Purdue Energetics Research Center

Purdue Energetic Materials Summit

The Purdue Energetic Materials Summit (PEMS) is a biennial summit designed to bring together thought leaders and decision makers in the defense, security and academic communities to discuss key challenges and potential technical solutions associated with energetic materials. The inaugural event was held on May 22-24, 2017, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Invitation is required to attend or speak at the summit. The summit will alternate between invited presentations and free time allotted for conversation and community building amongst attendees. The work presented at the summit will neither be recorded nor released publicly.

Questions regarding the summit should be submitted to: energeticmaterials@purdue.edu.

PEMS 2021 is scheduled for May 18-20, 2021.

Research

 

Synthesis & Fabrication

Synthesis and Fabrication activities of the pre-eminent team are aimed at creating tailored energetic materials. Improved performance, sensitivity, toxicity and lifetime are key drivers for these new materials. We are also interested in developing disruptive materials that are tunable, switchable, and multi-functional. Both top-down and bottom-up fabrication approaches are being explored. These include additive manufacturing methods, nanoscale encapsulation, and high energy ball mill mechanical activation methods. We also hope to extend this to both chemical synthesis and cocrystallization at Purdue. Applications include all areas of energetic materials and include advanced propellants, enhanced explosives and novel pyrotechnics.

 

Diagnostics and Characterization

Diagnostic and Characterization efforts are primarily aimed at improving our ability to study energetic materials during dynamic events. A variety of laser-spectroscopy and imaging techniques spanning the UV to the far-IR are currently being developed and applied to study propellant flames, explosions and detonations, shock impact, and electromagnetic stimulation. These efforts employ ultrafast-, burst-mode-, hyperspectral-, and wavelength-modulation-spectroscopy techniques, as well as high-speed and ballistic imaging to provide non-intrusive, time-resolved measurements of chemical species, temperature, pressure, and velocity. In addition, X-ray techniques for imaging optically dense, multi-phase processes are also of interest. A combination of commercial and custom-built light sources and imaging platforms are currently being used to extend such measurements to: additional chemical species, multiple dimensions (2D to 4D), shorter timescales, and increasingly hostile and optically dense environments.

Drop-weight towers, Kolsky bars and gas guns are used to apply dynamic loads on the energetic materials to be characterized, optical and x-ray high-speed imaging techniques are used to determine the dynamic deformation and damaging processes in the energetic materials under impact. To identify the formation of hot spots, temperature field associated with the deformation and damage is measured with a new 2D topographical temperature measurement method using the laser-induced phosphorescence.

 

Detection and Defeat

Detection and Defeat activities of the pre-eminent team are focused generally on interdiction of terrorists and improvised explosive devices. Improved materials and methods are being developed for better detection of explosives residues at security checkpoints using contact sampling methods. These approaches involve understanding the adhesion and mechanics of explosives, as well as the development of novel materials with optimized properties for explosives harvesting. In addition, standoff methods for detecting and defeating explosives are of great interest. These methods involve the application of novel MEMS technology for recognition of explosive vapors, and the development of directed energy methods for inducing deflagration within explosives and for detecting explosives residues in the vapor phase and on surfaces.

Faculty and staff at Purdue University have joined efforts to form an interdisciplinary team with an overriding focus on Energetic Materials. Approved as a formal Purdue Center on September 8, 2017, The Purdue Energetics Research Center (PERC)'s research addresses existing and emerging explosives-based threats to civilian and military infrastructure, commerce, and aviation. It also targets the U.S. military’s need for more stable, more effective, less sensitive, and more easily processed energetic materials for use as propellants, pyrotechnics and in ordinance.

