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Academic Calendar

Events for Month of April 2018

4 April, 2018

Event:  UConn Engineering Alumni Gathering in Tempe, AZ
Location:  Top of the Rock Restaurant; 2000 W. Westcourt Way; Tempe, AZ
Details: You’re invited to join an informal gathering of regional UConn Engineering alumni hosted by Dr. Bryan Huey, professor and department head, Materials Science & Engineering at the Top of the Rock Restaurant. Enjoy stunning views of beautiful Tempe and Scottsdale landmarks like Papago Park and Camelback Mountain as you enjoy cocktails & hors d’oeuvres with fellow alumni and their guests. Dr. Huey will share the latest school news and accomplishments.

Reception and happy hour begin at 6pm. Optional no-host dinner reservation available at 7:30pm.

Please RSVP above no later than Monday, April 2nd.

Check here for directions and parking.

Questions? Contact Heidi Douglas, Director of Engineering Alumni Relations, by email or 860.961.8052

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13 April, 2018

Event:  MSE Banquet
Location:  Alumni Center Great Hall
Details: The MSE Community is invited and encouraged to attend our MSE Banquet on Friday, April 13th from 5:00-8:00pm at the Alumni Center Great Hall. We have expanded our traditional Materials Advantage annual banquet to a full department function for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other invited guests. The sign-up forms can be found in the MSE Office (IMS-111). The deadline to RSVP is April 6th, tickets purchased before 3/30 will be a discounted rate of $25 for professionals and $10 for current students, tickets purchased after 3/30 will be $35 for professionals and $15 for current students. Professionals can register online here: http://s.uconn.edu/MSEBanquet if they would like to pay by credit card. Further details can be found on the attached flyer.

Please consider joining us and save the date for this special event!

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13 April, 2018

Event:  PhD Dissertation Defense - Alan Harris
Location:  UTEB 476
Details: PhD Dissertation Defense

Presenter: Alan Harris
Major Advisor: Dr. Eric Jordan
Associate Advisors: Dr. Maurice Gell, Dr. Mark Aindow

Date: Friday, April 13th, 2018
Time: 1:45 PM
Place: UTEB 476

Title: Cyclic Durability of Thermal Barrier Coatings Subject to CMAS Attack

Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are critical in modern gas turbine engines, increasing operating temperature, efficiency, and component life. Engines have reached temperatures at which ingested debris (CMAS) form silicate melts that chemically and mechanically attack TBCs, leading to premature failure. New, CMAS-resistant coatings must be validated under conditions that recreate real-world TBC-CMAS interactions. No standardized testing to perform these analyses currently exist.

A cyclic thermal gradient rig with incremental CMAS deposition was developed based on modified literature designs. Tests performed using literature-based parameters showed TBC-CMAS interactions and failure morphology deemed not real-world representative by an engine manufacturer. The results were rationalized with the understanding that, in an engine, “cooling air” is relatively hot (~400 °C). Minimizing transient thermal gradients across the TBC coupon resulted in more representative test outcomes.

A second generation thermal gradient rig was developed with higher heat flux and sample throughput. This rig incrementally deposits CMAS powder, a feature not found on existing rigs. Heterogeneous CMAS was deposited onto an EBPVD YSZ TBC coupon. The CMAS layer had intriguing non-uniformities in accumulation and chemical heterogeneity. This has implications for CMAS materials used for testing.

Engine manufacturers need to model TBC life reduction from CMAS attack for different engine parameters and CMAS environments. Preliminary experiments were performed that provided insight for such models. First, EBPVD YSZ coupons were cycled with varying CMAS dose rates. Over the range investigated, the lightest CMAS dose rate used 80% less CMAS to cause failure compared to the heaviest rate, disproving the concept of a “critical CMAS dose” for failure. Rather, failure is a mix of cycling and CMAS damage. As hot time and the number of thermal cycles increases, TGO growth and accumulated damage effectively reduce the toughness of the coating, making it more susceptible to spallation with less CMAS penetration. Second, differences between testing with homogeneous and heterogeneous CMAS were investigated on APS YSZ TBCs. While failures were similar, partial-life microstructures revealed differences in melting kinetics, which may have implications on how reactive TBC compositions interact with CMAS.

