RRG’s Team of Undergraduates, LunarMakes3D, Set to Contribute to Moon Research with NASA

We are excited to announce that the NASA MINDS proposal from our team of undergraduate students, led by Perla Latorre Suarez, has been accepted. This team, called LunarMakes3D, includes Rohan Madathil, Nya Segura-Watson, Vanessa D’Esposito, and Felix Morales.

The team members of LunarMakes3D will learn more about the Artemis mission. To contribute to this mission, they will develop autonomous 3D printed nanomaterial sensors. During the first semester, the team will be doing research and creating a plan that includes a preliminary design review form. Following the review of the preliminary report, the team may be selected for the second semester to focus on developing the printing method, printing the sensors, and testing them.

NASA MINDS is a multi-semester, undergraduate level opportunity that will support NASA’s Artemis mission and their Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The skills, creativity, and innovation of the student teams are challenged as they are asked to design and build technologies needed for NASA’s Artemis mission, with the support of their faculty mentors. Teams selected by NASA will receive $1,500 to be used in the build of their design, and their faculty mentor will receive a $1,000 stipend upon successful completion of all requirements. Selected team projects will be reviewed by NASA judges and teams can receive recognition awards up to $5,000.

Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Raghavan Receive DARPA Grant to Study the Initiation of Stress-Corrosion Cracking in Aircraft Components

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Raghavan $100,000 to study the initiation and early incubation of stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) in aircraft components, and develop computer models to pinpoint these stages. The goal is that once these computer models are developed, the creation of physical models, and eventually SCC early detection systems, will begin development.

They were featured in UCF Today and UCF MAE, where you can learn more about their project.

The students currently working on the project are Doctoral student Zachary Stein (lead), and Undergraduate researcher Vanessa D’Esposito. They will be working with techniques such as in situ testing with high energy X-Ray diffraction and Raman Spectroscopy, both of which will provide insightful information regarding the team’s samples throughout the project.

The team will benefit from the expertise of postdoctoral scholar Dr. Quentin Foulard and graduate student Johnathan Hernandez, and the in situ testing instrumentation and methods developed in their research.


IRES 2021 Applications Are Now Open

Through the IRES program, graduate and undergraduate students can participate in a research collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany to conduct research on advancing materials and combustion technologies for next generation propulsion and power generation systems. Applicant requirements include being enrolled at UCF, being enrolled in directed research during the Spring and Summer 2021 terms, and participating in research activities 10-20 hours a week. Students who are accepted will have the opportunity to work with leading scientists at a state-of-the-art facility as well as be able to participate in industrial visits and cultural activities. Housing and a competitive stipend are provided. The deadline to apply is November 13th, 2020.

Click here to learn more about the IRES program.


Quantifying thermal barrier coating delamination through luminescence modeling

Read our paper in Surface and Coatings Technology


Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are widely used in the hot sections of gas turbine systems as they are remarkably efficient in insulating the underlying superalloys, leading to higher operating temperatures and therefore enhancing the performance of the engines. However, this benefit is only possible if the integrity of the TBC under aggressive thermo-mechanical environments is ensured. Delamination is a common but hard to detect failure mode. We present, in this work, supported by experimentation, the implementation of a modeling approach applying the Kubelka-Munk theory to provide numerical quantification of luminescence contrast and intensity due to top coat delamination in TBCs. The method relies on the drastic change in reflectivity when a delamination forms, exploiting it for high-contrast luminescence mapping. Two distinct TBC configurations containing an erbium-doped yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ:Er3+) layer for delamination sensing were used to validate this model. A delamination zone induced by Rockwell indentation was successfully tracked by measuring an increase of the intensity of the erbium emission line at 562 nm. Luminescence-based methods for delamination detection can provide a revolutionary non-invasive technique, with potential for both off-line and on-line engine monitoring.

To view more posts like this, check out the Highlights page here.

You can also hear about Quentin’s paper in the All Audio Posts page here.

High-energy X-ray phase analysis of CMAS-infiltrated 7YSZ thermal barrier coatings: Effect of time and temperature

Read our paper in Journal of Materials Research


Calcium–magnesium–alumino-silicate (CMAS) particulates enter the aero-engine in a sandy environment, melt and infiltrate into 7 wt% yttria-stabilized zirconia (7YSZ) thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), reducing their lifetime. This leads to chemical degradation in 7YSZ accompanied by tetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation upon cooling. In this work, electron-beam physical vapor deposition coatings were infiltrated with a synthetic CMAS. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements show that CMAS infiltration at 1250 °C has about 43% higher monoclinic phase volume fraction (PVF) at the coating surface compared to 1225 °C and remains consistently higher throughout the coating depth. Additionally, the increase in annealing time from 1 to 10 h results in a 31% higher monoclinic phase at the surface. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of globular monoclinic phases corresponding spatially with the above findings. These results resolve the impact of time and temperature on CMAS infiltration kinetics which is important for mitigation.

To view more posts like this, check out the Highlights page here.

You can also hear about Zachary’s paper in the All Audio Posts page here.

Paper on the Impact of Time and Temperature of CMAS on TBCs Published to Journal of Materials Research

We are pleased to announce that our paper titled “High-energy X-ray phase analysis of CMAS-infiltrated 7YSZ thermal barrier coatings: Effect of time and temperature” by lab member, Zachary Stein, has been published in Journal of Materials Research. This paper presents results that show the impact of time and temperature on calcium–magnesium–alumino-silicate (CMAS) infiltration into thermal barrier coatings.

You can learn more about Zachary’s paper in the Highlights page here and in the All Audio Posts page here.

Dr. Raghavan Featured in Science Off Camera Podcast

We are excited to announce that Dr. Seetha Raghavan was featured in Science Off Camera, a podcast series where Teledyne Princeton Instruments interviews scientific imaging experts from around the world. There, she talked about what drove her towards her passion in aerospace engineering and her research on sensing materials.

Check out this podcast at: https://anchor.fm/science-off-camera

Lab member Quentin Fouliard presented at the 2020 Sensors and Controls Project Review Meeting

We are excited to announce that, today, August 26, 2020, our postdoctoral researcher, Quentin Fouliard, has presented the most recent results of the Department of Energy funded project “In-situ Optical Monitoring of Operating Gas Turbine Blade Coatings Under Extreme Environments” at the 2020 Sensors and Controls Project Review Meeting. This conference was a great opportunity to highlight major project accomplishments and show the capabilities of the technologies developed in this project such as the phosphor thermometry instrumentation or thermal barrier coating damage monitoring models and methods.

Lab Member Quentin Fouliard presented his research at ICPT 2020

We are excited to announce that our postdoctoral researcher, Quentin Fouliard, has participated in the 2nd International Conference on Phosphor Thermometry (ICPT 2020) today, July 27, 2020. Quentin previously participated at the inaugural edition of this conference in 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference regroups the experts of the growing phosphor thermometry community and had about 100 attendees for today’s online presentation. Quentin presented his ongoing work on the measurement of thermal barrier coating temperature gradients using the luminescence decay method.


Phosphor thermometry instrumentation for synchronized acquisition of luminescence lifetime decay and intensity on thermal barrier coatings


Read our paper in Measurement Science and Technology


Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are used to protect turbine components from extreme environments and to allow for the turbine system to operate at temperatures beyond the melting point of the underlying superalloy blade. Existing in situ temperature measurement methods for high temperature evaluation have inherent uncertainties that impose important safety margins. Improving the accuracy of temperature measurements on the materials in operating conditions is key for more reliable lifetime predictions and to increase turbine system efficiencies. For this objective, phosphor thermometry shows great potential for non-invasive high temperature measurements on luminescent coatings. In this work, a phosphor thermometry instrument has been developed to collect two emission peaks simultaneously of an erbium and europium co-doped yttria-stabilized zirconia TBC, enabling an extended temperature range and high precision of the in situ temperature assessment. The luminescence lifetime decays and the intensity variations of both dopants were captured by the instrument, testing its high sensitivity and extended temperature range capabilities for accurate measurements, up to operating temperatures for turbine engines. The results open the way for the applicability of portable phosphor thermometry instrumentation to perform effective temperature monitoring on turbine engine materials and support the advancement of innovative sensing coatings.

To view more posts like this, check out the Highlights page here.

You can also hear about Quentin’s paper in the All Audio Posts page here.

Poster Presentations in AVS 2020 International Twitter Competition

We are excited to announce that Dr. Seetha Raghavan and our post doctoral researcher, Quentin Fouliard, have participated in the American Vacuum Society (AVS) 2020 International Twitter Competition on July 8, 2020. It is a new online venue where people can share their research with a global audience, connect with the research community, and meet new colleagues. Dr. Raghavan presented her poster titled Inside the engine environment: Synchrotrons reveal Competing Influence of Thermal and Mechanical Loads on the Strain of Turbine Blade Coatings. Quentin presented his poster titled Thermal Barrier Coating Delamination Evaluation using Luminescence Modeling.

Paper on Characterizing Thermal Barrier Coating Delamination Using Photoluminescence Spectroscopy Published to Surface and Coatings Technology

We are pleased to announce that our paper titled “Quantifying Thermal Barrier Coating Delamination Through Luminescence Modeling” by post doctoral researcher, Quentin Fouliard, has been published in the journal Surface and Coatings Technology. This paper presents a unique approach to characterize thermal barrier coating delamination using photoluminescence spectroscopy. It introduces the very first modeling effort for accurate predictions of luminescence contrast and intensity on sensing EB-PVD coatings, accounting for their characteristic microstructure and through-the-depth anisotropy.

You can learn more about Quentin’s paper in the Highlights page here and in the All Audio Posts page here.

Lab member receives Fulbright Scholarship and DURA

We are very proud of Zachary Stein for receiving the Fulbright Scholarship and the Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award (DURA). Zac has been awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to Germany and will be conducting research on aircraft engines at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Zachary has also been mentioned in the UCF’s Burnett Honors College spotlight, which you can see here.

He is one of nine students at UCF to receive the Fulbright Scholarship this year (Click here to learn more). The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Learn more at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/.

Each month DURA recognizes outstanding academic research by undergraduates at the University of Central Florida and Zachary was nominated for the month of July 2020. Students receive a scholarship, certificate, and recognition. For more information, go to https://our.ucf.edu/current/award-programs/.

