The MMD lab made its annual sojourn to the NY State Fair this weekend to host a booth in the 4-H Youth Building. We got to share our enthusiasm for polymers and mechanochemistry with the myriad of people spending their Labor Day at the fair. Joy used her materials science expertise to take our silly putty making procedure to a new level. Special thanks to our teen volunteer Diego who helped us keep up with demand during the late morning rush.
Graduate students Michael and Steven revised and ran our University U activity at the 4-H Career Explorations event last month. This year we added a design challenge – after testing individual materials, students tried to make an assembly that gave a J-shaped force-deflection curve under tension. We tested their designs on our Zwick Universal Testing machine (shown below).
Prof Silberstein wins the Department of Energy Early Career Award. See here for the Cornell Chronicle article.
Congratulations to first year graduate students Michael Buche, Steven Yang, and Joy Zhang for passing their Q exams in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science respectively!
Postdoc Yuval Vidavsky’s paper entitled Modulating Metallopolymer Mechanical Properties by Controlling Metal Ligand Crosslinking is featured as the cover article in the June issue of the Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Chemistry. Yuval conceived, synthesized, and tested a series of polymers that can be reversibly crosslinked by addition and removal of copper cations, thereby tailoring the stiffness and strength. Further, he showed that the crosslink strength and therefore the dynamic behavior of the material could be modulated in the solid state by exposure to different gasses. PhD candidate Suwon Bae made a key contribution to this work by conducting and analyzing the mechanical experiments. Credit to first year graduate student Steven Yang for making the cover art from Yuval’s specimens.
Congratulations to Naigeng Chen for passing his B-exam yesterday with flying colors! His thesis entitled “Experimental and Computational Study of Non-woven Damage Mechanics” is well, a comprehensive experimental and computational study of non-woven damage mechanics, using a commercial polypropylene non-woven series (Typar SF) as his experimental system. This picture from right after the deliberations might seem like a highly posed congratulatory hand shake with committee member Prof Paul Dawson, but really its a candid shot of committee member Prof Leigh Phoenix with the thesis draft.
Our collaborative work with Minglin Ma’s group (Cornell Biological and Environmental Engineering) on a potential medical treatment for type 1 diabetes is now published in PNAS. The paper entitled “Designing a retrievable and scalable cell encapsulation device for potential treatment of type 1 diabetes” was led by Minglin’s PhD students Duo An and Alan Chiu. Our research group provided analysis of the mechanical robustness of each of the thread designs. This mechanical durability of the treatment delivery device is essential for its retrievability. Please see the Cornell press release for more information.