Chemical and Materials Engineering

Applications are now closed

Exploring the stability of nanostructured polymer films


Supervisor

Jenny Malmstrom

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG022

In this summer scholarship you will work with a fascinating family of macromolecules called block copolymers. Block copolymers consist of two chemically different blocks linked together by a covalent bond. If the two blocks are different enough, the polymers will spontaneously form nanostructured materials. This project will be focussed on improving the formation and stability of ordered films from block copolymers, through optimising deposition and annealing protocols. Since the formed structures are small, the imaging of the films will be done using Atomic Force Microscopy and stability and functional properties will be evaluated using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation.

This project suits an ambitious student with an interest in surface science or nanotechnology.

Salt-based thermochemical energy storage: Elimination of melting and agglomeration of salt over the cycles using salt mixture


Supervisors

Prof. Mohammed Farid

Dr Abbas Mehrabadi

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG023

Project summary

Salt hydrates are one of the most promising candidate for storing low-grade thermal energy. However, they typically melt and agglomerate during the hydration/dehydration steps, which result in their deactivation over a few numbers of cycles. The melting and agglomeration issues could be solved by mixing the target salt with a high melting point salt. However, it may reduce the storage capacity of the whole system. Hence, the aim of this study is to find the optimum high melting salt and mixing ratio to prevent salt agglomeration and improve the performance of thermochemical energy storage system.

Required skills

The candidates need to have a good background in chemical engineering/chemistry.

Timings

The project should be finalized within 10 weeks.

Synthesis and Characterizations of PCM Microcapsules at Low Temperature


Supervisors

m.farid@auckland.ac.nz

r.alshannaq@auckland.ac.nz

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG024

Phase change materials (PCMs) are materials that melt and solidify at nearly constant temperature, and are capable of storing and releasing large amount of energy when they undergo phase change. The challenge in using PCMs is the need to encapsulate them properly. Encapsulation of phase change materials (PCMs) in micro-size capsules can overcome these problems. The objective of this project is to develop an efficient microencapsulation process suitable for low melting PCMs, which would require low temperature polymerisation.

All the facilities required to prepare PCM microcapsules and testing them are available in our laboratories.  

Timings

The project should be finalized within 10 weeks

Study of hybrid Ti metal matrix composites


Supervisor

Dr Peng Cao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG025

The hybrid composites are combination of single matrix and multiple reinforcements to enhance mechanical properties. However, very few studies have been carried out on titanium hybrid composites. This study will look into different combinations of reinforcements in titanium matrix.

Synthesis and characterization of white-emitting inorganic phosphors


Supervisor

Dr. Saifang Huang

A/Prof. Peng Cao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG026

Phosphors from a single inorganic host (such as a silicate) with a single dopant (Eu2+/Eu3+) will be synthesized, then the PL properties will be assessed. This project aims to synthesise a phosphor with a full emission wavelength range (i.e. it can directly emit white light) upon UV excitation for white LED application. The student will mainly use XRD for phase analysis.

Synthesis and characterization of colour tuneable phosphate phosphors


Supervisors

Dr. Saifang Huang

A/Prof. Peng Cao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG027

A series of phosphor powders from phosphates with different concentrations of dopants (Eu2+/Ce3+) will be synthesized, then the PL properties will be assessed. This project aims to synthesise a phosphor with a broad excitation wavelength range for white LED application. The student will mainly use XRD for phase analysis.

NiTi-TiB composites


Supervisor

Dr Peng Cao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG028

NiTi is characterized as a shape memory alloy that has found interesting applications from aerospace to biomedical engineering. However, its hardness and wear resistance properties are on the lower side. To increase its wear resistance and hardness, we propose to fabricate NiTi-TiB composites via powder metallurgy route. Mechanical and microstructure evaluation will be carried out.

Using morphology to investigate slowly dissolve particles


Supervisor

Wei Yu

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG029

The slowly dissolve particle (SDP) measurement is a key quality variable for instant milk powders. It is measured through a standard test which is quite subjective. Through this project, we would like to use morphology image to measure SDP. The student will use a light-microscope to observe the milk powder dissolving behaviour and morphology images will be taken and analysed through Image J software.

Skills

Matlab software, multivariate data analysis

Catalytic Hydrothermal Processing of Organic Waste


Supervisor

Saeid Baroutian

Extension: 81424

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG030

Background

Large amounts of organic waste are generated daily throughout the world. Among available treatment technologies, hydrothermal processing offers a sustainable and cost-effective solution for disposal or creation of revenue streams from organic solid waste through resource recovery.

This process involves the use of elevated temperatures and pressures in the presence of an oxidising agent to destruct and solubilise organic solid waste.

Catalytic hydrothermal treatment has significant advantages over the more conventional non-catalytic hydrothermal process. Catalytic hydrothermal treatment can reduce energy consumption due to the use of lower operating temperature and shorter reaction time.

Project aims

The goal of this project is to determine and quantify the effectiveness of the catalysed reactions and the influence of operating conditions.

Approach

The reactions will be carried out in a 1 litre batch high temperature high pressure reactor. Samples will be collected at specific times during the treatment period and the collected samples will be analysed using different techniques.

Requirements

The student would have independent working style and able to work under the lab health and safety regulations. In addition, the candidate must be able to work both in the reactor and analysis laboratories.

