Archive for 2014

Kira Rundel Wins First Place at Homecoming Poster Fair

Kira Rundel presented a poster titled “Exploring the Effect of Donor Polymer Molecular Weight in Bulk Heterojunction All-Polymer Solar Cells” for the 2014 Homecoming Undergraduate/Graduate poster fair. She received first place in the Undergraduate Engineering category and won both the Women’s Chemical Society Award and the President’s Award.

Her presentation is based on the senior design project that she is conducting under the advisement of assistant professor Erin Ratcliff.

Materials Science and Engineering Department is a new member of Investment Casting Institute

The Investment Casting Institute (ICI) recently welcomed the UA department of Materials Science and Engineering as an affiliate member. The Investment Casting Institute is a manufacturer's trade association. The organization's primary mission is to promote the investment casting process as well as ICI members in addition to collecting and disseminating information about the industry and providing education opportunities to members. Established in 1953, the Institute is comprised of over 245 companies, half of which are casting members and the other half of which are supplier members.

Sloan Scholars Program Recruitment Opportunity

This Thursday, October 2nd, from 5:00 - 6:30 pm at Old Engineering Room 210, we will have a recruiter for Cornell University's Sloan program. This is a great opportunity for students. If interested, please RSVP to Cindy Cowen at

MSE Professor Pierre Lucas is Co-Author on Newly Published Book on Rare Earth

MSE Professor Pierre Lucas is the co-author of a new book on rare earth that has just been published. The book, titled "Rare Earths: Science, Technology, Production and Use" presents a comprehensive review of the structure and properties of rare earth elements (REE) and illuminates ways to reduce the use of water and energy during production of materials and to efficiently recycle rare earth materials, both of end-use products and in the production of new products. 

In addition to his position as Professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering, Dr. Lucas is the co-Director of the CNRS International Associated Laboratory for Materials and Optics (LIA-MATEO). Dr. Lucas has authored over 60-peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has led several funded research projects on rare-earth doped luminescent glasses. His research focuses on the fundamentals and applications of infrared glasses, including their structure, photosensitivity, and the development of novel optical sensors. The fundamental aspect of his research involves the structure and topology of chalcogenide network glasses in relation to their average coordination as well as the mechanism of photoinduced structural change under sub-bandgap irradiation such as photofluidity, photoexpansion and photodarkening. Applied aspects of his work have focused on the design and fabrication of infrared optical bio-sensors based on chalcogenide fibers and other optical elements such as conducting ATR crystals. These sensors have been applied to the capture and detection of bacteria and viruses as well as monitoring of live cell cultures.

MSE Seminar 8/25/14 - Infrared thermography: A powerful tool in mechanics of materials


Colloquium - MSE 595A
Monday, August 25, 2014
2:00-2:50 PM
Harshbarger 206

Infrared thermography: A powerful tool in mechanics of materials
Prof. Jean benoit Le Cam


The design of industrial components requires to take into account thermal effects during the deformation of materials. For example, an increase of one degree in tire during driving will induce a significant decrease of its lifetime. Therefore, it is necessary to characterize phenomena that produce heat during deformation of materials and structures to better design them. This is the reason why infrared thermography appears as an interesting technique of characterization. Moreover, this technique enables us to investigate the calorimetric response of materials, which is of paramount importance for modelling their behavior. One of the main difficulties lies in the strong multi-disciplinarity between thermal, optics and mechanics, with numerous challenges that will be highlighted during the talk from illustrative examples dealing with elastomer and glass materials.

Short Bio:

After several years as a research engineer in the Total group Prof Jean-Benoît Le Cam received his PhD from Ecole Centrale de Nantes in 2005 and has since worked on fatigue damage and fracture mechanisms in elastomers. In 2006, he joined the academic staff of the French Institute of Advanced Mechanics (IFMA) as an Assistant Professor, where he developed the mechanics of elastomers. In 2010, he was appointed director of the Structures and Mechanics of Materials departement at IFMA. In this period, he has extended his research field to quantitative calorimetry in mechanics of elastomers. In 2011, he joined the Institute of Physics at Rennes University as a Professor in order to create a Quantitative Imaging Group and to study mechanics of elastomers and glasses. His industrial partners belong to various sectors of engineering: automotive (Michelin), oil pumping (PCM) and anti-vibration systems (Cooper Standard), to name a few.

USIF SEM User Workshop


The USIF Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Workshop Series is a one-day workshop that will be held Thursday, August 21st, 2014 to support training on the Hitachi S-3400 and Hitachi S-4800 SEM. The workshop includes a review of basic instrument principles, operations, and parameter adjustments; a discussion of the effects of changing parameters on image quality; and an overview of the software available. The SEM workshop is open to all UA students and researchers who will be using SEM for their research projects. This workshop is provided free of charge, and the deadline to apply for the course is Thursday, August 14th at 5pm.  Please RSVP to

Preliminary Program (Location TBD)

Lecture: 9-12 am Basic SEM & High Resolution

Lecture: 1-2:30 am EDS and Elemental Analysis

Lab: 2:30 – 4:30 pm


Thursday August 21st, 2014



MSE 2014 Pre-Commencement Dinner

Assistant professor Manish Keswani, graduating senior Benjamin Behman and graduate student Rajesh Balachandran

The MSE 2014 Pre-Commencement Dinner took place last Friday, May 16, at the Viscount Suite Hotel. Department head Pierre Deymier congratulated all graduating students and presented the award for Outstanding Senior as well as awards to students and faculty for Excellent Performance at the Student Interface.

