Mechanical Engineering 

Faculty Mentor: Ranganathan Gopalakrishnan

Faculty Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Telephone Number and/or E-mail: (901) 678-2580, rgplkrsh@memphis.edu

Project Description: Complex dusty plasmas are multi-species systems that consist of electrons, ions, neutral species, and charged micro/nanometer-sized grains interacting with each other predominantly through electrical forces. When the number of electric charges on each dust grain reaches ~102-104 electron charges, the electrostatic potential energy of the grains is either comparable or much higher than their kinetic energy. In this case the dust grains become strongly coupled due to strong electrostatic forces between them. Standard kinetic theories, used to describe dilute gases or weakly coupled dusty plasmas, are no longer valid to describe strongly coupled dusty plasmas because they ignore the interaction potential energy of the constituent grains. This theoretical investigation will quantify the effect of grain-grain, grain-plasma and grain-neutral gas interactions on the thermodynamic and transport properties of the grain phase. The central hypothesis to this effort is that the grain positions and velocity time series measured in dusty plasma experiments contain the information needed to calculate the evolution of the grain position and velocity distribution functions over time, without tedious numerical methods. Using methods of statistical mechanics, grain trajectories from a combination of experiments and computer simulations will be used to construct accurate equilibrium (thermodynamic equations of state) and non-equilibrium (transport coefficients) models of strongly coupled dusty plasmas. The basic aspects of correlated grain motion of relevance to strongly coupled plasmas and dense granular systems will be quantified as thermodynamic and transport models to fortify the prediction capabilities of hydrodynamic/fluid simulation approaches in order to accurately describe dust grain dynamics: (1) near the walls of thermonuclear fusion reactors where material ablation leads to the formation of highly charged nano or microparticles, (2) in planet and asteroid formation processes via accretion of charged grains and particles, and (3) of intentional or unintentional gas-to-particle conversion in plasma-based nanomaterial synthetic routes processes or plasma-based semiconductor manufacturing.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Interest in fluid-thermal science is desirable. Familiarity with MATLAB. programming experience in C++ or Fortran would be desirable.

Application or Interview Process: Unofficial Transcript, Interview

Starting Date: 9/8/20

Hours per week: 10

Faculty Mentor: Amir Hadadzadeh

Faculty Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Telephone Number and/or E-mail: (901) 678-2268, hddzadeh@memphis.edu

Project Description: In the current project, additive manufacturing (AM) of titanium alloys through selective laser melting (SLM) process is investigated. Different types of powders will be used to fabricate cylindrical samples in the SLM machine. The samples will be then characterized through tensile tests to evaluate the mechanical properties (yield strength, tensile strength, and elongation). The purpose of this study is to correlate the mechanical properties to the grade of the powder.

Requirements for Student Applicants: 

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Courses: Engineering Materials
Skills: Hands-on Experience

Application or Interview Process: Resume, Unofficial Transcript, Interview

Starting Date: 10/1/2020

Hours per week: 15