Program—Symposium FFF: Educating and Mentoring Young Materials Scientists for Career Development

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2014 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 21-25, 2014San Francisco, California
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A recording of this event is available for free viewing from MRS OnDemand.

Download Session Locator (.pdf)2014-04-21  

Symposium FFF

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Symposium Organizers

  • Vuk Uskokovic, University of California, San Francisco
  • Li (Emily) Liu, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Marilyn L. Minus, Northeastern University
  • Eric D. Marshall, IBM, Semiconductor Research and Development Center
  • Tutorial FFF
  • Monday, 12:30-5 p.m.
  • April 21, 2014
  • Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012
Download Session Locator (.pdf)2014-04-22  

Symposium FFF

Show All Abstracts

Symposium Organizers

  • Vuk Uskokovic, University of California, San Francisco
  • Li (Emily) Liu, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Marilyn L. Minus, Northeastern University
  • Eric D. Marshall, IBM, Semiconductor Research and Development Center


  • Dow Chemical Company
    NISE Network

    FFF1: Mentoring Excellence in the Academic Milleu

    • Chair: Vuk Uskokovic
    • Chair: Marilyn L. Minus
    • Tuesday AM, April 22, 2014
    • Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012

    8:30 AM - *FFF1.01

    Mentoring Students at Research Universities

    Bruce  M  Clemens1.

    1,  Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

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    The former University of California Chancellor Clark Kerr once quipped that he sometimes viewed the modern research university as a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking. Putting aside the issue of parking, the entrepreneur faculty members in research institutions are expected to expertly perform a range of tasks including planning, fund raising, account management, workforce management, safety oversight and personnel development. These are in addition to teaching and providing research vision and expertise. It can be argued that, in the normal course of graduate and postdoctoral experience leading up to faculty positions, almost no training or guidance is provided for most of these tasks. Hence, the success of young faculty members relies on their ability to train themselves in these tasks, drawing on their experience and the advice of their network of colleagues and mentors. While this approach has produced a remarkable record of excellence, there are indications, including underrepresentation in STEM fields of some groups, that there might be an opportunity to provide faculty with tools and resources to enable more effective student mentoring for the full range of materials-related careers.
    This talk will present a perspective on faculty mentoring with views from both the Materials Research Society and Stanford University. Programs and practices aimed at creating a diverse, successful and vibrant population of materials researchers will be discussed, as well as the presence and recognition of implicit biases, and the role of faculty performance metrics in influencing the attitude and approach of faculty toward their role as mentors of student.

    9:00 AM - *FFF1.02

    Mentoring and Coaching Women and URMs in STEM Fields

    Yves  J  Chabal1.

    1,  Materials Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA.

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    The pressure of academic life often hinders our ability as faculty to constructively support students who may face increased challenges, may not have had equal opportunities to learn, or may not be perceived as competent within the “mainstream” scientific culture. Yet, experience shows that such students bring a fresh and innovative outlook to research projects that often lead to superior results and ultimately high level positions. The role that faculty play for such students, from providing research experience for high school and undergraduate students to mentoring graduate students and postdocs, is critical. This talk focuses on practical ways to develop an inclusive environment within one’s research group where different approaches are valued, to establish a critical mass for students of all backgrounds, and to openly discuss differences as a means to strengthen the team. It also illustrates the value of mentoring external students and having our own students mentored to become better coaches of our own groups. Finally, it re-emphasizes the need for all educators to engage the broadest segments of the population in STEM fields if the US is to remain competitive.

    9:30 AM -


    Show Abstract

    10:00 AM - *FFF1.03

    Survive and Thrive: Guidance for Untenured Faculty

    Wendy  C  Crone1.

    1,  Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

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    The experience of an untenured faculty member is highly dependent on the quality of the mentoring they receive. Mentoring relationships come is various forms and have different levels of formality and expectations. The term “mentor” also means different things to different people. To some, it connotes teacher, advisor, and counselor, while to others, there is a either a deep friendship implied or a substantial power relationship at play. In more contemporary terms, mentoring occurs on multiple levels with multiple individuals and incorporates peers, professional networks, and colleagues as well as the classic mentors. The academic profession is a "colleague system" in which relationships influence an individual’s place within their department, institution, and field of research. Mentors can provide invaluable guidance in navigating the establishment and development of these relationships. Strategies will be discussed for developing and maintaining mentoring relationships, creating peer mentoring groups, and obtaining the information needed to thrive in an academic career.
    Wendy Crone is author of Survive and Thrive: A Guide for Untenured Faculty (Morgan & Claypool, 2010)

    10:30 AM - *FFF1.04

    Enabling the Benefits of Diversity Through Mentoring

    Magaly  Spector1.

