John Salasin is beginning his third year as a graduate student in the department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), and he has been partially supported by the CMP since August 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree in Physics with a nano-manufacturing concentration from Shippensburg University. Mr. Salasin also completed a certification in nano-manufacturing and fabrication from the Penn State University in 2012.
Mr. Salasin became acquainted with the MSE department during the summer of 2013 while participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by the MSE department. The REU site was directed towards projects fitting within the areas related to the synthesis and characterization of advanced functional materials, and Mr. Salasin’s research focused on synthesizing layered double hydroxides for magnetic applications. The next summer, Mr. Salasin participated in the Higher Education Research Experience (HERE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) learning how to collect and analyze low temperature single crystal neutron and x-ray data for determining structural details of thermoelectric materials derived from natural analogs. Data were collected on instruments at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).
Mr. Salasin’s broad research interests include energy materials focusing on synthesis of novel thermoelectrics, battery materials, and anion-exchange media. He has actively served as a mentor for some of the Research and Instructional Strategies in Engineering Retention (RISER) program’s Undergraduate Research Assistants (URAs). He mentored one student in the synthesis laboratory and two RISER URAs during the summer of 2015, helping them navigate synthesis-focused research projects from the first step of safety training to the final step of presenting their research as posters. Together with the RISER URAs, Mr. Salasin is exploring synthesizing doped calcium aluminate nanocages via sol-gel and hydrothermal processes in an attempt to increase electrical conductivity through induced cage disorder.
In addition to his research, Mr. Salasin is currently building a high pressure/temperature synthesis laboratory that will be implemented into the new Joint Institute for Advance Materials (JIAM). His research also demands that he use high density samples for physical property measurements, so he is activly using a uniaxial high pressure/high temperature press for consolidation of samples. Another source of funding for Mr. Salasin’s receipt of a 2014-2015 College of Engineering’s ESPN Fellowship provided another source of funding. In the fall of 2015, he also served as one of the teaching assistants for the senior/graduate level course offered on characterizing materials using X-ray powder diffraction.