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Nano-Composites and Mechanical Alloying Via the Ball Milling TechniqueBy J. Sergeant and A. Bakhshai

Nominated by Ali Bakhshai, Associate Professor of Physics

From the Author: I have a background in engineering, as well as being a math major here at Goucher College.  When I heard about the opportunity to work with Dr. Bakhshai investigating mechanical alloying and the production of nano-composites I jumped at the chance.  This is a very innovative and new process, and the chance to be at the 'cutting edge' was one that I couldn't pass up.  Mechanical alloying is an alternative to chemical synthesis that is cheaper, safer, and far more environmentally friendly. 

From the Faculty Nominator: This article, written by John Sergeant was the result of a student/faculty collaborative research effort during Summer-2005.  I was the supervising professor.  John is mathematics major but has a strong physics background; therefore, I accepted his collaborative research proposal regarding “Nano-Composites and Mechanical Alloying via the Ball Milling Technique.”  John and I worked closely and interacted daily for ten weeks during the summer of 2005 while he worked in my experimental condensed physics laboratory at Goucher College.  We had a lunch meeting every day, where we effectively discussed his progress and I subsequently made suggestions regarding his continuing efforts.  John completed a literature analysis at the beginning of the summer and read many articles in this field before and during the data collection period.  During the last two weeks of the research period, while he was writing this article, we engaged in several iterations and corrections.  John presented two poster presentations—summarizing his results—at Accepted applicants’ day in Fall-2005 and Alumni weekend in April 2006.  After three informal oral presentations on campus, he delivered a clear and concise oral presentation at the NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research) in Ashville, NC in April 2006.  His paper has also been accepted with minor formatting corrections to be published in the NCUR Proceedings.  Publication in Goucher’s online collaborative publications journal, Verge, was yet another achievement for John, and I wish him the best upon his graduation from Goucher in May 2006.

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