Poerschke awarded NSF CAREER award

Jan. 2, 2020 - Assistant Professor David Poerschke has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research to on "Oxygen Transport in Heterogeneous, Nonoxide Ceramics - Toward Durable New Composite Constituents." This prestigious award provides support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

With this grant, Poerschke and his students will elucidate how microstructure heterogeneities in carbides, borides, and nitrides influence in-service oxidant ingress, and how the resulting spatial variations in internal oxygen chemical potential impact the transition between diffusion- and reaction-controlled oxidative degradation processes. These insights will then be applied to discover new materials chemistries and processing pathways to enable broader implementation of these strong, tough, and lightweight ceramic composites for improved performance and energy efficiency in transportation and energy conversion technologies including turbine engines, hypersonic vehicles, and solar-thermal energy systems. To support these objectives, the project will develop new experimental tools including embedded chemical markers and solid-state electrochemical oxygen pumps and sensors. An integrated experimental-modeling framework will be implemented to accelerate the materials discovery process. The grant will also support the development of STEAM (science-technology-engineering-arts-math) outreach programs to build interest in materials science among underrepresented groups by making connections between the science underpinning historical ceramic arts and modern technical ceramics.

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