A Vaccine for Nicotine

Materials by Design  INSIDE THIS ISSUE: The IMS Associates Program Newsletter  V O L U M E 1 7 , I S S U E A Vaccine for Nicotine 2 Grants to Fu...
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Materials by Design  INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

The IMS Associates Program Newsletter  V O L U M E

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I S S U E

A Vaccine for Nicotine

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Grants to Fund Tissue Regeneration

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Materials Science Team Scores Honors

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Developing Green Energy Technology

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Engineering Outstanding Women

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From UConnToday, by: Christine Buckley. For the complete article see: http:// today.uconn.edu/blog/2011/10/a-vaccinefor-nicotine/?

Yang Zhong Awarded GEMS

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Supramolecular Polymerization

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When Peter Burkhard first heard the idea of a nicotine vaccine eight years ago, he thought it was funny – how could a vaccine affect something that’s not technically a disease?

Early Intro To Engineering Set Course

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Graduate Student Award

For Grad Student Engineering Ambassadors Visit Magnet

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Koerner Family Grad Fellows Selected

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Institute of Materials Science Distinguished Lecture

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Engineering Grad Students Making A Difference In Tech School Classrooms

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Department Spring Seminars

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Employment Web Page

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Toxic and

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Contaminated Samples Mid-Length Projects Program

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Sample Preparation

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Spring Semester Classes 16

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A Vaccine for Nicotine

But the more he thought about the impact such a vaccine could have, the more it drew his attention. “If you look at the consequences of cigarettes, it’s mind-boggling,” says the Swiss-born scientist. “Seven million people are killed by the causes of nicotine addiction every year. That’s like wiping out Switzerland, every year.” Burkhard, an associate professor of molecular and cell biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has just received a five-year, $2.5 million Avant-Garde Medications Development Award from the Na-

Biologist Peter Burkhard with the molecule he developed to deliver  nicotine to the immune system. (Daniel Buttrey/UConn Photo)  

tional Institutes Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health, to develop and test a new vaccine for nicotine. The vaccine, which borrows from the principles of how viruses stimulate the immune system, could eliminate addiction in people dependent on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

When you smoke, nicotine travels from your lungs to your blood, and finally to your brain, where it acts as a stimulant and produces a good feeling, or a “kick,” as Burkhard says. This is what makes it so addictive. But if the immune system could be trained to recognize and bind nicotine molecules in the blood, (Continued on page 2) 

Progress Continues on Plans for Tech Park As previously announced (http://today.uconn.edu/ blog/2011/04/plans-to-build-tech-park-at-uconnannounced/) plans are well under way for the design and construction of a multi-million dollar tech park building on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus. Hiring of an architect for the new Technical Park Building is in process. The preliminary plans for the building will be established in the near future. These plans will include

the design of spaces and capabilities to meet the high tech demands of development efforts in advanced materials and advanced manufacturing, the two main thrust areas to be addressed with industry in the building. Construction will start shortly after the preliminary plans are developed with completion expected in FY15.

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A Vaccine for Nicotine (Continued from page 1) 

before they reach the brain, then the addiction loop would be shortcircuited, and people could more easily quit smoking, he says. Burkhard, who is also a faculty member in the Institute of Materials Science, has been working on vaccines for diseases like malaria for the last decade. Like The nanoparticle carrier molecule developed  a vaccine for a by Burkhard and his colleagues to deliver nico‐ disease, the tine to the immune system. The red portions  nicotine vaccine on the edges represent nicotine molecules.  would introduce a foreign substance – a virus-like particle with nicotine molecules attached to it – into the body. Because the compound looks to the immune system like a virus and thus appears to be

potentially harmful, immune cells would generate antibodies that can specifically bind nicotine.

The goal, he says, is to help people quit by breaking their addiction to nicotine.

Once such antibodies are in circulation in the bloodstream, as soon as a person smokes a cigarette, the antibodies would bind the nicotine before it reaches the brain, preventing a buzz.

The goal of his grant will be to test the compound’s safety in clinical trials. These tests will observe different reactions to the drug to help the researchers optimize it for use in the general population.

“This could work for people who are already addicted,” says Burkhard.

Burkhard will conduct his clinical trials with colleague and medical doctor Thomas Cerny, who is head of the oncology department at the hospital Kantonsspital St. Gallen in Switzerland. Two post-doctoral researchers will be hired to work on the project at UConn.

The compound is made up of proteins that assemble themselves into a nanoparticle. But since it’s made of proteins, says Burkhard, the compound isn’t toxic like some other nanomaterials. “It’s no different than any other protein your body uses on a daily basis,” he says. “You could eat it if you wanted to, and it wouldn’t harm you.” Burkhard emphasizes that the vaccine would not protect against any other risks of tobacco use, such as lung cancer and heart problems.

