Meet Kristen Roskov
Kristen Roskov won first place at this year's Graduate Student Research Symposium in the Engineering category. Her winning poster presentation is entitled Alignment and Spatial Positioning of Ligand-Functionalized Nanoparticles in Electrospun Polymer Nano/Microfibers.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Roskov attended University of Maryland at College Park for her B.S. in chemical engineering. Upon graduation, she began looking for a graduate program that ". . . combined both cutting edge research and an enjoyable work environment." She settled on NC State because she liked the wide breadth of research being done in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Roskov says that she also loves the ". . . great camaraderie among the faculty, students, and staff and the focus on collaboration."
Roskov chose chemical engineering because she enjoys both math and chemistry -- and thought it would be a good blend of both. She says that's not exactly true, but she's still happy with her decision to go into chemical engineering and with her graduate research on nanomaterials. She expects to complete her doctoral degree this year and pursue a career in industry.
The formation of polymer nanocomposites is a way to combine the highly desirable properties of metals and metal oxides (e.g., electrical, magnetic and thermal) with those of polymers (e.g., flexible, lightweight and tough). Roskov's research focuses on the incorporation of either iron oxide nanoparticles or gold nanorods into electrospun polymer nano/microfibers.
The objective of her research is to gain a better fundamental understanding of how to controllably align and position nanoparticles and nanorods within polymer fibers to maximize properties such as optical, thermal, magnetic, and catalytic. She and her research group have found a way to controllably align and position nanomaterials within polymer fibers through magnetic field-assisted electrospinning, the effect of shear, and blends of hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymers. (Electrospinning utilizes a high voltage to create an electrically-charged jet of polymer solution that dries to yield a polymer nano/microfiber.)
Roskov hopes that this research helps ". . . to lay the groundwork for how to maximize the attributes of nanocomposites." She says that functional nanocomposite materials are important in a variety of applications -- data storage, conductive nanowires, nonwoven sensors, magnetic filters, and drug delivery patches, to name a few.
When she isn't working on her research and completing her dissertation, Roskov enjoys mentoring, running and training for races, and traveling.
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