ENGINEERING RESEARCH CENTER – ERC
The Engineering Research Center (ERC) is part of AUA’s College of Science & Engineering. ERC projects are designed to meaningfully include students into its research, training, and project management activities. ERC’s areas of focus include:
- Information technology, cyber security, and artificial intelligence,
- Logistics, scheduling, optimization, and business process analysis,
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy,
- Computer aided design and manufacturing, and
- Civil and environmental engineering.
Ongoing and Recent Projects
CYBER SECURITY: Security of Samsung Corporation Video Devices Developed at ERC
An ERC team is about to complete security solutions for Samsung Corporation of South Korea. The Principle Investigator (PI), Dr. Gurgen Khachaturyan, is developing an algorithm to be used in many Samsung video devices to protect against hacker attempts to place viruses and other unauthorized information onto devices and remain undetected. The project is developing a fast and secure integrity checking solution. Dr. Khachaturyan’s research team includes Melsik Kuregian (senior researcher), Sergey Abrahamyan (research associate), Aram Jivanyan (research associate), Sergey Sargsyan (research associate, CIS ‘12), and Hovag Abramian (research associate, CIS ‘13).
In photo: From left Melsik Kuregian, Karen Ispiryan, Hovak Abrahamyan, Gurgen Khachatryan, Sergey Sargsyan, Aram Jivanyan, Sergey Abrahamyan, Knarik Kuregian, Gayane Hambardzumyan, Hovik Khasikyan.
In photo: From left Ara Yeressian, Sergey Sargsyan, Gurgen Hakobyan and Nanar Chahverdian. The students are all in their second year of the CIS Master’s program.
CRYPTOGRAPHY: Verium—CIS students develop product safety solution
Counterfeiting drugs, medical products, food, alcohol and the like is a global problem. A group of AUA CIS students are developing an authentication and verification system called Verium that uses cryptographic solutions to combat counterfeiting and identity theft. The system consists of a pair of public and secret key assigned to a product. A centralized system deployed in the computing cloud environment is used to authenticate products. The Verium system enables direct communication between consumers and manufacturers. Along with authentication of products, the system can also offer useful information about expiration dates, batch numbers, and so on. The team is currently piloting their system with a major food and beverage manufacturer in Armenia. For demonstration of the product, its features and applications contact Gurgen Hakobyan (CIS ’12) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: Faculty research in energy efficiency and solar systems supports two student thesis projects Dr. Artak Hambarian’s research in collaboration with ITC in hybrid solar collector-PV-gas heating system (see CSE Newsletter Winter 2012 for details) has led to a thesis project completed by Razmik Martirosyan (IESM ’12). Martirosyan’s thesis develops a mathematical model to optimize hybrid solar water heating systems. This optimization model yields interesting results: seasons have small impact on the storage size, the system overall requires small auxiliary gas heater, a small energy storage that substantially decreases the installation cost, etc.
Dr. Hambarian has also worked on designing small-sized air-to-air heat exchangers (small-sized AAHE) for use in Armenian homes. Such a product, currently unavailable in the market, can be used in retrofitting or construction of rooms. The small-sized AAHE will bring in fresh air without significant loss of indoor temperature. With this, households can significantly save in energy costs related to heating and cooling of their homes. Lusine Hovsepyan (IESM ’12) conducted her thesis research on consumer expectations and demand for such a product. She also calculated the financial returns to households.
PROCESS AND SYSTEMS ANALYSIS: Multilayered Work on Lognormal Scheduling Conducted by AUA Faculty and Students
Drs. Lilit Mazmanyan (AUA) and Dan Trietsch (AUA) are collaborating on lognormal scheduling models with AUA graduate students as well as researchers in the U.S. These models resolve problems that make conventional scheduling theory impractical for real-life projects or systems that are subject to randomness. Part of their work, done with Lilit Gevorgyan (IESM ’08) and Dr. Ken Baker (Professor, Dartmouth College), has been recently published in a paper called “Modeling activity times by the Parkinson distribution with a lognormal core: Theory and validation,” European Journal of Operational Research 216 (2012), pp. 386-396. In this field, Mazmanyan and Trietsch have also guided two AUA College of Science and Engineering Master’s theses by Aram Keryan (IESM ’11) and David Tarkhanyan (IESM ’11). The theses deal with minimizing the effects of expected delays. Currently Drs. Mazmanyan and Trietsch are focusing on applications of lognormal scheduling in transportation. They study how to select the best route and due date for the minimization of fundamental safe scheduling objectives. In addition, Drs. Trietsch and Baker’s paper, “PERT 21: Fitting PERT/CPM for use in the 21st Century,” has recently been accepted for publication in International Journal of Project Management. PERT 21 applies lognormal scheduling to projects, replacing the traditional PERT stochastic analysis engine.
