Several students in the mechanical and aerospace research labs have been awarded the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, this prestigious fellowship gives leading students the increased freedom and flexibility to pursue research interests in cutting-edge science and technology.
Nanoscale Energy Transport Laboratory:
- MacKenzie Sinden-Redding is using Time-Domain Thermoreflectance (TDTR) measurements to experimentally investigate nanoscale thermal transport processes in real material systems. In particular, MacKenzie is studying the thermal transport across interfaces between dissimilar solid materials in an effort to understand the underlying phonon physics. This work is intended to improve the current state-of-the-art of thermal interface materials, thermoelectric devices, micro-electronics, and other nanoscale systems. During this time, MacKenzie is also working with another graduate student (Justin Smoyer) to develop changes to the TDTR facility which will allow for a versatility in data collection that will greatly extend the capabilities of the system.
- Chris Baker is using molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the fundamentals of phonon scattering in nanoscale material systems. Christopher plans on using the wavelet transform to extend the capabilities of computer simulation to study the fundamentals of phonon transport in material structures of varying morphology and composition. Answering fundamental questions on phonon transport will facilitate the design of next generation nanoscale materials with applications ranging from electronics to spacecraft heat shielding.
Aerospace Research Laboratory:
- Ryan Johnson is using high performance computing to model chemically reacting flow fields. The focus of this project is on using computers and super clusters to model the physics of multi-dimensional, chemically reacting, fluid dynamics. The large amount of memory required to track these quantities causes the simulations computationally expensive which is why several computers connected together so that results are produced in a timely manner. Applications of this research can range from the flames found in hypersonic combustors to the ablation of the space shuttle during re-entry.