Measurements for stress sensing of composites using tailored piezospectroscopic coatings


Read our paper in AIP Advances


Chromium-doped alpha-alumina is naturally photo-luminescent with spectral properties that are characterized by R-lines with two distinct peaks known as R1 and R2. When the material is subjected to stress, shifts in the R-lines occur, which is known as the piezospectroscopic (PS) effect. Recent work has shown that improved sensitivity of the technique can be achieved through a configuration of nanoparticles within a polymer matrix, which can be applied to a structure as a stress-sensing coating. This study demonstrates the capability of PS coatings in mechanical tests and investigates the effect of nanoparticle volume fraction on sensing performance. Here, measurements of spectral shifts that capture variation in stress of the coating during mechanical testing and in the region of substrate damage showed that stress contours are more noticeable on a soft laminate than hard laminate. It was found that the 20 % volume fraction PS coating showed the most distinct features of all the coatings tested with the highest signal-to-noise ratio and volume fraction of alpha-alumina. Post failure assessment of the PS coatings verified that the coatings were intact and peak shifts observed during mechanical testing were due to the stress in the substrate. The results suggest the ability to design and tailor the “sensing” capability of these nanoparticles and correlate the measured stress variations with the presence of stress and damage in underlying structures. This study is relevant to nondestructive evaluation in the aerospace industry, where monitoring signs of damage is of significance for testing of new materials, quality control in manufacturing and inspections during maintenance.

To view more posts like this, check out the Highlights page here.

You can also hear about Remelisa’s paper in the All Audio Posts page here.

Congrats to Our Recent Graduates of Spring 2020

Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19, we are delighted to present the perseverance of lab members Khanh Vo, Johnathan Hernandez, Nicholas Reed, Remelisa Esteves, and Zachary Stein on successfully graduating from the University of Central Florida. Johnathan and Remelisa graduated with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering, Nicholas and Zachary graduated with a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering, and Khanh graduated with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Materials Science. For the Master’s, Remelisa presented her thesis on Piezospectroscopic Sensing Systems – Multi-Scale and In-Situ Sensing Technology for Structural Integrity, and Johnathan presented his thesis on Experimentation and Simulation of Pulsed Eddy Current Thermography of Subsurface Aircraft Corrosive Defects. Zachary presented his thesis on Degradation From CMAS Infiltration in 7YSZ EB-PVD Thermal Barrier Coatings for his Honors in the Major thesis.

Remelisa Esteves M.S. in Aerospace Engineering

Zachary Stein B.S. in Aerospace Engineering

Nicholas Reed B.S. in Aerospace Engineering

Johnathan Hernandez M.S. in Aerospace Engineering

Khanh Vo B..S. in Mechanical Engineering Minor in Material Science

Lab Member Participated at 2020 Southeast Grad Symposium of the Society for Experimental Mechanics

Quentin Fouliard presented at the symposium his work on Thermal Barrier Coating Delamination Monitoring via Luminescence Sensing for the session named “This is Why I’m Hot: Thermal Studies” at the 2020 Southeast Grad Symposium of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) on June 15th, 2020. Quentin also served as chair for the session on fracture mechanics a.k.a. “Achy Breaky Parts” and as a panelist to provide guidance to graduate students attending the event. The panelists discussed their personal experience through graduate school and tips to lead successful research and to start a career oriented towards engineering and academia. SEM is a professional organization for engineers and scientists in academia, government and industry that focuses on experimental methods for characterization of materials, structures and systems.

New Lab Members Introduction and UCF Research Restart

UCF has opened its doors for the continuation of research amid campus closure due to COVID-19. Following CDC guidelines and new university policies, the Raghavan Research Group are cautiously resuming lab activities that require physical use of the lab.

We are also happy to announce the newest additions to our research team:

Felix Morales (Undergraduate, Aerospace Eng., minor in Material Science Eng. and Mathematics)

Vanessa D’Esposito (Undergraduate, Aerospace Eng., minor in Computer Science and Mathematics)

Rohan Madathil (Undergraduate, mechanical Eng., minor in Computer Science and Mathematics)

Terrence Edwards (Undergraduate, Aerospace Eng.)

Click here to view the newest members of our Team.

Modeling luminescence behavior for phosphor thermometry applied to doped thermal barrier coating configurations

Read our paper in Applied Optics


Phosphor thermometry is a promising non-destructive method for accurate temperature measurement using phosphor elements that emit temperature-dependent luminescence. The method relies on the intensity and decay of luminescence arising from the phosphor elements upon excitation by an incident laser. In this work, the classical Kubelka–Munk model has been utilized and modified to model the luminescence emitted from phosphor elements that are added into thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) to enable temperature sensing using phosphor thermometry. The collectible luminescence and its time-decay behavior emerging from a tailorable multilayer TBC configuration have been predicted for different rare-earth dopants: Dy, Er, and Sm within an yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) host, and with an operational gradient of temperature acting through its depth. The configurations have been designed by varying the position and thickness of the doped layer into the coating. The decay constant of the collectible luminescence has been used to determine the position in the coating from where the luminescence decay is the same as the decay of the collectible signal. This subsurface position indicates the location at which the temperature measurement is performed using phosphor thermometry under realistic operating conditions. It has been determined that YSZ:Dy provides the highest intensity of the collectible luminescence among the three dopant materials. In the TBC configuration with a fully doped coating, using YSZ:Er as a sensor enables temperature measurement from a more in-depth position in the coating. It has been shown that this position can be tailored by adjusting the geometrical configuration of the TBCs, varying the position and thickness of the doped layer. Due to the sensitivity of the dopants to temperature, the decay behavior of the emerging luminescence is demonstrated to change for different TBC configurations. The model can be used in screening the dopants to design multilayered TBCs for their suitability in temperature sensing by phosphor thermometry.

To view more posts like this, check out the Highlights page here.

You can also hear about Quentin’s paper in the All Audio Posts page here.

Our research lab at UCF’s Burnett Honors College’s Research Match Day

Raghavan Research Group displayed some of its projects at the Burnett Honors College’s second Research Match Day, held this week at UCF to encourage top undergraduate students to become young researchers in our group. Lab members Khanh Vo, Johnathan Hernandez and Quentin Fouliard enthusiastically presented some of our team’s most recent research work such as the development of our novel Phosphor thermometry instrumentation for synchronized acquisition of luminescence lifetime decay and intensity on thermal barrier coatings, the methods for the Investigation of TGO stress in thermally cycled plasma-spray physical vapor deposition and electron-beam physical vapor deposition thermal barrier coatings via photoluminescence spectroscopy or the  Measurements for stress sensing of composites using tailored piezospectroscopic coatings.

Lab Members Khanh Vo (left) and Johnathan Hernandez (middle) discussing our research at UCF’s Burnett Honors College’s Research Match Day.

Our new Measurement Science and Technology article is published

We are glad to announce that our new article written in collaboration with Dr. Bauke Heeg (Lumium) is now published and available in Measurement Science and Technology under the special feature on Instrumentation for Gas Turbine Engines! This work was led by lab members Quentin Fouliard and Johnathan Hernandez and focuses on the development of a novel Phosphor Thermometry instrumentation setup which enables higher precision of temperature measurements as well as extended temperature ranges in turbine engine environments using luminescent erbium-europium co-doped yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings.

Watch the video discussion for this publication!

High temperature luminescence measurement on an erbium-europium co-doped yttria-stabilized zirconia coating.

Lab member featured in Nicholson Student Media

Johnathan Hernandez in front of our E6 Heater.

We are excited to announce that the University of Central Florida online newspaper Nicholson Student Media featured lab member Johnathan Hernandez in NSM Today on his visions for future hypersonic flight using materials and technologies that we are currently implementing in our lab. The article focuses on his research work and aspiration to pursue the development of hypersonic leading edge thermal protection technologies to enable reusable hypersonic vehicle applications.

Lab member featured in the Florida High Tech Corridor

Quentin Fouliard setting up the acquisition parameters for Phosphor Thermometry experimentation on rare-earth doped Thermal Barrier Coatings.

We are thrilled to announce that the Florida High Tech Corridor online magazine featured lab member Quentin Fouliard in its Aerospace & Aviation section as he became the first UCF’s Aerospace Engineering Doctoral Graduate as a result of his successful research work in our group over the past few years, under the project funded by the US Department of Energy and aimed to the advancement of instrumentation for temperature measurements in turbine engine environments.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) visited UCF

Dr. Ravisankar Naraparaju, Dr. Peter Mechnich and Christoph Mikulla from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) visited UCF last week. Dr. Naraparaju presented his work in a Distinguished Speaker Series seminar on the “Development of Thermal Barrier Coatings that are resistant to CMAS/Volcanic Ash attack in aero-engines” hosted by the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCF. The seminar explored the dangers posed by CMAS and volcanic ash ingression in TBCs and highlighted the importance of tailoring TBC microstructure to prevent crack propagation which can lead to engine catastrophic failure.

Dr. Naraparaju’s Ph.D. Student Christoph Mikulla (DLR) and Zachary Stein (UCF) discussing CMAS ingression in a TBC sample through microscopy.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) visits our lab. (From left to right) Dr. Seetha Raghavan (UCF), Dr. Ravi Naraparaju (DLR), Christoph Mikulla (DLR), Dr. Quentin Fouliard (UCF), Dr. Peter Mechnich (DLR), Zachary Stein (UCF), Alexander Olvera (UCF).

The DLR team also visited the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCF. A tour of the Raghavan Research Group lab was then given where ongoing projects and collaborations were discussed.

AIAA Scitech 2020

Lab members Johnathan Hernandez, Zachary Stein, and Matthew Northam presented papers at the AIAA Scitech 2020 forum at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Florida from January 6th to 10th. The AIAA Scitech forum is an aerospace conference that invites engineers and researchers from all over the globe to present their work and observe findings from other researchers. Innovations in the fields of aerospace transportation and defense are often showcased at the conference as well.

(Pictured from L to R) Alexander Olvera, Zachary Stein, Seetha Raghavan, Johnathan Hernandez, Matthew Northam, and Remelisa Esteves.

