Thursday, November 19, 2015

Henry B. Linford Award for Distinguished Teaching awarded to John Scully

Professor John Scully has been selected as the 2016 winner of the ECS Henry B. Linford Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award will be presented at next year's ECS Meeting in San Diego, California, USA in May.

The society presents winners with a the Linford medal, a wall plaque, a monetary gift, and host a private dinner in their honor, and Lindford awardees deliver an address to ECS at the symposium of their choosing. Founded in 1981,  Linford Awards are granted only every other year and honor distinguished excellence in teaching in areas pertaining to the Electrochemical Society.

Professor Scully follows one of the co-founders of what is now the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, Glenn E. Stoner, who in 2000 earned the prestigious award as well. 

Understanding corrosion from the nanoscale to the mesoscale

Associate Professor Petra Reinke and Charles Henderson Chaired Professor John Scully are collaborating in a new Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) sponsored by the Office of Naval Research to understand, predict, and control the role of minor elements on the early stages of corrosion in metal alloys. The multimillion dollar effort, Understanding Corrosion in 4-D, will involve researchers from Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin, The University of Akron, and UCLA. 

ONR logoCorrosion, which is the environmental degradation of materials due to electrochemical reactions with the environment, accrues an annual cost of several percent of the nation’s GDP. In 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) estimated the costs exceed $23 billion annually.  Corrosion affects the longevity of infrastructure and assets ranging from DoD/ONR warfighters and warships to gas transmission pipelines.

Professor Scully has studied many aspects of corrosion for decades, and Associate Professor Reinke specializes in the observation and understanding of surface reactions. This complex problem is being analyzed by a team of experimentalists, alloy designers, and theoreticians who will apply this knowledge to design new materials with improved performance by linking electrochemistry, high-resolution microscopy, tomography and simulations to capture all aspects of the corrosion process on selected, technically highly relevant alloys.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Extreme Challenge: UVA engineer Haydn Wadley and his team push materials to their failure point

"Sometimes spectacular failures inspire you to investigate the fundamental processes that are responsible, and that knowledge then sets the stage for designing new materials and new structures that can survive under even more extreme conditions.”

November 13, 2015 | UVa Today | by Charles Feigenoff

“Things get pretty interesting when you take materials to their point of failure,” said Wadley, a University Professor and Edgar Starke Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia. One extreme environment that has drawn Wadley’s attention is the interior of jet engines.

In 2016, the International Air Transport Association expects airlines to carry 3.6 billion passengers, the equivalent of half the world’s population. Jet engine performance affects all of those people, and increasing the performance protects the environment by reducing carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Surfaces in a jet engine’s combustion chamber and in the turbine immediately behind it routinely reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, even the most advanced engine alloys rapidly oxidize and fail. In response, engine manufacturers coat these parts with heat-resistant materials. Over the years, Wadley’s research group has done pioneering work exploring the mechanisms that enable coatings to protect an underlying surface, determining mechanisms that cause the coatings to fail with rising temperatures, and developing longer-lasting coating materials. Wadley and his colleagues also have developed vapor deposition processes that deliver more effective coating protection.

But 2,500 degrees is not as extreme as engine manufacturers would like to go. Combustion at even higher temperatures would increase fuel efficiency and further reduce carbon dioxide emissions. They are experimenting with engine components made from ceramic composites that have tremendous strength at ultra-high temperatures. Principal among these are SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites, named because silicon carbide is used for both matrix and fiber.

“If we want technology to continue to provide greater services for society, we need to understand failure in extreme environments and so design materials and structures that withstand them,” Wadley said.

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