CLASSE: Student Opportunities

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SERCCS 2022 Projects

Kate Shanks Lily Quack (Mueller)
"Automated control and measurement for in-situ mechanical loading experiments at CHESS"

Structural materials such as metals, rocks, cements, and ceramics play a critical role in daily life, being used in buildings, civil infrastructure, aerospace and automotive components, and so on. The mechanical performance (e.g. strength, ductility, and failure behavior) of these materials is closely linked to their physical microstructure. High-energy x-ray diffraction measurements collected in-situ during mechanical loading (tension, compression or fatigue) can provide rich information about material microstructure and yield insight into material behavior.

This project will focus on developing, testing, and implementing automated control and measurement capabilities for mechanical load frames at CHESS to facilitate in-situ x-ray diffraction measurements.

Richard Gillilan Raymond Langehennig
"X-ray scattering of concentrated and phase-separated protein solutions: simulation and animation"

It has recently been discovered that living cells actually use liquid-liquid phase separation as a vital part of their function. It may even be that life itself arose as a result of natural phase separation of concentrated solutions of biomolecules. X-ray solution scattering of concentrated solutions can tell us about how neighboring molecules interact.

Students will learn to use the open-source 3D computer graphics software Blender, combined with the ePMV plugin developed at the Scripps Center for Computational Structural Biology, to create computer animations of solutions containing hundreds or even thousands of whole protein molecules. Students will also learn to run a computer simulation code and process the data to simulate x-ray solution scattering experiments.

While programming experience is not strictly necessary (we do use C++ and Python), this project will involve a lot of computing and data processing. Students should be comfortable manipulating data on Mac, Windows, or Linux. Basic knowledge of molecular biology or biophysics is also helpful. A little artistic ability would not hurt.

Amlan Das Jiacheng Ma
"Developing an Acoustic Emission (AE) setup for the 3A beamline at CHESS"

The 3A beamline is developing an Acoustic Emission (AE) setup as an additional capability to the x-ray diffraction measurements. AE can be applied to observe events in time-scales not accessible by conventional high energy x-ray diffraction measurements and can also be used to spatially and temporally locate events of interest and trigger x-ray measurements.

The student will be involved in developing data analysis software that can on the fly read and analyze AE waveform data and give feedback to the user about AE events from their samples. The scope of the software development is quite broad, ranging from development of data analysis post-beamtime with the freedom to explore the multi-parameter AE data-space, to being able to stream AE data on the fly during experiments and provide triggers to other measurements with minimal calculations.

Keith Surrena Brett Azzara
"Development of a user programmable TTL signal interface for CHESS electronics"

Write software for the development of a microcontroller-based hardware solution for TTL pulse conditioning and interfacing for use with hardware at CHESS stations. Coding will be done in C and "bare metal" in order to minimize signal delays. Functionality will be evaluated against hardware currently in use at the stations to gauge viability and to determine its operational limits. The project requires developing programming innate to the device as well as the user interface for communicating configurations.

This project is ideal for a computer science student, or anyone with a foundation in C programming, who could wrap up all the desired features into a working program with a suitable user interface.

Projects are being added; check back periodically for updated project listing. You don't have to wait for all the projects to be posted here to apply - if you get selected for our program, we will contact you further with selection options.