Proposal Resources

Facilities and Equipment

Computing Resources

The high performance computing cluster at UNC Charlotte consists of more than 2500 cores, where 312 cores are reserved exclusively for the department of mechanical engineering.

The College of Engineering’s MOSAIC computing system is a very reliable, secure and software rich environment. This system is available to all the College of Engineering faculty, staff and students. MOSAIC provides data storage and data sharing as well as a safe and reliable tool for remote computing access. The files on the MOSAIC system are automatically backed up on a daily basis which safeguards our data from all sorts of loss risks.

Materials Characterization Laboratory

The Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) is a staffed, user research facility at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that offers researchers access to a range of thermal analysis and materials characterization instrumentation. This lab is managed by a full-time PhD level scientist (Dr. Katherine Weaver). The instrumental laboratory holdings include: a TA Instruments Q800 dynamic mechanical analyzer; Fox50 (LaserComp) Heat Flow Meter*, a TA Instruments nano-isothermal titration calorimeter; a TA Instruments AR2000ex rotational rheometer; a TA Instruments Q600 simultaneous differential scanning calorimeter and thermogravimetric analyzer; a Tinius Olsen universal testing machine; and a Setaram Instrumentation Sensys evo simultaneous thermogravimetric analyzer and differential scanning calorimeter combined with a WetSys relative humidity generator.

* Fox50 Heat Flow Meter: The Fox50 is a microprocessor-based instrument for testing materials in the thermal conductivity range of 0.1 W/mK to 10 W/mK in accordance with ASTM C518 and ISO 8301. The Fox50 temperature measurement range is -5˚C to 105˚C. Solid samples up to 63 mm in diameter and from 0-25 mm thick can be tested. The specimen thickness is continuously monitored during the test. Standard resolution of thickness is +/-0.0254mm (+/-0.001″). Constant pressure between the plates and the sample is provided through a pneumatic cylinder. Both plates of the instrument are equipped with two thin film high output heat flux transducers developed and manufactured by LaserComp. The accuracy of the temperature control is +/-0.01˚C. External thermocouples can be connected. The heat flux transducer readings are resolved down to 0.6 micro volts. An additional cell for powder, paste, and liquid testing is available, but was not purchased at the time of the original instrument acquisition. Funding for this accessory is requested in this proposal.

The Biostability Lab

This lab currently occupies a total of 1800 square feet of laboratory space in Woodward Hall which includes a tissue culture facility, an in vitro fertilization facility, a microscopy lab, and a chem/wet lab. The lab and office houses 12 computers, 5 of which are dedicated to microscopy, HPLC, Raman Spectroscopy, and calorimetry applications.

Major Equipment within the Biostability Lab includes:

  • MicroCal Ultrasensitive VP-DSC MicroCalorimeter
  • Caron Environmental Chamber with Temperature and RH control
  • Thermo Forma Cryo Med Controlled Rate Freezer
  • Large Custom Built Humidity Control Chamber with Glove Box
  • FLIR A325sc Thermal Imaging camera
  • CEM Microwave Processor
  • ESA High Performance Liquid Chromatography system with a Coulochem III electrochemical detector and gold cell, UV-VIS detector, DIONEX PA1 carbohydrate column and guard column, and a variety of SEC columns.
  • ThermoElectron biosafety cabinet
  • 3 water-jacketed incubators with gas-guard control
  • CL2 centrifuge
  • Karl-Fisher Titrator
  • Anton-Parr Density Meter
  • Wescor Vapor Pressure Osmometer
  • Fiske Micro Osmometer 210
  • Keithley Data logger
  • Refractive index meter
  • Circulating refrigeration bath
  • 4 refrigerators and -20C freezer
  • -80C refrigerator
  • 3 analytical balances
  • 2 pH meters
  • 3 thermostatted water baths
  • Active desiccation cabinet
  • Range of passive desiccation chambers
  • Range of cryogen vessels and liquid nitrogen storage tanks

Microscopy and In vitro Fertilization System

Housed within Woodward Hall is a shared darkroom. In this facility the Biostability lab has an Olympus IX81 inverted fluorescence microscope equipped with a cooled CCD camera (Hamamatsu ORCA), Zenon light source, Slidebook Acquisition and Image Analysis Software (Ratio module included), Uniblitz shutter, excitation and emission filter wheels, and FURA, FITC, Ethidium Bromide/Rhodamine, Lucifer Yellow filter sets. This lab also has a Nikon Ti-S Eclipse Inverted Microscope with Narishige hanging joystick micro-injector system, thermal plate controller, and NIS-Elements software, which is a dedicated system for the in vitro fertilization of feline oocytes.

Optical Trapping Raman Facility

In collaboration with the Center for Optoelectronics at UNC Charlotte, co-PI Elliott is also building an optical trapping laser Raman system, which is housed within the Center for Optoelectronics (expected completion Aug, 2016). This system is built upon an Olympus IX70 inverted microscope platform, and uses a temperature controlled 785 nm Wavelength Stabilized Laser Diode-300mW.

Broader Impacts/Educational Outreach

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (SREU)

In the SREU program, undergraduate students are assigned to work with a MEES faculty member in the summer. The SREU goal is to encourage undergraduate students to pursue graduate-level education. In summer 2015, fourteen undergraduate students participated in the program and all expressed enthusiasm for graduate-level study. The program serves as a primary channel to recruit undergraduate and graduate students to our research and programs. SREU participants work with MEES Ph.D. students to conduct modeling and experiments.

Summer Camps on Campus

UNC Charlotte has a very well-established summer camp for K-12 students which allows young people to join scientists and students at UNC Charlotte. The summer camp is composed of three programs: Cool School (Grades 1-3), Camps (Grades 4-12) and Aspire! (Grades 11-12). The Aspire! program is specifically aimed at increasing the interests of high school students (especially underrepresented minorities) in obtaining a college degree after high school. Aspire! is a week-long program which allows student to gain a preview of college life.