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Investigation of Polymer Systems and Their Composites for Advanced Functional Materials

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Monday, March 2, 2020 10:00am

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This is a past event.

Chemical Engineering Seminar

Dr. Evan K. Wujcik

Abstract: With recent developments in polymer science & engineering, advances are being made in polymer systems and their composites for applications in healthcare, robotics, defense, and entertainment—among many others. These systems are often attached to clothes or worn directly on the skin for monitoring physical signals, biochemical signals, environmental exposure, and motion. Due to the soft, compliant, and complex nature of skin and the natural bending and rotational motion associated with joints, the polymers should be soft and mechanically robust enough for the wearer to comfortably perform motions such as bending, stretching, and twisting. With regards to these wearable sensors, the need for sensitive and selective detection/monitoring of analytes and/or physical stimuli is essential in nearly every field. The Materials Engineering And Nanosensor [MEAN] Laboratory focuses on biomedical and environmental detection/monitoring, as they are of great importance to society and directly impact our daily lives. Prof. Wujcik's education and outreach activities have three main foci: the participation of underrepresented and multi-cultural student groups, improving engineering education at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and outreach to educators & future STEM students. Recent results from the Materials Engineering And Nanosensor [MEAN] Laboratory will be presented from these areas.

Bio: Dr. Evan K. Wujcik is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering (1/2017-present) at The University of Alabama [Tuscaloosa, AL, USA]. He also has appointments within the Alabama Water Institute [AWI] and UA System Materials Science PhD Program. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering (8/2013-12/2016) at Lamar University [Beaumont, TX, USA]. Prof. Wujcik obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from The University of Akron [Akron, OH, USA] (2013) as well as his M.B.A. (2011), M.S. in Chemical Engineering (2009), B.S. in Applied Mathematics (2010), and B.S. in Chemical Engineering (2008) from The University of Rhode Island [Kingston, RI, USA]. He directs the Materials Engineering And Nanosensor [MEAN] Laboratory—currently overseeing 1 post-doctoral scholar, 2 PhD students, and 7 undergraduate research students—where his research interests include advanced materials, sensors, polymers, composites, fibers, and electrohydrodynamic syntheses. He is a founding Associate Editor for Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials [Springer-Nature] and on the editorial board for ES Materials & Manufacturing and ES Energy & Environment [Engineered Science Publisher]. Prof. Wujcik is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers [AIChE] and has served as the Vice (2017), Acting (2018), and Past (2019) Chair of the Composites Area [08F] within the Materials Engineering & Science Division [MESD]. Currently, he is the Director of Membership of the AIChE Nanoscale Science & Engineering Forum (NSEF).

The MEAN Laboratory has current or completed projects supported by the National Science Foundation [NSF], US Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA], National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA], US Department of the Interior [DOI], Texas Hazardous Waste Resource Center [THWRC], Texas Workforce Commission [TWC], Texas Higher Education Coordination Board [THECB], as well as LU and UA funds. Prof. Wujcik is the recipient of a 2020 NSF CAREER Award, the 2016 LU University Merit Award for distinguished teaching and scholarship of an outstanding junior faculty, and is honored to be a 2020 AIChE Sensors Topical Plenary Speaker—among other awards, as a student and faculty member. MEAN Laboratory graduate and undergraduate researchers have also won 15 national, regional, and university-wide awards for research/presentation excellence and scholarship...and Prof. Wujcik is very proud of them!

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