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James M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science & Engineering

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Phase diagram of coffee and different milks

In materials science, we like to mix different elements together and see what materials come out. If you record every material made as a function of elemental amounts, you can create a little map that shows people how much of each element is needed to create a specific material - almost like a recipe. These maps, called phase diagrams, are immensely useful for materials scientists. I have always been interested in the phase diagrams of simple components found in someone's kitchen. For example, how much milk can you add to coffee before the milk and coffee separates out to two different materials? How does this differ when you choose different percentage fats of cow milk? How about "alternative" milks? How does the temperature of the coffee affect the mixing? These very simple versions of phase diagrams can be interesting to the average person, without requiring the inaccessible/expensive equipment and high purity elements that most materials science researchers use in their labs. (image is a stock image taken from

Coding skills

python, MATLAB

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