Paul K. Neff won the award for Outstanding Senior.

Supapan Seraphin won the award for Most Supportive Senior Faculty Member.

Manish Keswani won the award for Most Supportive Junior Faculty Member.

Manish Kewasi receives Most Supportive Junior Faculty AwardManish Kewasi receives Most Supportive Junior Faculty Award

Graduate student Rajesh Balachandran won the award for Most Helpful TA.

Dr. Deymier personally congratulated each graduating student.

See all the pictures on our MSE Facebook Group!

College Announces Spring 2014 Outstanding Seniors, Grad Students and Teaching Assistants

The UA College of Engineering announced the outstanding seniors, graduate students and teaching assistants for the spring 2014 semester at a commencement luncheon May 5.

See below for details of winners in the categories of Outstanding Seniors, Outstanding Graduate Students, and Outstanding Teaching Assistants.

Outstanding Seniors

Tianna Stefano, aerospace engineering; nominated by Arvind Raman
Auni Kundu, mechanical engineering; nominated by Arvind Raman
Amanda Frazier, biomedical engineering; nominated by Donald Uhlmann
John Hottenstein, biosystems engineering; nominated by Donald Slack
Rachel Barroso, chemical engineering; nominated by Paul Blowers
Derek Smith, civil engineering; nominated by Lianyang Zhang
Casey Mackin, electrical and computer engineering; nominated by Roman Lysecky
Erika McMahan, engineering management; nominated by Michael Arnold
Paul Neff, materials science and engineering: nominated by Erica Corral
Andrew DeSantola, mining engineering; nominated by Moe Momayez
Johnathan Davis, optical sciences and engineering; nominated by Michael Nofziger
Paul Holtfrerich, industrial engineering; nominated by Ann Wilkey
Kwei Tschen, systems engineering; nominated by Young-Jun Son

Outstanding Graduate Students

Omid Kazemi, mechanical engineering; nominated by Parviz Nikravesh
Juan Gonzalez Cena, agricultural and biosystems engineering; nominated by Donald Slack
Mariano Garcia-Soto, chemical engineering; nominated by Roberto Guzmán
Lila Otero-Gonzalez, environmental engineering; nominated by Reyes Sierra
Rui Chen, civil engineering and engineering mechanics; nominated by Lianyang Zhang
Jenna Kloosterman, electrical and computer engineering; nominated by Christopher Walker
Kevin Schwab, engineering management; nominated by Michael Arnold
John Kidd, systems engineering; nominated by Roberto Furfaro
Dan Zhang, systems and industrial engineering; nominated by Jian Liu

Outstanding Teaching Assistants

Like Zeng, aerospace and mechanical engineering; nominated by Cho Lik Chan
Scott Angus, agricultural and biosystems engineering; nominated by Jeong-Yeol Yoon
Vasiliki Karanikola, chemical and environmental engineering; nominated by Paul Blowers
Anshul Agarwal, civil engineering and engineering mechanics; nominated by Robert Fleischman
Shuai Chang, electrical and computer engineering; nominated by Ali Akoglu
Julia Wetherill, electrical and computer engineering; nominated by Michael Marcellin
Byron Cocilovo, optical sciences and engineering; nominated by Robert Norwood
Mingyang Li, systems and industrial engineering; nominated by Jian Liu

See more here.

Ingenuity Reigns at 2014 UA Engineering Design Day

More than 350 students displayed their creations — from a street sweeper onion-harvesting contraption to a towering 3-D printed rocket that passed all its flight tests — during the 12th UA Engineering Design Day. 

If you were due for a heavy dose of ingenuity, the University of Arizona was the place to be yesterday as more than 350 Engineering students displayed and demoed the results of their year-long senior projects.

Solar power ruled, rockets fascinated, cameras detected, medical devices remedied, and sustainability was front and center at the 2014 Engineering Design Day, held May 6 in the UA Student Union Memorial Center and on the UA Mall. Top design teams took more than $14,000 in prizes.

There was the modification of a street sweeper to make it into an efficient onion bulb harvester. For their clean, low-cost design that simply worked well, the multidisciplinary team won the Sargent Aerospace and Defense Voltaire Design Award.

A coveted $1,000 Texas Instruments Analog Design Award went to the team of electrical engineering and systems engineering students who created a meter to detect the power consumption of different devices in homes and businesses.

Students at Tanque Verde High School in Tucson, Arizona, have new educational opportunities and home-grown vegetables and fish, thanks to an agriculture and biosystems engineering team on the greenhouse aquaponics project. They won the Rosemont Copper Best Sustainable Engineering Award.

Two teams created award-winning solar-powered camera systems for a desert environment — one for detecting border crossers, another for monitoring soil erosion.