Johnathan presented his work on corrosion detection through his paper “Simulation and Experimentation of Pulsed Eddy Current Thermography for Corrosion Detection Under Insulation.” Zachary presented his work on CMAS Infiltration through his paper “Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction Study of Phase Transformation in CMAS Ingressed EB-PVD Thermal Barrier Coatings.” Matthew presented his work on PS-PVD through the paper “Comparison of thermally cycled PS-PVD and EB-PVD thermal barrier coatings’ depth-resolved monoclinic phase evolution via synchrotron X-ray diffraction” and Quentin Fouliard’s work on Temperature Measurements using Phosphor Thermometry through Quentin’s Paper “Doped 8% Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Temperature Measurements on Thermal Barrier Coatings using Phosphor Thermometry.”

UCF Scitech Reception held on January 6th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando.

(Pictured from L to R) Zachary Stein, Matthew Northam, Imad Hanhan, and Johnathan Hernandez

The University of Central Florida held a reception for Scitech on January 6th hosted by Dr. Seetha Raghavan introducing UCF to various conference attendees from both academia and industry. The reception also introduced the birth of the Aerospace Engineering Doctoral Program at UCF. At this reception, the lab members met many new and old faces such as lab alumni Imad HanHan and Dr. Raghavan’s advisor Dr. Imbrie.

Congrats to our Aerospace Engineering Graduates

We are happy to announce that lab members Quentin Fouliard and Matthew Northam graduated from the University of Central Florida this past December. Matthew Northam graduated with a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Quentin Fouliard became the very first student at UCF to graduate with a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation Matthew plans on pursuing a career in the aerospace industry, while Quentin plans to extend his research in the Raghavan Research Group at UCF as a post doctoral researcher to pursue his passion for aerospace materials. We would like to congratulate these two lab members for their hard work and dedication, and we wish them the best in the next chapter of their life.

UTSR Conference

Lab members Quentin Fouliard, Matthew Northam, and Johnathan Hernandez attended the 2019 University Turbine Systems Research Conference in Orlando, Florida from November 5th through 7th. Quentin conducted a conference presentation titled “Advanced Instrumentation: In-Situ Optical Monitoring of Gas Turbine Blade Coatings Under Operational Extreme Environment.” In addition to the presentation, Quentin presented posters along with Matthew and Johnathan.

Johnathan presenting his poster on Pulsed Eddy Current Thermography.

Quentin presenting his work at the UTSR Conference.

Educator of the year award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Raghavan was named the Aerospace Educator of the Year by Women in Aerospace. Women in Aerospace is a professional organization for the expansion of opportunities for women in aerospace fields. She was selected by UCF for the nomination of the 2019 Aerospace Educator Award. Every year, leaders in the aerospace field are chosen who represent women’s excellence and contribution to a variety of aerospace fields.

Stephen Kitay (left) presenting the award to Seetha Raghavan (right).

STEM Day Fall 2019

Zachary Stein assisting a student with their tensegrity structure.

Lab members Perla Latorre and Armando Carrasquillo led the outreach event, STEM Day at the University of Central Florida, with the help of other lab members. STEM day is an event where elementary through high school students visit UCF to learn about the various STEM fields through the participation in STEM-related activities. The activity shared with 25 high school students was titled “The Balancing Act of Tensegrity.” Tensegrity is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension. The participating students had the opportunity to create their own tensegrity structure. From this activity, students were able to learn about Tensegrity and its various aerospace applications.

Paper accepted to Surface Coatings and Technology

We are pleased to announce that our paper titled “Investigation of TGO stress in thermally cycled plasma-spray physical vapor deposition and electron-beam physical vapor deposition thermal barrier coatings via photoluminescence spectroscopy” by lab alumni Lin Rossmann, and lab members Matthew Northam and Brooke Sarley has been published in the journal Surface Coatings and Technology. The paper elaborates on the residual stresses found in the TGO of PS-PVD and EB-PVD coated TBCs during their lifetimes.

Residual TGO stress of EB-PVD and PS-PVD coatings over their given lifetimes.

MS&T Conference 2019

Dr. Raghavan and Quentin Fouliard participated at the MS&T19 conference held in Portland, OR. They attended great presentations on the current progress of cutting-edge research on Thermal Barrier Coatings. Dr. Raghavan gave a presentation on High Resolution Non-invasive Characterization of Calcium-magnesium alumino-silicate Infiltration in Thermal Barrier Coatings, a work in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Quentin presented his work on Luminescence characterization of temperature sensitive phosphor doped Thermal Barrier Coatings, a UTSR project funded by the NETL, Department of Energy.

Quentin Fouliard and Dr. Raghavan at the Materials Science and Technology Conference in Oregon.

Launch of the Aerospace PhD at UCF

Lab members Quentin Fouliard, Johnathan Hernandez, and Alexander Olvera attended the Aerospace PhD Launch Party. The UCF Aerospace PhD began this semester with a welcome party where new students could familiarize themselves with the aerospace professors, as well as, each other. This launch party included some guest speakers including Dr. Jeffrey Kauffman, an aerospace professor at UCF and Dr. Gregory Freihofer, our laboratory alumnus with a PhD in mechanical engineering working at Northrop Grumman. The panel were asked questions such as their decisions as to why they wanted to obtain a PhD, what’s it like in the industry for doctoral graduates, and advice for students.

The new Aerospace PhD students at the Launch Party.

Made in Space visit to UCF

Dr. Patrick Flowers from Made in Space visited UCF on September 13 and presented some of his work and about the company Made in Space. Made is Space is located in Jacksonville, and it is a company that focuses on 3D printing in space. They have partnerships with NASA and SpaceX. In his presentation, he discussed a project that Made in Space is currently working on, a 3D printer that can build multiple structural components for a satellite in space.

Dr. Patrick Flowers presenting his 3D printing work.

Lab member Quentin Fouliard wins the award for the best experimental performance at the 1st North American Summer School on Photonic Materials

We are pleased to announce that lab member Quentin Fouliard won the award for the best experimental performance during his participation at the 1st North American Summer School on Photonic Materials held at COPL (Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser), Université Laval, in Quebec City, Canada. He has worked on the development and construction of a high power Erbium doped Silica fiber laser that can find applications for optical communications, metal engraving, trace gas detection or fiber pumping. The obtained laser output reached 5W at 1582 nm. Its thermal behavior and upconversion luminescence (visible in the photo) have been characterized.

Visible Erbium-upconversion luminescence under IR excitation on the fiber spool.







Our acknowledgments to the National Science Foundation (NSF) that supported Quentin for his participation at this event.

Lab member Quentin Fouliard (third position from the left) receiving the award with his team for the best experimental performance at NASSPM.

Lab member Quentin Fouliard (center of the picture) at the fiber laser lab of the COPL – Université Laval during experimentation.








Lab members volunteer at Camp Connect 2019

Lab member Perla Latorre and Khanh Vo led an outreach event, Camp Connect II. Camp Connect II is a summer camp for high school and middle school students. They are exposed to different engineering activities that encourage them to pursue careers in STEM. “The Balancing Act of Tensegrity” was the topic discussed with the students which introduced them to the term tensegrity – a stable structure consisting of members under tension and compression, where the members in tension are contiguous while the members in compression are not. Later the students had the opportunity to create their own structure with the help of our lab members. It is was a fun morning for everyone.


Lab members preparing the activity for the Camp Connect students

Perla assisting a student with their tensegrity model

Students working on the tensegrity models

Agathe’s research experience with RRG

Agathe performing experiments with the PPS

Hello everyone,

I am from the Ecole Polytechnique de l’Université de Nantes in France, and 4 weeks ago I crossed the Atlantic ocean to join the ALOX team for a 3-month internship. I want to become an engineer in the field of aeronautics or aerospace, so this is a huge opportunity for me to increase my knowledge and skills in this field. After days of research and discussion with the team, I was able to understand their work and the importance of it. The goal is to design a coating with enhanced sensing capability from the photoluminescence characteristics of alumina while maintaining the capacity of improving mechanical properties, namely fracture toughness. The team is also developing systems using piezospectroscopy to observe the dispersion of alumina, which is essential. In the future, the coating will be used to check the state of structures in order to make planes even safer. The ALOX team trained me on the calibration of the Portable Piezospectroscopy System (PPS), developed in-house, the positioning of the laser beam on the samples and the control of the data collected. They also taught me how to use MATLAB to create intensity maps of the studied samples. So now I am able to help them in every step of the PLPS experiment and the analysis of the results. I also have the chance to help Remelisa, Alex, and Ryan in the development of the Photoluminescent Hyperspectral Imaging system (PHI). Each day we try new things for the system, and the team shares ideas to improve the system. I particularly like this project because it is the first time I feel like I am a part of something never done before. I already learned a lot thanks to the team, and I am sure that this is just the beginning.

Article Written by Agathe Demay

The art and zen of Hypersonic Flight

Dyllian (Left) and Johnathan (Right) working on Ansys simulations.

This summer I have an amazing opportunity provided to me by the Mechanical Engineering department at UCF. This program, entitled the Research Experience for Undergrads: HYpersonic, Propulsive, Energetic, and Reusable Platforms, or REU HYPER for short, pairs students with professors and graduate students who seek to apply each intern’s unique abilities to further research into hypersonic travel. As a part of this program we not only get to perform hands on research tasks in laboratory environments, but also prepare for grad school with the help of the UCF graduate center. Activities offered by the program include backstage industry tours where we can see how professionals in our field work day to day, resume and skill building workshops that cover the details of building a robust CV or using industry programs, and, of course, extracurricular events to some of Orlando’s most exciting attractions. Thanks to the contributions of professors and staff at UCF, this summer program will provide me with the skills and experience I need to pursue my future career in the field of Aerospace Engineering!

Article Written by Dyllian

Lab member Lin Rossmann presents research at the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films

Lin Rossmann with Vincent Maurel, a collaborator in previous work.

Lin Rossmann gave a technical presentation at the 46th annual International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF) held May 19-24 in San Diego, CA. Her talk, entitled “Investigation of TGO stress in thermally cycled PS-PVD and EB-PVD thermal barrier coatings via photoluminescence spectroscopy”, presents research comparing thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) made by two different deposition techniques.  TBCs are important components in aircraft engines, protecting engine parts from the extreme temperatures of combustion.  The work was in collaboration with NASA Glenn Research Center, the German Aerospace Center, and Praxair Surface Technologies.

