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Bernadette Cladek

Bernadette Cladek is a fourth-year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Claudia Rawn in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). She is jointly supported by the Center for Materials Processing and a University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Fellowship.  To complement her Ph.D., Ms. Cladek is working towards an Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science. Prior to entering UTK, she received a B.F.A. in Crafts from the University of the Arts in 2011 and a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2015.  During Ms. Cladek’s time at Alfred University, she participated in undergraduate research projects involving atomistic computer simulation, ceramic powder processing and characterization, and X-ray diffraction and scattering.  While at Alfred University, she also participated in a co-op at Kohler Co.  Ms. Cladek’s research interests include crystallography and diffraction (both X-ray and neutron) techniques, and her graduate research is focused on using in situ neutron diffraction to investigate the decomposition of mixed-gas hydrates. Natural hydrates are a potential source for methane and CO2sequestration, and Ms. Cladek is interested in the effects of mixing gases, such as carbon dioxide with methane, on the temperature and pressure conditions of decomposition. Ms. Cladek assembled a hydrate-synthesis lab, which is included in the new Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM) ceramics processing laboratory.  She performed structural studies with in situ total neutron scattering and dynamic studies with inelastic neutron scattering experiments on synthesized CH4, CO2,and mixed CH4-CO2hydrates at the Spallation Neutron Source. She also uses complimentary classical molecular dynamics simulations and density functional theory of these systems to complement neutron data analysis.  These structural and thermodynamic studies will provide a more comprehensive understanding of CO2-CH4solid solutions, exchange kinetics, and implications on hydrate structure to better inform the production of CH4-CO2exchange. During this past year, Ms. Cladek has presented posters on her research at the Gordon Research Conference on Natural Gas Hydrates in Galveston, TX, and locally at the Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM (ORCASM) Student Night.  She has given oral presentations at the 2017 Joint Nanoscience and Neutron Scattering User Meeting and at the American Geophysical Union 2017 Fall Meeting in New Orleans, LA.