All posts by ehgroth

MSE Seminar: Properties of Glassy Polymers at the Nanoscale versus the Bulk State

Materials Science and Engineering Department, John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series Seminar, Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room 610 M&M Building;

Donald R. Paul, University of Texas at Austin, Title: Properties of Glassy Polymers at the Nanoscale versus the Bulk State

The need for more energy efficient processes continues to drive interest in polymeric membranes for gas separations; removal of carbon dioxide and other impurities from natural gas is one of the important targets for this technology. There is interest in the discovery of new polymer structures for membranes that are more permeable, more selective or more robust particularly with regard to resisting plasticization by highly soluble gases like carbon dioxide. In general, the best polymers for these applications have high glass transition temperatures.

To achieve commercially attractive levels of flux or productivity, most membranes have an asymmetric or composite structure where the separating layer is very thin, of the order of 100 nm in thickness. It is generally assumed that these thin layers have the same permeation properties as thick films, tens of microns in thickness, which are easily prepared in the laboratory for evaluation of membrane materials. In fact, the usual method for estimating the thickness of the separating layer is to compare its gas permeance or flux to the permeability of a thick film. However, there is growing evidence that thin films of glassy polymers with thicknesses of a few hundred nanometers behave quite differently than thick films. A major factor is the observation that thin glassy films undergo physical aging, i.e., approach towards equilibrium, much more rapidly than do bulk glasses presumably due to high segmental mobility at free surfaces. This presentation will summarize recent evidence concerning the differences between thin and thick films with regard to aging, plasticization and thermal history based on gas permeation observations.

Dr. Donald R. Paul is the Ernest Cockrell, Sr. Chair professor in Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Paul got his bachelor degree from North Carolina State College and his master and Ph.D. degree from The University of Wisconsin at Madison. Professor Paul’s research interests include the broad areas of polymer science and engineering and chemical engineering with more than 700 papers published in prestigious journals. He obtained many awards and honors. He is an Elected Member of National Academy of Engineering (1988), Mexican Academy of Sciences (2001), and the Academy of Sciences of Bologna (2011). He is a Fellow for numerous important societies, including the Society of Plastics Engineers (2004), the American Chemical Society (2009), the Materials Research Society (2009), and the ACS Polymer Division (2011). He won Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award (SPE-TPM&F) (2011), General Motors R&D Most Valued Colleague Award (2009), AIChE Founders Award (2008), Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (American Chemical Society) (2005), Alan S. Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science and Technology (NAMS) (2005); NAMS Founders Award (2005); American Chemical Society E.V. Murphree Award (1999); Council for Chemical Research Malcolm E. Pruitt Award (1999); AICHE William H. Walker Award (1998); Society of Plastics Engineers International Award (1993); Society of Plastics Engineers Education Award (1989); AIChE Materials Engineering and Sciences Division Award (1985); American Chemical Society Phillips Award for Applied Polymer Science (1984); Engineering News-Record Award (1976); and the American Chemical Society Arthur K. Doolittle Award (1973) etc. He was the Director of Texas Materials Institute (1998-2011) and the editor-in-chief of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (an ACS journal).


Metallurgist Employment

HB Consultants LLC, a contingency search firm specializing in the steel and metals industries, has the following jobs open. If interested, please email resume to or call 330.759.8700
Application Metallurgist –minimum of MS or PhD Metl or Material Sci degree. Candidate can have experience in the appliance, steel, or automotive industries. A knowledge of welding is helpful. Will be located on-site at corporate headquarters.
Application Metallurgist – minimum of MS or PhD Metl or Material Sci degree. Candidate can have experience in the appliance, steel, or automotive industries. A knowledge of welding is helpful. Will be located at customers’ sites (Detroit, Nashville, or Alabama).
Customer Technical Service Metallurgist – based in Chicago IL. BS metallurgy or material science degree required. 5 years experience. Know API standards and have a knowledge of hot roll. Minimum 3 years in the hot roll steel industry.
Melt Shop Metallurgist – EAF and caster experience.
Melt Supervisor – EAF background. Several jobs available – locations: Chicago, Cleveland, Johnstown PA.
Hot Mill Operations Engineer – Experience in rolling and operations technology.
Metallurgist Technical Service – base + bonus + profit sharing. Experience in flat roll and cold roll.

