RM2N 2019 Technical Talk Abstracts


RM2N 2019

Technical Talk Abstracts


Brant Kedrowski Ph.D.

New Applications for Seed Meal Waste via an Academic/Industry Partnership

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Department of Chemistry
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

The talk describes a collaborative project between UW Oshkosh and the company Botanic Innovations, LLC, that is focused on finding new applications for seed meal waste.  The company is a craft producer of cold pressed seed oils.  The pressing process produces small amounts of high-value seed oil and much larger amounts of low-value seed meal, which is often sold as animal feed.  The project is exploring higher value applications for the seed meals.   Extracts of certain seed meals were found to be inhibitors of the enzyme tyrosinase, which catalyzes key steps in the biosynthesis of the skin pigment melanin.  Therefore, use of these extracts as skin lightening and skin tone evening agents in cosmetics is being explored.


Pamela Tas Ph.D.

Expanding the Midwest Market for Biofuels Using Field Pennycress

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

tasp@uwplatt.edu

Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) is a high-yielding oilseed cash cover crop that is grown as a winter annual throughout the Midwest Corn Belt.  Pennycress can be easily integrated into a corn-soybean rotation, extending the growing seasons and increasing acre profitability.  Since pennycress is a winter cover crop, integration in the field will have positive benefits not only financially, but also environmentally since it helps to reduce soil erosion and nutrient run-off, and is a vital early pollinator crop.  The oil content is found to have high concentration of erucic and linoleic acid making it easier to convert into biodiesel and aviation fuel compared to other oil crops.  In partnership with a number of Midwest Universities the goal of this research is to commercialize pennycress within five years.  Our work will focus on advancing the germplasm, establishing best agronomic practices, post-harvesting seed management, and outreaching to potential growers.


John Obielodan

3D Printing Using Sustainable Biomaterial Derivatives

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

Lignin is one of the most abundantly available naturally occurring polymers found in trees, second only to cellulose. It is an inexpensive by-product of pulping for the paper industry and bioethanol production. In this work, it is being considered as a key component of environmentally friendly biocomposite filaments production using polylactic acid (PLA) as the matrix material. The proposed biocomposite, with components derived from sustainable forest and crop derivatives will promote circular economy carbon footprint as opposed to non-degradable petroleum-derived materials that have triggered global
environmental and health concerns. The work seeks to study the technical viability of extruding different blends of the biocomposite and evaluate their qualities for 3D printing applications. Its successful development for 3D printing has the potential to provide added-value to lignin for expanded use in many applications.


Pawel Olszewski

Industry Inspired Teaching and Research in The UW Oshkosh

Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Department of Engineering Technology
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

How to develop a new engineering program that would be attractive for students?  How to convince potential employers that graduates of a brand new program meet their expectations? How to meet the Strategic Plan 2016-2021 “differentiating UW Oshkosh as a research-enhanced comprehensive university”? These three driving questions shaped the new UW Oshkosh Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program. The new program started in Fall semester 2014 with ~10 MET majors. After 4 years, MET program has currently 77 students and 18 graduates.


Maruf Hossain Ph.D.

Integrated Wind Turbine Generator

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Department of Electrical Engineering Technology
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI 54311

Wind-powered energy generation currently lacks optimized energy output due to the constraints of the need for a 1-to-1 wind turbine-to-single electrical power generator. The investigator is developing a system of mechanically integrated vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) that will connect to a single unit generator and electronic interface to more efficiently and cost-effectively produce electricity.  Such a system has utility for both small and large-scale electric power consumers, pumping water, grinding grains etc. Energy generation efficiency and operational cost-savings will be realized through (1) the network of wind turbines being powered by one single generator (reducing electrical/mechanical infrastructure), and (2) reducing the size and weight of the VAWT system to increase efficiency by reducing the inertia of each turbine (needing less wind to operate, and increasing opportunities for a wider geographic use).

Reference: M. Hossain, Pending Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), WiSys Ref. No. T170048.


Amy Seebooth-Wilson1, & Marcia Harr-Bailey2

Is My Class Sustainable

1Office of Sustainability
2Marketing and Entrepreneurship
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

Learn about how classes achieve the “sustainability” rating in our course catalog. We will address commonly shared definitions of sustainability, methods for vetting courses, and impacts for our students.


