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Highlighted Research

Umich go blue


Fourth-year PhD student Kiersten Batzli, working on the characteristics of protein aggregation and how to make proteins behave in useful ways, notes that the interdisciplinary nature of MSE makes it possible for students to work on many very different projects. “Physics, biology, chemistry and all sorts of engineering disciplines come into the mix,” she says. “A lot of the work is very cutting-edge and it’s fun to chat with friends about what they’re working on.”

First year graduate student and Rackham Merit Fellow Andre Thompson is working on a project characterizing structural changes that arise in the polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide (PEO-PPO-PEO) amphiphilic triblock copolymers (commercially known as Pluronics) as a function of temperature through differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). He also is measuring how adding small amounts of methyl paraben perturb the structure and the driving force for micelle formation in aqueous PEO-PPO-PEO solutions with different block lengths.

During his time as a graduate student in MSE, alumnus Kevin Grossklaus worked on projects centered on semiconductor nanomaterials, including using focused ion beams to create unique semiconductor nanostructures and characterized them using a variety of techniques. “I was able to carry out complex and cutting edge research without having to leave campus, because of the extensive experimental facilities and equipment available and the large number of faculty with varied expertise,” he notes.

Susan Gentry’s MSE research project was in the emerging field of 3D printing, with her research guiding ongoing work at several companies. “The opportunity to closely collaborate with industry provided invaluable professional experience,” says Gentry, who earned her PhD last summer and is now doing postdoctoral research.

Jinsang in lab


Some recent student publications in high-impact journals: