Archives—May 2012


New Department Chair Steve Kampe

Steve Kampe
Steve Kampe

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is pleased to announce that Professor Steve Kampe has agreed to serve as department chair. The President, Provost, incoming Dean, and Dean Tim Schulz are all excited about Steve’s appointment, and all are confident that his leadership will be a great asset for the department, college, and university.

College of Engineering Dean Tim Schulz would also like to thank the Department Chair Search Committee–Paul Bergstrom, Miguel Levy, Beth Ruohonen, Paul Sanders, Doug Swenson, and Cal White–for managing a process that resulted in the hire of a candidate of Steve’s caliber.

Steve’s duties will begin on July 1, 2012.


Low-Cost Water Purification

Drinking WaterCommon Kitchen Ingredient Helps Clean Drinking Water

If clean water is that easy, why are so many people, especially young children, dying from diseases contracted by drinking unclean water? There is a major obstacle to effective use of SODIS: if the water is muddy or murky, pathogens can hide in the shadows of the particulates, avoiding the death-rays of the sun.

But Brittney Dawney, a student at Queen’s University of Ontario, and Joshua Pearce, associate professor at Michigan Technological University, believe this problem can be solved with an everyday item from the kitchen shelf: table salt.

Read more at Treehugger, by Christine Lepisto.

Recipe For Safer Drinking Water? Add Sun, Salt And Lime

“Basically, you need to be able to read a newspaper through it. That means it’s clear enough for the UV radiation to penetrate and kill the pathogens. If you can’t see through it, it just won’t work,” explains Joshua Pierce [sic], associate professor of materials science and engineering at Michigan Tech.

Read more at NPR, by Gretchen Cuda Kroen.

This Guy Is Making Dirty Water Safe To Drink By Using A Common Kitchen Ingredient

According to Michigan Tech, “nearly 80 percent of disease in developing countries is linked to bad water and sanitation” and diarrhea kills 4,000 children a day in Africa.

Read more at Business Insider, by Michael Kelley.

A gram of salt helps treat murky water

The salt binds to contaminants in the water and clumps them together so they can be removed, after which the water is usually clear enough that it can undergo a low-tech, cheap and widely available cleansing method called solar water disinfection.

Read more at CBC News.


Yun Hang Hu Research Group

MOF 5Dr. Yun Hang Hu’s group has immediate openings for qualified graduate students interested in completing PhD program. Emphasis of those positions will be in one of the following areas: graphene and other nano-structured materials for solar cells, metal-organic frameworks and Li-N based materials for hydrogen energy, nano-structured materials, CO2 conversion into novel solid materials, and catalysis for clean fuel production. Motivated students, who are interested in working on those areas, are encouraged to apply.

See Prof. Yun Hang Hu Research Group.

Research programs in Professor Hu’s laboratory use chemical and physical approaches towards the synthesis and the characterization of advanced materials for energy applications, including:

  • Graphene for solar energy
  • Synthesis of novel solid materials and liquid fuels from CO2
  • Hydrogen storage materials
  • Low-pressure Induced Amorphization (LPIA) of solid materials
  • Structures and properties of nano-structured materials
  • Heterogeneous catalysis

Lab equipment for research in advanced materials and catalysis in energy include:

  • In-Situ High Temperature – High Pressure FTIR with Diffuse Reflectance Accessory
  • On-line GC-MS for TPD and TPR
  • On-line GC for Catalytic Reactions
  • On-line GC for Hydrogenation and Dehydrogenation
  • Adsorption Instrument for BET and Pore Size Distribution
  • UV-Vis Spectrophotometer with Diffuse Reflection Accessory
  • Elemental Analysis Instrument
  • FTNIR for both Solid and Liquid
  • Electrochemical Workstation
  • Solar Simulator and Solar Cell Performance Test Unit