Spring 2019

Jill E. Millstone Won the 2019 Greater Pittsburgh Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Award for Career Excellence in the Chemical Sciences

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 30 April 2019

Jill Millstone is the 2019 recipient of the Award for Career Excellence in the Chemical Sciences from the Pittsburgh Women Chemists Committee. This award recognizes the achievements of female chemists and chemical engineers in the greater Pittsburgh area who have a record of accomplishment in their field.

Congratulations Jill!

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Heng Ban Discusses Opportunities in the Global Nuclear Industry

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 23 April 2019

The nuclear industry in the U.S. is at a crossroads, as several plants are scheduled for permanent shutdown, including three in Pennsylvania, the second-largest nuclear energy-producing state. However, Heng Ban, director of the Swanson School’s Stephen R. Tritch Nuclear Engineering Program, sees opportunity ahead for students, alumni and faculty researchers.

“Nuclear energy is one of the cleanest power resources and is a vital component not only of our nation’s energy portfolio, but also the U.S. naval nuclear fleet and several countries around the world. Research is ongoing into additive manufacturing of nuclear components, smaller reactor systems as well as sensors and controls for reactor safety and machine learning for facility maintenance,” Dr. Ban says. 

Dr. Ban adds that since many of those engineers are nearing retirement, there is a great need for a new generation of nuclear employees.

“From Bettis, Westinghouse, Bechtel Marine and so many other in the supply chain, employers are telling us not only that they need engineers, but are helping us structure the curriculum so that we educate the best engineer for the field.”

“As long as nuclear energy remains a reliable, clean, efficient and safe energy resource, we will have a greater need for the engineers who can be competitive in the global nuclear energy marketplace, as well as who can develop the next ground-breaking technologies,” Dr. Ban says. “And the Swanson School is at the nexus of this industry that is a critical part of our national safety, from power generation to defense, and a major contributor to reducing carbon emissions worldwide.”

Accelerated Research in Quantum Computing (ARQC)

  • By Ke Xu
  • 12 April 2019

The DOE SC program in Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications from large multi-disciplinary teams (requesting support of more than $2 million per year) with the potential to dramatically accelerate research in quantum computing (QC). This FOA solicits applications for Accelerated Research in Quantum Computing (ARQC) Teams that will adopt a holistic and disciplined approach to address basic research gaps in the abstractions, methods and tools that connect QC applications to hardware.

Feng Xiong Recieved NSF Award for Thermoelectric Semiconductor Research

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 8 April 2019

Feng Xiong and Jonathan Malen, received a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to develop a thermoelectric semiconductor using tungsten disulfide to convert waste heat into energy. Using a novel doping approach, they will enhance the tungsten disulfide’s electrical conductivity while lowering its thermal conductivity—it will be able to efficiently conduct electricity without conducting heat. Tungsten disulfide is thin and flexible, making it a promising new option with diverse potential uses. 

The project length is three years, with a possible extension into a fourth. The award is split between Dr. Xiong’s lab ($270,000) and Dr. Malen’s lab ($230,000). The team will work closely with local communities to encourage students from all backgrounds to explore engineering careers and foster interest in nanotechnology. Outreach efforts will include lab demonstrations, summer internships and career workshops.

Benchmark NISQ Devices using State-of-the-art Classical Tools

Salvatore Mandra
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 4:00pm

In the race to show quantum advantage, early Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices must be compared to the state-of-the-art classical technology currently available. At the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab (QuAIL) at NASA Ames, we are continuously developing new classical algorithms to benchmark/validate quantum hardware and to raise the bar to claim quantum advantage. In my talk, I will present our optimized classical simulator for large quantum circuits, including numerical simulations of the Google Bristlecone quantum processing unit.

Quantum Computing based on Trapped Ion Technology

Dr. Jungsang Kim
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 12:00pm

Trapped ions are one of the leading candidates for realizing practically useful quantum computers. Introduction of advanced integration technologies to this traditional atomic physics research has provided an opportunity to convert a complex atomic physics experiment into a stand-alone programmable quantum computer. In this presentation, I will discuss the new enabling technologies that changes the perception of a trapped ion system as a scalable quantum computer, and the concrete progress made to date in this endeavor. I will also discuss potential application areas where quantum...

Latest research from Jeremy Levy Lab: Over 100-THz bandwidth selective difference frequency generation at LaAlO3/SrTiO3 nanojunctions

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 19 March 2019

The ability to combine continuously tunable narrow-band terahertz (THz) generation that can access both the far-infrared and mid-infrared regimes with nanometer-scale spatial resolution is highly promising for identifying underlying light-matter interactions and realizing selective control of rotational or vibrational resonances in nanoparticles or molecules. Here, we report selective difference frequency generation with over 100 THz bandwidth via femtosecond optical pulse shaping. The THz emission is generated at nanoscale junctions at the interface of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 (LAO/STO) that is defined by conductive atomic force microscope lithography, with the potential to perform THz spectroscopy on individual nanoparticles or molecules. Numerical simulation of the time-domain signal facilitates the identification of components that contribute to the THz generation. This ultra-wide-bandwidth tunable nanoscale coherent THz source transforms the LAO/STO interface into a promising platform for integrated lab-on-chip optoelectronic devices with various functionalities.

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Peyman Givi will co-chair mini symposium at 17th International Conference on Numerical Combustion

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 19 March 2019

Peyman Givi, developer of the Filtered Density Function (FDF) used in very high fidelity numerical simulation of chemically reactive flow fields, will co-chair a mini symposium on the subject at the 17th International Conference on Numerical Combustion (NC19) in Aachen, Germany from May 6-8, 2019. The mini symposium “Filtered Density Function Methods for Turbulent Reactive Flows” will include 60 participants and 28 presented papers. According to Dr. Givi, participants will learn the latest developments and innovations in enhancing the computational and predictive capabilities of the FDF methodology.