Jeffrey R. Mountain

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Dr. Jeffrey R. Mountain is a Professor and Program Chair Mechanical Engineering Program at College of Science and Engineering in the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Mountain's primary areas of expertise have been Mechatronics, Industrial Robotics, Applications of Fuzzy Logic and Laser Fabrication Applications and has published papers related to powder coating and particle technology. He has been heavily involved in the scholarship of engineering education, attracting and retaining engineering students and the pedagogy of design engineering.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Electrostatic Effects on First Pass Transfer Efficiency in the Application of Powder Coatings
    (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2001) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    Two important results desired in most powder-coating applications are: (1) a high first-pass transfer efficiency (FPTE); and (2) uniformity of the powder layer covering the surface to be coated. Both of these desired outcomes are influenced by the properties of powder and spraying process parameters involved in the electrostatic coating process. Many industries are unable to switch from solvent-based coatings to powder coatings because of the long color-change time required in industrial powder coating processes. An FPTE greater than 90% may eliminate the need for recycling of the overspray in some applications, thereby permitting fast color changes. To obtain a high FPTE and good appearance of a thin film, all relevant coating parameters must be optimized. In many powder-coating applications, particularly in aircraft coating, it is necessary to reduce film thickness to reduce the weight of the paint layer. However, the film must not have any surface defects and must have strong resistance against corrosion, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations. Since surface defects can be caused by the presence of back corona during the electrostatic spraying process, it is often desirable to spray powder at high FPTE with minimal free ion current. To minimize ion current, it is possible to operate the corona gun at a lower voltage, such as -60 kV in place of -100 kV, with only minor reduction of FPTE but a threefold reduction of Q/M of the deposited powder. However, since most of the polymer powder acquires a bipolar charge distribution during the fluidization and transport processes, low-voltage corona discharge operations did not produce unipolar charge distribution during the spraying process. A bipolar charge distribution of the powder appears to produce dendritic clusters in the powder layer, resulting in a nonuniform film surface, as measured by an optical diffusive reflectance analyzer. The best film appearance was achieved with powder applied at -100 kV and cured slowly. It therefore appears that each application process must be optimized by both experimental studies and theoretical modeling to achieve the highest possible FPTE with minimal surface defects
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    Development Of A Breadboard System For Process Control Design: Part I
    (Proceedings of IMECE 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, 2002) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    This paper presents initial planning for the development of a process control breadboard system. The proposed system will be composed of mechatronic, thermal/fluid, and control elements that using simple hand tools can be easily reconfigured by undergraduate students. An approach for integrating the breadboard system throughout the curriculum, enhancing the design education experience beginning with freshmen and continuing through the senior capstone experience, is proposed. This system is expected to significantly enhance the ability of students to work with a thermal/fluid-based process control system, and to provide the opportunity for design/build/test realization for a variety of completely functional systems. A sampling of configurations will be presented to demonstrate how this proposed system might be used to address an open-ended design problem with external constraints. A comparison with existing educational trainer systems commonly found at academic institutions will be presented, along with preparations for a proof-of-concept adaptation to occur during the fall semester of 2002. Support for K-12 outreach activities and EC2000 professional component program criteria will also be discussed.
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    Rapid Prototyping of Printed-Circuit Boards with an Engraving Laser
    (Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, 2006) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    Lack of a good system for rapid prototyping of printed circuit boards has been a major bottleneck in Senior Design at the University of Texas at Tyler. A simple method using artwork printed on toner-transfer paper and transferred through heat and pressure to copper-clad circuit-board stock had been successfully applied to simple designs but showed itself to be unsuited to the complexity of printed circuit boards developed for senior design projects. This unsuitability was due to two factors; low density (due to inability to accurately control line widths) and highly- variable results. Alternative methods have their drawbacks. Tooling charges for commercially-produced circuit boards are expensive if only a small number of examples are to be built. Inexpensive prototype printed-circuit boards can be obtained from specialty circuit board vendors, but these vendors usually require the use of their proprietary software. Small high-speed milling machines that can cut circuit traces are available, but it is difficult to justify the expense of a dedicated circuit board mill for annual production of a few circuit boards. An alternative being investigated by the University of Texas at Tyler is the use of a CO2 engraving laser as the principal patterning element in a system for rapid prototyping of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The engraving laser was acquired principally for research into microfluidic devices, but it appeared that it might be an effective way of patterning masks for chemical etching of copper-clad circuit board material. Efforts have so far focused on ablating a thin film of a resist material, leaving copper cladding exposed to chemical etching in the areas where the resist was ablated. Marking, scoring, and drilling with the laser have also been attempted. This paper describes the methods and accomplishments to date as well as directions for future work.
