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Chung-Souk Han Joins Mechanical Engineering Department

October 29, 2010

National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development recipient, Chung-Souk Han, Ph.D., has recently joined the UW Mechanical Engineering Department as an associate professor. For his NSF career award, Dr. Han receives a five-year, $400,000 award from the NSF to conduct research outlined in his proposal titled "Integrated Research and Education on the Size Dependent Deformation in Polymers - Indentation Tests, Material Modeling, and Numerical Simulations."

The goal of Dr. Han's research is to develop an understanding of how polymers at the nanoscale level are affected by certain factors. It has been observed in experiments that smaller components of many polymeric materials are stiffer and often stronger than larger components. This phenomenon is neither well known nor well understood in polymers, according to Dr. Han. One way to investigate such deformation behavior is nano-/micro indentation testing applied in this research project.

Components of polymeric materials in small dimensions are used in a great variety of applications including coatings for corrosion protection, sensors, composites, adhesives, medical applications, foams, threads and woven materials. Despite the importance of size dependent deformation of polymers in such applications, a sound physical micromechanical theory is not available, according to Dr. Han. The purpose of this project is to develop and verify such a theory along with numerical tools to simulate the size dependent deformation in polymers. "Besides the direct applications related to the hardness of polymers, the research is of fundamental nature as it will be of importance wherever polymers are present in small dimensions," said Dr. Han.

An educational component of the research plan includes involving underrepresented student groups like students with disabilities and Native American students in research activities through summer camps and undergraduate research. The goals include introducing and encouraging student interest in materials science, mechanics of materials, micromechanics and other areas. Selected undergraduate students at NDSU also will be participating in the research program through competitive compensated research positions.

Dr. Han served as a faculty member of NDSU prior to joining UW earlier this year. He received a degree in mathematics from the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany, and advanced degrees in applied mechanics and civil engineering from the Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, and the University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany, respectively. He previously conducted research at Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart, and Max-Planck Institut fuer Eisenforschung, Duesseldorf, both in Germany, as well as at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., and at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Article courtesy of NDSU, edited October 2010 by UW Engineering.


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