Two Members of Technical Staff Receive University Honors

All of us at the Institute for Materials Research are so proud of the well-deserved staff service awards to two of IMR’s Members of Technical Staff over the past week – Mark Brenner and Denis Pelekhov.  The two scientists were recognized for their commitment to supporting researchers, mentoring students, and ensuring safety in their respective research facilities.  Both Mark and Denis are IMR Members of Technical Staff through our research enhancement programs providing financial and logistical support of core materials research facilities on Ohio State’s campus.  Congratulations, Mark and Denis, on these recognitions of your excellent service to Ohio State’s materials community!

 

 

SEAL Lab Manager Mark Brenner receives his award from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Chair Joel Johnson

Mark Brenner, Lab Manager with the Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory (SEAL), was recently honored with the College of Engineering’s “Exemplary Support or Advancement of Research” Above and Beyond Award.  Given at the 2017 College of Engineering Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Brenner was recognized for his  service and dedication to faculty recruitment, as well as student and research support across multiple departments.

 

“Mark is a unique and outstanding part of our team and college,” his nomination letter states. “Without Mark here, we would not have been successful at recruiting the quality of faculty members that we have been able to nor would those faculty members have been able to grow their programs so successfully. Mark’s commitment to student learning and student research also sets him apart. He takes time to train students on the various aspects of the lab and explain why certain procedures are in place. He will always drop what he’s doing to answer a student’s question or assist them if they are having difficulty. He is a great mentor.”

 

NSLF Director Denis Pelekhov with his John G. Whitcomb Distinguished Staff Award

Denis Pelekhov, Director of NanoSystems Lab (NSL), received the John G. Whitcomb Distinguished Staff Award, which recognizes exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and service to the Department of Physics and its missions of research, teaching, and service.  Awarded this week at the Physics department picnic, Pelekhov was recognized for his strong commitment to safety, student mentorship, and consistently outstanding service to NSL users.

 

“Denis provides excellent service to users at NSL that is timely, thorough, inclusive, and equitable. I am particularly impressed with his respect for all levels of research: he treats graduate and undergraduate students with the same respect and care he shows to faculty… In addition to offering quality service, Denis is a shining example of scientific and research safety. He goes above and beyond to ensure that our students are following safety protocols- often adding his own for good measure- so that our students can learn and grow without fear or danger. I have personally witnessed Denis drop everything multiple times to address a safety issue with all the gravity and importance it deserves (and more) to protect a student.”

 

COSI Academy Students Experience Science in Action at Nanotech West

IMR staff recently hosted a group of high school students from COSI Academy, an exploration program for high school students interested in STEM and STEM related careers.  Run through the Center for Science and Industry (COSI), Columbus’ science museum, the COSI Academy connects students with professionals in the areas of engineering, biotechnology and health and medicine through site visits to local science-based corporations, organizations, and universities, guest speakers, and hands-on activities.

COSI Academy students watch an instrumentation demonstration at Nanotech West Lab – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

 

Twelve students toured the Nanotech West Lab facility on April 8, including its cleanroom and Materials Innovation Lab, and learned about different career paths in STEM fields. Nanotech West Lab is Ohio State’s nanofabrication research facility and the largest and most comprenhesive micro- and nanotechnology user facility in the state of Ohio. The lab is home to more than 50 large pieces of user accessible material synthesis, fabrication and metrology equipment and research capabilities include e-beam lithography, nanolithography, device fabrication, MOCVD epitaxy, device processing, and clean room processing.

 

IMR Member of Technical Staff Aimee Price discusses nanotechnology with COSI Academy students in the Materials Innovation Lab – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

COSI Academy students gowned up to tour the Nanotech West cleanroom – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

 

This outreach event was well received by the COSI Academy students and their chaperones, and our staff enjoyed the opportunity to share their work with the next generation of scientists. Students particularly enjoyed the monochromator demonstration by Nanotech West engineer Dave Hollingshead, and seeing the plotter in action on the feature wall of the Materials Innovation Lab.

 

Senior Technology Integrator Kari Roth explains the Materials Innovation model being developed through IMR’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program – courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

All photos courtesy of the Center for Science and Industry (COSI)

Using Food Waste as a Sustainable Rubber Filler

Katrina Cornish, Ohio Research Scholar and Professor of Horticulture and Crop Sciences and Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering, Cornish’s lab at Ohio State’s Wooster campus designs natural rubber alternatives using crops of guayule and Buckeye Gold dandelion, combined with eggshells and tomato peels.

