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Posted by: mus41 on Aug 27, 2015
Congratulations to Ibrahim Ozbolat, who joined the ESM departmet this summer, on his International Outstanding Young Researcher in Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Award.

The full story and details of this honor can be found here.
Posted by: mus41 on Aug 26, 2015
Jeremy M. Gernand, Ph.D., CRE
Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, PSU

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
3:35pm - 4:25pm

114 EES Building

Abstract: One of the last miracle engineering materials, asbestos, turned out to have severe occupational health implications that were only discovered after large numbers of miners, factory and construction workers were exposed in significant numbers. Some health researchers see similarities to asbestos in the fibrous nature of carbon nanotubes even if it is only superficial. Combined with the promises of all kinds of novel chemistry that nanotechnology may make possible, some level of cautious concern is warranted. Based on a review of existing data, researchers at NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) have suggested recommended exposure limits for nanomaterials be established 1 to 3 orders of magnitude below that for larger micrometer sized particles of similar substances. This emerging technology risk may be the first opportunity researchers and regulators have had to successfully anticipate and mitigate a potential exposure issue before it becomes widespread. Given the control manufacturers have over nanomaterial characteristics, it may be possible to design these materials to meet functional objectives while mitigating toxicological issues. Unlike chemicals, however, nanomaterials have many more attributes that may be varied to produce desired or undesired effects. This aspect of the technology makes animal testing for safety (our best available risk assessment methodology) of each nanomaterial variant prohibitively expensive and time consuming. Drawing conclusions from existing research is also problematic since each research lab is not necessarily equipped to measure each potentially important nanoparticle characteristic leaving a data set with many missing values. This presentation will review the results of machine-learning-based meta-analysis research that begins to quantitatively assess the relative probabilistic risks of different nanomaterial variants and the potential effectiveness of design “levers” that may aid in the mitigation of toxicity. Additionally, the implications of this research and emerging body of knowledge for protecting workers in more traditional industries will be covered. As investigations into the mechanisms of nanomaterial toxicity progress, we gain the ability to differentiate between the risks of different environmental PM2.5 or PM0.1 exposures that may have the same concentration (PM2.5 is the mass concentration of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm). The methods and knowledge developed to investigate nanotechnology risks may end up helping personnel from all industries.

Biography: Jeremy Gernand is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and Safety Engineering at Penn State University appointed in 2013. He came to this position following 8 years as a Safety and Reliability Engineer in the aerospace and defense industries. Dr. Gernand conducts research into the occupational risks of dust exposure including engineered nanoparticles, the use of data mining techniques for quantitative risk assessment, and related regulatory policy questions. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and Rice University respectively, and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Posted by: mus41 on Aug 19, 2015
Michael T. Lanagan, Ph.D.
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, PSU

Joshua Stapleton, Materials Characterization Lab

Wednesday, August 26 2015
114 EES Building
Posted by: mus41 on Aug 7, 2015
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder professor, chaired the conference Nanostructured Thin Films VIII, held as part of SPIE’s Optics and Photonics Symposium, held the week of August 9, 2015, in San Diego, CA. He also presented the paper entitled “Scattering from bulk material with surface states,” co-authored by Tom G. Mackay (Department of Mathematics,
University of Edinburgh) who is an adjunct faulty member in the ESM department.

He was also a co-author of the following three presentations:
1. Metamaterial models of curved spacetime [with Tom G. Mackay]
2. Combined optical-electrical finite-element simulations of thin-film solar cells — preliminary results [with Tom H. Anderson (University of Edinburgh), Muhammad Faryad (LUMS, Pakistan), Tom G. Mackay, and Rajendra Singh (Clemson University]
3. Influence of silver-nanoparticle layer in a chiral sculptured thin film for surface-multiplasmonic sensing [with ESM graduate student Stephen E. Swiontek].