Wednesday, October 21, 2009

John Scully wins H.H. Uhlig Award presented by the Electrochemical Society's Corrosion Division

October 20, 2009 — UVA Today by Zak Richards

John R. Scully, the Charles Henderson Professor in the Department of Materials Science in the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science, recently received the H.H. Uhlig Award presented by the Electrochemical Society's Corrosion Division.

The award was established in 1972 to recognize excellence in corrosion research and the exceptional technical contributions of individuals in the field of corrosion science.

The Electrochemical Society is an international, nonprofit organization that works to promote the practice and knowledge of electrochemistry, as well as research in the field.

Scully is a co-director of the University's Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, the largest research center in the Engineering School. The center incorporates faculty from a variety of disciplines in engineering and science departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and is considered a national and international leader in the field of electrochemistry. The center is focused on improving the performance of engineering materials and coatings through limiting corrosion.

"Our research at the center is focused on inventing new materials, determining what makes old materials sick and also trying to predict the behavior of different materials through exposure to a variety of environments," Scully said. "This kind of work heavily depends on the prognosis we perform that determines what specifically causes materials to fail."

Corrosion is extremely destructive to metals and alloys that serve as the structural materials for bridges, buildings and roads as well as functional materials. This is a major safety and financial burden on the U.S. economy that sums up to an estimated $350 billion a year in the United States alone, according to Scully. Additionally, corrosion impacts electrical power generation, transportation, national defense and various other industries.

The center also is involved in researching various other electrochemical processes, which make up over 10 percent of the American chemical process industry. These operations support the purification of refining metals, electrolytic production of commodity chemicals, conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy in fuel cells and batteries, materials for microelectronic devices and the ability of electrodes to identify and evaluate structural damage.

"The corrosion process threatens our energy independence, the availability of clean water, the containment of nuclear waste and the success of modern health care technology, such as metal human implants," Scully said. "Additionally corrosion affects photovoltaics and batteries, specifically the batter charge-discharge process essential to the design of hybrid vehicles. There are certain things in our society that we need now that will not be available without addressing corrosion problems."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

U.Va. Center Looks to Mitigate Problems of Corrosion of Engineered Materials

September 16, 2009 – UVA Today by Fariss Samarrai

Everywhere John Scully looks, he sees corrosion, or materials that will corrode. Corrosion is his specialty. His mission is to mitigate it.

Scully is the Charles Henderson Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and co-director of U.Va.'s Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering.

The center – along with the materials science department – trains engineering students in ways to limit corrosion of the materials they are likely to work with, designs corrosion-resistant materials and provides expertise to government and companies looking for solutions to corrosion problems.

Historically, corrosion has meant rust, or the destructive oxidation of metals. But it also applies to an amazing array of nonmetallic materials. It involves the degradation and loss of function of materials to combinations of factors, such as moisture, heat, cold and physical stress.

Airframes crack, bridges weaken and electronic devices go haywire.The nation's infrastructure is degrading as old structures lose their vitality to the effects of age. The costs for maintenance, repair, replacement and disposal are highly significant, involving everything from transportation to weapon systems to health care products. Approximately $300 billion is spent each year in the U.S. to fix or replace things that break down due to corrosion.

"From the Bronze Age to the Industrial Age, there has been a prolific expansion in the number of engineered materials that humans have created for our everyday use," Scully said. "And we are in the midst of a materials revolution as ever more materials are being engineered, some at the nanoscale, others with little margin for safety to save weight and energy costs, for instance. But as we make new materials we also are coming to an end of the age of the 'disposable society.'"

What we make must endure, Scully said, whether it be renewable batteries for cars or laptops, or the infrastructure for sustainable sources of energy. This is because of shortages of certain materials as well as the high energy cost and the carbon footprint associated with processing raw materials into engineered components.

And some materials may need to last for extremely long periods of time, such as the casing materials used for nuclear waste storage, which must remain intact for 10,000 years or more. Scully says that the degradation of engineered materials, such as metals, polymers, paints and nanoparticles, is not only a threat to safety and to the economy, but may be a barrier to future technological advances, such as rechargeable batteries and fuel cells.

