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3rd Annual Wu Student Presentation Competition

March 28, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

3rd Annual Wu Student Presentation Competition 8:00 am – 2:00 pm Room H-111

A reception will be held at 3:00 pm in the UTSI lobby to honor the winners’ of the competition.  Our special guest speaker is, former NASA Astronaut, Dr. Rhea Seddon.  Her lecture is entitled,” A Different Kind of Research.”

Please RSVP by March 20, via phone or email.

POC: Meghan Morris – 931 393 7318 / mmorris@utsi.edu


Kapila Dissanayaka – PhD

Presentation title:  Development of an actively controlled trap for single-molecule studies

My goal is to develop control of fluid flow in a 3-D cross-channel microfluidic to trap a single nanoscopic fluorescent molecule and to use the trap for prolonged confocal microscopy studies of biomolecule dynamics such as protein folding. The molecule is excited by four temporally and spatially offset pulsed laser beams, focused to form a tetrahedral volume in the center of the cross-channel. Algorithms are being implemented in an FPGA to perform time-gated counting of photons emitted by the molecule from each beam and to control the fluid flow to reposition the molecule so as to counteract Brownian diffusion.

Autumn Douthitt – MS

Presentation title:  Optimizing Fast-Response Pressure Sensitive Paint Application Techniques for High Speed Schlieren

Pressure sensitive paint (PSP) is supposed to be a non-intrusive method to obtain dynamic surface pressure data. However, recent research combining high-speed Schlieren photography and fast-response PSP has revealed striations from surface roughness induced by the PSP in the Schlieren. This interferes with quantifying average shock locations and the quality of Schlieren images. This presentation will address various techniques explored to improve the surface roughness on the test model, such as spraying the PSP at a higher siphon rate, to minimize these acoustic waves from the PSP.

Adam Evans – Phd

Presentation Title:  Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Thin Films for Anti-fog Lens Coating

As surgical technology has advanced, the use of the laparoscope has become more widespread. Although the laparoscope has progressed many surgical procedures, a drawback is that laparoscopic lenses can become obscured by fogging or mucus adhesions, reducing the surgeon’s vision. To solve this problem, a novel diamond­like carbon (DLC) thin film doped with SiO was developed as an anti-fog coating for laparoscope lenses. Films were created through pulsed laser deposition of a multicomponent target onto a fused silica substrate. Optical properties as well as surface properties of the films will be presented.

Hien – Yoong Han (Jason) – PhD

Presentation Title:  Mossbauer Spectroscopy of Europium-doped FCZ glasses

Rare earth doped-FCZ {FluoroChloroZirconate) glasses are used to create storage phosphors for digital radiography. However, the instability and limited availability of the divalent europium (Eu2+) compounds lead to higher costs for the storage phosphor. As a result, there exists incentive to synthesize divalent europium from the more abundant and cheaper trivalent europium {Eu3+). Two different approaches have been attempted here. The first is the reduction of EuC’3 at high temperature prior to the synthesis of the FCZ glass and in the second process, EuCb is synthesized during the glass-making process. The resulting oxidation states of the europium have been probed using 151-Eu Mossbauer Spectroscopy.

Zhenye Kang – PhD

Presentation Title:  Developing Novel Ultra-thin Electrodes by Micro/Nano

Manufacturing for Hydrogen Production from Water Splitting

With the help of advanced micro/nano manufacturing and high-speed micro visualizations, the ultrathin and highly tunable diffusion electrodes are developed and investigated comprehensively ex-situ and in-situ. The new electrodes have achieved similar electrochemical reactions and performance to the conventional catalyst-coated membranes, while their thicknesses and catalyst loadings are reduced significantly. The new development greatly improves the catalyst utilization and catalyst mass activity, which is a promising direction for low-cost electrodes in PEMECs.