Developing semiconductor sand from electroluminescent polymers


Supervisor

Alisyn Nedoma

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG035

Conductive polymer microparticles can be used to make dispersions, similar to latex paint, but with added functionality, like touch-sensitivity, humidity or thermal sensing. This project will focus on inkjet printing and similar techniques as a manufacturing strategy for conductive polymer microparticles. The project will touch upon the dynamics of drop formation, precipitation and polymer crystallization. A highly motivated researcher will be able to develop the technique for droplet fabrication and characterise the resulting sand using microscopy and conductivity measurements.

Designing anti-corrosive aerospace coatings


Supervisor

Alisyn Nedoma

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG036

Substrate preparation is critical to the manufacture of novel, value-added aerospace coatings. This project deploys standard metallurgical practices, such as cutting, sanding, rinsing and degreasing to evaluate next-generation coatings. A motivated researcher will be able to prepare and characterize samples using techniques, such as microscopy.

Visualizing dynamic crystal growth in conductive composites


Supervisor

Alisyn Nedoma

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG037

The growth of crystalline structures in conductive composites strongly affects the resulting properties. Optical microscopy of composites during anneals and resulting image analysis can be used to quantify the kinetic behaviour of such systems, towards improving conductivity and developing enhanced manufacturing processes.

Surface engineering, nanostructured composite coatings


Supervisor

Professor Wei Gao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG038

A materials research project, using advanced processing techniques to improve the hardness, wear/corrosion resistance, wettability, antifouling and antimicrobial properties of coatings.

Nanostructured semiconducting oxides and their energy and photoelectronic applications


Supervisor

Professor Wei Gao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG039

Study of transition metal semiconducting oxides such as ZnO/TiO2/V2O5, in the forms of thin films and porous structures, and their properties and applications for solar energy harvest, microwave adsorption and high efficient light emission.

Nanostructured photo-catalysts for environmental applications


Supervisor

Professor Wei Gao

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG040

Development of innovative oxide photo-catalysts, combination of catalysts with membranes, and study of their properties including selective absorption, organic pollutants removal and valuable materials recovery. 

Using 3D Laser Scanning for Measuring Dairy Powder Topography


Supervisors

Irina Boiarkina
Brent Young
Wei Yu

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG041

Dairy powder texture is an important quality attribute for distinguishing different types of powders. However, it is subjective in nature and not currently well defined. This project will look at using a 3D laser scanner for measuring powder topography and correlating it with the lumpiness and free-flowability of the powder. The project will involve collecting 3D topographical data from different dairy powders, using Matlab to process the data and extract topographical features and then correlating the data with industrial quality results. The project will look at developing a methodology for processing 3D data, as most current work on texture analysis uses 2D data only.

Skills required or that will be developed

Using Matlab for analysing data, experimental design and set up, data analysis.

Designing a visualisation tool for exploring large plant datasets


Supervisors

Irina Boiarkina
Brent Young
Wei Yu

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG042

Process data is gathered in very large quantities at industries, from a variety of sensors from different operational units. This makes it incredibly difficult to troubleshoot and relate the process data to quality parameters that are often gathered off-line and infrequently. Although black-box techniques, such as partial least-squares regression and neural networks can be used to explore this type of data, these usually require process understanding to be most successful. As process understanding can only be obtained from plant data exploration, this project will look at building visualisation tools for exploring large process data sets easily. It will look at functionality for easy filtering, data sub-selection, novel plotting specifically targeting at process data, visual troubleshooting and process data interaction plots. An industrial milk powder dryer will be used as a case study.

Skills required or that will be developed

Be comfortable (or be able to get comfortable) with programming. Programming heavy project, although with a lot of skills that will be built around data analysis and process understanding.

Using 3D Laser Scanning for Measuring Dairy Powder Topography


Supervisor

Irina Boiarkina
Brent Young
Wei Yu

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG113

Dairy powder texture is an important quality attribute for distinguishing different types of powders. However, it is subjective in nature and not currently well defined. This project will look at using a 3D laser scanner for measuring powder topography and correlating it with the lumpiness and free-flowability of the powder. The project will involve collecting 3D topographical data from different dairy powders, using Matlab to process the data and extract topographical features and then correlating the data with industrial quality results. The project will look at developing a methodology for processing 3D data, as most current work on texture analysis uses 2D data only.

Skills required or that will be developed: Using Matlab for analysing data, experimental design and set up, data analysis.

Designing a visualisation tool for exploring large plant datasets


Supervisor

Irina Boiarkina
Brent Young
Wei Yu

Discipline

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Project code: ENG114

Process data is gathered in very large quantities at industries, from a variety of sensors from different operational units. This makes it incredibly difficult to troubleshoot and relate the process data to quality parameters that are often gathered off-line and infrequently. Although black-box techniques, such as partial least-squares regression and neural networks can be used to explore this type of data, these usually require process understanding to be most successful. As process understanding can only be obtained from plant data exploration, this project will look at building visualisation tools for exploring large process data sets easily. It will look at functionality for easy filtering, data sub-selection, novel plotting specifically targeting at process data, visual troubleshooting and process data interaction plots. An industrial milk powder dryer will be used as a case study.

Skills required or that will be developed: Be comfortable (or be able to get comfortable) with programming. Programming heavy project, although with a lot of skills that will be built around data analysis and process understanding.