Ashley presenting a poster at a conference

Promoting Sustainable Energy Research through Open Access Websites

This blog post was authored by Ashley David, Undergraduate Honors in the Major Student.

My name is Ashley David, and I study the Soret Effect in polymer electrolytes, for use in solid state thermogalvanic battery cells. The Soret Effect can be used in different energy re-harvesting capacities, making for a cleaner and more sustainable future. My research is the first time that Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has been used to measure the Soret effect in solid polymer electrolytes, which is in part why I am so excited about the opportunity that FSU Libraries has given me to digitize my research. 

The FTIR-ATR is very expensive, considering it uses a diamond anvil, has expensive machinery, and is hard to learn/operate. Therefore, I am contributing to the global advancement of science by having an open access website, where people can use my data and experimental methods, incorporate it into their own research, and increase collaboration between my lab at FSU, and labs around the world. I am also thrilled that, through my website, I can showcase my research but also be an example to young women in STEM, who are considering studying engineering/participating in research. 

A collage entitled "Need for Renewable Energy"

The text reads:
"The Sorbet effect is the resulting phenomenon in which a temperature gradient includes a concentration gradient in multicomponent mixtures. The Sorbet coefficient is the ratio of thermally driven diffusion to mutual diffusion driven by concentration gradients. It is measured at a steady state when the two forces are balanced."

There are images of Ashley at a conference, the sunset over Doak stadium, and the Lake at Lafayette Heritage Park.

As I have developed my website, I have worked in these different nuances, such as promoting undergraduate participation in research, and even showing undergraduates who I am currently training. I also aim to show that it is possible to make a difference in the academic community, and there are opportunities available to students to do something they are passionate about. 

The website I am making has been a place where I can showcase some of my accomplishments as well: for example, at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where I won the first-place student poster award. I also won the first-place student poster award at the electrochemical society conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in Fall 2022. Having these achievements on my own website will be beneficial for future schools (as I enter grad school), and employers. 

Ashley presenting a poster at a conference

Lastly, the process of developing my own website has been exciting. I have always enjoyed coding and website design but have not had the chance to create my own website where I have full creative ownership. Here, I can experiment with designs, pictures, text, and layout, to make sure my own personal message is being displayed.  Creating a website that is easy to use, but also educational, and exciting to look at was my goal. Now, as I continue editing and refining my website, I want to include possible ways for people to live more sustainable lifestyles, and tips to lower their own energy consumption.