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Research Spotlight

Dr. Martin Parker
Dr. Martin Parker
Dr. Martin Parker, Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been studying nanostructured materials for over 20 years. As MINT professor at the University of Alabama, he worked on the phenomenon of giant magnetoresistance in thin metallic nanostructured films and on related specific devices such as spin valves, some of that work being done in association with an industrial consortium. He conducted a series of experiments on the influence of high magnetic fields on nanocomposites at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

In recent years, at South Alabama, he has worked almost exclusively on polymer-based nanocomposites in close collaboration with colleagues in the Mechanical Engineering Department. External funding has been obtained from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Much of this funding is through state-wide research consortia with Auburn University, Tuskegee University and Alabama A& M University. Some of the NASA work has involved developing a methodology for the non-destructive evaluation of carbon fiber-based composites. Dr. Parker, in association with a recently-appointed colleague, Dr. Mark Adams, is currently investigating the capacitive and resistive response of these composites at high frequencies.

Dr. Parker has also been active in modeling the behavior of nanocomposites using effective medium theory. This particular line of investigation has helped stimulate research of the dependence of porosity effects on the elastic properties of nanocomposites as well as on the viscosity of liquid polymers containing carbon nanofiber dispersions. His recent work has also focused on investigating characteristics of natural fiber composites.

Dr Parker was elected to Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1985.

Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao
Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao
Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Alabama, has recently received a 3-year grant from DOE for a collaborative research project with Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Tuskegee University, and University of Alabama entitled "Nanostructure- Enhanced Phase Change Materials (NEPCM)."

Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with research concentration in heat/mass transfer and composite materials science from the University of Delaware. Dr. Hsiao has been continuing his research interests at the University of South Alabama since joining the College of Engineering in Fall 2003. Dr. Hsiao is known for his research contributions in heat dispersion in heterogeneous materials, intelligent composite manufacturing processes, nanocomposites manufacturing and characterization, residual stress and dimensional instability in composites, and the modeling of liquid composites molding such as Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) and Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM).

He is an active member of ASME and SAMPE. His other current research projects are all related to composites and nanocomposites and are funded by NSF, Alabama-EPSCoR, NASA, and industry. Dr. Hsiao is the recipient of Excellence in Research of the College of Engineering, University of South Alabama, 2009.

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