Charles Fisher, Florida finalist
Charles obtained his bachelor's degree in Materials Engineering from Iowa State University in 2009 before moving to the University of Florida for his graduate studies. After securing his Mater's, he is currently working on his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in the Manuel group. He has led two projects, one involving matching magnetic susceptibility of metallic alloys for biological applications, and the other, his thesis work, includes design of high specific strength self-healing metal-matrix composites. Currently, Charles is fully funded through the SMART Fellowship program through the United States Department of Defence and the Department of the Navy.
Design of smart metal-matrix composites for sustainability and advanced performance
In an effort to increase reliability and sustainability in complex systems, smart metal-matrix composites with the ability to self-heal are currently under development. Self-healing has the potential to greatly increase the life cycle of specific components.
Designing systems which possess the appropriate processing-structure-property relationships for self-healing, however, can be a difficult undertaking. The multifaceted interaction across multiple length scales yields a very complex issue for composite development. To combat this issue, a systems design approach governed by thermodynamics and empirical models was utilized to aid in the selection of materials with potential self-healing. This study will present the alloy selection process for a high-specific strength matrix utilizing shape-memory alloy wire reinforcements to aid in self-healing in addition to initial microstructural characterization of the metal-matrix composite.