2011 RU RET-E Projects

Project Title: Solar Cells and Surface Area

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Klein, Material Science and Engineering


Project Description: Teacher Fellows prepared dye sensitized Gratzel solar cells that incorporated Titanium Dioxide (TiO 2). TiO2 is a semiconductor and ubiquitous in commercial products. In this project, a paste of nanometer TiO2 particles and viscous organic compounds is spread onto transparent conductive glass (F-doped SnO2).  A dye is used to absorb the photons. Photovoltaic panels are used to harness the energy from the solar radiation.



Project Title: Fabrication of Nanocarbon Fibers

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Neimark, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Project Description: Teacher Fellows fabricated fibers that were mechanically strong, conductive and flexible.  These fibers incorporated carbon nano tubes and graphene. These fibers can be applied to neural engineering. They are mainly used in neuro recording devices. The application of these fibers can be used in the medical field to repair injury to the body and brain.



Project Title: Materials Towards Self Powered Sensor Technology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cook-Chennault, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Project Description: Teacher Fellows fabricated and analyzed multifunctional energetic materials, in additional to learning the governing principals behind their behavior. Study of materials such as these could lead to the realization of several types of technology: power generation systems for implantable devices that reduce or eliminate the need for battery powered systems; self-powered ubiquitous sensor modules; and self-powered structural health monitoring and vibration control systems; to name only a few.

Project Title: Multifunctional and Net Zero Buildings

Faculty Mentor: Drs. Muller and Cook-Chennault, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project Description: Teacher Fellows visited the solar facility on Rutgers campus and other local alternative energy facilities, learned the general principles and considerations for using alternative energy systems to design a net zero building and also learned about free resources that are available for analysis and design of energy efficient (net zero) energy buildings.


Project Title: Systems Thinking

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mazurek, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Description: Teacher Fellows learned about building efficiency and energy reduction for new and existing buildings. This was a great opportunity to work with the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy-Efficient Buildings. The GPIC focuses on full spectrum retrofitting of existing average size commercial and multi-family residential buildings.

Project Title: Anaerobic Digestion of Equine Waste

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Fennell, Department of Environmental Science

Project Description: Teacher Fellows learned about the study of methane production potential of equine stall waste during anaerobic digestion will be conducted at large (150 L) and small (100 mL) scale.  Data collected will be used to estimate potential for energy production on horse farms.


Project Title: Structure and Mechanics of Dental Enamel

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mann, Material Science & Engineering

Project Description: Teacher Fellows studied the effect of fluoride on dental enamel. Fluoridation of drinking water is an important issue in public health and its efficacy in treating dental caries will be assessed.


Project Title: Antimicrobial Biopolymer Nanoparticles

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shapely, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering

Project Description: Teacher Fellows learned about the enhancement of biopolymer (chitosan) nanoparticles by surface attachment of peptides and microencapsulation of proteins. Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide composed of randomly distributed β-(1-4)-linked D-glucosamine (deacetylated unit) and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (acetylated unit). It has a number of commercial and possible biomedical uses.