Student Night 2019, an annual event celebrating student research, was held on October 24. The event was co-sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) Center for Materials Processing (CMP), and the Southeast section of the American Association for Crystal Growth (AACG-SE). Posters were contributed by six undergraduate students and 32 graduate students from a variety of academic units including Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE), and Nuclear Engineering (NE). Eight judges from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT spoke with the students at their posters to learn about the details and select first, second, and third place recognitions in both the graduate and undergraduate categories. The AACG-SE had an additional two judges for evaluating a subset of seven posters. In these posters the student either grew or synthesized a crystal or crystalline compound and the research included at least one aspect of studying the synthesis conditions, melt properties, crystallization kinetics, structural characterization, or modeling of crystal growth processes.
Both experimental and computational studies were presented on materials including syntactic foams, high entropy alloys, metals, ceramics, perovskite solar cells materials, and materials found in nature such as gas hydrates and lignin. Some research focused on processing techniques including deformation-induced phase-transformations, additive manufacturing techniques, and pin-less friction stir spot welding while other research focused on characterization techniques including in-situ STEM, atom probe tomography, neutron diffraction, small angle neutron scattering (SANS), Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, optical and electron microscopy, and mechanical properties. Potential applications for materials studied include lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, aerospace and automotive industries, and radiation detectors for medical and national security imaging.
In the undergraduate category, MSE students swept the awards with Logan White (junior) being recognized as the third-place winner, Samantha Maness (junior) as the second-place winner, and Sara Wonner (senior) as the first-place winner. In the graduate category, Yajie Zhao as the third-place winner, Lauren Nuckols as the second-place winner, and Mohmad Mohsin Thakur (CEE) was recognized as the first-place winner. Students recognized by the AACG-SE were Brianna Musico (third place), Xuesong Fan (second place), and Daniel Rutstrom (first place). The Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM recognizes the winners with cash prizes and the CMP matches their awards with travel support to take their research to external professional society meetings.