Rensselaer Research Review Winter 2009-10
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Additional Lemelson at Rensselaer Finalists

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Casey Hoffman
Casey Hoffman
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Casey Hoffman, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
“Specialized Elastomeric Tooling for Advanced Thermoset Composites”

With an eye to cutting production costs and driving industrial efficiency, Hoffman has developed an entirely new method for curing advanced composites commonly used in the aerospace and biomedical industries. His patent-pending Specialized Elastometic Tooling (SET) process replaces the need for autoclaves — inefficient machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars — in composites manufacturing.

Hoffman’s SET process involves curing composite laminate by pressing the material between heated, rubber-lined molds. It’s a cheaper, smarter, energy-sipping, and simpler alternative to autoclaves. Advanced composites, which are now almost prohibitively expensive to manufacture, could one day see wider use in more varied applications — including construction vehicles, transportation vehicles, and energy devices — because of Hoffman’s SET process.

Listen to a podcast interview with Casey Hoffman.

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Jiuru Xu
Jiuru Xu
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Jiuru Xu, Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
“My Inventiveness at Rensselaer — The Cure of the Efficiency Droop”

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will one day replace common light bulbs and illuminate the world, but this progress continues to be slowed by the “efficiency droop” that plagues most LEDs. Still not fully understood, the droop causes LEDs to lose efficiency as they receive higher electrical currents. Xu, however, has developed a new method for defeating the droop once and for all.

Xu demonstrated a new type of LED, called the polarization-matched LED, for reducing the efficiency droop. Xu’s new LEDs feature a polarization-matched active region, which puts a stop to the electron leakage and reduces the effects of the droop. This work could be a key step toward the wider use of greener, longer-lived LEDs.

Listen to a podcast interview with Jiuru Xu.

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