2018 Scholarship Winner Feature – Lisa Mariani

STLE Section Awards Scholarship to University of Pennsylvania Doctoral Student

L to R: Scholarship Awardee Lisa Mariani, Professor Kevin Turner & Scholarship Committee Member Salvatore Rea

The Philadelphia Section of the STLE is pleased to award a scholarship to Lisa Mariani, a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa’s research investigates additive manufacturing (3D printing) and mechanics of nanocellulose materials, which have applications in thin films, laminates, coatings, and as composite fillers. In the printing process, aqueous cellulose suspensions are printed by pressurizing a nanocellulose suspension to force it through a nozzle and then drying the resulting structures through heating on a hydrophobic substrate. Fundamental concepts in tribology underpin the direct ink write process as the shear thinning behavior of the ink and the surface wetting of the ink on the substrate are critical in the performance of the process. Additionally, Lisa aims to characterize and understand the interlayer adhesion between cellulose nanofibrils and polymers (PMMA and PS) using fracture-based specimens and colloidal-probe atomic force microscopy. This adhesion is affected by multiple factors including surface chemistry and roughness. Lisa has also been investigating the mechanical properties of nanocellulose surfaces via nanoindentation. This includes assessing the uniformity of properties across individual printed line passes and the effect of varying the substrate temperature during printing. Ultimately, the goal is to construct neat and composite materials in which the incorporation of cellulose nanofibrils leads to improved mechanical properties.