Grants To Fund Tissue Regeneration By John C. Giardina. From the School of Engineering emagination. For the complete article see: http:// news.engr.uconn.edu/grants-to-fund-tissue-regeneration-research.php

Mei Wei, a faculty member in the department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering and the Institute of Materials Science, has recently received two large grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with David Rowe, M.D., Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine & Skeletal Biology and a professor of Reconstructive Sciences in the School of Dental Medicine at the UCHC. This funding will allow her to expand upon her ongoing work in tissue regeneration and engineering. For the NSF-funded study, she seeks to develop a scaffold that can mimic human tissue and encourage cartilage regeneration around joints. A project like this has important implications for joint disorders, especially osteoarthritis, a painful and debilitating disease. The NIH-funded project involves the exploration of new bone imaging techniques that will offer researchers insight into the interaction of scaffolds and (Continued on page 3) 

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Grants To Fund Tissue Regeneration (Continued from page 2) 

cells at different stages of bone repair. Osteoarthritis is the top cause of chronic disability in the U.S., costing billions of dollars every year and incalculable pain for millions of people. Imagine how the future would change for sufferers if they Prof. Mei Wei  were able to undergo a CMBE/IMS  procedure that would reverse the progression of osteoarthritis and let them reclaim their quality of life. This is essentially what Dr. Wei is attempting to do. Dr. Wei’s imaging project focuses on developing means to watch the progress of bone repair procedures. As with cartilage regeneration, in bone repair a scaffold is seeded with the proper donor progenitor cells and placed at the site of the injury, facilitating regeneration. To evaluate and analyze a certain repair technique, researchers would find it helpful to determine how the different components involved in repair, namely the scaffold and the different cells, are interacting. Current imaging platforms, however, do not allow real-time imaging of cell-cell or cell-scaffold interactions in living animals. To overcome this problem, Dr. Wei and her team will be working with a transgenic mouse model to test a four-dimensional imaging technique that will be able to track the progression of different bone repair techniques. This technique takes advantage of the fact that every cell lineage shows a different color at different stages of development. Dr. Rowe will create transgenic mice in which a specific reporter protein is expressed when cells differentiate into certain stage. These reporter proteins, called Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFP), give off a specific color when exposed to a specific wavelength of light. With the GFP-labeled cells, Dr. Wei and her team can visualize cell-cell and cell-scaffold interactions and identify the origin of the cells, whether they are from the original bone or from donor cells, how each of those sources of cells contributes to bone repair and how those cells interact over time. This information can provide important insights into the analysis and de-

velopment of new and existing bone repair procedures. In addition to these grants, Dr. Wei has also re‐ cently received funding to organize a symposium  at the Materials Research Society fall meeting,  entitled “Biomaterials for Tissue Regenera‐ tion.”  This symposium will bring together 12 dis‐ tinguished members of the field to present their  research and facilitate the development of new,  important research in the field of tissue regenera‐ tion. 

Dr. Wei’s imaging project focuses on developing means to watch the progress of bone repair procedures. As with cartilage regeneration, in bone repair a scaffold is seeded with the proper donor progenitor cells and placed at the site of the injury, facilitating regeneration.

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Materials Science Teams Score Honors From the School of Engineering News and Events. For the complete article see: http://news.engr.uconn.edu/materialsscience-teams-score-honors.php

Doctoral students Vincent Palumbo (MSE) and John Doyle (Marine Sciences), along with Dr. J. Evan Ward (Marine Sciences) and associate professor Dr. Bryan Huey (MSE), won the Roland B. Snow Best of Show Award, also receiving 1st place in the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) category.

A second UCONN team won 1st place in the Scanning Probe Microscopy category for its image of neverbefore-seen details of interfaces found at domain boundaries in the technically important field of multiferroic thin films.

A third poster, prepared by Palumbo and fellow doctoral student Arif Mubarok, assistant professor Dr. Rainer Hebert (MSE) and Dr. Huey, received 3rd place in the SEM category.

Three interdisciplinary teams (each with members of IMS, ed) won honors at the Material Science & Technology (MS&T) 2011 conference for their photographic images of a variety of natural and manufactured phenomena taken using electron and atomic force microscopes. The posters were presented at the American Ceramic Societyʼs Ceramographic Exhibit and Competition sponsored by the ACerS Basic Science Division. The competition is an annual poster exhibit promoting the use of microscopy and microanalysis as tools in the scientific investigation of ceramic materials. Each of the winning teams from UConn included students and faculty from the Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) program, part of the Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering. Doctoral students Vincent Palumbo (MSE) and John Doyle (Marine Sciences), along with Dr. J. Evan Ward (Marine Sciences) and associate professor Dr. Bryan Huey (MSE), won the Roland B. Snow Best of Show Award, also receiving 1st place in the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) category. Their poster depicted four crisp images of nano and microscale structures that resemble archaeological ruins. In fact, the features are naturally occurring diatoms, along with agglomerations of man-made TiO2 nanoparticles such as those used in consumer products ranging from sunscreen to toothpaste to Oreo cookie filling. Diatoms are sea-dwelling phytoplankton distinguished by their silica shell; diatom communities are one indicator of environmental health and water quality. The winning poster will appear in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin of the American Ceramic Society. The research reflects interdisciplinary work being conducted in Dr. Huey’s NanoMeasurements lab in collaboration with Dr. Wardʼs group and Roger Ristau, an electron microscopy expert who oversees the TEM and SEM labs in the Institute of Materials Science (IMS). The group is investigating the influence of nanoparticles in the environment, particularly how they enter the aquatic and possibly human food chains. A second UCONN team won 1st place in the Scanning Probe Microscopy category for its image of never-before-seen details of interfaces found at domain boundaries in the technically important field of

