Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FDSM lifetime achievement award presented to Rick Gangloff

At the 2014 International Conference on Fatigue Damage of Structural Materials, Professor Rick Gangloff received the lifetime achievement award. The awarding committee honored him offering that the award was given in recognition of:
    His brilliant career and pioneering contributions to the field of environmental cracking in high performance metallic alloys.  His quantitative characterization and mechanistic interpretation of the interactions between electrochemistry, metallurgy, and mechanics has enhanced prognosis methods and informed alloy development for aerospace, transportation, infrastructure, and energy applications.  The FDSM conference series is thankful for his technical inputs, continuous participation, and collegiality.
The biennial conference was held in Cape Cod from the 21-26 September 2014 and brought  together an international assembly of delegates to discuss methods and research trends for  characterizing, predicting and conducting analysis of fatigue damage of structural materials.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zach Harris Awarded Inaugural Alcoa Graduate Fellowship

The 2014 recipient of the Alcoa Graduate Student Fellowship was Zach Harris. The three year award offers full tuition and a living stipend. As part of a growing partnership between Alcoa, Inc. and U.Va's Department of Material Science, the award will focus on supporting advances in metallurgical research.

Zach Harris recently joined the department as a PhD candidate under Professor Jimmy Burns. He will chiefly be investigating Monel K-500. This nickel-base alloy is frequently used for submarine fasteners, pump shafts, and oil well drill collars due to its exceptional corrosion resistance in marine environments, high strength, toughness and ductility. However, Monel K-500 is prone to hydrogen-assisted intergranular cracking.  The strength of Monel K-500 is predominately influenced by γ’ precipitates; the characteristics of these strengthening precipitates are manipulated via heat treatment of the material. This influence of different heat treatments on the hydrogen-assisted cracking behavior will be the foundation for his research.  Specifically, the hydrogen-assisted crack growth kinetics will be quantified with advanced monitoring techniques developed here at UVa.  These data will then be correlated with high fidelity characterization (e.g. EBSD, SEM, TEM) of the crack wake damage structure to understand how changing the character of the γ’ precipitates influences the hydrogen-assisted cracking behavior.

According to Zach, he and his wife are enjoying settling into the Charlottesville area and have found the adjustment from the west to east coast an easy one.

New Materials Exhibit at UVA Fine Arts Library

The Materials Collection, is a hands-on design resource offered by the  Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library.  The collection includes materials intended to inspire students’ building and design projects.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Welcome New Ph.D. Student Andrew Neils

Welcome our new Ph.D. student, Andrew Neils.  Andrew comes from Boston where he worked at Massachusetts General Hospital for several years trying to enhance the material properties of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene used in artificial knee and hip replacements.  Hobbies include rowing, playing the drums and watching college basketball.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Welcome New Ph.D. Student Christopher Kassner

Welcome our new Ph.D. student Christopher Kassner.  Christopher comes to us from New Jersey.  He has worked at both NIST and NRL.  He is keenly interested in nanotechnology and its potential impact on everyday macro-scale devices.  His hobbies include playing guitar, cooking, going to the gym, and playing sports.  Welcome Christopher!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CESE Alum Paul Natishan wins H.H Uhlig Award

Congratulations to Paul Natishan (UVa MSE PhD '84) who has been selected as the Electrochemical Society's 2014 H.H. Uhlig Award winner. This is the highest technical award from the Corrosion Division of the Electrochemical Society.  Natishan previously served as president of E.C.S from 2009-2010, an ECS fellow since 2005, on the board for eight years, and has been active in ECS in many other roles.

Natishan is a leader in the field of marine corrosion and heads up the activities of the Navel Research Laboratories Corrosion Science Section. As well as holding seven U.S. Patents, he has published extensively in corrosion resistance, pitting, electrodepostited coatings, ion beam surface modification, and diamond-coated materials.

This award further distinguishes the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, as it the second such award for the U.Va center. The 2009 awardee was U.VA Professor John Scully.