A $770 automated time-lapse camera system to remotely monitor soil erosion was ready to start collecting data this monsoon season on the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed near Tombstone, Arizona. The system will sense rain, take photos at 30-second intervals and deliver them on demand to scientists at the Southwest Watershed Research Center.

“Before, someone had to be there on site to monitor the erosion,” said team member Deanna Johnson, a mechanical engineering major, adding that she felt fortunate to work on a “customer-oriented, industry-related project with a client who did a great job of working with us.”

The team’s work was rewarded with a $750 Best Design Documentation Award from Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona.

Judges deemed the proof of concept design for a saguaro border surveillance system the most manufacturable of the projects on display, and the team took home a $750 prize, sponsored by AGM Container Controls. The solar-powered network of cameras hidden inside saguaro cactuses was created to stream images to border patrol agents and help them identify illegal border crossers. Seismic sensors in use now detect movement, but they cannot identify what is causing the movement, explained team member Sean Baker, a mechanical engineering student.

“They can’t tell the difference between a cow and a person.” he said. “Agents do not always know what type of situation they are walking into or they use valuable time investigating nonincidents, so this will actually monitor what is out there.”

>> Design Day Guide Book: Full list of projects on display at Engineering Design Day.

In the medical arena, award winners included a wireless flow sensor for cerebral spinal fluid, a self-administered tonometer to measure interocular pressure related to glaucoma, a wearable clinical frailty meter to help identify and treat instability and other problems associated with aging, and a cell phone amplifier for people with hearing difficulties.

Second place for best overall design went to a multidisciplinary team — including mechanical, optical science and materials science engineering students — that created an automobile dashboard quality control system. And an aerospace engineering team won the first-place Sensintel Systems Best Overall Design Award for its high-powered rocket altitude-targeting system. The impressive 10-foot black rocket, constructed partially from additive manufacturing, or 3-D printed, components, towered above more than 1,000 people who turned out to see the Design Day creations.

The most exciting part of the project for many of the aerospace engineering team members: the test launch, of course!

“It was a heart-stopping experience,” exclaimed Austin Mills, who also said he was relieved to see the parachute deploy and the rocket return after its 2,000-foot climb. “Sometimes they don’t.”

The UA Engineering Design Day, sponsored by industry and faculty and supported by judges from local and national engineering firms, is the culmination of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Program. Many of the projects go on to become real commercial products.

See here for more info and a list of 2014 UA Engineering Design Day prize winners.

See the latest edition of UA's Arizona Engineering Research Magazine

The latest edition of UA's Arizona Engineering Research magazine is now available. Click on the image below to see the latest updates on UA's College of Engineering faculty, students and research!

MSE Student Wins 1st Place at the 11th Annual Materials Bowl

MSE student Paul K. NeffMSE students won top awards, and secured the coveted Materials Territorial Trophy, at the 11th Annual Materials Bowl on April 29, 2014.

UA swept the awards, earning first through fifth place at the event, which was sponsored by the ASM International Phoenix Chapter and attended by members of academia and local business.

MSE student Paul K. Neff won first place for his research project "Characterization and Use of an Oxyacetylene Torch for Ablation Testing of Aerospace Materials," and in second was MSE students Steven Kyle Eddy and Yuan Xi Gu for "Mitigation of Copper Corrosion using Graphene Coatings."

Steven Kyle EddyAnne Ellis won third place for "The Effect of Pressure on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered Silicon Nitride," and fourth place went to Autumn Eaton for "Liangchengzhen Ceramics: The Design, Manufacture and Use."

Fifth place went to Zachery Kosterman-Patterson and Colin Weber for "A Novel Technique for Contactless Copper Electrodeposition for 3D Packaging Applications."

Congratulations to all who participated on bringing the Materials Territorial Trophy back to UA's campus!


Anne EllisAutumn Eaton with her projectMaterials Bowl 2014 student competitorsAttendees, students and judges at the 2014 Materials Bowl

MSE Clean-Room Lab Helps Students Prepare for Spotless High-Tech Jobs

clean room

A revitalized clean-room practices lab at the University of Arizona aims to make its students more marketable for high-tech jobs after graduation.

The two-credit course, titled “semiconductor processing lab,” is part of the engineering program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

This is the newest semiconductor processing lab at the UA and is open to both graduate and undergraduate students, says department head Pierre Deymier.

The class educates students on tool sets and processes required for the fabrication of structures that may be used in integrated circuits, memory devices, biomedical sensors and more.

For undergraduates who have taken the lab, there are better internship opportunities available, especially in the Phoenix area.

“There’s a lot of opportunities,” said Professor Srini Raghavan, who teaches the lab course. “Chandler and Queen Creek is Intel country. We are really in the heart of semiconductor manufacturing.”

“My students get these jobs after graduation,” he said.

Diane Haiber, a materials sciences and engineering undergraduate junior, got an internship this summer after marketing her skills she learned from this semester’s clean-room lab.

“This lab provided me with the hands-on experience and lab skills,” she said. “It helped me stand out better, for sure.”

