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College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

Cal Poly Sweeps Coatings Awards

A group of students who won awards at the Western Coating Symposium.
Western Coatings Symposium poster winners received their
cash prizes from industry sponsors on campus in November.
Pictured are (left to right): Larry Teachout from Behr Process Company,
Kim Varney, Franceska Santos, Grant Olson and Eunice Leung from BYK USA.

Students in the coatings and polymers program swept the poster awards at the Western Coating Symposium in Las Vegas in the fall, taking first, second and third place. Symposium organizers Larry Teachout from Behr Process Company and Eunice Leung from BYK USA visited campus in November and honored the winners with cash prizes of $1,200, $600 and $300, respectively. Read more about the students' award-winning research below.

First Place - Franceska Santos

Santos worked with Ray Fernando on research focused on the flow behavior of paint coatings. She was investigating the interaction of chemicals at the molecular level and how that changes the performance of the paint in areas such as durability, appearance and strength.

Second Place - Grant Olson

Olson worked with Shanju Zhang on developing a new material for use in solar cells. Olson and the research group successfully combined two compounds to produce a new material that can produce more power than current polymer-based solar cells. Read more about Olson and Zhang's research. (I'm still working on this article, so there's nothing to link to yet.)

Third Place - Kim Varney

Varney worked with Phil Constanzo on self-healing coatings. The atoms in these coatings can be pulled apart and then stuck back together by applying heat. Read more on Varney and Costanzo's research. (Create a Drupal link to the story Self-Healing Coating Could Eliminate Paint Scratches. If you need help with Drupal links, let me know.)

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