As a bonus, Lin was able to meet a previous collaborator.  Vincent Maurel, a researcher at MINES ParisTech, is a co-author on work that Lin presented at SciTech in 2018; while they had communicated by email previously, this was their first opportunity to meet in person.

To read more about ICMCTF, click here.

Lab member Sandip Haldar presents research at the NETL conference

Sandip (pictured) presented during the Optical and Wireless Sensors session of the conference.

Sandip Haldar participated in the 2019 Annual Project Review Meeting for Crosscutting, Rare Earth Elements, Gasification and Transformative Power Generation held at Pittsburgh, PA on 9-11 April, 2019. Sandip presented the updates on the DoE-UTSR project “In-situ optical monitoring of gas turbine blade coatings under operational extreme environments” led by Dr Raghavan and Dr Ghosh. Sandip presented under the Crosscutting Research section which promotes the advancement of technologies in modeling and simulation, cybersecurity,  and high performance materials.

NETL or National Energy Technology Laboratory is a laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy which strives to create solutions to the energy problems facing the country. This is done through the promotion of research and technology development.

Lab members publish paper in Applied Optics

We are pleased to announce that our new paper is published: “Modeling Luminescence Behavior For Phosphor Thermometry Applied To Doped Thermal Barrier Coating Configurations” in Applied Optics.

Lab members Quentin Fouliard and Sandip Haldar worked on a model to predict the luminescence behavior of rare-earth doped Thermal Barrier Coatings. These temperature sensitive coatings can be used for non-destructive characterization using Phosphor Thermometry. The modeling approach presented in the paper allows for savings in manufacturing costs by downselecting the optimized material configurations. In addition, the model paves the way to increasing the accuracy of Phosphor Thermometry measurements in extreme environments by providing the precise locations in the depth of the coating where temperature measurements are made.

Watch the video discussion for this publication!


Five undergraduate lab members present research posters at SURE

Five lab members, Perla Latorre, Nicholas Reed, Maxwell Smith, Zachary Stein, and Khanh Vo, presented four posters at the 2019 Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) at the University of Central Florida. SURE is an event in which undergraduates from all disciplines gain experience presenting their research and results to the students and faculty at UCF. SURE has been an invaluable opportunity as the undergraduates analyzed data, produced results and gained a deeper understanding of the scope and progress of their research.

Zachary Stein with his poster.

Khanh Vo (left) and Zachary Stein with their poster.








Zachary Stein presented “CMAS Ingression Study on EB-PVD Thermal Barrier Coatings Using Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction”; he and Khanh Vo presented “3D Printed Stress Sensing Coating on Composite Materials”. Both were assisted by their graduate mentors Sandip Haldar and Remelisa Esteves, respectively.

Maxwell Smith with his poster.

Maxwell Smith presented “Phase Volume Fraction Compared Between PS-PVD & EB-PVD After Thermal Cycling Via X-Ray Diffraction”. Maxwell was mentored by graduate researchers Matthew Northam and Lin Rossmann.

Nicholas Reed and Perla Latorre with their poster.

Nicholas Reed and Perla Latorre both presented “Stress Sensing of Alumina-Epoxy Coatings with Varying Volume Fractions of Alumina Nanoparticles”. Both were mentored by Remelisa Esteves.





Congratulations to our poster presenters! Left to right: Maxwell Smith, Nicholas Reed, Zachary Stein, Khanh Vo, and Perla Latorre.

Lab member Lin Rossmann honored at Aviation Week Network’s 62nd Annual Laureate Awards

Lin Rossmann, front right, with the other 20 Twenties winners at the Laureate Awards.

Lab member Lin Rossmann, along with the other 19 winners of Aviation Week Network and AIAA’s 20 Twenties awards, was honored at Aviation Week’s annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.  The Laureate Awards honor extraordinary achievements in aerospace, aviation, and defense.  Learn more about the Laureate Awards here.

The 20 Twenties, awarded by Aviation Week and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), honors 20 students in their twenties for their academic and research accomplishments and their record of giving back to the community.  Former lab member Estefania Bohorquez was a 20 Twenties honoree in 2018.

Lin Rossmann (left) and fellow lab member Brooke Sarley (right), her guest to the event, with Sandy Magnus, former astronaut (STS-112 Atlantis, STS-126 Endeavour, STS-119 Discovery, and STS-135 Atlantis, the final space shuttle mission) and former executive director of AIAA.

2019 IRES Team Announced

IRES 2019 team members, left to right: Andrew Laich, Jessica Baker, Zachary Stein, and Matthew Northam.

The 2019 International Research Experience for Students (IRES) team has been selected! Raghavan Research Group lab members Zachary Stein and Matthew Northam along with Vasu Lab members Andrew Laich and Jessica Baker have been chosen to participate in the IRES US-Germany collaboration. These students will spend the summer conducting research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) facilities in Cologne and Stuttgart. To learn more about the program, click here. Keep up with the IRES students through their blog page.

Lab member Lin Rossmann named one of AIAA’s 20 Twenties

Lin Rossmann graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2017 and is now pursuing her master’s degree in materials science.

We are pleased to announce that lab member Lin Rossmann is a winner of the “Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders: The 20 Twenties” awards for 2019, which recognizes students based on their academic performance, civic contribution, and research.  The twenty winners will be honored at Aviation Week’s 62nd Annual Laureates Awards in Washington, D.C. in March.

Her award is the subject of a UCF Today article, which can be read here.

The 20 Twenties, held by Aviation Week Network in collaboration with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, are meant to recognize and honor the twenty most promising future leaders in the aerospace industry.  To read the official announcement of winners, click here.

Remelisa Spends Summer and Fall Semesters at Boeing St. Louis As Part of NSF INTERN Program

Pictured from left to right: Samuel Tucker, Remelisa Esteves and Dr. Seetha Raghavan

Remelisa spent the summer and fall semesters interning at Boeing St. Louis, where she worked with researchers to optimize the piezospectroscopic method for commericial viability.  Her work is part of the NSF funded INTERN program, which allows her to perform research outside of the academic lab setting while acquiring professional development experience. Faculty mentor, Dr. Seetha Raghavan, paid a visit to the site and met the researchers there. Thanks goes to Remelisa’s manager, Samuel Tucker, for his guidance, as well as Boeing collaborators, Hong Tat and Joseph Schaefer, for their support on this project.

Update from Fulbright research in Germany

Dr. Bartsch and I discussing my work.

Hello all,

Thanks to winning a Fulbright student grant, I’ve been in Cologne, Germany since mid-September, conducting research for my masters’ thesis at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).  I’m studying thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), which are coating systems used to protect the components in the hot section of gas turbine engines used for aircraft propulsion and power generation.  I’m comparing two methods of depositing the ceramic top coat.  Electron-beam physical vapor deposition (EB-PVD) is the industry standard method for producing the high-quality coatings used on the most critical hot-section components of aero-engines.  The process involves vaporizing a solid ceramic target in a high vacuum, and the ceramic vapor condenses onto the part, which gives it a characteristic microstructure that is “strain tolerant” – less likely to crack with the repeated expansion and contraction associated with thermal cycles.  Because the vapor must diffuse onto the coating, the process is slow, and the high vacuum requirement makes the process more difficult and expensive.  The second process is plasma-spray physical vapor deposition (PS-PVD), which is a newer process that is faster, cheaper, and promises greater flexibility than EB-PVD.  In this process, ceramic powder is injected into a plasma plume, where it is either melted or vaporized, depending on the process parameters.  Because the plasma plume carries the ceramic to the part at high speed, the coating rate is much higher, and there is some non-line-of-sight capability, which will enable more complex part geometries or even multiple parts to be coated at once.  Changing the process parameters also controls the resulting microstructure, which is relevant to applications beyond TBCs in engines – for example, gas-sending membranes or ion transport layers in fuel cells.  Before PS-PVD TBCs can be adopted commercially, their properties and response to service conditions must be compared to EB-PVD TBCs.  My work compares samples of both times, which have received varying amounts of thermal cycling to simulate low-, mid-, and high-lifetime coatings.

Embedded cross section of my dummy EB-PVD sample. That thin white layer is the TBC. The temperature drop across it can be as great as 200 °C (nearly 400 °F)!

I’ve been busy analyzing spectroscopy data that I’ve collected on my samples.  Photoluminescent piezospectroscopy (PLPS) and Raman spectroscopy are non-destructive optical methods that provide information on the residual stress state of the coatings, which indicates remaining lifetime.  Even more exciting, I’m planning my further testing with my mentor, Dr. Bartsch, here at DLR.

I’ll be imaging my samples with scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy.  These techniques are time-consuming, expensive, and highly dependent on good quality sample preparation, so it’s critical to plan carefully and know what you’re looking for before you start.  I’ll be using these techniques to support and explain my conclusions from my spectroscopy results.  Dr. Bartsch has kindly provided me with some “dummy” samples similar to my own, for me to train and practice on.  You don’t want to do a technique for the first time on your valuable samples, especially when it’s destructive!

I started by cutting a small piece from one of the dummy samples, embedding it in conductive mounting material, and polishing the cross section.  The quality of surface finish is extremely important for good images.  I took a few optical microscope images of the dummy, to check the surface finish and practice using the microscope.  More surface preparation will be needed before I can image it with the electron microscope.

DLR is home to experts in the world of TBCs, and it’s a privilege to get their advice and feedback on my work.  It’s a little surreal to have scientific conversations with some of the authors of papers I’ve read!  Dr. Bartsch has a lot of expertise to share, not only on TBCs but also on the sample preparation and testing I’ll be doing.  (Bonus: she’s the nicest lady you’ll ever meet.)  At DLR, I also have access to a caliber of equipment that I wouldn’t have back at UCF, along with expert technicians and scientists to help me get the most out of it.  And of course, the experience of living in another country and experiencing another culture is irreplaceable.

More updates later,

Lin Rossmann

Lab Member Remelisa Esteves Featured on National Science Foundation’s INTERN Program Video

Lab member Remelisa Esteves at the Boeing center in St. Louis, Missouri

Lab member Remelisa Esteves is currently interning with Boeing at St. Louis, Missouri from June 2018 to December 2018, where she is working alongside professional engineers to optimize the piezospectroscopic method for nondestructive testing of aerospace structures and commercial viability. We are proud to announce that Remelisa has been featured in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) INTERN program video! Dr. Seetha Raghavan makes a cameo in this video as well.

