Dr. Chinmoyee Das joins ASCC’s team of Postdoctoral Research Assistants

ORONO, Maine 𑁋 The Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) is constantly searching for Postdoctoral Research Assistants to expand our team’s talents. With this, we are pleased to announce the recent hire of Dr. Chinmoyee Das as a new Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Hub and Spoke Materials Team. 
Originally from Odisha, India, Das began her journey through higher education at the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management in Visakhapatnam, India. Das studied biotechnology and received her Bachelor of Technology in 2013. The following academic term Das changed course and joined the Environmental Science program at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany as a master’s student, and received her degree in 2016.
In 2019, Das enrolled at Michigan Technological University to pursue a Ph.D. in Forest Sciences. This culmination of educational experience has led Das to the ASCC where she can continue her specialized research on sustainable biocomposites.
Das will primarily focus on cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). CNF is made from wood pulp that has been highly refined to the nanolevel. The most common way in which CNF is produced is through high-pressure homogenization, which is a high-cost, but a low-yield method. High-pressure homogenization can be broadly applied to a variety of subjects; however, in the particular instance of Das’ work, it primarily involves passing a liquid form of CNF through a narrow channel under high pressure, through a value or membrane with narrow slits which is intended to mix, or homogenize, the CNF specimen.  Das’ work will focus on producing CNF with a novel extrusion method to relieve the issues found with high-pressure homogenization.
Das will also investigate how the pretreatment of CNF materials could further improve the product’s efficiency. CNF is a strong reinforcement for polymers, thus its dispersion without severe clumping during compounding is the key to fully utilizing its reinforcing potential. Das will explore a “top-down” method where pulp fibers can be directly fibrillated into CNF while being compounded with polymers in an extruder. Fortunately, Das will be working in proximity to the UMaine Process Development Center, one of the world’s top suppliers of cellulose nanomaterials. 
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Das and hope to utilize her expertise with biochar production from her Ph.D. work in synergy with our CNF composites research,” remarked Dr. Douglas Gardner, a global leader in cellulose nanocomposites research at the ASCC. 

Working with CNF, the world’s most advanced biomass material, Das’ work will play a crucial role in the ASCC’s push towards environmentally continuous solutions. Das’ work to enhance the efficiency of these materials will increase their applicability in regard to 3D printed projects.  

Beyond experimenting in the lab, Das loves cooking, reading, and painting.

The ASCC team is rapidly growing and always looking for talented individuals across all industries to join our team. For more information on open positions, visit the ASCC website or contact Kim Scribner, workforce coordinator, at kimberly.scribner@maine.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Dalton, elizabeth.dalton@maine.edu