Simon Park

Professor

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

PhD

University of British Columbia

MSc

University of Toronto

MSc

University of Toronto

Contact information

Phone

Office: 403.220.6959

Web presence

MEDAL

Location

Mechanical Engineering Building: MEB525

Courses

Manufacturing Processes

Vibrations

Machine Analysis

Entrepreneurship for Engineers


Preferred method of communication

Email


Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Sensors
  • Monitoring
  • Machining
  • Nanocomposites
  • Pipelines
  • Oil and gas
  • Directional drilling
  • Remediations
  • Material science

Research activities

Nano-micro-meso mechanical machining

The miniaturization of components, to accommodate the demand for shrinking component size with high accuracy, is becoming increasingly important for various modern industries such as aerospace, biomedical, electronics, environmental, communications, and automotive. With the recent widespread use of nano and micro-electro-mechanical systems (NMEMs), the implications of the technology are far reaching in the enhancement of our quality of life and in economic growth. The common methods of manufacturing miniature components have been based on semiconductor processing techniques, where silicon materials are photo-etched through chemical processes. However, the majority of these methods are limited to a few silicon-based materials and to essentially planar geometries. Furthermore, the demands to interface nano- and micro-scale components by means of packaging and handling to the macro world have become increasingly important. To overcome the limitations imposed by the existing micro-meso fabrication technologies, we propose to utilize the subtractive ultra-precision nano, micro-machining setup to fabricate nano-micro-mesoscale components that have complex three-dimensional sculpted shapes and are made from a variety of metallic alloys, composites, polymers, and ceramic materials at a fraction of the cost of other micro-fabrication methods. We utilize the ultra-precision machining centre and the atomic force microscope (AFM) to fabricate machine desired shapes.

Specific tasks

Prediction of micro and nano cutting forces
Monitoring of micro-machining processes through sensor fusion
Tribology
Vibration and laser-assisted machining
Adaptive control 
Robust chatter stability
Machining of novel materials
Dynamics testing of micro systems
Substructure coupling of substructures
Micro mold fabrications
5-axis micro machining
Nano patterns to reduce frictions
AFM-based machining
Composite machining

Nanocomposites; sensors and monitoring; printed electronics

Highly accurate, miniaturized components comprised of a variety of materials play key roles in the future development of a broad spectrum of products such as wearable devices, lab-on-chips, chemical and biological particle screens, subminiature actuators and sensors and more. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, the development of wearable, cost-effective and reliable miniature devices is vital to improving quality of life and enhancing economic growth. The broad commercialization of nanocomposite products has been limited due to an inability to manufacture accurate 3D components in an economically efficient manner. It has been further limited by a lack of effective packaging and interfaces between nano, micro and macro domains.

The goal is to overcome the limitations posed by existing fabrication technologies. We will accomplish this by deposition of metallic nanopowder alloys to manufacture multifunctional nanocomposites. These processes do not require the expensive setups of photolithographic methods, nor are they as environmentally unfriendly as the electrochemical machining process. The nanocomposite manufacturing process can be achieved through the depositing of conductive, insulating, sensing, and actuation materials onto polymeric substrates. This approach allows for the rapid fabrication of micro- and nano-scale components using a variety of materials at a fraction of the cost of conventional methods. 

Specific tasks

Sensors for mechanical, chemical and environment
Actuator developments
Industry 4.0/ IoT/cyber-physical systems 
Artificial intelligence 
Mechatronics
Smart systems
Printed electronics
Wearable devices

Pipeline engineering

Leak detections – computational pipeline monitoring using AI
Non-destructive tests – ultrasonic, magnetic flux leakage (MFL), non-contact
Composite coatings
24/7 sensing and monitoring
Drag reductions
Integrity analysis
In-line inspection tools
Stress/strain monitoring

Micro engineering applications

Alternative Energy Applications
The ever-growing global energy demand, depletion of oil reserves and escalation of pollution in urban areas have increased demand for feasible low-cost renewable energy resources.

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs)

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) offer the advantages of increased absorption of visible light, high-efficiency potential, lower energy usage, low-cost manufacturing processes, colourable designs, and light-weight material options. DSSC cells are capable of operating in low-light environments and are suitable for indoor uses. We are in process of utilizing innovative designs and manufacturing processes to improve the efficiency and model the DSSCs. We utilize a potentiostat/electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to analyze the system.

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs)

Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is becoming increasingly popular especially for small electronic devices which draw power from a methanol-oxygen reaction. Unlike PEMFCs which use hydrogen, DMFCs work with liquid methanol and thereby eliminates the onboard hydrogen storage problem as well as be able to operate at moderate temperature compared to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). In addition compared to conventional batteries, methanol has a higher energy density than even the best lithium-ion batteries.  We are currently optimizing different bipolar geometries and modelling the entire DMFC system.

Micro pumps

One of the fundamental components of fuel cells or fluidic devices is micro-pumps. A micro-pump provides fuel cells with a precisely controlled flow of fluid or gas. Micro-pumps can also be used for other applications such as bioscience research and medical devices such as lab-on-chip (LOC), drug delivery, and other point-of-care (POC) applications.  The cost-effective, disposable, and bio-friendly characteristics of the polymeric micropumps are also ideally suited for these applications. We have been developing micropumps and manufacturing small volume prototypes.

Nanocomposite applications

Electromagnetic interference shielding - through the use of CNT-based nanocomposites
 


Biography

Dr. Park is a professor at the Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary. He is a professional engineer in Alberta, and is an associate member of CIRP (Int. Academy of Production Engineers) from Canada. Dr. Park received bachelor's and master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, Canada. He then continued his PhD at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  He has worked in several companies including IBM manufacturing where he was a procurement engineer for printed circuit boards and Mass Prototyping Inc. dealing with 3D printing systems. In 2004, Dr. Park has formed the Micro Engineering, Dynamics and Automation Laboratory (MEDAL) to investigate the synergistic integration of both subtractive and additive processes that uniquely provide productivity, flexibility and accuracy to the processing of complex components. His research interests include micro machining, nano engineering, CNT nanocomposites and alternative energy applications. He held a strategic chair position in AITF Sensing and monitoring. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Manufacturing Processes, SME (Elsevier) and International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing-Green Technology (Springer). 


Publications

View my Google Scholar profile


Awards

2017 Schulich School of Engineering Achievement Award

2016 ASME Outstanding Advisor Award, Houston, Texas

2015 Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) Engineer of the Year Award

2015 Great Supervisor Nominee from Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary

2014 AITF iCORE Strategic chair in Sensing and Monitoring (2014‐2017)

2013 Schulich School of Engineering Departmental Research Excellence Award

2013 Schulich School of Engineering Departmental Professor of the Year Award

2010 CIRP Associate Member from Canada

2008 Schulich School of Engineering Departmental Teaching Excellence Award

2005 Young Innovator’s Award (University of Calgary)