From NACE:

The H.H. Uhlig Award is given in recognition of outstanding effectiveness in post-secondary corrosion education at the undergraduate or graduate level as exhibited by an educator who excites their students through outstanding and innovative teaching in corrosion. To qualify, nominations must be received within 10 years of the nominee entering the field of education. An educator may qualify who has effectively conveyed and instilled in students the principles and applications of corrosion science and technology, and has stimulated students to enter professional pursuits in defining and mitigating corrosion problems.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Beth Opila elected ACerS fellow

The American Ceramic Society has announced its slate of nominees who will be elevated to Fellow status and Professor Beth Opila is among the 2014 inductees.

Fellowship within the American Ceramic Society recognizes individuals who have shown “outstanding contributions to the ceramic arts or sciences, broad and productive scholarship in ceramic science and technology, conspicuous achievement in ceramic industry, or by outstanding service to the Society.”

The 2014 class will be inducted at the Annual Honors and Awards Banquet on Monday, October 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Founded in 1898, The American Ceramic Society is the leading professional membership organization for ceramic and materials scientists, engineers, researchers, manufacturers, plant personnel, educators, and students. The Society serves more than 9,000 members from more than 70 countries.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Welcome New Ph.D. Student Jeroen Deijkers

Welcome our new Ph.D. student Jeroen Deijkers.  Jeroen was born and raised in Sprundel, The Netherlands.  His research interest includes finding new methods and materials that can withstand high temperatures.  In his spare time, he likes to watch movies, go on a quest to find the most delicious specialty beers as well as enjoy the outdoors.  Welcome Jeroen!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CESE students garner spring N.A.C.E awards

This Spring at NACE International's Annual Conference and Exposition, over 6,000 students and industry leaders from government, business, and academia gathered for the 69th annual convention, CORROSSION 2014 in San Antonio, TX.  In the student poster sessions, CESE students continued to earn top honors among their colleagues in nearly all categories:

Jay Srinivasan won first place in the Marcel Pourbaix category for the field of corrosion science.

Cindy Shi won second place in the Marcel Pourbaix category for the field of corrosion science.

Leslie Bland placed third in the Harvey Herro category for the field of applied corrosion technology.

Mike McGrath (CHE 15') a chemical engineering undergrad working in Kelly group) won Best Undergraduate Student Poster.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

All the best to our wonderful students who walked the lawn yesterday and completed a life milestone. Congratulations to friends and families who supported them.
May the best be yet to come!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mike Melia wins AVS student poster competition

At the April meeting of the American Vacuum Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Newport News, Va, Mike Melia won best presentation at the student poster competition.  The research, done in collaboration with fellow Fitz-Gerald group member Leslie Bland, explores post-processing corrosion response and corrosion resistance for welding of magnesium alloys and non-equilibrium surface processing.   

Congratulations Mike!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Inaugural Belinda and Chip Blankenship UG scholarship awarded to Elise Poerschke

Elise Poerschke (Engr. Sci. ’15) has been selected as the first recipient of the Belinda and Chip Blankenship Scholarship.  Elise has been researching high temperature reactions in Professor Beth Opila’s lab. She will present her research at the MS&T Conference in Pittsburgh this coming fall and is preparing a manuscript for the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

Elise Poerschke receiving the Belinda and Chip Blankenship
Undergraduate Scholarship for materials science from MSE department chair Bill Johnson

The scholarship was made possible thanks to support from Belinda and Chip Blankenship. Chip is a 1992 MSE Ph.D. alumnus who now serves as president and CEO of GE Appliances in Louisville, KY.  The scholarship was established to advance engineering education and support the United States’ manufacturing, R&D and competitive capability. The award encourages and assists U.Va. undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Congratulations to Elise who was an excellent candidate for the first award. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mark O'Masta Receives Ph.D.

