Southeastern students will study in Japan | Arts & Culture
Two Southeastern Louisiana University chemistry students will spend seven weeks this summer in Toyko where they will be performing specialized experimental materials research.
Katelyn Dreux, a senior from Slidell, and Patrick Flowers, a junior from Ponchatoula will be working at Tokyo Denki University to study and characterize the bonding strength of various thin films on different materials. Flowers will perform experimental work using a laser interferometer, and Dreux will conduct computer simulations to interpret the data.
Their trip is sponsored by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Southeastern physics Professor Sanichiro Yoshida. The grant is designed to encourage student experimental research in physics. Southeastern maintains a collaborative agreement with TDU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Yoshida and his students have been studying and characterizing the mechanical properties of materials, demonstrating that areas of weakness can be detected through the use of a laser interferometer. Yoshida holds two patents for his work using the laser interferometer to identify weakness in materials.
Yoshida said the students will be a safe distance from any of the contaminated areas of the country that resulted from the tsunami that struck northern Japan in March. He said he checks regularly with colleagues in Tokyo on the conditions in the area.“If there were any concerns for our students’ safety, we would not be making this trip,” said Yoshida, who will accompany the students to his homeland.
Both students are looking forward to the trip.“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” said Dreux, who is focusing on getting into graduate school. “The research is interesting, and getting to visit another country is a bonus. It’s going to be a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.”
“This is a priceless opportunity to do research, collaborate with Japanese scientists and learn about Japanese culture,” added Flowers.