Monika Ivantysynova
Maha Research Center at 1500 Kepner Dr.

1500 Kepner Dr
Lafayette, IN, 47905-6578
Ph: (765) 447-1609
Fax: (765) 448-1860

ERC for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power

The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is a member of the Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power

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The Maha Research Center is a member of the Global Fluid Power Society (GFPS), a world-wide commmunity of institutes, involved in promoting fluid power networking and awareness.

Hydraulic Powertrains and Hybrid Systems -- Spring2016


Course Description


Monika’s Passing

Monika Ivantysynova

After fourteen years of positive news, it is with much sadness and heavy hearts that for the first time, the Maha Fluid Power Research Center website must announce a tragedy that we could have never have anticipated posting at this time: Prof. Monika Ivantysynova, our beloved lab director, passed away during the early morning of August 11th, 2018.

She passed away after bravely fighting cancer for four months. Initially, she kept her health conditions private until the rapid decay required her constant stay in the hospital for the last few weeks of her life.

Monika was a great professor, an effective team leader, a caring yet exacting advisor, and a star in the international fluid power community. Her professional achievements are unparalleled. In her life she received two honorary doctorate degrees, the Robert E. Koski medal from the American Society of American Engineers, the Joseph Bramah medal from the United Kingdom’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and Purdue’s 2016 Morrill Award. She was a prolific author with several best paper awards and numerous other academic recognitions including being recognized as both an SAE fellow and an ASME fellow.

However, for us – the Maha lab team members and hundreds of students she has advised – she was much more than the founder of the lab. She taught us a research method. She inspired us to do high level research based on values of hard work, courage and integrity. She could be a tough leader when necessary, but she was genuine. Her office door was always open for anyone of us in need of guidance. She was always there for us, even when meeting with one of us implied changing her personal schedule.She taught us how to work effectively together, how to appreciate diversity, and how to face even the most difficult research challenges. She cared deeply for every single lab member’s life, knowing and appreciating the important and sometimes delicate balance between personal life and everyday work. She endeavored to help us in every situation we encountered, celebrated our achievements, and included us in celebrating any achievement of hers.

The Maha lab was her priority. We were her priority.

We strongly believe she positively impacted the life of many of us, and perhaps each of the people that had the privilege of working with her in one capacity or another throughout her career.

From now on, our effort will be on proving to ourselves and the entire fluid power community the value and power of everything that we learned from Monika. We are highly motivated to keep pursuing cutting-edge research in fluid power. We will maintain a strong and united team, and appreciate all of the resources that Purdue University is providing to make this happen. We are very grateful for all the opportunities that Monika gave us and will continue focusing on our research efforts knowing that Monika is keeping an eye on us from a much more peaceful place.

The Maha Fluid Power Research Center’s accomplishment will be Monika’s legacy, and we will be proud of that.

Goodbye Monika. You will be missed!

Andrea Vacca and the Maha team

August 14, 2018

Maha Welcomes CCEFP REU Bootcamp Students

The 2018 CCEFP Fluid Power REU Bootcamp was held at Purdue University on May 29-31, 2018. The NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is designed to encourage STEM students to continue their learning in graduate school settings by providing opportunities for summer experience in a university research lab. The CCEFP is actively involved in this program and hosts at least 14 REU students from its 7 member universities in a bootcamp style introduction to fluid power topics.

This year's bootcamp was a 3 day introduction to the principles of fluid power technology through various lectures, hands-on activities, and tours of some of Purdue University's research laboratories. Maha's Andrew Robison, Nate Keller, Ryan Jenkins, Rituraj and Josias Cruz Gomez, and Lizhi Shang were instrumental in providing high quality instruction for the bootcamp participants.

Special thanks to Susan Gauger for her excellent organization and for taking care of all the logistics required to make the bootcamp a successful one.

May 31, 2018

Prof. Andrea Vacca promoted to Full Professor!

The Maha Team celebrates with Prof. Andrea Vacca on his promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor. We congratulate Prof. Vacca on this milestone which is in recongnition of his outstanding research contributions to Purdue University and the Fluid Power Industry.

Link to Purdue announcement.

Prof. Andrea Vacca

April 9, 2018 ‐ Prof. Vacca's Profile.

Lizhi Shang wins the 2018 Global Fluid Power Society (GFPS) Best Paper Award for IFK!

Maha lab congratulates Lizhi Shang, who has been selected as recipient of the 2018 Global Fluid Power Society Best Paper Award in recognition of the excellent contribution with his paper, his dedication, passion and hard work. Lizhi's paper "Advanced Heat transfer model for piston/cylinder interface" was selected as the best from papers presented at the 11th International Fluid Power Conference in Aachen, Germany from the 19th - 21st of March, 2018.

Lizhi presenting his paper at the IFK Conference. Lizhi accepting the Best Paper Award.

March 27, 2018

$1.5M Research Grant Award from the US Dept. of Energy (DOE) to Maha!

