Nanoparticle-Stabilized Emulsions and Foams


Shing-Yun Chang, Sahil R. Vora, Charles D. Young, Abhishek Shetty & Anson W. K. Ma. Viscoelasticity of a carbon nanotube-laden air–water interface. Eur. Phys. J. E 47, 18 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1140/epje/s10189-024-00411-0

Bottled liquid soap being produced in factory.

Emulsions and foams are ubiquitously found in pharmaceutical, agricultural, personal care, and food products. Although it has been known for more than a century that small, nanoscale particles may be added to stabilize these products and increase their shelf-life, accurately capturing the behavior of these particles remains extremely challenging. In this article, UConn researchers critically compare two state-of-the-art experimental methods for studying particles at an interface, laying the foundation for predicting and improving the stability and performance of a wide range of commercial products.

Click here to read the full article.

Predicting Tool Wear in Precision Machining through Unsupervised Machine Learning


Debasish Mishra, Utsav Awasthi, Krishna R. Pattipati & George M. Bollas. Tool wear classification in precision machining using distance metrics and unsupervised machine learning. J Intell Manuf (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10845-023-02239-5

tooth gear wheel machining In this article, Debasish Mishra, PostDoc (UConn ‘23) and coauthors introduce a novel approach that applies unsupervised Machine Learning to predict tool wear in precision machining accurately. Tested across multiple machines, workpieces, toolings, and cutting settings, the research offers a promising new methodology for improving efficiency and reliability in machining operations by predicting tool replacement decisions.

This research was supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate [FA8650-20-C-5206].

A hole is milled on a CNC machining center

New England Security Day 2024

On March 15th, the Innovation Partnership Building hosted New England Security Day 2024 (NESD), featuring cutting-edge cybersecurity research by experts from academic and professional backgrounds. Participants included industry professionals and academic institutions such as Boston University, Brown, Harvard, UMass, MIT, Northeastern, WPI, and Yale. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in technology and network for potential collaboration and employment prospects. The conference welcomed a diverse audience of professionals, academics, and graduate and undergraduate students interested in cybersecurity, regardless of their familiarity with advanced concepts like fuzzers, machine learning methods for intrusion detection, or efficient post-quantum cryptography.

Visit the NESD 2024 web page for additional information and to view the NESD 2024 video, complete event program and additional photos.

Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center Expands Defense Research

image of jet and submarineThe Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) at UConn Tech Park has expanded its Department of Defense-related research efforts in recent months with new projects related to submarine and aerospace manufacturing.

The submarine industrial base hopes to meet the demand for quality submarine parts by focusing increasingly on additive manufacturing. A team of UConn materials science and engineering faculty along with colleagues from the University of Rhode Island recently started a four-year project funded by the National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology (NIUVT) to investigate properties of a steel commonly used in submarine production. The team will explore the material characteristics of parts made of this steel using additive manufacturing as compared to traditional manufacturing technologies such as castings and forgings.

The AMC supports the additive manufacturing aspects of the project that include powder characterization as well as chemical and thermal analysis besides the production of parts. In its newest NIUVT-funded project the AMC will exploit the layer-by-layer manufacturing approach of additive manufacturing to tailor the behavior of bronze materials at specific locations within a part. What is nearly impossible with castings can likely be accomplished with additive manufacturing, for example, to optimize sections of parts for high strength while other regions bear the brunt of energy absorption during service.

The NIUVT additive manufacturing projects and the AMC involvement echo parallel efforts by the Navy to develop an industrial base for additive manufacturing of submarine parts. To this end, the Navy set up an additive manufacturing Center of Excellence in 2022 and in the same context invited researchers from seven US universities to form an academic consortium.

The AMC is part of the consortium and will soon embark on its first project and address the important aspect of metal powder characteristics. Key additive manufacturing technologies use metal powder, and a detailed knowledge of the powder characteristics and flow behavior is needed to advance additive manufacturing to a production level.

Similarly, the Air Force pursues additive manufacturing for some of their current and future systems, particularly in high-temperature applications. Recently, the AMC started a new four-year project sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on refractory metals for additive manufacturing of high-temperature components. Refractory metals such as niobium have melting points well over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit but have been difficult to produce with conventional manufacturing technologies. The AMC will investigate process conditions during additive manufacturing and their effects on the details of the niobium metals that matter for their use in high-temperature applications.