The facility is the only class-10 certified clean- room facility on campus. For a lab to be certified as a class 10 facility, things must be carried out and operated in a clean environment with no more than 10 particles sized at half a micron or larger per cubic foot of air.

In perspective, one particle of sand is sized at about 100 to 10,000 microns.

The best clean-room standard is a class 1, which companies like IBM and Samsung use. Then there is the class 10 standard up to a class 100,000 standard.

Many challenges come with keeping a clean-room facility open.

First, high-tech companies are about two generations ahead of universities in their technologies, which makes the equipment available for the classroom rather archaic, according to Raghavan.

Second, it takes a lot of money to operate a class 10 lab, Raghavan said. For example, the lab’s fan must constantly circulate the air, which can be costly.

The UA’s interim vice president for research, Jennifer Barton, contributed about $2,500 toward the clean room’s funding. Additional funds came from differential tuition from the department, a joint program between Intel and the College of Engineering, and an extra student fee.

The lab has a 15-student capacity. Most of the lab’s students are from the College of Engineering, but Raghavan said he is able to relax the standards for anyone interested in the course who has taken some science and engineering classes. He recommends taking his preceding course, “semiconductor processing,” first.

Before taking the lab, students must complete an online safety course that takes no more than a couple of hours, and pay a $100 fee that is added into tuition.

“A hundred dollars is nothing when you consider the payoff of experience and internships,” Haiber said. “In the end, it pays for itself.”

Students enrolled in the lab will work with Raghavan, facility manager Omid Mahdavi, and two other staff members, Gregg Cure and Steve Orozco, who explain how the lab’s tools work, how to handle hazardous chemicals and more.

Currently, students are working on handling and cleaning silicon wafers or round disks that cannot come into contact with oils, particles or any metals. Eventually, the students will learn how to etch patterns on the disks and format layers.

While students write their reports individually, they work as a group, which Raghavan said is important for them to learn before entering a workforce.

“It’s critical that our students not only understand science, but can also operate in future workforces,” Deymier said. “It’s the key element of our curriculum — to get them jobs, good jobs.”

See the full article here.

MSE Grad Student Stefan Bringuier Awarded 2014-2015 Thomas G. Chapman Fellowship

MSE grad student Stefan Bringuier has just received the 2014-2015 Thomas G. Chapman Fellowship. Stefan is currently pursuing his PhD in MSE with a minor in computational materials science under Dr. Krishna Muralidharan and Dr. Pierre Deymier. The Thomas G. Chapman Fellowship is one of the college's most prestigious awards. Please join us in congratulating Stefan on this outstanding achievement!

MSE Grad Student Rajesh Balachandran Wins Best Student Presentation at SEMATECH Conference

MSE graduate student Rajesh Balachandran was recently awarded the distinction of Best Student Presentation for his talk on "Characterization of Stable and Transient Cavitation Using a Novel Electrochemical Sensor for Development of an Effective and Damage-free Megasonic Cleaning Process" (please see below for details on the authors for this paper). The presentation was given at the 2014 SEMATECH Surface Cleaning and Preparation Conference held April 22-24, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Congratulations Rajesh!

Author information:
Rajesh Balachandran (1), Mingrui Zhao (2), Petrie Yam (3), Claudio Zanelli (3), Reyes Sierra (2), Manish Keswani (1)
(1) - Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Arizona
(2) - Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Arizona
(3) - Onda Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA 

Engineering Design Day 2014

UA's Engineering Design Day 2014 will take place Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Student Union Memorial Center. Engineering Design Day is a design extravaganza featuring 64 completely original engineering projects by more than 350 students majoring in various engineering disciplines. 

UA Engineering Design Day projects and prizes are sponsored by industry, faculty, individuals, and student clubs, and projects can go on to be real commercial products. National and local engineering firms also support the projects by providing judges who rate designs and select winners for the numerous cash prizes.

More than $14,000 in prize money, provided by event sponsors, will go to winning teams in several different categories, including Best Overall Design Award, the Fish Out of Water Award, the Innate Art and Beauty of Engineering Award, Best Sustainable Engineering Award, and many others.

Full list of projects on display at Engineering Design Day.

CEEM's Lianyang Zhang and MSE's Krishna Muralidharan Collaborate on DOE Geopolymer Proposal

Faculty and students of the Departments of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (CEEM) and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) are collaborating on a Department of Energy (DOE) proposal to develop a fundamental characterization of the structure and properties of geopolymers used for strength enhancement of concrete. The proposal is a collaboration between Dr. Lianyang Zhang, Associate Professor in Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering with the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Dr. Krishna Muralidharan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on developing advanced thermal management systems for applications in energy-efficient devices. The DOE proposal, to be submitted this October, is through the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the collaboration also involves Abu Asaduzzaman, a senior postdoc in MSE, and Mohammad Rafat Sadat, a PhD student in CEEM.

Dehydroxylation of poly(sialate-siloxo) into 3D-framework (Courtesy Wikipedia)

In recent years, researchers have specialized in developing construction materials that are environmentally sound, giving specific focus to utilizing industrial waste byproducts to manufacture products with an eye towards sustainable development. Geopolymers are relatively new materials, developed in the 1960s, that are frequently used for fire- and heat-resistant coatings and adhesives.