Amy Seeboth-Wilson1 and Marcia Harr-Bailey2 (seebotha@uwplatt.edu)

Bringing Sustainability to Life

1Office of Sustainability
2Marketing and Entrepreneurship
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

Hear about how two advisers and over 30 students have lived, laughed (and sometimes cried) together as they built a student-run business founded in sustainability principals. Five years in, our Platteville Sunflower Oil Company has enough collective lessons about industry partnerships, stabilizing student transitions, and operating on a tight budget to write a novel… or at least share some tips!


Arjun Sanga

Eureka is a Process – How WiSys Fosters Innovation in the University of Wisconsin System

WiSys Technology Foundation
401 Charmany Drive, Suite 205
Madison, WI 53719

In its vision to build a culture of innovation for a better future, WiSys supports the creation and transfer of technologies from the University of Wisconsin System to the marketplace and society. This talk will provide an overview of WiSys activities and pathways of engagement for faculty, students and industry. In addition, examples of WiSys supported projects related to materials and sustainability at RM2N campuses will be highlighted.


Matthew C. Jewell Ph.D.

Paint Blistering During Car Restoration: Developing an RM2N Project into a Senior Capstone Experience

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Materials Science & Engineering Program
105 Garfield Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

jewellmc@uwec.edu

High-end car restoration involves, among many other tasks, a complex repainting of the vehicle that includes chemical stripping of the old paint layers and native rust, mechanical or chemical preparation of the bare metal surface, and application of the new paint layers. From time to time, retained moisture or other contaminants can cause the painted surface to blister after a 6 – 12 months, which is a serious quality control concern for the restoration shop. In this project, we worked with a local car restoration company to identify the root cause of a paint blister, and then expanded the project into a senior capstone project, in which we are helping the company to identify best practices to avoid the problem in their shop in the future. In this talk we will address both the technical aspects of the project, and the mechanics of carrying it out as an undergraduate capstone experience.


Dane Morgan Ph.D.

Opportunities with the Informatics Skunkworks

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
1509 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706

ddmorgan@wisc.edu

The Informatics Skunkworks (http://skunkworks.engr.wisc.edu/) is a group of undergraduate researchers dedicated to realizing the transformative potential of informatics tools for science and engineering. Undergraduates in the skunkworks work with faculty and industry to apply techniques of machine learning to problems such as image analysis and property prediction. Participants learn skills in research, problem solving, computer programming, data science, presentation, and team problem solving that are critical for many of the most attractive jobs in our economy. We typically have about 30 students per semester involved and are expanding to four partner schools across the country. We are looking for:

  • Companies with potentially interesting informatics challenges we could address.
  • Faculty interested in leading projects or even growing partner efforts at other WI schools.
  • Students interested in joining projects we have available.
  • Please talk to Dane Morgan <ddmorgan@wisc.edu> to explore opportunities.

Steve Girard Ph.D.

Sustainable Synthesis of Nanosilicon via Molten Salt Reduction

Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

Silicon and silicon-containing intermetallics (i.e. silicides) are exciting technological materials, with applications in a variety of renewable energy applications, including solar cells, batteries, and waste heat-to-power generation (thermoelectrics).  Additionally, these materials are generally comprised of abundant, chemically robust, and non-toxic elements. Despite silicon being the second most abundant element within the earth’s crust, the cost of silicon remains high due to the high energy consumption processes (carbothermal or “coke” reduction) requiring temperatures at or above 1700 °C. Furthermore, most down-stream approaches to synthesize nanostructured silicon materials are not scalable, producing less than 50 mg per batch.  Here, we report a new method to sustainably and scalably generate nanostructured silicides directly from low-cost nanosilica and metal oxide precursors at low temperatures. We have found that inexpensive rock/sand/glass feedstocks (silica or silicates) can be effectively solvated within molten salt mixtures. The solvated silicon ions can then be reduced chemically or via electrolysis. Additionally, the use of low-temperature molten salt electrolytes considerably reduce the kinetic barriers to precipitation, producing nanostructures and allowing the reactions to proceed at temperatures as low as 500 °C. By using inexpensive, nontoxic, and easily synthesized nanostructured metal oxides, we can selectively generate different phase-pure nanosilicide compounds of α-Mn5Si3, MnSi, and MnSi1.73, with improved yields of ~1 g per batch.  Moreover, we show that this approach is facile and may be applied to a variety of other technologically interesting nanosilicides, including Ti5Si3 for reinforced building composites, semiconducting silicides (e.g. MnSi1.73, CrSi2, and FeSi2) for photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, and nanostructured silicon for high-capacity lithium ion battery anodes.