Yifan Li – PhD

Presentation Title:  Rapid gas bubble dynamics and two-phase flow in proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells

By using the high-speed visualization system together with the well-designed transparent PEMCEs, the micro gas bubble dynamics and two-phase transport will be captured in an operating proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell. The effects of different temperatures, current densities and flow rates on their behaviors, including micro bubble nucleation, growth, coalesce and detachment, will be discussed.

Stefan Lindorfer – PhD

Presentation Title:  Boundary-Layer Thickness Effects on a Cylinder-Generated Shock­

WavefTurbulent Boundary-Layer Interaction

High-speed systems containing blunt body protuberances, such as fins and wing-body junctions, undergo strong aerothermal and structural loads when subjected to a shock-wave/turbulent boundary­layer interaction (SWTBLI). These interactions have been studied extensively for 60 years, but are still not fully understood. A numerical study using Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations was performed to try and determine secondary scaling effects induced by the boundary-layer thickness. Results were compared to experimental work that was conducted in UTSl’s High-Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT), in order to assess the validity of the numerical campaign.

Matthew Schwartz – MS

Presentation title:  A Numerical Study on Thermochemical Effects of Hypersonic Spheres using US3D

In hypersonic flow, thermochemical effects can alter the flow physics. A CFO solver can resolve this increase in flow complexity, but at significant computational cost as more equations are required to solve flaw’s chemical properties. The investigation’s objective is to determine when to neglect more complex physics to save computational time and labor for future projects. Using US3D, a second-order, unstructured, finite volume code, flow is simulated around spheres at various Mach numbers and altitudes. The difference in solutions of chemical, temperature, viscosity, and turbulence models of varying complexity are documented to guide future projects towards appropriate first case runs.

Javad Seif – Phd

Presentation Title:  Integration of Maintenance Planning and Operations Scheduling in Construction Projects

In the conventional production or operations scheduling problems, it is assumed that the machines can continuously process the jobs and the information is complete and certain. However, in practice the machines must stop for preventive or corrective maintenance, and the information available to the planners can be both incomplete and uncertain in for scheduling. I have solved this problem via stochastic programming and simulation optimization. I will present one of the application of this research, which is in constructions projects.

Katherine Stamper – MS

Presentation Title:  Wind Tunnel Unstart Investigation with Dynamic Cylinder Model

Unstart is a major technical challenge for scramjet development and operation, which is often characterized by dynamic pressure loads. Many phenomena contribute to unstart, including varying areas of blockage. To examine the fundamental behavior, unstart was triggered by a moving 0. 75 in. diameter cylinder model. The experiment was conducted in the UTSI Mach 2 wind tunnel at freestream conditions with a Reynolds number of 28 x 106 m-1 and a fully turbulent boundary layer with a height of 11 mm. Flow visualization reveals less area change is needed to move from unstart to start than from start to unstart.

Gaoqiang Yang – PhD

Presentation Title:  3D printed electrolyzer cells for high-efficiency hydrogen/oxygen productions

Four conventional parts (liquid/gas diffusion layer, bipolar plate, gasket, and current distributor) in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell (PEMEC) were integrated into one multifunctional plate using additive manufacturing (AM). In addition, the tests in PEMECs show the significant enhancements of the energy efficiency and hydrogen/oxygen generation rates. The highly complex inner structures of the AM integrated multifunctional plates also exhibit the potential to open a door for the development of electrolyzer, fuel cells, and other energy devices.

Shule Yu – PhD

Presentation title:  Nano-film surface treatments for enhancing material multifunction

Nano-film sputter coating and electroplating are used to treat liquid/gas diffusion layers (LGDLs) for better surfaces in proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolyzers. Previous researches have indicated the surface properties of LGDLs could greatly infect the cell performance. In this study, two deposition methods on thin titanium substrates will be introduced. And the treated surfaces will be comprehensively characterized and compared with advanced spectroscopies, including scanning electron microscope, Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. This study could help us better understand the effects of Nano-film surface treatments and choose a more suitable process method for LGDLs in the future.


March 28, 2018
8:00 am - 2:00 pm