Up and Running

The new ITEC 281 project, a steam or air-powered “wobbler” engine, cleared its first semester, and though challenging, was rewarding as well. The end of the semester turned into a competition of sorts to see whose engine could operate at the lowest (or highest!) pressure. Though small, these little engines can reach some impressive speeds.

To see the demo I built in action, click here.

Elmer #25 Wobbler Engine


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Conference Season

It has been busy fall semester. Five of us made the trip to Baltimore for the Nano 2016 conference (Herald’s International Conference and Exhibition on  Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology). Congratulations to David for a job well done on his presentation, and it was a good experience for all of us. Roger presented at the 2016 Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) conference in Salt Lake City, UT as well as the PASSHE Undergraduate Research Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics here at MU. Also a great job and dedicated effort. We also had a good showing in the 16th Annual Fall Student Research Poster Display. You guys make the group look very good.

Looking forward to the future!

david conference

David at Nano 2016


Roger at PASSHE STEM Conference


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A “CAREER” Opportunity

The research proposal entitled, “New Solid State Metal Foams Using Oxide Reduction and Intraparticle Expansion,” has just been awarded. This will provide funding over the next five years to study the mechanisms behind the Additive Expansion by the Reduction of Oxides (AERO) solid state foaming process (discussed here). This grant is through the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER). As described by NSF, it is a, “…Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

What a great opportunity to advance research and academics at Millersville! I look forward to getting started, and I am grateful for the support I had putting this proposal together, especially to the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration, Dr. Rene Munoz, for his continual guidance along the way.

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Research Group’s First Article

The research article entitled, “Using Mechanical Alloying to Create Bimetallic Catalysts for Vapor-Phase Carbon Nanofiber Synthesis,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Fibers. This was entirely conducted at MU (with external characterization support) by undergrads, Laura, Crystal and Roger conducting the work and authoring the manuscript. Congrats! Let’s keep up the momentum.

The link for this open-access article will be under “publications” as soon as it is available.

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SME’s Ugly Duckling

The SME student group has committed to partner with Al Unrath, (Information Services, Millersville University) to begin the process of converting a VW Bus to an all-electric vehicle, which will then be used for campus tours. There is a tremendous amount of work needed to pull this off, and we are looking forward to getting it started. A separate blog site is expected soon to track the progress.

Although the bus is currently quite an ugly duckling, we hope to transform it into a beautiful swan. Just not for use in the pond with the others!

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New Research Collaboration

We are excited to expand our work in nanostructured metals in conjunction with the US Army. The new cooperative agreement, with additional funding from Millersville, will create a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in research and help us add depth to our research capabilities here. Looking forward to it!

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One Year Later…

Since this is a blog, I figured I should probably post updates. So here’s a start…

It’s been one year since receiving NSF funding for carbon nanofiber research, and I’m pleased to say we’ve made some excellent progress. It started by converting a storage room into a functional lab, installing and setting up equipment, hiring students and beginning the research. All of which was done rapidly enough to submit a first publication on the results by the end of June. Congratulations to Laura, Crystal and Roger on that progress, and to Tom who finished an Honors Thesis and landed a job at the Army Research Lab.  And that doesn’t include the external partnerships and training we’ve been up to either. Well done to you all. This next year promises to be even better.

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