I will highlight recent advances in our group in the engineering of functional, topographically-, and chemically-patterned polymer coatings via light-mediated surface-initiated polymerization. Oxygen tolerance, mild reaction conditions, and the use of visible light make this approach user-friendly in its application for the design of e.g., anti-microbial surfaces, anti-fogging coatings, and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs).

Presenter: Christian Pester  |  Chemical Engineering

Rare earth elements are a group of 17 metals with very similar sizes but unique roles in technologies that are essential for a clean-energy future. As a result, efficiently separating one from another is a long-standing challenge and a modern imperative. In this talk, I will describe some of the fundamental insights that natural rare-earth-binding proteins have yielded into how to differentiate between these very similar elements. I will also illustrate how these insights are guiding the development of protein-based separation processes, towards the holy grail of efficient separation of rare earths adjacent to each other on the periodic table.

Speaker: Joseph Cotruvo | Chemistry

The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL) is a University-wide core user facility managed by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. Emerging contaminants of varied types are pervasive in the modern world and this talk will introduce the expertise and capabilities available within EESL. Past and current projects involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) analyses will be used to highlight the lab’s capabilities.

Speaker: Hlengilizwe Nyoni | EESL Environmental Contaminants Analytical Laboratory

Rare earth elements are used in the manufacture of lighter and stronger materials for energy applications such as gas turbines, wind and power systems, defense applications, electronics, and the medical industry. Currently China dominates the global supply of these minerals and obtaining these minerals from primary domestic mineral deposits is crucial for national security.  Secondary sources, including byproducts of coal mining and other energy-based waste products, are equally vital to developing a reliable supply chain. Recycling and reuse of lithium-ion and other batteries along with E-waste are essential for a successful transition to a sustainable energy future. This presentation will discuss recent developments and ongoing efforts at Penn State in multi-metal extraction from secondary sources and highlight global/regional opportunities and challenges.   |  Center for Critical Minerals

Are you a PI seeking to launch a new research project that is too early or too risky to receive federal support? Are you interested in fellowships to support your work, expand your research network, and enhance your career?  Come hear about the Office of Foundation Relations and learn the why, who, when, and how we assist PIs by working with over 250 foundations (like Simons, Sloan, Keck) in our portfolio or help you identify new foundation funders.

Sophie Penney Leach  |  Director of Foundation Relations

Karen Kemirembe  | Assistant Director of Foundation Relations

On May 23rd > 40 students competed for the top prize in the “Millennium Café Pitch Competition”.  Come to the Millennium Café on 6/6 for the opportunity to hear from the 2023 pitch winners and to join other researchers from across campus for a stellar cup of coffee.

Elisabeth Lloyd  |  Materials Science & Engineering

Dharani Abeysinghe  |  Chemistry

Aditya Sapre  | Chemical Engineering