The 2017 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards were announced last week. The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued 23 awards totaling $163 million to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. Vincent Liu and David Snoke are part of two teams who received a MURI award:
Rob A. Rutenbar has been named the University of Pittsburgh’s senior vice chancellor for research and will join Pitt’s senior leadership team in July. In this newly established position, he will lead the University’s strategic vision for research and innovation, enhancing existing technological partnerships. Working with other senior University officials, the senior vice chancellor for research is responsible for establishing and implementing a long-term plan for research infrastructure. The position manages the University’s Center for Research Computing, Economic Partnerships, the Innovation Institute, the Office of Export Controls, the Office of Research, the Research Conduct and Compliance Office and the Radiation Safety Office. Rutenbar brings nearly 40 years of experience in innovation and technology to Pitt. His research focuses on three broad categories: tools for a wide variety of integrated circuit design issues, methods for managing the statistics of nanoscale chip design and custom computer architectures for perceptual and data analytics problems.
Quantum Day 2017 for Taylor Allderdice High School Students
PQI organized its first Quantum Day this past Thursday, April 6, 2017 for the students of Taylor Allderdice High School; a day full of activities, talks, lab tours, and of course pizza. About 15 students, mostly juniors and seniors, from Dr. Janet Waldeck's physics classes were present, and PQI faculty from Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering departments participated in many ways. Students and faculty alike had a good time learning or talking about research in quantum science and engineering, and through Quantum Day 2017--the first of hopefully many more--PQI has certainly fulfilled its mission statement of helping unify and promote quantum science and engineering to high school students in Pittsburgh.
Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will be hosting Science Fiction Week from April 14 to April 20 with four movies: District 9, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, and Westworld: The Original Movie. On Wednesday, April 19 at 7:20 p.m., Row House will present its first Science on Screen with the 1990 Science Fiction classic "Total Recall". Before the movie, Gurudev Dutt will host a short presentation discussing the question:
"How much of what we see in science fiction is based on real science and how much is pure fantasy?"
Get your ticket here.
New mid-scale instrumentation program: Two Platforms, one at Pennsylvania State University (2DCC-MIP) and another led by Cornell University (PARADIM-MIP), focus on advancing the discovery of new two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials in thin film and bulk crystal form, with 2DCC focusing on chalcogenide materials and PARADIM-MIP focusing on heterostructures that include oxides, chalcogenides, graphene and other materials that enable novel electronic and magnetic functionalities. These two initial Platforms focus on 2D materials for electronic applications and will serve as a nexus of expertise where users will gain access to not only mid-scale level tools, but expertise in synthesis, characterization, and theory to help design and conduct experiments. Access to the Platforms are via a three page scientific proposal reviewed by external experts.
National Strategic Computing Initiative: On July 29, 2015, a Presidential Executive Order created a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). The overarching goal of NSCI is to maximize the benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment. NSCI strongly couples to the “The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution” Big Idea at NSF. Specifically, Objective 3 of NSCI centers around materials development for quantum science and engineering to enable quantum-based computation. Objective 4 revolves around ecosystems, and also includes training the new “quantum workforce.” Objective 5 encourages the close collaboration of industries and research required for deployment of quantum technologies.
The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) has announced the recipients of 2017-2018 MCSI seed grant funding. John Keith is one of the four awardees, for his proposal entitled "Toward machine learning blueprints for greener chelants".
MCSI developed the research seed grant program to provide faculty with funding support to allow students to participate in high-quality research, teaching, outreach and creative endeavors. The goals of the grants are: (1) seed funding to develop ideas to the point where external funding can be obtained; (2) awards to support scholarship in areas where external funding is extremely limited; (3) resources to introduce curricular innovations into the classroom; or (4) tools or techniques to encourage community outreach and education. The annual seed grant program engages a core team of researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants support graduate student and post-doctoral fellows on one-year research projects.
Among the 2017 Carnegie Science Awards honorees are Kevin P. Chen, who is the winner in the Innovation in Energy category, and Peyman Givi, who received an honorable mention in the University/Post-Secondary Educator category. The Carnegie Science Center established the awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania, and the winners will be honored May 12 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.
Brian D'Urso received an NSF award for a project, entitled "Collaborative Research: Measuring G with a Microsphere in a Magneto-Gravitational Trap".
Chandralekha Singh is the 2017 winner of the Educator Awards/University Post-secondary Education which recognizes innovation in science and technology education at each of the following four levels: Elementary Educator; Middle Level Educator; High School Educator; and University/Post-secondary Educator.
Venkat Viswanathan was featured in MIT News for his research in battery technologies. In collaboration with researchers from MIT, Viswanathan is studying a new kind of electrolyte for "self-healing" lithium battery cells, which could lead to longer driving range, lower cost electric vehicle batteries.