Polymer Composite and Materials Laboratory

March 2018

PhD candidate Cailean Pritchard presented his research entitled "Development of Nanoparticle Alignment Regimes in Drying Cellulose Nanocrystal Droplet Suspensions for Additive Manufacturing" in the CELL division at the 2018 ACS National Meeting, along with a poster at the Sci-Mix session. 

February 2018

Prof. Bortner presented his work on "Analyzing Interlayer Adhesion of Poly(ether imide) in Material Extrusion AM" at the 2018 Adhesion Society/World Congress on Adhesion and Related Phenomena (AS/WCARP) in San Diego. He also co-organized a new symposium on Adhesion Issues in Additive Manufacturing, which will be continued at the 2019 annual meeting.

February 2018

Chemical Engineering junior James Owens was recently awarded the "Outstanding Overall Presentation" Award from Rice University for his talk at the university's annual Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS).

February 2018

New Publication: "Synthesis and characterization of a phosphine oxide based poly(arylene ether ketone) and blends with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) for gas separations"  by GS Narang, JD Moon, W Zhang, GC Miller, SR Choudhury, A Shaver, B Vondrasek, JJ Lesko, JJ Fallon, M Bortner, C D'Ambra, BD Freeman, and JS Riffle was recently published in Polymer.​

November 2017

New Publication: "Model analysis of feedstock behavior in fused filament fabrication: Enabling rapid materials screening"  by EL Gilmer, D Miller, CA Chatham, C Zawaski, JJ Fallon, A Pekkanen, TE Long, CB Williams and MJ Bortner was recently published in Polymer.​

October 2017

Jake Fallon and Eric Gilmer have been in the news for creating customized 3-D printed golf grips with team members Camden Chatham and Andy Cohen.  See them in the Winter 2017 Virginia Tech Engineer and the Virginia Tech News !​

September 2017

Professor Bortner and Jake Fallon were part of the delegation from Virginia Tech to attend the VT-Waseda joint workshop on energy and nanomaterials in Tokyo, Japan.  Read more about the September 2017 trip from VT MII and from Waseda University .  

August 2017

New Publication: "Melt-spinnable polyacrylonitrile copolymer precursors for carbon fibers"  by GC Miller, J Yu, RM Joseph, SR Choudhury, SJ Mecham, DG Baird, M Bortner, RE Norris, FL Paulauskas, and JS Riffle was recently published in Polymer.​

June 2017

Congrats to Jake Fallon for winning a $2000 scholarship from SPE ACCE(Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition).  Jake's essay detailed how his planned work will benefit composites in an automotive application.  He will present his research project at the next ACCE conference.​

June 2017

Eric Gilmer, Jake Fallon, and Cailean Pritchard presented at the 2017 Southeast Polymer Forum.  The event was held June 5-7 on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA.​

June 2017

Professor Mike Bortner attended the 2017 International Conference on Nanotechnology of Renewable Materials June 5-8.  He presented  "Analyzing Process Parameter Interaction on Acid Hydrolysis Production of Cellulose Nanocrystals" at the conference held in Montreal, Canada.​

May 2017

Congratulations to Eric Gilmer,  Jake Fallon, Camden Chatham, and Andy Cohen for their 1st place finish in SME's 2017 Digital Manufacturing Challenge!  The  Virginia Tech team was recognized at the 2017 Rapid +TCT Event in Pittsburgh, PA.  

May 2017

Congratulations to our Hokie graduates from BortnerLab!  Darren Miller, Jacob Rendall, and Ben Kolb received their B.S. in Chemical Engineering and David Anderegg received his B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering.​

May 2017

Jim Owens was awarded the Sophomore Academic Achievement Award for the 2016-2017 school year by the Virginia Tech chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon(National Honor Society for Chemical Engineering) ​

May 2017

Samantha Stutz was recently accepted into a Study Abroad Program in Antarctica.  After completing a Fall 2017 course, Samantha will participate in a 2-week winter break expedition where she plans to conduct independent research on the effect volatile methylsiloxanes have on Antarctic soil and marine life.

April 2017

Kelsey Niehoff is one of the recipients of the prestigious Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year.  Kelsey, advised by Dr. Bortner (ChE) and Dr. Tallon (MSE), is studying how the mechanical and thermal properties of porous ultra high temperature ceramics can be improved with nanomaterial reinforcements. read more

April 2017

Jake Fallon, Eric Gilmer, and Cailean Pritchard gave talks at the 9th Annual Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Assembly(ChEGSA) Research Symposium on April 13th.   Six students from the Bortner Group also presented posters at the event: Kathleen Chan, Ben Kolb, Darren Miller, Kelsey Niehoff, James Owens, and Jacob Rendall.

April 2017

Dr. Bortner and Cailean Pritchard gave presentations at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting April 2-6, 2017 in San Francisco.

March 2017

Eric Gilmer won a Bronze Award that included a $500 prize for his research presentation titled "Modeling Flow Phenomena in Fused Filament Fabrication Geometry" at the 33rd Annual GSA Research Symposium and Exposition on March 29, 2017.

March 2017 - Owens Wins Class of 1954  Odyssey Fellowship

Jim Owens was named the 2017 Class of 1954 Odyssey Fellow by the Virginia Tech Honors College. One of six fellowships awarded by the college each year, the Class of 1954 Odyssey Fellowship provides outstanding Honors students with unusual and interdisciplinary opportunities extending far beyond the classroom. 

December 2016

New Publication: "Analysis of the sulfuric acid hydrolysis of wood pulp for cellulose nanocrystal production: A central composite design study"   by Shuping Dong, Michael Bortner and Maren Roman was recently published in a special issue of  Industrial Crops and Products.

November 2016

Congratulations to Jim Owens, a member of the Chem-E-Car team for placing 7th in the 2016 National American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Conference. The event was held November 13 in San Francisco, CA.

October 2016

Graduate students Jake Fallon and Eric Gilmer presented posters at the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) Technical Conference and Review.   Dr. Bortner gave a faculty presentation at the event, held on the Virginia Tech campus.

Polymer Composite and Materials Laboratory​
Department of Chemical Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
Phone: 540-231-4213
Fax: 540-231-5022