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Solvay Seminar Series

The seminar series will resume in Fall 2020, although they will be virtual and the schedule is still being finalized. There will be more details to come from MII about how to access the seminars. 

Fall 2020 Solvay Seminar Series

Bruno Ameduri smiles and wears a suit and tie with a blue shirt.

Prof. Bruno Ameduri

Institut Charles Gerhardt

Research Director

"Challenges and Issues of Fluoropolymers "

Date

Thursday, September 3

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom

Directeur de Recherche au CNRS (DR1), Bruno Ameduri leads the “Fluoropolymers” team at the “Ingénierie et Architectures Macromoléculaires” Team of Institute Charles Gerhardt in Montpellier. His main interests focus on the synthesis and the characterization of fluorinated monomers (including cure site monomers and telechelics), telomers, and copolymers for various applications such as F-surfactants (especially alternatives to perfluorooctanoic acid, and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid), high performance elastomers, coatings, fluoropolymer/nanofillers nanocomposites, and polymers related to energy [protonic and alkaline, and quasianhydrous fuel cell membranes, polymer gel electrolytes for Li-ions batteries, electroactive copolymers (such as piezoelectrics and ferroelectrics), and PV]. Coauthor of 3 books, 40 reviews or chapters of books, >280 peer review publications and coinventor of more than 70 patents, achieved within the framework of national and most often international academic and industrial collaborations. He is also a member of the American and French Chemical Societies and is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, European Polymer Journal, Polymer Bulletin. He has gained international recognition in polymer synthesis by key methodologies, such as telomerization and conventional and controlled radical (co)polymerization of fluorinated monomers.

Fluoropolymers are niche macromolecules that possess variable morphologies (ranging from thermoplastics to elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers and can be semi- crystalline or totally amorphous). Their exceptional properties mainly arise from the high electronegativity of the fluorine atom, from the small Van der Waals radius (1.32 Å) that induce a strong and short C-F bond (the dissociation energy of which is 485 kJ.mol-1) and a low polarizability. Hence, fluorinated plastics that contain a high percentage of fluorine exhibit unique combination of properties such as very high thermal, chemical, aging and weather resistances, a high chemical inertness (to solvents, hydrocarbons, acids, and bases), low surface energies (as evidenced by repellant effect to oils and water), low dielectric constants, refraction indices, dissipation factors, flammability, and moisture absorption. Moreover, the presence of the strong C-F chemical bond has a crucial impact onto the high resistance to oxidation and hydrolytic stability.

Thus, these specialty polymers have found many applications in building industries (paints and coatings resistant to UV and graffiti), chemical industries (high performance membranes), petrochemicals and automotives, aerospace and aeronautics (elastomers used as packings, O-rings or diaphragms devoted for extreme temperatures close to liquid hydrogen or hydrazine tanks in the boosters of space shuttles), for optics (cores and claddings of optical fibers), textile, fabrics or stone treatments, (particularly coatings of old monuments), microelectronics, and for Energy (lithium ion batteries and fuel cell membranes). In spite of their high price, (linked mainly to unusual process of (co)polymerization, to additional cost of purification of gaseous monomers and to small volumes of production), these polymers find numerous developments in modern High Technologies. This presentation aims at showing the advantages and also few issues of these fascinating materials. 

Stefanie Feih is wearing a necklace and is smiling. She is wearing a black suit top with white strips and a red shirt.

Dr. Stefanie Feih

Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology

Senior Scientist III

Advanced Lightweighting Solutions: Synergy of CFRP and 3D-Printed and Metallic Structures

Date

Thursday, September 10

Time

10:00-11:00 AM

Location

Virtual on Zoom

Dr. Stefanie Feih is a Senior Scientist and Group Manager with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech, A*Star) in Singapore. She has specialized on the analysis, design and optimization  of innovative lightweight structures in both academic and industry research enviroments for more than 20 years. Stefanie holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Germany, and Engineering Masters Degree from Cornell University, USA, and was awarded her Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK, in 2002. She worked for the National Laboratory Risø, Denmark, for three years and RMIT University, Australia, for ten years prior to moving to Singapore in 2014.

Stefanie has published over 160 journal and conference papers focussed on wind, naval, O&G offshore and aerospace structures and is the co-inventor on two patent applications in the field of lightweight design. She is an elected member of the Executive Council of the International Committee on Composite Materials and an Editor for Composites Part B. Stefanie holds an adjunct professorship at RMIT (Melbourne, Australia) and adjunct research associate professorship at the National University of Singapore. She has to date supervised and graduated 11 PhD and Masters students.

In Singapore, Stefanie leads the Polymer Processing Group consisting of 28 scientists and engineers, focussing on near net shape manufacturing of polymer, polymer composites and hybrid designs. She has extensive experience in managing large-scale research projects with strong collaborative aspects with international industry and research partners, having been awarded funded projects on aircraft repair, design and structural optimisation for additive manufacturing, hybrid material joining and design and performance of composite structures.