On March 6th, 2018 the DOE announced a $1.5million award to Prof. Andrea Vacca’s team at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, to improve the energy efficiency of off-road vehicles that use hydraulic actuators for tasks like moving, lifting, and plowing.

This effort is part of the Energy Efficiency Research and Development for Fluid-Power Systems in Off-Road Vehicles Program. The program is administered by the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

March 9, 2018 ‐ DOE announcement.

Congratulations to Dr. Dan Mizell on his Successful PhD Defense!

Once again, The Maha Fluid Power Research Center celebrates a new PhD graduate. Congratulations to Dr. Dan Mizell, who defended his PhD thesis on March 2nd, 2018.

For his PhD thesis, Dan made significant improvements to the novel multi-body non-isothermal fluid-structure-thermal-interaction piston-cylinder interface model, used to further the understanding of the phenomena contributing to fluid film behavior in axial piston machines. He implemented dynamic grid refinement and linear half space pressure-deformation in a novel high definition model, which was verified by comparisons to measurements in a special purpose test pump.

Dan will surely be missed for his many contributions to the success of the lab and we wish him the best as he moves on to the next stage of his career.

Prof. Ivantysynova Introducing Dan at his defense presentation Dan presenting during his defense Dan's defense games. Dan's defense games. Dan's defense games Dan and his wife after his defense Dan and his advisor, Prof. Ivantysynova.

March 7th, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Ashley Busquets and Dr. Hyukjoon Kwon on their Successful PhD Defenses!

Double Congratulations to Dr. Ashley Busquets and Dr. Hyukjoon Kwon on their successful Ph.D. defenses on February 26, 2018!!

Dr. Ashley Busquets joined the lab in 2012 and earned her Master’s degree in 2014. Ashley’s research focused extensively on studying the effects of micro-surface shaping of the piston cylinder interface in axial piston machines. She used a novel fully coupled fluid structure interaction model in combination with an optimization scheme to modify commercially available machines and developed novel piston-cylinder designs that show superior efficiency as well as enhanced reliability and overall performance.

Dr. Hyukjoon Kwon joined the lab in 2015. For his PhD thesis, Hyukjoon’s developed a novel comprehensive thermal model of Hydraulic hybrid transmissions (HHTs). His model, which captures the transient thermal behavior of hydraulic transmission systems in unsteady state conditions, enables a deeper understanding of HHTs, which will result in improved hydraulic systems that incorporate cooling system management and optimization in the design process, prior to hardware testing.

Maha lab will miss Ashley and Hyukjoon and wishes them the very best as they move unto the next stages of their careers.

Prof. Ivantysynova Introducing Ashley at her defense presentation Ashley presenting during her defense Prof. Ivantysynova Introducing Hyukjoon at his defense presentation. Hyukjoon presenting during his defense. Hyukjoon getting his costume on Hyukjoon's defense games Hyukjoon's defense games. Hyukjoon and Ashley's defense games. Hyukjoon and his advisor, Prof. Ivantysynova. Ashley with her mom and advisor, Prof. Ivantysynova.

February 28, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Kyle Williams on a Successful PhD Defense!

Maha lab would like to congratulate Dr. Kyle Williams on his successful Ph.D. defense on February 23, 2018. Kyle first joined Maha lab in 2005 as one of Prof. Ivantysynova’s early students at Purdue. He earned his Masters degree in 2007 and decided to take an industry position with Parker Hannifin, midway through his PhD degree. He subsequently decided to continue and complete his PhD part time while working as a Senior Engineer for Caterpillar where he still works today.

Kyle has made significant research contributions in the lab towards developing energy management strategies for Power Split transmissions for hydraulic hybrid powertrains. His PhD research focused on developing a model predictive control algorithm for real time optimal control of nonlinear stochastic systems based on gradient descent with momentum. His model, which incorporates real time sampling of the driver behavior and GPS-based altitude data, was able to make significant fuel economy improvements compared to conventional predictive control algorithms.

We wish Kyle continued success in his career!

Kyle presenting during his defense Prof. Ivantysynova Introducing Kyle at his defense presentation Kyle's defense games costume. Kyle's defense games Kyle and his advisor, Prof. Ivantysynova.

February 28, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Divya Thiagarajan on a Successful Ph.D Defense!

We would like to specially congratulate Dr. Divya Thiagarajan on her successful Ph.D. defense on February 9, 2018. She began her studies in Prof. Vacca’s pump group in 2012 and has contributed significantly to the success of the group during her time here.

Divya’s research focused on developing an advanced numerical model of the lubricated interfaces in external gear machines by considering the effect of surface asperities at critical operating conditions. This research also lead her to investigate the performance of working fluids with varying viscosities and propose new design solutions for gear pumps with low viscous fluids.

We will miss Divya's contributions as a member of the Maha team and wish her the best in her next position as a Senior Engineer at Gamma Technologies, Westmont, IL.

Divya and her advisor, Prof. Vacca. Prof. Vacca Introducing Divya at her defense presentation Divya presenting during her defense. Divya's defense games costume. Divya's defense games Divya's defense games Divya's defense games Divya and well wishers.

