The College’s Aerogel Research Team is well represented in a special, peer-reviewed issue of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids: Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on Aerogels.
Two faculty members – Ann Anderson of mechanical engineering, and Mary Carroll of chemistry – are co-authors with a total of five recent alumni, one exchange student and one current student.
The full citations for the papers are:
· Ben M. Gauthier (’02), Smitesh D. Bakrania (’03), Ann M. Anderson, and Mary K. Carroll, “A Fast Supercritical Extraction Technique for Aerogel Fabrication.” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 2004, 350, 238-243.
· Ann M. Anderson, Smitesh D. Bakrania (’03), Jan Konecny (exchange student from Czech Republic), Ben M. Gauthier (’02), and Mary K. Carroll, “Detecting Sol-Gel Transition using Light Transmission.” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 2004, 350, 259-265.
· Desiree L. Plata (’03), Yadira J. Briones (’04), Rebecca L. Wolfe (’03), Mary K. Carroll, Smitesh D. Bakrania (’03), Shira G. Mandel (’05), and Ann M. Anderson, “Aerogel-Platform Optical Sensors for Oxygen Gas.” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 2004, 350, 326-335.
Anderson and Carroll were the only faculty from a liberal arts college or predominantly undergraduate institution to participate in the conference. The other attendees were from graduate-degree-granting institutions and national labs in the U.S. and Europe, or from companies working in aerogel-related fields. Anderson and Carroll also served as peer reviewers for other papers in the special issue.
Anderson, the Thomas J. Watson, Sr. and Emma Watson-Day Associate Professor and chair of mechanical engineering; and Carroll, associate professor of chemistry, lead the interdisciplinary research project. It began in 2001, when Anderson and a student, Ben Gauthier ’02, began experimenting with a process to create the ultra-light matrix materials. After consulting chemistry faculty for help in understanding the chemical processes, students and faculty from both departments joined forces.
The challenge for the aerogel researchers is to devise a manufacturing method that will make production of the material more cost effective. Current applications are widely used in the space program, where aerogels have been used as insulators on the Mars rover and to collect comet dust.
Original article can be found here
Original Youtube video here: Professor Andersen Software Review