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CAMP Annual Report: Page 9

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Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials

Professor Weiqiang Ding’s research interests are in the fields of nanomaterials and nanocomposites. His work focuses on nanomaterial synthesis, nanomaterial mechanics, micro/nano-scale adhesion, and polymer nanocomposites fabrication and characterization. One ongoing project in Professor Ding’s Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials Laboratory is the synthesis and characterization of silicon and silicon carbide nanowires. With a custom-built nanomanipulation system, the mechanical properties of silicon and silicon carbide nanowires are experimentally characterized through nanoscale tensile testing and mechanical resonance testing in the SEM vacuum chamber. His group is also working on cellulose nanofiber-reinforced polymer composites fabrication and characterization.


Aerosol Measurements and Instrumentation Development

 Suresh Dhaniyala, Associate Professor in Clarkson’s Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, has research interests in the fields of aerosol physics and atmospheric aerosol measurements.  The recent research activities in his group have focused on characterization of aerosol-cloud systems, advanced aerosol instrumentation development, and mobile source emissions measurement.  Professor Dhaniyala and his group recently developed a new instrument for near real-time size distribution of particles over a size range of 1.6-1000 nm.  This instrument was recently deployed on a C-130 aircraft for aerosol-cloud measurements as part of a large NSF-funded campaign and provided one of the first near real-time size distribution measurements of atmospheric nanoparticles (sub-50 nm).  Recently, a compact instrument was developed for on-board vehicle emission measurements and this instrument is being used for biodiesel emissions testing at Clarkson’s chassis-dynamometer facility.  Funding sources for these projects include the NSF, NYSERDA, NASA, and the EPA. 



Professor R. Shankar Subramanian is working on interfacial phenomena and their influence on transport problems, especially on drop motion on a horizontal solid surface.  He is interested in the motion of a liquid drop on a solid surface because of the action of a temperature gradient. Such motion can be important in moving drops from one place to another in microfluidic devices, in condensation heat transfer, and in the removal of debris in inkjet printing. The research program involves experiments on the motion of drops of organic liquids on PDMS-coated glass slides, when subjected to a temperature gradient across the solid surface.  The drops move from the warm side of the solid surface to the cooler side, because of the action of thermocapillary flows generated within the drop due to the surface tension gradient on the free surface of the drop, which arises from the temperature gradient.  The motion is videotaped and subsequently analyzed to obtain information on the size of the drop, as well as its position.  From these data, the velocity of the data is inferred at different temperature gradients, as a function of the size of the drop.  A theoretical model developed using lubrication analysis is used to predict this velocity, and comparisons are made between the predicted and observed velocities.  Recent measurements on decane drops show reasonable accord between theory and experiment, but the footprints of the drops are deformed from a circle.  Efforts are underway to understand the origin of this deformation and predict it.

Detailed information about Professor Subramanian’s research can be found at his website:

 Novel and Sustainable Concretes

Professor Narayanan Neithalath, of Clarkson’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, carries out research related to the development, performance evaluation and prediction, and modeling of novel and sustainable cement-based materials.  As part of his NSF CAREER grant, he is exploring the material design – material structure -performance relationships for highly porous concretes that have immense potential in storm-water management and tire-pavement interaction noise reduction. Optimizing the pore structure of this sustainable concrete material in order to satisfy the structural and functional needs, and understanding its influence on performance through experimental and modeling techniques are the focuses of this research.  Professor Neithalath previously investigated the use of waste glass powder and limestone powder as potential ingredients in concrete with grants from Empire State Development, NYSERDA, and NYSTAR. As a result of this work, he developed techniques to incorporate significant amounts of these waste materials in concrete.  Extending his work on partial Portland cement replacement in concretes by waste materials, Professor Neithalath is currently studying the behavior and performance of concretes that contain no Portland cement at all.  These novel concretes are proportioned by activating siliceous and aluminous waste materials such as fly ash and ground blast furnace slag.  The energy, environmental and economic implications of replacing cement completely in concrete systems with waste or byproduct materials are very significant. In addition, Professor Neithalath works on developing methodologies for efficient utilization of high carbon fly ash in concretes with partnership from local concrete producers through NYSTAR and NYS EIP funds.


Sustainable Infrastructure Materials

CAMP Professor Sulapha Peethamparan, in Clarkson University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is carrying out research to develop sustainable infrastructure materials by using high volume fly ash, slag and other industrial by-products such as cement kiln dusts. She is also interested in the mechanism of Portland and oil well cement hydration; the setting kinetics of cements; micro-/nano-scale characterization of cement/cementitious materials; forensic analyses of deteriorated concrete; and lime/cementitious soil stabilization. In addition, she is working on CO2 sequestration using industrial byproducts via mineral carbonation.   

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Professor Philip Hopke is Director of Clarkson University’s Newly Established Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Dr. Hopke 

Professor  Philip Hopke

Clarkson University has established the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE).  Philip K. Hopke, currently the director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, and the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor, serves as the director of this new institute.

"Formation of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment represents a natural evolution of the Center for the Environment in the development of Clarkson’s environmental research and teaching program as well as expanding Clarkson’s commitment to sustainability," said Clarkson Provost Thomas C. Young.

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment is an umbrella organization in which the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES) and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES) are housed.  In addition, Professor Hopke has been provisionally appointed to the Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) of the National Research Council (NRC).

ICPT 2010 Best Poster Award


Clarkson University graduate student Naresh K. Penta won "The Best Poster Award" at the International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) 2010, held in Phoenix, AZ (USA), November 14-17, 2010. The poster title is "Effect of polishing pads on tunable removal rates of polysilicon over silicon dioxide and silicon nitride films" and the co-authors are P. R. Dandu Veera and Professor S. V. Babu.