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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Cool. Fuel.

Cold Saw Use Did You Know

Cold saw cuts in  a material are more similar to a milling operation than those of a traditional abrasive saw. Cold saw blades rotate much slower that an abrasive saw and combined with the continuous flow of coolant the cuts produced are much quality in terms of surface finish and accuracy. For a full user manual for our specific machine please see here. Before any cuts are made, the saw should be momentarily started without contacting any material to ensure that the blade and rotation are both in the correct direction and no blade wobble is experienced.

Securing Materials

Possibly the most important consideration … » More …

Upright Mill Use Did You Know

Is machine use necessary for this project? Precision cutting required Precision hole placement Bulk material cut to a complex geometry geometry Material constraint on fabrication type Machine Controls and Table Movement At first glance, the leavers and knobs on the mill head may seem intimidating. For most general operations though few of the controls are used making the learning process much easier. Most projects can be taken care of by using the table X, Y and Z » More ...

CLEAN Workbench Assembly

In the Fall of 2016 ME seniors Ryan Pitzer, Jake Enslow, and Austin Rapp designed the CLEAN (Cougar Lean) workbench. The CLEAN workbench is designed to maximize organization and accessibility in the work-space. These benches can easily be attached together to create a larger work-space, which can be largely beneficial in any research lab. This is an improvement from the work-benches previously found in the HYPER lab; while they were functional as a work-space, they did not have the practical modular features that the CLEAN workbenches include. » More ...

Cryo-cycling in place – Styrofoam cups and Silly Putty to the rescue!

In this past post, we discussed using cryo-cycling  to identify and fix possible cold leaks before installing equipment in the cryostat. This prevents a lot of problems before they can happen, often saving days of cool-down and warm-up if a test has to be called off. What happens, however, when the leak opens up cold? Your experiment is happily running along at cryogenic temperatures and, all of a sudden, that last temperature cycle proves too much. A crack is allowed to widen through an epoxy joint until you have a little leak and the test has to be called off. When you warm up, … » More …

How to write a resume

Want to see my resume?

You’re looking at it.

Here’s why.

This too.


Want to know what I’ve done with, well, anything?

Use the search bar.

When’s the last time you saw a resume with a search bar?



But that’s not why you’re here.

You’re here because they expect you to have one.

They don’t expect you to have a searchable body of work yet.

Wouldn’t that be a fun surprise?


What’s that you say?

They don’t want to see your body of work?

Then what are they hiring you for?


Indicators of performance like GPA, merit badges, … » More …

The HYPER lab tube fitting guide

This post summarizes the use of Swagelok® Tube Fittings, which are used extensively in the HYPER lab. If you’re already familiar with tube fittings, you may want to skip to the best practices at the bottom. Most of this guide is pulled directly from “An Installer’s Pocket Guide for Swagelok® Tube Fittings.” If you haven’t read this already, you should! We have several physical copies around the lab.


What is a tube fitting?

Swagelok® Tube Fittings are also referred … » More …

Extruding Indium Wire

We use indium wire for creating cryogenic seals in the HYPER lab. We buy most of our wire from Indium Wire Extrusion (IWE). Indium is expensive, however, quoted by IWE at $180/oz. Rather than selling the wire back for half its original price, we like to recycle our indium by melting it down and re-extruding it into usable indium wire. Indium’s low melting point of 156.6 °C (313.9 °F) and softness (Mohs hardness 1.2) make this process cheap and easy. We have the capability of extruding 0.0625 inch (1.5875 mm) and 0.1 inch (2.54 mm) diameter indium wire with the … » More …

Saving money (and time!) with HYPER’s wiring system – Vacuum Feedthroughs

Due to the very cold nature of our work, we find ourselves needing to design (and redesign) vacuum chambers on a regular basis. In order to do useful research, this usually means trying to pass electrical signals through a high vacuum seal, which as you may expect, takes time and money. However, we’ve come up with a few tricks to reduce our time and dollar expenditures.

First, we reduce the cost of our vacuum feedthrough components. An example of a prebuilt solution is $551 for 7 connection pins, but we can build a 26 pin passthrough for around $120. To reduce the … » More …

Finding Cryogenic Material Propeties

Many people don’t consider from day to day how we know properties of any given material for use in design. It seems to be common knowledge that water freezes at 0°C, and it’s easy enough to look up thermal conductivities or heat capacity of common metals, gasses, and building materials. What happens, however, when your operating conditions are hundreds of degrees below room temperature? You can’t assume the same, easily found values anymore – you have to find someone who has taken the measurements at those extreme temperatures. So where do you go? Here’s a list of some good options we’ve used in the past … » More …