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: