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Biodegradable Materials: SJSU Undergraduate Research at EAG

December 7, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:15 pm

This talk will highlight research efforts of three undergraduate interns at EAG focused on biodegradable materials.
– One project involved evaluating a mycelium biocomposite under different weather conditions to determine its feasibility as a replacement for Styrofoam shipping foam. In addition to investigating mechanical and thermal properties, the students also examined chemical and morphological properties using techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
– Another project focused on creating a series of seaweed-based biocomposites using commercially available Spirulina powder and varying amounts of glycerol and silica. The new materials exhibited improved mechanical properties compared to the unmodified polymer. Chemical and thermal properties of the materials were also evaluated using XRF, FTIR and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to understand the changes in the biopolymer structure with the addition of glycerol and silica.
– The last project involved evaluating chemical properties of different kinds of natural seaweed harvested from Monterey Bay. Analytical techniques such as FTIR, XRF and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) were used to understand the composition of seaweed before and after aqueous extraction.
Dr. Yanika Schneider is a Polymer Scientist and Project Manager at Eurofins EAG and a Adjunct Professor at the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University – Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering; Department of Aviation and Technology
Dr. Yanika Schneider received her Ph.D. from University of California at Santa Barbara in materials chemistry. Her thesis focused on the synthesis and characterization of functionalized polyolefin materials. She then joined UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for her postdoc to study the self-assembly of block copolymers containing polymerized ionic liquids. This experience exposed her to more polymer physics-based research as she sought to relate polymer structure to ion transport in proton conducting membranes.
– After her postdoc, Dr. Schneider briefly worked at an energy startup helping a small team develop nanostructured carbon-based supercapacitors.
– In 2013, she joined Eurofins EAG where she specializes in the characterization of diverse materials using infrared and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopies. She also works as a project manager leading complex multi-technique investigations involving polymer degradation, contamination and deformulations.
– Four years ago, Dr. Schneider was invited to develop curricula related to polymer science at San Jose State University. She currently teaches two undergraduate courses (Polymers and Polymer Composites) and a master’s course (Research Methods).
In-Person Meeting
Thursday, December 7, 2023
11:30 AM: Networking, Pizza & Drinks
Noon — 1 pm: Seminar
Please register on Eventbrite before 9:30 AM on Thursday, December 7, 2023
Walk-In attendance is welcomed but discouraged
EAG Laboratories, 810 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, California, United States, 94086


December 7, 2023
11:30 am - 1:15 pm


EAG Laboratories, 810 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, California, United States, 94086