Wisconsin Engineer Magazine April 2011

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APRIL 2011VOLUME 115,NUMBER 3Photo Contest Check out our contest winners on p.11Also insideDiamondsp. 4 Union p. 14 Genesp. 26EngineeringEXPO.wisc.edu1 APRIL 2011Published by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison VOLUME 115,NUMBER 3 APRIL 2011FeatureCommentaryGeneralDiamonds: A researchers best friendDiscovering the applications these gems have on a nanoscale.By Melly Meyer48 Greenhouse: living under one roofe GreenHouse learning community provides students a unique opportunity to experience a greener and more sustainable living, all from their very own dorm room.By Rachel FeilEarth, wind and waterOshore wind energy may be the next wave of U.S. sustainable energy technology.By Melissa Dettmann16Anatomy of a wind turbineBy Scott Hateld1710 Editorial: News, meet scienceBy Marcus Hawkins28 Just one more: An engineers equation for success.By WE StaCover photo by Ivan Diaz11 The Wisconsin Engineers 4th annual photo contest6 Art and engineering no longer black & whitee elds of art and engineering come together invirtual reality, and they are helping solve the problems of both yesterday and tomorrow.By Kelsey Coleman14 Cutting the ribbone Badger dream house has become a reality.By Alex BeleticHighlights from UW Union historyBy Michelle Trunk20Professor prole: John MurphyFrom researching to teaching: basic engineering to nuclear reactor operation.By Elly Underwood22Running the showLeaders of several engineering student organizations on campus oer a glimpse into their busy lives.By Christina Wallhausser24Not your average pair of genesAt UW-Madison, the exciting eld of biotechnology oers a viable option for manufacturing biofuels.By Andrew Golden262 APRIL 2011The Wisconsin Engineer magazine, a member of the Associated Collegiate Press, is published by students at UW-Madison. Philosophies and opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reect those of the College of Engineering and its management. All interested students have an equal opportunity to contribute to this publication.Faculty Advisor: Steven Zwickel Publisher: American Printing Company, Madison, WI Web address: http://www.wisconsinengineer.comCorrespondence: Wisconsin Engineer Magazine; 1550 Engineering Drive; Madison, WI 53706 Phone: (608) 262-3494 E-Mail: wiscengr@cae.wisc.edu The Wisconsin Engineer is published four times yearly in September, November, February and April by the Wisconsin Engineering Journal Association.Subscription is $12 for one year. All material in this publication is copyrighted.www.wisconsinengineer.comwiscengr@cae.wisc.edu (608)262-3494 1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706is year we received more than double the en-tries for our annual photo contest (see page 11) than ever before. e rst thing I wanted to do in this issue is thank everyone who participated forhelpingusmaketheeventsuchasuccess! Becauseofthephotocontestexcitement,the Aprilissuewasalotoffuntoworkon.Inap-preciation of our stas eager eorts to develop an excellent nal product, we decided to print it in full color to showcase their hard work. NotonlyisthisAprilexcitingforourmaga-zine,butfortheentiresouthwestendofcam-pus. With the grand opening of the new Union SouthonApril15(seepage14)andthebi-annualEngineeringExpothesameweekend, there is more hustle and bustle around the en-gineering campus than usual.Thelargeamountofresourcesputintothe developmentofthenewunionappearsto ref lectanefforttobringmorevisitorsand campuscommunitymemberstothewest endofcampus.Whatusedtobethatdoom-ing block of Dayton Street with a coal plant, scarytwo-storyapartmentcomplex,run-down computer science buildings and void of absolutelyanygreenspaceisnowhometoa multi-million dollar research facility, an un-deniably beautiful and state of the art enter-tainment center for students and a Subway. I must say, its about time the Engineering and computer sciences campus gets the attention and cuisine it deserves.In general, UW-Madison has had a reputation acrossthenationforitspoliticalatmosphere andliberalartsdisciplines.Withthemost commonmajoroncampusbeingCommuni-cationArts,itsnosecretthatthereisamajor dierenceintheamountofstudentsthatare inEngineeringHallversustheHumanities buildingatanysinglepointintime.ereis probably a good amount of students that dont even know that there is a nuclear reactor in the Mechanical Engineering building (see page 22).If there is anything I have become more aware of in my three years with the magazine, it is the amazingamountofground-breakingresearch on this campus. It is refreshing to see the people who run UW-Madison take actions to encour-age visitors and students of all disciplines that tend to gravitate towards State Street to instead, move west near the homely block of Engineer-ing Drive. By Melody PiersonLetter from the editors3 APRIL 2011WISCONSIN ENGINEER STAFFEditors-in-Chief:Melody PiersonVictoria YakovlevaBusiness Head:Danielle ShepardCirculation: Wani Juzaimi Joe PowellCopy