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multiferroic thin films. This work was based on images acquired by undergraduate student Joseph Desmarais. as part of a work-study project in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory. Partnering with him were doctoral student Linghan Ye (MSE), Jon Ihlefeld of Sandia National Laboratory, and Dr. Huey. The image recently appeared in the journal Applied Physics Letters, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. A third poster, prepared by Palumbo and fellow doctoral student Arif Mubarok, assistant professor Dr. Rainer Hebert (MSE) and Dr. Huey, received 3rd place in the SEM category. Their poster included a single photo of a 6 μm particle found at the fracture surface of a steel specimen. The research pertains to the mechanical properties of steel that will be used in the construction of the new World Trade Center towers, as part of a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored project on blast resistance structures. Images of these posters can be seen on pages 14 and 16.

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Developing Green Energy Technology  

a $158,000 investment of its own.

The UConn School of Engineering plans to use the DOE grant to continue its groundbreaking research into the development of advanced thermal barrier coatings for turbine engines using a novel process called “solution precursor plasma spray” technology or SPPS. This process allows for the creation of a unique thermal barrier coating microstrucEric Jordan, United Technologies Professor of Advanced ture that dramatically reMaterials Processing, right, and research assistant Jeffrey duces damage from the Roth, in the lab with the coating apparatus. (Peter intense heat found in gas Morenus/UConn Photo) turbines. UConn researchers believe that the coatings From UConn Today, By Andrew Sparks. For developed through the SPPS process are the complete article see: http:// superior to traditional powder coatings today.uconn.edu/blog/2011/10/developingapplied to turbine engine parts and can green-energy-technology/ withstand more intense heat and strain, Researchers in the School of Engineering Eric Jordan, the United Technologies are working with the U.S. Department Professor of Advanced Materials Procof Energy to develop advanced coatings essing in the School of Engineering and for a new energy-producing turbine that principal investigator on the project (and produces dramatically lower greenhouse member of IMS, ed.), says UConn was gas emissions than traditional turbines. chosen for the work because it is a UConn is one of nine universities choleader in developing the technology used sen to conduct advanced turbine techto create the advanced surface coatings. nology research for the clean and effi“UConn has been the primary developer cient operation of turbines using fuels of the [SPPS] process,” he says. “We derived from coal and containing high started working on it about 12 years ago amounts of hydrogen, according to a with Inframat, a Connecticut-based comU.S. Department of Energy announcepany.” ment. These high-hydrogen-content The Inframat Corp. was created in 1995 fuels are crucial to developing advanced by former UConn professor Peter Strutt coal-based power generation systems and his research colleagues in academia that can capture and store carbon dioxand the private sector, with the intent of ide, a major greenhouse gas. developing and commercializing adThe University received a grant of nearly vancements in nanotechnology. The new $500,000 from the U.S. Department of corporation was supported by funding Energy’s Office of Fossil to pursue the from the Nanoprecision Manufacturing research as part of the department’s Program run by Connecticut Innovations University Turbine Research Program. Inc. Inframat has since become a reUConn will match the federal grant with search leader in advanced thermal spray

products and industrial coatings that are used by the federal government. Its headquarters are in Manchester, Conn. Aside from the novel coating microstructure, Jordan says, another main advantage of the SPPS process is the time it takes to develop a solution. “It can take up to six months to develop traditional powder coatings, but solution coatings have been developed as quickly as two in a single day,” he says. The Department of Energy is seeking UConn’s assistance in developing an SPPS coating for use on a new type of turbine that will burn gasified coal. These new turbines will rely on the coating developed at UConn to protect against the extreme heat that is generated by burning this type of coal. A five-member team of scientists will conduct the research, led by Jordan. A member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Jordan has 30 years’ experience in academic research and his work has been cited in about 2,000 journals. Maurice Gell, professorin-residence in the Department of Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering (and member of IMS, ed.), will serve as deputy program manager. Gell has 27 years of high-temperature materials, experience with Pratt & Whitney, and 16 years of academic research experience at UConn. He holds 20 patents and is the author of more than 125 publications. Many of the oxidationresistant thermal barrier coatings in commercial use today were developed by Gell’s research group at Pratt & Whitney. Jeffrey Roth, a plasma spray technician with more than 25 years’ experience, and two Ph.D. students round out the team. Support is also provided by Siemens Corp. and by Pratt & Whitney.

