MME 10-Year Merge Anniversary (2011-2021)
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MME researchers publish paper outlining printing process for liquid metal droplets
The "On Demand Programming of Liquid Metal-Composite Microstructures Through Direct Ink Write 3D Printing" is outlined in a paper co-authored Eric Markvicka, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, and Aaron Haake, senior in mechanical and materials engineering and published in the March 30 edition of the journal Advanced Materials.
Working in Markvicka's Smart Materials & Robotics Lab, the team developed a process of creating soft, elastically deformable composites with liquid metal (LM) droplets that can enable new generations of soft electronics, robotics, and reconfigurable structures. These printed materials are soft, higly deformable, and can be made locally insulating or electrically conductive using a single ink by controlling process conditions.
Markvicka's team demonstrated these capabilities by embedding elongated LM droplets in a soft heat sink, which rapidly dissipates heat from high-power LEDs.
These programmable microstructures can enable new composite paradigms for emerging technologies that demand mechanical compliance with multifunctional response.
Previously, techniques to control local composite microstructure, which ultimately governs material properties and performance, were lacking. Markvicka's team developed a direct ink writing technique to program LM microstructure (i.e., shape, orientation, and connectivity) on demand through elastomer composites. This is in constrast to inks with rigid particles that have fixed shapes and sizes.
The new technique enables filaments, films and 3D structures with unique LM microstructures that are generated on demand and locked in during printing. This includes smooth and discrete transitions from spherical to needle-like droplets, curvilinear microstructures, geometrically complex embedded inclusion patterns, and connected LM pathways.
The other co-authors on the paper were Michael Bartlett, Gwyneth Schloer and Ravi Tutika from the Soft Materials and Structures Lab at Virginia Tech.
Two MME students, one alum receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
Aaron Haake, a senior in mechanical and materials engineering, and Mark Nail, a mechanical and materials engineering alum, were among the seven current or former University of Nebraska-Lincoln students chosen to receive National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards. MME alum Cole Dempsey was chosen as one of two from UNL to receive honorable mention recognition.
Haake will graduate in May 2022 and is working in the Smart Materials & Robotics Lab with advisor Eric Markvicka, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering. Nail is a graduate student at the University of Michigan, and Dempsey is a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.
The GRFP awards are one of the most prestigious graduate fellowships awarded in the United States. The award provides a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees that is paid to the university. Additionally, the GRFP provides opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education.
The GRFP is the oldest American fellowship program that directly supports students in various STEM fields. Since 1952, a year after President Truman signed legislation establishing the NSF, the GRFP awarded its first fellowships. It has since funded more than 50,000 fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants.
Bai Cui receives ACerS Global Star Award
Bai Cui, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering, received the Global Star Award from the American Ceramic Society. Cui has served as co-lead organizer of the "Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics" symposium at ICACC since 2021.
The Global Star Award recognizes active volunteers for their contributions to the Engineering Ceramics Division (ECD) of American Ceramic Society and to the technical program of the International Conference & Exposition on Advanced Ceramics & Composites (ICACC) meeting. Award recipients are selected by the ICACC Program Chair with agreement from the ECD Executive Committee. The awardees receive a certificate of achievement at the ICACC meeting's Plenary Session.
Nebraska Engineering takes five awards at Grad Student Symposium
Nebraska Engineering took home five awards from the recent 2022 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Graduate Student Symposium.
- Dianna Morris, doctoral candidate in chemical and biomolecular engineering, took first place in the 3in5 Pitch.
- Jiating Li, graduate student in biological systems engineering, and Akbota Aitbayeva, graduate student in civil and environmental engineering, tied for second in the 3in5 Pitch.
- Bahareh Tajvidi Safa, doctoral student in biomedical engineering, earned first place in the Poster competition.
- Diaz Chowdhury, graduate research assistant in chemical and biomolecular engineering, was second in the Poster competition.
Four engineering faculty chosen to Next Research Leaders Program cohort
Four College of Engineering faculty - Brittany Duncan, associate professor, School of Computing; Santosh Pitla, associate professor, Biological Systems Engineering; Jian Wang, professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering; and Hongfeng Yu, associate professor, School of Computing - are among 15 University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty members who have been selected to participate in the second cohort of the Office of Research and Economic Development's Research Leaders Program. This initiative to identify and develop Nebraska's next generation of research leaders is in partnership with the Center for Professional and Executive Development in the College of Business.
