Lazbourne Allie,  Ph.D. (2009) 

Dissertation Topic: 
Formulation and Characterization of Nanostructured Polymeric Systems for High Performance Applications

Major Professor:  Dr. Heshmat Aglan, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Associate Dean, College of Engineering

M.S.:  Mechanical Engineering, Tuskegee University

Employment:  Research Engineer, Johnson Research & Development, Atlanta, GA

Dissertation Abstract:

High performance polymeric composite materials play an essential role in developing global economy and improving human life. Application of polymer composite materials that are lightweight and high strength are necessary in building things such as boats, airplanes, fuel efficient cars, and solar panels, among others. Composite materials are increasingly being used in industries because of their superior strength to weight ratio and capacity to bend or not bend, under heavy loads. Over the past decade research interests have concentrated on inventing these types of materials using nanoparticles as fillers.  Two major nanoflillers that have gained popularity in polymer based composites are the Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) and silica (Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes (POSS)). CNTs have been used as high strength nano-reinforcements for composites, with low weight and unique mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. POSS nanoparticles are the smallest possible particles of silica compounds that are used in many applications in nanotechnology. In this research, Wanda has focused on studying the effect of these nanofillers on the manufacturing of lightweight and high strength composite materials.