"The costs of corrosion to our health and safety is becoming increasingly dependent on our ability to make materials last much longer and to function at optimal levels," he said.

Last year Scully served on a National Academies of Science committee that assessed corrosion education in engineering schools across the nation and reported earlier this year that most are not putting enough curricular emphasis on training students in issues involving corrosion, and on ways to mitigate these problems.

"As a nation, we really need to revitalize corrosion education in the nation's workforce and engineering research community," Scully said. "In the long run, this will pay great dividends in savings, safety and preparedness as well as help enable things like energy independence."

U.Va. takes the issue seriously and has one of the most vibrant corrosion education programs in the country, Scully said. In addition to providing courses for undergraduate students, the Engineering School provides extensive corrosion training at the graduate level and for industry and government. Scully's center also conducts corrosion research on materials for companies, synthesizes its own materials and coatings and even provides "life-prediction" analysis of the potential long-term effects of corrosion.

"Corrosion of metals increases costs to all industries due to losses of efficiency, loss of product and operational downtime," Scully said. "Many companies lack in-house corrosion expertise or enough staff to handle this aspect of their engineering needs, so many come to us for help solving their corrosion issues and problems."

The center also conducts research on environment-assisted fracture in a range of materials, looking for ways to mitigate or nearly eliminate these common problems.

This year the center was recognized with the 2009 Distinguished Organization Award from the National Association of Chemical Engineers.

At a Department of Defense-sponsored corrosion conference in Washington last month, four U.Va. students won first- and second-place awards in technical poster sessions for corrosion engineering, modeling of corrosion and corrosion science.

"Corrosion is not going to go away," Scully said. "But through our research and training efforts, we can greatly slow that process of degradation and help society achieve many of the technological goals that we face in the 21st century."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CESE Students Win Top Honors at Department of Defense Conference

At the biannual Department of Defense Corrosion Conference held August 2009, four students with U.Va's Center for Electrochemical Studies and Engineering won honors:

Corrosion Engineering:
1st place: Cortney Crane

Modeling in Corrosion:
1st place: Swati Jain

Modeling in Corrosion:
2nd place: Wasiu Adedeji

Corrosion Science:
2nd place: Andrew King

Congratualations to all!

The conference brought togethor researchers, government employees, and elected officials to discuss DOD corrosion issues and practices. This strong showing reflects the continued impact on the feild and the excellent level of scholarship by the CESE students.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jiwei Lu selected as 2009 FEST Awardee

Professor Lu was selected to receive a 2009 FEST (Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology) Award. The Office of the Vice President for Research administers the awards which are given "for highly innovative research projects that will lead to strong proposals for outside funding and early career recognition."

The objective of Dr. Lu's proposal is to develop a phase change switch that is based on electronic driven transitions in vanadium dioxide (VO2) films. This represents a paradigm shift from strictly charge based structures to structures that take advantage of phase change, a new state variable that can significantly reduce the switching energy compared to a strictly charge based switch.

Congratulations Professor Lu!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CESE 2009 National Association of Corrosion Engineers Distinguished Organization

Rob Kelly (left) and Jon Scully (right) are co-directors of CESE
CESE, The University of Virginia's Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering has been selected to receive the 2009 National Association of Corrosion Engineers Distinguished Organization Award. This award, typically given to outstanding companies, recognizes the contributions of CESE to the field of corrosion science and engineering over a sustained period of time. This is only the second time that a distinguished organization award has been given to a university in the 60 year history of NACE.

Established in 1934, NACE International has more than 60 years of experience in developing corrosion prevention and control standards and has become the largest organization in the world committed to the study of corrosion. The award will be given at the upcoming CORROSION 2009 conference in Atlanta , Georgia. 

