"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science." ― Edwin Powell Hubble
Dr. Edward Davis’ research interests include natural nanomaterials, processing of nanocomposites, and mechanical testing of structures and orthopedic repairs. He studied at Tulane obtaining an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in chemical engineering. He completed his doctoral work on polymerizable bicontinuous microemulsions at the University of Akron in 1997. Dr. Davis continued his research career at Shell Chemicals in Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium, where he conducted research on clay based polymer nanocomposite systems evaluating systems based on a range of polymers including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyurethane (PU) and epoxy resins. He later worked for EVAL Company of America where he developed new materials and processes for the application of high barrier plastics. He joined Auburn in the fall of 2007 as research faculty moving to his current position in 2015. He has active research projects in the fields of nanocomposite processing, controlled release, and remote actuation of shape memory polymers. Instructional activities have included teaching courses for four different engineering departments at Auburn, the development of a short course on nanotechnology for asphalt engineers, the development of 46 instructional videos on Statics and Mechanics of Materials, and modules that leverage the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering to teach nanotechnology concepts to freshman engineering students.
Yuzhe Sun graduated from Donghua University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Polymer materials. In his sophomore year, he began undergraduate research studying a light-weight shear-thickening impact-resistant material based on a blend of silica and polyethylene glycol. Afterwards, he finished his undergraduate thesis with Dr. Bin Sun, focused on synthesis of amphiphilic anti-aggregate derivatives of perylene diimide (PDI, a fluorescence dye). These materials were utilized to study the optical properties and self-assembly behavior of PDI derivatives. His long term goal is to be a biomedical materials engineer, Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate with particular interest in drug delivery systems. In Davis’ lab, his current work utilizes halloysites (a natural nanotube) as a sacrifical template to synthesize polydopamine nanotubes as a photo-responsive, biodegradable drug delivery platform. He studies the light-triggered release behavior and photothermal effect of these materials as a function of physiological conditions.
Haotian Wu graduated from Northeast Petroleum University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering. He has also earned Masters of Science degrees in Industrial Catalyst from Tianjin University of S&T (2015) and in Functional Polyolefins from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (2016). He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Materials Engineering. For his research effort, he is examining the extension of thermos-reversible Diels-Alder crosslinking reactions to inorganic nanomaterials. The goal of this work is to develop reusable coatings and structural materials that incorporate self-healing, self-cleaning, or other novel properties.
Junkai Huang is currently working toward a masters’ degree in materials engineering. He grew up in a medium-sized city in southern China, called Nanning. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in July 2015 from Centre South University in Nanning. In Dr. Davis’ lab he works with shape memory materials. Shape memory materials can be activated by several stimuli, including temperature, magnetic field, pH changes, and irradiation. He is exploring the effects of photothermal heating on the degradation and morphology of biodegradable shape memory materials with an eye toward utilizing these materials as on demand drug delivery vehicles. After graduating with this research experience, he really wants to apply his knowledge and skills in either a product development or technology support role.