Mechanical Engineer





Photo Library


Dale Retallack
(Department Head)

  Title: Associate Professor
  Department: Mechanical Engineering
  Phone: (902) 494-3170
  Fax: (902) 423-6711
  Office: C359


Ted Hubbard

Alex Kalamkarov

Murat Koksal

Marek Kujath

Julio Militzer

Ya-Jun Pan

Dale Retallack

Mae L. Seto

V. Tarnawski

Ismet Ugursal

Andrew Warkentin




B.Sc. (Math), B.Eng. (Mech.),
M.Sc. & Ph.D. (Automatic Control), P.Eng.

Industrial Experience

Aluminum Company of Canada Limited, 1970 - 1977
- Five years, Industrial Process Modelling & Control, Real-time Computing
- Two years, R & D Manager of a group of 20 people engaged in Computer Modelling of the Aluminum Reduction Process.

Michelin Tires (Canada) Limited, 1977 - 1982
- Two years, Industrial Engineer
- Four months, Production Supervisor
- Two and one-half years, Production Manager of a Steel Cabling Workshop comprising 7 staff, 100 production operators.

Dalhousie University, 1982 - present
- Associate Professor, Dalhousie Engineering Department 1982-1998, then Department of Mechanical Engineering 1998-present
- Teaching at various levels, from 1st-Year to Graduate classes in Graphics, Statics, Computing, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Process Modelling & Control, and Vibrations
- Particular research interest & expertise in the Design and Simulation of Feedforward & Feedback Control of Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Industrial Processes.


Research Interests:

Systems and Design
Modeling, Process Simulation & Control

- Principal Topic: Design & Simulation of Feedforward & Feedback Control of complex Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Processes; high-level expertise, supported by extensive MATLAB-based Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Facility; especially interested in the application of this expertise and CAD Facility to complex Industrial Processes

- The most recent sabbatical was spent working on paper-machine modeling & control in the pulp & paper industry; developed a 'prototype' MATLAB / Simulink simulation of a paper machine, and worked on a number of projects in areas related to data-acquisition, modelling and process control; created a medium- to long-term plan for future development in process control and optimization.


Selected Publications:


Current Classes:

MECH 3900.03 : Systems I. The class deals with the analysis of dynamic physical systems. Ordinary-differential-equation models are developed for mechanical, thermal, fluid and electrical systems. System equations are solved using classical methods and Laplace-transform techniques. S-plane characteristics are introduced, as are block-diagram & state-space representations. Systems are simulated by digital computer in the laboratory portion.

MECH 4900.03 : Systems II. Response characteristics of open loop and feedback control systems are studied. Various controller types and their uses are analyzed. Techniques such as root-locus diagrams and Bode & Nichols plots are used for stability and performance evaluation. Digital simulations and experiments on computer-based control systems are done in the laboratory portion.

MECH 4950.03 : Advanced Control Engineering. The class follows on from MECH 3900.03 and 4900.03 - Systems I and II, with the objective of continuing to develop the students' capabilities in system simulation and feedforward/feedback control-system design and implementation. Topics include: system-parameter identification, control-system hardware, computer-based control systems, design techniques for multiple-input multiple-output systems, and adaptive control. The class will be supported by computer-based simulation activities and design procedures, and by hands-on laboratory experience.

MECH 4500.03 : Vibrations. Single and multiple degree of freedom lumped parameter systems subjected to harmonic and transient excitation are examined. Analytical as well as numerical solutions are covered. Vibrations of continuous systems such as beams and shafts are introduced. Laboratory experiments deal with vibration of lumped parameter physical models as well as vibrations of rotating machinery. Vibration control in industrial applications is emphasized and the effects of whole body vibration on humans is treated as a safety issue.

ENGI 1400.03 : Mechanics I. Statics teaches the concepts of force, movement, and equilibrium. Topics include a review of the laws of motion, vector algebra, position and force vectors, moments of forces, couple moments, and equilibrium of 2- and 3-dimensional bodies. Structural applications such as 2-dimensional trusses, frames and simple machines, and shear forces and bending moments in beams are presented. Coulomb friction, centroids and centres of mass, and area moments and products of inertia are also included.

ENGM 2081.03 : Computer Programming. This class covers fundamental programming principles including flow control, modularity, and structured programming. The student will implement significant programs in the C language to solve engineering problems.

ENGI 2300.03 : Fluid Mechanics. This introductory class comprises the study of fluid properties, fluids at rest and in motion. Dimensional analysis is introduced. The fundamental flow-governing equations (conservation of mass, momentum and energy) are derived and applied to a selection of engineering problems. Incompressible viscous flow through pipes is also presented.

ENGI 2400.03 : Mechanics II. This second class in Engineering Mechanics considers the kinematics and kinetics of a single particle and a single rigid body. The class builds on the concepts introduced in ENGI 1200.03 (Mechanics I). Both vector and scalar methods are used. Topics include kinematics of a particle, kinetics of a particle, kinematics of a rigid body in plane motion, and planar kinetics of a rigid body.

ENGI 2800.03 : Engineering Thermodynamics I. Fundamental definitions and concepts are reviewed. Engineering analysis of properties, heat, work and systems is carried out. The zeroth, first, and s econd laws are presented. Ideal gases and mixtures, real gases, liquid-vapour relations, availability, irreversibility, entropy concepts, and flow in nozzles and diffusers is examined. Gas and vapour power cycles are studies with emphasis on cycle analysis.