By Brandon Dudley 
Online Editor  

Team Members: 

  • Michael Chastain – Design Team Lead 
  • Zechariah Anderson – Assistant DTL/Test Lead 
  • Brian Stull – Fabrication Lead 
  • Tim Taylor – Instrumentation Lead 
  • Phil Kyler – Instrumentation Assistant 
  • Ifa Abdul Latiff – Safety Lead 
  • Katie Powell – Liaison Engineering Lead 

The detail team, Project Strickland, guided by Dr. Murat Okcay and Dr. Michael Fabian sought to research, design, and test an air heater to be used in the ME 446 Thermal Fluids Lab. It was required to heat an air flow to 300 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient temperature. We had to use propane as a fuel source while maintaining the air flow as non-vitiated. Non-vitiated means that none of the byproducts of the propane flame combustion can come in contact with the air flow.  

The idea of the project was to provide a heated airflow to pass through a test chamber. Inside this test chamber, the students of the ME446L Lab Course could place a test specimen and practice taking different measurements within the flow. 

The biggest difficult for them was fabrication. Although they moved through smoothly, it is something not many students have experience with. They were lucky enough to have most of the team have experience, so it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been.  

Thus far, the detail design and fabrication of the prototype has been completed; currently testing to confirm the specifications they had initially designed for. Once that is completed, we can analyze the data taken from testing to find out if what we designed for was achieved. 

Team Lead Michael Chastain is most excited by the fact that Project Strickland started from scratch. The team began with a few different designs, analyzed them and discussed them. “We ended up on the idea of a cross-flow heat exchanger, but further than that, we were all on our own. I know both the team and myself are most excited to see something we built from the ground up complete our goals”. 

Furthermore, Chastain mentioned that when he “[Began] school here, I knew I wanted to be engineer. I had no idea which path to head down as far as mechanical, aerospace, etc. I am glad I went with mechanical (and I’m sure my team would concur) because we were given the opportunity to build something that hadn’t necessarily been done before. We learned more than we could have imagined throughout our time in Prelim and Detail. I am extremely proud of my team and how far we have all come.” 

Project Strickland wanted to thank the professors they’ve been in contact with all semester: Dr. Murat Okcay, Dr. Michael Fabian, Dr. Daniel Dannelley, Dr. Elliot Bryner, and Dr. Brenda Haven, all for helping them answer the most complex questions to helping them through times when they knew the answers to questions Strickland didn’t know they had. “I’d also like to thank the AXFAB technician team for the long hours put in to get our prototype fabricated and assembled. Lastly, we’d like to thank our sponsors Barrett Propane, Banker Insulation, and the College of Engineering here at ERAU” Chastain mentioned as a final note. 

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