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What do kidney stones, a shrimp’s lunch, and fire-fighting foam have in common? The answer lies in the destructive power of sound waves, which UA College of Engineering researchers are investigating as a means of eliminating toxic chemicals
Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Engineering have come up with a novel way to help the U.S. Air Force dispose of stockpiles of dangerous chemicals -- using nothing more than sound waves.
The Air Force has a large stockpile -- almost 11 million liters -- of fire-extinguishing foam, which contains environmentally damaging organic compounds. Manish Keswani, an assistant professor in the department of materials science and engineering, and Reyes Sierra, a professor in the department of chemical and environmental engineering, have been awarded a $243,000 contract by the Air Force Civil Engineering Center to destroy the chemicals using a novel sonochemical process, which uses sound waves to break down complex and toxic molecules into nothing more than carbon dioxide and water.
“Sonolysis relies on the process of cavitation for its success,” Keswani said. “Under certain conditions, sound waves cause the formation of small bubbles that rapidly implode and release an intense shock wave that produces enormous amounts of heat energy and a variety of highly active radicals, which can completely destroy adjacent material.”
Cavitation is used in certain medical procedures and is also found in nature. Shock-wave lithotripsy relies on cavitation to destroy kidney stones, and mantis shrimps use cavitation when hunting their next meal. The shrimps strike with such velocity -- about the speed of a bullet -- that they generate cavitation bubbles in the water between themselves and their target. Even if they don’t make a direct strike, the resulting shock waves are enough to stun or kill their prey.
The heat energy unleashed by cavitation breaks down the bonds that tie large molecules together, such as the perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and carboxylates, or PFCs, found in fire-fighting foams. These toxic PFCs are hard to break down and tend to persist in the environment, and in body tissue, which is why the Air Force will be investigating cavitation as a cost-effective method of producing temperatures in excess of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough to incinerate the problem chemicals.
“One novel aspect of our acoustic technology is the use of multiple sound frequencies to treat large quantities of fire-fighting foam,” Sierra said. Current sonolysis techniques use ultrasonic (20-100 kHz) or megasonic (> 0.5 MHz) frequencies, but results have been disappointing in terms of the volume of material that can be treated using these frequency ranges.
Keswani and Sierra will study the effectiveness of a dual-transducer system they have developed. It uses both ultrasonic and megasonic frequencies and can be scaled up to treat the Air Force’s large stockpile of toxic fire-fighting chemicals. Their objective is to develop a system that will produce the required high incineration temperatures and desired concentration of active oxidizing radicals while consuming the least amount of energy. They have also developed an electrochemical probe that can quickly and economically identify the most effective chemical and acoustic conditions for degrading the toxic chemicals.
See the original article here.
SHPE/UA Science Day yields plenty of Aha! moments for Tucson middle school students.
When the students talked about how “it is all around us,” they were not speaking of the unusually heavy rain that drenched the southwest last week. They were talking about science, technology, engineering and math.
In no way did the soaking dampen the enthusiasm of the nearly 160 Mansfeld Middle School students who were on the University of Arizona campus Nov. 22, 2013 for the annual SHPE/UA Science Day, sponsored by Honeywell.
Students spent the day practicing their teamwork skills as they mixed, stirred, filtered, poured and spooled for a chance to observe fruit DNA; puzzled, arranged and connected their way to the creation of an electric circuit; and figured, balanced and constructed en route to completing a number of engineering and science experiments, including one that featured a bowling ball pendulum!
The UA student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which hosted the STEM outreach program, not only brought science to life for the students, but also members passed on a bit of wisdom about the academic and professional life awaiting the world’s future engineers.
“Science Day is one of the outreach events we hold throughout the year that give us a chance to share our knowledge about the importance of STEM and inspire kids to pursue academic degrees and careers in engineering fields,” said Leah Herlihy, SHPE/UA Science Day vice president and a senior in materials science and engineering. “From experience, we can tell these kids, ‘You can do this; you can succeed.’ ”
See the original article here.
