Announcements

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.”

2017/2018 GSR Award Winners

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 14 June 2017

Congratulations to the 2017/2018 PQI Graduate Student Research Award Winners!

Ms. Lucy Chen (Levy Lab, Physics), Mr. Yanan Dai (Petek Group, Physics), Ms. Xing Yee Gan (Millstone Group, Chemistry), Mr. Kevin Gasperich (Jordan Group, Chemistry), Mr. Jianan (Arthur) Li (Levy Lab, Physics), and Mr. Li Zhi (Mong Group, Physics) won one term of graduate funding for the year 2017/2018.

John Keith Among RSC Emerging Investigators in 2017

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 14 June 2017

John Keith was among the Emerging Investigators in 2017 recommended by experts in the field of materials chemistry research in a themed issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. His article “Computational investigation of CO2 electroreduction on tin oxide and predictions of Ti, V, Nb and Zr dopants for improved catalysis” published in the issue outlines the work of Keith and his team on improving the performance of tin electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction.

Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher on the Challenge of Climate Change in the Journal Science: "Be the Innovation Leader"

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 9 June 2017

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher brings up the challenge of climate change and defends the history of our city in a Science article entitled "Pittsburgh myth, Paris reality".

When announcing his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, President Trump reminded the world that, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” In doing so, he repeated a tired trope: that Pittsburgh is a rusty urban relic—a manufacturing city of steel that has fallen on hard times, held back by unfair global competition and onerous environmental regulation. But such a nostalgic version of Pittsburgh, and of many other communities across the country, is a myth. If the president truly wants to represent the interests of Americans, he would learn from the real histories of these regions and promote economic and environmental progress through research, education, and innovation.

CMU President Subra Suresh Steps Down June 30

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 2 June 2017

Subra Suresh will resign as president of Carnegie Mellon University on June 30, making his tenure the shortest in the school’s 117-year history and placing it in uncharted waters as it seeks a new leader for the second time in less than five years.

In a letter Thursday to the CMU community, he wrote, “My wife Mary and I have reflected on the long-term commitment needed to implement the university’s strategic plan, and we feel Carnegie Mellon would be best served now by a president who is ready to make that extended commitment to generating resources and guiding the university toward reaching these objectives.”

Mr. Suresh has been at CMU for four years.

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