Spring 2019 Distinguished Professor - Dr. Jaroslaw Drelich

| April 10, 2019 | Theme: Surfaces, Materials and Metals |


Distinguished Professor Jaroslaw Drelich


Surfaces and Interfaces: Building Blocks of Nature and my Research World

TechTalks presented by inter-disciplinary collaborators:

Research Statement

I have been playing with surfaces and interfaces since childhood. The amusement of striders walking on the surface of ponds, of the dew decorating mystifying spider webs, and of the strength and texture of the skin on fruits activated my curiosity, and later my research interests. Over the years, I explored the protective nature and functionality of surfaces and, most recently, manipulation of interfaces in crystalline materials. In this talk, I will present examples on fabrication of water repelling coatings, discuss transformations taking place in the science of contact angles, and review our innovative biodegradable metals for medical applications. 

Six Questions with Distinguished Professor Jaroslaw Drelich



Jeremy Goldman
Biomedical Engineering

“Development of Biodegradable Stents Based on Zinc”

Degradable metals based on zinc are being developed at Michigan Tech to replace the permanent materials that are presently in clinical use.  Here we describe novel methods to evaluate and compare the biocompatibility of zinc-based materials engineered with experimental properties.

Feng Zhao
Biomedical Engineering

“ZhaoLab Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Research”

The Zhaolab’s research is focused on tissue engineering and biomaterials.  In this Tech Talk, I will briefly introduce my lab’s recent progress, with a focus on our collaborative research with Dr. Jarek Drelich that has characterized the biocompatibility of the stent materials using in vitro cell culture techniques. 

Tim Scarlett
Social Sciences 
“Archaeological Science and Creative Process: Student-Centered Learning at the Intersection of the Human/Social, Natural, Digital, and Designed/Built Worlds”

Both the most interesting and creative research projects and the most profound learning events begin with “what if?...” or “that is so cool! I wonder if….” Recent and current archaeological research at Michigan Tech is conceptualized around multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate student learning. Project mix faculty from Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and the School of Technology, among others. The presentation will begin with two mature projects: examining the nano-scale rehydroxylation of fired-clay minerals from archaeological ceramics and the application of supercritical and subcritical CO2 treatments for the stabilization of decaying ferrous metal artifacts. Following these examples, Dr. Scarlett will summarize two projects that developed in his classes this fall, including the extraction and quantification of paleofecal stanols and other digested cholesterols from lake sediments as a measure of population change over time and the amplification of non-human ancient DNA from archaeological artifacts. The presentation is framed as an exploration of how discovery-based learning among teams students can both contribute to a field of academic research while also requiring students to shift among
different domains of knowledge as they contextualize their study and improve their understanding of the world.

Timothy Eisele
Chemical Engineering

“Sustainable Iron and Steelmaking”

Iron and steel alloys account for roughly 95% of all of the metal used worldwide. While iron and steel are highly recyclable, the methods for producing them from ores are entirely dependent on fossil fuels (coking coal and natural gas). As a result, their production is not currently sustainable. To correct this, technologies are being developed at Michigan Tech to replace fossil fuels with renewable reductants such as biomass, and to make use of sustainably-produced electric power to produce iron without the use of chemical reductants at all. This work is coordinated under the Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Center (ASISC), which also considers sustainable production of other metals and inorganic materials.