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16 April, 2018

Event:  PhD Dissertation Defense - Manuel Rivas
Location:  IMS-159
Details: PhD Dissertation Defense

Presenter: Manuel Rivas
Major Advisor: Dr. Bryan Huey
Associate Advisors: Dr. Seok-Woo Lee, Dr. S. Pamir Alpay, Dr. Ryan Q. Rudy (ARL), Dr. Ronald G. Polcawich (ARL/DARPA)

Date: Monday, April 16th, 2018
Time: 3:00 PM
Place: IMS 159

Title: Iridium Oxide (IrO2) as a Top Electrode for Ferroelectric Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Devices for Radiation Rich Environments

The multifunctional properties of ferroelectric materials make them ideal components for numerous applications including for extreme environments such as space. Iridium oxide (IrO2) electrodes have been demonstrated to improve the lifetime of ferroelectric memory devices, however little is known about its influence on the electromechanical properties important for ferroelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The performance of thin film lead zirconate titanate (PZT) based MEMS is affected by the processing conditions, composition, device design, electrode materials, and the environment. This work details the development and characterization of iridium oxide electrodes for PZT based microelectromechanical and pyroelectric-harvesting systems, fabrication induced defects, and design of clamped vs unclamped devices. This work also considers the influence of iridium oxide top electrodes on the properties of PZT films and MEMS devices subjected to gamma and heavy ion radiation for applications in space and for evaluating nuclear material where human exposure must be kept to a minimum.
Using single point force measurements with an atomic force microscope, this work presents the first known experimental value of Young’s modulus for thin film IrO2 (262 GPa). It was discovered that iridium oxide films of different morphologies are produced by manipulating the reactive gas flow rate in a sputtering process. Planar IrO2 for piezoelectric applications was optimized at 60 sccm O2 flow rate deposited at 500°C. Nanostructured, 2D platelets are observed for high oxygen flow rates (100 sccm) producing a self-limiting dense columnar film as the base of the plate-like structures. While the plate-like region continues to grow with increased deposition at a rate of ~6nm/s, the dense film appears to reach a critical thickness of approximately 60 nm. Devices with iridium oxide top electrode appear to be more radiation resistant when compared to identically fabricated devices with a platinum (Pt) top electrode, when exposed up to 10 Mrad (Si) of gamma rays from a Co-60 source and an equivalent dose with heavy Fe ions. In situ measurements taken during Co-60 irradiation showed different degradation characteristics compared to the devices whose electrodes were left floating during irradiation. This shows the presence of an applied electric plays a role in the radiation induced defects.

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17 April, 2018

Event:  PhD Dissertation Defense - Drew Clearfield
Location:  UTEB 476
Details: PhD Dissertation Defense

Presenter: Drew Clearfield
Major Advisor: Dr. Mei Wei
Associate Advisors: Dr. Harold Brody, Dr. George Rossetti, Dr. Wendy Vanden Berg-Foels, Dr. David Rowe

Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM
Place: UTEB 476

Title: Multizonal Scaffolds for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering

