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With research award, UNL MME’s Turner embarks on international scientific collaboration

Prof. Joe Turner with UNL MME will conduct research in Germany, thanks to an award from the Humboldt Foundation.

Prof. Joe Turner with UNL MME will conduct research in Germany, thanks to an award from the Humboldt Foundation.

Joe Turner, Robert W. Brightfelt Professor with UNL Mechanical & Materials Engineering, was chosen to receive a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 25 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Awards annually to promote international scientific cooperation. Award winners are chosen for their outstanding research record and are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at German research institutions.

Turner’s award, including 45,000 Euros (approx. $60,000), will allow him to conduct research with his nominator, Prof. Konrad Samwer, at the University of Goettingen. Turner and Samwer share an interest in micro- and nanoscale materials characterization methods. Turner also plans to establish additional research connections with other German labs.

“I'm honored to have been chosen for this award and I’m excited about the research collaborations to be established,” said Turner. The work with Prof. Samwer will focus on the application of contact resonance atomic force microscopy (CR-AFM) and nanoindentation to map elastic and anelastic properties of bulk metallic glasses (BMG) near stress concentrations, such as cracks, with nanoscale resolution.

“BMGs can fail in a ductile or brittle manner and the failure mechanisms are not well understood but are known to be dependent on length scale,” Turner said. “My group has worked on the mapping analysis methods for CR-AFM measurements that we will apply to several materials.” He foresees the collaborative research opportunity leading to advances in the failure-resistance of these materials used in electronics, as sensors, for bio-implants and more.

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