Image: Cover of textbook published by Drs. Dan Trietsch and Ken Baker in 2009
In photo: From left Seda Baghdasaryan, Hasmik Vasilyan, Razmik Martirosyan and Dr. Artak Hambarian (PI). The students are all in their second year of the IESM Master’s program. ENERGY EFFICIENCY: College of Science & Engineering Developing Hybrid Space and Water Heater with ITC
The Engineering Research Center (ERC) has initiated a project entitled “Development of a Solar and Natural-Gas Driven Hybrid Water and Space Heating System.” The project is funded by Industrial Technologies Co. (ITC), an Armenia-based engineering and product-development company. ERC will develop an optimized design for the unit and provide product schematics and specifications. ITC will make use of AUA engineers’ R&D to prepare the fabrication drawings. The prototype is expected to be built jointly after completion of the design phase. Dr. Artak Hambarian, the project’s principal investigator (PI), explains, “These units are expected to reduce the dependency on natural-gas and tap into solar energy, a resource that is abundant in Armenia.” Three CSE students were competitively recruited to participate in this project.
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING: CAD/CAM Laboratory Installs New CNC Machine
The AUA College of Science & Engineering has received a HAAS CNC milling machine from H2 Economy, an Armenian company that has discontinued its operations. The machine, to be used for educational and research purposes, is housed at the College’s CAD/CAM Laboratory. It is capable of milling complex surfaces on a variety of hard materials such as steel. It is substantially more precise and has more capabilities than the milling machine being used at the Laboratory for the past 12 years. The CAD/CAM Laboratory Director, Sargis Zeytunyan, says “The new machine can achieve positioning accuracy to 5 microns.” For comparison the width of human hair is 70 to 100 microns. Zeytunyan explains, “Such precision can be used for medical parts and equipment, jewelry fabrication, and precise tooling production.” The HAAS CNC machine is equipped with a tool palette that has automatic tool-changing capabilities. The new machine has been installed and is expected to soon be utilized for coursework and research activities.
In photo: Sargis Zeytunyan with the HAAS CNC machine
In photo: Arthur Asadoorian and
IT & SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENT: CSE Alumni Developing Management Software for AUA
CSE alumni Arthur Asadoorian (CIS ’10) and Lina Hovhanessian (CIS ’10) are working with the AUA Registrar’s Office to develop the first University Management System (UMS) in Armenia. UMS is an integrated computer platform that automates university work flows, including recruitment, application processing, student grading, student transcripts, human-resource management, and so on. “The system creates databases and allows for multiple users from different locations in the university to input and generate reports simultaneously,” explains Mr. Asadoorian. Currently for a college dean to obtain information about a student or to receive a list of students enrolled in a course, s/he would have to ask one designated person at the Registrar’s office to generate the reports. Demand for such reports is great, placing great strain on the limited resources of the Registrar’s office. “UMS is the platform universities use to deal with large scale work flow and reduce human error,” explains AUA Registrar Rebecca Carter. Workload is expected to grow significantly as AUA introduces its undergraduate program in 2013. “This UMS is not a minute too early in helping us prepare for this growth,” says Ms. Carter. The software co-developer Ms. Lina Hovhanessian adds, “With this growth in mind, we’ve designed the platform to be scalable, robust, secure, and user-friendly.” Currently, the team is preparing to migrate the data from the old systems into the UMS, a process that is expected to take six months. The UMS has been two years in the making. The first year of the project included key contributions from two additional alumni, Saro Der Avanessian (CIS ’07) and Rafael Avetyan (CIS ’11).