Science Just Got Cheaper (and Faster): Design Library Lets Researchers Print their Own Syringe Pumps

image113176-horizFurnishing a research lab can be pretty expensive. Now a team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let scientists slash the cost of one commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. Syringe pumps are used to dispatch precise amounts of liquid, as for drug delivery or mixing chemicals in a reaction. They can also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

MSE Seminar: Zhiqun Lin, Georgia Institute of Technology

John and Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture Series, Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Seminar: Zhiqun Lin, Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; 11:00am-12:00 on Tuesday September 9th at M & M 610

Topic: A Robust Strategy to Monodisperse Functional Nanocrystals with Precisely Tunable Dimensions, Compositions and Architectures for Solar Energy Conversion and Photocatalysis

Nanocrystals exhibit a wide range of unique properties (e.g., electrical, optical, and optoelectronic) that depend sensitively on their size and shape, and are of both fundamental and practical interest. Breakthrough strategies that will facilitate the design and synthesis of a large diversity of nanocrystals with different properties and controllable size and shape in a simple and convenient manner are of key importance in revolutionarily advancing the use of nanocrystals for a myriad of applications in lightweight structural materials, optics, electronics, photonics, optoelctronics, magnetic technologies, sensory materials and devices, catalysis, drug delivery, biotechnology, and among other emerging fields. In this talk, I will elaborate a general and robust strategy for crafting a large variety of functional nanocrystals with precisely controlled dimensions (i.e., plain, core/shell, and hollow nanoparticles) for use in energy-related applications (i.e., solar cells and photocatalysis) by capitalizing on a new class of unimolecular star-like block copolymers as nanoreactors. This strategy is effective and able to produce organic solvent-soluble and water-soluble monodisperse nanoparticles, including metallic, ferroelectric, magnetic, luminescent, semiconductor, and their core/shell nanoparticles, which represent a few examples of the kind of nanoparticles that can be produced using this technique. The applications of these functional nanocrystals on plasmonic solar cells and photocatalysis will also be discussed.

Seminar on Sept 9 (Zhiqun Lin from Georgia Tech) PDF

Process Metallurgist

Process Metallurgist: Chicago Il area.  Leading steel manufacturer seeks metallurgist with experience in steelmaking. The individual will provide technical support, metallurgical analysis, interpret inquiry/order entry requirements, recommend process improvements, and improve quality control.  Must have problem solving skills, good interpersonal skills, strong technical writing & computer skills and be willing to work long hours to meet critical deadlines. BS in Metallurgy, Material Science or related field with 2-10 years + experience in a manufacturing environment.  Please email resume to


Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools

IMG_7840bTwenty-two high school teachers from all across Michigan–including two from Houghton High School–are building their own 3D printers at Michigan Tech this week. During the 3-day workshop, the teachers will build and learn to use open source 3-D printers, which they will take back to their schools. The program was developed Joshua M. Pearce, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering.

The printers are capable of printing most of their own parts–and just about anything their students can imagine.

This is the second year Michigan Tech has helped teachers build 3D printers for use in their own classrooms. Last year each 2-teacher team built one printer to share. At many of the schools, use was so high that one turned out not to be enough, so the printers were re-designed to reduce the time it takes to build them, improve printing and reliability and reduce cost. Now each teacher gets to build one of his/her own.

 Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools

Michigan Tech to Partner in American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Michigan Technological University is a partner in the newly formed $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII).
The new facility, to be headquartered in the metro-Detroit area, will be part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to help US manufacturers become more competitive and encourage investment in the United States.

Lifting the Brakes on Fuel Efficiency

image105579-horizThe work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan’s Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi “Scott” Huang of Michigan Tech’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering helped Governor Rick Snyder promote Michigan’s automotive industry at China’s 2013 international auto parts expos. Huang’s research is the basis for his MTEC SmartZone company, LiteBrake Tech, which was one of eight companies chosen to represent Michigan automotive technology overseas.