Award

Laaser Wins 2022 Bellet Teaching Excellence Award

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 26 April 2022

Congratulations to Jennifer Laaser for receiving the 2022 Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award! 

Established in 1998, this annual award recognizes outstanding and innovative teaching in undergraduate studies in Pitt's Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Each fall, students and faculty are encouraged to submit nominations to the associate dean for undergraduate studies. A committee reviews nominations and requests dossiers from eligible candidates. Honorees are announced in the spring, and award recipients each receive a one-time cash prize of $6,000.

Peyman Givi Named 2021 AAM Fellow

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 26 January 2022

Peyman Givi has recently been elected as 2021 Fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics!

The American Academy of Mechanics (AAM) is an honor society that is home to all disciplines engaged in the study of the response of inanimate and animate matter to forces and environmental effects. Members are recognized for their contributions to the science and profession of mechanics.

Developing a New Type of Quantum Memory

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 31 August 2021

Jeremy Levy, Hrvoje Petek, and their team recently received a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) to develop a new type of quantum memory for quantum computers. 

Quantum computers can be built using many different approaches, one of which involves using the spin of electrons to create quantum bits. In turn, these quantum bits can be used to create . . . 

Accelerating AI and Machine Learning Using Light

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 4 August 2021

Congratulations to Nathan Youngblood and his colleagues, who recently received a $1.2 million 4-year grant from the NSF to develop a new type of computer chip that uses laser light for AI and machine learning computation.

AI and machine learning’s rapid growth in sophistication and large-scale implementation has caused the demand for computing power to increase at a rate where conventional computing paradigms and hardware platforms are struggling to keep up.

The chip, called a “hybrid co-processing unit” or HCU, aims to address this challenge by combining traditional electronics with photonics and using light generated by lasers instead of electricity for data processing. This will greatly accelerate the computing speed and efficiency of AI and machine learning applications, while at the same time reducing energy consumption. 

The team will be fabricating thousands of photonic elements and millions of transistors together in a cost-effective and scalable manner as well as building computer models to simulate every aspect of the device. By 2025, they expect to have a working, physical prototype and be poised to manufacture the device in larger quantities and at a scale capable of moving into the marketplace.
 

Read some of their recent work here!

Mostafa Bedewy Receives Frontiers of Materials Award

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 21 July 2021

Dr. Mostafa Bedewy was recently selected for the 2022 Frontiers of Materials Award from the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society. 

The award recognizes top-performing early career professionals who are able to organize a Frontiers of Materials symposium on a hot or emerging technical topic at the TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

Dr. Bedewy is an outstanding researcher, and his work in the fabrication of graphene and related carbon nanomaterials directly on polymers enables the development of flexible, wearable electronic devices such as implantable biomedical sensors and bendable batteries. He has won several awards including the 2020 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers’ Manufacturing and Design (IISE M&D) Division and the 2018 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). 

Congrats Mostafa!
 

Nuclear Engineering Projects Awarded $1.6 Million in Research Funding

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 7 July 2021

Congratulations to Heng Ban, Paul Ohodnicki, and Kevin Chen for winning $1.6 million of advanced nuclear energy R&D funding from the U.S. Department of Energy! 

Heng Ban’s project, titled “Fragmentation and Thermal Energy Transport of Chromia-doped Fuels Under Transient Conditions,” will use various aspects of engineering-scale modeling and experimental testing to understand thermal energy transport from high burnup accident tolerant fuels. The team hopes to fill a major knowledge gap for modeling and simulating transient fuel performance and safety for future integral testing and fuel licensing.

Paul Ohodnicki’s and Kevin Chen’s project, titled “Fusion of Distributed Fiber Optics, Acoustic NDE, and Physics-Based AI for Spent Fuel Monitoring,” will leverage the fusion between fiber optic distributed acoustic sensing and advanced acoustic nondestructive evaluation techniques with artificial intelligence enhanced classification frameworks to quantitatively characterize the internal state of dry cask storage systems without introducing additional risks of failure.
 

Wei Xiong and Maysam Chamanzar Win NSF CAREER Grants

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 18 May 2021

 

Wei Xiong and Maysam Chamanzar were both recently awarded NSF CAREER grants for their outstanding work. 

Wei Xiong’s project will study the tradeoff between strength and ductility of alloy components created by additive manufacturing. His team aims to find a way to overcome the problem that the stronger a material is, the less ductile it becomes, and they will design new alloys that can be additively manufactured. This could help reduce the number of alloy powders needed for 3D printing, save the cost of alloy powder production for various engineering purposes, and provide recipes to recycle and reuse existing metal powders. 

Maysam Chamanzar’s research will present a new type of neural probe that uses graphene to change brain signals to electromagnetic waves. This will increase the number of recording channels without increasing the size of the probe since a large probe could cause brain damage. The research could provide insight into treatments for brain disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 

Congrats Wei and Maysam!

Grant Received for Studying Material Stability

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 31 March 2021

Olexandr Isayev, Geoff Hutchison, and their team of researchers received a $1.7 million grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research for their Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative. Their project aims to gain a better understanding of how organic molecules and polymeric materials degrade under stress. Isayev’s lab plans to develop a computational framework using fast simulations for degradation pathways, reaction networks and artificial intelligence. Hutchison’s lab will use a variety of methods to make massive automated quantum chemical calculations. The results will not only allow future materials to be better designed for stability, but also offer tools that will help chemists and materials scientists quickly predict degradation pathways and products.

Congrats Olexandr and Geoff!

 

Grant Received for Developing New Type of Quantum Computer

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 17 March 2021

Jeremy Levy, Hrvoje Petek, and their team of researchers received a $7.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research for their Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative to develop more efficient quantum computers. Their project, titled “Topological Spin Qubits Based on Graphene Nanoribbons,” seeks to develop a new type of qubit based on tiny strips of carbon atoms called graphene.

As of yet, no approach has been able to decisively meet all of the requirements for a scalable quantum computer. The team aims to change that by combining lithographic capabilities with synthetic chemistry protocols to create and manipulate atomically precise graphene nanoribbons in ways that may be useful for future quantum computing architectures.

Congrats Jeremy and Hrvoje!

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