Congratulations to Mark O'Masta who received his Ph.D. in Materials Science.  Mark's dissertation titled "Mechanisms of Dynamic Deformation and Failure in Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Fiber-Polymer Matrix Composites" has elucidated the mechanisms of ballistic penetration in this polymer composite.  Mark will be with the group over the summer while he finishes several papers and considers several opportunities well suited to his learned skill-set and inquisitive nature.

Ryan Holloman Receives Ph.D.

Congratulations to Ryan Holloman who has received his Ph.D. in Materials Science.  Ryan's thesis "Impulse Loading of 3D Prismatic Cellular Structures" sought to develop a novel aluminum alloy cellular structure and investigate the impulse and pressure transferred to the structure by an idealized buried explosive event. Ryan begins his new position as a Fracture Mechanics and Fitness Service Program Leader at ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas in May 2014.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

ES Student Dasha Tyshlek Earns 1st Place at NYC Medical Hackathon

On April 4th-6th, students from dozens of universities converged in NYC for a weekend focusing on creating disruptive medical technologies. The MIT group Hacking Medicine organized the event which was sponsored by WebMD. Congratulations to third year engineering science student Dasha Tyshlek, who not only represented U.Va on the team which took first place, but also pitched the winning idea.

From collegestartup.com: "New York City hacks problems in medicine at WebMD" 
April 24, 2014 by Alex Zorychta
 "When you think of a hackathon, you usually envision a bunch of laptops, snack foods, and late nights, with sleepless programmers diligently and intensely working through an iteration of software. But what if we could apply this same energy and momentum in getting new projects started in fixing the problems in healthcare? On the weekend of April 4th-6th, 2014, software engineers, clinicians, biomedical engineers, life sciences entrepreneurs, and designers came together to do just that. Most came from the New York area, but some traveled as far as from the University of Virginia to attend the event." 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Micah Schaible Earns First Place in Huskey Oral

Engineering Physics graduate student Micah Schaible won first place in the 2014 Robert J. Huskey Exhibition sponsored by University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts & Sciences with his talk Squeezing Water from Rocks: Solar modification of the lunar surface. The research exhibition provides members of the University graduate student community a chance to present their research to fellow graduate students and professors. The Huskey Exhibition reaches out across disciplines and brings the broad spectrum of graduate research into one place. Micah’s oral presentation covered the formation of hydroxyl in silicates in space, explaining the circumstances governing the presence of water on the Moon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

VCTIR Utilizes NMCF to Help VDOT Improve Roads

It takes constant research to maintain a safe, efficient, sustainable transportation system in the face of ever-growing demands for mobility. That’s the rationale behind the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR), a long-term partnership between the Engineering School and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

 February 2014 - E-NEWS ONLINE  by Charlie Feigenoff

Left to right: Stephen Sharp, Professor Usman Ozbulut, Richard White

 “VCTIR is an organization that enables VDOT to understand the health of our transportation infrastructure, determine the right time to take corrective action if necessary and select the most-appropriate new approaches,” says Brian Smith, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Working together, Engineering School and VCTIR researchers conduct research on a variety of scales, from large structures and systems to individual material properties.

 “Our job at VCTIR is to produce actionable information,” says Stephen Sharp, a VCTIR senior research scientist who focuses primarily on steels. “We turn to Engineering School faculty to help us generate information we can apply to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of VDOT operations.”

Osman Ozbulut, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is conducting a number of projects with VCTIR. Working together with Sharp, they are exploring alternatives to the steel currently used for bridge girders. They are looking for an alloy that will not require the periodic and expensive maintenance the current materials require. Ozbulut is contributing to this effort by evaluating alloys that are new to structural engineering, examining such parameters as their susceptibility to fatigue.

But as William Johnson, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, notes, “Many of the issues VDOT faces are materials problems. And the tools they need to look at these problems need to be more advanced than they were in the past.” To provide this advanced level of analysis, VCTIR has helped fund the department’s installation of two scanning electron microscopes at its Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility. This new equipment sets the stage for even closer collaboration between VCTIR and the Engineering School.

