May 14, 2018 | No Comments | By Jessica Ader
Congratulations to PhD candidate Thomas O’Connor for his acceptance of the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering at Sandia National Laboratories. The fellowship is a three-year research position that allows fellows to conduct independent research that supports Sandia’s national security mission.
O’Connor, a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has worked with HEMI Fellow Mark Robbins on research related to polymer mechanics and processing. His research at Sandia will focus on developing hydrodynamic models for additive manufacturing, or the physics behind how polymers flow in 3D printers. 3D printers are a rapidly growing means of manufacturing. The hope is that by better understanding what properties make a polymer suitable for printing, future 3D printers can be made to use all sorts of plastic waste to recycle into useful parts.
O’Connor explains that as a member of the Polymers CMRG within HEMI’s CMEDE program he, “focused on understanding the mechanics and processing of polymer fibers. As the polymers program began winding down, I became more interested in the fluid dynamics of polymers during fiber formation and other processing methods like additive manufacturing.” He went on to say that he is excited for this transition explaining, “The Truman Fellowship gives me the freedom to pursue my own research interests for 3 years and provides resources for me to travel and collaborate frequently. This is a great resource for maintaining my current collaborations with CMEDE and ARL scientists. I am looking forward to collaborating more closely with experimentalists developing new processing methods for polymers. I am also excited to work with and learn from experts in fluid dynamics. My Ph.D. research focused primarily on modeling molecular scale physics and I am looking forward to acquiring new tools to study polymers at higher scales.”
For more information on the Truman Fellowship, click here.