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                        Xuefei Wan 

Engineering Outstanding Women Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award Women

Graduate Student Award

From CMBE Website. For the complete article see: http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/archived_news2011.html

Xuefei Wan receives "Engineering Outstanding Women Graduate Student Award". Xuefei is an exceptional graduate student in the MSE Graduate Program and is graduating in May 2011. Her From CMBE Website. For the complete article see: http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/ doctoral research is in the area of solid-state hydrogen storage materials for fuel-cell vehicles, a From CMBE Website. For the complete article see: http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/ archived_news2011.html  project sponsored by the US Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest archived_news2011.html  Xuefei Wan receives "Engineering Outstanding Women Graduate Student Award". Xuefei is an ex‐ National Laboratory. Xuefei’s research has resulted in the publication of 15 papers in high-impact Xuefei Wan receives "Engineering Outstanding Women Graduate Student Award". Xuefei is an ex‐ ceptional graduate student in the MSE Graduate Program and is graduating in May 2011. Her doc‐ journals such as J. Power Sources, Appl. Phys. Lett., and J. Phys. Chem. Xuefei's PhD thesis advisor is ceptional graduate student in the MSE Graduate Program and is graduating in May 2011. Her doc‐ toral research is in the area of solid‐state hydrogen storage materials for fuel‐cell vehicles, a pro‐ Leon Shaw, Professor, CMBE and member of IMS. toral research is in the area of solid‐state hydrogen storage materials for fuel‐cell vehicles, a pro‐

ject sponsored by the US Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Na‐ ject sponsored by the US Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Na‐ tional Laboratory. Xuefei’s research has resulted in the publication of 15 papers in high‐impact  tional Laboratory. Xuefei’s research has resulted in the publication of 15 papers in high‐impact  journals such as J. Power Sources, Appl. Phys. Lett., and J. Phys. Chem. Xuefei's PhD thesis advisor  journals such as J. Power Sources, Appl. Phys. Lett., and J. Phys. Chem. Xuefei's PhD thesis advisor  is Leon Shaw, Professor, CMBE and member of IMS.   is Leon Shaw, Professor, CMBE and member of IMS.   From CMBE Website. For the complete article see: http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/news2011/

Yang Zhong awarded GEMS

Yang Zhong awarded GEMS News_Zhong_GEMS.html

Yang Zhong, a fourth-year graduate student from Professor Leon Shaw’s group who is currently doing his thesis research focused on the simultaneous improveFrom CMBE Website. For the complete article see: http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/ ment ofCMBE hardnessWebsite. and fracture of WC-Co material, been awarded From Fortoughness the complete article see:has http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/ archived_news2011.html one of ten Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) Awards by the Basic archived_news2011.html Science Division of The American Ceramic Society.

Yang Zhong, a fourth-year graduate student from Professor Leon Shaw’s group who is cur-

Yang Zhong, a “recognize fourth-year student from Professor Leon Shaw’s group who is curThe GEMS awards thegraduate outstanding achievements of graduate students rently doing his thesis research focused on the simultaneous improvement of hardness and rently doing his thesis research focused on the simultaneous improvement of hardness and in Materialstoughness Science and of Engineering” and are open tobeen all graduate students fracture WC-Co material, has awarded onewho of ten Graduate Excellence fracture toughness of WC-Co material, has been awarded one of ten Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) Awardsorby the Basic Science Division of The American Cemake an oral presentation in any symposium session at the annual Material in Materials Science (GEMS) Awards by the Basic Science Division of The American Ceramic Society. Science & Technology (MS&T) Conference. Zhong presented his research on ramic Society. “Sintering and Characterization of Nano-WC Co Powder – On the Formation of ThePlatelets” GEMS awards “recognize the outstanding achievements of graduate Yang Zong  students in MateWC at the 2011 MS&T Conference held in Columbus this past October. The “recognize the of graduate Materials GEMS Scienceawards and Engineering” andoutstanding are open toachievements all graduate students who students make aninoral

Zhong has been working with Prof. Shaw toare study the influence of processing and who make an oral rials Science and Engineering” open to allannual graduate students presentation in any symposium and or session at the Material Science & Technology microstructure on the mechanical properties of WC-Co in the last 2 Material years. They have developed a process for presentation in any symposium or session at the annual & Technology (MS&T) Conference. Zhong presented his research on “Sintering Science and Characterization of the production of WC-CoZhong with outstanding hardness and fracture toughness. They have also published 3 pa(MS&T) Conference. presented his research on “Sintering and Characterization of Nano-WC Co Powder – On the Formation of WC Platelets” at the 2011 MS&T Conference pers in Acta Materialia, Ceramics International and Journal ofPlatelets” Materials Science on the synthesis and microNano-WC Co Powder – On the Formation of WC at the 2011 MS&T Conference held in Columbus this past October. structure control of WC-Co. held in Columbus this past October.

Supramolecular Polymerization

Zhong has been working with Prof. Shaw to study the influence of processing and microstructure on Zhong has been working with Prof. Shaw to study the influence of processing and microstructure on the mechanical properties of WC-Co in the last 2 years. They have developed a process for the prothe mechanical properties of WC-Co in the last 2 years. They have developed a process for the production of WC-Co with outstanding hardness and fracture toughness. They have also published 3 duction of WC-Co with outstanding hardness and fracture toughness. They have also published 3 papers in Acta Materialia, Ceramics International and Journal Materials Science on the University of of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; andsynthesis coThe workinof YaoMaterialia, Lin (http://www.ims.uconn.edu/ papers Acta Ceramics International and Journal of Materials Science on the synthesis and microstructure control of WC-Co. workers have now synthesized peptide-grafted comb faculty/ylin.html), Assistant of Chemistry and microstructure controlProfessor of WC-Co. polymers and have assembled them into suand member of IMS was highlighted in the August pramolecular polymers.” 15, 2011 issue of Chemical and Engineering News. Quoting from the article: “In work that could lead to light materials with high mechanical strength, researchers have assembled large peptide-based polymers into a new family of giant-hydrogen-bonded supramolecules. Supramolecular polymers such as actins and tubulins, made biosynthetically from proteins, have great material strength and stability, but success in creating such materials has been limited. Yao Lin of the University of Connecticut; JIanjun Cheng of the MATERIALS

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“This work is an important step toward precise control over the dimension and shape of stable supramolecular polymers made of large macromolecules, which often proves to be challenging” comments Honggang Cui of Johns Hopkins University. More complete details are found in the associated article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133 (33), pp 12906–12909.

