Department of Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student Turash Haque Pial has been awarded a scholarship from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, Philadelphia section. This award recognizes graduate students who have made contributions in the field of lubrication engineering through their graduate research.
Pial works in the Soft Matter, Interfaces, and Energy Laboratory (SMIELS) under faculty advisor Associate Professor Siddhartha Das exploring the atomic scale behavior of charged polymers—or polyelectrolytes.
“Because of their unique charge distribution behavior, polyelectrolytes work as a good lubricant which can be used in artificial human knee-joint and in other biological applications,” explained Pial. “This good lubrication property can be hindered by external stimuli, so my works expands our knowledge on how this lubrication property can be affected.”
Pial employs molecular-level simulations to understand polyelectrolyte's response to external electric fields and different ion types, and work from his graduate thesis has been published in ACS Nano and Macromolecules journals.
Looking ahead, Pial aims to continue expanding his work on polyelectrolytes as well as other aspects of soft-matter and chemistry.
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