    1,  Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA.

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    Mentoring is one of the critical elements professionals mention for the successful advance of their careers. Many of us believe mentoring is natural and a straightforward process to transmit the experience and lessons learned by an established professional to a protégée in the process of developing and reaching his/her career aspirations. However, there are many factors that make mentoring a challenging process. For example: choosing a mentor, choosing a protégée, matching a mentor and protégée in a well-structured mentoring program, as well as keeping up communication and commitment, and understanding how to mentor across diversity. All these factors are essential components for the success of a mentoring program.
    Identification and role-modeling are basic parts of mentoring. For mentors, the protégée represents the mentors’ past and for protégées, the mentor represents their future and acts as their role model. This dynamic makes mentoring across diversity and gender a challenge. Identification needs to occur based on other similarities, but takes time to develop. There have to be a deeper level of interaction and a conscious effort to make it work. However, the benefits and impact of a diverse mentoring relationship both on mentors and protégées are much greater than in a homogeneous relationship.

    11:00 AM - FFF1.05

    Mentoring and Pipelining Future Materials Scientists and Engineers

    Daryush  Ila1.

    1,  , UNCFSU, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA.

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    The subject of this presentation focusses on how our team built bridge between advanced materials processing, characterization and prototyping R&D and classroom for undergraduate students and graduate students in order to meet the needs of their employers. The selected projects and the selected mentors for this educational program were through existing research grants and contracts from private and government agencies. Almost, all of the students going through this program were hired by sponsoring agencies, as soon as the graduation. Some of the students decided to continue for more advance terminal degree, such as PhD. The materials science education and summer training using the state-of-art instrumentation, such as ion implanters, scanning Raman microprobe, AFM, IBAD, MBE, RBS, PIXE, SEM, AES, and many more advanced characterization and testing instrumentation was originally established by the author and his teammates in early 1990 at the Center for Irradiation of Materials in order to enhance the education, research and services capabilities of the university and provide services needed by the aerospace and defense community and local industry. As the result of establishment of this center the annual number of students taking 300 to 600 level courses as well as summer training courses at this facility reach as high as 60 students per year where 20-30 were summer students, some from local high schools and nearly two dozen graduate students per year used this facility for their advanced research regularly. The success of the courses; special topics on materials processing, materials characterization, and device prototyping, were carefully and individually designed to meet the need of the mix of students’ background attending each course and lab work. The lab-work each advanced research with goal to produce publication were designed with milestone and pre-determined mentor while maintain high standard and progress reporting, oral and in writing, once to twice a week for 10 to 14 weeks. The developed courses and laboratory research conducted were both interdisciplinary, multi-cultural and multi institutions, to include local high-schools, and multi-universities, including universities from Brazil, France, Turkey, Japan, Belarus, and Greece. Most often, students had backgrounds in physics, chemistry, food science, life science, mechanical and electrical engineering. The main focus of the program was to generate enthusiasm, to create interest and to build pipeline of top quality scientists and engineers for materials science education while generating interest on subject matters relevant to surface and interface processing, surface modification and understanding properties of materials.
    Other team members: Profs. R. L. Zimmerman, L. R. Holland, and G. M. Jenkins

    11:15 AM - FFF1.06

    CLEAR Opportunities: Technical Writing and Communication for Engineering Students

    Aditi  S.  Risbud1 2.

    1,  Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; 2,  College of Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

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    Despite being well versed in scientific and technical concepts, engineering students often struggle with technical writing and communication. The CLEAR (Communication, Leadership, Ethics and Research) program at the University of Utah prepares engineering undergraduates for success in their careers through coursework aimed to improve oral and written communication skills, teamwork and ethical understanding. Along with an evaluation of ongoing CLEAR curricula in engineering laboratory and design classes, we are developing tools to assess student outcomes as defined by ABET criteria. These outcomes will inform how best to implement CLEAR curricula at the University of Utah, and ensure our graduates are better prepared to join the engineering workforce.

    11:30 AM - FFF1.07

    Promoting Undergraduate Success through Structured Graduate Mentorship

    Urusa  Shahriar  Alaan1, Tara  Bozorg-Grayeli1, Colleen  Shang1.

