Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar

Thursday, March 2 at 3:30 pm to 4:20 pm
Seamans Center, 3505
103 South Capitol Street, Iowa City, Iowa

Tunable Energetic Material Presented by: Travis Sippel Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Iowa State University, Ames IA Abstract: Since the invention of gunpowder, energetic materials have been used for over a millennium in mining/construction, transportation, and defense applications. The recent discovery of nanoscale energetic materials has led to a shift from traditional C-H-N-O chemistries of highly nitrated molecular energetics to the development of heterogeneous energetics with length scales that enable kinetically limited combustion. Nanoscale energetic materials have enabled reactivity more similar to some molecular energetics and have increased gravimetric and volumetric energy densities three-fold while offering avenues through which energetic output and sensitivity may be tuned through control of nano/microstructure. Despite the abundance of work focused on tuning energetic output through control of composition, little effort has focused on in situ tuning techniques which may enable on-command control of energetic output (e.g. thrust, light emission, detonation velocity, and propulsion system ignition/shutdown). This presentation aims to discuss recent advances in tuning of energetic material output via micro/nanostructure as well as by in situ microwave irradiation and offers perspective on ways micro/nanostructure control can be exploited to enable microwave control in order to lead to the development of the next generation of ‘smart’ energetic materials. Bio: Travis Sippel is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Prof. Sippel received his Ph.D. (2013) and M.S. (2009) in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He is recipient of the AFOSR and DTRA Young Investigator Awards. Prof. Sippel’s research is topically focused on the development of new nanoscale energetic materials and application to energetic devices to enable new device functionalities and higher performance. He serves on the technical advisory council of the AIAA energetic components sub-committee and is vice president of the AIChE Particle Technology Forum Energetics division. He is a hazard safety advisor to the Ames National Laboratory and as a reviewer for the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, NASA, and various journals. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Tara Hoadley in advance at 

Contact Info: Tara Hoadley,