Geopolymers have outstanding mechanical properties similar to typical "portland" cement, but they emit approximately 80-90% less CO2 during production, which means the consumption of considerably less energy during production than ordinary polymers. Geopolymers can also be developed using manufacturing byproducts that would otherwise remain industrial waste. Dr. Zhang notes that this sustainable use of geopolymers will make a major impact in the mining industry, where mining waste is a large environmental concern.

Dr. Zhang notes that MSE Postdoc Asaduzzaman is working on understanding what happens with geopolymers at the basic molecular level, and that Asaduzzaman will build simulations at an atomic scale and then will reproduce the simulations in real scale. "Most of the research we are doing focuses on experimental uses of geopolymers," Dr. Zhang says. "However, people still don't understand the building blocks of this material. What is the exact molecular structure of a geopolymer? How do you produce a better geopolymer? These questions are why we want to use techniques to study the molecular structure of this new type of material. Geopolymer materials were first discovered in the 1960's, but they were not used frequently for production purposes until the 1970's through the 1980's. The reason for its growth in popularity is this is a new type of material which is more sustainable than ordinary polymer cement."

CEEM PhD Student Mohammad Rafat Sadat, left, and Dr. Lianyang Zhang, right, look on as MSE Postdoc Abu Asaduzzaman presents research on geopolymers.

Dr. Zhang has been studying geopolymers for the past five years. He says that so far, most research has focused on the experimental use of geopolymers. "Now people are trying to think about how to design materials and in order to do that, you must understand the material's molecular structure," he says. "Water plays an important part in how stable and robust the material is and water helps determine that. Does water break the bonds? Additives play an important part in determining the characteristics of a material. What should be the constituents and proportions of additives that enhance and hurt the material?"

Dr. Zhang also points out that this research focus falls within the framework of the Materials Genome Initiative, referring to a recent initiative by the White House to encourage the manufacture of materials at a faster rate and at a fraction of the cost of traditional materials.

Dr. Zhang notes that the collaboration came about because he wanted CEEM PhD student Sadat to do molecule dynamics modeling, but as Sadat did not have this background, Dr. Zhang suggested an Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering (ICSME) course. With this consideration, Dr. Zhang then realized that the materials expertise in the MSE Department would greatly contribute to his research, and this led to the collaboration between CEEM and MSE.

Research on geopolymers presented by Abu Asaduzzaman and Mohammad Rafat Sadat.

MSE Joint Professor Dr. Kelly Simmons-Potter Named ACerS Fellow

Dr. Kelly Simmons-Potter, a UA Professor with joint appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Optical Sciences, and Materials Science and Engineering, has been named a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society.

Recognition of this honor will be given at the ACerS Honors and Awards Banquet at the ACerS 116th Annual Meeting to be held on October 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Simmons-Potter on this outstanding achievement!

MSE Undergrad Anne Ellis Receives 2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention

MSE undergraduate student Anne Ellis received the distinction of Honorable Mention for the 2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Dr. Erica Corral, Associate Professor in the MSE Department states that this distinction puts Anne in the top class of students in the country for engineering, and we should all be very proud to have her represent UA and our department in all her future endeavors.


Anne plans to pursue a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota through a four-year 3M Science and Technology Doctoral Fellowship she just received. Dr. Corral notes that Erica's commitment to research in Dr. Corral's lab is greatly appreciated and will be missed. Please join us in wishing Anne the very best.

Anne Ellis, center, shown working in the Corral Lab with Ashley Ormsby, left, and Dr. Erica Corral, right. Photo courtesy Arizona Daily Star

Frisbee Without Borders

Please join the UA Chapter of Engineers Without Borders for its semi-annual Ultimate Fisbee tournament, Frisbee Without Borders! Frisbee Without Borders will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 on the east end of the UA Mall. Same-day registration starts at 1:30 pm and game play starts at 2:00 pm. Cost of registration is $10 per person ($9 for returning teams) and includes a t-shirt (tie dye available!), refreshments, and valuable prizes like gift cards to local restaurants for the winning teams! Sign up with a team of five to nine people or individually if you would like to be placed on a pick-up team. 

Frisbee Without Borders has been a big hit in previous semesters. The tournament usually features a mix of non-competitive and very competitive teams, making it fun for everyone. Last year, out of all 8 teams, EWB-UA had a new champion and managed to raise several hundred dollars in sponsorships and registration.

To register early, please mail the registration form to ewb.arizona@gmailcom

See more at the EWB-UA website and find out more on Facebook here.

UA Honors Supapan Seraphin with Distinguished Outreach Award

Ben's Bell recipeint and Thai food chef, and first female MSE faculty member, honored with UA Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award

Since joining UA Engineering’s department of materials science and engineering nearly a quarter-century ago, Supapan Seraphin has been a tireless ambassador for science and engineering education -- especially for women and minorities who imagined such a career to be out of reach.

