Monday, December 17, 2012

Avinash Dongare (MSE 08) Joins UConn Faculty

Alumnus Avinash Dongare (MSE 08) joined U Conn this fall as a tenure track
professor.  Avinash, advised by Leo Zhigilei is an expert in computational materials science who specializes in hybrid materials and computational

From UConn Today:

Materials Modeling Expert Avinash Dongare Joins UConn Faculty | UConn Today

Friday, December 14, 2012

Materials Science Research Professors Work to Solve Critical Challenges

Professors James Burns (MSE ’06) and Jiwei Lu are active contributors to the research environment at the Engineering School since joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) several years ago.

Burns’ research evaluates the effects of the environment in which an engineering material is placed on its mechanical behavior. Burns cites two reasons for his interest in this field. The first is the “broad real-world applicability of this discipline, from medical implants interacting with bodily fluids, to oil pipelines, to nuclear power, automotive, aerospace, marine, bridge, hydrogen fuel transport/storage and a myriad of other applications where the operating environment interacts with the mechanical properties of a component.” The second is the potential for the scientific knowledge gained from his research to “impact real-world engineering problems.” To sum up, the professor says, “This variety is exciting and challenging.”
Professors James Burns

Currently, Burns is investigating new ways to predict the structural lifespan of the aluminum alloys used in airframes. Specifically, he has noticed “order of magnitude increases in the material properties” when testing these materials at the low temperatures found at the altitudes at which airplanes fly, rather than in the ambient laboratory conditions that have been used as testing environments prior to this. By better understanding the way these airframes fatigue, airlines will be able to save money on maintenance, as well as improve safety. As Burns says, “improper repairs can often cause more damage than originally present.”

Burns has had direct impact on students in the department as well. He joined the faculty in 2011 after separating as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, using what MSE department chair Professor William Johnson describes as Burns’ “well-honed organizational skills” to design and implement an advanced independent project for the engineering science program. He also established a fall symposium for fourth-year undergraduate students to present their research and design proposals to their fellow students and to Engineering School faculty. In the spring, a second fair is planned to showcase the finished projects. Johnson calls the symposium a “critical addition to our academic program.”

In addition to his three doctoral students, Burns also involves undergraduate students in his research work. Douglas Bae (Engr Sci ’14) is working on “validating and extending,” a methodology developed by Burns to “predict the remaining useful life of corroded components.” Burns says this student’s work will help “justify a paradigm shift in the airframe structural integrity world: going from a find-and-fix approach to a modeling approach, which allows maintenance to be safely delayed until more skilled personnel can properly address the damage.” This approach will help reduce maintenance costs in machinery in general and decrease the likelihood of costly repair mistakes.

Professor Jiwei Lu

Professor Lu, who studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing prior to earning his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005, joined the department in 2006 and became a member of the faculty in 2008. His research focuses on learning the fundamental properties of the still-mysterious compound vanadium dioxide and other strongly correlated oxides, with the intention of developing them into new types of potentially useful nanoelectronic devices. Another research interest is multiferroic thin films, useful in spintronics, a cutting-edge branch of electronics that manipulates the “spin” of electrons. This technology could be used in the development of a new generation of information processing and storage.

According to Johnson, Lu already has a strong research record and is also an “enthusiastic” teacher. He has taught several graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as an introduction to physics course for nonmajors. “The goal of the Engineering School is to provide an excellent education to undergraduate and graduate students in a thriving research environment,” Johnson said. “It is always good to have people in the department who can contribute in both areas.”

Johnson appreciates the contributions of both professors to the MSE department, saying they “bring enthusiasm for their research to the department, which helps to attract academically strong graduate students into our programs.”

from E-NEWS |  By Nathan Hunt (’16)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Giovanni Zangari delivers the Plenary Lecture at 2012 Iinterfinish World Conference

November 15, 2012:

At the Interfinish 2012 World Congress, Giovanni Zangari presented the Distinguished Plenary Lecture Award.  The world congress is held four years with regional affiliated conferences taking place every year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gary Shiflet earns SEAS Distinguished Faculty Award

Gary Shiflet received the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award for his outstanding accomplishments in teaching and research.   The award is given in recognition of excellence across all areas faculty impact: service to the University, cutting edge research, and teaching. Professor Shiflet has been the William G. Reynolds endowed Chair since 1994 and joined the MSE department in 1981. 
Left to Right: Dean James Aylor, Professor Gary Shiflet, John DeMaso

From SEAS E-news:

The Distinguished Faculty Award was given to Professor Gary J. Shiflet, the William G. Reynolds endowed chair of materials science and engineering. Shiflet is a prolific researcher who holds six patents on amorphous alloys. He has received multiple single investigator NSF grants, published more than 200 technical journal articles and led large DARPA-funded initiatives. He also has dedicated himself to improving undergraduate education, including redesigning an introductory level materials science course for non-science majors using the theme “Materials That Shape Our Civilization.” Thanks to his efforts, enrollment in that class grew from 20 students in 2004 to more than 600 students each year for the past three years.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ann F. Marshall, 'a world-class electron microscopist,' to receive the 2012 Marsh O'Neill Award

Photo: Stanford University

Ann Marshall (MSE PhD '79), has recently been named the recipient of the 2012 Marsh O'Neill Award from Stanford University.  The Marsh O'Neill Award recognizes a Stanford staff or faculty member for their contributions. A senior research scientist working at the the Stanford Nanocharacterization Laboratory and the Stanford Nano Center, Marshall earned her PhD at U.Va in 1979 under Ken Lawless.

Kathleen Sullivan wrote on the Stanford News Blog:

"An expert at both the theory and practice of electron microscopy. An outstanding woman scientist who has mentored, nurtured and trained generations of graduate students. A talented and dedicated professional who runs an outstanding research enterprise. Those are some of the many accolades bestowed upon Ann F. Marshall...."  Read more

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Alumni Profile: Ray Kilmer

The Fall 2012 issue SEAS Unbound recently profiled MSE Alumni Ray Kilmer:

After spending more than a dozen years in different capacities, Ray Kilmer, (MSE ’94). stepped into a new role for Pittsburghbased Alcoa Inc. at the end of the summer of 2011. Kilmer was named chief technology of cer for the company, which is known for being the world’s top producer of primary and fabricated aluminum. In his new position, Kilmer is at the helm of the company’s global technology team, where one of his main goals is to work on Alcoa’s innovation. “I consider it a great responsibility and privilege to be the CTO,” says Kilmer of his new role. “I’m very mindful that the future of our 124-yearold company will largely rest in my organization’s ability to develop new products and processes to solve the business-critical technical challenges and invent the products of the future.” For Kilmer, his time in Charlottesville was a key factor in his rise at Alcoa. “I am blessed for having had the privilege of getting my education in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering,” says Kilmer. “You have to love what you do and have a commitment to a mission to want a job like mine.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

NExT: Speaker Series

NExT is hosting its second speaker as part of its monthly Speaker Seminar Series. 

Who:    Dr. Papin

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Head of Computational Systems Biology Laboratory

When:  Wednesday, October 17th at 5:00 pm What:   Systems Biology- Applying the Power of Computation to Biology in the Genome Era

Where: Thornton E316

Get a first hand look at computational applications and their increasing importance in research and industry across many engineering and science disciplines.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dana Elzey Wins Kinnier Award

Kinnier Award To Help Elzey Engage a New Generation of Engineering Teachers

— By Charlie Feigenoff
 Dana Elzey, associate professor of materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, was a logical choice to be the inaugural recipient of a new award named for Henry Lee Kinnier.