Doctoral student takes first place for research on materials fatigue - The University of Tulsa
Close Menu
Close Menu

Doctoral student takes first place for research on materials fatigue

Ga-Young Kelly Suh, Nathan Rendon, Ph.D. student and Cyber Fellow, Christopher Cheng

At the recent CardioVascular Implant Durability (CVID) conference in Pacific Grove, California, mechanical engineering doctoral student Nathan Rendon (BSME ’21) took home first place in the gathering’s Student Abstract Competition.

After receiving abstracts from students and postdoctoral scholars in the fields of cardiovascular implant boundary conditions, computational modeling and design, and experimental mechanics, an expert panel winnowed the field down six finalists. Each of these speakers delivered a five-minute “lightning presentation” to all the CVID conference attendees, who then voted.

Rendon’s winning presentation focused on understanding how microscopic damage in a metal called Nitinol leads to failure in cardiovascular implants. “My work investigates the link between such imperfections and fatigue failures. We want to know how to better predict and prevent device failure,” explained Rendon, who is also a member of The University of Tulsa’s Cyber Fellows program. This is an important issue, he noted, “because surface defects, even those under 5 microns in size, can be the initiation site for fatigue failure. When you consider that some medical devices, such as stents and heart valves, can see around 50 million cycles in a year, that poses a major risk.”

“The CVID Student Abstract Competition prize is a great recognition of Nathan, his hard work, and the exciting research he and our group are doing,” remarked Rendon’s supervisor, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering William LePage (BS ’13). “Nathan is making big strides, and I’m very proud of him and excited for his next few years of work as a Cyber Fellow and beyond.”