Cornish Barrera

Professor Katrina Cornish with Postdoctoral Researcher Cindy Barrera in the group’s research facility

Through the Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA) research facility, Cornish’s research group found that partially replacing carbon black with ground eggshells or tomato peels in rubber enhanced its overall strength, elasticity and softness. Both materials offer practical advantages in tire manufacture. Tomato skins offer high-temperature stability, while the porousness of eggshells enable it to bond well with rubber. Additional testing led the researchers to widen their applications of these alternatives beyond tires to other rubber products such as gaskets, hoses and rubber gloves.

Researchers from The Ohio State University have developed a patent-pending, greener—or, more accurately, reddish-brown—alternative to the carbon black filler used in tires.

Natural rubber is a vital resource for any developed country and is used in over 40,000 commercial products. By 2020 the USA may suffer a supply shortfall of 1.5 million metric tons of imported natural rubber. While the use of synthetic rubber has surpassed natural rubber in quantity, there are particular properties and high-performance applications that make natural rubber irreplaceable by synthetic rubber.

As carbon black supply dwindles, eggshells and tomato skins abound. America alone consumes almost 100 billion eggs and 13 million tons of tomatoes annually, with their shells and skins going to landfills. Cornish expects the food factories that dispose of these items to become the go-to source for new filler material.

Cornish explains that the technology has the potential to address three problems: allow more sustainable tire manufacturing process, reduce the tire industry’s dependence on foreign oil, and keep waste out of landfills.


Cornish’s research has been covered by several national media this month, which served as sources for this article:

Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/making-tire-filler-from-eggshells-1489093113

US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-03-09/incorporating-food-waste-into-tires-may-sustain-industry-long-term

How Stuff Works: http://now.howstuffworks.com/2017/03/10/food-waste-wheels-researchers-turn-tomatoes-tires

Yahoo! News: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/tires-made-eggshells-tomato-skins-081804297.html

Innovations in Materials Research Newsletter – Winter 2017 Issue

The Winter 2017 issue of Innovations in Materials Research, the biannual newsletter of the OSU Institute for Materials Research, is now available online!

Winter 2017 newsletter cover

The latest issue of our biannual newsletter is now available online and in print. Features include stories about two student design challenges IMR has coordinated, two new Global Partnership Grants supporting OSU-India partnerships, advances in energy research that began at our SEAL facility, and four new faces at IMR who are helping us grow and expand our programs and impact in materials research.

 

Features

  • Global Partnership Grants Fund Ohio State/IIT Bombay Research Collaborations
  • Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Theme Updates: Materials Innovation Lab Design Challenge, ENGR 2367 Experiential Learning Model Includes Industry Partnerships
  • Research Highlight: Innovative Energy Research Advances Have Origins at SEAL
  • New Faces at IMR Helping Build Its Future
  • Ohio State’s Newest Materials Lab: CCIC-NMR Facility
  • 2016 OSU Materials Week Recap

 

With regular updates from:

  • Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), Ohio State’s NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
  • Core campus materials facilities
  • IMR Member News

 

Download the Winter 2017 Innovations in Materials Research

 


About Innovations in Materials Research

Innovations in Materials Research is IMR’s biannual newsletter (formerly IMR Quarterly) featuring technical articles highlighting OSU research, updates on research funded by IMR grants, facility updates, recently awarded grants, and other materials research news.

To receive the newsletter by mail or to make suggestions for future articles please contact Layla Manganaro at manganaro.4@osu.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

IMR Welcomes Tyndall Researchers to Columbus

Researchers from Ohio State and Tyndall National Institute take a break during their workshop

Researchers from Ohio State and Tyndall National Institute take a break during their workshop

The Institute for Materials Research recently welcomed several visitors from the Tyndall National Institute, a research center in the Republic of Ireland focused on electronics and photonics with a mission to support industry and academia in driving research to market.  Tyndall scientists discussed their current research programs, toured Ohio State materials research facilities, and discussed opportunities for future research and development partnerships between Ohio State researchers and their Irish counterparts through the IMR and its Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program.  The Tyndall group included Dr. Kieran Drain, Tyndall Chief Executive Officer, and four Tyndall researchers – Paul Hurley, Brendan O’Flynn, Emanuele Pelucchi and Aidan Quinn.

tyndall-workshop

Dr. Paul Hurley provided an overview of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme

Breakout sessions in the areas of electronics and photonics, semiconductors, advanced manufacturing, and sensors allowed Tyndall and Ohio State researchers to focus for a few hours on their specific areas of interest, share their research activities and findings, and explore possible future collaborations.  Tyndall visitors also toured five Ohio State core research facilities – Nanotech West Laboratory, the Spine Research Institute, Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory, NanoSystems Laboratory, and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis – to learn more about advanced materials research activities and capabilities taking place in our campus’s world class laboratories.

tyndall-pint-house

The group enjoyed some social time downtown in the evening