graduate Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Wyoming.
1996 to 1998
Registered Engineering Intern (EIT), Indiana Board of Engineering Examiners,
Student Engineer, Black & Veatch, Kansas City, MO.
Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Committee Member, Performance Test Code 30.1, 2003-2012
Member, Engineering Society of Detroit
- Chair, Young Engineer and Student Award Selection Committee
- Member, Young Engineers Council
Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Lawrence Technological University Student Chapter Faculty Advisor
Member, American Society for Engineering Education
Member, Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society
Member, Pi Tau Sigma, Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
O’Hern, T.J., Weckman, E.J., Gerhart, A.L., Tieszen, S.R., Schefer, R.W., 2005, “Experimental Study of a Turbulent Buoyant Helium Plume,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 544, pp. 143-171.
Gerhart, A.L., 2004, “Adjunct and Temporary Faculty – Advantageous or Detrimental?”, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 21-22.
Wu, W., Gerhart, A.L., Chen, Z., Dellenback, P.A., Agarwal, P.K., 2001, “A Device for Measuring Solids Flowrate in a Circulating Fluidized Bed,” Powder Technology, Vol. 120, No. 3, pp. 151-158.
Tieszen, S.R., O’Hern, T.J., Weckman, E.J., Gerhart, A.L., Schefer, R.W., 2001, “Spatially and temporally resolved data for validation of turbulent buoyant models in FUEGO : velocity fields in methane fires and simultaneous velocity and concentration fields in helium plumes,” Sandia Report: SAND2001-2684A, presented at the Fourth Biennial Tri-Laboratory Conference, October 23-24, 2001, Albuquerque, NM.
Gerhart, A.L., Carpenter, D.D., Grunow, M.L., Hayes, K., 2010, “Development of a Leadership and Entrepreneurship Skills Assessment Instrument,” Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, KY, June 2010.
Gerhart, A.L. and Fletcher, R.W., 2011, “Project-Based Learning and Design Experiences in Introduction to Engineering Courses – Assessing an Incremental Introduction of Engineering Skills,” Proceedings of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition.
Gerhart, A.L. and Grunow, M.L., 2009, “Leadership Models and Practices Course – Student Perceptions and Development of Leadership Skills and Incorporation of a New Leadership Course,” Proceedings of the 2009 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX, June 2009.
Gerhart, A.L. and Gerhart, P.M, 2009, “Dad & Lad – Advantages, Best Practices, and Pitfalls to Avoid for a Parent and Son/Daughter Who Are Both Faculty Members in a Similar Discipline (With Applications to Mentoring),” Proceedings of the 2009 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX, June 2009.
Gerhart, A.L. and Carpenter, D.D., 2008, “Creative Problem Solving Course – Student Perceptions of Creativity and Comparisons of Creative Problem Solving Methodologies,” Proceedings of the 2008 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2008.
Gerhart, A.L., Gerhart, P.M., Fletcher, R.W., 2008, “Comparison of Differing Credit Hour Allotments for Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Courses,” Proceedings of the 2008 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2008.
Gerhart, A.L. and Gerhart, P.M., 2007, “Laboratory-Scale Steam Power Plant Study – Rankine Cycler™ Comprehensive Experimental Analysis,” Proceedings of the 2007 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, HI, June 2007.
Gerhart, P.M., Gerhart, A.L., and Cain, B., 2007, “Using ASME Performance Test Codes in the Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Curriculum,” Proceedings of the 2007 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, HI, June 2007.
Gerhart, A.L. and Gerhart, P.M., 2006, “Laboratory-Scale Steam Power Plant Study – Rankine Cycler™ Effectiveness as a Learning Tool and a Comprehensive Experimental Analysis,” Proceedings of the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, IL, June 2006.
Gerhart, A.L. and Carpenter, D.D., 2006, “Innovative Learning Experience – Detroit to Pittsburgh Canoe Expedition,” Proceedings of the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, IL, June 2006. Nominated for Best Paper.