Editor:Elzbieta BeckFinance:Raul GarayYang LiRyan SyllaGraphic Design Editors:Alex MarconnetTom BernathPhotography Editors:Brian MogenWeb Heads:Joe KohlmannEric HarrisWriting Editors:Marcus HawkinsLauren KernAdvertising:Mary MatoneRoxanne WienkesPhotography:Dani DewittAdam DirczDanny HwongSara KarrakerRobin KraidichSean MetcalfBrian MogenMark TraderTravis ZehrenPublic Relations:Trevor BoothGraphic Design:Jessica BraunLinc HanElizabeth JurgensChandresh SinghMarita ThouWeb:Elise GarmsWriting:Alex BeleticKelsey ColemanMelissa DettmannRachel FeilAndrew GoldenScott HateldMelly MeyerMichelle TrunkElly UnderwoodChristina WallhausserPhoto by Brian Mogen4 APRIL 2011Theconceptofbirthstonestwelveluxuriousjewelsas-signedtoeachmonthof theyeardatesbackthousandsof years.Olderyet,isthediamond, denotedasthebirthstoneofApril andamongthemostdesirable gemstones.eirname,originat-ingfromtheGreekwordadamas, meansinvincible.Diamondsare thehardestandmostwear-resis-tantmaterialknowntoman.ey areauniqueformofcarbonin which its atoms arrange themselves inanabnormallyconnedcrystal structure.Atstandardpressure,a diamondwillconverttocommon graphiteaerafewbillionyears. is eternality of the dazzling gems alludestotheirextensiveusein thejewelryindustryandvalidates thestatementdiamondsarefor-ever.However,thisastounding jewel has also caught the eye of re-searchers.Withastrikingarrayof properties, including high thermal conductivity,electricalresistivity, chemicalinertness,biocompatibil-ity and a low coecient of friction, diamonds are no longer only t for ones ring nger!Along with these astounding prop-ertiescomesonemajordrawback: rarity.Atleastuntilrecently,that is. In the 1980s, Japanese scientists developedaprocessofcreatinga diamond-likecarbon(DLC)us-ingatechniquecalledchemical vapordeposition.isprocess entails a chamber heating a hydro-carbonprecursorandanexcess amountofhydrogengasusinga hotlament.Asthemoleculesof thesesubstancesbreakapart,car-bonatomsdepositthemselvesas thin lms of graphite and diamond onthebottomofthechamber. Hydrogenplasmaisalsocreated, which etches away the graphite and leavesbehindalayerofDLConly afew-hundrednanometersthick. Interestingly,theJapaneseinitially usedsakeasthesourceofhydro-carbonsandlaterGeneralElectric reproducedthisfeatusingJack Danielswhiskey.Suddenly,ama-terialalmostidenticaltodiamond in structure and properties was be-ing produced with relative ease and costeciency,revolutionizingthis materialinthesamemannerthat materials such as steel and plastics have been in the past. is discov-erysparkedworld-wideinterest amongresearchersandcompelled themtoinvestigatethepotential applications DLC might have. Oneoftheresearchersquickto investigatetheusesofthismate-rial was Kumar Sridharan, a distin-guished research professor of engi-neeringphysicsatUW-Madison. Intheearly1990s,Sridharanwas partofaresearchteamthatdevel-opedamethodofapplyingacoat-ingofDLCtothree-dimensional surfacesusingaplasma-based process developed by John Conrad, retireddistinguishedprofessorof engineeringphysicsatUW-Mad-ison.isapplicationtechnique allowed[them]totakeathree-dimensionalobject,likeasphere, andcoatallsidesofituniformly, rather than only coating what is in theline-of-sight,Sridharansays. HeassertsthisUWresearchteam wasthersttopairthismethod withdiamond-likecarbonmate-rial:Wehavealwaysdeposited thinlmsonmaterials,butnever hadthisnon-line-of-sightmethod been used to deposit DLC coatings on objects.is advance is notable becauseSridharanandcollabora-tors are now able to use this method on nanoscale technology. Recently,Sridharancollaborated withresearchersfromtheUni-versityofPennsylvaniaandIBM tofurtherinvestigatetheusesof DLC.eresults?Notonlydid theydiscoveranotherapplication for this incredibly strong material, buttheresearchersalsoforged asimpleandecientprocessof manufacturingnanoscaletools made entirely of diamond-like car-bon.IBMresearchersrstetched miniscule, pyramid-shaped molds onsiliconmicrocantilevers.Srid-haranthenaccuratelylledthese nanometerscalepitswithsilicon-dopeddiamond-likecarbon, castingnanoscaletipsthathave advantageousapplicationsinthe areasofatomic-forcemicroscopy, nanolithography, data storage, and nanomanufacturing. Sridharanandhiscollaborators wereespeciallyinterestedinhow thisnewmaterialwearsincom-parison to the current standard for nanomanufacturing,silicon.By performing a series of tests on these tips, they were able to observe fric-DiamondsPhoto courtesy of: Dr. SridharanA Researchers Best FriendPhotographof acetylene plasma used as precursor of deposition of diamond-like carbon lms.5 APRIL 2011tionatafundamentallevel.One oen does not see the very elemen-tarymechanismofweare cracksanddefectsthatcontribute to the wear process is what one nor-mally sees. One never understands thewearprocessonaveryfunda-mentalscale,becauseoftheinher-entdefectsinmaterials.Onceyou create a tip like thiswhich almost reaches a width of a few atoms at the tipthen wear can actually be ob-served,atombyatom.Sridharan and his collaborators found the sil-icon-containingdiamond-likecar-bontip