Mining and Materials Engineering

SURE: Mining & Materials Engineering

Mining & Materials Engineering 2023

MIME 001: McISCE / AI Augmented Design of Electrochemical Energy Devices; (Bevan)

Professor Kirk Bevan

kirk.bevan [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-2680
https://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~bevankh/BevanGroup/Home.html

Research Area

Energy materials & science

Description

An undergraduate student is sought to carry out AI driven modeling research on designing next-generation energy materials in collaboration with Profs. Bevan & Grutter. The project will encompass the modeling of chemical surface reactivity via state-of-the-art computational methods. The goal of this research is to devise new methods for improving the scrubbing of CO2, through the use of electrochemical devices and materials. This project tackles applications relating to electrocatalytic metals and metal oxides for fuel production and carbon capture. The catalytic operation of such metal oxides is dominated by electron localization and delocalization phenomena, which is essential to their operational efficiency in the aforementioned applications. By utilizing and developing AI augmented simulation tools on electrocatalysis, the intern will gain experience in understanding how fundamental processes determine the overall high-level operational limitations of new energy technologies. This research process is based on the famed "Bell Labs Model", whereby a key scientific problem is tackled/solved with the aim of enabling a new important technology (or suite thereof). In this project, the key fundamental problem is the electrochemical reduction of CO2 and associated electron transfer mechanisms. The intern will work under the close training guidance of a senior doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain expertise in device modeling, physics/chemistry, materials science, and high-performance computing

Tasks per student

Simulating electrochemical reactions augmented by AI methods.

 

Deliverables per student

Conducting/learning atomistic simulations and exploring the fundamentals of AI methods.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

TBD

MIME 002: AI Augmented Design of Redox Energy Storage Devices; (Bevan)

Professor Kirk Bevan

kirk.bevan [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-2680
https://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~bevankh/BevanGroup/Home.html

Research Area

An undergraduate student is sought to carry out AI driven modeling research on designing next-generation energy materials. The project will encompass the modeling of interfacial reactivity via state-of-the-art computational methods. The goal of this research is to devise new methods for improving performance of redox flow batteries and photoelectrochemical devices, through the use of electrochemical devices and materials. This project tackles applications relating to the storage of electrical energy in redox flow batteries and photoelectrochemical devices. The energy storage properties of are dominated by electron-electron interaction and transfer phenomena, which is essential to their operational efficiency in the aforementioned applications. By utilizing and developing AI augmented simulation tools on electron storage/transfer, the intern will gain experience in understanding how fundamental processes determine the overall high-level operational limitations of new energy technologies. This research process is based on the famed "Bell Labs Model", whereby a key scientific problem is tackled/solved with the aim of enabling a new important technology (or suite thereof). In this project, the key fundamental problem is storage of electrons in nanoparticles and associated electron transfer mechanisms both with & without photoexcitation. The intern will work under the close training guidance of a senior doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain expertise in device modeling, physics/chemistry, materials science, and high-performance computing.

Description

Simulating electrochemical reactions augmented by AI methods.

Tasks per student

Simulating electrochemical reactions augmented by AI methods.

 

Deliverables per student

Conducting/learning atomistic simulations and exploring the fundamentals of AI methods.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

TBD

MIME 003: Ti-based glasses for improving dental and orthopedic materials; (Cerruti)

Professor Marta Cerruti

marta.cerruti [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-5496
https://biointerfacelab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Biomaterials

Description

We are developing new sol-gel bioactive glasses to improve performance of both orthopedic and dental materials. The glasses contain titanium, an element that we found can improve enamel hardness and mineral formation by stem cells. During the summer we will be optimizing glass formulations both to be used as coating on metallic implants used in orthopedics (titanium, stainless steel) and as particles in toothpastes to improve enamel hardness and whiteness. For more information on this work, take a look at our first paper published on the topic: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c01593

Tasks per student

Prepare sol-gel bioactive glasses; develop tests to measure erosion, remineralization, hardness and whiteness in enamel and dentin treated with the glasses; characterize the teeth after treatment; prepare coatings on metallic implants and characterize them.

