You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.
DUE is home to IEL and the CRL which is administering the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) both in the academic year and the summer, which creates and supports multidisciplinary research teams consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, senior staff and faculty. The primary purpose of these teams is to provide undergraduates a unique opportunity to gain research skills by working with mentors on real world problems.

Overview of department:

The Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering offers high quality education and research opportunities to help prepare students for the professional world. The mission of the department is to provide with the best educational and research curriculum possible, giving the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of Mechanical and Energy Engineering. Herron School of Art and Design's mission is to provide professional education in the visual arts for degree-seeking students and offer opportunities for creative exploration for the broader community. Herron's programs add value to our culture and economy, enhance quality of life, and contribute to the development of society at all levels. We challenge our students to collaborate and engage with businesses, nonprofits, schools and museums across Indianapolis.

Project summary:

Science, Engineering & Technology: Two positions for undergraduate students are available for research assistants in the synthesis and characterization of two-dimensional nanomaterials, called MXenes. In this role, the research assistant will be expected to read relevant previous scientific literature, learn and run wet-chemistry processes to synthesize MXenes, operate high-temperature equipment such as tube furnaces, and use analysis techniques for data gathered from characterization tools such as x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the condition of MXenes after embedded in artistic ceramics. Research assistants are expected to gain hands-on experience in the scientific process and bring enthusiasm to the project to create a new field of artistic ceramics!

Art and Design: Two positions for undergraduate students are available for research assistants in the inclusion of advanced functional ceramic nanomaterials, known as MXenes, into the typical wet-processed clay used in studio art. The goal is to develop futuristic pottery and sculptures which are both aesthetically pleasing and technologically functional as wireless antennas, RFID devices, and/or sensors. The students will research existing clay and glaze formulations, considering the impact of adding MXenes and their specialized firing requirements. These students will research methodologies to include MXene clays, which behave similar to other wet-processable clays, directly into the wet-processing or the glazing process to form MXene-ceramic sculptures. These students will also be responsible for developing new pottery processes based on feedback from the characterization team to tune the technological functionality of MXene-ceramic sculptures.

Specific tasks that the MURI student will complete: 

Duties of the position typically include the following:
  1. Synthesis of various MXene clays and their relevant characterization. The team will work closely with research members in Anasori Lab to learn high-temperature synthesis of MXene precursor phases and wet-chemistry techniques of synthesis of MXenes from their precursor using an acidic approach. The team will be expected to be very attentive to the process and safety procedures during the synthesis process of the precursor and the MXene nanomaterial.
  2. Characterization of post-fabrication of MXenes into artistic ceramics. This process will focus closely on analysis of data gathered from methods such as x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy to understand the effects of pottery processing on the inherent structure and behavior of the formed MXene-ceramic sculptures. In this manner, the team will be expected to closely and effectively communicate with the Herron students working on their processing of the ceramic clay to develop modified methods to form pottery to alter the structure and condition of MXenes in the final sculpture.
  3. In the Herron ceramics area, the students will explore the inclusion of MXene nanomaterials into the wet-clay processing and fabrication of ceramic pottery and sculpture using traditional building and firing practices. The students will test various clay bodies and inclusion techniques for MXenes. Students will learn how to fabricate with MXene clay to form ceramic structures in general before forming the final ceramic structures. The students will also work on including MXene nanomaterials into ceramic glazes and overglazes. The team will be expected to be very attentive to the process and safety procedures while working with dry ceramic materials and MXene nanomaterial.
  4. Close communication with the characterization team working on the analysis of data gathered on the MXene-ceramic sculptures to alter the development process of MXene-ceramic pottery to add technological functionality to the final sculptures to create a new field of functional nano-pottery for a new generation of pottery.

Specific qualifications (knowledge, skills, class standing, etc) we desire the MURI candidate to have:

Science, Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of basic chemistry laboratory safety and skill in careful scientific analysis of complex data. An ideal student should also have a general interest in nanomaterials and nanoscience and scientific research to reach new breakthroughs!

Art and Design: The students should have a strong understanding of standard ceramic pottery fabrication techniques and have a drive to explore new pottery processes to form technologically functional ceramic pottery using advanced nanomaterials. The ideal student will have an interest in clay and glaze chemistry and formulation, as well as the willingness to experiment with exciting new methodologies for combining art and technology!

Learning objectives:
By the end of this position assignment, the student will meet the following learning objectives

Science, Engineering and Technology:
  1. Students will gain experience working with novel nanomaterials
  2. Students will work on the development of a new art & engineering field, nano-pottery
  3. Artistic designing of technologically functional pottery
  4. Fabricating smart electronics devices

Art and Design
  1. Students will gain experience testing clay bodies and glaze formulations
  2. Students will gain experience integrating novel nanomaterials into traditional studio ceramic clays and glazes
  3. Students will work on the development of a new art & engineering field, nano-pottery
  4. Students will design ceramic pottery and sculpture that integrates creative design and technological functionality