2019 Scholarship Winner Feature – Lu Fang

Philadelphia STLE Awards Scholarship to U. Penn Student

L to R: Committee Member Sal Rea, Prof. Rob Carpick, Awardee Lu Fang, Committee Member Bill Tuszynski

The Philadelphia section of the STLE is pleased to award a $1,000 scholarship to University of Pennsylvania mechanical engineering graduate student Lu Fang. Fang is a graduate of Penn State, interned at ExxonMobil, and has now completed her second year at Penn. Under the direction of Prof. Rob Carpick. Her current work, done in collaboration with ExxonMobil, studies the mechanism and functionality of ZDDP-derived tribofilms. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fang studies the in-situ formation of tribofilms by performing sliding experiments in a fluid cell containing ZDDP in PAO-4. Fang’s work has shown for the first time that ZDDP tribofilms require an induction period before nucleation to form the film occurs. She has shown a correlation between the size of the asperity (AFM tip) and the induction period, suggesting that the contact size and applied stress effects the initial nucleation phase of tribofilm growth. In addition to periodic presentations of her work to colleagues at ExxonMobil, Fang has presented her work at the Tribology Gordon Research Seminar and Gordon Research Conference in 2018. In addition to her outstanding academic work and strong research results, Fang has attended several Philadelphia STLE Section Meetings and serves as a teaching assistant in Prof. Andy Jackson’s Tribology course at Penn.