Seraphin has received the 2014 University of Arizona Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award, given to faculty with “a significant record of conducting outreach policy, practices, and implementation at the University of Arizona; a record of distinguished creative scholarship; and the sustained application of scholarship in non-formal classrooms.” As a principal or co-principal investigator on National Science Foundation grants totaling nearly $10 million, she has guided countless people of all ages and backgrounds toward successful, rewarding careers in science and engineering.

Seraphin joined MSE in 1990 as its first female faculty member and director of the Electron Microscope Facilities for Materials Research, now part of the University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities. Her research centers on processing and characterizing materials at the nano-scale, and she holds joint appointments in the College of Optical Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ department of agricultural and biosystems engineering.

She has spearheaded dozens of innovative and influential science education programs, including one in which hundreds of first-year UA students and pre-college students visit the UA electron microscopy lab, where they can view, process and analyze data from the microscopes and other devices without getting their hands on the delicate and expensive – and easily damaged -- instrumentation in the lab.

“I love when first-year students in [College of Engineering introductory course] Engineering 102 say, ‘I know you! I remember you from my high school field trip!’” Seraphin said. “One of my highest rewards is when students and K-12 teachers tell me I have provided them with a life-changing experience and had a positive impact on their career.”

Many she touches never set foot on the UA campus. In a program funded by the Arizona Board of Regents, students in Arizona have gained access to the UA electron microscopes remotely, interacting with the instrument operator in real time from personal computers.  

Seraphin actively promotes science education to K-12 students and teachers around the U.S. -- including on Indian lands -- and abroad, in such countries as Thailand, Kenya, Peru and Brazil. She is also involved in sharing science and engineering with the local community, as part of “Revealing the Invisible Universe -- from Nanoscope to Telescope,” a collaboration between the UA Flandrau Science Center, Arizona State Museum, and National Optical and Astronomical Observatory that involves undergraduates and teachers conducting programs at science centers and museums to explain the value of UA research to the public.

Seraphin’s other honors for her outreach have included the College of Engineering Award for Excellence at the Student Interface; the da Vinci Fellow Award; the University Women in Science and Engineering Diversity Inclusiveness Award; and the Ben’s Bell Award. The last, given to Tucson residents promoting kindness in the community, was inspired by Seraphin’s famous weekly homemade Thai lunches for first-year students in UA residence halls, supported by funding from the Faculty Fellow program.

See the full article here.

MSE PhD Candidate Christina Bisulca is Recipient of 2014 Goetz Instrument Support Program Award

Christina BisulcaMSE PhD Candidate Christina Bisulca received the 2014 Goetz Instrument Support Program Award for her proposal titled "New Applications of Vis-NIR spectroscopy in Archaeological Science." The 2014 award winners will focus on research projects that showcase the capabilities of PANalytical Boulder's advanced spectroscopy instruments, and in exchange, PANalytical Boulder will provide each student with temporary use of instrumentation. Additionally, recipients are eligible to receive up to $500 toward publication charges for papers published by an approved journal, and/or reimbursement of travel costs to recipients with an accepted abstract for an oral or poster presentation at a relevant scientific conference.

Projects were selected based on technical and geographic diversity. Supported research will increase understanding of ancient cultures, climate change impacts, forensic science, forest analysis with satellite imagery, plant physiology, as well as the utility of NIR analysis for industrial polymerization. Field studies will be globally dispersed to awarded students, who are conducting research in locations such as Belize, Greenland, Nepal, Italy, and Bulgaria.

"As students around the world are becoming more familiar with the Goetz program, we've received more diverse and innovative project submissions each year, and this year is no different, said Dr. Brian Curtiss, CTO-NIR of PANalytical Boulder. "PANalytical is able to match the students' innovation with the most advanced instruments to aid their research projects. It's a wonderful partnership we've created with educational research institutions that allows us to continue to expand the boundaries of remote sensing."

For more details and a full list of 2014 Goetz Instrument Support Program Award winners, click here.

ME-ISE Degree Approved / Plans for Online Delivery and Expansion Underway

The Master of Engineering with an option in Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (ME-ISE) degree has been approved and the MSE Department is working towards online delivery and expansion of the program to other topical areas.

The Master of Engineering with an option in Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (ME-ISE) has been approved and is now an available degree through the UA College of Engineering. The program is geared toward students and industry professionals who are interested in the translation and transfer of technologically-promising research discoveries into sustainable technologies and processes. It offers a combination of business-oriented classes and engineering courses to help engineers bridge the gap between innovative ideas and sustainable economic development strategies.

One of the goals stated in Never Settle, the UA's strategic plan, is to increase the online student population. In response to this, the UA recently awarded selected companies to assist with increasing online course delivery. One of the companies awarded this responsibility is Colloquy, a division of Kaplan, Inc. (which is a subsidiary of The Washington Post) and a leading provider of online education strategy, consulting, and delivery with 75 years of expertise in global education services. The MSE Department has been working with Colloquy to plan the online delivery of the new ME-ISE degree program. Colloquy will also provide recruiting, marketing and retention services. Online delivery of the program is planned for implementation by January 2015.

