Alex Parent turns CSMS idea into Outreach with American Indian students in North Dakota

Alex Parent, Assistant Professor in Chemistry at NDSU and CSMS researcher, took an idea this past year and turned it into an Outreach opportunity with ND EPSCoR’s Sunday Academy program.

The Sunday Academy program, designed to generate interest in math, science, and engineering among American Indian high school students in North Dakota, is held at the five tribal colleges in North Dakota: Cankdeska Cikana Community College; Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College; Sitting Bull College; Turtle Mountain Community College; and, United Tribes Technical College.

Faculty from NDSU and UND, as well as the tribal college Sunday Academy coordinators, are invited to submit STEM related topics, and seven topics are then chosen for the following year’s program. The NDSU and UND faculty get together with tribal college coordinators during the 2nd week of ND EPSCoR’s NATURE University Summer Camp, held in June, to turn their ideas into hands-on activities. Two topics, selected as all-site STEM modules, are taught in January and February – hello Winter! – by the tribal college coordinators. The other five topics selected are led by the UND and NDSU faculty who travel once to each of the five tribal colleges between September-December and March and lead the activities for their STEM topic.

This past year, Alex turned his CSMS-related topic “Polymer Synthesis from Common Materials” into three activities: Modeling Molecular Structures; Crosslinking – Polymers to Plastics; and, Extracting PET strands from Soda Bottles.

Being involved in ND EPSCoR’s Sunday Academy program isn’t new to Dr. Parent. In 2017-2018, he traveled to the tribal colleges to lead activities for his CSMS-related topic “Recycling Bioplastics”, and in 2019-2020 he will have activities related to “Gold Nanoparticles”.

Alongside Dr. Parent’s lesson, the other topics from the 2018-2019 Sunday Academy program included:

  • “Understanding the anatomy of the eye” led by Dr. Ben Balas (NDSU, Psychology)
  • “Digital preservation of natural and cultural resources” led by Dr. Stephanie Day (NDSU, Geosciences)
  • “Influenza outbreak” led by Dr. Natasha Petry (NDSU, Pharmacy)
  • “Adaptation and climate change” led by Drs. Jill Hamilton and Pam Puppo (NDSU, Biological Sciences)
  • All-site lesson “Hypothesis and Product Testing” from Dr. Mafany Mongoh (Sitting Bull College, Environmental Sciences)
  • All-site lesson “Sentiment Analysis” from Dr. Ravi Yellavajjala (NDSU, Civil and Environmental Engineering)

More information about the Sunday Academy program can be found at https://www.ndepscor.ndus.edu/ndep/nature/sunday-academy/. Previous years’ topics and their activities can be found through this same webpage link.

Chad Ulven, NDSU professor and CSMS researcher, featured in NDSU News Inspiring Teacher article

Chad Ulven

Chad Ulven

A January, 2019 NDSU News article featured Chad Ulven as an Inspiring Teacher.

Chad has been a CSMS researcher since 2012, and his research focuses on biocomposites in areas such as bio-based composite development, environmentally friendly composites, characterization and modeling of bio-based composites and improving thermo-mechanical properties of bio-composites.

Congratulations Chad on being recognized as an Inspiring Teacher!

 

Ulven presents CSMS research at the Third International Conference on Composites, Biocomposites and Nanocomposites

Chad Ulven presented on CSMS research related to his work with flax and hemp fibers at the 3rd International Conference on Composites, Biocomposites and Nanocomposites held November 7-9, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Using natural fibers is environmentally-friendly and using natural fibers from North Dakota crops is a value add-on for the rural economy in North Dakota.

Read more about Ulven’s presentation and research at NDSU News


Publications related to Ulven’s research can be found on the CSMS Publications page. Here are just a few:

  • Long-term behavior of bio-composites for structural applications | 2016 Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX); DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33964.87682
  • Pretreatment of Wheat Bran for Suitable Reinforcement in Biocomposite | Journal of Renewable Materials; DOI: 10.7569/JRM.2017.634133
  • Standard Density Measurement Method Development for Flax Fiber | Industrial Crops and Products; DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.11.060
  • Selection, Pretreatment, and Use of Wheat Bran for Making Thermoplastic Composite | 2017 ASABE; DOI: 10.13031/aim.201701090
  • The potential of natural composite materials in structural design | Sustainable Composites for Aerospace Applications; DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-102131-6.00013-X

CSMS researchers assessing flax fiber reinforced biocomposites for potential application as replacements for traditional composites

Chad Ulven

Chad Ulven

MD Zahirul Islam shows biocomposite from flax

MD Zahirul Islam shows biocomposite from flax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSMS researcher Dr. Chad Ulven, North Dakota State University professor of mechanical engineering, and MD Zahirul Islam, NDSU graduate student and CSMS researcher, are assessing flax-fiber reinforced biocomposites for potential application as replacements for traditional composites.

