University of Tennessee
Materials Science & Engineering Department

Puzzling with MSE @ CRC
Knoxville, TN, January 29, 2024

After the conclusion of the weekly group meeting, seventeen members of the group, co-advised by Prof. David Harper at the Center of Renewable Carbon and Prof. David Keffer in the Materials Science and Engineering department hung out for pizza and a puzzle.

The puzzle featured artwork from the 2022 and 2023 Science As Art events hosted by the local student chapter of the Materials Research Society at the University of Tennessee.

The group included staff, undergraduate researchers and graduate students. The majority of those present are members of the Materials Science and Engineering department but there were also representatives from Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and the Bredesen Center.

The conference room of the CRC provided a fitting site for this activity as its walls are decorated with a puzzle of its own showcasing the 95 counties in the state of Tennessee.

As engineers, we agreed that sorting pieces was the essential first step.

I don't remember which particular remark prompted this look of incredulity from Prof. Harper. It could have been any number of outlandish declarations.

About half the group resolved to stay until the puzzle was completed.

The sun set but we kept making progress.

Soon we were down to the last few pieces.

We finished before the clock struck seven! For the curious, the four images in the top right of the puzzle were generated by MSE students working at CRC, including (clockwise from the corner) PhD student Cotton Pekol, MS student Melanie Moczadlo, senior Michael Broud and junior Jakob Scroggins.

More photos on the Keffer research group site.