Osteochondral tissue is a biphasic material comprised of articular cartilage integrated atop subchondral bone. Damage to this tissue is highly problematic, owing to its intrinsic inability to regenerate functional tissue in response to trauma or disease. Further, the function of the tissue is largely conferred by its compartmentalized zonal microstructure and composition. Current clinical treatments fail to regenerate new tissue that recapitulates this zonal structure. Consequently, regenerated tissue often lacks long-term stability. To address this growing problem, we propose the development of tissue engineered biomaterials that mimic the zonal microstructure and composition of osteochondral tissue. First, a unidirectional freeze casting platform was developed that facilitated the fabrication of highly-aligned porous collagen scaffolds to serve as the superficial zone of the multidirectional scaffold. Subsequently, a novel lyophilization bonding process was developed that allowed for the development of monolithic multidirectional collagen-based scaffolds that mimicked the structure and composition of the superficial, transition, calcified cartilage, and osseous zones of osteochondral tissues. The microstructure of multidirectional scaffolds was characterized and the ability of these scaffolds to promote osteochondral differentiation of progenitor cells was assessed using a novel transgenic multi-reporter cell platform. Zonal osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells was confirmed by transition of pre-osteoblast marker BSP-GFPtopaz to late osteoblast/early osteocyte marker DMP1-RFPmCherry. Conventional histological and gene expression analysis corroborated fluorescence data. Zonal chondrogenesis of triple transgenic articular chondrocytes harboring reporters for fibrocartilage (Col3.6-GFPtopaz), articular cartilage (Col2a1-GFPcyan), and hypertrophic (Col10a1-RFPmCherry) lineages was assessed and corroborated in a similar manner. Though the majority of fluorescent cells (65%) remained of articular origin, there was a progression (28%) towards a pre-hypertrophic phenotype. Combined with fluorescent reporter information, gene expression, histological, and immunohistochemical analyses, subtle differences zone-specific cellular phenotype and newly-formed tissue were identified. Upon ectopic implantation in mice for 8 weeks, pre-hypertrophic cell populations terminally matured into mineralized tissue. Together, these data suggest that multidirectional zonal scaffolds hold promise for clinical use in directing zonal osteochondral repair by articular chondrocytes.

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18 April, 2018

Event:  50th Anniversary - H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center
Location:  Wilbur Cross, North Reading Room (Storrs, CT)
Details: You’re Invited!

Join us celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center. Co-hosted by UConn Engineering and student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), mix and mingle with alumni, students, and friends commemorating this historic milestone.

DATE – Wednesday, April 18th, 2018
TIME – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
LOCATION – Wilbur Cross, North Reading Room (Storrs, CT)

Reception and networking begin at 5:30 pm; dinner at 6:00 pm, and the speaking program starts at 7pm.

There is no charge for this event.
Space is limited. RSVP deadline is Wednesday, April 11th.

Click here

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19 April, 2018

Event:  MSE PhD Dissertation Proposal - James Steffes
Location:  IMS-159
Details: PhD Dissertation Proposal

Presenter: James Steffes
Major Advisor: Dr. Bryan Huey
Associate Advisors: Dr. George Rossetti, Dr. C. Barry Carter, Dr. Michael Pettes

Date: Thursday, April 19th, 2018
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: IMS 159

Title: Thickness Scaling of Ferroelectricity in BiFeO3 by Tomographic Atomic Force Microscopy

