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Brianna Musico

Brianna Musicó is a third-year graduate student in the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Ms. Musicó received her B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee in August of 2016. Her previous undergraduate and graduate experience as a research assistant was in the Radiochemistry Center for Excellence, where she studied the fabrication of uranium-based semiconductors as part of an effort for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to design direct-conversion neutron detectors for counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) applications. Ms. Musicó specifically studied the uranium trioxidesystem and investigated the electrical and material properties as a function of processing condition. She was a recipient of an MSE Travel Support Award in spring 2017 that she utilized to present a poster on the fabrication and characterization of UO3pelletsat the 12th Pacific Rim Conference on Ceramic and Glass Technology in May of 2017.

Under the direction of Dr. Veerle Keppens, Ms. Musicó is currently focusing on the synthesis and characterization of high entropy oxides, a new class of ceramic materials. Multicomponent, high entropy systems have been investigated for their variety of physical properties achieved by forming new phases. This type of research has been performed on many metallic alloy systems (HEAs) but has only recently been expanded into ceramic systems by creating configurational disorder into a sublattice of mixed oxides to form a high entropy oxide (HEO). These classes of materials are of interest as they have potential for multi-functionality.  Ms. Musicó is focused predominately on spinel and perovskite HEO systems, synthesizing single phase materials, and investigating the structure and magnetic properties. She also uses resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) for elastic moduli determination.

Ms. Musicó was awarded 2ndplace poster at the Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM/Center for Materials Processing Student Night in the fall of 2017 for work onone-dimensional diffraction grating simulation of spinodal decomposition in a binary alloy. She was the recipient of the Graduate Student Service Award at the 2018 MSE Banquet. She applied for and was accepted to attend the highly competitive National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering from July 21-August 3, 2018, which was held at Argonne National Lab (ANL) and Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL).

Ms. Musicó has served as a graduate teaching assistant for many undergraduate classes, including the sophomore-level introductory course in Materials Science and the junior-level Principles of Materials Laboratory, which she will be a TA for again this academic year. Ms. Musicó mentored seven interdisciplinary undergraduate students who worked as research assistants, educating them on safe methods for material processing, handling, and characterization. As someone who enjoys outreach, organization involvement, and making others aware of what materials science has to offer, Ms. Musicó has served as a mentor for high school students during the annual summer Materials Camp and as a teaching assistant for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Governor’s School for the Sciences and Engineering, for which she teaches the ceramic processing laboratory. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and helped found the UTK Engineering Mentors Program. Ms. Musicó was the 2017-2018 Vice President for the UTK chapter of the Materials Research Society and is delighted to be serving as the 2018-2019 President.