Centre to host unique ‘Science Goes Viral’ convocation, Oct. 13

Centre College’s next convocation will be explosive.

Matthew Staymates, a mechanical engineer and fluid dynamicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will be speaking on masks, drugs and explosives in a one-of-a-kind convocation that is open to the community.

The convocation will center around how imaging is used to help understand air flow and fluid dynamics.

Centre College Associate Professor of Chemistry Leonard Demoranville knows Staymates from his time at NIST and said there will be plenty to learn from the experience.

“Matt will be presenting several imaging techniques that he uses to study airflow. Folks will also get to see how ideas that seem to have little importance on the surface can actually be important steps to understand the world around us,” Demoranville said. “Why would a serious scientist want to 3D print a dog snout? Come tomorrow night to find out! While Matt won’t be directly presenting on the idea of communication, he is an excellent communicator. I think watching how he presents his work can also be instructive.”

You can register for the event, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., here.

Staymates’ work on air flow and masks has been used by news outlets due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, Staymates worked on detecting drugs and trace explosives. His talk will also feature his work in these categories.

So what makes masks, drugs and explosives the trio of topics for discussion?

“The group Matt works with is interested in improving forensic science. So the connections between drugs and explosives is actually a natural one,” Demoranville said. “The group is particularly interested in how to measure very small quantities of those chemical compounds, so that is really the unifying idea. The addition of the masks is simply a timely one. Matt realized that his work with imaging could help folks understand better how air flows through and around masks. Given his experience and the lab’s technical capabilities, he was able to make an important contribution. When I saw his work on masks this spring, I realized that it was a good time to ask him to give a convocation.”

by Matt Overing
October 12, 2020

By |2020-10-14T09:59:49-04:00October 12th, 2020|Uncategorized|