Click on the image to see the NSF internship video featuring Remelisa and Dr. Raghavan

Click here for more information on NSF’s INTERN program

Lab members attend and present posters at DOE UTSR Conference 2018

Lab members Dr. Sandip Haldar, Quentin Fouliard, and Matthew Northam participated at the 2018 Department of Energy University Turbine Systems Research Program Conference held at Daytona Beach, FL from October 30- November 1, 2018. Matthew and Dr. Haldar presented 2D X-ray diffraction experiment results obtained at the Argonne National Laboratory in June of 2018 and Quentin presented his results on the optimization of temperature sensing coatings. These graduate students attended multiple talks over the three day conference relating to RDEs, TBC/EBCs, and turbine heat exchangers among others from experts in their respective fields.

Lab members (left to right) Matthew Northam, Quentin Fouliard, and DrSandip Haldar present there posters at the USTR Conference in Daytona Beach, FL.


Both Quentin and Dr. Haldar presented findings in collaboration with Dr. Ranajay Ghosh and his graduate student, Peter Warren shown in the below picture. Additionally, the results from this collaboration were also presented by Dr. Raghavan in a talk held on the second day of the conference.

Conference attendees (from left to right) Quentin Fouliard, Dr. Ranajay Ghosh, Peter Warren, and Dr. Sandip Haldar stand in front of their posters at the UTSR Conference.

IRES 2017 team interviewed on “Lend me your Engineers” podcast

Last year, the dynamic IRES 2017 team gave a podcast interview featured on our UCF MAE department website:


Tune in and listen to their thoughts and adventures. Learn about how a summer of research in Germany can change your life.

The IRES applications for 2019 “US Germany collaboration in Materials for Extreme Environments” is open.

Read about previous participants and their adventures in their blog


Apply to be part of the next research adventure here:



Research Team Now Accepting IRES Applications

Through a research collaboration with German Aerospace Center(DLR) in Cologne, Germany, both graduate and undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research on the mechanics of aerospace materials. Requirements for applicants include being enrolled at UCF, and being able to enroll in directed research during the Spring and Summer 2019 terms as well as participating in research activities 10-20 hours a week. Students who are accepted will have the opportunity to work with leading scientists at a state of the art facility and be able to participate in industrial visits and cultural activities. Housing and a competitive stipend are provided. The deadline to apply is November 14th.

Click here to apply

Informational Flyer

UCF and DLR Collaboration

Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, Germany

Former IRES participant conducting an experiment at DLR










Lab members attend and volunteer at AIAA Space Forum 2018

Graduate students Quentin Fouliard and Johnathan Hernandez participated at the 22nd AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies conference held in Orlando, FL from September 17-19, 2018. They attended talks related to hypersonics and took the opportunity to network with renowned experts in the field present at the event. In addition, they collaborated with AIAA UCF and NASA to set up interactive booths for the Generation STEM event which was part of the conference’s program.

Johnathan Hernandez (left) and Quentin Fouliard (right)

Lab members Khanh Vo, Sandip Haldar, Kyle Rushton, and Alexander Olvera volunteered at Generation STEM hosted by Lockheed Martin to engage and stimulate middle school students’ interest in the field of aerospace engineering. They worked with Asst Chief Engineer Teresa Kinney from KSC NASA to assist with her and Dr Raghavan’s Structural Dynamics technical committee booth as well as the AIAA UCF student chapter booth in the setup and the activity. The activity at the structural dynamics technical committee booth involved practical applications of dynamics in structures and the use of Chladni plates to explain the concepts of dynamics and vibration modes.

Pictured from Left to Right: Khanh Vo, Sandip Haldar, Erik Durnberg, Teresa Kinney, Alexander Olvera, and Kyle Rushton.

With AIAA UCF student chapter, they also demonstrated the benefits of the opportunities offered within the club and showed how kids can get a head start into the aerospace industry.

Lab member Quentin Fouliard partook at ICPT18

Graduate Student Quentin Fouliard participated in ICPT18, the 1st International Conference on Phosphor Thermometry held in Glasgow, UK, on July 25-27, 2018. Quentin presented a conference paper titled “Configurations for Temperature Sensing of Thermal Barrier Coatings” in which initial results on an optimization method to select rare-earth phosphors based on their thermo-mechanical and optical properties were discussed. He took this great opportunity to exchange knowledge with experts on Phosphor Thermometry and to share with them his findings as well as collecting suggestions for future improvements on this research.

Quentin is in the fifth position from the right in the furthest row.

Quentin is currently working on a project that is funded by the US Department of Energy and deals with the implementation of advanced instrumentation techniques for accurate temperature and stress monitoring on Thermal Barrier Coatings.

Lab members publish paper in Applied Optics

We are pleased to announce that three of our current and former lab members have published their paper “Silane functionalization effects on dispersion of alumina nanoparticles in hybrid carbon fiber composites” in the journal of Applied Optics.

Current and former lab members Alex Selimov, Sanjida Jahan, and Eric Barker worked in collaboration with scientists at Imperial College London, studying the effects of silane treatments on the dispersion properties of alumina nanoparticles in composite materials.

Lab member Zachary Stein presents poster for Summer Research Academy

Lab member Zachary Stein has presented a poster on the research he has been conducting this summer as part of his participation in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), which he was awarded in April.  Zac has been studying the effects of sand ingression on thermal barrier coatings and the research presented was on some initial analysis of the experiments conducted at Argonne National Laboratory this July.

Zac (center) presenting his poster “Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction Study of CMAS Ingression in Electron-Beam Physical Vapor Deposition Thermal Barrier Coatings.”

Zac presented at the Summer Research Academy’s “Meet Student Researchers: Poster Showcase.”  The Summer Research Academy introduces its participants to academic research and how to get started on conducting research themselves.

Lab member Debraliz Isaac-Aragones finishes summer research experience at Purdue

Lab member Debraliz Isaac-Aragones spent the summer at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Her research focused on alternative thermal management solutions for electronic devices using thermal interface materials. She investigated the conduction pattern of particle-filled polymer composites using infrared microscopy. The experimental results were validated with both simulation software and theoretical relationships found in literature. She presented her summer’s work at the 2018 SURF Symposium.

Debraliz presenting her topic ‘Study of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of Polymer Composites with Varying Filler Arrangements’ at the 2018 SURF Symposium.

Debraliz also participated in a program called Pathways that provided additional mentoring, networking, and professional opportunities for underrepresented students interested in pursuing a PhD. “We had several informal meetings where a small group of students and I engaged in discussion with faculty and graduate students. It has been a valuable experience to ask questions first-hand about what life is like in and after graduate school.” Overall, SURF gave her a better outlook on her future as a researcher.

Debraliz with a sculpture of Neil Armstrong at Purdue University.

Field team reflects on experience at Argonne National Laboratory

Four students, three of them members of our lab, were part of a field team who recently conducted experiments at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).  Experiment campaigns at ANL are rigorous and demanding, but highly rewarding.  The students reflect on their experience.

Matthew Northam, graduate student:

“I am, overall, very happy with how this year’s ANL trip went. Our group hit a few road blocks during the XRD experimentations, as to be expected, but everyone was constantly focused and determined to work together and get around the problems. Because the beam went down, we had to do twice as much work in the last day of experiments in order to reach our goals, but we came up with a new sample holder design and became more efficient regarding data collection and achieved our goals and then more. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of dedicated people to work with.”

Lin Rossmann, graduate student:

“Zac was our MVP, hands down.  It’s impressive enough for an undergrad to be in charge of their own study, but not only did he do that, he also took the lead on our data analysis.  With some help from the beamline scientists, he was able to analyze some of our XRD data to get strain information while we were still there.  Being able to analyze data while the experiment is still ongoing is very important, because then you can be confident that your collection parameters are good, and if they’re not, you have time to fix it.”

Peter Warren, graduate student:

“To be able to go to Argonne National Lab and conduct experiments was an amazing and transforming experience. The entire trip was very enlightening, and was filled with excitement. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have been a part of this trip. Being able to interact with some of the most brilliant scientists in the world felt quite surreal. This trip has given me both motivation and encouragement to continue my academic career in engineering.”

Zachary Stein, undergraduate student:

“It was definitely challenging to run my own study and ensure the best possible data was being produced, but the rest of the team was there assisting me along the way.  Teamwork and on-the-spot problem solving is essential, meaning everyone must know each other’s projects as well as their own to be able to contribute fully.  It was a week of important life lessons, but the most important of all is to keep a persistent, determined, and focused attitude so that no obstacles can stand in the way.”

Left to right: Matt Northam, Dr. Seetha Raghavan, Lin Rossmann, Dr. Ranajay Ghosh, Peter Warren, and Zac Stein.

Lab member Estefania Bohorquez wins poster award at TBC conference in Irsee, Germany

We are proud to announce that Estefania Bohorquez has won second place in the Best Poster Award at Thermal Barrier Coatings V, a conference held by Engineering Conferences International (ECI). Her poster, titled “Raman studies on EB-PVD 7 wt% yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings with CMAS deposits,” is the result of a collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Estefania Bohorquez with her DLR collaborators.

The conference was held in Irsee, Germany from June 24 – 29, 2018.  This is the first time the lab has been represented at this event, which occurs every 4 years and is highly competitive.

The collaboration with DLR developed from the NSF International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program.  As part of IRES, Estefania was one of a group of students who spent a summer conducting research at a DLR facility.  To read more about IRES, click here.

Field team conducts research using the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory

A team of researchers under Dr. Seetha Raghavan and Dr. Ranajay Ghosh has just returned from an experimental campaign at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).  The experiments encompassed three different projects, each making use of the high-energy synchrotron x-rays of the APS to investigate the microstructure and physical properties of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs).  TBCs are used to protect components in gas turbine engines from the extreme heat of combustion, and the team is contributing to their advancement in three areas.

Left to right: graduate student Matt Northam, APS beamline scientist Jun-Sang Park, Dr. Seetha Raghavan, graduate student Lin Rossmann, Dr. Ranajay Ghosh, UCF postdoctoral fellow Dr. Sandip Haldar, undergraduate student Zac Stein, DLR postdoctoral fellow Dr. Ravi Naraparaju, graduate student Peter Warren, and APS beamline scientist Peter Kenesei.

