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www.materials.drexel.edu | materials@coe.drexel.edu | 215.895.2323
Department of Materials
Science and Engineering
MSE eNews Spring 2009
Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As summer approaches and the academic year draws to a close, we would like to share some exciting news and happenings from our department. I hope you enjoy reading about the latest research and accomplishments of our faculty, students, alumni, and staff.

Here is wishing you a fun and relaxing summer.

   Kind regards,
   Antonios Zavaliangos, Ph.D.
     Department Head and Professor

In this issue


Taheri and Colleagues Win R&D 100 and Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Awards

Professor Mitra Taheri, Hoeganaes Assistant Professor of Metallurgy, and colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, CA have garnered two prestigious awards for their work in the development of the Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM). The laboratory responsible for the DTEM has won both an R&D 100 Award and a Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award in the Technology category.

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Gogotsi Named Fellow of the Electrochemical Society

Professor Yury Gogotsi has been named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society in recognition of his scientific achievements and service to the society. Gogotsi is being recognized for "development of new nanostructured carbon materials with tunable structure and properties, which advanced the area of electrochemical capacitors, and major contributions to understanding high-temperature corrosion of nonoxide ceramics." His nomination was supported by three divisions within the society: High Temperature Materials, Fullerenes/Nanotubes, and Batteries.

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MSE Celebrates 40 Years
of Graduating Ph.D.s

In 2009, Drexel University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering is pleased to mark 40 years of graduating Ph.D. students. In commemoration of this impressive milestone, the department held one of two celebratory events on Friday, May 1, 2009 as part of Drexel’s Blue and Gold Days.

Alumni/ae, current and former faculty, staff, current Ph.D. students, and honored guests gathered in the A. J. Drexel Picture Gallery Friday evening to pay tribute to the department’s legacy of distinguished Ph.D. alumni/ae. Department Head Antonios Zavaliangos recognized several key alumni/ae in attendance for their achievements.

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Andrew DeVillier Awarded
SMART Scholarship

Andrew DeVillier (advisor: Michel Barsoum), junior in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded a Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship, sponsored by the National Defense Education Program of the Department of Defense.

The scholarship supports undergraduate and graduate students in pursuit of a degree in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines. The scholarship provides between $25,000 and $41,000 to awardees in stipend, as well as full tuition for one year and job placement immediately after graduation.

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William Frazier Awarded NASA Aeronautics Scholarship

B.S. student William Frazier is a recipient of the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship.

The two-year scholarship for undergraduate students will provide $15,000 per year of educational related funding to Drexel University as well as $10,000 per year of stipend support to William for a summer internship at a NASA Research Center.

Of the approximately 300 people who applied, William was one of 20 students to receive the scholarship.

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Marcolongo Elected to Office Position
in Society for Biomaterials

Professor Michele Marcolongo, associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been elected to the Member-at-Large position in the Society for Biomaterials for 2009-2010. This position is a member to the Society Board and represents the membership in the board leadership.

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Nanodiamonds Exhibit Blue Fluorescence

Vadym Mochalin, Senior Researcher, and Yury Gogotsi, Trustee Chair Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Drexel University, have produced a strongly hydrophobic nanodiamond material that shows bright blue fluorescence, just as macroscopic diamonds do. Their results are published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (J. Am. Chem. Soc.).

The recent J. Am. Chem. Soc. paper, "Wet Chemistry Route to Hydrophobic Blue Fluorescent Nanodiamond," describes a process by which strongly hydrophobic nanodiamond powder is created via the chemical reaction of carboxylic groups on the surface of purified nanodiamond particles, obtained from NanoBlox, Inc., with amino groups of octadecylamine (ODA).

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Drexel Nanotechnology Research Paves the Way to Ever Smaller Electronic Devices

Professor Christopher Li in Drexel University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and colleagues are one step closer to making personal electronic devices even smaller. Their pioneering research, published in the April 26, 2009 online version of Nature Nanotechnology and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), demonstrates that it is possible to manipulate a carbon nanotube, the building block of nanotechnology applications, for the future miniaturization of electronic devices, including computers, cell phones, and PDAs.

"The polymer and gold patterns on these nanotubes are exciting and raise intriguing possibilities for further research," says Dr. Andrew J. Lovinger, Polymers Program Director in the Division of Materials Research at NSF. "This is beautiful work by Professor Li demonstrating the potential of polymeric materials in the nanoworld."

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Prineha Narang Awarded DAAD-RISE Research Internship

BS/Ph.D. student Prineha Narang has been awarded a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch-Dienst (DAAD) Research Internships for Science & Engineering (RISE) program.

Prineha will spend up to three months this summer at the Fraunhofer Institut in Bremen, Germany, working on a project to tailor carbon nanotube surfaces using plasma technology. This project will allow Prineha to build on the research experience she has had at Drexel, supervised by Prof. Yury Gogotsi, and in close collaboration with the Drexel Plasma Institute. The goal of her project is to optimize nanoscale corona discharge in liquids to enable plasma modification of carbon nanotubes and create unique nanostructures.

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Barsoum and Colleagues Receive DOE Nuclear Energy University Program Funding

Professor Michel Barsoum, A. W. Grosvenor Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has received $664,359 in funding for a two-year grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) entitled, "Neutron Damage and MAX Phase Ternary Compounds."

This project, a collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Hoffman, Ph.D. MSE alumna, and Dr. Robert Sindelar of Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), and Dr. Gordon Kohse of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is part of the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) and will receive funding under the category of Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR). The team will investigate how a new class of materials, the MAX Phases, withstand neutron radiation at high temperature for possible use in the next generation of nuclear reactors.

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Gogotsi Awarded DOE EFRC with Lead Institution Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Partners

Trustee Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi is a member of the team awarded a $3,800,000 per year five-year Energy Frontier Research Center Award (EFRC) by the Department of Energy in partnership with lead institution Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partner institutions Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University, University of Tennessee, University of North Carolina, and University of Virginia. Drexel University expects to receive more than $700,000 in funding from this grant.

The project, "Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Center" will explore ways to provide a basic scientific understanding of phenomena that occur at the interfaces of electrical energy storage, conversion of sunlight into fuels, geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, and other advanced energy systems.

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Senior Design Team Wins $75,000 Phase II EPA Funding

The Drexel University Department of Materials Science and Engineering senior design team of Eric Eisele, Courtney Reid, Dan Pugh, Sarah Byrnes, and Charlie Woods was awarded a Phase II People, Prosperity, and Planet Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Competing against 43 university teams, the Drexel University Department of Materials Science and Engineering team received one of six $75,000 Phase II awards on Monday, April 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. at the National Sustainable Design Expo.

The award-winning senior design project, “Cool Roof Coatings Utilizing Glass Hollow Microspheres for Improved Solar Reflectance,” increases the reflectance of cool roof coatings while cutting raw material costs. Cool roof coatings save energy and mitigate the urban heat island effect. Previously, the team received a Phase I award in the amount of $10,000. The Phase II awards provide funding for two years and will be used to develop the coating further and field test the technology by reaching out to the neighborhoods surrounding Drexel. The team will work in conjunction with the Drexel Smart House initiative.

Professor Michel Barsoum, A. W. Grosvenor Professor, along with Dr. James Hagarman of the Goodwin College of Professional Studies, advises the team. Industry partners include Chris Smith from Potter's Beads and Matthew Lendzinski from Rohm and Haas.

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Last updated Friday, June 5, 2009