News from Current Students and Alumni

MEES Ph.D. Students reveal the lithium-ion battery safety behaviors from a fundamental multiphysics perspective

Posted 7/1/2020

Lithium-ion batteries with high energy and power density now are widely applied in electric vehicles, cell phones, and large energy storage systems. However, a significant downside is the safety issues of batteries especially upon external mechanical loading such as vehicle crash or foreign objective penetration. Recently, three MEES Ph.D. students from Dr. Jun Xu’s group (Vehicle Energy & Safety Laboratory) published several exciting results regarding their battery safety research.

Yikai Jia focused his research on the safety issues and risks analysis of minor-damaged lithium-ion batteries through comprehensive experimental studies and multiphysics modeling. Results remove the barriers for defective battery safety risk evaluation, enabling identification, monitoring, and early warning of minor damaged batteries. (Relevant publication: Y. Jia, B. Liu, Z. Hong, S. Yin, D. Finegan, J. Xu*. Safety Issues of Defective Lithium-ion Batteries: Identification and Risk Evaluation, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 8 (12472 - 12484), 2020.)

Chunhao Yuan recently developed a generalized separator failure criteria for battery short circuit from a mechanics perspective to bridge the gap between mechanics and electrochemistry. Results can not only guide next-generation separator design but provide a more accurate short circuit triggering criteria. (Relevant publication: C. Yuan, L. Wang, S. Yin, J. Xu*. Generalized separator failure criteria for internal short circuit of lithium-ion battery. Journal of Power Source, 467 (228360), 2020.)

Based on his previous work, Xiang Gao recently extended the multiphysics modeling framework for Si/C active particles into a multi-scale one. This strategy enables the multiphysics model to be capable of predicting both mechanical stress created during lithiation/delithiation among particles and the mechanical deformation of the anode. This model can guide and evaluate the next-generation design from particle level to the battery level. (Relevant publication: X. Gao, W. Lu, J. Xu*. Modeling framework for multiphysics-multiscale behavior of Si–C composite anode. Journal of Power Sources 449 (227501), 2020)

Ph.D. Alumnus Launches YouTube Channel Focused on Computational Mechanics and Materials Science in Engineering

Posted 6/30/2020

Ph.D. alumnus, Shank Kulkarni, has launched an educational YouTube channel, "Not Real Engineering". This channel includes videos on various topics related to computational mechanical engineering and material science, geared for new students and engineers. Take a moment to check out Shank's YouTube Channel!

MEES Doctoral Student Selected for 2020-21 Lucille P. and Edward C. Giles Dissertation-Year Graduate Fellowship

Posted 6/30/2020

John Borek, a MEES Ph.D. student of Dr. Chris Vermillion and Dr. Scott Kelly, has been selected as the 2020-21 recipient of the Lucille P. and Edward C. Giles Dissertation-Year Graduate Fellowship. This award was established by Lucille P. Giles to allow students to focus full-time on the completion and writing of their dissertation, improving quality and shortening the time required to complete their doctoral degree. This award of $20,000 also includes graduate tuition, fees and health insurance, and a travel allowance of $1,000 to support travel associated with conducting or presenting research. Congratulations John!

MEES Graduate Students Win NSF Fellowships

Posted 6/30/2020

Patrick Bounds and Marc Duemmler, both Mechanical Engineering graduate students, have been awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Patrick Bounds will work toward his Ph.D. with Dr. Mesbah Uddin in the NC Motorsports and Automotive Research Group, and Marc Duemmler will complete his Master's degree with Dr. Nigel Zheng, focusing on biomedical engineering research. Read more about their fellowships on the Lee College of Engineering website.