Intrinsic and extrinsic properties of ferroelectric materials are known to have strong dependencies on electrical and mechanical boundary conditions, resulting in finite-size effects at length scales below several hundred nanometers. In ferroelectric thin films, equilibrium domain size is proportional to the square root of film thickness, which precludes the ability for current tomographic microscopies to accurately resolve complex domain morphologies in sub-micron films. Nanometer-scale three-dimensional imaging of spontaneous polarization is critical for understanding equilibrium states in polar materials, as well as for engineering devices based on such phenomena, however such capabilities remain a substantial experimental challenge. Computed tomography atomic force microscopy (CT-AFM) is proposed as a novel experimental modality for three-dimensional ferroelectric property measurements with volumetric resolution below 20 nm3.
This dissertation proposal outlines the use of CT-AFM to investigate the size-dependence of ferroelectricity in the room temperature multiferroic BiFeO3 across two decades of thickness to below 5 nm. Multiferroic BiFeO3 was chosen as a model system for illustrating the capabilities of CT-AFM due to its technological relevance in low-power, electrically-switchable magnetic logic. CT-AFM provides unprecedented tomographic imaging capabilities of ferroelectric domains in BiFeO3 with a significant improvement in spatial resolution compared to existing domain tomography techniques. In addition to tomographic imaging, CT-AFM is employed for direct, thickness-dependent measurements of the local spontaneous polarization and ferroelectric coercive field in BiFeO3. The thickness-resolved ferroelectric properties of BiFeO3 strongly correlate with cross-sectional TEM, Landau-Ginzburg-Devonshire phenomenological theory, and the semi-empirical Kay-Dunn scaling law for ferroelectric coercive fields. These results provide an unambiguous determination of a stable and switchable polar state in BiFeO3 to thicknesses below 5 nm. Three-dimensionally resolved conductive filaments are found to exist at defects in the ferroelectric domain structure of BiFeO3, and according to CT-AFM are shown to be localized to such defects throughout the entire thickness of the film, again to below 5 nm. Such findings demonstrate the accuracy and utility of CT-AFM for nanoscale three-dimensional property measurements, thereby providing novel insight into finite-size effects in ferroelectric and multiferroic materials.

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20 April, 2018

Event:  MSE PhD Dissertation Defense - Rishi Kumar
Location:  UTEB 476
Details: PhD Dissertation Defense

Presenter: Rishi Kumar
Major Advisor: Dr. Eric Jordan
Associate Advisors: Dr. Maurice Gell, Dr. Puxian Gao, Dr. George Rossetti, Dr. Avinash Dongare

Date: Friday, April 20th, 2018
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: UTEB 476

Title: Low Thermal Conductivity YAG-Based Thermal Barrier Coatings with Enhanced CMAS Resistance

Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are insulating coatings used in gas turbine engines to improve energy efficiency. The current choice of TBC material i.e. yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ), is limited to temperatures of less than 1200°C because of (a) undesirable phase transformations and (b) prone to the attacks from calcium-magnesium-aluminum-silicate (CMAS) deposits.
In this research, the solution precursor plasma spray (SPPS) was employed for the further development of yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) coatings previously developed at UConn. Thermal conductivity of SPPS YAG was reduced (0.58W/mK at 1300°C) by process modifications to generate microstructures with layered porosity termed inter pass boundaries (IPBs). Improvement in the SPPS process for YAG coatings was achieved by enhancing deposition efficiency and deposition rate (DR) through optimizing spraying parameters and precursor concentration. A highest DR value of 209g/hour was attained thus cutting the cost by 4X over previously deposited SPPS YAG. A 58% increase in standoff distance was also achieved by employing a cascaded high energy gun.
The reactivity of YAG with CMAS was evaluated for the first time using systematic heat treatment of composite powder pellets. Experimental results along with optical basicity theory demonstrate that YAG is less reactive to CMAS than YSZ. Simultaneously, resistance of SPPS YAG TBCs was evaluated through CMAS interaction tests, which demonstrated that YAG performed 2X and 8X better than air plasma spray (APS) YSZ in different tests. The performance of YAG TBCs was enhanced drastically (15X higher than previously tested SPPS YAG) by high prominence of IPBs in the microstructure. It was concluded that IPBs act as secondary channels for CMAS infiltration thereby limiting the infiltration depth and prolonging the life. This is proposed as a novel and alternate CMAS mitigation strategy with relies only on microstructural features. The influence of microstructure on CMAS infiltration was also studied on the highly CMAS resistant gadolinium zirconate (GZO) TBCs deposited by both APS and SPPS process. A strong microstructural influence was observed where APS outperformed SPPS GZO by 10X, arresting CMAS at a depth of 25 microns. In SPPS GZO, crack width of <1 micron was necessary for the CMAS arrest.

