ReSource, Volume 13, 2001 Page: 10
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researchers to see how the material failed.
Once a material with a defined composi-
tion has been selected, a number of experi-
mental tests determine its usability. One such
test - the scratch test - employs a dia-
mond blade hooked up to sensors that moni-
tor the blade's force and the material's
Bernard Bujard, a UNT graduate student,
conducts most of LAPOM's scratch tests and
measures a material's viscoelasticity by
recording its ability to heal.
An extruder is used to melt
and mold plastic pellets
into samples for study. The
Plastic Impact Tester
(below) measures the force
needed to break a sample.
The higher the impact
strength of the material,
the slower a standardized
hammer travels after
fracturing it. A sensor on
the hammer transmits the
information to a computer.
Developing materials with high healing
capabilities is important to LAPOM, not
only for the improved cookware coating,
but also for the surface protection of mate-
rials such as ceramics and metals.
Other research at the lab deals with
polymeric materials for automotive,
telecommunication, biotechnology, med-
ical, chemical and agricultural applications.
The work has been funded by Volvo, Ford,
Texas Instruments, Dow Chemical, Alcon,
the National Science Foundation, NASA
The research conducted at LAPOM
occurs in an atmosphere of teamwork and
shared expertise, which is nurtured by
Brostow's broad interpretation of teaching.
"The lab is not only a place for research,
but also a classroom," he says. "Some peo-
ple believe research and teaching are oppos-
ing ideas, but this does not need to be the
case. Students working on research are
learning how to solve problems and are
acquiring the tools of the trade. When they
finish, they are able to apply those tools on
Brostow says the best part of his work is
shaping students as researchers. These
include students in the Texas Academy of
Mathematics and Science, a two-year resi-
dential program that allows high school
juniors and seniors to finish high school while
completing their first two years of college.
Several of the TAMS students working in
LAPOM have received national honors,
including Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.
Their projects have ranged from developing
better ways to attach prosthetics to muscle
tissue to creating intra-ocular lenses to
All of the students working in LAPOM are
learning from the best. The international
visiting professors, who usually work in the
he international visiting professors
working in LAPOM with Witold
* Michael Bratychak, Volodymyr
Donchak and Olena Shyshchak -
Lvivska Politechnika National
University or Lviv Tech in Ukraine
* Victor M. Castano - National
University of Mexico
* Michael Hess - University of
Duisburg in Germany
* Magdalena Jaklewicz - Cracow
University of Technology in Poland
* Pablo Montemartini - Argentinian
National University, Mar del Plata
* Jean-Marc Saiter - University of
Rouen in France
* R.P. Singh - National Indian
Institute of Technology
* juergen Springer - Technical
University of Berlin
lab for one- or two-year stints, are among
the world's finest polymer scientists.
Brostow himself is president of the Inter-
national Council of Materials Education, a
fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in
London, winner of the Fred A. Schwab Inter-
national Award of the Society of Plastics
Engineers, and a member of the National
Academy of Sciences of Mexico and of the
Union for Polymer Research in Berlin. In 1999
he received an honorary doctorate from the
Lvivska Politechnika National University in
Ukraine, only the second awarded by the
school since World War II.
As a Regents Professor of materials sci-
ence at UNT, he devotes at least half of his
teaching workload to introductory-level
courses in addition to supervising graduate
Whether creating a new molecular struc-
ture for a polymeric substance to improve
modern life, or teaching the talented stu-
dents at UNT, Brostow is ensuring that
Texas has a major scientific influence in
the world. '
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University of North Texas. ReSource, Volume 13, 2001, periodical, 2001; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29774/m1/10/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.