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Polymer Composites Group (Kessler Research Team) 2012

Polymer Composites Research Group members featured in MRS TV

A new video highlighting the Materials Science and Engineering program at Iowa State University is being displayed at the 2012 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting and Exhibit in Boston, MA.  The MRS TV program features interviews by PolyComp graduate student Eliseo De Leon, Professor Kessler, and shows footage of postdoctoral associate Mahendra Thunga, graduate student Danny Vennerberg, and undergraduate assistant Ryan Hall making low cost carbon fiber from lignin.

Antibacterial biobased coatings research featured

Our research on biobased coatings with antibacterial properties was recently published in ChemSusChem and featured in CCUR’s September-October newsletter.

Ying Xia, postdoctoral research associate in materials science and engineering (right), shows Zongyu Zhang, graduate student in food science and human nutrition, a cationic polymer liquid dispersion used in casting soybean oil-based antibacterial coatings.


Carbon fiber research highlighted in CM Magazine

Fibers produced from melt spinning of lignin/PLA blends

Our research on developing low-cost carbon fibers from lignin was featured in the September-October issue of Composites Manufacturing magazine as one of “six projects conducted on three continents that could one day affect billions of people.”  Read more on page 16 of the article “Game-Changing Research“.  Our research on this topic was also featured in the Center for Crops Utilization Research Newsletter article titled “Research Team is Developing Biobased Carbon Fibers for Wind Turbine Blades.”  Congratulations to Mahendra Thunga, Keke Chen, and the rest of the team on this publicity.

Professor Kessler receives NASA Iowa Space Grant award

Professor Kessler was presented with the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) Research Recognition Award at the ISGC’s annual meeting in July 2012.  You can read more about this award and the related Iowa NASA EPSCoR project in the August 2012 issue of the ISGC newsletter.

Sharron Quisenberry, vice president for research and economic development at Iowa State University and ISU presidential representative, presents the Iowa Space Grant Consortium Research Recognition Award to Michael Kessler at the Consortium’s annual meeting in Marshalltown.

Welcome to our 2012 summer interns and scholars!

This summer, several student interns and scholars will be joining our research group through various campus research programs:

Riley Hanus – Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program, Iowa State University.

Ted Angus – Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy (WESEP) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Iowa State University.

Tim Jobes, Research Experiences for High School Teachers (RET) at CBiRC, Des Moines Lincoln High School.

Joshua Mangler, Research Experiences for High School Teachers (RET) at CBiRC, Dallas Center-Grimes, Science Department.

Professor Kessler with Hua Shu, Alexzondra Hurns, and Shea Brown at their final presentation/demonstration. Additional information about their project is available on the REU website.

Alexzondra Hurns, Summer Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education and Emerging Interface Technologies (SPIRE-EIT), Mississippi Valley State University.

Hua Shu, Summer Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education and Emerging Interface Technologies (SPIRE-EIT), University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Shea Brown, Summer Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education and Emerging Interface Technologies (SPIRE-EIT), Bowie State University.

Congratulations to poster contest winners

The Polymer Composites Research Group was well represented at the MSE Department’s Annual Poster Contest, sponsored by the Industrial Advisory Board on April 27, 2012.  Congratulations to Amy Bauer and Danny Vennerberg for winning 1st place and 3rd place in the graduate division and to Riley Hanus and Mitch Rock for winning 1st place and 2nd place in the undergraduate division.

Amy Bauer’s poster titled  “Repair of BMI-cf composite panels with bisphenol E cyanate ester” won first prize in the graduate division.  Danny Vennerberg’s poster titled “Microwave Metallurgy: A New Approach for Fabricating Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Metal Matrix” won third prize in the graduate division. 
Riley Hanus’s poster titled “Effects of Xenon radiation exposure on bio-renewable polymer” won first prize in the undergraduate division. Mitch Rock’s poster titled “Dielectric and Mechanical Characterization of Polyimide-Barium Titanate Nanocomposite Films” won second prize in the undergraduate division.

Biopolymers Research Team exhibits at International Plastics Expo

The Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team’s (BBRT) exhibit at the NPE 2012 International Plastics Exposition in Orlando, Florida from April 2-5. BBRT members met with show attendees and representatives from plastics companies interested in biobased products developed at Iowa State, including plastics, composites, and coatings.  More info in the March/April 2012 CCUR Newsletter.

Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team members (from left) Keke Chen, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, Sara Underwood, and David Grewell talk with show attendees.

Biopolymers & Biocomposites Workshop hosted at Iowa State

The Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team (BBRT) will be hosting the Biopolymers & Biocomposites Workshop at the Memorial Union at Iowa State University on August 14, 2012.  Several members of the Polymer Composites Research Group will be giving oral and poster presentations about our work in the field of bio-renewable polymers.  In addition, conference attendees will be touring our Polymer Characterization Lab and touring the Technology Transfer Pilot Plant. Click on Agenda for more information about the workshop speakers and activities. The Biopolymers and Biocomposites Workshop is part of a three day Plastics Workshop Series at Iowa State, including the 2012 Bioplastic Container Cropping Systems Conference on August 15 — featuring Samy Madbouly from our group talking about his work on a USDA sponsored project to develop biorenewable plant containers — and a Plastics Manufacturing Technical Resources Workshop on August 13 sponsored by the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS).