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Spring 2015 Seminar Schedule

*All seminars are held in Grote 411 at 3 p.m., unless otherwise indicated.

Following the seminar, the speaker will be available for comments and questions.




January 16, 2015

Mike Standish - Radical Polymers

Ground Up: Designing New Polymers for Independent Water Treatment Companies

January 30, 2015 

Claire Landis - UTC

Spectral Analysis of Volcanic Volatiles in Loki Patera on Jupiter’s Moon Io 

February 13, 2015 

Seung Soon Jang - Georgia Tech

Computational NanoBio Technology: A Way of Expedition to Find Treasures Hidden in the Field

March 20, 2015

Ben Rybolt - UT Knoxville

Detecting Neutrinos with the Double Chooz Experiment

April 10, 2015 

Bethel Seballos - University of the South at Sewanee 

 The impact of calcium on the progression of fibrotic lung disease



Michael L. Standish, Radical Polymers, LLC, "Ground Up: Designing New Polymers for Independent Water Treatment Companies"

This presentation introduces two new polymers to the AWT membership and takes the membership through the process of design, development, and competitive evaluation of the polymers for mineral scale and deposit control. INITIA™ 585 is an Enhanced Poly-­‐Maleic Acid (EPMA) polymer that exhibits exceptional crystal modification properties for calcium carbonate. INITIA™ 205 is a High Performance Sulfonated Polymer (HPSP) designed for calcium phosphate and iron stabilization. The insight into the development of these two new products provides a unique perspective into the primary considerations of monomer selection and ratio tradeoffs, molecular weight optimization, and the balance of performance versus multiple mineral scale types. The presentation includes an overview of polymer functionality where structure-­‐function properties of common water treatment polymers are detailed. The concepts of Threshold Inhibition, Crystal Habit Modification, and Particulate Dispersion are defined and applied to laboratory evaluation data for the new polymers for common mineral scales and deposits such as Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate and Iron. These data are then applied to suggested uses and formulations for cooling water and boiler applications.


Claire Landis, Department of Physics, Geology, and Astronomy, UTC, "Spectral Analysis of Volcanic Volatiles in Loki Patera on Jupiter’s Moon Io"

Loki Patera is a large (200 km diameter) lava lake on Jupiter’s moon Io and is perhaps the largest active lava lake in the solar system. The surface of Loki Patera is populated with many bright features that may be gas vents, similar to terrestrial fumaroles, which allow sulfur-rich volatiles in the lava beneath the solid patera crust to escape and deposit on the surface. This research examines the spectral signatures and distribution of these features in an attempt to better understand their origin and composition. Assuming a macroscopic mixture, spectral signatures in the Loki region indicate compositions ranging from bare basalt to condensed sulfur and SO2. Data from the Voyager and Galileo missions are included in the spectral analysis.


Seung Soon Jang, Georgia Institute of Technology, "Computational NanoBio Technology: A Way of Expedition to Find Treasures Hidden in the Field"

In this presentation, I will discuss about how the computational methods (quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo and so on) can make contributions to the nanotechnology: understanding of the given nanoscale systems and design of new systems. In the first part of this presentation, I will talk about the nanoscale molecular electronics consisting of the bistable rotaxane molecule showing an electromechanical switching behavior. In this part, I will present how the computational nanotechnology serves to prepare the most probable configuration with comparing to the experiments and to characterize the electron transport through the device. The second part is the nanostructured material for fuel cell technology. In this part, the computational nanotechnology was used to establish understandings of the relationship between the nanostructures of material and the proton transport properties. I will also present a new design of molecular architecture based on such understanding and discuss its properties. The bottom line of my talk is how various computational methods can work together to investigate the nanoscale systems and to design new material based on the structure-property relationship for better desirable properties.


Ben Rybolt, UT Knoxville, Dept of Physics,  PhD candidate, "Detecting Neutrinos with the Double Chooz Experiment"

Neutrinos are the most abundant particle in the universe but because they only interact through the weak force they are elusive to measure. The Double Chooz Experiment detects Neutrinos created in a nearby nuclear reactor and measures the disappearance rate of the electron flavored anti-neutrinos. An overview will be given of the field of neutrino physics, basic detection principles will be described and the chemical properties of liquid scintillator which make detection possible will be highlighted.


Bethel Seballos, University of the South at Sewanee, "The impact of calcium on the progression of fibrotic lung disease"

Pulmonary fibrosis is an incurable disease belonging to a class of disorders known as Interstitial Lung Diseases, all of which lead to progressive scarring of the lungs. Fibrosis results when specialized cells called myofibroblasts are recruited to repair damage, but do not die or migrate away once the repair is complete. Our current hypothesis is that the presence of calcium impacts the fate of these cells. Through scratch assay experiments, we have observed calcium-dependent changes in cell migration and proliferation. Immunocytochemistry has revealed calcium-dependence of cytoplasmic expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, a hallmark of myofibroblasts. . Further studies on cells isolated from both “healthy” and “diseased” subjects may allow for determination of the pathways which are impacted by changes in calcium homeostasis in lung myofibroblasts.