The project led by graduate students Matthew Northam and Lin Rossmann encompasses investigating the properties of thermal barrier coatings produced by plasma-spray physical vapor deposition, a new and promising manufacturing method that may be more customizable and cost-effective than the current techniques in industry.  This project is in collaboration with Dr. Bryan Harder of NASA’s Glenn Research Center; Matt and Lin visited Glenn in the spring semester to manufacture and begin testing these samples with Dr. Harder.

Postdoctoral fellow Sandip Haldar and graduate student Peter Warren led a Department of Energy-funded study on thermal barrier coatings doped with the rare earth element europium.  Rare earth elements fluoresce when stimulated with certain wavelengths of light, and the duration of this fluorescence is dependent on temperature.  A major objective of the DoE project is to implement rare-earth-doped TBCs such that the temperature inside an engine can be measured non-destructively and optically.  The study performed at ANL will provide insight into how the addition of europium affects the mechanical properties of the TBC.

Undergraduate student Zachary Stein led a study investigating the effects of sand and ash on thermal barrier coatings.  Fine debris like sand, dust, and ash causes damage to the TBCs in aircraft engines and shortens the engine lifetime, so understanding the nature of its effects is important to improving future coatings.  This project is in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and DLR postdoctoral fellow Dr. Ravi Naraparaju joined the team for a day to discuss the project with Zac and Dr. Raghavan.

The team members from Raghavan Research Group were postdoctoral fellow Sandip Haldar, graduate students Matthew Northam and Lin Rossmann, and undergraduate student Zachary Stein; graduate student Peter Warren is a member of Dr. Ghosh’s research group.  The team thanks the scientists at Sector 1 of the Advanced Photon Source who helped them: Dr. Jonathan Almer, Jun-Sang Park, Peter Kenesei, and Ali Mashayehki.

Debraliz Isaac Aragones selected for AIAA Diversity Scholarship to attend the 2018 Aviation Forum held June 24-29 in Atlanta, GA

The AIAA Diversity Scholars Program provides scholarships for underrepresented university students to attend an AIAA forum. The scholars are given the chance to expand their network and learn about career opportunities in the aerospace industry. They get to learn from engineers and scientists about the latest research and development findings that are changing the future of aerospace. Additionally, there are special sessions designed to enhance the scholars’ experience.

Diversity scholars Debraliz Isaac, Maddie Moore, and Emma Chao win “Mars Rover” design competition at the Aviation Forum

Debraliz participated in many networking opportunities where she connected with representatives from companies such as NASA, Lockheed Martin, Aurora from Boeing, and many more! In the Plenary and Forum 360 sessions she got to learn about the different aspects of the aviation industry, from technical advancements to social, environmental, and economic effects. She attended many technical sessions from topics of aircraft design optimization to heat transfer in chemically reacting or extreme environments.

Debraliz’s favorite event was the Rising Leaders in Aerospace Panel on the topic of growing diversity in the aerospace sector. “It was inspiring to hear from accomplished professionals in the aerospace field about how they overcame challenges, as well as, their involvement in helping diversity grow in aerospace.”

Attending the Aviation Forum as a diversity scholar was a great way for her to get involved and learn about the aerospace industry.

Lab members host STEM activity for Camp Connect II

Lab members Zac Stein, Khanh Vo, Matt Northam, and Sanjida Jahan hosted “The Balancing Act of Tensegrity” for Camp Connect II. This activity introduces the students to the concept of tensegrity – the principle of a structure that contains stiff members in compression held only by elastic members like cables, string, and rubber bands.

Zachary Stein (left) and Khanh Vo presenting to the students of Camp Connect.

Students participating in the activity successfully created basic tensegrity structures.










Camp Connect is a week-long summer camp at UCF that introduces students in 8th grade and high school to a variety of engineering disciplines and encourages careers in STEM. Students participate in various activities and presentations with the help of both faculty and students.

Lab members Remelisa Esteves and Sanjida Jahan train with optical instrumentation at Lumium

Lab members Remelisa Esteves and Sanjida Jahan spent a week at Lumium in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands to train with optical instrumentation for their respective projects. They are collaborating with Dr. Bauke Heeg, who is developing a piezospectroscopic imaging (PSI) system for Remelisa’s Partnership for Innovation (PFI) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as a phosphor thermometry (PT) system for Sanjida’s Department of Energy (DoE) project funded by Siemens.

Remelisa performs tests with the piezospectroscopic imaging system.

Dr. Heeg (left) and Sanjida (right) perform tests with the phosphor thermometry system.

Lumium is a sole-proprietary business, founded and owned by Dr. Heeg, that develops advanced laser and non-laser based optical instrumentation for science, engineering and industrial applications. For more information, visit www.lumium.nl.

Lab Member Remelisa Esteves presents her research at SAMPE conference

Remelisa Esteves presented her technical paper at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) conference in Long Beach, CA, held May 21 – 24, 2018. She presented her topic “Piezospectroscopic coatings: Effects of alumina nanoparticle volume fraction on stress-sensing,” in which she is first author.

Remelisa Esteves at the SAMPE conference.

SAMPE is a global professional member society that provides educational opportunities pertaining to new and advanced materials and processing technology. At the conferences, scientists, engineers and students can present their research, attend talks, network, and participate in professional development workshops. For more information on SAMPE, visit https://www.nasampe.org/.

Lab member Khanh Vo presents poster at Partnership for Innovation conference

Our undergraduate student Khanh Vo attended the Partnership for Innovation/Small Business Innovation Research (PFI/SBIR) conference, held June 4-6 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Khanh and collaborator Dr. Axel Schϋzlgen presented a poster titled “Multi-Scale and In-Situ Sensing Technology for Structural Integrity.” This poster gives a brief description of how the stress-sensing coating operates and the potential it has in industry.

Khanh Vo (left) and Dr. Schülzgen present their poster at the PFI/SBIR conference.

Khanh participated in the “Perfect Pitch Competition” as part of the PFI conference. He also attended sessions that provided knowledge vital to pitching, knowing the customer base, team core values and working with large companies.

Partnership for Innovation and Small Business Innovation Research is a significant conference for academic researchers and aspiring startups who want to bring their research and projects out into industry as a commercially viable product.

Lab members Matthew Northam and Lin Rossmann manufacture samples at NASA Glenn Research Center

Matt and Lin on their first day at Glenn.

Lab members Matt Northam and Lin Rossmann are spending two weeks at NASA Glenn Research Center to manufacture and characterize samples. They are collaborating with Dr. Bryan Harder of NASA Glenn, investigating a new method of depositing thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) for turbine engines.

Matt spot-welds samples to a mounting plate for coating. Lin grit-blasts the plate clean after a round of coating.

Matt and Lin are learning many skills, including spot welding, grit blasting, and using characterization techniques such as powder x-ray diffraction and profilometry. They have been given tours of other facilities at Glenn and are learning about life as an experimental scientist at a NASA research center.

Dr. Raghavan poses with Matt and Lin in front of a Shuttle/Centaur G-Prime upper stage rocket engine on display at Glenn. Dr. Raghavan joined the students for three days of their trip.

NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field is one of ten major NASA field centers; its primary mission is to develop science and technology for aerospace applications.

Lab member Zachary Stein to study in Switzerland for fall 2018

Lab member Zachary Stein will spend the fall 2018 semester attending classes at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland. ZHAW was founded in 1874 as a technical school for mechanical engineering, and has since become one of Switzerland’s largest engineering schools.

While in Switzerland, Zac will continue his research projects remotely. He will prepare a presentation on his summer project investigating the effects of sand ingression on thermal barrier coatings, for which he was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He will also work with Khanh Vo, developing and 3D-printing stress-sensing composite materials; for this work, Zac and Khanh were awarded a grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research. Zac will present posters on both projects at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence in the spring of 2019.

We wish Zac the best during his time abroad and wish him safe travels.

Lab members Zac Stein and Khanh Vo awarded undergraduate research grant

Our lab members Zac Stein and Khanh Vo have been awarded a grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research in support of their project, Investigation on 3D printing stress sensing coatings on carbon composites for photoluminescence piezospectroscopy. The results will be presented at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence in the spring of 2019. They are continuing to make us proud; both Zac and Khanh presented research posters at the 2018 Showcase, and Khanh was awarded both Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice.

Khanh is mentored by Mohamed Abdelgader, Remelisa Esteves, and Sanjida Jahan. Zac is mentored by Estefania Bohorquez, Matthew Northam, and Lin Rossmann.

Lab member Zac Stein awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that our lab member Zac Stein has been awarded a 2018 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Track 1 – Emerging Scholar. He will be studying the effects of sand ingression on thermal barrier coatings, and will present a scientific poster at the UCF SURF showcase at the end of the summer.

The SURF program provides support to students across engineering, science, and technology disciplines to engage in research.

Lab member Debraliz Isaac-Aragones wins Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to Purdue University

We are proud to announce that our lab member Debraliz Isaac-Aragones has been awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2018 from Purdue University. She will spend the summer at Purdue under the guidance of Dr. Amy Marconnet, studying the effective thermal conductivity of thermal interface materials using an infrared microscope. To learn more about the Purdue SURF program, click here.

The SURF program is designed to help students across engineering, science, and technology disciplines to discover a world of opportunity available to them through research.

IRES students present their research to Raghavan Research Group

The participants of this year’s International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program presented their research topics and progress to members of our lab. The IRES students are spending the spring preparing for a summer semester conducting research at German Aerospace Center (DLR) facilities in Germany.

Michelle Otero (far left), Luisana Calderon (second from left), and Jalime Vargas (far right) present their diverse research topics to members of the Raghavan Research Group. Chance Barrett, not pictured, is the fourth IRES participant.

The IRES students are all members of research labs at UCF, and their participation is extending our network of collaborations. Michelle Otero and Jalime Vargas work under Dr. Kareem Ahmed at the Propulsion and Energy Research Laboratory (PERL), Luisana Calderon works under Dr. Jayanta Kapat at the Center for Advanced Turbine and Energy Research (CATER), and Chance Barrett works under Dr. Laurene Tetard at the Nanoscience Technology Center.

Follow along with the IRES students by reading their blog.

