News


PQI2018 Poster Award Winners

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 7 May 2018

Every year, PQI organizes a signature event during April. PQI2018, the sixth event in the series, was held Wednesday through Friday April, 18-20 at the University Club. PQI2018 poster session was organized on Wednesday 18th April for PQI students and postdocs. 

This year more than 70 students, from different departments of University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, were participated in the PQI2018 poster session. PQI faculty members, previous years winners and postdocs were helped in judging the posters and giving the feedback to students.

Sergio de la Barrera (Hunt Lab, CMU) won the grand prize award ($1,000 travel award plus an iPad).

Vikesh Siddhu (Griffiths Lab, CMU), Vaidish Sumaria (Viswanathan Lab, CMU), Lu Chen (Levy Lab, Pitt),  Tzu-Chiao Chien (Hatridge Lab, Pitt), Corinn Durham (Chong Lab, Pitt) and Brandon Vernier (Evanseck Lab, Duquesne) won the poster awards ($1,000 travel award).

Megan Kirkendall Briggeman (Levy Lab, Pitt), Amy Carlson (Evanseck Lab, Duquesne), won the veteran award.

 

 


Noa Marom Receive the 2018 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 1 May 2018

The IUPAP C20 Commission on Computational Physics has selected Noa Marom to receive the 2018 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics. 

Marom will give a lecture at the upcoming XXX IUPAP International Conference on Computational Physics CCP2018, where she will be presented with the prize, consisting of a medal, a certificate, and a financial award of 1000 Euros, at the University of California, Davis, in July.


Di Xiao Featured Mellon College of Science Website

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 1 May 2018

Di Xiao gave an interview for the Mellon College of Science website. His interview entitled as "A Quantum Age." 

In this interview, he mentioned how his research is changed and evolved around quantum science over the years.

Also, this article shows how Di Xiao balances his academic career and personal life. 

Furthermore, this article highlights his inspiring academic achievements.
 


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.

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