Announcements

The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institute

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 9 October 2017

The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking is a collaboration between the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces to support a city-driven and place-led world. According to a new report from the Brookings Institute, “Pittsburgh’s innovation economy is strong and growing, but city leaders can do more with its existing assets to compete globally and capitalize on the region’s growing innovation clusters”.

 “Through targeted research and analytics, strategic advising and recommendations, and communications guidance, Brooking aims to help position Pittsburgh as one of the top 30 most innovative cities in the world”.

Recently at the inaugural Brookings Centennial Scholar, Bruce Katz brings a different type of integrated problem-solving to the issues arising from global urbanization and the challenges of a city-driven century. Bruce Katz Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city”.

 

USTC Day 2017 at PQI

  • By Barbara Delraso
  • 28 September 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 9:30 AM. One dozen physics students, who are both undergraduate and graduate level, arrive at the PQI office for the kickoff of the second annual PQI & USTC Day, where they are greeted by PQI co-Excutive Director, Burcu Ozden.

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), which is located in Heifei, is one of China’s leading universities. USTC recently made international headlines due to the work of physics professor Jianwei Pan, the chief scientist on the project that culminated with China’s recent launch of the first quantum satellite.

Over the last several years, USTC and PQI have been establishing strong ties and collaborations. In recent years a number of USTC graduates have joined the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) physics departments to work in the groups and labs of PQI faculty. Some PQI faculty are themselves USTC alumni, and other PQI groups often welcome USTC undergraduate students for summer internships or research projects.

Linda Peteanu Named Head of Department of Chemistry

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 September 2017

Linda A. Peteanu has been named head of Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemistry. She has served as acting head since January 2016 and succeeds Hyung Kim, who stepped down from the position in the fall of 2015 after serving 14 years as department head. A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1993, Peteanu is well known for her expertise in applying fluorescence-based methods, including microscopy and electric-field effects, to condensed-phase systems. One focus of her research involves measuring the morphology and electronic properties of molecules used to make light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and photovoltaic cells. Peteanu also applies fluorescence-based methods to the study of nucleic acids as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology.

PQI Members Receive $4.8M NSF Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 September 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $4.8M award to the University of Pittsburgh under the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Sergey Frolov will be the Director of new PIRE.  Hrvoje Petek, Michael Hatridge and David Pekker are other PQI co-PIs for this project. The duration of the program is 5 years.

This PIRE will establish a multidisciplinary partnership between universities, research centers and corporations in the U.S. and France, led by the University of Pittsburgh. The aim of the partnership is the discovery and investigation of materials that hold exceptional promise for fundamental quantum physics and quantum device engineering. In particular, the focus will be on hybrid materials which combine disparate materials kinds, such as semiconductors and superconductors, in a single structure. 

Scott Dodelson Appointed Head of Department of Physics at CMU

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 30 August 2017

Renowned physicist Scott Dodelson has been named the head of the Department of Physics in Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science.Dodelson conducts research at the interface between particle physics and cosmology, examining the phenomena of dark energy, dark matter, inflation and cosmological neutrinos.   
Under Dodelson’s leadership, the physics department will partner with other departments within the Mellon College of Science through a new theory center and continue to collaborate with colleagues in statistics, computer science, and engineering. Dodelson also hopes to increase the department’s partnerships with other universities and research initiatives worldwide and bring physics to the community through outreach programs.

 

Venkat Viswanathan Remains Skeptical of Tesla's Self-Driving Trucks

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 30 August 2017

When will we see electric trucks appear on major roadways? Potentially in September. Tesla is currently developing driverless, long-haul electric semi-trucks that can move in “platoons,” or closely knit packs. But some scientists, like Venkat Viswanathan, doubt that Tesla can fulfill its promises. According to Viswanathan, electric trucks are not economically feasible yet because they would require massive batteries to power their long distance road-trips across the country. “Your cargo [would] essentially become the battery,” he says in an article for the New York Times. And because of that, there would be little room to carry goods.

 

PQI Members Receive 2017 Kaufman Awards

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 8 August 2017

The Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation, has awarded eight grants totaling $1.8 million to support research at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, The Pennsylvania State University, Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania.

The Kaufman Scientific Advisory Board received 229 letters of intent from 30 academic institutions seeking funding in two categories: New Investigators and New Initiatives.

Noa Marom won a New Investigators Award, i.e., a grant of $150,000 for two years ($75,000 per year), for research on “Singlet Fission: Deriving Fundamental Insights from Computation.”

Michael Hatridge and Roger Mong won a New Initiatives Award, i.e., a grant of $300,000 for two years ($150,000 per year) for research on “Protecting Quantum Wires for Quantum Computing.”

Chandralekha Singh Leads the US Team at the 6th International Conference on Women in Physics

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 August 2017

Chandralekha Singh was one of the two team leaders of the US delegation to the 6th International conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP) in Birmingham, UK, in July 2017. She is also a co-editor of the American Institute of Physics Proceedings for this ICWIP 2017 conference to be published in 2018. This picture of Dr. Singh is with Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel peace prize winner, who was a presenter at the conference and Shamima Choudhury, a Physicist from Bangladesh. 

The Center for Research Computing Acquires New, Powerful Computing Systems

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 19 July 2017

The new Center for Research Computing (CRC), formerly known as the Center for Simulation and Modeling (SaM), is among the first in the nation to have access to Intel’s powerful new computing systems. The system will dramatically increase the speed of computation available to researchers through Pitt’s Center for Research Computing, said Ralph Roskies, associate vice provost for research computing.

Kevin Chen Receives $1.275 Million to Improve Sensor Technology

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 28 June 2017

Kevin Chen received $1.275 million to develop radiation-hard, multi-functional, distributed fiber sensors, and sensor-fused components that can be placed in a nuclear reactor core to improve safety and efficiency. The grant is from the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program as part of the DOE’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP).

This NEET grant will allow our lab to continue its partnerships with leading technological companies and national laboratories to develop solutions to some of the most pressing issues affecting nuclear energy production,” said Chen. “Advances in sensor technology can greatly enhance the sensitivity and resolution of data in harsh environments like a nuclear reaction, thereby improving safety operations.”

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