Drs. David Fullwood, Brent Adams and Chris Mattson, Department of Mechanical Engineering
The MEG award has been used by our research group as a springboard to launch undergraduates to levels of excellence in academia and the engineering community, and as seed money for research initiatives that will benefit these and future undergraduates. It has been used to leverage significant other funding sources and multiply its effects. Here are some highlights:
- Nine undergraduate students were supported in some way by the MEG fund.
- Eight students contributed to a conference presentation or peer reviewed conference paper (with undergraduate authors) at top-level conferences (one student left on a mission before having the chance to contribute to these events) [1-10].
- Five students actually attended (and presented at) a high level conference this year. This was possible due to a high level of leveraging of the MEG funds.
- One patent, one provisional patent, and four journal papers [11-14] have been submitted with undergraduate students who have benefited from MEG as first authors.
- Two NSF proposals were submitted based upon initial work done by these undergraduates; one was successful.
- One undergraduate was awarded a Mechanical Engineering TA fellowship and subsequently studied towards, and completed an MS at BYU. A second student also completed his MS at BYU. One other student is currently studying for an MS at BYU, and another is applying to complete an MS at BYU.
- Three students are now enrolled in PhD programs: one student is at Washington State, one is enrolled at San Diego State and another is enrolled at MIT
- Two of the undergraduate students moved onto an ARO project; an REU grant was received with the successful NSF proposal, and helped fund another two undergraduates.
- Two of the students are currently competing for NSF graduate funding, and are in a great position for success due to the MEG program.
The impact of the MEG funding on the mentoring activities of our research group has been phenomenal. Eight students have benefited directly from the funds, and others have benefited indirectly. The eight students were: Matt Ballard, C.J. Gardner, Tommy Hyatt, Oliver Johnson, Brookes Lively, Dan Seegmiller, Kim Stevens, Jeff Tassil, and Sam Wilding. We invariably find more good students who wish to participate in research than the number of places available on our various federal grants. The MEG funds have enabled us to incorporate these students into our research environment, involve them in writing high-level papers, take them to conferences, and prepare them to be competitive contenders for fellowship opportunities that will open the way for them to contribute enormously to the scientific and engineering community. The MEG funds have been used to leverage other funding opportunities in order to multiply their effectiveness. We report on some of these activities below.
Three undergraduates were supported by MEG funds to attend the Materials Science and Technology conference (MS&T) in Pittsburgh. Three papers presentations were made by the undergraduates. Several graduates and faculty also attended and contributed to the conference. The BYU team was a strong contributor to a special symposium in honor of Brent Adams’ 60th birthday, that attracted a very high level of presenters from around the globe, ensuring a rich mentoring experience.
Three other students were supported to attend the international SAMPE conference in Baltimore. Two papers were authored and presented by the students. Two of the students won leadership awards from SAMPE to supplement the MEG funding.
Four high-tier journal papers were submitted by undergraduates who have benefitted from MEG, based upon work supported by MEG (one of the students is now a graduate student). Five peer reviewed conference papers, have been authored by undergraduates, a full patent has been filed in the area of high resolution orientation imaging microscopy, and a provisional patent has been filed in the area of nano-composite strain gauges. Further papers are in preparation by undergraduates for publication of a special issue journal in honor of Brent Adams.
Two students won leadership awards from SAMPE this year. On student received a TA fellowship award, and went on to undertake an MS at BYU.
High resolution orientation imaging microscopy (initially developed with help from MEG) has been patented, and a license agreement put in place with a commercial company. Various undergraduate (and graduate) students are involved in technology stemming from this development.
Several undergraduate students have contributed to the development of piezo-resistive nano- composites for strain gauges, and an NSF proposal with emphasis on biomechanics has been submitted. A new method for testing quantum barrier height of polymers has also been undertaken in collaboration with Los Alamos Lab by one undergraduate.
The MEG budget was spent roughly in line with the proposal budget, with approximately $5000 going towards conference expenses, nearly $15,000 towards student wages, and a small amount towards microscopy services.
The mentoring environment provided to the students involved in this MEG award provided a fertile atmosphere for their research abilities to expand. The integration of the students into a group with several graduate students, without any distinction being made between the undergraduates and the graduates, led to high expectations that the students rose to. The abilities of the more mature students naturally transferred to the newer students, leading to rapid mentoring and growth.
The impact on the students who have benefited from MEG funding is clear. With two complete MS theses, one on the way, and at least one further student planning an MS, plus three students enrolled in top university PhD programs, the impact is tremendous. Furthermore, the federal funding springing from the work of some of the MEG students is still funding further undergraduates. The number of papers and presentations coauthored by the funded students is phenomenal and has helped to launch their careers, as well as contributing to several scientific fields. The impact on the students will transfer to the engineering and academic community and beyond as the seeds planted by the MEG funds mature into the next generation of engineers and engineering progress.
- Adams, B.L., C.J. Gardner, and D.T. Fullwood, EBSD-Based Dislocation Microscopy, in International Conference on Texture and Anisotropy of Polycrystals. 2009: Gottingen, Germany.
- Gardner, C., et al., Correlation of Grain Size with Dislocation Density in Polycrystals: , in MS&T. 2009: Pittsburgh.
- Gardner, C.J., et al. Piezoresistive Effect in Nickel Nanostrand – Polymer Composites. in TMS. 2009. San Francisco.
- Johnson, O., et al., Textures of Dispersion of Nickel Nanostrand Composites, and Modeling of Piezoresistive Behavior: , in MS&T. 2009: Pittsburgh.
- Johnson, O.K., et al., Deciphering the Structure of Nano-Nickel Composites, in SAMPE. 2009: Baltimore.
- Lively, B., M. Ballard, and D.T. Fullwood. Nano-Nickel Impregnation of Filament Wound Composites. in SAMPE. 2009. Baltimore.
- Seegmiller, D.B., D.T. Fullwood, and B.L. Adams, Semi-Infinite Green’s Functions Localization and Defect Detection Applications in MS&T. 2009: Pittsburgh.
- Johnson, O.K., et al. Extreme piezoresistivity of silicone/nickel nanocomposite for high resolution large strain measurement. in TMS 2010. 2010. Seattle.
- Johnson, O.K., et al., Multi-scale Model for the Extreme Piezoresistivity in Silicone/Nickel “Nanostrand”/Nickel Coated Carbon Fiber Nanocomposite, in TMS 2010. 2010: Seattle.
- Rogers, S., et al., Application of Two-Point Statistical Metrics to Polycrystals, in MS&T. 2009: Pittsburgh.
- Gardner, C.J., et al., Techniques and applications of the simulated pattern adaptation of Wilkinson’s method for advanced microstructure analysis. Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design, Submitted 2009.
- Kacher, J. and B.L. Adams, Resolution considerations for EBSD-based dislocation density estimates. Scripta Materialia, Submitted 2009.
- Kacher, J., et al., Bragg’s Law Diffraction Simulations for Electron Backscatter Diffraction Analysis. Ultramicroscopy, 2009. 109(9): p. 1148-1156.
- Gardner, C.J., et al., EBSD-based continuum dislocation microscopy. International Journal of Plasticity, 26 (2010), 1234-1247