Ben Gaddy, a third-year graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering, was awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship by the Department of Defense. Each year, the Department of Defense awards approximately 200 three-year fellowships to students pursuing doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines. Ben currently researches surfactant stabilization of oxide surfaces and gold-nickel contacts for RF-MEMS switches in Professor Doug Irving’s computational materials science group.
Using first-principles simulation techniques, Ben has lent insight to the stabilization of rocksalt oxide growth via a hydrogen surfactant layer. This collaboration with Beth Paisley and Professor Jon-Paul Maria’s group led to a paper accepted by Nature Communications and a presentation at the 2011 Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society.
Ben has also been investigating the microstructure of gold-nickel alloys for use in radio frequency micro-electro-mechanical systems switches, using a coupled atomistic-continuum method developed in the Irving research group. The research aims to create a set of design rules for materials selection that will be used by experimental collaborators in Professor Angus Kingon’s group at Brown University. This work has been presented at last year’s MRS Fall Meeting.
Ben was previously supported on a Department of Education Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) in Scientific Computation.