MACROMOLECULES JOURNAL SELECTS JAYARAMAN GROUP ARTICLE

Modeling and Simulations of Polymers: A Roadmap

Macromolecules Journal selected a recent paper by the Jayaraman Research Group article for Volume 52, Issue 3, Pages 755-1348 issued on February 12, 2019, authored by:

Thomas Gartner III
Arthi Jayaraman

Front Cover: This illustrates the key steps in performing a polymer simulation including choosing the right model, designing an appropriate simulation protocol, and analyzing the data to produce meaningful results. Publication Date (Web): January 22, 2019 (Perspective), DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.8b01836. Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society. ACS Editors’ Choice – This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.

FASTER-CHARGING, SAFER BATTERIES

At UD, Prof. Thomas H. Epps, III and his team have patented an idea to improve lithium battery performance.

UD invention aims to improve battery performance

Imagine a world where cell phones and laptops can be charged in a matter of minutes instead of hours, rolled up and stored in your pocket, or dropped without sustaining any damage. It is possible, according to University of Delaware Professor Thomas H. Epps, III, but the materials are not there yet. So, what is holding back the technology? For starters, it would take more conductive, flexible and lighter-weight batteries, said Epps, who is the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UD. The batteries would need to be more impact-resistant and safer, too. In May, an e-cigarette exploded in Florida and killed a man. Evidence reportedly suggests that this unfortunate accident may be due to battery-related issues, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Similar problems have plagued devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and auxiliary power units of the Boeing Dreamliner. “All of these challenges came from batteries that have safety and stability issues when the goal is to push performance,” said Epps, an expert in designing and fabricating conducting membranes useful in energy generation and storage devices. One way to overcome this challenge in the lithium-ion batteries for the above devices is to improve the battery membranes — and the associated electrolytes — that are designed to shuttle the lithium ions, which offset the electrical charge associated with charging and discharging the battery.

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HIGH-LEVEL RESEARCHER ON TEACHING INTRODUCTORY CLASSES

Arthi Jayaraman, a UD associate professor, points toward the board while discussing the material with students in her Introduction to Chemical Engineering class

UD Engineering’s Arthi Jayaraman explains her approach

Arthi Jayaraman wears many hats. She is a tenured associate professor at the University of Delaware. She teaches one class each semester and serves as the graduate program director for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In this role, she works closely with coordinator Kathleen Young to help students navigate through the graduate process. On top of that, she does her own research, regularly travels to present at conferences and personally advises about nine students of varying degree levels. And she has a puppy named Barnaby that she adores. For her research, Jayaraman’s team designs polymers to advance or discover various materials. This means she makes simulation models on the computer to test and design the properties of potential new products. Car tires, bumpers and creating genes to fix damaged DNA are examples of projects she may work on developing. Once a model is ready, she shares her findings with experimental collaborators who develop the physical product. While Jayaraman does high-level research, she also teaches students the basics. She was the co-teacher of Introduction to Chemical Engineering with Joshua Enszer during the spring semester.

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THOMAS EPPS ELECTED AS FELLOW INTO RSC

Thomas H. Epps, III elected as a Fellow into the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Thomas H Epps, III, the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Senior Career Development Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Delaware and Director for the Center for Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics (CMET), has been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), a UK-based professional society with worldwide membership. The Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) designation is given to elected fellows who have made significant contributions to the chemical sciences. “It is a great honor to be appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,” says Epps. “Several of my colleagues at UD are Fellows of the RSC, along with other people who I admire in the polymers community in the United States and abroad. It is a great privilege to become a part of this esteemed group in chemistry. I am extremely grateful to all of my students, postdocs, and collaborators who have contributed to my activities.”

To learn more about Epps’s research, click here. For more information about the RSC, visit their official site.

REEBOK LAUNCHES SHAPE-SHIFTING, SPACE INSPIRED BRA

Reebok’s new tech-infused sports bra reacts to movement (photo credit by Reebok).

Sportswear giant Reebok has launched a new premium sports bra which integrates Shear Thickening Fluid, a gel-like solution developed by engineers at the University of Delaware that solidifies when in motion to offer enhanced support. Read T.Evo article… Reebok’s PureMove bra weaves in the viscous fluid that is said to have no effect on the look or feel of the fabric. The technologically-enhanced fabric adapts to body shape and movement to offer necessary support depending on the intensity of an activity. The creation of the bra was spearheaded by Danielle Witek, a Reebok designer, who stumbled upon the technology while thumbing through a science journal (something she does for fun). In 2005, chemical engineers at the University of Delaware had invented a new substance called Shear Thickening Fluid, a gel-like solution that takes liquid form when in a still or slow-moving state, and stiffens into a solid when moving at high velocities. It was originally designed to be a modern form of armor technology, since you can incorporate it into a protective garment to defend the wearer from items flying at their body at a high speed–it’s since been used in everything from Kelvar bulletproof vests to NASA spacesuits that protect astronauts from shrapnel. As Witek read about this amazing fluid, she had her “aha” moment. What if she could incorporate it into a sports bra to provide control and compression when the wearer is in motion, but lighter support when the wearer is still? She reached out to the scientists, beginning the three-year journey that led to Reebok’s PureMove bra…Since this technology is so new, Reebok had to do a lot of testing to make sure the bra would actually do what it advertised. The company set up a breast biomechanics testing center with the help of the University of Delaware, with 54 separate motion sensors tracking and measuring various parts of a tester’s chest area. This is a far more rigorous approach than most testing facilities in the industry that typically only use between two to four sensors. Over the course of a year, the facility gathered the data required for the scientists and Reebok product designers to develop the PureMove bra. Read Prosyscom Tech News article…

Read American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) First Bell article and Delaware Business Now article