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In early June, more than 60 undergraduate students arrived at the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials, ready to spend the summer gaining valuable hands-on research experience.
Two months later, on August 10, they came together in the Center’s lobby and presentation room, dressed professionally and standing next to posters detailing the goals, methods, and results of their work. At the end of the day, five winners of top poster awards left with $100 checks and were on their way to present their work at the University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium the next day.
“You all did a phenomenal job,” said Center Director Jack Gillespie. “You were here for just over two months, but as you move along in your careers, I think you’ll realize just how much you accomplished during your short time at CCM.”
Winners of the best poster awards were as follows:
• Kevin Ayotte (not pictured)—Penetration Mechanics of UHM WPE Soft Laminates
• Matthew Grusenmeyer—Physical Validation of Bonded Metal Attachment Points and Development of FEA Method for CAE Attachment Analysis
• Sarah Friedrich—Processing and Electrical Characterization of Nano-Composites for Damage Detection of Composite Joints
• Zach Melrose—Processing and Characterization of Nanotube-Reinforced Adhesives for In-Situ Damage Sensing Applications
• Maxime Dempah—Sized Nanocomposites: Processing and Characterization
Symposium attendees included two high school students, Alexander Johnson and Michael Holt, who participated in the Engineering Cool Stuff camps sponsored by UD’s Engineering Outreach Program earlier this summer. CCM-affiliated members of SAMPE provided tours and lessons about composites to participants in the Cool Stuff camp as well as those in the Delaware Aerospace Academy. Both groups competed in the Space Beam Challenge, which involves building beams that are lightweight yet strong.
“The exciting thing is that on the final day of the camp, they have a minisymposium, and many of their inventions included composites, even though the camp covered a broad range of topics,” said Jacob, who coordinated the effort.
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