Lab member Khanh Vo wins Audience’s Choice award in SURE competition

We are proud to announce that Khanh Vo has won the Audience’s Choice award at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE). This is the second award he has won at the competition (see previous post). He presented at the SURE event on the topic of “Spectroscopic Analyses of Composite Materials Using a Spectroscopic Portable System.” These positive outcomes are a result of joint lab group efforts, including Khanh’s graduate mentors: Remelisa Esteves, Sanjida Jahan, and Mohamed Abdelgader.

Khanh presents his award-winning poster, “Spectroscopy on Composite Materials,” at SURE.

SURE provides an opportunity for undergraduate students of all disciplines to present their research to the broader university community. For more information, click here.

IRES Students Host STEM Day Activity

The 2018 IRES team, with help from volunteers, hosted activities for UCF STEM Day. This year they had two groups of students; one from middle school and one from high school. Each group rotated through different stations where they learned about topics on heat transfer, spectroscopy, and gas turbine engines.

At the heat transfer station, the students learned about different heat transfer mechanisms through the use of thermochromic materials. A volunteer did a demonstration with thermochromic sheets made from thermochromic liquid crystals to show its color variation in response to temperature change.

Juan Hernandez demonstrating the concepts of heat transfer with the use of thermochromic material.

At the next station, the students learned about non-destructive methods of testing through a spectroscopy demonstration. An IRES participant prepared spectrometers for the students to use to see the different color spectrum when exposed to various sources of light.

Students looking through spectrometers while IRES participant Chance Barrett explains basics of spectroscopy.

The final station consisted of posters showing a deconstructed gas turbine engine and “engines of the future”. One of the goals of this IRES STEM activity was to promote international collaboration through a language learning exchange. The IRES participants thought the students some technical and non-technical words pertaining to gas turbine engines in German. In addition, they discussed the functions of engines and the importance of using thermal barrier coatings to allow higher turbine inlet temperature, which enhances the thermal efficiency.

2017 IRES alum Lin Rossmann and 2018 IRES participant Jalime Vargas explaining gas turbine engines to the students.

At the end of the activity, the IRES participants asked the students questions on what they had learned and gave out prizes for correct answers. Overall, the students really enjoyed the activity!

Middle school students being asked questions at the end of STEM activity.

Special thanks goes out to all of our volunteers and the IRES students for coming together and making this activity possible.

We had:
Lin Rossmann, Debraliz Isaac, Estefania Bohorquez, Quentin Fouliard, Sanjida Jahan, Stephania Ochoa, Zach Stein, Susanne Henninger, and Ryan Hoover from the Raghavan Research Group.

Luisana Calderon (2018 IRES participant) and Juan Hernandez from the Center for Advanced Turbine and Energy Research (CATER) lab.

Michelle Otero and Jalime Vargas (2018 IRES participants) from the Propulsion and Energy Research Lab (PERL).

Chance Barrett (2018 IRES participant) from the Tetard Research Group, and Daniela Ojeda from the Mechanics of Materials Research Group.

Lab member Estefania Bohorquez receives NSF graduate research fellowship

We are pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Estefania Bohorquez a graduate research fellowship. Her field of study is Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering.

Estefania graduated from UCF with her bachelors’ degree in civil engineering in December 2017, and is now pursuing a masters’ degree.

The 2018 competition received over 12,000 applications and made 2,000 award offers. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the graduate research fellowship program has a long history of selecting recipients who reach high levels of success in their academic and professional careers. To learn more about GRFP, click here.

Zac Stein and Khanh Vo Present Posters at Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence, Khanh Wins Judges’ Choice Award

Our lab members Zac Stein and Khanh Vo each presented posters at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence this week. We are proud of them and their work, and we are delighted that Khanh was named the Judges’ Choice Winner. Both students, like all of our lab’s undergraduates, are being mentored by graduate students in our lab. Khanh’s mentors are Remelisa Esteves, Sanjida Jahan, and Mohamed Abdelgader, and Zac’s mentors are Estefania Bohorquez and Lin Rossmann.

Khanh Vo won the Judges’ Choice award for his poster, “Spectroscopy on Composite Materials.”

Zac Stein presented his poster, “X-Ray Diffraction Studies of CMAS Infiltration of Thermal Barrier Coatings.”










The Showcase provides an opportunity for undergraduate students of all disciplines to present their research to the broader university community. For more information, click here.

Lab members Estefania Bohorquez and Lin Rossmann selected for Fulbright awards to Germany

We are very proud to announce that two members of our lab, Estefania Bohorquez and Lin Rossmann, have been selected for Fulbright awards to Germany. They will spend ten months conducting research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) facility in Cologne, beginning in September 2018.

Lin Rossmann (left) and Estefania Bohorquez on their first day in Cologne as part of the IRES program in 2017. Their IRES experience was the reason for their decision to apply for Fulbright.

The two spent the previous summer conducting research at DLR Cologne as part of the International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program; they both credit their IRES experience as their motivation for applying for the Fulbright program. This year’s group of IRES participants are preparing for their own research in Germany in summer 2018; you can read about their activities at the IRES blog.

Estefania and Lin are following in the footsteps of former lab member Albert Manero, who was a 2014 Fulbright awardee at the same DLR facility in Cologne. To read more about the Fulbright program, click here.

Lab member Debraliz Isaac Aragones presents her research at the ASEE-SE Conference

Debraliz Isaac Aragones has presented a technical paper at the American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern (ASEE-SE) conference held March 4-6, 2018 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, Florida. Debraliz presented her topic as first author on “US-Germany Collaboration in Materials for Extreme Environments: Developing an International Research Pathway Towards Creating Global Engineers for the Future”. The paper discusses how the NSF-IRES: US-Germany collaboration develops students as global engineerings and can be found on the publications page of the website.

The ASEE conferences are dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education. They are committed to encouraging the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing networking opportunities.

Click here for more information about ASEE.

Lab member Estefania Bohorquez has been featured on UCF Today

It is our pleasure to announce that lab member Estefania Bohorquez has been featured in the UCF Today’s article, “Woman of Wonder: Graduate Student and Aerial Acrobat Recognized for Aerospace Work”.

She is a winner of the 20 Twenties Award for 2018 and was also a participant of the IRES: US-Germany collaboration in 2017. Learn about Estefania’s journey and inspirations that have gotten her where she is now, on UCF Today.

Lab member Estefania Bohorquez named one of AIAA’s 20 Twenties

We are thrilled to announce that our lab member Estefania Bohorquez is a winner of the 20 Twenties awards for 2018, and will be honored during Aviation Week’s 61st Annual Laureates Awards in Washington, D.C. in March.

Estefania graduated in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Lab member Lin Rossmann received an honorable mention, and will be published in the list of honorable mentions in Aviation Week Magazine’s digital February edition.

The 20 Twenties, held by Aviation Week Network in collaboration with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, are meant to recognize and honor the twenty most promising future leaders in the aerospace industry.  To read the official announcement of winners, click here.

2018 IRES Students Announced

2018 IRES participants, left to right: Chance Barrett, Luisana Calderon, Michelle Otero, Jalime Vargas.

The 2018 IRES team has been selected! Chance Barrett, Luisana Calderon, Michelle Otero, and Jalime Vargas have been chosen to participate in the IRES US- Germany collaboration. The students will spend the summer conducting research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) facilities in Cologne and Stuttgart. To learn more about the program click here. Keep up with the 2018 IRES students through their blog page.

Three lab members present their research at AIAA SciTech Forum

Estefania Bohorquez, Sanjida Jahan, and Lin Rossmann each presented a technical paper at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech Forum conference in Kissimmee, held January 8-12. Estefania presented her topic, “Investigation of the Effects of CMAS Infiltration on EB-PVD 7% Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia via Raman Spectroscopy.” Sanjida presented “Effect of Functionalization on Mechanical Properties of Hybrid Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (HCFRP) Composites Using Piezospectroscopy.” Lin presented “Method for Conducting In-Situ High Temperature DIC with Simultaneous Synchrotron Measurements under Thermomechanical Load.” All three are first authors.

Sanjida Jahan (left) and Lin Rossmann at SciTech.

SciTech is a significant conference in the aerospace industry with many opportunities valuable to students. In addition to presenting their research, the students attended talks and participated in networking and career-development activities.

Lin’s favorite development event was the speed mentoring session, in which senior members of the aerospace community rotated among small groups of students. “I loved getting to talk to people from very different areas of the aerospace industry. My favorite piece of advice was that your career is not linear, and you should not be afraid to explore directions that don’t seem strictly related.”

For more information about SciTech, visit scitech.aiaa.org/About.

Visiting Graduate Student Arrives from Germany

The research team’s US-Germany collaboration continues to grow as we welcome Susanne Henninger who is visiting from the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg). She has come to UCF to conduct research for her master’s thesis. She will be spending the spring semester researching additive manufactured superalloy CMSX-4. Her biography can be found here.

2017 Research Team Ready for the New School Semester

Remelisa Esteves, Alisia Colon, Daniel Castro, and Cassidy Hull have joined our lab. Alisia and Cassidy will work on additively manufactured nickel alloys, Remelisa will improve our portable Pieszospectroscopy instrumentation, and Daniel will join the team investigating TBCs.
This semester we have students working with additive manufacturing, structural composites, alumina, and thermal barrier coatings. Some of the research is an expansion of work we’ve done in the past, such as Plasma Spray Physical Vapor Deposition of TBCs and new high-temperature NDE characterization methods. Don’t forget to check back to our website as we update on our experiences and results from our research.

Research Students go to NASA Glenn Research Lab to study Plasma Spray Physical Vapor Deposition

From July 16th to July 21st Eric Barker, Taiason Cole, and Dr. Seetha Raghavan went to Cleveland Ohio to work with Dr. Bryan Harder to manufacture and study Plasma Spray Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD) at the NASA Glenn Center. PS-PVD is a new deposition method that combines the benefits of past depositions such as Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition. At NASA Glenn the students coated 6 samples and did roughness tests, x-ray diffraction tests, and used optical microscopy on the samples. They hope to be able to characterize the samples with raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction.
It was a great learning experience and they even got a cool video of the deposition of the material.
This partnership with NASA is just beginning and as more developments with the thermal barrier coatings are made more trips will follow in the future.