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Early Intro To Engineering Set Course For Grad Student toward a career in engineering,” he said. Palumbo, who previously received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in materials science and engineering at UConn, plans to use his education to teach at the college level and hopes to “someday relay the wonders and power of engineering to future students.”

Vincent Palumbo  By Nick Gagliardi: From the School of Engineering emagination. For the complete article see: http:// news.engr.uconn.edu/early-intro-toengineering-set-course-for-gradstudent.php

Vincent Palumbo, a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at the University of Connecticut, has a special bond with the School of Engineering that first took root during his high school years. In an effort to introduce younger students to engineering fundamentals and career paths, the School of Engineering operates an annual summer program for outstanding high school students interested in the field. As a junior at Daniel Hand High School, Palumbo was nominated by one of his teachers to attend the week-long residential program at the Storrs campus, and the experience sparked his affinity for engineering and UConn. “It really exposed me to devoted faculty and students, excited me about engineering, and set me on a path

Shifting from the interdisciplinary work of his M.S. degree, which focused on the interactions between nano-scale forces and structures with living cells, Palumbo’s current thesis research is on studying the combined blast and fire resistance for construction steel used in various infrastructures, including buildings, bridges, tunnels, and other structures. The work directly relates to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in 2001. “The collapse was found to be a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures after the blasts, degrading the structural properties of the steel in the buildings,” he said. Since the attack, new materials and designs are being developed in an effort to reduce such damage in the future. Palumbo’s research specifically focuses on how the microstructure of construction steel, especially the type of steel used in the new World Trade Center building, is affected by exposure to shock waves and subsequent high temperatures. As for his continued affiliation with UConn, Palumbo attributes it, yet again, to his academic mentor. “My advisor, Dr. Bryan Huey, played a big role in my staying here,” he said. “[Dr. Huey] advised me through my

independent study as an undergraduate as well as for my M.S., and he recommended that I pursue a Ph.D. with UConn as well.” Palumbo is a recipient of the Koerner Family Fellowship for his Ph.D. research, in addition to being awarded the Graduate Assistance In Areas Of National Need (GAANN) fellowship for his master’s work in biology. He was the 2010-2011 president of the UConn student chapter of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and is the president of Alpha Sigma Mu, an honor society for materials science and engineering students. Palumbo plans to graduate in 2013.

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Engineering Ambassadors Visit Magnet School By John C. Giardina, From the School of Engineering News and Events. For the complete article see: http:// news.engr.uconn.edu/engineering-ambassadors-visit-magnet-school.php

On September 2nd, 10 UConn engineering students kicked-off the new school year with science and technology classes at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, CT. The UConn students are Engineering Ambassadors, members of an outreach program that presents engineering concepts to school age students in the form of interactive demonstrations. The Engineering Ambassadors program was started in fall 2009 with a $50,000 grant from United Technologies Corporation and aims to introduce K-12 students to engineering and problem solving and to foster an interest in the science and technology fields as a career. For the students at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, there are myriad benefits of a visit from the Engineering Ambassadors. The Ambassadors work with the students to complete a few labs that are tied into their science goals for the year and are all designed to present an example of engineering in an exciting and accessible way. Courtney Zuckerman, the science curriculum coordinator at the school, said the experiments Milos Atz and David Golfin, Engineering Ambassadors  “provide our students hands on opportunities in math and science.” After completing the labs, the students are able to ask the Ambassadors about engineering and college in general. This part, Zuckerman said, was a highlight of the visit. “Our students loved the opportunity to interact with college students. The question and answer session at the end was a great way to demonstrate the importance of a college education to our students.” The 10 UConn students who visited the school included: Kayla Johnson (ME ’13), Stephany Santos (BME ’12), Ryan Darin (CSE ’13), Andre Silva (ECE ’12), Dave Golfin (CMBE ’14), Milos Atz (CMBE ’14); Rose Cersonsky (MSE ’14), Aaron Eaddy (ECE ’14), Monica Sawicki (MSE Ph.D. student), and Vincent Palumbo (MSE Ph.D. student). The program introduces these bright middle school students to the field of engineering, something they may not have been exposed to before. It also gives UConn the opportunity to make a positive first impression with these promising students. The development of middle and high school students who are talented in math and the sciences puts UConn at the forefront of the next generation of innovative engineers and builds relationships that will pay off for years to come. Sonya Renfro, UConn School of Engineering outreach and diversity programming coordinator, said she hopes the September visit represents the start of a long-term partnership with CREC Two Rivers Magnet School and the beginning of a new phase in the Engineering Ambassadors program. he said, “The continued relationship at CREC Two Rivers Magnet School will allow our Ambassadors to form relationships with the students and will provide them with role models in engineering.” She also said she is in the process of expanding the program. “We have partnerships with multiple schools and we have requests from schools across the whole state that we will meet as time permits.”