To gain insight into the microstructure of the steels under analysis—and to determine how the microstructure contributes to their bulk properties — Sharp is working with the facility’s director, Richard White. “We do a cross section and the metallography so we can see what the microstructure looks like,” he says. By combining information from White with Ozbulut’s conclusions, Sharp will be able to determine if it will be worthwhile to test a new steel in the field.

The VCTIR–Engineering School partnership does more than help sustain the commonwealth’s transportation network and expand the Engineering School’s research agenda, important as those two goals are. “Our relationship with VCTIR impacts the educational as well as the research mission of the School,” Johnson observes. Undergraduates regularly serve as VCTIR interns, and graduate students are supported by VCTIR funding. “The great thing about our relationship with VCTIR is that it continues to grow and deepen the more we work together,” Johnson says. ”Over time, it will involve more faculty and more students.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rebecca Schaller awarded Australian travel fellowship

Congratulations to Rebecca Schaller (MSE PhD Candidate) on her Australian Endeavor Research Fellowship. Ms. Schaller will be working directly with Ivan Cole and other researchers at Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, within the Materials Science division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.  The investigation is co-advised with Professor Nick Birbilis of Monash University during a 4 month residency.

The research on atmospheric h2-embrittlement of ultra-high strength steels will provide a parallel investigation to her PhD thesis focus, which is hydrogen production and uptake in high performance alloys.  Her research will be furthered by the atmospheric corrosion and general electrochemistry expertise of Drs. Cole and Birbilis. The internationally competitive award aims to foster better links between research Australian research programs and organizations internationally. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gates Foundation selects RTI International among winners of the "Reinvent the Toilet" Challenge

Seeking to improve the lives of the 2.5 billion people who live without safe and sustainable waste processing, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" in 2011.  Last month, the Better Toilet project, helmed by U.Va Materials Science alumni Brian Stoner (MSE MS  89') completed a full scale prototype of a new integrated toilet system which will be demonstrated in March at an upcoming fair in Delhi, India.  The RPI International collaborative project was previously awarded one of the largest grants given to participants in the second round of the international challenge.

Side view showing liquid disinfection module and solid-liquid separation stage underneath
Side view showing liquid disinfection module
and solid-liquid separation stage underneath

In addition to Brian Stoner, two other alumni of the U.Va Materials Science and Engineering department are Jeff Glass and Paul Natishan.  Jeff Glass (MSE PhD 86'), is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University and serves as the project's electrochemical disinfection and materials development lead. Paul Natishan (MSE PhD 84') serves as one of two of the project's technical advisers lending his expertise in electrochemical treatment of waste.

From the "A Better Toilet" website:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Faraday Tech, home to CESE alumni, nets award from EPA

Presented by the American Chemical Society and the EPA as part of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, the Small Business Award  for 2013 went to Faraday Technology.   Two former members of the Center of Electrochemical Science and Engineering are due congratulations for their contributions toward the EPA award.

img: Faraday Technology
The research leadership at Faraday includes Jennings Taylor who graduated in 1981 and was advised by Glenn Stoner as well as Maria Inman who was a post-doctoral researcher with Rob Kelly's group.   Taylor serves as the Chief Technical Officer for  Faraday Technology while Inman is the Research Director at Faraday and leads Faraday’s research and development function.  Faraday Technology's innovations remain focused on the development and commercialization of novel electrochemical technology and processes.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award recognizes the advances yielded by FARADAYIC® TriChrome Plating process; the process eliminates the need to use  hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) by replacing it the far less toxic trivalent chromium Cr(III).  While Trivalent chromium is  currently used to create light chrome coating processes, it hasn't been suitable for the creation of heavier coatings needed for more demanding industrial uses.  Via the novel electrodeposition process developed at Faraday Technology,  trivalent chromium is now yielding greatly improved coating results that are suitable for industrial processes that were only previously realized when Cr(VI) was used. 

