Cutting edge ideas presented in three minutes or less.
In the time it takes for your favorite song to play, University of Illinois graduate students recently showcased their remarkable research to a panel of judges at the fourth annual Research Live! competition at Illinois.
This year, five graduate students in LAS participated in the competition — Hope Holland (psychology), Belinda Pacheco Johnson (chemistry), Collin Kaufman (neuroscience), Junghwan Kim (geography and geographic information science), and Whitney Sinclair (chemical and biomolecular engineering).
Belinda Pacheco Johnson
Last year, Belinda Pacheco Johnson and her co-workers published a paper detailing their observation that the hottest temperatures in an experimental explosion were caused by the compression of product gases. Johnson’s experiments were the first time this phenomenon was observed.
The research revolved around probing the first few nanoseconds a shockwave travels in an explosion. Johnson is learning about the mechanisms that lead to detonation. Her findings will eventually help make explosive devices more predictable.
“This, is most relevant to addressing critical needs for national security, especially when it comes to making explosives safer and predicting their behavior,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that her main goal at Research Live! was to make what is a highly technical field seem readily accessible.
“It is challenging to be concise, especially as a scientist, so I think it is a great opportunity to exercise these ‘muscles’ that I don’t get to use that often,” Johnson said.
Partially excerpted from Liberal Arts and Sciences, by Abby Paeth