Brian Wyatt, a PhD student attending Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering in Dr. Babak Anasori’s lab, was recently awarded a fellowship through the prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program through the Department of Defense. Brian was selected as one of the top 2% of around 8000 applications in the class of 2021.
Brian’s research work includes the mechanical testing of transition metal carbide and nitride two-dimensional nanomaterials, commonly known as “MXenes”. Brian started as a MS student at IUPUI in the Mechanical and Energy Engineering department in 2019, but quickly transferred his pursuit for his degree into the PhD program in the fall of 2020 after getting exposure to research at IUPUI.
“Research is by far the most exciting part of my academic experience so far,” said Brian Wyatt of his award, “the ability to work on in-depth and fundamental projects right at the beginning of my graduate education at IUPUI has shown me that I can work on a wide range of research topics that will truly impact our world’s future technology!”
Brian’s excitement shows in his accomplishments so far, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, Brian has published six articles in prestigious journals, including Wiley’s Advanced Materials, American Chemical Society’s ACS Nano, and in the Emerging Leader’s special edition of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. Brian will continue his work in MXenes over the next three-year period of the NDSEG fellowship and will work toward characterizing the mechanical behavior of the wide array of compositions and structures of the MXene family.
“MXenes give us a fascinating ability to study the impact of chemical bonding between different elements on their mechanical strength,” Brian discussed about his research, “using different transition metals, carbon or nitrogen, and surface groups will allow future mechanical engineers to design ultra-thin nanomaterials for high strength or stiffness atom-by-atom for any application.”
On top of Brian’s research achievements, Brian is a founding member and current president of a new undergraduate and graduate student organization at IUPUI, known as the Nano Science and Engineering Association (NSEA). NSEA’s mission is to serve as a team dedicated to the collaboration and discussion of nanoscience research both on IUPUI’s and worldwide through local community and worldwide outreach to increase awareness of the future impact nanotechnology will have in our (near) future! In addition to IUPUI clubs, Brian is a graduate mentor on a Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) project named Nanovision, which is designed to be an augmented reality (AR) smart tablet application to bring nanoscience and nanotechnology concepts to elementary school students.
“Nanoscience and nanotechnology will be the source of the most impactful technological advances in our next few decades,” Brian said of his extracurricular involvements, “IUPUI students will impact all of our future challenges, which range from advances such as flexible wearable electronics to existential issues such as climate change. Our research, organizations, and projects aim to make IUPUI the center of these technological advancements both in the Indianapolis community and in the state of Indiana.”
Brian’s lab group, the Layered Materials & Structures Lab (LMSL), one of the newest labs at IUPUI in the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, focuses on these advances and others in MXenes. “I am very thankful to be a part of all of the exciting developments on the new discoveries and fundamental studies our lab works on in nanoscience and nanotechnology,” Brian says of his lab, “my awarding of the NDSEG fellowship would not have been possible without the vision and excitement our lab produces every day.”
For more information on Brian and his lab’s work in nanoscience and technology, visit https://www.babakanasori.com/.