July 27, 2018
Assistant Professor Ian D. Hosein recently delivered a TED talk at Clarkson University’s Spring TEDx event. In his talk, Hosein discussed the development of strong materials that are also very light. Such an advancement would vastly improve upon the materials used in airplanes, armored vehicles, buildings, and sports equipment.
In his research, Hosein uses safe, visible light to photocure a specialized resin to create a strong, lightweight material. Photocuring is the same process that is used at the dentist’s office to harden fillings. Hosein and his fellow researchers carefully arrange tiny beams of light and shoot them through a photosensitive resin. The resin hardens wherever the light touches. They use this technique to form intersecting microscopic “struts” that mimic the structure of a lattice bridge, giving the lightweight material significantly increased strength.
This simple, rapid method was developed in Hosein’s lab and was notably published in the Results in Physics Journal with high school student Hari Nanthakumar as the lead author. Nanthakumar took advantage of a research experience opportunity offered by the lab and it led to a presentation at the 2017 International Science Fair and a recognition from NASA. This fall, he will major in engineering at Columbia University.
Earlier this year, Hosein was awarded a $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to advance this work. He was one of two Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) faculty members to receive the honor in 2018. Assistant Professor Makan Fardad earned a CAREER award for his work investigating cascading failure in infrastructure networks.
Hosein completed his graduate studies at Cornell University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He was awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada fellowship in support of his graduate studies. After his doctoral work, Ian completed post-doctoral positions at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University.
His research aims to provide materials-based solutions that address critical challenges in clean energy production and storage, environmental remediation and cleanup, and sustainability. The present focus is on creating new materials from both organic and inorganic systems, with an emphasis on directed self-organization, bio-inspired structures, and enhancing material properties.