The MSE Department is also working with other College of Engineering departments to research expanding the program to other topical areas such as Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation, and Water Treatment and Reuse. Delivery of such topic-specific sub-plans would likely go into effect by Fall 2015.

See this link for more details on the ME-ISE program.

MSE Lab Trains UA Students in Cleanroom Practices

UA Engineering students are gearing up for a new semiconductor processing lab course in the cleanest environment on campus.

A new lab class in the “cleanest” environment on campus is helping prepare UA engineering and science students for high-tech jobs.

Cleanroom facilities at technology manufacturing companies are critical for designing and producing integrated circuits, memory devices, biomedical test structures, and the like. So there is a growing need for employees trained in cleanroom practices.

The two-credit elective, Semiconductor Processing Lab (MSE 447L/547L), is made possible through funds from the Intel-UA College of Engineering program in materials science and engineering. The lab opens up opportunities for internships and jobs in industries that value cleanroom manufacturing, and it makes graduate students more aware of research facilities and equipment.

“Many employers are impressed when they hear that a student has gone through formal training in fabricating structures in a cleanroom,” said materials science and engineering professor Srini Raghavan, who teaches the lab. “Students have an increased edge over their peers during the hiring process when they are properly trained in these types of procedures.”

The class is offered in the spring to students in all engineering majors and is preceded by a preparatory recitation (MSE\ECE 446\546) in the fall. Students in the lab learn how to gown up to work in cleanrooms and proper handling procedures for chemicals and materials inside a cleanroom, and they become familiar with various fabrication tools for micro and nano structures.

Engineering undergraduate student Diane Haiber said she now attends career fairs with an added level of confidence, thanks to the class.

“The course is structured so that students get hands-on experience through implementation of various fabrication and processing techniques: so far we have done wafer cleaning, thermal oxidation and photolithography,” she said. “And learning goes beyond the lab activities; Dr. Raghavan shares his own experiences from when he worked at Intel.”

Added graduate student Jivaan Kishore, “Not many universities offer such a comprehensive training program with respect to semiconductor processing.”

The class uses the only Class 10 certified cleanroom facility on campus, the Micro/Nano Fabrication Center, or MFC, housed in electrical and computer engineering.
The center’s manager, Omid Mahdavi, said the facility is a prime example of university-industry partnerships, one of the overarching themes in UA President Ann Weaver Hart’s recently unveiled “Never Settle” strategic plan.

“Most of the operational costs of running the MFC facility are covered by space and services offered to industrial clients who have on many occasions hired UA students,” said Mahdavi. “Here we have a lot synergy between academic and industrial activities. In a sense, President Hart’s Never Settle strategic plan has already been in motion here at the MFC for a number of years.”  

The Micro/Nano Fabrication Center Lab in the ECE building is mostly a Class 100 facility and offers a limited Class 10 work environment. To put that classification in perspective, large semiconductor companies, such as Intel and Samsung, manufacture their products in Class 1 cleanrooms where there is no more than one particle the size of half a micron for every cubic foot of air. In contrast, the outside air generally contains more than 30 million particles of dust per cubic foot, which would equate to a Class 1,000,000 rating, also called room air.

The UA is home to two other cleanrooms: a Class 1,000 environment maintained by the chemistry department, and a Class 1,000 to 5,000 environment maintained by the College of Optical Sciences.

See the full article here.

Engineering Week Egg Drop Contest Spring 2014

Engineering Week 2014 took place February 16-22, 2014 and at the UA, this culminated in an Egg Drop Contest on Friday, February 21st. A large number of College of Engineering students participated in the competition that involved vision, planning and team work. For the contest, students designed contraptions to house eggs with the goal of avoiding egg breakage during a drop from the AME building, and they were required to adhere to a set of rules that forbid the use of any parachute devices. No eggs survived the descent intact, but a number of groups were more successful with their egg conveyers than others and emerged victorious. 


First place went to representatives of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) who included MSE senior Jeremy Hamilton and Ty'Dria Wright White (pictured below).

Second place
went to representatives of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) (pictured below).

Third place
went to representatives of Tau Beta Pi (pictured below).

The contest started at MSE where students planned and designed their egg conveyance systems. Participating students then migrated to AME for the official egg dropping.

Maketopolis: UA Engineering Student Clubs Come 'Out of the Workshop and Into the World'

Do-it-yourselfers, roboticists, inventors, hobbyists, artists, bike modders, time lords, metalworkers, potters, hackers, steampunks, weavers, builders, woodcrafters, sculptors, tinkerers, programmers, car customizers -- all are welcome. 

Student clubs from the UA College of Engineering will be turning out in force March 1 to support Tucson’s first maker festival, Maketopolis.

Students from the Baja, Formula, IEEE and video game developers clubs, plus UA-supported teams from the Tucson Pumpkin Toss and the Bitbuckets robotics club, will all pitch in to help put Southern Arizona's biggest maker fair firmly on the map.

Maketopolis is a daylong family-friendly showcase of Tucson's creativity, innovation and resourcefulness with something for everyone including rockets, robots, steampunk, 3-D scanning and printing, woodworking, quad copters, little free library boxes, electronics, welding, textile arts, LEDs, costuming, sugru, and polymer modeling.