Lab students prepare samples for experimentation at the German Aerospace Center

IRES Students at DLR received metallographic training to prepare samples for experimentation. These experiments are intended to support investigations being conducted at our Lab at UCF.

You can learn more about their experience and check out their blog here.

You can learn about the IRES program and how to gain an international research opportunity next summer here

Research Students promote research for the Student Research Academy

Through the Summer Research Academy, four of our research students got the chance to promote our research lab to undergraduate students who were interested. They talked about their own personal experience with research as well as the projects they are working on. The attendees got a chance to learn about the equipment and posters in the lab as well. Also one of our research students, Khanh Vo, presented one of our posters at the Research Showcase.

Thank you Taiason Cole, Khanh Vo, Ryan Hoover, and Eric Barker

Camp Connect

Camp Connect is a week-long day camp that introduces high school and middle school students to various engineering disciplines at the University of Central Florida. For Camp Connect we hosted “Shedding Light on Damage in Aircraft Structures”. We had 4 groups of 20 students, meaning we met up to 80 students in total. We started off by educating the students about spectrums and how we use light to test our materials and study their mechanical properties. Afterwards the students got into group of four and created their own spectroscopes. Spectroscopes are a tool used to split the wavelengths of lights into the colors that make them up also called spectrums. Once they created the spectroscopes we allowed the students to look at various light sources through the spectroscopes and record their observations. They got to look at fluorescent, incandescent, projector, computer, and their cellphone lights. Following the observations, they played a matching game where they compared different spectrums to the lights they observed and see how many they could match up. Two groups got all five spectrums correct. It was a great activity and the kids had a great time learning about light and understanding how it can be used to tell us about our materials.


Special Thanks to Taiason Cole, Khanh Vo, Sanjida Jahan, Ryan Hoover, and Eric Barker

IRES-Germany 2017 summer research kicks off

Lab group members Debraliz Isaac, Lin Rossmann, and Estefania Bohorquez depart today for Cologne, Germany to begin their IRES trip.

These students will spend the next 10 weeks at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) working with collaborators to perform experiments, put together publications, and learn from the international research experience. To learn more about their trip, visit the IRES page and read their blog.

Three lab members awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to our three lab members who were awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships by UCF. Taiason Cole was awarded under Track 1, Emerging Fellow, and will be analyzing x-ray diffraction data as part of an investigation to characterize additively manufactured Inconel 718.  Eric Barker was awarded under Track 2, Fieldwork Fellow, and will be working with NASA’s Glenn Research Center for research on a new thermal barrier coating called PS-PVD. Brooke Sarley was awarded under Track 3, Publishing Fellow, and will be preparing a manuscript for publication based on research she has been conducting for several semesters on additively manufactured Inconel 718.

Lab members present posters at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence at UCF

Lab members Eric Barker, Estefania Bohorquez, Jonathan Hernandez, Ryan Hoover, Lin Rossmann, and Brooke Sarley presented three research posters at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) at UCF. SURE provides the perfect opportunity for UCF undergraduates from all disciplines to present their research and projects to the rest of the UCF community.

Eric Barker and Johnathan Hernandez presented on “Effects of Functionalization on Hybrid Carbon Reinforced Polymer Composites through Photoluminescence Spectroscopy.”

Eric Barker and Johnathan Hernandez

Estefania Bohorquez and Ryan Hoover presented on “Investigation of the Effects of Thermal Barrier Coatings via Piezospectroscopy.”

Estefania Bohorquez and Ryan Hoover

Lin Rossmann and Brooke Sarley presented their research on “Characterization of Additively Manufactured Inconel 718 for Extreme Environments through Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction.”

Brooke Sarley and Lin Rossmann

To read more about the event, click here.


IRES students host activity for STEM Day

As part of STEM Day at UCF, the IRES students, with help from other lab members, hosted two activities for groups of high school and middle school students. In one activity, a gas turbine engine was deconstructed into three different sections. The kids learned about how gas turbine engines work at the individual stations that highlighted the engineering of each section, with the help of a 3D-printed cutaway model (borrowed from the UCF chapter of ASME). To emphasize the international aspect of science and engineering, we taught them some common and technical words in German, and encouraged them to teach us relevant words in the languages they knew. The kids translated a total of 23 words in over 6 different languages!

A student writes a translation of a word on a diagram of the inlet and compressor sections of a gas turbine engine. Also on the table is a 3D-printed cutaway model of a gas turbine engine.

In the second activity, the kids learned about spectroscopy and each built a simple spectroscope, which they got to take home with them. Spectroscopes are a simple tool to introduce kids to the field of spectroscopy, which is a powerful diagnostic tool for engineers as well as a scientific tool. One of our lab teams is using a type of spectroscopy called photoluminescent piezospectroscopy to investigate the effects of sand ingression on the coatings of turbine blades.

A student builds a spectroscope by taping a diffraction grating and a narrow slit of stiff paper to opposite ends of a dark tube.

The kids enjoyed themselves and learned a bit, and the volunteers have a fun time as well.
A special thanks to our volunteers: Sanjeev Ballapuram-Murali, Taiason Cole, John Hatchitt, Ryan Hoover, Cesar Lopez, and Brooke Sarley, and IRES students Estefania Bohorquez, Debraliz Isaac-Aragones, Owen Pryor, and Lin Rossmann.

All photos by Paul Kelly, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCF

Albert Manero receives National Academies fellowship

Albert Manero, an alumnus of our laboratory, continues to make us proud as he receives the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship operates under the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. It provides awardees with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks in Washington, D.C., learning about the role scientists and engineers play in informing national policy. We wish Albert the best of luck in this exciting and empowering opportunity.

Read about Albert’s experience here.

Learn more about the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship here

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day established by the United Nations to recognize the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology. Our laboratory’s collaboration with the German Aerospace Center is a great example of what can be achieved when women scientists, researchers, and students come together. Last November, the team from UCF gathered with German Aerospace Center (DLR) scientists at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to perform some unique experiments.

The team conducted synchrotron x-ray diffraction on samples of additively manufactured superalloys under thermomechanical loading. To read more about their work, click here. To view photos of past ANL teams, click here.

2017 IRES students announced

Estefania Bohorquez, Debraliz Isaac-Aragones, Owen Pryor, and Lin Rossmann have been selected to participate in the 2017 IRES US-Germany collaboration to advance research and education in materials for extreme environments.

L to R: Estefania Bohorquez, Debraliz Isaac-Aragones, Lin Rossmann, Owen Pryor

The students are preparing for the 10-week NSF-funded summer program dedicated to conducting research on the mechanics of aerospace materials for extreme environments. Through partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), students will gain research experience at state-of-the-art facilities in Cologne and Stuttgart, Germany with leading industry scientists and will develop professionally in an international environment. This program will be offered again in summer 2018, with the application period taking place during the fall 2017 semester.

Keep up with the students’ experiences as they prepare for their summer research collaboration on their blog page: [link]

Lab members Brooke Sarley and Alex Selimov present at AIAA Scitech conference

Lab group members Brooke Sarley and Alex Selimov present their research papers at the annual AIAA Scitech conference in Grapevine, Texas. 

The Science and Technology Forum offers a diversity of topics, caliber of speakers, and a level of discourse about issues that directly impact the future of aerospace technology. The forum provides a unique opportunity for peers in the aerospace industry to meet and tackle the pressing challenges that face the advancement of of aerospace technology and science.

Lab group members conduct experiments at Advanced Photon Source with German collaborators

Lab group members Brooke, Quentin, Lin, and Erin will conduct pioneering in situ synchrotron thermomechanical experiments on additively manufactured high-temperature nickel alloys with our collaborators from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).
Our international collaboration with DLR and ANL that started with a summer research experience for the UCF team in Germany continues to develop with the continuation of in situ synchrotron measurements. The experiments conducted at the 1-ID beamline of the Advanced Photon Source, will capture the strain evolution in additively manufactured materials under operational environments comparable to engines.


AIAA SciTech 2017 Conference

Students from our lab have been accepted to submit to the 58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2017.

Since its birth in 1963, AIAA has taken it upon itself to put together conferences pertaining to the aerospace profession. The AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech) gives engineers, scientists, as well as technologists the chance to showcase and distribute their work and findings in the form of technical papers and poster sessions. The conferences present the opportunity for professionals to discover new technologies and advancements from other presenters and utilize their networking skills to further their own work.

The first paper outlines the recent work conducted on hybrid carbon fiber composites and highlights major findings about material and mechanical properties of these novel materials. This will be a culmination of several different collaborations as students from the Aerostructures lab worked with Dr. Taylor’s research group from Imperial College London and Dr. Tetard’s research group in the Nanoscience center of UCF.

Brooke Sarley’s abstract submission “Real-time evolution of Selective Laser Melted (SLM) Inconel 718 with temperature through synchrotron X-rays” has been accepted to the AIAA SciTech Conference. On January 12th, she will present her work at the forum session Materials for Additive Manufacturing.

Research Team Now Accepting IRES Applications

Through a research collaboration with German Aerospace Center(DLR) in Cologne, Germany, both graduate and undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research on the mechanics of aerospace materials. Requirements for applicants include being enrolled at UCF, and being able to enroll in directed research  during the Spring and Summer 2017 terms as well as participating in research activities 10-20 hours a week. Students who are accepted will have the opportunity to work with leading scientists at a state of the art facility and be able to participate in industrial visits and cultural activities. Housing and a competitive stipend are provided. The deadline to apply is October 31st.

                                                                               Click Here To Apply


Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, Germany


Former IRES students working with DLR scientists











Former IRES participant conducting an experiment at DLR





Research team welcomes the return of IRES students

The aerostructures research group welcomes back IRES students Brooke Sarley, Jose Cotelo, Zachary Crain, and Wilson Perez. The IRES team had the opportunity to do research with DLR in Germany. While in Germany Brooke and Jose worked with Selective Laser Melted materials and analyzed their properties. Zachary and Wilson worked on analyzing properties of materials that have been exposed to high temperatures and unwanted deposits. They all had the opportunity to travel around Germany and experience the culture. Since their return, the IRES team has shared the results of their work, technical knowledge gained, and overall experiences with the rest of the aerostructures team.



                             IRES students visit race track in Nürburg, Germany                        



IMG_20160723_155406    IRES students visit The Effelsberg 100-m Radio Telescope