Philadelphia STLE Awards Scholarship to U Penn Graduate Student

The Philadelphia Section of the STLE is pleased to award a $1,000 Scholarship to Yiwei Qiang. Qiang is a third-year graduate student in Material Science and Engineering, jointly advised by Profs. Daeyeon Lee and Kevin Turner.

L to R: STLE Member Sal Rea, Scholarship Winner Yiwei Qiang STLE Member Bill Tuszynski (Not Pictured Profs. Daeyeon Lee & Kevin Turner)

Qiang’s thesis focuses on understanding the mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of highly loaded polymer nanocomposite films that are fabricated by capillary rise infiltration (CaRI) of polymers into nanoparticle films. In the past three years, Qiang developed a facile and scalable process to fabricate CaRI films with highly aligned anisotropic particles. She has demonstrated that these films are mechanically robust with high modulus, hardness, scratch/wear resistance and fracture toughness. They can be used for a diverse set of applications such as solid lubrication, protective coatings for polymers, and anticorrosive coatings for metals. In particular, CaRI coatings can be formed directly on the surface of bulk polymers to enhance the scratch/wear resistance of polymers. Qiang developed a new double cantilevered beam method to probe the fracture behavior of CaRI films that is superior to the previously used nanoindentation method. Her current work focuses on using this method to investigate the failure mechanisms of CaRI films and understand the key control parameters. The eventual goal is to exploit this knowledge to fabricate strong and tough CaRI films for multiple applications.

Qiang has a strong publication record of eight papers, including three as first author. She is highly collaborative and serves as a resource for junior students and provides advice and guidance for their research. She has also participated in outreach events such as Philadelphia Materials Day.