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Funds for summer research awarded to five undergraduates

April 3, 2013

Five undergraduates have been awarded research funds from the Peter B. Lewis Fund for Student Innovation in Energy and the Environment. This competitive funding supports undergraduate research on energy- and environment-related projects, particularly field work and laboratory research. The recipients will spend eight weeks this summer working under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The students’ projects, described below, are aimed at providing solutions to energy- and environment-related challenges.

Seven students were awarded funding for research in the summer of 2012.



Denisa Buzatu ’15

(Faculty Advisor – Sigrid M. Adriaenssens, Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Title: Optimization of adaptive shading modules aimed at reducing the energy consumption of the Friend Center for Engineering

Abstract: The aim of my research project is to minimize the energy consumption of the Friend Center for Engineering by analyzing the impact of installing adaptive shading modules on its south facing façade.



Marcus Lee ’15

(Faculty Advisor – Marcus N. Hultmark, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

Title:  Proposal for slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces

Abstract: This research plans to measure the reduction of viscous friction in turbulent flows through the use of slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces. With an intermediary layer of lubricating film physically bounded to the microstructured substrate, there is potential for substantial reduction in energy usage in almost every large scale engineering application.



Collen Leng ’14

(Faculty Advisor – Craig B. Arnold, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

Title: Characterizing the mechanical behaviors of lithium-ion batteries

Abstract: Performance of lithium-ion batteries can be significantly impacted by the mechanical states of the battery components. This project will thoroughly characterize the effects of mechanical behaviors of the battery components on the performance and efficiency of the battery. Battery degradation due to mechanical stress and aging will also be studied.



Paul Ohno ’14

(Faculty Advisor – Steven L. Bernasek, Chemistry)

Title: XPS analysis of surface interactions between lithiated graphite and the residual gases present in nuclear fusion reactors

Abstract: The materials used to contain and protect the plasma in nuclear fusion reactors must retain a high fraction of incident ions. This study seeks to elucidate the mechanism behind the strong deuterium-ion retention of lithiated graphite, a candidate material, through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.



Davy Perlman ’16

(Faculty Advisor – Andrew B. Bocarsly, Chemistry)

Title: An investigation of the pyridinium ion’s catalytic role in carbon dioxide reduction

Abstract: While previous research has shown that the reduction of carbon dioxide into methanol is possible, its exact mechanism remains unknown. The focus of this research is to determine how the catalyst for the reduction, the pyridinium ion, and the electrode, gallium phospide, interact to reduce carbon dioxide.


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