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UNF's MSERF hosts Open House Showcase of Ground-Breaking Technical Research and Equipment

Female student working in the MSERF LabAs part of the University of North Florida’s Research Week, the Materials Science and Engineering Research Facility (MSERF) will host an open house to showcase some of the innovative high-tech equipment and pioneering research initiatives taking place at the University in the areas of biology, materials science and advanced manufacturing from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 26.

The MSERF lab is the hub of the most technical and innovative research on UNF’s campus and has partnerships with national and local leading companies including Shimadzu, Johnson & Johnson, and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Paul Eason, MSERF director, will discuss recent developments and UNF faculty and students will demonstrate three interdisciplinary research projects utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

UNF faculty will present visual demonstrations of the following new research projects:

  • Jutima Simsiriwong, mechanical engineering professor, will demonstrate how her teams use MSERF’s VEGA3 scanning electron microscope on additively manufactured aerospace alloys for use in space flight.
  • Laura Habegger, biology professor, will show how her team is using highly sensitive microscopes to investigate how climate change may impact alligator eggs and fish otoliths
  • Steve Stagon, mechanical engineering professor, will demonstrate how he is working with the expanding shape memory effect of a Nitinol mirror for potential use in space exploration. He will also show how his team uses the scanning electron microscope to create nanomaterials to be used for trace medical pathogen detection.

Recent developments at MSERF include the opening of an advanced medical research center, the Molecular Determination Lab, to allow researchers to study tissue samples to provide hyper-early diagnostic and detection of cancers and other medical conditions. This lab is the first of its kind in the United States. In addition, research at MSERF is currently being used on the James Webb Space Telescope and images are expected to begin arriving soon.