    1,  Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

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    Mentoring relationships can be tremendously valuable for both the mentors and their protégés; however, these partnerships may be difficult to establish without a designated mode of communication. We will discuss our implementation of such a venue within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University to both address undergraduate concerns and train graduate students to be future mentors.
    We designed a mentorship program with graduate student mentors and undergraduate student protégés to facilitate dialogue and spread ideas between the various communities in the department. While these groups of people see each other daily, we found that interaction was rare outside of a teaching assistant - student type of exchange. Furthermore, undergraduate students were seeking additional resources to help realize their post-graduate goals. Graduate students in turn had recently navigated similar situations successfully and were willing to engage. Our implementation of the program received wide departmental support, with 19 graduate students and 15 undergraduate students (about three quarters of the undergraduate materials science student body) requesting to participate. We formed three types of test mentorship groups:
    Type I. 7 traditional groups of one mentor and one mentee,
    Type II. 4 groups of two mentors and one mentee,
    Type III. 2 groups of two mentors and two mentees.
    We paired groups based on common interests and goals, along with preference for particular mentoring styles.
    This 8-month program was divided into an introduction stage (February), a meeting period (March through September), and a final recognition event (October). During the introduction stage, we facilitated a welcome event that included goal-setting exercises, icebreakers and conflict resolution strategies. During the next 6-month span we asked groups to meet at least twice for unstructured events. We created an official Stanford course website as a channel to communicate with participants. Finally, we hosted a dinner to recognize achievements and gather feedback for this pilot program.
    We will discuss execution, reception and assessment of this inaugural program. The hosted events were positively received, and nearly all groups requested additional structured events. We further found that in Type II and III groups, the mentor-mentor relationship was an important factor influencing group dynamics and sustained interest in the program. While assessment is often challenging in volunteer-related activities, we will provide suggestions to gauge progress and share techniques for successful implementation at other universities.
    This work was funded by the MRS Special Projects Initiative and the Stanford Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

    11:45 AM - FFF1.08

    Materials Science Research to Open Doors for Economically Disadvantaged High School Students: The ACS Project SEED Program at Clark Atlanta University

    Ishrat  Khan1 2, James  Reed1 2, Myron  Williams1 2, Madge  Willis2.

    1,  Chemistry, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2,  Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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    The Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials (CFNM), an NSF Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology, at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is an ACS (American Chemical Society) Project SEED site. The ACS project SEED Program is recognized nationally as providing hands-on research opportunities to disadvantaged high school students, who have historically lacked exposure to scientific careers. CAU is a minority serving institution and has an excellent working relationship with Atlanta area school systems that serve large numbers of minority students. Students entering their junior or senior year in high school are selected for the Program based on their academic performance, an essay and letters of reference from their teachers. These high school students then become part of CFNM’s eight week summer Nanoscholars Program. The program included a weekly Nanoscience Survey sessions during which the Nanoscholars learned about scientific problem solving, nanotechnology, nanomaterials, and scientific reporting. The weekly Journal Club, facilitated by the professors and graduate students, involved discussions of articles on such topics as material science, nanotechnology and ethics in science. Each Summer Nanoscholar participated in the research program of his/her advisor and prepared and presented a scientific paper to the CFNM Community (participants, students, professors and mentors) at the end of the Program. We have completed three summers as an ACS Project SEED site. So far we have had one SEED scholar submit a major manuscript, two were invited to present at ACS National Meetings and one was awarded an eight (8) year Gates-Millennium scholarship. The evaluation of the Project strongly suggests that our approach is effective for opening doors for the economically disadvantaged students and tapping the best and the brightest for careers in the sciences and engineering. The evaluation component was organized around the following three dimensions: (1) Program Implementation (Effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery by the program); (2) Student Data (Academic and professional competencies, including research publications and presentations, lab performance, demonstrated leadership skills and satisfaction); and (3) Performance Feedback (Evaluations of all components to address the question, "How well is the CFNM Project SEED achieving its goals?"). In the words of one of our young scholars “I realized that research is a continuous learning process. You can never know everything. Even a professor has credentials but they’re still continuing to learn.”

    FFF2: Raising a New Generation of Materials Scientists

    • Chair: Eric D. Marshall
    • Chair: Li (Emily) Liu
    • Tuesday PM, April 22, 2014
    • Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012

    1:30 PM - *FFF2.01

    Holistic Approach to Training and Mentoring of Next-Generation Materials Scientists

    Jagdish  Narayan1, Justin  Schwartz1.