 

Deliverables per student

Biweekly presentations, two group meeting presentations, report at the end of the summer, and poster for SURE presentation day.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

MIME 004: Improving epithelial integration of PEEK implants; (Cerruti)

Professor Marta Cerruti

marta.cerruti [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-5496
https://biointerfacelab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Biomaterials

Description

Poly(etheretherketone) is a strong and inert polymer used in craniofacial reconstruction and spine applications. While its excellent mechanical property and radiolucency make it a great candidate for broader orthopedic and dental applications, its lack of integration with surrounding tissues greatly hamper its potential clinical translation. In this project we modify the surface of PEEK with proteins and possibly inorganic materials to improve its integration with soft tissues. A few different methods will be explored in the summer and the materials will be characterized with a range of physico-chemical and spectroscopic methods to determine the best candidates for further in-vitro and in-vivo studies. For more PEEK-related work from the group, please read the following articles (especially the most recent one, on soft tissue integration). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36453830/ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mabi.201900271 https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c01434 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706116305220

Tasks per student

Surface modification of PEEK discs and characterization using a variety of physico-chemical and spectroscopic techniques.

 

Deliverables per student

Biweekly presentations with supervisor, two group meeting presentations, final report, SURE project final poster.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

MIME 005: Understanding patient-specific differences in cardiovascular calcifications; (Cerruti)

Professor Marta Cerruti

marta.cerruti [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-5496
https://biointerfacelab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area

Materials science applied to medicine

Description

Minerals can deposit on the surface of cardiovascular tissues (blood vessels and heart valves) due to pathologies such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and atherosclerosis, or due to aging. When minerals form on these normally soft tissues, the risk for cardiac events increases, since blood pressure increases and heart valves malfunction. We recently found that men and women differ in terms of the types of minerals formed on heart valves. We are now extending this study to more patients to try and identify patterns and differences beyond mineral types, and to see if other factors beyond sex may have an effect on the minerals formed in cardiovascular disease. This work may help identify new methods to detect and cure these diseases. For more information, please read this article from the group, and references therein: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706120301185

Tasks per student

Characterize calcified cardiovascular tissues with techniques including FTIR, Raman, microCT, and SEM. Data and image analysis.

 

Deliverables per student

Biweekly presentations with supervisor, two group meeting presentations, final project report, SURE poster.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

MIME 006: Design an automated biofabrication device; (Nazhat)

Professor Showan Nazhat

showan.nazhat [at] mcgill.ca
+1 05143985524

Research Area

Medical Device, biofabrication, tissue models, computer and software engineering

Description

The aim of this SURE project is to build on a prototype design by further developing an automated biofabrication instrument based on a McGill-led technology. By assembling together of-the-shelf-tools, this SURE project will focus on software development to enable automated gel aspiration-ejection (GAE) for generating tissue-like bioinks based on fibrillar collagen and other proteins.

Tasks per student

A computer/software engineering student will help progress/develop software to advance the automated biofabrication device.

 

Deliverables per student

By the end of the project, it is expected that an advanced version of software that has already been developed will be generated to allow for automated biofabrication based on commercially available off-the-shelf-tools.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

Year 3

Location of project

in-person

MIME 007: Effectiveness of Recovered and Recycled Phosphorus Fertilizer on Crop Growth; (Omelon)

Professor SIdney Omelon

sidney.omelon [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-2608

Research Area

Sustainable phosphorus fertilizer production and evaluation

Description

Similar to hydrocarbons, phosphorus is a limited resource. Phosphorus fertilizer is produced from non-renewable phosphate rock. This phosphate rock is concentrated, then leached to produce phosphoric acid. A waste product of phosphoric acid production is “phosphogypsum”. Phosphogypsum is calcium sulphate dihydrate that is contaminated with heavy metals and radioactive elements. Phosphoric acid is used to produce many different phosphorus fertilizers. Our lab is recovering phosphorus from different waste sources, including municipal biosolids and manure. Our approach is to produce effective phosphorus fertilizers from these waste sources, and then test their effectiveness with “pot tests” in the Macdonald campus greenhouses. We are looking for a summer student to assist with creating synthetic soils with our recovered phosphorus fertilizers, to characterize these synthetic soils for their phosphorus availability and heavy metal leaching potential. These tasks require benchtop inorganic chemistry techniques. After soil characterization, we will run a “pot test” with spring wheat or another grass. This test will be undertaken at the Macdonald Farm Horticultural Center. The SURE student will help graduate students by traveling to Macdonald Farm to maintain (water) and monitor the pots. Once completed, the solids and the crops will be analyzed to compare the effect of phosphorus fertilizer with synthetic phosphorus fertilizer. We are also keen to recruit a Bioresource Engineering student who could be based in the West Island to monitor the crop test, and commute downtown for the soil production, soil analysis, and crop analysis work.

Tasks per student

Assist graduate students with - recovered phosphorus fertilizer production, - production of different synthetic soils, - materials analysis of the different soils, - starting, operating (watering and other tasks), and cleaning up a "pot test" to be conducted at the Macdonald Farm greenhouse, - analyzing the crop production and leaf elemental analysis

 

Deliverables per student

- completion of a pot test in a greenhouse - generation of materials data that characterize the soil and the crop

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

MIME 008: McISCE: Aqueous polymeric carbon coatings for LiCoPO4 cathode materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries; (Ouzilleau)

Professor Philippe Ouzilleau

philippe.ouzilleau [at] mcgill.ca
819-678-1436

Research Area

Energy storage devices (Prof Eric McCalla), carbon materials (Prof Philippe Ouzilleau)

Description

The effects of climate change are irreversible and will worsen in the decades to come. Reducing fossil fuel consumption, via using electric vehicles (EVs), is a key factor in controlling climate change. The batteries designed so far, do not have the ability to completely replace fossil fuels due to their insufficient energy storage capacity, cyclability, and general efficiency. LiCoPO4 (LCP) is a commercial cathode material that has a high energy density and operates at higher voltages (near 4.8 V versus Li). It could thus be used as a next-generation electrode materials for commercial lithium-ion batteries.. However, LCP is an electronic and ionic insulator which hinders its use as a cathode material. The aim of this project is to modify the LCP particles with carbon-based coating agents, using wet chemistry synthesis methods, to increase its conductivity and performance as lithium-ion battery cathode materials.

Tasks per student

Synthesis of LiCoPO4 powders, carbon coating of LiCoPO4 powders, electrochemical testing of carbon-coated LiCoPO4 powders in lithium half-cells.

 

Deliverables per student

Project report, project posters, bi-weekly advancement reports.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

MIME 009: AI-powered robotic module for automatic image analysis and process control for nanomaterials synthesis; (Song)

Professor Jun Song

jun.song2 [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-4592

Research Area

Nanomaterials; Computational Materials Design

Description

The objective of this project is to combine a programmable robotic arm with a machine learning (ML) tool to develop an automatic image capture and AI-aided image analysis module. The images are real-time diffraction patterns and/or topological features obtained from in-situ characterization during the synthesis of nanomaterials. The module will then be linked to the fabrication process to enable real-time processing parameter and condition adjustment to enable predictive, high-quality nanomaterial synthesis.

Tasks per student

Literature review on relevant topics; Implement deep learning image classification and object detection techniques to analyze image and characterization data; Programming of the robotic arm.

 

Deliverables per student

An AI-powered robotic module for automatic image analysis and process control.

Number of positions

1

Academic Level

No preference

Location of project

in-person

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