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING: Advanced CAD/CAM Applications for Companies in Armenia
Ara Yeressian (CIS ’12) and Babken Chugaszyan (IESM ’12) collaborated with National Instruments (NI) engineers to create a 3D model of an engineering training stand. The stand is expected to be offered by NI’s Armenia office to educational institutions for teaching various types of mechanical transmission as well as to examine their dynamic, structural, and thermal characteristics. In addition, Flora Matsakyan (IESM ’12) and Arsen Balagyozyan (IESM ’12) designed a universal container for vegetable freight that is made of polystyrene. The student team also designed the molds to be used to manufacture the polystyrene freight containers. The design need originated from SPAYKA LLC, a freight-forwarding company that stores, packages, and transports agricultural products internationally.
COMPUTER & INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Faculty and Alumni Present Papers on Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering
CSE Assistant Professor Suren Khachatryan, in cooperation with CSE alumni, presented two papers at the 8th International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technologies. The Conference was held in Yerevan, Armenia in late September 2011. The first paper, “Interacting Particles Model of Go Game” written by Dr. Khachatryan, Sargis Sargsyan (CIS ’09), and Arthur Hayrapetyan (CIS ’09), is related to the field of artificial intelligence. It considers the game of Go as an example of a computationally intensive game and models the pieces as electrically charged particles. It then investigates the interaction between these particles, suggesting reasonable moves. The second paper, called “Interacting Particles Method of Recognition of Software Module Clusters” written by Dr. Khachatryan, Sahar Mojtahedi (CIS ’10), and Aram Petrosyan (CIS ’09), is related to the field of software engineering and addresses the problem of the decomposition of software systems into clusters of similar modules.
In photo: Suren Khachatryan
CYBER SECURITY: Cutting-edge cryptography research funded by the Volkswagen Foundation
ERC, in collaboration with Dr.Han Vinck of the University of Essen in Germany, has secured a two-year contract from the Volkswagen Foundation in the field of error-control coding and cryptography. The project will engage talented students and provide them with the opportunity to connect with leading scientists in the field. The research project, led by AUA’s Dr. Gurgen Khachatryan, will focus on biometric verification, technology that will enhance digital security and authentication. This leading technology is in great demand in the face of increasing threats of hackers, identity-theft, and other digital crime.
In photo from right: Dr. Melsik Kyureghyan, Dr. Gurgen Khachatryan, Ms. Siranush Chopryan (listener), Mr. Narek Malkhasyan (listener), Ms. Anna Asmangulyan, Mr. Hovik Khasikyan, Mr. Sergey Abrahamyan, and Mr. Aram Jivanyan. Not pictured is team member Dr. Vladimir Balakirsky.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: Renewable Energy Roadmap for Armenia
Drs. Ken Touryan and Artak Hambaryan of ERC participated in a comprehensive analysis of renewable energy options for the Republic of Armenia. They identified the renewable energy resources available to Armenia and the steps necessary to reach high levels of adoption for these solutions by 2020. The work was funded by R2E2 Fund under a World Bank grant and was contracted to the Danish Energy Management, a consulting firm based in Copenhagen. … Read more.
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING: U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory Grant Completed
ERC has recently completed a research project for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The multi-year project required the design and prototyping of a laser-probe system that allows for real-time detection of defects in solar cells made from silicon wafers. The equipment can be used for quality control during the manufacturing process or as an instrument for researchers investigating the causes of defects in the crystalline material during the production process. Dr. Artak Hambarian, the Principal Investigator of the project, describes the feature of the device: “There is a precisely balanced high spin turntable (up to 4000 rpm) with a probe arm, accurate to 1 micrometer, that scans the surface of the silicon. We have also developed control and Graphical User Interface software. The apparatus has a data acquisition system and 3-channel laser probe.” NREL is currently testing the system with the aim of commercialization.
In photo: Varuzhan Melikyan, project engineer, with the PV Scan equipment developed at AUA.
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING: Florida State University Wind Turbine 3D Modeling
Sargis Zeytunyan, the Director of the CoE’s CAD/CAM Lab, together with a team of students, using computer aided design and manufacturing software, developed a 3D model, drawings, and bill of material documents for a 25ft turbine for Keuka Wind, a private company, and Florida State University (FSU). Along with his FSU colleague, Dr.Rob Hovsapian, Mr. Zeytunyan is now supervising an international student project that will design a water desalination system and use these wind turbines in powering the system.
CYBER SECURITY: NTX Biometic Password
Dr. Gurgen Khatchatryan with a team of AUA students completed a Java code for user-client secure authentication for the French company NTX. The team is now working on a second phase the project that will use the cryptographic Hash algorithm called Erindale+ to develop further security solutions for NTX.