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Photo of Blankenau, Brian

Brian Blankenau

Graduate Student, University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign


Brian’s work focuses on first-principles calculations of the properties of complex materials. Currenlly, he is focusing on a theoretical description of the austenite-martensite phase transition in shape memory alloys with the Heusler composition Ni2Mn1.4In0.6 with the goal of understanding magnetostructural coupling in this class of materials. In some cases, the calculations are not able to provide sufficiently accurate atomic positions to enable a model for understanding the dynamics of the phase transition, so Brian is also carrying out diffraction experiments at HPCAT to resolve the variation of atomic positions with pressure through the phase transition.