CESE is a multi-disciplinary research effort which includes activities in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering as well as interactions with the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Physics in the College. Co-directors of the center are Professors Robert G. Kelly (MSE) and John R. Scully (MSE). Others include Associate Professor James M. Fitzgerald (MSE), Professor and Chair Richard P. Gangloff (MSE), Professor John L. Hudson (ChE), Assistant Professor Steven McIntosh, and Associate Professor Giovanni Zangari (MSE).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Engineering Science student William Jacobs, selected as Goldwater Scholar

April 2, 2009 — UVA Today by Matt Kelly

William Jacobs, a third-year engineering science and physics major at the University of Virginia, has received a scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The scholarship, valued at $7,500 a year for up to two years, is awarded to rising third- and fourth-year students pursuing degrees in science, mathematics and engineering. The scholarships help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board.

Jacobs, 21, of Fredericksburg, Va., was one of 278 winners selected from a field of 1,097 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

"I was thrilled to see my name among the list of Goldwater scholars," Jacobs said. "I know how strong the competition is in Virginia, and I am both excited and humbled to have been awarded one of the scholarships."

Jacobs said a research proposal comprised a major portion of his application, a proposal for which he has already received a Harrison Undergraduate Research Award. Jacobs' research concerns the computational investigation of hypersonic impact on carbon nanotube-reinforced polymer composite materials. Sponsored by NASA, this research forms the foundation of his theses for both engineering science and physics majors over the course of three semesters.

"Receiving this scholarship will certainly give me confidence as I apply to graduate schools and fellowships in the fall," Jacobs said. "Right now, however, it gives me renewed motivation as I tackle my research and classes."

"William Jacobs is an outstanding example of the excellence of our SEAS undergraduates," said James H. Aylor, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. "He combines intellect, curiosity, initiative and dedication to excel in his academic pursuits. We are very proud of him."

Jacobs' work has also impressed his professors.

"Will is the most talented undergraduate student I have had work with me in the 18 years I have been at U.Va.," said Robert G. Kelly, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. "I feel extremely fortunate to have watched him grow as a person and scientist during the past two years."

"It is having students like William that makes my work as an educator and research mentor most rewarding," said Leonid V. Zhigilei, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and Jacobs' research mentor. "William is a very pleasant, modest and sincere person and I thoroughly enjoy my interaction with him."

Jacobs is a Jefferson Scholar and a Rodman Scholar, as well as a member of the Raven Society. He belongs to two research groups: Computational Materials Group and Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering.

He is also a shop manager at Charlottesville Community Bikes and a member of the Triathlon Club and the Jazz Chamber Ensemble.

Jacobs plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, materials science or a related engineering discipline.

"This year was a particularly competitive year with many outstanding candidates representing their home institutions and states in this national competition," said Michael P. Timko, biology professor and faculty representative for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. "William Jacobs continues a long line of successes at U.Va. with our students being recognized as among the best science and engineering undergraduates nationally."

Thushara Gunda, a third-year environmental sciences student from Alexandria, Va., received an honorable mention.

This year, 163 of the 278 Goldwater Scholars are men, 115 are women and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Thirty are mathematics majors, 190 are science and related majors, 51 are majoring in engineering, and seven are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering and computer disciplines.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dana Elzey recieves 2009 Mac Wade Award for Outstanding Service

Dana Elzey received the 2009 Mac Wade Award for Outstanding Service. Professor Elzey directs the Office of International Programs for the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Rodman Scholars Program. This award recognizes his tireless efforts working with students and his outstanding service to SEAS. The Mac Wade Award is presented in memory of Freeman McMillan Wade, Class of 1952, who was killed in action in the Korean War. It is awarded annually to the group, faculty member, or student who has rendered outstanding service to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

James Wollmershauser selected for Seaborg Institute Summer Research Fellowship

James Wollmershauser has been selected as one of only a handful of graduate students nationwide to receive a Seaborg Institute Summer Research Fellowship.Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security and the G. T. Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science, the fellowship supports independent student research at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Advised by Professor Sean Agnew, Mr Wollmershauser's research has concentrated on abnormal behavior in B2 Intermetallics. Congratulations, Mr. Wollmershauser!