News


Gurjyot Sing Sethi Won the 1st Place in the Annual CMU Energy Week Poster and Multimedia Competition

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 17 April 2018

The CMU Energy Week Poster and Multimedia Competition is a unique opportunity to showcase your energy-related research and other activities, such as software, videos, art, models or sculptures. Participants will be able to submit either Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related or Non-STEM related work. 

The competition was open to Carnegie Mellon undergraduate, master's and PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. 

Gurjyot Sing Sethi won the 1st place in this competition with his poster titled "Identifying the prospects of Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis using First-Principles Calculations."

He was awarded $1,000.

Gurjyot Sing Sethi is a graduate student in Venkat Viswanathan's group.


Venkat Viswanathan Quoted About Lithium-Air Batteries in Chemistry World

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 17 April 2018

Chemistry World quoted Venkat Viswanathan on the cycle life of lithium-air batteries. These batteries hold a charge greater by a factor of nine compared to lithium-ion. In interpreting the batteries’ cycle life, Viswanathan expresses a distanced view. A traditional lithium-ion battery’s life is measured by its electrical discharge. In a lithium-air battery, discharge from the reaction of lithium and oxygen determines cycle life. But because air comprises more elements than just oxygen, Viswanathan wonders how many side reactions in the electricity delivery artificially boost the cycle life. Mitigating these side reactions should pave the way to developing long-lasting lithium-air batteries.


Large enhancement of response times of a protein conformational switch by computational design

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 April 2018

Lillian Chong and her colleagues have recently reported, in the Journal of Nature Communications, a computational design strategy in synergistic combination with biophysical experiments to rationally improve the response time of an engineered protein-based Ca2+-sensor in which the switching process occurs via mutually exclusive folding of two alternate frames. This strategy identifies mutations that increase switching rates by as much as 32-fold, achieving response times on the order of fast physiological Ca2+ fluctuations. This computational design strategy is general and may aid in optimizing the kinetics of other protein conformational switches.


Critical heat flux enhancement in pool boiling through increased rewetting on nanopillar array surfaces

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 12 April 2018

Boiling is a key heat transfer process for a variety of power generation and thermal management technologies. The enhancement in both the critical heat flux (CHF) and the critical temperature at CHF of the substrate and effectively increase the limit of boiling before the boiling crisis is triggered. By using only nanopillars with a systematic variation in height and well-defined geometrical dimensions, Paul W. Leu and colleagues have established a direct link between the enhancement in capillary force and the boiling performance of a substrate. This provides new insights about design of surface textures not only to amplify the heat flux, but also to achieve an enhancement in the temperature at critical heat flux. These results are published in Scientific Reports.


Highly Efficient Strategy for Constructing New Types of Peptide Macrocycles

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 10 April 2018

Peng Liu and his colleagues report a highly efficient and generally applicable strategy for constructing new types of peptide macrocycles using palladium-catalyzed intramolecular C(sp3)–H arylation reactions on their newly published paper in Nature Chemistry. 

This strategy provides a powerful tool to address the long-standing challenge of size- and composition-dependence in peptide macrocyclization, and generates novel peptide macrocycles with uniquely buttressed backbones and distinct loop-type three-dimensional structures.


Size, Shape, and Composition-Dependent Model for Metal Nanoparticle Stability Prediction

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 4 April 2018

Giannis Mpourmpakis and his students have proposed a bond-centric (BC) model able to capture cohesive energy trends over a range of monometallic and bimetallic nanoparticles and mixing behavior (excess energy) of nanoalloys, in great agreement with DFT calculations. This model utilizes to calculate the energetics of any nanoparticle morphology and chemical composition, thus significantly accelerating nanoalloys design. This work introduces a simple yet very powerful tool for nanoalloy design that can potentially help elucidate the energetics of alloy MNP genomes.

 


University of Pittsburgh Names New Dean for Swanson School of Engineering

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 21 March 2018

James R. Martin II, the Bob Benmosche Professor and Chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University, has been named dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson announced today. He will begin his deanship on August 15.


Segregation-induced ordered superstructures

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 21 March 2018

Michael Widom and his colleagues showed what happens at the grain boundaries of one particular alloy of the metals nickel and bismuth that makes it brittle in their paper published in Science. Using advanced electron microscopes, Widom’s collaborators at Lehigh University scrutinized these microscopic grain boundaries at an atomic level. In a "very heroic experimental program" they discovered that when grains met, the bismuth and nickel atoms realigned into lattices to form layered superstructures at the grain boundaries. These superstructures had previously been thought to exist only rarely in some alloys. Finding it at many different boundaries led the team to conclude that these superstructures are probably much more common than many people had thought. 


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Course Proposals

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 20 March 2018

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Pitt is seeking course proposals for its Fall 2018 Term. OLLI courses are typically 1x a week for 5 weeks. Each term offers 2 sessions of courses. We seek course proposals in a variety of areas including: literature, history, political science and government, the arts, sciences, languages and more. Most OLLI designed courses are similar to actual college courses (but no tests or grades, abbreviated content, and shortened to run for 5 weeks).

OLLI Instructors are often university professors and instructors, visiting lecturers, Postdoctoral fellows, and others with content and teaching expertise. Instructors in the program are paid. Course proposals for Fall term are due by April 27.


Google Quantum-Hardware Lab Visit!

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 March 2018

PQI always assists to organize an educational and informative visit in the development of Quantum Science, encouraging the collaborations between various industry and academia.

On March 9th, 2018, four students and one postdoc from University of Pittsburgh were invited to visit Google Quantum-Hardware lab at UC Santa Barbara which was organized by PQI. Eric Ostby and Pedram Roushan, Research Scientists at Google were helped us to arrange this visit.

Google's research team do work hard to build a quantum computer which will be millions of times more powerful than today’s supercomputers. Such visit helps to initiate more academic people to get involved in such projects, playing a hub role for quantum technologies.

 

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