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Koerner Family Grad Fellows Selected From the School of Engineering News and Events. For the complete article see: http://news.engr.uconn.edu/koernerfamily-grad-fellows-selected.php

Five engineering doctoral students who aspire to careers in an academic setting have been selected to receive Koerner Family Fellowships, which confer $10,000 to each. The Koerner Family Fellowships are made possible thanks to the generosity of Professor Robert and Mrs. Paula Koerner and their children – Dr. Michael Koerner, Dr. George Koerner and Ms. Pauline Koerner. The 2011-12 recipients were nominated by their departments and chosen by a School committee. They are: Lance Fiondella, Computer Science & Engineering (advisor: Swapna Gokhale). Kathryn Gosselin, Mechanical Engineering (advisor: Michael Renfro). Chad Johnston, Civil & Environmental Engineering (advisor: Marisa Chrysochoou).

L‐R Koerner Fellows Vincent Palumbo, Chad  Johnston, Lance Fiondella, Ernesto Suarez, and  Kathryn Gosselin 

Vincent Palumbo, Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering (advisor: Bryan Huey, Associate Professor, CMBE, and member of IMS). Research interests: methods of enhancing the blast and fire resistance of the nation’s infrastructure, including bridges, buildings, tunnels, and the like Ernesto Suarez, Electrical & Computer Engineering (advisor: Faquir Jain).

Dean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi, said “Professor and Mrs. Koerner have been stalwart supporters of higher education for more than four decades. Through their generous gift, a group of highly-talented Ph.D. students will pursue advanced studies in trans-disciplinary topics in engineering.”

Institute of Materials Science Distinguished Lecture On Thursday November 10, 2011, Martin P. Hamer of Lehigh University gave the annual IMS Distinguished Lecture. “Tailoring of Grain Boundary Complexions for Mechanism-Informed Materials Design” There is full recognition that grain boundaries are a decisive factor in determining the processing and properties of engineering materials. However, owing to geometrical and chemical complexities, the description of grain boundaries has defied a satisfactory conceptual scientific framework of explanation. An exciting new scientific opportunity now exists, with the concept of grain boundary complexion, which promises to provide a new mechanism- informed conceptual framework for understanding and tailoring grain boundaries and their related physical phenomena. A grain boundary complexion is a “phase” that is thermodynamically stabilized by its adjoining grains. It is chemically and structurally distinct from any bulk phase. Complexion phases can interconvert between well-defined equilibrium structures, which can be represented on complexion phase diagrams analogous to bulk phase diagrams. A progressive series of six possible complexion conformations has been proposed, whereby the discrete number of atomic layers, the layer thickness and the degree of structural and chemical ordering defines the stability of each type of complexion. One well-studied complexion conformation is the equilibrium thickness (1-2nm) intergranular film (IGF). Newly revealed thinner layer complexion conformations include bilayers and trilayers. This talk will present direct evidence obtained by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy for the existence of various complexion conformations in metals, ceramics and semiconductors. The findings have important implications to the development of new materials with improved performance by mechanism-informed design.

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Engineering Grad Students Making A Difference In Tech School Classrooms From the School of Engineering From the School of Engineering News and Events. For the complete article see: http://news.engr.uconn.edu/ engineering-grad-students-making-adifference-in-tech-schoolclassrooms.php

Technical High School students across Connecticut enjoyed a unique opportunity to explore engineering principles, get involved in hands-on technical projects and competitions, and interact with UConn engineering graduate students throughout the 2010-11 academic year, thanks to an NSF-sponsored program called Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education. The GK-12 program in the School of Engineering is supported by a $2.7 million NSF award and is intended to provide graduate students unique learning opportunities that will broadly prepare them for professional and scientific careers in the 21st century, while invigorating K-12 classrooms with valuable STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lessons. UConn elected to focus on the often underserved Connecticut Tech Schools, which provide an excellent education for technicallyinclined students across the state. Remarking on the benefits of having a doctoral student embedded in her A.I. Prince Technical High School class, teacher Deirdre Shaw said, “It has been a rewarding experience for my students to have had the opportunity to participate in the STEM program and have a GK-12 Fellow available to work with them.” .

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The engineering graduate students serve as classroom resources, working closely with teachers to organize engaging, hands-on projects to convey fundamental engineering concepts, with a focus on the issues of sustainable design, efficiency, and conservation. In doing so, they seek to spread their enthusiasm for engineering and technology to a new generation of students. At the Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School in Groton, GK-12 Fellow Jason White interacted regularly with teachers Larry Fritch of the Biosciences and Environmental Technology Department (BET), Jamie Lamitie of the Electrical Department, and mathematics teachers Heidi DeCosta and Carlos Flores and their students. With his assistance, students worked with hydroelectric energy to power small LED devices and built a portable hydroelectric demonstration that can be used to teach other students about this green energy source. The BET students also experimented with biodiesel fuel production from waste cooking oil, and plan to start making large batches of fuel to power the school’s diesel tractors. In the two mathematics classes, students engaged in “hands-on” math lessons including modeling a bouncing ball, paper airplane engineering, and modeling can implosion. At Ellis Tech, Fellow Greg Wrobel encouraged students to participate in competitions, such as CL&P’s Live Green Win Green