Weight reduction is a fundamental innovation driver in the automotive, aerospace and energy sectors. For advanced lightweighting solutions, multi-material structures and especially hybrid metal-composite structures are an envisaged substitute for the original metallic components. Composite sandwich core structure solutions and hybrid interface design are excellent examples for the manufacturing synergy of composite and metallic structures. The results presented in this presentation show that promising hybrid design solutions are possible. However, literature data for hybrid joining are still limited in terms of durability, fatigue life and damage tolerance.  The presentation will conclude with a summary of current research activities within the Singapore landscape to address the outlined research gaps.

A man with glasses and a brown beard looks at the camera.

Prof. Chad Ulven

North Dakota State University

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

"Sustainability and Durability of Natural Fiber Composites"

Date

Thursday, September 24

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom

Dr. Ulven received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University (2001) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2003 & 2005). He has been a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at North Dakota State University since August of 2005. He has been involved in the research of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) for various commercial and defense applications for the past 19 years. He has co-authored 6 book chapters, 70 journal articles, and over 100 conference papers related to PMCs. He has been a co-author of 5 patent applications which have led to 4 patents awarded and 2 spin-out companies (c2renew inc. and c2sensor corp.).    

Over the past couple decades, a renewed interest in the untilization of agricultural products and by-products for a variety of different non-food related applications has emerged globally. The utilization of natural fibers as reinforcement or fillers in a variety of plastics (both bio-based and petroleum-based) to improve strength, stiffness, and/or impact resistance is not a new concept and has been fairly well established. These biocomposites have found their way into sporting goods, automotive applications, consumer goods, and for additive manufacturing. However, the potential is endless as society is pulling for more sustainable and durable materials in products they have grown to be reliant on day to day. This presentation will address some of the continued challenges for biocomposite growth as well as opportunities as new supply chains emerge, standards are developed, and the technology advances. I will provide a perspective as both an academic researcher as well as a co-founder of a small business commercializing biocomposite materials for various applications.

Enrique Gomez wears glasses and a bowtie and smiles.

Prof. Enrique Gomez

Penn State University

Professor, Chemical Engineering

"Pushing the limits of electron microscopy of polymers"

Date

Thursday, October 8

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom

Enrique D. Gomez received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2002, received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007, and spent a year and a half as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University.  Dr. Gomez joined the faculty at the Pennsylvania State University in August of 2009, where he is now a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. Research activities of Dr. Gomez are focused in understanding how structure at various length scales affects macroscopic properties of soft condensed matter.  To this end, the Gomez group pushes the limits of X-ray scattering and electron microscopy to refine descriptions of the microstructure of soft materials. The current emphasis of his research group is on the relationship between microstructure and electrical properties in the active layers of organic thin film transistors and photovoltaics, and in the development of microstructure control to enable sustainable materials.  Enrique has received multiple awards, including a Visiting Scientist Fellowship from the National Center for Electron Microscopy, the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award, and the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Research Award.

Imaging of polymers by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) or scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) remains a challenge due to the low contrast between domains and sensitivity to the electron beam.  Recent advances in instrumentation for electron microscopy have aimed to push the resolution limit, leading to remarkable instruments capable of imaging at 0.5 Å.  But, when imaging soft materials, the resolution is often limited by the amount of dose the material can handle rather than the instrumental resolution.  Despite the strong constraints placed by radiation sensitivity, recent developments in electron microscopes have the potential to advance polymer electron microscopy.  For example, monochromatated sources enable spectroscopy and imaging based on the valence electronic structure, electron tomography allows the reconstruction of 3D microstructures, direct electron detectors minimize the required dose for imaging, and differential phase contrast imaging can map heterogeneities in electric fields within films.  Key to these efforts is characterization of the mechanism for radiation damage in the TEM, which suggests new strategies to minimize damage, and thereby push the resolution limit down to 3.6 Å.  Altogether, the field of polymer electron microscopy is poised to make significant advances in the near future.

A woman wears safety goggles and smiles in a lab.

Dr. Ellen C. Lee

Ford Motor Company

Technical Leader, Additive Manufacturing

Talk TBD

Date

Thursday, October 29

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom
A man wears glasses and smiles. He is dressed in a suit.

Prof. Anthony Ryan

University of Sheffield

Professor, Physical Chemistry

Talk TBD

Date

Thursday, November 19

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom
Stefanie Sydlik smiles and wears glasses. She has on a polka dotted blouse.

Prof. Stefanie Sydlik

Carnegie Mellon University

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Talk TBD

Date

Thursday, December 3

Time

3:30-4:30 PM

Location

Virtual on Zoom


Fall 2020 Solvay Seminar Series At A Glance

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title

Date

Prof. Bruno Ameduri
Institut Charles Gerhardt
"Challenges and Issues of Fluoropolymers" September 3, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom
Dr. Stefanie Feih
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
"Advanced Lightweighting Solutions: Synergy of CFRP and 3D-Printed and Metallic Structures" September 10, 2020
10:00 – 11:00 AM
Virtual on Zoom

Prof. Chad Ulven
North Dakota State University

"Sustainability and Durability of Natural Fiber Composites"

September 24, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom

Prof. Enrique Gomez
Penn State University
"Pushing the limits of electron microscopy of polymers" October 8, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom
Dr. Ellen C. Lee
Ford Motor Company
  October 29, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom
Prof. Anthony Ryan
University of Sheffield
  November 19, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom
Prof. Stefanie Sydlik
Carnegie Mellon University
  December 3, 2020
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Virtual on Zoom