Gerhart, A.L., 2005, “K-12 Summer Engineering Outreach Programs – Curriculum Comparisons Between Ages, Minorities, and Genders,” Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Portland, OR, June 2005. Awarded Best Paper (PIC V).
Gerhart, A.L. and Gerhart, P.M., 2005, “Laboratory-Scale Steam Power Plant Study – Rankine Cycler™ Effectiveness as a Learning Tool and its Component Losses,” Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Portland, OR, June 2005.
Carpenter, D.D., Gerhart, A.L., Anneberg, L., Rohrback, J., 2005, “Engineering Exploration Days – Recruiting High School Students into Engineering through Focused K-12 Outreach Efforts,” Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Portland, OR, June 2005.
Gerhart, A.L., 2004, “Shock and Awe – Methodology for Recruiting Students,” Proceedings of the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT, June 2004.
O’Hern, T.J., Tieszen, S.R., Weckman, E.J., Gerhart, A.L., Schefer, R.W., 2001. “Simultaneous Cinematographic PIV and Acetone PLIF for Spatially and Temporally Resolved Velocity and Concentration Fields in a Buoyant Helium Plume,” Sandia Report: SAND2001-3024C, presented at the 2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Nov. 2001, New York, New York.
DesJardin, P.E., Tieszen, S.R., O’Hern, T.J., Gerhart, A.L., 2000, “Numerical Predictions and Experimental Measurements of the Near-Field of a Large Turbulent Helium Plume,” presented at ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exposition, Symposium on Integrated Experimental and Simulation Investigations in Research and Design, November 2000, Orlando Florida.
O’Hern, T.J., Tieszen, S.R., Gerhart, A.L., Schefer, R., Weckman, E.J., Young, C. 1999. “Simultaneous Measurement of Velocity and Concentration Fields Using High-Speed Motion Picture Cameras in a Large-Scale Buoyant Helium Plume,” presented at the 3rd International PIV Conference, September 1999, Santa Barbara, California.
Gerhart, A.L., Gerhart, P.M., and others, 2010, “50 Years of Change in Engineering Education,” panel speaker, University of Evansville Presidential Inauguration Week, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Evansville, IN, September 30, 2010.
Gerhart, A.L., 2010, “Problem-based Learning in Intro to Engineering – An Assessment of Engineering Design Process and Entrepreneurial Mindset Skills,” KEEN Regional Conference, Lawrence Technological University, March 5, 2010.
Gerhart, A.L. and Carpenter, D.D., 2008, “Creative Problem Solving Course – Student Perceptions of Creativity and Comparisons of Creative Problem Solving Methodologies,” Lawrence Technological University Scholarship of Teaching, Assessment, and Learning Poster Session, Southfield, MI, April 2008. External Peer Review – Awarded 2nd Place.
Gerhart, A.L., 2008, 2005, “K-12 Summer Engineering Outreach Programs – Curriculum Comparisons Between Ages, Minorities, and Genders,” Lawrence Technological University Scholarship of Teaching, Assessment, and Learning Poster Session, Southfield, MI, April 2008. External Peer Review – Awarded 3rd Place.
Gerhart, A.L., 2006, “Things have changed…Things have stayed the same,” High Country, October 2006.
Feierfeil, G., Carpenter, D.D., Gerhart, A.L., 2005, “Engineering Entrepreneurship – Education and Teaching Innovation,” Proceedings of the 2005 Governor’s Conference on Career Education, Detroit, MI.
Gerhart, A.L., 2005, Michigan Technical Congress, Southfield, MI.
Gerhart, A.L. 2001. “Velocity and Concentration Measurements Using a High-Speed Motion Picture PIV/PLIF System in Large Scale Buoyant Helium Plumes,” presented in the Spring 2001 University of New Mexico Mechanical Engineering Technical Seminar Series, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Gerhart, A.L. 2000. “PIV Measurements of a Large-Scale Buoyant Helium Plume,” presented at the 2000 Sandia National Laboratories/Lockheed-Martin Technical Student Symposium, August 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Gerhart, A.L. 1999. “Optical Measurements of a Large-Scale Buoyant Helium Plume,” presented at the 1999 Sandia National Laboratories/Lockheed-Martin Technical Student Symposium, August 1999, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 4th Ed., Wiley Plus Interactive Tutorials, 2007, Young, D.F., Munson, B.R., Okiishi, T.H, and Huebsch, W.W., Wiley.
Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 7th Ed., Wiley Plus Interactive Tutorials, 2008, Fox, R.W., McDonald, A.T., Pritchard, P.J., Wiley.
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 6th Ed., Wiley Plus Interactive Tutorials, 2008-2009, Munson, Young, Okiishi, Huebsch, Wiley. - Reviewed
2010 Michigan Professor of the Year, U.S. Professors of the Year Program, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education
2010 Engineering Society of Detroit Council Leadership Award
2010 Henry and Barbara Horldt Excellence in Teaching Award
2005 Outstanding Young Engineer, Engineering Society of Detroit
2005 Best Paper, PIC V, ASEE National Conference
2005 UGS Solid Edge Design Award for birchbark canoe replica, Detroit to Pittsburgh Canoe Trip (inaugural award)
Rio Grande Corridor Educational Initiative Research Grant (Graduate student recipient)
Department of Energy EPSCoR/DOE Research Grant (Graduate student recipient)
Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society
Pi Tau Sigma, Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematics Honor Society
National Science Honor Society
Phi Eta Sigma, National Freshman Honor Society
In the Thermal Science Laboratory, students apply classroom theories of the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer to experiments relating to conduction, convection, radiation, major and minor/local losses in pipes, various flowmeter/velocity devices (rotameters, pitot-static tubes, hot-wire anemometers, orifice flowmeters, venturi meters, turbine flowmeters, and ultrasonic flowmeters), pressure measurement, steam power generation cycles, variable piping systems, and pumps (single, parallel, and series), falling ball viscometers, fluid control systems, and drag. Student experiments conducted in the laboratory are highly visual and practical.
In detail, the laboratory contains the following equipment:
- Variable speed flow bench with Venturi flowmeter, Pitot-static tube traverse, and Kiehl probe
- Flow bench with variable entrance configurations, Pitot-static tube traverse, orifice flowmeter, multiple pressure transducers, and A/D data acquisition system.
- Concentric tube heat exchanger with parallel or counter flow ability. Computer data acquisition system, recirculation pump, hot water tank, flowmeters, and thermocouples.
- Table-top scale Rankine cycle (Rankine Cycler from Turbine Technologies, Ltd.): boiler, axial flow turbine, condenser, electric generator, various diagnostic equipment (pressure and temperature), fuel source, and computer data acquisition system.
- Full-scale pipe and pump rig capable of parallel or series piping in various diameters and parallel, series, or single pumping configurations. Includes two ultrasonic flowmeters, turbine flowmeter, digital and analog pressure gauges, various valve types, strainers, and check valves.
- Transient cooling experimental bench fitted with three parallel stainless steel plates, plate heater and small furnace, compressed air, flow conditioner, pressure regulator, thermocouples, air dryer, and A/D data acquisition.
- One dimensional heat conduction test bench with constant head water tank, two hot plates, copper test rods, rotameter, fluid valves, and A/D data acquisition.
- Fluid feedback control system with PID controller and data acquisition.
- Falling sphere viscometers including variable sphere size/material and various fluid types.
- Portable hot wire anemometer
- Infrared thermometer with radiative emissivity measuring capability.
- Heiss pressure gauge (i.e., barometric pressure gauge)
- Various instrumentation and diagnostic equipment including valves, thermometers and thermocouples, pressure gauges, rotameters, LCD projectors, psychrometric instrumentation (e.g., wet bulb thermometers), manometers, and Pitot-static tubes.
