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Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, discusses the work of Intel finalists Rachel Davis and Alissa Zhang

Miriam RafailovichRachel Davis is passionate about fire prevention technologies as her family's home burned to the ground five years ago. She looked up the research in our laboratory and discovered our program on development of flame retardant polymers. Even though she knew nothing about polymers when she first joined, she instinctively knew that she had found her interest. Before the program started she accompanied us to the BCC conference on flame retardant polymers to learn what is being done in the field. There she met with representatives from Supresta, a company from Ardsley, New York, and a subsidiary, of Israel Chemical Ltd., who were interested in the development of new flame-retardant additives, which were environmentally safer than those currently being produced.

For her Intel project, she worked together with SBU graduate students Kai Yang and Shang He, and SBU undergraduate, Matthew Ross, on the application of the ICL compounds to the development of flame-retardant polymers for heat exchange units in home heating boilers specially outfitted to handle corrosive biodiesel fuels. This second project is a collaboration between Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Stony Brook Advanced Energy Center, sponsored by NYSERDA.

See Dr. Rafailovich’s webpage »

Alissa Zhang from Saratoga, California, conducted her research in the Garcia Center Program and continued after she returned to her home town in the bay area. Alissa was one of 10 students from California participating in summer research at the Garcia Center.

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