Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Started..

Hello all!

Just a quick introduction to start.. my name is Kyle Slusarski and I am a senior materials engineering major here at Loyola. I acted as team leader for the past two weeks and I am quite excited about our early progress thus far. I'll use this post to highlight some of our accomplishments and to explain how the blog will be used throughout the year. I'll also give some personal reflection of my time as team leader.

On a personal level, my feelings regarding the project have undergone a great transformation. Early on, I felt overwhelmed and apprehensive, often wondering how and where I should begin to tackle the "unenviable task" (as Mike put it) of getting the team started on the right foot. Even though I was technically the team leader for the past two weeks, I felt there were even contributions from each member of our group, which I greatly appreciated. In light of this, I decided that my primary role should be to guide our group in the right direction, which lead us straight to our project advisor, Dr. Bailey. After meeting with him and unloading questions, I was overcome with a sense of clarity that replaced the ambiguity that had lingered just days before. The big picture finally came into view.

During our meeting, we established a workspace where we can begin initial testing of existing microreactors and syringe pumps, which we hope to investigate as a possible method for delivering reactants. We also established primary and secondary responsibilities for various phases of our project. The phases include (but are not limited to) laboratory testing, biodiesel product analysis, computer software modeling, solar panel design and testing, and analysis of societal relevance. I will be leading the analysis of our fuel product, while also participating in the lab testing. I'll let the others talk about their responsibilities as they post.

On to the blog: each team leader will post an entry to the blog after their two weeks as team leader has expired. These posts will give an account of our group's progress. I suspect that the communication will pick up as we get further into the project (you can expect to see A LOT of pictures once lab testing gets underway), so be sure to stay tuned!


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