Faculty, Staff & Students

Steve Beaudoin
Center Director, Professor of Chemical Engineering
   

David F. Bahr
Head and Professor of Materials Engineering
   

Sally Bane
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
   

J. Stuart Bolton
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Bryan Boudouris
Robert and Sally Weist Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
   

Weinong Chen
Reilly Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics & Materials Engineering
   

Yong Chen
Director of the Purdue Quantum Center & Associate Director of Research for Birck Nanotechnology Center
   

George T.-C. Chiu
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Patricia Davies
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Ray W. Herrick Laboratories
   

Christopher Goldenstein
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Marcial Gonzalez
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Nathan W Hartman
Interim Head of Computer Graphics Technology, Professor of Computer Graphics Technology
   

Marisol Koslowski
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Terry Meyer
Professor Of Mechanical Engineering
 

Zoltan Nagy
Professor of Chemical Engineering
   

Davin Piercey
Assistant Professor Materials Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
   

Tim Pourpoint
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
   

P. V. Ramachandran
Professor of Organic Chemistry
   

Jeffrey F. Rhoads
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Shweta Singh
Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering
 

Steven F. Son
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
   

Alejandro H. Strachan
Professor of Materials Engineering
   

Mike Lauderdale
Environmental Technician
Radiological & Environmental Management
   

Timothy Manship
Research Engineer - Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories
 

Chris Murray
Project Manager
School of Chemical Engineering
   

Katherine Yater-Henke
Graduate Program Administrator
School of Chemical Engineering
   

David Bahr

Alexandra Burch
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: Small scale testing to assess mechanical behavior of anisotropic molecular crystals

Matthew Taw
Graduated: December 2017
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Project/Thesis: “Linking Nanoscale Mechanical Behavior To Bulk Physical Properties And Phenomena Of Energetic Materials

Steve Beaudoin

Patrick Bowers
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Effects of Binder Mechanical and Interfacial Properties on Additively Manufactured Energetics
Co-Advisor: Jeff Rhoads

Caralyn Coultas-Mckenney
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2022
Project/Thesis: The Enhanced Centrifuge Method for Evaluating Topographical Effects on Adhesion of Explosives Powders

Andrew Parker
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2020
Project/Thesis: Effects of Polymers on Crystallization of Pharmacological Active Ingredients from the Melt

Sydney Scheirey
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2023
Project/Thesis: Effects of Crosslinking Agents and Adhesion Modifiers on Additively Manufactured Thermite
Co-Advisor: Jeff Rhoads

Michael Stevenson
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2022
Project/Thesis: Measuring van der Waals Adhesion Forces of Compounded Energetics Using Non-Contact Atomic Force Microscopy
Co-Advisor: David Corti

Jason Wickham
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2020
Project/Thesis: Effects of Interfacial and Mechanical Properties of Compounded Explosives on Their Sensitivity
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Aaron Woeppel
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2023
Project/Thesis: Engineered Macromolecules for Detection of Trace Explosives Residues Co-Advisor: Bryan Boudouris

Bryan Boudouris

Darby Hoss
School: Chemical Engineering
Graduated: August, 2017
Project/Thesis: Adhesion Characterization to Improve Trace Explosives Detection Using Mesostructured Polymers
Co-Advisor: Steve Beaudoin

Jennifer Laster
School: Chemical Engineering
Graduated: December, 2017
Project/Thesis: Design of Microstructured Conducting Polymer Films for Enhanced Trace Explosives Detection
Co-Advisor: Steve Beaudoin

Aaron Woeppel
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2023
Project/Thesis: Engineered Macromolecules for Detection of Trace Explosives Residues
Co-Advisor: Steve Beaudoin

Sally Bane

Tyler Graziano
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: 2016
Project/Thesis: Development of Combustion Tube for Gaseous, Liquid, and Solid Fuels to Study Flame Acceleration and DDT

Angela Mbugua
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: 2019
Project/Thesis: Characterization of Ignition and Combustion of Nitromethane and Isopropyl Nitrate Monopropellant Droplets

Steven Stoot
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: 2015
Project/Thesis: Combustion Characteristics of Hypergolic Microdroplets

