Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Constantine Tarawneh

Second Advisor

Dr. Heinrich Foltz

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Crown


Limitations of the standard wayside hotbox detection system as a method to identify failing railway bearings severely inhibit the reliability and safety of rail transport. An onboard bearing condition monitoring system would address and ameliorate the issues present in the current detection system. The onboard system would provide more frequent and reliable information regarding bearing condition. For the system to succeed in reducing maintenance time and preventing bearing failure, a method of providing the system with sufficient energy to power its instrumentation is necessary. The instrumentation location environment poses a significant challenge. The device must be placed on the steel adapter adjacent to the bearing, where it will experience high temperatures, corrosion and significant loading conditions. The goal of this thesis is to investigate an energy harvesting medium in such an environment. An investigation of vibration of the bearing adapter during typical railway use is coupled with magnetostrictive elements and the Villari effect to develop a set of simulations to determine the energy harvesting capabilities of a vibrational-based energy harvesting system located on the bearing adapter. The work in this thesis summarizes the potential energy harvesting capability of a giant magnetostrictive material-based vibrational energy harvester for railway use.


Copyright 2019 Jacob Nathaniel Bensen. All Rights Reserved.