The football throw event at the MS&T Expo drew a large crowd of quarterbacks. Credit: ACerS

MS&T has been keeping me pretty busy, so this is a bye week from the football stories. They will resume next week.

My record so far? I’m 4-2 and looking to improve next week!

Regular readers of the “football” stories will have picked up on the recurring theme of student research opportunities. A record-breaking 950 students attended MS&T, and there are a number of events at MS&T that give students a chance to showcase their research. The projects were pretty darn impressive.

John Solomon from Iowa State University makes a point during his presentation at the Undergraduate Student Speaking Contest

John Solomon from Iowa State University makes a point during his presentation at the Undergraduate Student Speaking Contest.

The Material Advantage Undergraduate Student Speaking Contest (organized by the Ceramic Educational Council) attracted 13 contestants, and I got to hear John Solomon and Ian Zeller, two of the finalists, present their work. The other two finalists were Parul Koul (the contest winner) and Charles Forman. The presentations were well organized, the slides were designed clearly, the students were articulate, poised and really knew their research.

As you can see by the titles of the finalists’ presentations, there were no training wheels attached to these projects.

Parul Koul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
“Hex Mesh Degradation Investigation”

1st Runner-Up:
John Solomon, Iowa State University
“A Biologically Active Ceramic-Ceramic Composite for Use in Orthopedic Applications”

2nd Runners-Up:
Charles Forman, Virginia Tech
“Surface Characterization of High Performance Superconductivity Radio-Frequency (SRF) Niobium Cavity”

Ian Zeller, Clemson University
“Modification of PVDF Fibers with PNIPAM Containing Nanogels”

More research work was presented in the student poster competition sponsored by Material Advantage and organized by the Ceramic Educational Council.

The prize-winning posters in the undergraduate student competition were:

1st Place
Rafael A. Soler-Crespo, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus
“Electrochemical dealloying of aluminum-zinc alloys: formation of macroporous structures”

2nd Place
Nick Fries, Iowa State University
“The Effect of Wheel Temperature on Microstructure of Melt-Spun Nd2Fe14B Ribbons”

3rd Place
Laura Van Steenhuyse, Iowa State University
“Characterizing the Flow Behavior of Aqueous Nanopowder Suspensions”

Honorable Mention
Blake Whitley, University of Alabama
“Optimization of Advanced Polystyrene Nanosphere Lithography to form Nanorods for Improved Solar Absorbers and Graded Media Applications”

Honorable Mention
Blair Wendt, Colorado School of Mines
“Utilizing alginates to create green chemistries for gel casting”

The prize-winning posters in the graduate student competition were:

1st Place
Julie Drexler, The Ohio State University
“Mitigation Mechanisms for CMAS (sand) Resistant Thermal Barrier Coating Materials”

2nd Place
Jin Luo, University of Kentucky
“An LTCC Clark-Type Oxygen Sensor”

3rd Place
Haruhiko Atsumi, Osaka University
“The characteristics of high strength and lead-free machinable α-β duplex phase brass Cu-40Zn-Cr-Fe-Sn-Bi alloy”

Graduate and undergraduate students have the chance to show off their microscopic skills, too, in the Ceramographic Contest sponsored by the Basic Science Division. Peter stopped by and took a few pictures of the pictures.