and his own Green Battle, in which students could submit their own ideas on how to make a building, workshop or vehicle more “green.” One group, “The Green Eagles,” designed a radiant floor heating system that stores excess heat from the sun and shower/dish water to help heat a house. One popular activity that captivated students at several of the schools involved the design and construction of an electricity-generating wind turbine. Vinal Tech students and GK-12 Fellow Martin Huber expect to install their wind turbine this fall and continue learning from the device as it produces energy for the school. Norwich Tech students also designed and built a wind turbine, with guidance from Fellow Kyle Brady. Kyle also engaged the students with classroom activities such as a trebuchet egg-toss competition that helped to foster creative and critical-thinking skills inherent to the engineering process. Fellow Neil Spinner led Cheney Tech CADD students in the design and fabrication of parts for a fully-functional wind turbine. At Windham Tech, Fellow Alex Lassman introduced students to various clean energy technologies throughout the school year, and the students applied their lessons to the design, construction and testing of a solar-powered electric scooter. The proud students showcased their scooter at UConn during a celebration of Earth Day attended by State Rep. Sue Johnson, and also demonstrated their vehicle in appearances on local television and radio programs. (Continued on page 11) 

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Engineering Grad Students Making A Difference In Tech School Classrooms (Continued from page 10) 

At Goodwin Tech, Fellow Jason Arena worked with two after-school student organizations in addition to his classroom activities. Helping out the FIRST Robotics Team with their rookie season was a learning experience; however, both Jason and the team look forward to the upcoming season. Jason also assisted members of the Goodwin Green Technology Club to promote environmentally responsible living and technology. In the coming year, UConn’s team of GK-12 students will continue to work

with Tech School students and their teachers, to enhance engineering awareness and interest in STEM careers. Read more about the GK-12 program here. View three short videos of simple demonstration projects developed by GK-12 Fellows and their students by clicking on the links below: Fun with Chemistry Science in a Minute: Fuel Cells Science in a Minute: Water Flux

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Department Seminars: Spring 2012

All spring seminar schedules have not been finalized at the time of this writing. Seminar schedules will be available near the beginning of the semester and can be found on the department web sites (http:// www.ims.uconn.edu/polymer/seminars.html and http://www.cmbe.engr.uconn.edu/seminars.html). This information will be updated as additional seminars are added. Abstracts of seminars are usually available about a week in advance. We can also put you in touch with the faculty member sponsoring the seminar to learn more about the specific seminar of interest. We suggest you call before attending to be sure the seminar has not been canceled due to illness or weather. Here are the schedules for the Polymer Program spring seminar series and the CMBE.

POLYMER SEMINAR SERIES January 25 (Wed)

“Nanoparticles and Biology. Engineering the Interface for Therapeutics and Diagnostics” Dr. Vincent Rotello, University of Massachusetts (A joint seminar with Chemistry Dept.)

January 26 (Thurs)

“Will We Ever Drive Fuel Cell Cars?” Prof. Yossef Elbad, Drexel University

February 3

“Highly Permeable Nanofibrous Membranes for Water Purification” Prof. Benjamin Hsiao, SUNY Stonybrook

February 10

“Crystallizable Block Copolymers: Directing Crystallization via Polymer Architecture” Prof. Richard Register, Princeton University

February 17

“Rheology of Physical Gelation” Prof. Henning Winter, University of Massachusetts

March 9

“A Novel Membrane/Core Type Nanoparticle for Drug/Gene Delivery” Prof. Leaf Huang, UNC Chapel Hill

April 13

“Material-based Feedback Control of Cell Adhesion” Prof. Harry Bermudez, UMass Amherst

April 20

“The Influence of Irreversible Aggregates on the Rheology of Monoclonal Antibody Solutions” Dr. Jai Pathak, MedImmune LLC, Gaithersburg

April 27

“Wrinkles and Folds Enhance Light Harvesting Efficiency and Increase Mechanical Flexibility of Polymer Solar Cells” Prof. Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, Princeton University

All seminars are held on Fridays at 1:30 PM in IMS Room 20, unless noted otherwise. Coffee will be served at 1:00 PM outside the seminar room. For more information, please contact YH Chudy at [email protected], (860) 486-3582 or visit www.ims.uconn.edu/polymer.

