Join the Boydston Group!

The Boydston group is recruiting from the Fall 2023 UW-Madison Chemistry Graduate Student cohort! Learn more about our lab’s work with polymer synthesis, photoredox ROMP, mechanochemistry, and 3D printing by joining us for:

Group meetings: 3:00-5:00pm on Mondays in 2401
Literature group meetings: 3:00-4:30pm, biweekly Thursdays starting 9/14 in 2401
You can also get to know everyone by joining us for social events such as:

Bowling at the Sett on Wednesday 9/20, 6pm at Union South
Pumpkin Carving on Wednesday 10/25, 6pm in Union South (room TBD, you’re welcome to wear a Halloween costume)
Game Night on Wednesday 11/15, 6pm in Union South (room TBD)
Please RSVP to social events or send questions to Sarah (

Congrats to Dr. Tritt on earning her PhD!

Congrats to Dr. Rachel Tritt on defending her PhD dissertation, “Improving Control and Functionality of Photoredox-Mediated Metal-Free Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization!” Dr. Tritt will continue her scientific career at Tolmar Pharmaceuticals, Inc in Colorado. We are …

Dependence of the kinetic energy absorption capacity of bistable mechanical metamaterials on impactor mass and velocity

Using an alternative mechanism to dissipation or scattering, bistable structures and mechanical metamaterials have shown promise for mitigating the detrimental effects of impact by reversibly locking energy into strained material. Herein, we extend prior works on impact absorption via bistable metamaterials to computationally explore the dependence of kinetic energy transmission on the velocity and mass of the impactor, with strain rates exceeding 10 2 s−1. We observe a large dependence on both impactor parameters, ranging from significantly better to worse performance than a comparative linear material. We then correlate the variability in performance to solitary wave formation in the system and give analytical estimates of idealized energy absorption capacity under dynamic loading. In addition, we find a significant dependence on damping accompanied by a qualitative difference in solitary wave propagation within the system. The complex dynamics revealed in this study offer potential future guidance for the application of bistable metamaterials to applications including human and engineered system shock and impact protection devices.

Congrats to the group for being awarded 2nd place at Engineering Expo for their exhibit, “Playing with Plastics: How Scientists Make Meaningful Materials”

The Boydston group participated in the Engineering Expo hosted at UW-Madison by presenting an exhibit called “Playing with Plastics: How Scientists Make Meaningful Materials.”
The exhibit included interactive demonstrations featuring 3D printing, active experiments, and real-world examples, to help participants understand plastics all the way down to the atomic scale! Also, sneak a peek into the future of plastics through demonstrations with shape-memory, light-responsive, and self-healing materials.
This year, we placed second among research groups out of 50 total exhibits and were awarded $500! We’ll definitely get 1st place next year!

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Starting Fall 2023

The Boydston group has two opportunities available for undergraduate research assistants starting Fall 2023. Materials Characterization of Thermosets and Thermoplastics. For more information, please read the advertisement. To apply, please fill out this form. Please contact Brittany …