Archives—September 2009

New Funding

Yu Wang (MSE) has received $126,000 from the US Department of Energy for the first year of a potential three-year, $378,000 project, “Domain Microstructures and Mechanisms for Large, Reversible and Anhysteretic Strain Behaviors in Phase Transforming Ferroelectric Materials.”

Career Fair Is All About Prospects

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Andrew Heikkinen, a junior in materials science and engineering, was looking for a co-op or an internship. “I’d really like to get something,” he said. “I have to learn some more skills.” He was buoyed by the Career Services website that said 38 companies were looking for materials engineers. He considers himself a savvy young man who will make a good impression. “I’m a smart kid,” he said. “I can talk.”

Materials Design Education

Friday, September 25, 2009 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Room U113, M&M Building

G.B. Olson
Northwestern University & QuesTek Innovations LLC


A novel integration of design into the undergraduate materialscurriculum has beenunder development for the past 15 years at Northwestern.The Bodeen-LindbergMaterials Design Studio serves as a central teaching facility for computationalMSE in the curriculum. Software tools introduced throughout core courses areintegrated in a required junior-level Materials Design course. Through anintegration of education activities of our Design Institute with funded designresearch activities of the Materials Technology Laboratory, coaching by graduatestudents and post-doctoral researchers facilitates cross-disciplinary concurrentcomputational engineering of materials and structures in engineering schoolwide”institute projects” involving multidisciplinary undergraduate teams spanningfreshman to senior level. Project examples include “Civil Shield” addressingmaterials and structures for civilian anti-terrorism bomb mitigation, and “SmartStent” integrating high-performance shape memory alloys in endovascular stentdesigns.

Computational Materials Scieneering

Friday, September 25, 2009 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

G.B. Olson
Northwestern University & QuesTek Innovations LLC


The numerical implementation of established materials science principles in the form ofpurposeful engineering tools has brought a new level of integration of the science andengineering of materials. Parametric materials design integrating materials science, appliedmechanics and quantum physics within a systems engineering framework has brought a firstgeneration of designer “cyberalloys” that have now entered successful commercial applications,and a new enterprise of commercial materials design services has steadily grown over the pastdecade. The success of materials design established a basis for the recent DARPA-AIMinitiative which broadened computational materials engineering to address acceleration of thefull materials development and qualification cycle. As the central engine of the AIMmethodology, the PrecipiCalc microstructural simulator has demonstrated both acceleratedthermal process optimization at the component level and the effective forecast of manufacturingvariation with efficient fusion of minimal datasets. A new level of science-based modelingaccuracy is being achieved under the ONR/DARPA “D3D” Digital Structure consortium using asuite of advanced 3D tomographic characterization tools to calibrate and validate a set of highfidelity explicit 3D microstructural simulation tools spanning the hierarchy of microstructuralscales.

M&M 610 Room Dedication – Seminar Room

Gifts page

Summary of renovations:
    • Removed walls of 610A (storage), 611 (darkroom), 611A
    • Built platform, new paint, wainscot, ceiling tiles,
      recessed lighting, carpeting, “warm and comfortable
    • New furniture, acoustic panels, audio visual, paint-on
      whiteboard (IdeaPaint)

Researchers Receive $1.5 Million to Make Steel, Syngas Using Microwaves

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A project spearheaded by a team of materials science and engineering researchers has received $1.5 million from the Michigan Public Service Commission to further develop a new, energy-efficient method for making steel. And, by the way, it also produces syngas. The grant was awarded jointly to Michigan Tech and to U.P. Steel, a start-up company created by Professor Jiann-Yang Hwang and Xiaodi Huang, a project manager and research leader in the Institute of Materials Processing.

A New Model for the Critical Thickness of Metallic Amorphous Thin Films

Friday, September 18, 2009 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Jong K. Lee
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Michigan Technological University


A new model for the critical thickness of amorphous metallic thin films isproposed in which the surface free energy difference, Δγ, equals γCV +γCA – γAV, where γCV is the crystalline-vapor, γCA the crystallineamorphous, and γAV, the amorphous-vapor interface free energy. It ispredicated upon experimental evidence that non-epitaxial film growthdue to large atomic-size difference dictates one or two amorphousatomic layers in contact with the substrate phase. Consequently, themodel does not require hardly-accessible film-substrate interface freeenergies in predicting the critical thickness for amorphous-crystallinetransition.

Read more here.