Ulven and Islam’s research is filling a gap in knowledge as they assess strengths and weaknesses of flax-reinforced biocomposites. Biocomposites are an environmentally-friendly and lower cost alternative to some materials using traditional composites such as non-degradable fiberglass and petrochemicals. With a variety of industries using biocomposites, the addition of flax fiber reinforced biocomposites would result in not only environmental benefits but also economic benefits. Flax production in the U.S. is primarily in North Dakota, with some production in Montana and South Dakota.

CSMS is funded by ND EPSCoR. ND EPSCoR funding is provided by the State of North Dakota and NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) Cooperative Agreement Award OIA-1355466.

More information about this flax fiber research can be read in a news post in NDSU News. Publications related to CSMS research can be found on the CSMS Publications page.

CSMS and CRCS collaborative research on the use of diodegradable polymers in food packaging

Dilpreet Bajwa

Dilpreet Bajwa

Kerry Hartman

Kerry Hartman

CSMS researcher Dr. Dilpreet Bajwa, North Dakota State University professor of mechanical engineering, and CRCS researcher Dr. Kerry Hartman, environmental science faculty member and academic dean at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College are conducting research on biodegradable polymers. They are looking into food packaging developed from bio-based polymers, with a focus on the use of polylactic acid, also known as PLA, and ways to enhance PLA film characteristics.

The collaborative idea was sparked by an ND EPSCoR Emerging Areas Seed award opportunity that provides funding for collaborations between ND EPSCoR’s CSMS and CRCS research centers. Their collaborative research may result in a patent and has the potential to translate into new applications in the food packaging industry as well as in other industries.

 

ND EPSCoR funding is provided by the State of North Dakota and NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) Cooperative Agreement Award OIA-1355466.

More information about the collaboration between Drs. Hartman and Bajwa can be found in the NDSU News announcement.

More information about the ND EPSCoR Emerging Areas Seed award recipients and their research topics can be found at the ND EPSCoR website.

CSMS student researcher from Minot State University wins for oral presentation

Jordan Torgunrud, undergraduate student at Minot State University, won first place for her oral presentation titled ‘Scalable synthesis of cancer preventing benzylmorpholines’ at the 12th annual Northwest Region Meeting “Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences”.

Jordan traveled with her CSMS supervisor Mikhail Bobylev and 9 other students to the event held at Minnesota State University-Moorhead on October 21, 2017. Her presentation was based on CSMS research supported by ND EPSCoR.

Jordan’s presentation win included a $500 travel award to attend the 255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, La., March 18-22, 2018.

Congratulations Jordan!

Read more in the announcement from Minot State University

UPDATE: Jordan’s presentation at the 255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was also titled ‘Scalable synthesis of cancer preventing benzylmorpholines’

Two CSMS students receive travel awards for presentations at AAIC annual meeting

Congratulations to Alan Peterson and Alex Wittenberg, CSMS researchers, for receiving travel awards for their oral presentations at the 30th annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) held September 23-26 in London, Ontario, Canada!

The travel awards from AAIC are to help offset the students’ travel expenses from attending the AAIC annual meeting. Students conducting research with industrial crops are eligible for a travel award, and up to two awards are given to each of the standing divisions in AAIC.

Both Alan’s presentation, Maximizing cover crop performance by interseeding cover crops into standing soybean, and Alex’s presentation, Morphological characteristics of winter- and summer-biotypes of camelina, are from research conducted in Dr. Marisol Berti’s CSMS research group. Alex’s oral presentation is based on CSMS research conducted as an undergraduate student.

Alan is a graduate student at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and is expected to graduate May 2019 with a Masters degree in Plant Sciences. Alex graduated from NDSU May 2018 with a Bachelors degree in Crop and Weed Sciences and is now a graduate student at NDSU.

Read more about Alan’s and Alex’s travel award in the NDSU News announcement.

Congratulations again to Alan and Alex!

CSMS student researcher Alex Wittenberg selected for the Russell and Anna Duncan Scholarship

Congratulations to Alex Wittenberg, graduate student and CSMS researcher at North Dakota State University, who was selected for the 2018-19 Russell and Anna Duncan Undergraduate Research Scholarship program.

Alex has worked on research in Dr. Marisol Berti’s CSMS group since January 2018, and graduated in May with a Bachelor Degree in Crop and Weed Sciences. Alex did present on his undergraduate CSMS research September 25th at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) held in London, Ontario, Canada.

The scholarship from the Russell and Anna Duncan scholarship program will enable Alex to continue his undergraduate research as a graduate student.

Read more about Alex and the Russell and Anna Duncan scholarship in the NDSU News announcement.

Congratulations again to Alex!