Recently, two teams of researchers, including MIT personnel, have published new work on composite materials. One group is working on fiber-drawing techniques that produce the optical fibers behind much of today’s broadband communications. In the past, these techniques have been limited to materials that can partially melt and stretch like taffy at the temperatures being used for drawing the fibers; now, new work from Dr. Nicholas Orf and others in Prof.
Prof. Ned Thomas and colleagues have succeeded in creating a synthetic crystal that can very effectively control the transmission of heat — stopping it in its tracks and reflecting it back. This advance could lead to insulating materials that could block the escape of heat more effectively than any present insulator. Learn more from the MIT News Office.
BP is supporting a new program on materials and corrosion research, as it applies to oilfield applications. The initial investment from BP has been $2 million, with the company intending to match this for up to a further four years. The MIT team includes Profs. Ron Ballinger, Michael Demkowicz, Chris Schuh, Ned Thomas, Bilge Yildiz, and Sid Yip.
Learn more from the MIT News Office.
In October 2009, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) announced its fourth round of seed grants supporting innovative, early-stage research projects across the Institute. Total funding of $1.7 million was awarded to 12 projects, each lasting between one and two years.
Recipients from DMSE included Yoel Fink, Silvija Gradecak, Jeffrey Grossman, Yang Shao-Horn, Ned Thomas, Carl Thompson, and Harry Tuller.
An overview of the projects is available at the MITEI site.
On Oct. 20, Prof. Ned Thomas presented the Lawrence H. Van Vlack Lecture at the University of Michigan. The Van Vlack Lectureship series was established in honor of Lawrence H. Van Vlack, whose seminal introductory textbooks defined the field of materials science and engineering. It is awarded annually to a materials scientist or engineer of distinguished accomplishment. Previous lecturers with a tie to MIT include Prof. Millie Dresselhaus, Prof. Ali Argon, and Dr. John Cahn.
An article in the Jan. 28 Chicago Tribune reported on new surgery possibilities for patients with brain tumors. The BeamPath, based on technology developed at MIT, now allows greater speed and precision for surgeons. Prof. Yoel Fink's and Prof.