    1,  Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

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    This talk addresses holistic approach to research, teaching and mentoring of students, where there is smooth transition from science to the good of the society. We discuss an octahedral framework, where there is a seamless transition from materials science to devices and systems (materials technology) to manufacturing of goods. There is an urgent need to train students in this framework to make students more valuable and impact the society. This framework is particularly relevant for the transition of nanoscience to nanotechnology (nanosystems) to nanomanufacturing. In the absence of this systematic transition, fruits of many nanoscience discoveries have not realized and impacted the society. This presentation will focus on specific examples where nanomaterials science has been successfully transitioned to nanotechnology and manufacturing of goods needed in our daily life, such as nanostructured (Nano Pocket) Light emitting diodes for solid state lighting and other related applications. It is shown that students trained in this paradigm are highly employable and valuable to industry and society. However, there are tremendous challenges which remain in academia in terms of teaching curricula, research training and mentoring of students; these topics will be covered in this presentation.

    2:00 PM - *FFF2.02

    International Exposure and Collaboration as Tools for Education and Career Development

    Enrico  Traversa1.

    1,  , King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

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    Understanding cultural differences is a personal enrichment of primary concern for developing a peaceful and more tolerant world. This applies also in materials science, where different approaches to science over the world exist. It becomes then necessary, no matter how good is the school from one is coming from, to know and understand others approaches if one wants to achieve a complete education. Moreover, in the globalized market for researchers, international mobility is an issue to consider for career development. In this talk I will describe the tools I offered to PhD students and post-docs for international experiences, and how this ended up in boosting the career of a number of them.

    2:30 PM -


    Show Abstract

    3:00 PM - *FFF2.03

    Entrepreneurship - The Endless Frontier

    Douglas  Crawford1.

    1,  , QB3, San Francisco, California, USA.

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    Entrepreneurial scientists have the vision and passion to do what no one else will - to turn promising scientific discoveries into products that help patients all the while producing economic growth, particularly jobs. Think Genentech, Amgen, and Chiron, and more recently BioMarin, Onyx, and Plexxikon. However, this is not the usual endpoint for great science. Too often promising findings never get out of the lab. For the sake of society, the ongoing support of scientific research, and the careers of the graduate students and post-docs that we are training, it is vital that we provide the resources necessary to allow scientists to create companies that can turn ideas into practical benefits. This is one of QB3’s key missions. We have created programs to make it easy for scientists to create companies, file for SBIR grants, rent space as small as a single bench, gain access to millions of dollars worth of equipment, establish partnerships with industry, and seek private capital. These programs have been extraordinarily successful - helping more than 85 startups raise $370 million and create over 400 jobs.

    3:30 PM - *FFF2.04

    Mentoring for Successful Material Science/Engineering Based Careers beyond Academic Research

    John  Baglin1.

    1,  K10/D1, IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California, USA.

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    Some of the richest, most rewarding, most productive career opportunities in science lie in areas in which the multi-perspective scientist, because of his/her diversity and depth of expertise, becomes a perfect practitioner of science - applying, innovating, learning, communicating, and alert to the needs and perceptions of the community.
    Often, these are not the careers in academia that center on research, and propagation of the academic research species.
    Much of the science that drives the operation of advanced (or mundane) industries depends on skilled practitioners who plan, manage and update the commercial processes. Often, this work leads to evolution of dramatically improved and profitable commercial functions and products. Sometimes, it leads to spin-off businesses that could only have evolved when driven by the insights of the skilled, knowledgeable practitioner. Occasionally, the alert, skilled and perceptive practitioner will come up with a patentable concept, that might launch him or his company into years of prosperity (and further creative science)..
    For a scientist or engineer whose basic training was in Materials and related topics, success in a career in the Applications sector may depend upon some mastery in such pursuits as business/economics, marketing, public relations, computer science, management, and possibly areas of science beyond his/her areas of specialization. One example of such a topic could be that of Education technology, and the MOOC explosion.
    So, how can we identify types of mentoring (starting with K-12 and onwards through university and Continuing Education/Life-Long Learning) designed to foster the integration of useful expertise drawn from a variety of traditionally isolated academic disciplines and 'soft' sciences? There is scope for a lot of creative mentoring specifically tailored to this community. We shall discuss some ideas for such programs.

    4:00 PM - FFF2.05

    BREWing Up Ideas for Research-Based MSE Educational Activities

    AnneLynn  Gillian-Daniel1, Benjamin  Taylor1, Nicholas  Abbott1.

