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Drexel Students’ Wearable Energy Storage Research Sweeps National IGERT Competition

June 7, 2012

Drexel Materials Science Engineering Ph.D. students Kristy Jost and Carlos Perez were the only team at this year’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) competition to win in all three categories at the National Science Foundation IGERT Video and Poster Competition with their research on smart materials and energy storage. 

Jost and Perez received the Judges’ Choice, Community Choice and Public Choice Awards. They competed against 113 NSF IGERT Fellows, representing some of the best Ph.D. students in the nation. Their entry was the only submission selected in all three categories.

Jost, a first year doctoral student, researches a multidisciplinary approach to energy storage, utilizing both her background in fashion design and materials engineering, to create flexible supercapacitors, or “smart” garments that have a variety of real-world applications, in the healthcare industry, the army and for every day purposes.

“With so much research being conducted on wearable technologies around the world, ranging from illuminated garments to cell phones embedded in dresses and suit jackets, my research serves to provide a fabric energy storage device to power all of these applications. We can create ‘all-textile’ devices by utilizing fabric processing techniques widely understood in the textile industry, while combining them with cutting edge research on carbon supercapacitors. Fundamental research on vital electronic components, like energy storage, will serve as a platform for manufacturing electronic-textiles on the large scale,” Jost states.

Her research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Yury Gogotsi’s  Nanomaterials Group and Professor Genevieve Dion’s Shima Seiki Haute Tech Lab. Jost has been supported by the Drexel  and University of Pennsylvania IGERT program in Nanoscale Science and Engineering. She has recently won both the NSF GFRP and DoD NDSEG Fellowships to continue her studies and further develop her research.

The team’s submission titled, “Energy Textiles: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Wearable Energy Storage” was produced in collaboration with doctoral candidate, John K. McDonough and has been featured at various domestic and international conferences and meetings. The IGERT Video and Poster Competition promotes the communication of scientific research to a broader audience.

To view Jost’s award winning video and poster, click here. For more information on the IGERT Competition, visit the official website.