News


Highlighted on Science Magazine! Mason Awardee Susan Fullerton Display Benefits of Outsider Perspectives

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 29 January 2019

Susan Fullerton, an assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, is one of five winners presented with the 2019 AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Awards for Women in the Chemical Sciences at a 13 December awards ceremony at the American Association for the Advancement of Science headquarters.

She and her team had created a new ion conductor with a particularly unique property: once the transistor was turned on it stayed on, and once it was turned off it stayed off in the absence of a power supply. This enables memory sticks to store information even when they are disconnected from a computer. Fullerton envisions a future where this type of switching could lead to a memory stick that operates on much lower power than those on the market today and to devices with never-before-seen properties, such as one that can be triggered to permanently destroy its data if it falls into the wrong hands.


Nathaniel Rosi recognized on the Clarivate Analytics as One of the Highly Cited Researchers in 2018

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 22 January 2019

Nathaniel Rosi is included on the list of the Clarivate Analytics website that “recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science”. This is the third consecutive year that Dr. Rosi has been included on this list. The Highly Cited Researchers list from Clarivate Analytics identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.


Susan Fullerton recognized with James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching Chemical Engineering

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 15 January 2019

Marking her ability to inspire students through novel demonstrations of complex subjects as well as her mentoring of women and underrepresented minorities, PQI member Susan Fullerton was awarded the 2018 James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Department of Chemical and Petroleum  Engineering.

The Pommersheim Award was established by the Department and James M. Pommersheim '70 to recognize departmental faculty in the areas of lecturing, teaching, research methodology, and research mentorship of students. Dr. Pommersheim, formerly Professor of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University, received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in chemical engineering from Pitt. “Susan’s accomplishments in teaching over such a short period of time speak to the heart of the Pommersheim award. Her imaginative use of hands-on experiments and demonstrations create a tremendous amount of enthusiasm among our students and generate her impressive teaching scores to match,” noted Steven Little, department chair and professor. “Also, Susan’s presentations on the “imposter syndrome” and achieving work-life balance have generated tremendous campus interest.  She has candidly shared her own experiences to help our students understand that feeling like an imposter is normal, and can drive further successes.”


Roger Mong and Jacob Tevis received NSF career award

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 8 January 2019

Roger Mong and Jacob Tevis were recognized by the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Roger Mong aims to develop and study a wide collection of quantum phenomena that may be used in the next step of the quantum revolution. The goal of his project is to study how quantum behavior can survive beyond the microscopic regime. Roger Mong and his team will look for ways in which fundamental particles, such as electrons, can be bound together similarly to how atoms form molecules. Tevis Jacobs’ research seeks to enable the rational design of new and better stabilizing support materials by elucidating the dependence of particle coarsening on the supporting surface structure. His investigation will develop new approaches to measure the attachment and stability of nanoparticles on well-defined surfaces under various conditions, enabling the rational engineering of surfaces to optimize the performance and lifetime of the nanoparticles. 


Jennifer Laaser and Susan Fullerton received NSF career award

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 1 January 2019

Jennifer Lasser and Susan Fullerton were recognized by the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Jennifer Laaser's research will investigate how the structure and dynamics of polymeric networks influence force-driven processes at the molecular scale, and will develop curricular materials and outreach activities aimed at promoting education and diversity in polymer science.  Susan Fullerton’s research investigation aims to continue shrinking the size and power consumption of electronics with new materials and new engineering approaches. She approaches this challenge by development of super-thin “all 2D” materials, whic are similar to a sheet of paper – if the paper were only a single molecule thick. 


Di Xiao and Rongchao Jin named among world's most highly cited researchers

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 4 December 2018

Di Xiao and Rongchao Jin were listed among the most cited researchers. Jin’s research focuses on nanochemistry, and he is well-known for developing new methodologies to create gold nanoparticles with precise numbers of atoms. Xiao’s research looks at the properties of materials in relation to quantum mechanics and how these properties can be harnessed for applications in electronic and magnetic devices.


Tevis Jacobs discovered surface of "ultra-smooth" nanomaterial steeper than Austrian Alps

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 4 December 2018

Tevis Jacobs and his team measured an ultrananocrystalline diamond coating, prized for its hard yet smooth properties, and showed that it is far rougher than previously believed. Their findings could help researchers better predict how surface topography affects surface properties for materials used in diverse environments from microsurgery and engines to satellite housings or spacecraft.


Jeremy Levy named American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow

  • By Ke Xu
  • 30 November 2018

American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) has appointed Jeremy Levy as member of its 2018 lifetime fellowship cohort. AAAS will recognize the award during its annual meeting on February 16, 2019. 

Levy’s research centers around the field of oxide nanoelectronics, quantum computation, quantum transport and nanoscale optics, semiconductor and oxide spintronics, and dynamical phenomena in oxide materials and films. 

Levy will join a list of distinguished scientists including inventor Thomas Edison, astronomer Maria Mitchell and computer scientist Grace Hopper.
 


Venkat Viswanathan and collaborators are developing powerful batteries that could power new eco-friendly planes

  • By Ke Xu
  • 27 November 2018

Venkat Viswanathan and his collaborator, MIT materials science professor Yet-Ming Chiang, are developing a new battery specifically designed for an advanced hybrid plane. Their work was recently featured in an article in Swarajya magazine and in MIT Technology Review. Rather than focusing their efforts on developing improved materials, the pair are working with magnetic forces to facilitate the improved movement of lithium ions within their batteries, accelerating electrical discharge. Their ultimate goal is to create a 12-seat plane that can fly more than 600 kilometers on a full charge.


Mostafa Bedewy and colleagues made a transparent flexible material of silk and nanotubes

  • By Ke Xu
  • 13 November 2018

Bedewy and colleagues discovered that silk combined with carbon nanotubes may lead to a new generation of biomedical devices and so-called transient, biodegradable electronics. They used microwave irradiation coupled with a solvent vapor treatment to provide a unique control mechanism for the protein structure and resulted in a flexible and transparent film comparable to synthetic polymers but one that could be both more sustainable and degradable. These regenerated silk fibroins and carbon nanotube films have potential for use in flexible electronics, biomedical devices and transient electronics such as sensors that would be used for a desired period inside the body ranging from hours to weeks, and then naturally dissolve. 

Their work was featured on the Oct. 26 cover of the American Chemistry Society journal Applied Nano Materials.

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