Nakahata’s master’s thesis wins Hirschvogel Excellence Award

Posted: September 6, 2022
Ryo Nakahata
Ryo Nakahata

Ryo Nakahata, now an Advanced Research Engineer at Honda Aircraft Company, was named this year’s recipient of the Hirschvogel Excellence Award.

The Hirschvogel Excellence Award is a $5,000 prize that is presented to one graduate student for the best master’s thesis in Mechanical Engineering.

“I am very honored to be a recipient of this award,” Nakahata said. “Seeing the amount of dedication and hard work that was poured into this project pay off has been extremely rewarding. This is a culmination of my work, which could not have been obtained without the help of my advisors.”

Nakahata’s master’s thesis titled “Analysis, Sensing, and Analytical Modeling of Incremental Profile Forming” focuses on his research in Incremental Profile Forming (IPF), which is one of the processes of metal forming. IPF uses a set of tools placed circumferentially around the tube to create the desired tube profile. This is relatively new type of process, with IPF having been invented in 2013 at Technical University of Dortmund, Germany.

“The implementation of an accurate control system in the IPF process becomes more desired, as the interest in mass customization of lightweight metallic structures increases,” he said. “Once the IPF process can provide accurate processing of metal forming, it can be used in many industries.”

Nakahata pointed to the automotive industry as a prime example of where IPF can be utilized.

“One such industry that can utilize IPF is automotive, as the cabin frame of the automobile is required to withstand large forces during collision, while at the same time decreasing structural weight to increase energy efficiency,” he said. “This requires complex and accurate forming of metallic structures, which can be provided by the IPF process.”

This award is given by The Frank Hirschvogel Foundation, a philanthropy arm of the Hirschvogel Automotive Group. In 2018, the Foundation provided a gift to OSU to support the award of a prize of $5,000 for the best MS thesis in ME, annually for five years. The award was presented for the first time at Ohio State in 2019.

The Hirschvogel Automotive Group, headquartered in Denklingen, Germany, is among the world’s largest automotive suppliers in the area of steel and aluminum forgings and machining. The group’s customers include all major automotive manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. Hirschvogel Automotive Group’s forging plant in Columbus was established in 1988.

Nakahata was thankful to all the faculty that have helped him through his education.

“I would like to thank my advisors Dr. Satyanarayana Seetharaman and Dr. Cheena Srinivasan for their support throughout my research project,” he said. “I would also like to thank Professor Tekkaya and Eika Hoffmann for taking their time and supporting the research at Technical University of Dortmund.”