The field of engineering relies heavily on fundamental science and mathematics to form the framework upon which we construct the world. As engineers, our role is to translate these fundamentals into real-world applications for the benefit of society. Four examples of ongoing research in the Composite Materials Lab at the University of Miami will be presented here, beginning with the basic science and mathematical background and culminating in the ultimate societal impact. The focus will be on the opportunities afforded by multi-phase and/or multi-functional materials, including: 1) a biocompatible styrene-isobutylene-styrene thermoplastic elastomer reinforced with nanoscale metal oxides and clays as the base material in orbital prostheses for post-exenteration cancer patients; 2) improving performance of supersonic military aircraft by modelling the impact of fluid contamination on the mechanical and dielectric properties of a high performance bismaleimide-quartz composite; 3) reclaiming steel-industry waste product for use in a microcomposite designed to reduce point-source phosphorous pollution in the Everglades; 4) and lastly, a proprietary composite film for combating post-operative vision loss during brain and spinal surgeries.
"Engineering the bridge between basic science and societal impact: The role of composite materials", Landon Grace, Assistant Professor, University Miami, Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 - 1:30pm