Via Faraday Technology:

    The conventional Cr(VI) electrodeposition process uses a constant direct current during the entire process. Faraday designed a new electrodeposition process that alternates between a forward (cathodic) pulse followed by a reverse (anodic) pulse and an off period (relaxation). Not only does this process allow for thicker coatings from Cr(III), but it can also be adjusted to affect the structure and properties of the coating. This new process results in a product that exhibits equivalent or improved wear and fatigue performance compared to chrome coatings plated from a Cr(VI) bath. In addition, this new Cr(III) plating process is more efficient that the Cr(VI) plating process and does not produce any Cr(VI) as a byproduct. Yet another advantage to this technology over non-chrome alternatives is that it is a true drop-in replacement technology for Cr(VI) coatings. Only new plating bath electrodes are required. Unlike many non-chrome technologies, Faraday’s process can plate both the inner and outer surfaces of a tube.

Tochukwu George Receives Ph.D.

Congratulations to Tochukwu George who was has received his Ph.D. in Materials Science. Tochukwu's thesis titled "Carbon Fiber Composite Cellular Structures" has sought to develop novel hybrid carbon fiber composite lattice structures that are well suited to impact energy absorption.

Tochukwu begins his position at Intel Corporation in San Jose, California in February 2014.

Monday, January 6, 2014

E-NEWS: High Temperature, High Performance

By Charlie Feigenoff

Pass Elizabeth Opila’s laboratory in the evening, and you can see her equipment glow. That’s because Opila, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, is interested in the response of materials to hot and reactive conditions. And when Opila says hot, she means it. She and her students are heating materials to as high as 2,000˚C.

“Regardless of the material, our approach is similar,” she says. “We try to understand what happens to a material as it gets hot, predict how long it will survive and determine how we can make it better.”

Quite naturally, this area of research interests jet engine manufacturers. They would like to replace many of the metal components of engines with the latest ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which can withstand higher temperatures. “There could be a huge payoff for adopting CMCs,” Opila says. “Engines with CMCs would be much lighter, run hotter and be significantly more efficient.”

But there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome first — and Opila is addressing a series of them. CMCs must be able to withstand the corrosive effect of water vapor produced during combustion at the high temperatures and air speeds found in jet engines. With funding from Rolls-Royce, Opila has built a device that simulates this environment and is testing the effect of steam at high temperatures and velocities on different CMC materials. She hopes to discover those underlying characteristics that enable some CMCs to outperform others.

The corrosive effect of sodium sulfate, a byproduct of jet engine combustion in marine environments, is another issue. Opila is investigating its effect on CMCs with a grant from the Office of Naval Research. In addition, she is conducting research sponsored by the Air Force Academy on the glass that can form inside CMCs at high temperatures. “The glass could attack the weight-bearing fibers used to reinforce CMCs,” Opila says. “We are trying to understand the factors that lead to its formation.”

Opila’s expertise in testing and analyzing materials in extremely hot environments has applications for the thermal protection of aircraft — particularly hypersonic aircraft — as well as propulsion. Hypersonic vehicles rush through the atmosphere at speeds in excess of Mach 5. As they do so, they generate a shock wave that subjects their leading edges to extreme temperatures. Opila is trying to understand how a class of ultra-high temperature ceramics will respond in these circumstances. “Their oxidation behavior is not really well defined,” she says. “We are trying to understand these materials at a basic level.” This project has received funding from NASA and the Air Force Office of Strategic Research.

But not all of Opila’s research involves ultra-high temperatures, aircraft or ceramics. She is studying how ferritic steels might perform as interconnects in solid oxide fuel cells. “These interconnects are very thin, and they are exposed to water vapor in a reactive environment,” she says. “We need to know if they can withstand oxidation and last the required 60,000 hours.”

Although Opila is a dedicated materials scientist, her work is not motivated solely by a desire to understand new materials. Rather, she is also inspired by the things these new materials might enable engineers to accomplish. “If we can find materials that work at high temperatures and in extremely reactive environments, we will enable huge performance improvements for power and propulsion technologies,” she says.