Creative Inquiry Projects

The Creative Inquiry program in Clemson University enables undergraduate students to take on problems that spring from their own curiosity, from a professor’s challenge or from the pressing needs of the world around them. Our lab has a number of ongoing projects briefly detailed below. If you are interested in any of them please check further details in the CI page on how to enroll. We are looking for researchers with strong commitment to the project and the desire to enjoy significant amounts of time in the lab.

The following are active projects within the Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory:

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Low-cost microfluidics to detect Chagas disease in a rural setting (#791)

This project explores the development of a low cost technology to detect the parasite causing Chagas disease in newborns in a rural setting. Chagas disease is a silent killer claiming up to 14k lives each year. Although the disease is deemed incurable in the mature stage, current antibiotics can eliminate the parasite in newborns. Therefore, is extremely important to diagnose the disease at the time of birth. Unfortunately, those mostly affected by the disease are born in rural conditions where power and clean water are not always a given. The project includes review of the literature to detail the specifications needed to detect such parasite in blood; hands-on development of technology; and testing of the technology with biological samples. Expected outcomes include the development of a technology with the potential of being deployed in Latin America.

Spectrum 1

Carbides from polymer-nanoparticle composites (#886)

The objective of this project is to train students on the development of composites. Furthermore, it aims at teaching them how to develop a product for specific applications. The composites to be targeted will feature polymer and nanoparticles. This project will afford the students an opportunity to learn how to handle nanoparticles in a controlled environment and obtain hands-on experience on weighting them and then dispersing them in a chemical using sonication. After particles are dispersed, they will have to incorporate this dispersion into a polymer matrix. Research into the solution parameters, surface coatings, etc. needed to obtain a stable dispersion will be conducted. The composite will then be used as a potential precursor to carbides.

Haley Meier McKinnon Reece_036

Origami-inspired manufacturing of carbide parts (#792)

This project explores the use of paper soaked in different composite inks as a precursor of carbide parts. The goal is to develop a manufacturing process that allows the relatively easy creation of patterns in paper, i.e. following origami techniques, that will yield carbon and carbide parts after going through a heating process. Students will perform a literature review to determine the state-of-the-art in the field; establish protocols for paper processing, including ways to pattern the composite and fold the pattern; and optimize the carbonization process.


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