Prashanth Bangalore Venkatesh
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: 2019
Project/Thesis: High Pressure Combustion in C2H4/N2O Mixtures Leading to Detonations and its Applications

Wayne Chen

Benjamin Claus
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: December, 2018
Project/Thesis: Controlling Dynamic Torsion Loading

Jonathan Drake
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: Dynamic Response of Polymer Bonded Explosives under Impact Loading

Zherui Guo
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: Design Optimization of Multi-ply Soft Armor Targets Based on Failure Modes under Projectile Normal Impact

Michael Harr
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: May 2017
Project/Thesis: Hot-spot Formation in PBX under Impact Loading

Nesredin Kedir
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2020
Project/Thesis: Particle Impact Damage on Coated Structure

Nicholas Kerschen
School: Mechanical Engineering
Graduated: May, 2018
Project/Thesis: Response of PBX under Shock Loading

Cody Kirk
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2022
Project/Thesis: Response of Liquid Energetic Materials under High-speed Impact

Amelia Leenig
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: July, 2020
Project/Thesis: Effects of Defects on the Damage and Failure of Energetic Materials under Dynamic Loading

Naranjan Parab
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduated: May, 2017
Project/Thesis: Fracture of Spherical Particles under Compression

Shane Paulson
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Mechanisms of Dynamic Interlaminar Delamination in Fiber-reinforced Composites

Andrew Roginski
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: December, 2021
Project/Thesis: Impact Response of Polymer Bonded Explosives at elevated temperatures

Kerry-Ann Stirrup
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2023
Project/Thesis: Effects of Temperature on the Impact Damage and Failure of Energetic Materials

Chris Goldenstein

Garrett C. Mathews
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: High-speed laser-absorption diagnostics for temperature and species measurements in combustion gases of propellants and explosives

Morgan Ruesch
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Characterization of the flame structure of composite solid rocket propellants using laser diagnostics
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Ryan J. Tancin
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Ultrafast laser-absorption spectroscopy in the mid-infrared for spatiotemporally resolved measurements of gas properties

Marisol Koslowski

Akshay Dandekar
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2020
Project/Thesis: Damage evolution and temperature rise in polymer bonded explosives under impact and vibrations

Camilo A. Duarte
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Continuum modeling of fracture and plastic deformation in HMX single crystals under shock compression

Terry Meyer

Amanda Braun
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2022
Project/Thesis: High-Speed Burst-Mode Laser Diagnostics in Post-Detonation Fireballs

Alex Brown
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2022
Co-advisor: Steve Son
Project/Thesis Title: Laser Diagnostics for Species and Temperature in Explosive Fireballs

Diane Collard
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Additively manufactured reactive components in composite propellant
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Mateo Gomez-Gomez
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Advanced diagnostics in detonations and multiphase environments
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Josh Ludwigsen
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023
Project/Thesis: Application of pulse burst laser diagnostics for measurement of high speed reacting flows
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Patrick B. Moore
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Thermographic Nanophosphors
Co-Advisor: Steve Son

Davin Piercey

Shannon Creegan
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Matthew Gettings
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021

Dominique Wozniak
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Joseph Yount, PhD
School: Materials Science and Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2024

Steve Son

Aaron Afriat
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Additive Manufacturing of Functional Energetic Materials using Vibration Assisted Printing

Julie Bach
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Study on modifying the pressure time history of additively-manufactured gun propellant using infill parameters

Michael Baier
Christian Blum-Sorensen
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: August, 2021
Project/Thesis: Hot Spots & and explosives initiation, finding the right spark

Alex Brown
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2022
Co-advisor: Dr. Terrence Meyer
Project/Thesis Title: Laser Diagnostics for Species and Temperature in Explosive Fireballs

Alex Casey

Wesley Chapman
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2022
Project/Thesis: Additive manufacturing of energetic sensors

Kate Clements
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: An Experimental Study of Factors Affecting Hypergolic Ignition of Ammonia Borane

