Mechanical engineering undergraduate Carl Fauver, B.S.’19, was selected nationally (1 of 24) for the Computational Physics Student Summer Workshop held at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The workshop seeks to bring to the Laboratory a diverse group of exceptional undergraduate and graduate students for informative, enriching lectures and to work with its staff for 10 weeks on interesting, relevant projects that may culminate in articles or conference presentations. Students are organized into groups of 2-3 working under the guidance of one or more mentors. Additionally, each participant is awarded a fellowship.

Fauver, a junior double majoring in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, studies the process of freeze casting under the direction of assistant professor Steven Naleway in the Laboratory for Bioinspired Science and Engineering. Freeze casting is a material synthesis method during which a solid suspended in water is shaped by directionally freezing the solution, the frozen structure is then freeze dried and solidified to create a contiguous porous structure.

Before leaving for Los Alamos he plans to finalize a procedure for synthesizing viable carbon samples for filtration testing. Prior to graduation in spring of 2019, Fauver plans to publish a journal article on water filtration using these porous carbon structures. If successful, Fauver’s research will provide proof of concept for freeze casting water filters. This could result in more accessible water filtration for many people without access to clean water.

In response to the question – what attracted you to mechanical engineering? Fauver said, “Engineering just seemed to fit. I love mathematics, but I have often found it hard to apply rigorous proofs to real-world applications as no component in anything follows the basic assumption of “ideal.” Originally, I considered biomedical engineering, but it did not take me long to discover my preference for mechanical engineering. This degree, this department, is the catch all of the engineering realm” said Fauver. “We have some of the highest variety of professor expertise you will find on campus.”

“My personal research, under Dr. Naleway, is very much a material science project. We also have world-class faculty in mechanics of materials, robotics, turbulent fluid mechanics and so many other fields. All of which have very real, tangible, applications to life all around us. That is what drew me to the department. Mechanical engineering offers a very diverse set of skills to its students, one which will serve graduates well in any number of fields upon graduation. Personally, the next step is graduate school. I will be attending graduate school beginning in Fall 2019 either here at the University of Utah or at a another institution to pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. After I am done with school, I plan to pursue a research position either in academia or industry.”

Professor Naleway said, “Evidenced by the productive research in the Bioinspired Science and Engineering Lab, the Los Alamos National Lab summer workshop selections this year for Computation Physics and last year for Dynamics, Carl is on the pathway towards a bright future. He is consistently hard working, self-motivated, a strong researcher, and pleasant to work with. I look forward to our continued work together.”