By Allison McLellan
Every year, graduate students gather in the Student Union Ballroom to present their research for the School of Engineering Graduate Poster Competition. MSE graduate student Keith Dusoe recently secured the spot of third place with his poster entitled “Strong, ductile and thermally stable Cu-based metal-intermetallic nanocomposites.”
A second year Ph.D. student, Keith enjoyed the experience of not only sharing his work, but also being able to speak with graduate students from other engineering departments about their own scientific endeavors. He says, “It was a fantastic honor to have this work showcased alongside the impressive research results from other students in the School of Engineering. It is always a wonderful feeling to have hard work and efforts appreciated, and the award has provided this feeling for both my research group and me.”
Keith’s poster displayed work he has taken part in as a member of Dr. Seok-Woo Lee’s research group. One of the group’s research interests is alloy development, with a focus on the fabrication of nanostructured materials that exhibit exemplary mechanical behavior. The alloys described were designed and fabricated in their lab that exhibited particularly excellent mechanical performance.
In order to gain such recognition, students’ posters must have some element that makes them stand out in the crowd. Keith attributes his poster’s uniqueness to the material his group utilized; “Any increase in the strength of a metal usually comes at the expense of ductility, and vice-versa. The presence of both high strength and ductility in our material is what makes it so special. It also exhibits stability at high temperatures, which is not typically observed in metallic systems because they usually undergo microstructural changes.”
The ability to manufacture such materials with high strengths, ductility, and stability at elevated temperatures can lead to the construction of safer structures and protective equipment. Keith hopes that the future of this research will be followed with more MSE undergraduate involvement as the projects expand. Then, the group may continue investigating the atypical strength-ductility trend observed in their material and develop methods to predict what other metallic systems will show similar mechanical behavior.