Nidal Abu-Zahra Ph.D.

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Center of Excellence

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Materials Science & Engineering Department
3200 North Cramer Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211


Elizabeth Glogowski Ph.D.

Collaborative Investigation of a Polyurethane Adhesive

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Materials Science & Engineering
105 Garfield Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

glogowem@uwec.edu

The Regional Materials & Manufacturing Network facilitated a successful collaboration between a research team at UW-Eau Claire and industrial collaborators for their product ‘SnotTape. Undergraduate researchers at UW-Eau Claire utilized the instrumentation in the Materials Science & Engineering Center to characterize the polyurethane beads and paper backing for this product designed to get a sharp edge when painting. Over two semesters, students determined chemical composition and chemical species distribution within the paper and compared the composition to adhesive and hardness properties. This was an iterative process where the students communicated with the industrial collaborators to develop the questions under investigation, track progress, and communicate conclusions at the end of the semester. Overall, the project successfully answered the initial questions and provided data for further product development.


Mohammad Rabbani Ph.D.

Heteroatom Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers for CO2 Separation from Landfill Gas

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Chemistry
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

Landfill gas, which is produced from the municipal solid waste in landfills under anaerobic digestion has recently attracted considerable attention as a source of renewable energy because it offsets the need for non-renewable resources such as oil, coal and gas. We aimed to synthesize a series of nanoporous organic polymers which are functionalized with heteroatoms like nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Synthesized polymers are chemically and thermally stable and possess ultra-small pores with a pore diameter distribution of around 0.5 nm. The presence of Lewis basic heteroatoms in the ultra-small pore apertures significantly enhances the selective adsorption of CO2 gas molecules over other gases. The polymers showed exceptionally high adsorption selectivity for CO2 over CH4 (35 times), and N2 (140 times) at 25°C. This makes the polymers promising candidates in separation of CO2 from the landfill gas compositions (a mixture CO2 and CH4).


Nenad Stojilovic Ph.D.

Manufacturing of Nanofibers by Electrospinning: Potential for Applications

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Chemistry
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

stojilovicn@uwosh.edu

Electrospinning is relatively simple and inexpensive method for production of fibers with diameters ranging from several microns down to about ten nanometers. This method is well suited for manufacturing of metal-oxide nanofibers (titania, alumina and zinc oxide, to name a few) from solutions containing a polymer and a metal precursor. These nanofibers can be used in various industrially relevant applications like light-to-electrical energy conversion and catalysis. Doping nanofibers with nanoparticles and production of composite nanofibers (composed of several different metal-oxides) provide opportunities for tailoring their physical and chemical properties. Challenges for fabrication of metal-oxide nanofibers on industrial scale and challenges for manufacturing of composite metal-oxide nanofibers will be discussed.


Thomas Zolper Ph.D.

Permanent Shear Stable and Energy Efficient Siloxane Gear Oils

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Mechanical Engineering
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

zolpert@uwplatt.edu

The demands for improved longevity and efficiency of power transfer equipment can often be met through the unique properties of polysiloxanes, commonly known as ‘silicones’.  The silicon-oxygen polymer bonds of polysiloxanes are stronger than the carbon-carbon bonds of conventional hydrocarbon based oils, providing greater resistance to molecular scission which leads to viscosity breakdown.  Furthermore, their combination of high molecular flexibility and low intermolecular friction allows them to undergo temporary shear-thinning, resulting in lower energy dissipation due to reduction of hydrodynamic friction losses.  Several siloxane-based polymers with alkyl and aryl were synthesized in order to examine the relationship between their molecular structures and tribological performance.  Film thickness and friction measurements were made at speeds and loads and speeds that are representative of common lubrication regimes.  These results show that the shear characteristics of polysiloxane oils facilitate film formation and minimize friction and wear, resulting in enhanced energy efficiency.


James Hamilton

Using Chemistry and Physics to Enable Sustainable Practices in Aerospace Contamination  Control 

Photonic Cleaning Technologies

Cleanrooms can use millions of dollars in electricity per year to run fans, and the cleaning of precision aerospace, photonic and semiconductor surfaces can generate tons of waste that has environmental impact.  We will present data and examples of alternative, more sustainable practices in contamination control using designer polymer solutions that peel after application and are used at NASA, Lockheed, and on the worlds largest telescopes.