    1,  MRSEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

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    By integrating research and education, the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center’s (UW MRSEC) creates research-based materials science and engineering (MSE) educational resources and trains future MSE professionals to communicate science to the public. To further facilitate this component of its mission, the UW MRSEC has initiated a yearly Breakthrough Research and Education Workshop (B.R.E.W) that brings all members together to discuss the latest research highlights and brainstorms new ways to present the discoveries to public audiences.
    The education workshop section of the BREW has evolved over the two years of its existence to better meet the goals of 1) leveraging UW MRSEC members’ expertise to create new MSE educational resources and 2) helping graduate students, postdoctoral fellow members, and faculty translate their research for public consumption. In the first year, BREW participants brainstormed core ideas in MSE. Working in small groups, MRSEC students and faculty developed concepts for outreach activities to illustrate these core ideas. In the second year, the education workshop shifted its focus to UW MRSEC specific research. After the research presentations, BREW participants were divided into small groups led by one of the presenters. The small groups were tasked with articulating the main idea of the research presentation with a tabletop activity designed to illustrate the main research idea.
    The UW MRSEC Interdisciplinary Education Group (IEG) uses the ideas generated by the BREW to develop new MSE education activities inspired by UW MRSEC research. Students and faculty of the UW MRSEC also have the opportunity to give input on these activities, and to present them at science outreach events throughout Wisconsin. The cooperative and interdisciplinary nature of the workshop also builds community within the UW MRSEC. Examples of the tabletop activities generated as a result of the BREW will be shown as part of the presentation.

    4:15 PM - FFF2.06

    Boulder School in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

    Christine  Morrow1, Leo  Radzihovsky1.

    1,  Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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    Supported by the National Science Foundation and held each July on the University of Colorado campus, the Boulder School in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics provides education for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working in condensed matter physics, materials science and related fields. It enables students to work at the frontiers of science and technology by providing expert training through lectures and interactions with international scientific leaders that are not easily available within the traditional education. This creates opportunities for students to establish professional collaborations and lasting scientific relations, leading to career advancement in broad range of scientific fields

    4:30 PM - FFF2.07

    Preparing the Next Generation of Material Scientists

    Clayton  Thurmer1, Lisa  Gallagher1, Barbara  Moskal1.

    1,  Renewable Energy Materials Research Science & Engineering Center, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA.

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    The proposed presentation will focus on an outreach program that involves a partnership between a science and engineering university, a university research center focused on renewable energy materials, and local elementary and middle school teachers. This program has existed for approximately ten years, and each set of teachers have the option of participating for up to two years. During the academic year, a graduate student is assigned to work in the classroom with the participating teacher. Their role is to support the teacher and help develop discovery-based activities to build upon the knowledge gained in the summer workshop. This program is designed to engage teachers in science and mathematics and demonstrate the application of these subjects to engineering challenges, with a focus on renewable energy research.
    Participating K-8 teachers attend a two-week workshop each summer, during which university professors, researchers and graduate students present information on renewable energy materials and lead hands-on activities for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Fuel cells, water electrolysis, solar cells and the associated materials that advance these energy technologies are just a few of the topics addressed. These activities are developed with the assistance of graduate students who have participated in the program and who have provided hands-on support in K-8 classrooms in past years. Lessons are designed to address standards-based learning targets, making activities more useful to teachers and their classrooms.
    The participating school districts have large minority and economically disadvantaged populations, which falls in line with program goals to target at risk populations. The program also focuses on the promotion of female interest in science and engineering. The approach used in this curriculum is to incorporate mathematics, science and literacy into engineering lessons, in an effort to make these lessons easier for the teachers to utilize in their classrooms. Resources and training are provided for the teachers and graduate students that are involved in this program. A goal of this program is to engage the participating teachers with the importance of renewable energy materials so that they can be advocates in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers. In the proposed presentation, the results and perspectives from this multi-year collaboration will be presented.

    Download Session Locator (.pdf)2014-04-23  

    Symposium FFF

    Show All Abstracts

    Symposium Organizers

    • Vuk Uskokovic, University of California, San Francisco
    • Li (Emily) Liu, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • Marilyn L. Minus, Northeastern University
    • Eric D. Marshall, IBM, Semiconductor Research and Development Center


    • Dow Chemical Company
      NISE Network

      FFF3: Exploring Innovative Educational Paths in MS&E

      • Chair: Marilyn L. Minus
      • Chair: Vuk Uskokovic
      • Wednesday AM, April 23, 2014
      • Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012

      8:15 AM - *FFF3.01

      Advancing Graduate Education and Research in the Chemical Sciences

      Bassam  Z.  Shakhashiri1.

