Brittani Maskley

Mentor: Dr. Michael Kesler
College of Engineering
"I have always been adept at learning by working with my hands. I knew once I started taking classes for my major in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida, I would benefit if I was a part of a research group at the same time in order to utilize the curriculum I was learning. So far, I have participated in three different research projects and it has provided me with the experience that I know I can use to work as an engineer in the industry."


Materials Science and Engineering



Research Interests

  • Welding
  • Metallurgy

Academic Awards

  • American Welding Society Scholarship 2012-2016
  • University Scholars Program 2015-2016


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Hobbies and Interests

  • Herpetology
  • Nature Trails
  • Bicycle Riding

Research Description

Strength Optimization of Nickel Titanium Shape Memory Alloys
The research project I am a part of has the goal of increasing the strength and the martensite to austenite transformation temperatures of Nickel Titanium (NiTi) Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). NiTi SMAs are already used in industry due to the ability to undergo strain, then recover original shape when heat is applied. Increasing the strength of these alloys can have the added effect of raising transformation temperatures. Our group plans to investigate Aluminum and Hafnium as alloying elements in order to optimize the NiTi SMA matrix. Aluminum is able to form coherent precipitates in the microstructure when aged, but, when this element remains in the matrix, it decreases the transformation temperature of the alloy. Hafnium takes the role of counteracting the decrease in transformation temperatures caused by aluminum. My part in this project is to investigate the effect of Aluminum and Hafnium in the NiTi SMA. I will conduct most of my research in a laboratory using processes such as encapsulation, heat treating, metallography, materials characterization, and Vickers micro-hardness testing.