The original Maker Faire, held in San Mateo, Calif., was launched in 2006 by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the do-it-yourself mindset.” Since then, maker fairs have exploded in number in the United States, and become an international phenomenon, with fairs springing up in Europe, Africa, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, and Singapore.

Maketopolis is an arts, crafts and technology happening that gives the entire Tucson community a chance to celebrate the do-it-yourself spirit of the maker movement. Artisans from countless disciplines will join together in Tucson’s diverse community and vibrant downtown to create a fun-filled day of demonstrations, conversations, and exhibitions that are certain to inspire both the beginner and the seasoned crafter to step out of the home workshop and to dive into the rich creative community in Tucson.

Beyond the fun and games, Maketopolis addresses issues that are critical to Arizona’s future, such as science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education, and workforce development and retention.

“Hands-on involvement in STEM activities is known to establish excitement and interest in the minds of young children and to provide relevance to what they learn in school,” said Patrick Marcus, president of Marcus Engineering, one of the event’s sponsors. “Maketopolis will stimulate this interest, as well as creating a dense community of collaborators and skill-sharing outside of the work environment, which will help retain our talented workforce and maintain a sense that there are many opportunities locally.”

Maketopolis is hosted by Xerocraft Hackerspace and Maker House in partnership with Gangplank Tucson, Startup Tucson, The Tucson Steampunk Society, BICAS, Sustainable City Project, UA Downtown, and the Pima County Public Library, and sponsored by Marcus Engineering and AGM Container Controls.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Tucson


• Tucson Tech: Why employers should care about the maker movement: Arizona Daily Star, 2/19/2014.

See the full article here



UA and Arizona Celebrate STEM Fields with Annual SciTech Festival

The UA joins the state of Arizona during the months of February and March to celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the annual Arizona SciTech Festival.

During February and March, more than 400 expos, workshops, discussions, exhibitions and tours at locations across the state of Arizona will bring science and technology to the public. 

The annual Arizona SciTech Festival provides education and information about how discoveries and innovations in math, science, engineering and technology have boosted the state and will continue to do so for years to come. The UA, which plays a role nationally and internationally in science-related research and education, is hosting and participating in a number of events during the festival.

Events involving the UA include:

  • The Made in Arizona: Tucson Manufacturing Block Party is a key festival event, taking place on March 6 from 4-7 p.m. at Tucson Embedded Systems. The expo event is free and aims to teach everyone from adults and educators to children about diverse topics in aerospace, defense and engineering, entrepreneurship and business, and technology and computer science. Sponsored by the UA STEM Learning Center and the Arizona Technology Council, the event will include posters and presentations about their trades from Southern Arizona manufacturers and food trucks providing dinner options for attendees. Audience members will have a chance to sign up for tours of manufacturing companies to learn about topics such as how solar panels are made. Keynote speakers include Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda, Martha Ostheimer of the UA's STEM Learning Center and UA College of Engineering Dean Jeff Goldberg.
  • The UA Research Farm is hosting half-day tours, providing attendees with hands-on food safety instruction from Yuma food safety experts, a visit to the fields to learn about farming and the crops that grow in Yuma, a recipe card and a bundle of self-picked fresh produce. Tour dates are listed here.
  • The UA's Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium has a variety of shows, including laser light shows every Friday night in February from 8 to 9 p.m. "Legends of the Night Sky" shows to teach about constellations on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, and "Touring the Planets," a guided video and photo tour of our solar system with 3-D images of the sun, moon, Saturn and Mars, from 1-2 p.m. on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22. Other events at Flandrau include guided tours of the astronomical sights to be seen at night in the Tucson sky, and shows specially focused on explaining the mysteries of the planet Saturn.

Additional events will be held across the state. A complete schedule can be found at the Arizona SciTech Festival website.

Read the full article here.

ACerS PCSA Seeking Student Delegates and Representatives

The Recruitment Committee for the President's Council of Student Advisors (PCSA), the student-run organization of The American Cermamic Society (ACerS), is looking for dedicated and motivated undergraduate and graduate students to get involved in PCSA and to apply for a member position as a delegate or a representative. The annual delegate meeting will be held the weekend prior to Materials Science & Technology 2014 taking place in Pittsburgh this October. The annual delegate meeting gives students the unique opportunity to network not only with industry professionals, but also with their fellow students from around the world. 

Being a PCSA member provides:

  • A unique opportunity to represent your university in the ceramics community
  • A valuable way to help you make the contacts needed for future jobs
  • A great resume builder
  • An important opportunity to help reach and serve the next generation of ceramic materials professionals
  • A means to promote awareness of ceramic science and engineering to the general public, particularly among pre-college students
  • A way to build and promote engagement in the ceramics community through online communities and participation in ACerS
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities

Any and all undergraduate and graduate students who have the following qualities are encouraged to apply:

  • A strong interest in ceramics
  • Leadership qualities
  • Reliability and strong drive

More details and info about PCSA and how to apply can be found at the PCSA website. Interested students have until April 15, 2014 to apply for a member position.

University of Arizona College of Engineering