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The Chemical Engineering Department at Christian Brothers University (CBU) offers an introductory courses on materials at the sophomore level followed by a course on polymer science and engineering at the senior level complete with laboratory. Students desiring further exposure to materials processing are connected with local polymeric materials companies where they work as interns. These students have the opportunity to be involved in undergraduate materials research in the CBU Polymer Laboratory with the author funded by the university or local polymer companies. Their works are acknowledged in terms of student paper presentations at local or regional research seminars. In 1998, CBU Engineering School's research involvement with the polymeric materials industry was expanded when local polymer company personnels were allowed to conduct proprietary research at the institution's Polymer Engineering Laboratory with the help of paid undergraduate chemical engineering students. Recently the Chemical Engineering Department at CBU initiated collaborative research with the engineering school of a local university and a local biomaterials company. In order to meet the growing needs of packaging engineers in this area, local companies (polymer and others) that have packaging departments and the School of Engineering at CBU recently joined forces to develop a packaging teaching and training program for students as well as employees of these companies. This program would include packaging materials and engineering. The details of Phase I and Phase II of this joint venture are described in the main body of the paper that follows.
A mathematical model has been developed to study the effect of channelling in a porous medium surrounding a repository on the migration of radionuclides. The porous medium is treated as an infinite medium containing parallel, unconnected channels; each channel is surrounded by a rock matrix. The migration in the channel is controlled by convection and diffusion processes in the direction of the flow, whereas in the rock matrix it is dominated by anisotropic diffusion in the longitudinal and transverse directions. Unsteady state convective-diffusion equations for this system have been solved. At the channel-rock matrix interface the concentration and flux were watched to obtain concentration profiles and discharge rates at downstream locations. By means of a parametric study the effects of channel thickness, diffusion coefficients, and flow velocity on the migration rate are elucidated.
Geologic waste isolation systems currently under consideration for long term containment of high-level radioactive waste is based on a set of sequential barriers to release of radionuclides. Recently, Klingsberg and Duguid and Pigford have reviewed in detail the multiple-barrier disposal concept. These barriers are the waste form, canister, buffer, overpack, backfill and geologic media. Each of these barriers acts to retard ground water penetration to the repository as well as migration of radionuclides to the biosphere.
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