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20 April, 2018

Event:  MSE Seminar Speaker - Dr. Frederic Sansoz
Location:  IMS-20
Details: Materials Science and Engineering
Invites you to a seminar by

Dr. Frederic Sansoz
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Vermont, Burlington

Friday, April 20, 2018
Institute of Materials Science Building, Room 20, at 9:45 a.m.
Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m.

“Small-scale Mechanics of Super-strong Silver Nanostructures”

Abstract: Nanoscale face-centered-cubic metals have become increasingly important engineering materials for energy-related applications, while fundamentally pushing the scientific frontiers of mechanics and materials science at the nanoscale. Examples vary from Ag nanowire networks for next-generation transparent conductive electrodes in flexible touchscreens, organic solar cells, and stretchable electronics, to structural metallic alloys strengthened by nanoscale interfaces resisting extreme environments. This seminar will present our latest research in understanding the small-scale mechanics of strength and superplasticity in nanoscale silver metals, by using combined large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and in-situ nanomechanical experiments. First, following the “smaller is stronger” trend, we will show unusual room-temperature super-elongation without softening in single-crystalline Ag nanowires over a sample diameter range between 15 nm and 50 nm, which extends far beyond the maximum size for pure surface diffusion-mediated deformation (e.g. Coble-type creep). Over this diameter range, it is observed experimentally and theoretically that crystal slip can serve as a stimulus to diffusional creep of atomic surface ledges. Second, the ability of twin boundaries in strengthening and maintaining ductility in bulk nanostructures has been well documented; yet most understanding of the origin of these properties relies on perfect-interface assumptions. We will show that growth twins in bulk nanotwinned metals are inherently defective with kink-like steps, and that these atomic-scale imperfections also play a key role in plastic deformation mechanisms and the Hall-Petch strength limit. Specifically, this talk will highlight the role of solute atom segregation as a fundamentally new mechanism of twin stability and strengthening in nanotwinned Ag containing trace concentrations of solute Cu atoms.

Bio: Frederic Sansoz is a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Vermont. He earned his BS degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and MS degree in materials science and engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et Aérotechnique in Poitiers, France in 1996, and a PhD degree with honors in materials science and engineering from Ecole des Mines in Paris in 2000. He was a post-doctoral fellow in mechanical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University until 2003. Sansoz received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2008. His research focuses on understanding the mechanics and physics of interface-dominated nanomaterials.

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27 April, 2018

Event:  Freshman Design Expo
Location:  South Campus, Rome Commons Ballroom
Details: Please join the school of engineering faculty, staff, and students as our freshmen engineering students display the results of their freshmen design project, completed in their ENGR 1166 Course.

This year we will have ~450 freshmen who have worked collaboratively on over 100 projects as part of their Introduction to Engineering Class.

Majors represented are Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Environmental, Mechanical and Undecided
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27 April, 2018

Event:  Senior Design Demonstration Day & Ice Cream Reception
Location:  Gampel Pavilion and Information Technologies Engineering Building (ITE) Lobby
Details: Please join us for 2018 Senior Design Exhibition Day from 1-4pm in Gampel Pavilion where you can tour 228 projects, speak with team members, and learn about their government, industry, and academic sponsors.

This is a wonderful, celebratory day for our seniors and a shining display of their solutions to real-world problems. We invite you and your guests, especially youngsters interested in STEM education and careers, for a unique opportunity to meet our students, sponsors, faculty, and friends of UConn Engineering. Parking is available in the South Parking Garage, behind the UConn Bookstore and adjacent to Gampel Pavilion. Our alumni welcome desk is located at the north entrance to Gampel Pavilion. Please stop by to say hello.

At 4pm, mingle with alumni & friends and enjoy famous UConn Dairy Bar ice cream & beverages in the Information Technologies Engineering (ITE) Building lobby – a suitable toast to another great Senior Design day!

For more information about Senior Design visit .

Please RSVP above and refer to flyer for directions.

Questions? Contact Heidi Douglas, Director of Engineering Alumni Relations, via email or 860.961.8052

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