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CMBE SEMINAR SERIES January 17

Rainer Hebert (UConn) “Elastic Behavior of Metallic Glasses”

January 24

Terri Camesano WPI

January 31

Debbie Kaiser (National Institute of Standards and Technology) “Measurement Standards for Nanotechnology” (Related Environmental, Health and Safety Assessment (Nano/EHS)

February 7

Geoffre Bothun (U. Rhode Island) “Role of Lipid Composition in Modulating the Effects of n-Butanol on Biomembrane Phase Behavior “

February 10 (Friday; 2:00pm UTEB #150)

Paul R. Van Tassel, (Yale University) "Polyelectrolyte Nanofilm Biomaterials: Optimizing Mechanical Rigidity and Bioactivity"

February 14

Sudhangshu “Sudha” Bose, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hartford) “Modeling of High Temperature Oxidation and Hot Corrosion of Gas Turbine”

February 20 William Koros* (Georgia Tech) (Monday; 4:00pm Dodd) February 21

William Koros* (Georgia Tech)

February 28

C. Heath Turner (University of Alabama)

March 6

Marianthi Ierapetritou (Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey)

March 20

Eric Lifshin (University of Albany, State University of New York College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering)

March 27

David C. Venerus (Illinois Institute of Technology) “Anisotropic Thermal Conduction in Polymers and its Molecular Origins”

April 3

Eli Sutter (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

April 10

Mike Betenbaugh (Johns Hopkins University)

April 17

Kurt Sickafus (The University of Tennessee Knoxville)

April 23

Joe Michael* (Sandia National Labs)

(Monday; 4:00pm,; Dodd) April 24

Joe Michael* ( Sandia National Labs)

*These Lectures are part of the CMBE Spring 2012 Distinguished Lecture Series. All seminars are held on Tuesdays at 11:00 am in IMS Room 20 unless otherwise noted.

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  Prize‐Winning  Posters  From  Materials   Science   & Technology  2012  See related article on p. 4 

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Employment Web Page The Institute of Materials Science has a web page to help match students with potential employers. The IMS Employment Center can be accessed from the IMS home page http://www.ims.uconn.edu/ and clicking on Outreach. The initial job page has brief information concerning each position and a link for more details. Please forward any open position announcements you wish to post to Rhonda Ward ([email protected]). We have several positions on the website now, with your help we can continue to build this database of information, which benefits both students and employers.

Toxic and Bio-Contaminated Samples On a small number of occasions, member companies have sent us toxic samples for examination. IMS is not set up to handle such materials. We operate in a very open environment with multiple users and shared laboratory facilities. We cannot accept toxic materials, materials that present biological hazards or similar materials such as drugs that require very specialized handling. If we do receive such a sample we must return them (and may need your assistance to do so, as shipping these materials can be time consuming and expensive). We cannot dispose of these types of material at UConn when they are created by external sources.

Mid-Length Projects (MLP) Program The Institute of Materials Science (IMS) announces the continuation of a program that addresses seed research/development projects of an intermediate length. This program is designed to encourage university/industry collaboration on projects that are too extensive for the existing Associates Program yet smaller than full-blown university research projects. Typical student/post-doc supporting research projects at IMS (and most of UConn and other institutions) last for some number of years. Industry often has exploratory projects of intermediate length between these extremes, projects that may require several months to a year of full time effort. Through the Mid-Length Projects (MLP) Program IMS will assist industry in matching the available resources of IMS to those required for the project of interest. For more information or to discuss specific projects please contact Ed Kurz (860) 486-4186, [email protected] or Harris Marcus (860) 486-4623, [email protected].

Sample Preparation In many projects that the Associates Program deals with, such as adhesion and coatings, surface analysis techniques are extremely important. The techniques used for such analysis, particularly GC/MS, Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are extremely sensitive to small amounts of material on the surface. It is important to make efforts not to contaminate these surfaces during sample preparation, collection and shipment. Shipment in common plastic bags should be avoided! Common plastic bags typically contain significant amounts of additives used to prevent the plastics from adhering to themselves and other materials. These additives will migrate to the sample during shipment and at best make interpretation difficult and sometimes impossible. It is much better to ship such samples in common kitchen aluminum foil (not industrial aluminum foil which is often coated with an oil or other release agent). Samples can also be shipped in glass containers with aluminum foil over the opening under the cap. Alternatively, special polyester bags that do not contain such additives can be purchased. One source of such bags is the Kapak Corporation (now Ampac). Typical price is about $200 per thousand depending on the exact size. Be sure to specify non-contaminating/non-plasticized material.

Prize‐Winning Poster From  Materials Science & Technology 2012  See related article on p. 4  IMS Associates Program   

Edward Kurz, Ph.D., Director Ph. 860-486-4186 Fax 860-486-4745 [email protected] Fiona Leek, Ph.D. Associate Director Ph. 860-486-1040 Fax 860-486-4745 [email protected] Research Assistants Mark Dudley Gary Lavigne Laura Pinatti Administrative Assistant Rhonda Ward University of Connecticut Institute of Materials Science 97 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3136 Storrs, CT 06269-3136 Visit us on the web at: www.ims.uconn.edu/associate/ associates

Spring Semester Starts Spring semester classes: 5352

Polymer Properties

R. Parnas

5394-1

Responsive Polymers

R. Kasi

5384

Polymer Characterization II

A. Asandei

5394-2

Carbon Nanotubes and F. Papadimitrakopoulos Nanomaterials, Laboratory Practical Training

5345

Organic Structure Determination

D. Adamson

5305-1

Phase Transformations in Solids

P. Alpay

5309-1

Transport Phenomena

R. Maric

5317-1 5323-1 5700-1

Electronic & Magnetic Properties Transmission Electron Microscopy Biomaterials and Tissue Eng.

R. Ramprasad B. Carter L. Kuhn

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