February 14, 2018

Congratulations to Pranay Banerjee on a Successful Master's Defense!

We would like to congratulate Pranay Banerjee on his successful Master's defense on February 5, 2018!

Pranay joined Maha in June 2016 and has started working on developing a new control method for the Maha hybrid vehicle's transmission system. He successfully defended his Master's thesis entitled, "Advanced Torque Control Strategy for the Maha Hydraulic Hybrid Passenger Vehicle" based on his research work. Pranay leaves Maha to join Cummins Inc.

We wish him great success in the next stage of his career!

 Pranay Banerjee defending his Master's thesis.  Prof. Ivantysynova introducing Pranay during his defense.

February 6, 2018

Welcome to Maha!

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to a new member of the Maha team:

Svenja Horn ‐ Svenja joins Maha as a visiting researcher from Dresden University of Technology, Germany and will be working with Prof. Monika Ivantysynova's hydraulic pump group for 6 months.

Februrary 6, 2018 ‐ Click for People.

Maha research papers selected for the JFPS International Journal of Fluid Power Systems!

Three research papers by Maha graduate students have been selected for publication in the JFPS International Journal of Fluid Power System! The Maha graduate researchers, Rene Chacon, Lizhi Shang and Matteo Pellegri presented their papers at the 10th JFPS International Symposium in Fukuoka last year and were selected as part of the top 20% for publication in the upcoming JFPS International Journal of Fluid Power, a special issue of the symposium.

Congratulations to Rene, Lizhi and Matteo!

January 23, 2018 ‐ Click for Publications.

Constance 'Connie' McMindes honored for 15 years of service to Purdue University!

We would like to congratulate Connie, who was awarded a Certificate of Recognition in celebration of her services and contributions to Purdue University. Connie has been a member of the Maha team since 2012, and plays a significant role towards the success of research work conducted in the lab. Congratulations Connie!

Rene receiving his award.

December 14, 2017

Congratulations to Rene Chacon on his Best Student Paper Award!

We would like to congratulate Rene Chacon for winning the best student paper award at the 10th JFPS International Symposium on Fluid Power in Fukuoka, Japan. His work, entitled “Thermal Effects on the Fluid Film in the Cylinder Block/Valve Plate Interface due to Compression and Expansion of the Fluid,” focuses on the cylinder block/valve plate lubrication interface of axial piston machines of swashplate type; the paper presents the results of a novel thermo-elastohydrodynamic model of this important tribological interface that distinguishes itself from previous models through the inclusion of fluid compression-driven heating and cooling effects.

Rene receiving his award.  Rene at the JFPS International Symposium on Fluid Power.

December 14, 2017

Congratulations to Xiaofan Guo (Parker) on his Successful Master's Defense!

We would like to congratulate Xiaofan Guo (Parker) on his successful Master's defense on September 18, 2017! Parker joined Maha in November 2015 and has worked as part of Prof. Ivantysynova's systems' group. For his Master's research, Parker developed a novel displacement controlled steer-by-wire system for mobile machinery. He demonstrated the significantly improved performance of this system using validated simulation mdoels of a combine harvester steering system.

We are pleased that Parker will continue at Maha towards a Ph.D degree and look forward to his future research discoveries!

 Parker presenting his research during his defense.  Prof. Ivantysynova introducing Parker during his Master's thesis defence.

September 19, 2017

Welcome New Maha Team Members!

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to the following new members of the Maha team:

Graduate Students

Swarnava Mukherjee ‐ Swarnava joins Maha this fall semester and will be working with Prof. Monika Ivantysynova's pump research group towards his Ph.D degree.

Shanmukh Sarode ‐ Shanmukh starts his Masters program at Maha this fall as well and will be contributing to Prof. Monika Ivantysynova's pump research group.

Dan Ding ‐Dan, previously an undergraduate researcher at Maha, rejoins the lab as a graduate researcher (Masters) and will be working with Prof. Monika Ivantysynova's pump research group.

Josias Cruz Gomez ‐ Josias also rejoins Maha after his visiting research experience and will be working with Prof. Andrea Vacca's hydraulic systems research group towards his Masters' degree.

Venkata Babu Manne ‐ Babu starts his Ph.D program at Maha this fall and will be working with Prof. Andrea Vacca's pump research group.

Xin Tian ‐ Xin also joins Maha this fall as a Ph.D Student and will be working with Prof. Andrea Vacca's hydraulic systems group.

Visiting Researchers

Mateus Bertolin ‐ Mateus returns to Maha for second period as a visiting researcher from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil and will be working with Prof. Monika Ivantysynova's hydraulic systems research group for 6 months.

Marcos Ivan Mireles ‐ Marcos is a visiting researcher from Instituto Tecnológico de Toluca, Mexico and will be working with Prof. Andrea Vacca's hydraulic systems research group for 8 months.

August 22, 2017 ‐ Click for People.

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