Six engineering faculty named to second NGTC cohort of fellows
Six faculty from the College of Engineering have been selected to be included among the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center's second cohort of faculty fellows:
- Srivatsan Kidambi, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
- Francisco Munoz-Arriola, associate professor of biological systems engineering
- Michael Sealy, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering
- Bonita Sharif, associate professor of computer science and engineering
- Cody Stolle, Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and research assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering
- Li Zhao, postdoctoral research associate at Mid-America Transportation Center
Four engineering faculty chosen to university Grand Challenges steering committee
Four faculty from the College of Engineering have been chosen to the steering committee that has been assembled to guide the next steps of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Grand Challenges process, the Office of Research and Economic Development announced. Representing Nebraska Engineering on the committee will be:
- Mark Riley, associate dean for research
- Brittany Duncan, assistant professor of computer science and engineering
- Shane Farritor, professor of mechanical and materials engineering
- Angie Pannier, professor of biological systems engineering
Cui, team working on DOE grant to develop materials for gas turbines
Bai Cui, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering, is part of a research team that has earned a $700,000, 18-month Phase 1 Department of Energy Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) ULTIMATE (Ultrahigh Temperature Impervious Materials Advancing Turbine Efficiency) grant.
ULTIMATE is a leading-edge DOE program to develop ultrahigh temperature materials for gas turbine use in the aviation and power generation industries. A total of $16 million in funding was announced for 17 research projects as part of Phase 1.
Cui's team, headquartered at West Virginia University and including collaborators from the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Advanced Manufacturing LLC, will develop a new class of ultra-high temperature Refractory Complex Concentrated Alloys-based Composites (RCCC) for high temperature applications such as combustion turbines used in the aerospace and energy industries. The RCCC will consist of Refractory Complex Concentrated Alloys (RCCA) mixed with nanosized particles of Refractory High Entropy Carbides, to increase RCCA strength to withstand extreme conditions.
The goal is to optimize the balance among strength, creep (deformation), density, and stability at 1300 °C (2372 °F), while maintaining ductility (malleability) once the alloy cools to room temperature. The research team will develop a specialty 3-D metal printing process to produce test coupons and real components such as turbine blades.
Cui's group, which includes research associate Fei Wang and graduate student Xin Chen, will use their expertise in materials for extreme environments when working at Nebraska's advanced manufacturing and high-temperature test facilities.
Fifteen engineering faculty promoted or granted tenure
Fifteen faculty from the College of Engineering were among the 109 University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty on the 2021 Promotion and Tenure List. The Nebraska Engineering faculty receiving the honors at 2021 Promotion and Tenure were:
Biological Systems Engineering
Troy Gilmore, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure (academic home is IANR)
Sibel Irmak, promotion to Full Research Professor (academic home is IANR)
Daran Rudnick, promotion to Associate Research Professor (academic home is IANR)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Vitaly Alexandrov, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Wei Niu, Associate Professor Granted Tenure
Computer Science and Engineering
Justin Bradley, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Stephen Cooper, promotion to Full Professor
Brittany Duncan, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure (academic home is Arts & Sciences)
Suzette Person, promotion to Full Professor of Practice (academic home is Arts & Sciences)
Witiwas Srisa-an, promotion to Full Professor (academic home is Arts & Sciences
The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
Michelle Eble-Hankins , promotion to Associate Professor of Practice
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Christos Argyropoulos, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Master of Engineering Management program
Jena Asgarpoor, promotion to Full Professor of Practice
Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Michael Sealy, promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Jung Yul Lim, promotion to Full Professor
Four engineering students chosen as Chancellor's Scholars
The engineering students recognized (with major, hometown and parents' names):
Hunter William Dorhout, computer engineering, Sanborn, Iowa (Mark and Nicole Dorhout).
Taylor James Drahota, civil engineering, Lincoln, Nebraska (Troy Drahota and Kathi Drahota).
Maggie Harder, software engineering, Grand Island, Nebraska (Brian and Michelle Harder).
David L. Wacker Jr., mechanical engineering, Hastings, Nebraska (David Wacker Sr. and Polly Wacker).