www.engr.wisc.edu/ep College of EngineeringThe University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Engineering Physics Nuclear Engineering / Engineering Physics / Engineering Mechanics & Astronautics


Featured Articles

Research gives ligaments a real workout

Two receive NSF CAREER awards

New Engineering Physics faculty

New twists on classic courses — EMA 469/569 and NEEP 412

Student research news

Wendy Crone leads nanoworld education efforts and Art Ellis joins NSF

Regular Features

Message from the chair

EP in the news

Alumni news

In memoriam

Two receive NSF CAREER awards

Robert W. Carpick

Robert W. Carpick (22K JPG)

As nanomaterials increase in use, the need to understand their tribology — friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear properties — also becomes more urgent. At small scales, surface effects start to dominate over bulk effects, so surface forces such as friction and adhesion play a critical role. Assistant Professor Robert Carpick will receive $375,000 to study the fundamental relationship between frictional energy dissipation and atomic vibrations. Using an atomic-force microscope, Carpick will measure friction at the atomic scale as a function of the sliding materials' vibrational properties, and he will manipulate these vibrational properties by changing the materials' isotopic composition — for example, by using heavier atoms. With this research, he hopes to provide a quantitative experimental basis that will enhance the understanding of the relationship between frictional energy dissipation and vibrational properties. Further, he hopes this knowledge will enable researchers to design nanostructured materials and devices with optimized tribological and other properties via isotopic engineering.

With Assistant Professor Wendy Crone, Carpick will co-develop an advanced seminar course in nanotechnology to be used both locally and as a general model. In addition, he will promote awareness of nanoscale engineering by developing outreach materials directed toward the public, kindergarten through 12th-grade students, and traditionally under-represented groups in engineering.

Wendy Crone

Wendy Crone (30K JPG)

Wendy Crone, assistant professor, will receive $375,000 to study shape-memory alloys. The unique materials, which have applications in the biomedical, aerospace, microelectronics and automotive industries, have a crystallographic structure that enables them to undergo large deformations and then return to their original shape. However, researchers must develop reliable shape-memory alloy materials and devices, and Crone will investigate the effect of process-induced microstructure on the materials' fracture and fatigue behavior. In addition, she will study how grain refinement affects fracture behavior for a variety of grain sizes, and develop experimental models that explain mechanisms that influence fracture and fatigue in nickel-titanium and copper-based shape-memory alloys. Through the grant's education component, she will develop new course material in the areas of nanomaterials, micromechanics and fracture mechanics to educate both undergraduate and graduate students about the ways in which mechanics contributes to new technologies. This expanded course material also will have an international impact via the Smart Materials Exemplar of the Worldwide Universities Network, an international network of researchers and educators.


EPISODE is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the UW-Madison Department of Engineering Physics.

Send address changes and correspondence to:

Department of Engineering Physics
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1687

If you encounter technical problems with this page, notify:


Copyright 2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Date last modified: Wednesday, 22-May-2002 17:26:00 CDT
Date created: 22-May-2002