      1,  Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

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      Chemistry and the work of chemical scientists have contributed greatly to human progress. Yet, today humanity faces many daunting challenges, including population growth, finite resources, malnutrition, spreading disease, deadly violence, war, climate change, and the denial of basic human rights, especially the right to benefit from scientific and technological progress. Chemical scientists can and should address these challenges to Earth and its people, but they can do this only if they are well prepared. For more than half a century, steady financial support for research and education in the chemical sciences has given the United States distinguished graduate programs that attract talent from around the world. But are the current practices of training the next generation of scientists still working for students and for society? In this talk I shall discuss findings and conclusions of a blue-ribbon commission that I convened in 2012 as president of the American Chemical Society to consider this question. The commission developed practical recommendations that can be adopted or adapted by graduate educational institutions, federal and state funding agencies, and business and industry. The proposals include radical changes that will advance graduate education and more effectively engage the nation’s vast educational, industrial, and government resources in order to successfully prepare students for their individual careers and to meet global human needs over the next 50 years.

      8:45 AM - *FFF3.02

      The Molecularium® Project - Creating Media for Stealth Education

      Richard  W  Siegel1.

      1,  Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.

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      The importance of stimulating and capturing young people’s interest in the world around them and how that world is made up of atoms, molecules, and materials cannot be over estimated. This interest and initial learning begins at a very early age, long before any formal schooling begins. In order to encourage children to become interested in materials at an early age, and to help those others not particularly interested in materials become science literate, we (Linda Schadler, Shekhar Garde, and I - see “Molecularium Explores the World of Materials”, Materials Research Society Bulletin 30, 132-133, 2005) initiated the Molecularium® Project at Rensselaer more than a decade ago, funded by the Division of Materials Research at the U. S. National Science Foundation. This successful effort has now created two digital movies, the first an award winning digital-dome presentation "Molecularium - Riding Snowflakes" (2005), the second a giant-screen show for IMAX and other large-format theaters "Molecules to the MAX!" (2009), both now translated into the world’s major languages and distributed worldwide. Most recently, we have created an award winning Web-based educational theme park "NanoSpace®" (2012) that features a number of short videos, games, and thematic areas including Materials Boulevard that can stimulate and capture young people’s interest, as did our earlier movies, through entertainment with significant scientific content - stealth education. This talk will describe many features of the media produced by the Molecularium Project ( and how its products are being used by children, parents and teachers to develop science literacy and entice eager young minds toward the exciting world of material science.

      9:15 AM -


      Show Abstract

      9:45 AM - FFF3.03

      Chemical Reactions as Petite Rendezvous: The Use of Metaphor in Materials Science Education

      Vuk  Uskokovic1.

      1,  Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

      Show Abstract

      Every time we communicate our science, we are involuntarily involved in an educational activity, affecting the listeners’ methodology and motivation. In a beautiful metaphor, the late Nobel Laureate, Richard E. Smalley, compared interacting atoms and molecules to boys and girls falling in love. Elaborated and exemplified with a couple of entertaining analogies in this presentation will be the well-known effectiveness of the use of metaphors in illustrating scientific concepts to both scientific novices and peers. Human brain has been considered to be a complex neural circuitry for the computation of metaphors, which explains the naturalness of its usage, especially when solid arguments could be given in support of the thesis that scientific imagery in general presents a collection of mathematically operable metaphors. On top of this, knowledge could be enriched through logic alone, but new concepts could be learned only through analogies. The greater pervasion of metaphors in scientific presentations could boost their inspirational potential, make the audience more attentive and receptive to its content, and, finally, expand their educational prospect and enable their outreach to a far broader audience than it has been generally accomplished.

      10:00 AM - *FFF3.04

      Understanding Nanotechnology Through Material Science

      Cydale  Smith1.

      1,  , 4 SIGHT INC., Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

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      Non traditional methods of science education must be explored in order to reach underrepresented groups in our communities. Experimental laboratory experiences are needed to supplement classroom lectures at the public schools for underrepresented students. This is especially true for specialized areas such as material science and nanotechnology. Therefore, we have implemented material science applications as part of a student project course for high school students. The focus is to provide an interactive hands-on experience in material science and characterization of nano structures. The students are assigned to a research project and mentored in performing research in a laboratory setting. They are required to support and lead specific activities within the project, and also produce reports and presentations on their activities. We document student involvement and development during the course.

      10:30 AM - FFF3.05

      Evolution of Material Science Content in a NanoScience Technologist Program

      Deb  Newberry1.

      1,  NanoScience, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, Minnesota, USA.

