By Amanda Olavarria
Ph.D. student, Gyuho Song’s path in materials science and engineering was paved at an early age. His passion for materials science started at age 10 while watching a Japanese anime called, ‘Let’s go brothers’. This show featured a car made out of a fictional material that was so hard and light that no car could beat it in a race. From then on, Gyuho’s interest in the world of materials science continued to grow, leading him to eventually pursue his Ph.D. in MSE.
Gyuho’s interest in mechanical properties of materials eventually led to his research on the dislocation behavior in metals in Assistant Professor Dr. Seok-Wook Lee’s lab. Dislocation is a plasticity carrier, meaning, when a material is deformed, its atoms will move to that deformed position rather than remain in the same spot. According to Gyuho, dislocation is fundamental to MSE because it governs a lot of materials mechanical properties.
Gyuho says, “You cannot use a material unless it is mechanically strong enough to be used no matter how good of a performance it has.” His research consists of the strength of materials when their size becomes smaller. He specifically seeks to answer why and how the strength of materials changes when the size of the material decreases.
His research is not limited to the lab alone; it can be applied to the real world as well. Gyuho explained that if you know how dislocation will move in a certain material, you know how that material can best be used. He states, “you will know how much load the material can sustain before it breaks, which means you can design it to be safe.”
His work was recognized at the TMS (the minerals, metals, and Materials Society) 2017 meeting in which his poster was awarded silver. Gyuho’s poster was entitled “Synthesis of Bulk Sing crystalline Quasicrystal Approximent YCd6 and its Small-scale Mechanical Properties”
While completing his undergraduate studies in MSE at SungKyunKwan University (SKKU), his advisor introduced him to UConn. After reading a newspaper featuring Professor Huey and learning more about UConn, Gyuho was convinced to apply.
Since joining UConn, Gyuho has found the MSE environment and faculty mentorship to be extremely helpful to his success. Gyuho came to UConn as a master’s degree student with low funds and in need of a job. After several attempts to find a job or scholarship to support him, Gyuho was offered an RA position, which allowed him to continue his research.
Gyuho was thankful to have been offered the opportunity and to be able to continue his research. He is especially grateful to MSE, for having such a good system. He praised the MSE department for their great working and studying environment.
As for career goals, Gyuho is still exploring the field and various career paths. Luckily, UConn MSE offers a wide range of flexibility, so for now he is enjoying the research he is doing and appreciates his advisor for allowing him to do it.
Assistant Professor Dr. Seok-Wook praises Gyuho for his research and has nothing, but positive things to say about his research assistant. He says, “Gyuho is a Ph.D. student who is not afraid of trying something new. He is working hard on molecular dynamics simulations, which my research group has never tried before. Currently, he is also a great leader as a student president of UConn Materials Research Society. He is making a great contribution to both my research group and MSE student society!”