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    Design and Fabrication of a Microfluidic Pressure Inverter,” Andrew K. Palican
    (ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 2008-08-03) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    Fluidic inverters, or venturi effect vacuum pumps, are commonly used in industrial components that provide a point of use vacuum from an existing compressed air infrastructure. Typical applications include grippers for handling thin sheet, fragile, or polished surface materials. Compressed air usage, representing energy consumption, is significant for these devices. Consequently, a potential customer base has been identified with a need for enhanced energy efficiency. Microfluidic devices represent an approach to address this need. This paper describes the design, fabrication and test process used develop a more energy efficient pressure inverter at the microfluidic scale.
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    Fuzzy Logic Motor Speed Control with Real-Time Interface using an 8-bit Embedded Processor
    (Proceedings of the IEEE 42nd Southeastern Symposium on System Theory, 2010) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    Fuzzy specific hardware systems, or the adaptation of standard embedded controllers, are the common approaches for real-time fuzzy logic implementation. High speed applications may require the more sophisticated hardware, but most embedded control applications do not have the high speed processing requirements that necessitate the cost prohibitive enhanced hardware. A review of embedded control fuzzy logic applications indicates a preference for 16-bit architectures; devoting significant processing resources for fuzzification, rule application, and defuzzification. While faithful to the foundations of fuzzy logic control, processor demand can limit a controller's ability to handle peripheral I/O interfaces. This paper describes a generic, hybrid approach suitable for unenhanced 8-bit microcontrollers and adaptable to most single input, single output systems. A motor speed application with real-time I/O interface provides proof of concept performance data and highlights limitations.
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    Initiating Development of a Concept Inventory For Engineering Design
    (ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 2013-08-04) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    It has been stated that the topic of design is not conducive to assessment by concept inventory. While design problems are more ambiguous than problems in analytical subjects, such as physics, statics, or thermodynamics; the broader design education community of scholars might agree on a set of concepts that are essential to the fundamental understanding of design. Following a review of textbooks, industry interviews, and other literary sources, this paper will propose a set of commonly accepted overarching concepts that might form a nucleus of an engineering design concept inventory. This is intended primarily to initiate a dialog among the design engineering education community about the future development of a design concept inventory and it’s applicability in assessing the design content knowledge of undergraduate engineering students prior to entering the profession as graduate engineers.
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    Creating an Economical Solar Decathlon House
    (Proceedings of the Zone 1 Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, 2014-04-03) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored the Solar Decathlon competition in which collegiate teams design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are intended to be cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The Solar Decathlon is intended to educate students and the public about the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficient, solar powered homes. Unfortunately, due to the scoring rubrics for the competition, the affordability aspect of the competition is often given only superficial consideration. In the 2013 the Norwich University ΔT90 house officially won first place for the Affordability Contest of the 2013 Solar Decathlon, with an estimated cost of $168,385 for a 988 square foot house ($170 per square foot), while scoring 100% for the energy balance portion of the competition. The ΔT90 house maximizes comfort, efficiency, and spaciousness through two bedrooms, an office space, and an open living space for lounging, cooking, and gathering—offering a model for affordable and sustainable living. This paper will present design and construction details of Norwich University ΔT90 house which allowed it meet the project design objectives.
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    Capstone Project Selection and Evaluation Processes: More Fair for the Students and Easier for the ABET Evaluator
    (Proceedings of the Northeast Regional Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, 2015-04-30) Mountain, Jeffrey R.
    While the specific focus of an ABET on site evaluation of student outcomes may vary year to year, design outcome assessment (ABET c) tends to always be under scrutiny. Searching or evidence of addressing realistic constraints, as well as meeting any discipline specific program requirements, can be a time-consuming process for the evaluator, particularly if the capstone sequence spans two or more semesters. Capstone courses are frequently used for final assessments of many additional student outcomes, requiring a significant amount of time may also be spent identifying the evidence used in those outcome assessments. Following adoption of a philosophy that making the evaluation task easier for the program evaluator will lead to a better evaluation, a documentation process used to select and evaluate capstone senior design projects has been developed and employed. The documentation uses a project request for proposal form which includes identification of the realistic constraints that should apply to the design. Detailed rubrics used for the evaluation of oral and written reports include criteria that can be directly mapped to the assessment of other, non-design student outcomes. At this institution, the grading process involves faculty evaluations of both the written and oral reports by faculty members that were not the project advisors; further strengthening the assessment while simultaneously mitigating differences in expectations among different project advisors. While the direct effect on the ABET evaluation cannot be directly determined, the existence of the documentation was proven useful in focusing an ABET evaluator’s attention to the assessment and evaluation evidence necessary to conduct the program evaluation in a timely manner. Specific aspects of the relevant documents, the design project evaluation process, and an ABET evaluation scenario will be presented.