The UA student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers recently announced that materials science and engineering senior Jeremy Hamilton has been voted the club’s first Wildcat of the Month.
Club president and chemical engineering junior Iesha Batts said the club established the award to improve the quality of student club members. “Recognizing people for their accomplishments and dedication encourages others to improve their performance,” Batts said. “Even though one person wins this award, acknowledging hard-working members makes everyone in the society feel good because they see that this person is working with and for them.”
Hamilton said he was honored to be recognized as the inaugural Wildcat of the Month. “This award means a lot to me,” he said. “Not only because it displays my hard work to my peers, but also because it shows that UA NSBE is really taking an interest in the success of its members.”
Hamilton received the award for his high academic achievements and dedication to the club and its activities. “In the midst of his demanding senior year, Jeremy has attended every NSBE gathering and shared his wealth of experience of campus funding with the club,” Batts said. “That kind of dedication to our society while achieving high grades is what we value.”
Ideally, Batts said, the club would like to find sponsorship for the award. “At the end of the school year we want to enter all monthly Wildcat of the Month winners in a raffle for a cash prize,” she said.
But there is more to this award than a prize. In her role as club president, Batts wants to provide UA NSBE members with the opportunities to gain experience relevant to their professional lives after graduation. “That way they have the edge over their peers and are able to perform better,” Batts said. “The goal is for employers to be impressed by the quality of students in UA NSBE.”
To view the full article, click here.
MSE Assistant Professor Robert Erdmann will be Co-Primary Investigator on a $7.5 million dollar Air Force Project to predict material failure. The multi-university research project is headed by Erdogan Madenci, professor with the UA Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department, and will research how to predict damage and failure of materials used in applications spanning microchips to spaceships. The UA engineering team will collaborate with researchers at the University of Texas, San Antonio; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Pennsylvania State University; and Arizona State University. Erdmann will apply his research in computational materials science and engineering to investigate the link between mateirial microstructures and fracture properties. Ibrahim Guven, MSE Assistant Professor, will research how grain structure affects the fracture mechanics of materials. Further advancement of peridynamic theory will result in breakthrough improvements in material properties and performance in a wide range of appliations, ranging from lightweight aerospace vehicles to naval vessels.
To view the full article, click here.
“Financial assistance is simply a vehicle to transport dreams to a place of fruition,” said Pete Hushek, president of Phoenix Heat Treating.
Hushek recently established the Charles J. Hushek Scholarship in memory of his father, Charles “Chuck” Hushek, who founded Phoenix Heat Treating in 1963. The younger Hushek’s major -- metallurgical engineering -- no longer exists at UA, and the endowed scholarship will support undergraduate students in the UA College of Engineering’s materials science and engineering department.
Longtime Phoenix resident Pete Hushek was born in Phoenix less than a year after his parents moved from Milwaukee, Wis., and comes from a family that has been in the metals business for almost a century. His own involvement in the industry goes back nearly 40 years to long before his graduation from the University of Arizona.
“My UA education has benefited me greatly,” Hushek said. “On any given day I use the breadth of experience that my education in the classroom established, and which my practical plant floor expanded upon, to help me solve processing problems for a wide range of industrial markets.” These two streams of knowledge -- theoretical and practical -- work hand in hand, Hushek said, to help him make prudent decisions.
During a two-year hiatus between his sophomore and junior years at UA, Hushek worked on the shop floor at his father’s company, where he saw first-hand the need for theoretical knowledge to supplement his practical experience. “Working the floor at PHT enriched my vision of how, where, when and why my studies would be of benefit,” he said. “I am not sure if it would have worked as well any other way.”
Hushek said he established the scholarship because his experiences following graduation made him realize that engineering was crucial to society, and that it should have a more prominent position in the economy. “We can’t have full employment in financial services alone,” he noted.
“The economy needs manufacturing,” Hushek said. “If students have a desire to understand at a core level more about how things work, they should be able to pursue an education without accumulating debt.”