- Demonstration equipment including, centrifugal pump impeller, turbine, turbocharger and cut-away, and scaled-down industrial wind tunnel model.
The centerpiece of the Wind Tunnel Laboratory is a 33 foot long wind tunnel featuring a 50 hp motor capable of producing air velocities between 1 and 90 m/s (2 to 200 mph) in a test section that is 18 inches long, 12 inches tall, and 12 inches wide. The laboratory specifically focuses on air flow (i.e., aerodynamics) experiments and is therefore a valuable resource for fluid mechanics, alternative energy (e.g., wind turbines and blades), and even studies pertaining to wind flow around building structures.
Various instrumentation supports experimentation in the wind tunnel, including a two-component dynamometer (lift and drag) with digital force display, a velocity meter, smoke generator with long wand, x-y traversing boundary layer and Pitot-static tube probes, a 10 port pressure transducer, A/D readout meter display with signal conditioners, and a calibration set.
Standardized test models are available for specific experiments. These include two standard airfoils types with adjustable angle of attack for measuring lift and drag, or alternately stall and wake measurements can be investigated. Two standard airfoils with multiple pressure taps are available to investigate boundary layer effects. For investigating boundary layers, drag, pressure distribution, and wake properties, a boundary layer plate, pressure cylinder, smooth sphere, roughened sphere, chamfered disk, cup, and hemisphere are available. Other models for aerodynamic study can be produced on Lawrence Tech’s 3-D printer.
The wind tunnel is fully capable to perform any typical undergraduate engineer laboratory experiments, but is also capable of more demanding tests performed by senior project students (e.g., SAE Aero Design team) or graduate students.
In detail, the Wind Tunnel Laboratory contains the following equipment:
- Engineering Laboratory Design Inc. 18” Test Section Wind Tunnel Model 404 with 50 hp Motor.
- Readout-Metering Assembly, with + 10 VDC, 3 ¾ inch digit LED output. Includes analog outputs and provides displayed output for the instrumentation.
- 10" WG Differential Pressure Transducer installed in meter, with 10 port selector valve.
- Two component dynamometer (lift: 8 lbsf (35.67N), drag: 5 lbsf (22.25N)). Includes appropriate signal conditioning cards.
- X-Y Traversing Mechanism with interchangeable boundary layer probe and Pitot-static tube. Arranged for standard ELD test section cover.
- Removable Ceiling Panel for Mounting X-Y Traversing Mechanism fitted with quick release fasteners and handle stiffeners.
ELD Test Models
- NACA 0012 and 4412 airfoils with sting for use with dynamometer. 4" (10.2cm) cord, -5° to +20° angle of attack adjustment.
- NACA 0012 and 4412 airfoils with pressure taps, -30° to +30° angle of attack adjustment. 4" (10.2cm) cord, 9 precision taps.
- Flat plate for boundary layer study. 12.0" (30.5cm) X 17.5" (44.45cm). Aluminum tooling plate with precision knife edge.
- Cylinder for pressure distribution study, 1.5" (3.81cm) diameter brass.
- Drag model set consisting of 1.5" (3.81cm) diameter bodies with sting: smooth sphere, roughened sphere, chamfered disk, cup, and hemisphere.
ELD Calibration Equipment
- U-tube manometer. 1 ½” diameter, 12” columns with English or SI marked scale and anti-parallax back panel.
- Stainless steel calibration weight set and calibration fixture.
- Linear calibration scale, inch or SI units.
- AeroLab Smoke Generator System with long wand.
- Dwyer Instruments Smart Air Velocity Transmitter, range 0-15,000 sfpm, with display.
- Dwyer Instruments Air Velocity Transmitter Windows software and connecting cable.
Introduction to Engineering
Creative Problem Solving
Introduction to Thermal Systems
Thermal Science Laboratory
Energy and Environmental Management
Integrated Mechanical Design