Thomas Dow

Duncan Distinguished University Prof in ME & Director, PEC

Director, Precision Engineering Center
  • 919-515-3976
  • Research Building I 104

Dr. Dow is interested in precision machining systems, real-time control, and metrology.

At the graduate level, Dr. Dow teaches Metrology for Precision Manufacturing (MAE 545). The emphasis for this class is on procedures and techniques for measuring planes, distance and angles. Students learn about the instruments and techniques for accurate and repeatable measurement and the theoretical and practical foundations for designing such systems. Video laboratory sessions show the students how to setup and perform the measurements and the students calculate the appropriate results based on the data provided.

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Dow teaches Analysis for Mechanical Engineering Design (MAE 415) and Mechanical Engineering Design (MAE 416). He brings to both of these classes a wealth of experiences in mechanical design, analysis and fabrication. In recent years the students in his classes designed a top fuel dragster clutch and analyzed the drive system for a cable cams used at football games.

When not in the lab, Dr. Dow spends time with his wife and family (2 children and 7 grandchildren) and also enjoys hiking, running, biking, and kit car building.

Education

Ph.D. 1972

Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University

M.S. 1968

Engineering Design

Case Institute of Technology

B.S. 1966

Mechanical Engineering

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Research Description

Dr. Dow's long-term goal is to improve how we make and measure devices that require tolerances of 1 part in 105 of the feature size to operate correctly. This means for a telescope measuring 1.5 meters (like the Hubbel Telescope), the shape tolerance is 15 micrometers.

Publications

Optics of balloon experimental twin telescope for infrared interferometry (BETTII): delay lines and alignment
Dhabal, A., Rinehart, S. A., Rizzo, M. J., Mundy, L., Fixsen, D., Sampler, H., Mentzell, E., Veach, T., Silverberg, R. F., Furst, S., Dow, T., Ade, P., & Tucker, C. (2016), In Optical and infrared interferometry and imaging v. (Proceedings of SPIE-the International Society for Optical Engineering, 9907).
Design and validation of the mounting structure for BETTII balloon-based telescope with thin-walled optics
Furst, S., Dow, T., Garrard, K., Sohn, A., Fixsen, D., Rinehart, S., Mentzell, E., Veach, T., Rizzo, M., & Dhabal, A. (2016), Journal of Astronomical Telescopes Instruments and Systems, 2(2).
Design of elliptically-vibrating ultrasonic actuator for nanocoining
Dow, T. A., Nowak, J., & Kessing, J. R. (2016), Precision Engineering, 45, 301-310.
Nanostructure fabrication on germanium and silicon by nanocoining imprint technique
Zdanowicz, E., Dow, T. A., Scattergood, R. O., & Youssef, K. (2013), Precision Engineering, 37(4), 871-879.
Thermo-chemical wear model and worn tool shapes for single-crystal diamond tools cutting steel
Lane, B. M., Dow, T. A., & Scattergood, R. (2013), Wear, 300(1-2), 216-224.
Rapid fabrication of nanostructured surfaces using nanocoining
Zdanowicz, E., Dow, T. A., & Scattergood, R. O. (2012), Nanotechnology, 23(41).
Design, modeling, fabrication, and evaluation of the air amplifier for improved detection of biomolecules by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
Robichaud, G., Dixon, R. B., Potturi, A. S., Cassidy, D., Edwards, J. R., Sohn, A., Dow, T. A., & Muddiman, D. C. (2011), International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 300(2-3), 99-107.
Diamond tool wear measurement by electron-beam-induced deposition
Shi, M., Lane, B., Mooney, C. B., Dow, T. A., & Scattergood, R. O. (2010), Precision Engineering, 34(4), 718-721.
Diamond tool wear when machining Al6061 and 1215 steel
Lane, B. M., Shi, M., Dow, T. A., & Scattergood, R. (2010), Wear, 268(11-12), 1434-1441.
Automated part centering with impulse actuation
Furst, S. J., Dow, T. A., Garrard, K., & Sohn, A. (2010), Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 132(1).

View all publications via NC State Libraries

Grants

Membership in PE Consortium, Full Member
Oculus(1/01/17 - 12/31/18)
PEC Double Membership - Full Member
Los Alamos National Laboratory(1/01/16 - 12/31/16)
Design, Develop and Fabricate Primary and Siderostat Mirrors for BETTII Telescope
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(6/04/15 - 5/31/16)
Ultra-sonic Nano-coining for Creating Large Anti-reflective Surfaces
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/15 - 12/30/16)
PEC Membership, Patron Member
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc (formerly Vistakon)(1/01/15 - 12/31/17)
Design and Fabrication of Bettii Telescope Mirror Assemblies
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(6/30/14 - 6/30/15)
Design and Fabrication of Bettii Telescope Mirror
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(11/18/13 - 12/31/14)
PEC Membership - St Gobain- Patron
Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.(1/01/13 - 12/31/15)
Polaris3D Upgrades and Measurement Capability Enhancements
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc (formerly Vistakon)(6/05/13 - 1/31/14)
Investigating Grit Design and Material on Grinding Forces, Wear and Temperature
Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.(1/01/13 - 7/31/15)