Echoing his own time on the shop floor as a student, Hushek also provides engineering undergraduates with practical experience through an intern program at Phoenix Heat Treating. “They do fantastic work, and I am very lucky to work with them,” he said. “These students get to see the wonderful world of manufacturing, where their basic learning can provide them a path to a satisfying career limited only by their dreams and desires.”
See the full article here.
Of the 500 or so steps in making a computer microchip, up to 100 involve avoiding contamination.
One UA researcher has a better idea, a way to dramatically improve the cleaning steps. He’s Manish Keswani, assistant research professor of materials sciences and engineering.
But how can he prove that his idea to dislodge nanoscale particles from microchip surfaces is a good bet for investors? It’s not easy to get even good ideas to the market.
Happily for Keswani, he was at the right place at just the right time. He recently won an award through the UA’s Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) to provide data to show potential investors exactly what his invention will do for them. He and a grad student are working to produce what technology developers call “proof of concept.”
Meanwhile, TLA will protect his intellectual property rights as it helps identify companies that might adopt his technology. If all goes well, one of those companies will want to sign a license agreement.
Read full article here.
University of Arizona Engineering alumnus John Rodgers recently established a perpetual scholarship in honor of Tom Morris, former head of the UA department of mining and metallurgy.
Rodgers graduated from UA in 1972 with a bachelor's in metallurgical engineering, and in 1974 with a master's in the same. Rodgers describes his former professor and department head as “one of the greatest gentlemen I’ve ever met.” Tom Morris died in 1994 at age 78, and the metallurgical engineering major no longer exists, but both made an indelible impression on Rodgers as a Prescott High School senior in 1967.
Rodgers said that in high school he was uncertain about his career direction but had an interest in metallurgy, so he visited Morris on senior day in the spring of 1967. “He sat me down and explained all the ways he could help me financially through the course of my undergraduate education,” Rodgers said. “Tom cared a lot about his students.”
“I had no money, and neither did my parents. I survived college on scholarships and summer work in mines that Tom helped me secure,” Rodgers said. “Regardless of your background or where you came from, Tom was a very caring department head and teacher, and he did a lot for me and for many others. I’m establishing the scholarship to pass on the opportunity he gave me.”
Read full article here.
The University of Arizona is one of only eight institutions in the nation to be selected and funded under a major, nationwide initiative designed to greatly enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Aimed at addressing the nationwide demand to improve education, retain more majors and expand the workforce in STEM, the Association of American Universities (AAU) announced the eight project sites of the STEM Undergraduate Education Initiative, which is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
“The award recognizes our university's commitment to improve STEM undergraduate education by promoting and supporting the application of evidence-based teaching practices,” said Vicente Talanquer, co-principal investigator on the UA grant.
Under the initiative, the UA has established the UA AAU STEM Project, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary effort that significantly will expand STEM-related collaborative enterprises, curricula and funding opportunities.
Read full article here.
The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the awarding of the prestigious Thomas G. Chapman Fellowship to Elyse Canosa, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in the MSE department’s Heritage Conservation science program. Elyse completed her master’s degree last year, on carbon isotope analysis of 19th century paper negatives, and she will now focus on corrosion resistance of photographic materials. She works at the Arizona State Museum and volunteers at the Center for Creative Photography. Elyse has also worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute and the New York University Conservation Center, where she assisted students in the use of spectrophotometers to perform color and light measurements. The Chapman Fellowship award is $10,000.
The College of Engineering Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon was held on May 8, 2013 in the SUMC-Catalina Room. Elsa Morales, Administrative Associate in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE), received the 2013 William Primm Cosart Award. The prestigious award honors and rewards staff for exceptional service in support of the College's mission. Elsa was nominated by MSE Department Head Pierre Deymier: "Elsa is fully dedicated to her programs and her students. She tirelessly advises, guides, and assists students with academic and administrative issues. This help is given with her expert touch as well as a lot of personal care.” Elsa was awarded a $1,500 cash award.
MSE Professor Robert Erdmann was invited by the Netherlands RKD (Rijkbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie) and CODART (an international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art) to deliver a lecture entitled "Technically Analyzing Art in the Digital Age" on May 21st, 2013.
Dr. Erdmann, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), is currently a Fellow-in-Residence at NIAS, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the humanities and social sciences. His projects there include applying computer vision and machine-learning techniques to automated analysis of the canvases of paintings.
The UA College of Engineering announced the Outstanding Seniors, Outstanding Graduate Students and Outstanding Teaching Assistants for the spring 2013 semester at a spring commencement luncheon on May 1, 2013. A record number of awards, 34, were made. MSE senior Bradley Rubin and Ph.D. candidate Russell Beal were both recipients of awards. Further reading
MSE was well represented at 2013 Engineering Design Day on April 30th. Eight senior students were part of multidisciplinary teams: Brian Akpan, Nathan Fenstemaker, Hyun Jun Ji, Chelsea Miller, Andrew Phipps, Bradley Rubin, Brian Rule, and Zachary Smith.
Hyun Jun Ji and his team won the $500 award for Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design, bestowed by Tucson’s Latitude Engineering LLC. The project entitled High Force Damper Test was sponsored by Tucson’s Airtronics Inc.
The 10th Annual Materials Bowl took place at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, AZ on April 23, 2013. Four University of Arizona (UA) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) teams squared off against six ASU Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering teams in what is known as The Battle for the Materials Territorial Trophy, a senior project and poster competition created in 2003 by Norm Hubel, President and Founder of Refrac Systems.
The event was sponsored by the ASM International Phoenix Chapter and 5 jury members issued from the materials community awarded three top ranked projects.
UA MSE Fangyuan “Amber” Gai won first prize and brought the Materials Territorial Trophy back to the Materials Science and Engineering Department. Amber also received a $1,000 cash award. Her research presentation and poster were based on her senior design project that she conducted under the advisement of MSE Assistant Professor, Dr. Erica Corral, that was supported by funding an NSF-CAREER award. The title of Amber’s poster was: Effect of Sintering Temperature, Cooling Rate, and Direct Current Density on Hardness and Microstructure of ZrB₂-SiC Ultra-high Temperature Composites. Fangyuan Gai, David Pham, William Pinc, Luke Walker, Erica Corral. “ZrB₂-SiC is an ultra-high temperature ceramic composite for hypersonic vehicles applications. Spark Plasma Sintering uses direct current to process ZrB₂-SiC. Influence of processing parameters on hardness and microstructure will be investigated.”
ASU teams took 2nd and 3rd place.
The event was well attended by members of academia and of the local business community. UA MSE Dr. David Poirier and Dr. Doug Loy were present to support their students.
PARITY FOR WOMEN IN STEM FIELDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA AN ELUSIVE GOAL
Advanced degrees and professional success haven't spared Leslie Tolbert from gender bias in the scientific world. She holds the University of Arizona's top research administrative position, is an accomplished neuroscientist and has a Ph.D. from Harvard University. But she has sat through meetings where her ideas were ignored until they were echoed by a man, who then received credit for them. It's frustrating, she said, but also motivating. "You do wonder what it is about you that makes you invisible or inaudible," said Tolbert, the UA's senior vice president for research. Tolbert heads up a program to change the climate toward women in science. She is the co-principal investigator of the UA Advance grant from the National Science Foundation. The grants are awarded to universities throughout the country with the goal of increasing the representation and retention of women in academic science, engineering, technology and mathematics - or STEM - positions. The focus is the often-unconscious assumption that men are more competent when it comes to science and research. Read full article here.
Dr. Robert Erdmann, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), is currently a Fellow-in-Residence at NIAS, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the humanities and social sciences. Each year, the Institute invites around 50 carefully selected scholars, both from within and outside the Netherlands, to its center in Wassenaar where they are given the opportunity to do research over a ten-month or five-month period. Fellows carry out their research either as individuals or as part of a research theme group. NIAS Fellows are selected from prominent researchers and senior scholars in the humanities and social sciences, who have already made a contribution to their field.
Dr. Erdmann is working on two projects during his fellowship. In the first, he is teaming with Prof. Laurens van der Maaten of TU Delft to apply computer vision and machine-learning techniques to automated analysis of the canvases of paintings. By designing algorithms that enable computers to automatically detect and trace every thread in a canvas, the subtle patterns of thread-to-thread spacing, which are unique to a bolt of canvas, can be extracted to obtain a sort of “canvas fingerprint” for a painting. When a group of paintings can be found with the same fingerprint, it can be inferred that their canvases came from the same roll, providing strong evidence about the attribution and sequencing of paintings such as those of Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Rembrandt.
In the second project, he is working as the director of digital infrastructure for the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP) designing algorithms to automatically stitch and align extremely high-resolution images of paintings collected with visible light, infrared photography, infrared reflectography, and radiography and to make these available online with a variety of new interactive visualizations. These imaging techniques enable art historians and conservators to see past repairs, additional paint layers, and the artist’s original sketches hidden beneath the surfaces of paintings, making it significantly easier to address questions of attribution, study painting technique and studio practice, and to plan conservation and restoration strategies.
The University of Arizona department of materials science and engineering offers a diverse, world-class faculty and a pioneering and wide-ranging curriculum at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, with an innovative, entrepreneurial perspective through industry, government, academic and community partnerships.
I would like to welcome you to the department, where I hope you will be excited by the forward-looking and optimistic vision that our outstanding faculty, staff and students have developed.
Pierre Deymier, Department Head
The Honors College 3rd Annual First Year Project Showcase took place on April 15. This year, a group of 45 first-year students presented their research findings during the ever-expanding spring showcase for the largest number of students presenting.
Research categories were:
Teri Elwood, an Honors freshman student who intends to major in
Materials Science and Engineering won 1st prize in the Lab/Field Experience
category with her project entitled “Graphene: Finding the Perfect Recipe”. Her faculty
mentors were Dr. Supapan Seraphin, assisted by Dr. Krishna Muralidharan and
Ph.D. candidate Tony Jefferson of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Category Winner: Brittany Rudolph, “Lessons in Cultural Hybridity from a Renaissance Panel”
Honorable Mentions: Kaelyn Garner, “Go Veg! The Benefits of Eating Less Meat” and Ben Wu, “Phthalocyanine Self-Assembled Monolayers of Gold”
APPLIED RESEARCH/COMMUNITY PROJECT
Category and Overall Showcase Winner: Kaylie Sanchez, “Community Based Allergic Diseases Education”
Category Winner: Alex McIntyre, “A Muerte: Progression and Dedication in Tucson Climbing”
Honorable Mentions: Julie Daffron, An Intrinsic Exploratory Dance” and Emily Franklin, “Tattoo: Who are you?”
Category Winner: Callie Branyan, “Integration of Artificial Muscle into Surveillance Robotics”
HONORS COLLEGE COMMON READING
Category Winner: Tanner Jean-Louis, “How are our Perceptions of Others Shaped by their Accents?”
Category Winner: Teri Elwood, “Graphene: Finding the Perfect Recipe”
Honorable Mention: Theo Jones, “Lazy Ants: Temnothorax Rugatulus Inactivity”
The 2013 TUCSON GLASS FESTIVAL--S.T.E.A.M. OFF: The Science Behind the Art - was presented by Philabaum Glass Gallery & Studio and Sonoran Glass School on April 13-14, 2013. The S.T.E.A.M. OFF is a glass blowing competition where teams of artists compete to create the piece with the most S.T.E.A.M i.e elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. UA Professor of Materials Science & Engineering Pam Vandiver, and students Leah Edwards, Brendan Tobin and Autumn Eaton took 2nd place with their “Camel Train”. The exhibition titled “The Science Behind The Art”, featuring the competitors at the Tucson Glass Festival’s S.T.E.A.M. OFF competition is now on display in the Philabaum gallery. The range of creativity that the glass artists exhibited in portraying the science inspires all, no matter which side of the academics you find yourself. http://www.philabaumglass.com/category/whats-happening
With more than 1,000 people in attendance, the 2013 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest: College Nationals, on March 30 was an overwhelming success. Hosted by the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, children, students, parents, grandparents and interested onlookers had a wonderful time watching students run their machines and compete for the number ONE spot. The machines were wild, and the crowd and students, extremely enthusiastic!
Seven talented collegiate teams put their creations to the test as they attempted to hammer a nail using a variety of every-day items in a whimsical way. The competing teams were: UW Barron County; University of Texas/Austin; Penn State; Purdue University; University of Arizona, Washington University in St. Louis, and Corning Community College.
Second place went to the University of Arizona. The UA team - which includes MSE students Chris Cantoni, Andy Luc, Joshua Paul, and Jacob Rochester - also received the Legacy Award for having the machine with the best incorporation of humor and engineering creativity, an award they also received at the 2012 Contest.
April 2013 - MSE student Leah Herlihy could have been a model. At 17, ink barely dry on her high school diploma, she went to Paris, France, to take part in modeling tryouts. The very next day she was offered a one-way ticket to Milan to begin her modeling career.
It sounds like a dream come true, but Herlihy was torn. She had been accepted by the UA College of Engineering and orientation was just a week away. "I think you all know what decision I made," she said to the audience at a recent UA Engineering scholarship reception. "I made a promise to myself that day: You will graduate in four years with an engineering degree. You will change the world. And most importantly, you will pay mom and dad back for this trip." Full article here.
April 2013 - The UA's Erica Corral and her team create and test advanced high-temperature resistant materials for use in extreme environmental conditions. Recently, a new direct current sintering furnace was delivered to the Corral Laboratory. Before the new equipment could be used, the Arizona Materials Laboratory had to be specially renovated to accommodate the large high-temperature ceramics oven. Watch full video here.
March 2013 - Thanks to a new Intel-UA collaboration, Intel employees now have the opportunity to boost their education to help keep Intel the world's biggest chip manufacturer.
"I've always wanted to complete my four-year engineering degree, but kids and a family made it more and more difficult to find the time," said Mike Dokouzian, a facilities manager at Intel's Ocotillo site in Chandler, Arizona, and one of the first students to enroll in the program.
Intel's Fab/Sort Manufacturing College of Engineering (COE) - the company's corporate university - and the University of Arizona College of Engineering are working together to give Intel employees a distance-learning opportunity to earn UA Bachelor of Science degrees in chemical engineering and materials science and engineering.
The online program allows Intel FSM employees the flexibility to further their education while managing their work and life needs.
At a recent event to cement the relationship between Intel and the UA, Intel presented the UA team with a framed memento to recognize the collaboration.
Left to right are Lalita Rao, director of Intel FSM COE; Brian McCarson, Intel COE faculty member; Pierre Deymier, director of the UA School of Sustainable Engineered Systems and head of the UA department of Materials Science and Engineering; Jim Baygents, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UA College of Engineering; Michelle St. Louis Weber, F22 plant manager at Intel's Ocotillo site; and Jim Field, head of the UA department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.
January 2013 - Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) completed the award process for the first Proof of Concept Program (POC) at the University of Arizona. The POC program is aimed at accelerating commercialization activities by providing funding to researchers at the University of Arizona to advance development of their inventions. Tech Launch Arizona’s POC program focus is identifying key value inflection points in the development pathway for a given technology, and providing funding for early technology development steps necessary to reduce risk for the next participant in the investment or adoption value chain. The funds are not intended to be used as bridge funding, basic research funding, or general lab support.
A total of 14 proposals were submitted by College of Engineering researchers. Seven awards were granted to engineering research teams, four of which were MSE teams.
Read more here.