Diane Collard
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Additively manufactured reactive components in composite propellant
Co-Advisor: Terry Meyer

Nick Cummock
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: The change of impact and shock sensitivity due to thermal damage and phase transition in HMX systems

Josh Dean
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2020.
Project/Thesis: The Kinetics of Thermal Decomposition and Hot-Stage Microscopy of Selected Energetic Cocrystals

Spencer Fehlberg
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: Decomposition of Ammonium Perchlorate Encapsulated Nanoscale and Micron-scale Catalyst Particles

Mateo Gomez
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Advanced diagnostics in detonations and multiphase environments
Co-Advisor: Terry Meyer

Thomas Hafner
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2024
Project/Thesis: The Use of External Stimuli to Alter the Burning Characteristics of Multifunctional Energetic Materials

Josh Ludwigsen
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023
Project/Thesis: Application of pulse burst laser diagnostics for measurement of high speed reacting flows
Co-Advisor: Terry Meyer

Monique McClain
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: June, 2020
Project/Thesis: Additive manufacturing of viscous materials: development and characterization of 3D printed energetic and composite structures

Derek Messer
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2023
Project/Thesis: Manipulating Sensitivity of Energetic Materials with Piezoelectric Properties

Brandon Montano
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation date: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Characterization of vibration assisted printer for the additive manufacturing of energetic materials

Gabriel Montoya

Patrick B. Moore
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Thermographic Nanophosphors
Co-Advisor: Terry Meyer

Caitlin O'Grady

Michael Powell
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May, 2020
Project/Thesis: Ultrafast Broadband Midinfrared Absorption Spectroscopy On Shocked Energetic Materials

Morgan Ruesch
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: May, 2021
Project/Thesis: Characterization of the flame structure of composite solid rocket propellants using laser diagnostics
Co-Advisor: Chris Goldenstein

Ryan J. Tancin
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: 2021
Project/Thesis: Ultrafast laser-absorption spectroscopy in the mid-infrared for spatiotemporally resolved measurements of gas properties

Kyle Uhlenhake
School: Mechanical Engineering
Expected Graduation: May 2023
Project/Thesis: Flash Ignition of Energetic Materials

Eric Westphal
School: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Expected Graduation: Fall 2021
Project/Thesis: High-frequency surface and near-surface temperature measurements of burning composite propellants via phosphor thermometry

Jason Wickham
School: Chemical Engineering
Expected Graduation: December, 2020
Project/Thesis: Effects of Interfacial and Mechanical Properties of Compounded Explosives on Their Sensitivity
Co-Advisor: Steve Beaudoin

Facilities

Birck Nanotechnology Center

The Birck Nanotechnology Center is an interdisciplinary research center that provides infrastructure for more than 150 faculty members and their research groups. The research center includes the Dynamic Analysis of Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory - a world-class facility focused on sensor development and small-scale materials characterization.

FLEXLab

The FlexLab in Discovery Park, is designed to adapt to the creative and innovative needs of Engineering professors and their students. Its wet-lab, dry-lab and open spaces enable teams to collaborate on interdisciplinary research and discovery that ranges from advanced manufacturing to imaging, and from information technology to medical devices.

Ray W. Herrick Laboratories

The Ray W. Herrick Laboratories is an interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides infrastructure for approximately 20 faculty members and their research groups. The Laboratories have a rich, 55-year old history of graduate education and engineering research emphasizing technology transfer to government and industry. Technical areas of interest include: electromechanical systems; thermal systems and air quality; noise and vibration control; and human response modeling for machine and system optimization.

Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories

The Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories is an interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides infrastructure for approximately 15 faculty members and their research groups. The Laboratories’ 7 buildings and 22 laboratories have a rich 65 year old history of graduate education and fundamental and applied engineering research emphasizing the technical areas of energetics, rocket propulsion, combustion and turbomachinery.