With the NIUVT, Navy, and Air Force research activities, the AMC supports some of the most critical applications for the nation and in the process prepares students with expertise in state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies.

C2E2 Graduate Student Research Summit in Sustainability

grad studentsat IPB sustainability summit


grad students at IPB sustainability summitThe Center of Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) hosted its first C2E2 Graduate Student Research Summit in Sustainability on February 16th and 17th at IPB. Organized by graduate students Alanna Gado and Leila Chebbo, the event featured 30 student presentations covering diverse research topics such as cultivated beef, air filter effectiveness, desalination, desulfurization, space exploration, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and membrane applications.

The summit offered a venue for doctoral candidates to share their ongoing research and engage in discussions about sustainability challenges. Participants had the opportunity to refine their presentation skills and receive feedback from both peers and faculty members. Networking sessions facilitated connections among students and others within the C2E2 community.

grad students at IPB sustainability summit


Presentations were evaluated by the audience, with awards given in three categories. Leila Chebbo took first place, followed by Christabel Adjah-Tetteh in second, and Alanna Gado, Hasnain Nisar, Yasmin Bimbatti, and Ben Cohen sharing third place. Additionally, honorable mentions were awarded to Elena Ford, Christopher Hawxhurst, and Hasan Nikkah.

The summit demonstrated the students’ commitment to advancing clean energy technologies and tackling sustainability challenges, and underscores C2E2’s commitment to fostering the development of future researchers and innovators in the field.


Student Advisors

    Christabel Adjah-Tetteh Professor Xiao-Dong Zhou, Director of C2E2
    Chemical Engineering
    Yasmin Bimbatti Professor Jeffrey McCutcheon
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Leila Chebbo Associate Professor Ali Bazzi
    Electrical Computing and Engineering
    Ben Cohen Professor George Bollas &
    Assistant Professor Burcu Beykal
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Elena Ford Assistant Research Professor Naba Karan
    Alanna Gado Radenka Maric
    President | University of Connecticut
    Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
    Christopher Hawxhurst Professor Lesli Shor
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Hasan Nikkah Associate Professor Burcu Beykal
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Hasnain Nisar Assistant Professor Ali Bazzi
    Electrical Computing and Engineering


    Ripple Effect: Reverse Osmosis Technology – Implications for Reshaping the Clean Water Landscape

    Amidst the global freshwater crisis, desalination emerges as crucial for meeting the escalating demand for potable and industrial water. Particularly in water-scarce regions, reliance on desalinated water for drinking, cooking and washing continues to grow.

    However, reverse osmosis (RO) technologies that are widely employed by the desalination industry are costly and energy-intensive due to inherent characteristics of the RO membranes currently used in the desalination process. To address these challenges, research efforts are currently underway to develop advanced, more durable RO membranes capable of improving energy-efficiency and reducing cost while withstanding the rigors of the desalination process.

    Grad student loading sample into x-ray tomography machine at IPBIn the recent publication “Characterization of Reverse Osmosis Membranes Under Compaction Utilizing 3D X-ray and 3D FIB Correlative Microscopy”, UConn PhD Graduate Assistant Yara Suleiman and coauthors expand upon their prior research that introduced a novel process for evaluating the performance of RO membranes in water treatment facilities. The innovative approach, utilizing state-of-the-art 3D X-ray and 3D FIB correlative microscopy, offers promising prospects for shaping advancement in membrane technologies that can drive more efficient, less costly desalination, with broader implications for sustainable solutions to the global freshwater crisis.

    Suleiman is a PhD Graduate Assistant at the Reverse Engineering, Fabrication, Inspection and Non-Destructive Analysis (REFINE) lab at the IPB | UConn Tech Park. The article is coauthored with REFINE Center Director Sina Shahbazmohamadi and UCLA’s Professor Eric Hoek and postdoctoral research fellow Jishan Wu.

    Citation: Yara Suleiman, Jishan Wu, Eric M V Hoek, Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Characterization of Reverse Osmosis Membranes Under Compaction Utilizing 3D X-ray and 3D FIB Correlative Microscopy, Microscopy and Microanalysis, Volume 29, Issue Supplement_1, 1 August 2023, Pages 144-145, https://doi.org/10.1093/micmic/ozad067.065