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      In 2004 Dakota County Technical College initiated an AAS degree program in NanoScience. Because of the rich industry base of the region the designed program was multi-disciplinary encompassing nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnology and nanomaterials. Program content is application and industry need driven and supplemented by recent research findings. As is often the case with nanoscale science, lines between traditional science areas tend to become blurred. Materials science concepts are critical to the understanding of nanoelectronics and nanobiotech. One aspect of this presentation will be to discuss the interdependency and developed educational approaches.
      Within the material science content use of problems, simulations and hands-on learning with nanomechanical indenters has evolved over the years of the program. The evolution of content has been formed by industry input and applications, nanoscience discoveries and new product development. Recent research results, such as those contributing to understanding the strength of the abalone shell have been used as project based learning activities within the curriculum and have enhanced the materials science content.
      Material science content, evolution of that content, lessons learned and use in grades from middle school through undergraduate levels will be discussed.

      10:45 AM - FFF3.06

      Improving Materials Selection in a Mechanical Engineering Capstone Course

      Bridget  M.  Smyser1.

      1,  Mechanical and Industrial Eng., Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

      Show Abstract

      The Capstone Design course in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University requires students to build a physical prototype by the end of the two semester sequence. Although students have long been required to take an introductory materials science course as part of their curriculum, there was concern that materials selection was a weakness in the design process. Beginning in Fall 2011, the CES Edupack materials selection software was introduced into the Capstone Design class. The current work means to investigate: 1) how to assess designs for effective materials selection 2) whether the new software was actually used by the student teams and 3) whether there was evidence of improved materials selection in the projects that occurred after the new software was introduced. Final capstone design reports from 10 previous terms were examined to look for evidence of systematic materials selection procedures and clear discussion of materials properties as the basis for selecting a material. References to the software were also noted. Preliminary results show that 24% of the groups used the CES Software in the first three terms that the software was available. In addition, there was an increase in the number of groups that used a systematic selection process based on research into published materials properties, rather than choosing materials based on rough experimentation or convenience. Finally, there has been an increase in the number of projects which consider or incorporate composites, high temperature alloys, and advanced polymers as the software has increased awareness of these options.

      11:00 AM - FFF3.07

      Ferrofluid for In-Flow Environmental Remediation: A High School Classroom-Compatible Demonstration

      Nitin  Chopra1 2, Kuldeep  Kumar1, Wenwu  Shi1, Niki  Peramsetty3, Sidhanth  Chandra4, Heather  Renz5.

      1,  Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 2,  Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 3,  , Holy Spirit Catholic High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 4,  , Hillcrest High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 5,  Department of Education, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.

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      Nanotechnology and nanoscience have strong potential for entering energy and environmental remediation markets. Thus, it becomes important to develop workforce in this sector. Towards this end, the early stimulation of research interests of younger generation is desirable. Here, we report the development two technologies in the form of high school models: a) utilization of ferrofluid for environmental remediation by establishing an in-flow reactor set-up and b) establishing an electrospinning-based sponge for absorbing contamination. This effort was led by a team of graduate students, faculty advisor, potential high school teacher, and high school students. All the team members combined their knowledge and vision of a classroom needs in the direction of environmental remediation and developed the experimental set-ups for ferrofluid-based textile dye removal from water. To make this removal more effective, electrospinning method was developed to prepare superabsorbent out of ferrofluids. Further, the team investigated the role of various parameters in achieving an effective remediation. The parameters were amount of ferrofluid used, concentration of contaminants, duration of contaminant flow, and dimensions of the set-up. The most optimized remediation conditions were established and the models were made compatible to the classroom setting. It is envisioned that the integration of the developed experimental modules into high school curriculum will motivate high school students to pursue degrees in science, engineering, and nanotechnology. Thus, this will assist in the development of future workforce in the area of nanotechnology and materials science.

      11:15 AM - FFF3.08

      Thermoelectric Material Synthesis and Characterization in Upper-Level Undergraduate Laboratory Classes

      Mary  Elizabeth  Anderson1.

      1,  Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, USA.

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      Thermoelectric nanomaterial synthesis was incorporated in an upper-level inorganic laboratory class to introduce students to solution-phase solid-state chemistry and material characterization techniques. This project complimented research in the Anderson group with a focus on understanding reaction pathways for the formation of PbTe and Bi2Te3. Results obtained within the laboratory classroom demonstrated the reproducibility of key growth stages and contributed to the study by elucidating an intermediate that previously had not been identified.
      Material science topics beyond the typical inorganic curricula were introduced through this guided research project. Through a pre-lab lecture, motivation for this research was given within the context of the need for alternative energy and the necessary requirements for the materials implemented (i.e. high energy conversion, low production costs). An emphasis on how nanostructuring improves thermoelectrics was given to motivate the bottom-up modified polyol synthesis that they would be conducting. Students then gave literature presentations on the topic to gain an overview of the methods and materials relevant in the field. A guided inquiry activity using CrystalMaker software introduced students to solid crystal structures and their simulated XRD patterns.
      This was a five week lab with three different rounds of synthesis performed by students. The first round involved following a provided procedure to make a known target, the second had students change one variable under investigation (reaction temperature), and the third permitted them freedom in choosing to alter an additional variable or to pursue a different material target. Every product was characterized by XRD and at least one was examined by SEM and EDS (oftentimes all were). Students were able to have hands-on experience with all instrumentation with assistance from a TA. Results were presented in a lab meeting with a powerpoint presentation as well as submitted in a report written in journal article format, incorporating information from the pre-lab lecture, literature presentations, and solid crystal structure activity into the Introduction section.

      11:30 AM - FFF3.09

      Educational Offsprings of the Crystallography Open Database and Their Usage in Interdisciplinary College Education

      Peter  Moeck1, Trevor  Snyder2 1, Werner  Kaminsky3.

      1,  , Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA; 2,  , XEROX, Wilsonville, Oregon, USA; 3,  , University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

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      The Crystallography Open Database (COD) features more than 240,000 entries and has in recent years developed into the world’s premier open-access source for structures of small molecules and small to medium sized unit cell crystals [1]. The COD complements (rather than duplicates) with its coverage the well established open-access Worldwide Protein Data Bank [2]. The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre provides crystal structure data of small molecules for bona fide researches on a one by one basis for free [3]. There is also a project related to the COD that provides crystallographic open-access databases [4] (“COD offsprings”) for interdisciplinary college education. All of these databases store crystallographic information in the CIF [5] format.
      This contribution concentrates on open-access crystallographic databases for educational purposes [4]. Its aim is to share with fellow college educators how these databases may enrich materials science and engineering education. For example, utilizing two freely downloadable programs by Werner Kaminsky [5,6], we converted recently crystallographic information from CIF [7] to the standard STL format for 3D printing. Printed 3D models of the hexagonal and cubic densest packings as well as of the three cubic Bravais lattices have been obtained from Xerox with the help of Trevor Snyder and will be used by Peter Moeck in a 300 level “Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology course” [8]. Since CIFs are readily available over the Internet [1-4] for free, any interested college educator may follow us, print out her or his favorite crystallographic structure model in 3D, and use it in hands on class room demonstrations also. On such occasions, one might even like to talk about the UNESCO 2014 International Year of Crystallography [9] in class.
      [1], American mirror:
      [2] [3]
      Requestastructure/Pages/DataRequest.aspx?. [4] http://nanocrystallography.research.pdx.
      edu. [5] [6] [7] [8] NSF grant NEU: Nano-Science & Engineering: A STE Minor with General Education, EEC-1242197. [9]

      11:45 AM - FFF3.10

      MRS Materials Outreach for Rural Education: Hands-On Science to Excite Young Minds

      Toshia  Wrenn1, Gabriel  LeBlanc1, Sarah  Satterwhite1, Pat  Tellinghuisen1, Sandra  Rosenthal1.

      1,  , Vanderbilt University, LaVergne, Tennessee, USA.

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      The vision of the Materials Research Society (MRS) is to provide a “framework in which the materials discipline can convene, collaborate, integrate, and advocate.” The Vanderbilt/Fisk Universities' Chapter of the MRS recently initiated a program to utilize our interdisciplinary group of scientists to bring hands-on science lessons to rural middle schools in the state of Tennessee and help integrate these students and teachers into the growing field of materials science. These schools are rarely, if ever, exposed to hands-on science lessons, much less the field of materials science. By using MRS student volunteers, we have been able to bring scientists from a variety of levels and fields to two rural middle schools to teach interactive lessons that adhere to the standards within the state. The volunteers have taught the middle school students directly and provided instruction to middle school science teachers on new hands-on lessons. To achieve our goal of bringing these lessons to isolated and currently inaccessible schools, we have collaborated with other organizations at Vanderbilt with experience bringing hands-on science to the schools around Vanderbilt which include Vanderbilt Students Volunteering for Science and Vanderbilt's NASA Aerospace team. These efforts have lead to the exposure of over 1000 rural Tennessee students to material scientists and their field.

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