After graduating from the University of North Texas (UNT) in 1997 with two Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) in Ceramics and in Sculpture, I ran my own ceramic business, Infinite Vision, for two years before going back to school at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) where I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Metallurgical and Materials Science Engineering in 2001. I received my PhD from Northwestern University (NU) in Materials Science and Engineering in June 2006, where I was co-advised by Prof. David Dunand at NU and Dr. Dean Haeffner at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. My PhD research was primarily focused on strain and imaging measurements of metal matrix composites using high-energy x-rays from the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). A few of the systems I studied include Al-Al 2O 3 composites, ultrahigh-carbon steels, and super-conducting Mg-MgB 2 composites.
The first of these projects was on interpenetrating phase composites (IPCs), which are characterized by two co-continuous and percolating phases. Al 2O 3 towers, consisting of 30 alternating 0/90 layers of parallel rods, were produced by robotic deposition using a gel-based ink at the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign by Jennifer Lewis’ group. Once, these towers were sintered, I created interpenetrating Al 2O 3-Al composites by liquid metal infiltration. The IPCs were subjected to uniaxial compressive stresses while internal strains were measured by synchrotron x-ray diffraction and x-ray images were collected at each stress. The extent of load transfer between the phases was measured for each preform geometry and compared with x-ray images.
Returning to my interest in fine arts, I am currently an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Dunand Group. This project involves examining Artistic bronzes with the co-supervision of Prof. David C. Dunand at NU, Dr. Francesca Casadio at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Prof. Joseph Lambert at NU in collaboration with Dr. Dean R. Haeffner and Dr. Jon D. Almer at the APS at ANL and Dr. William Ellingson at ANL. Here, I am using a variety of techniques such inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), X-ray diffraction, and X-ray imaging to characterize both ancient and modern (Brancusi, Matisse, and Picasso) bronzes.