From communications to biosensors, nanotech research dominates UH contest
Three students take top honors in Student Superconductivity SymposiumHOUSTON, Jan. 20, 2006 Ė Fostering multidisciplinary research with projects ranging from those that impact the communications field to improving the fabrication of integrated circuitry used in data storage and biosensors, the 30th Semiannual Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH) Student Symposium recently showcased original research from UH science and engineering students.
Three students won top honors, including two from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and one from the Cullen College of Engineering. First place went to Jason Shulman, a doctoral student in physics; second place went to Barry Craver, a doctoral student in electrical engineering; and third place went to Girish Nathan, a doctoral student in physics. Competitors gave 15-minute research presentations, followed by a brief question-and-answer period. A faculty panel judged each presenter on originality and quality of research, quality of presentation and skillful use of visual aids.
"I have always been interested in science and, in particular, the fundamental laws of nature," first-place winner Shulman said, whose project leader is UH Professor of Physics and T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science Paul C.W. Chu. "Physics was a natural choice for my field of study. My research focuses on the dielectric properties of nanosystems. We have observed several important features that only exist in the nanoscale. These novel properties have the potential to impact fields ranging from communications to charged carrier gases."
In second place, Craver, whose project leaders are Professor of Electrical Engineering John Wolfe and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Dmitri Litvinov, said, "I am fascinated by the complexity of fabricating integrated circuitry at nanometer dimensions. Recently, we've developed atom beam lithography, which uses a beam of energetic atoms to print nanometer-sized features. With this new technique we will fabricate extremely small magnetic devices for applications in data storage and ultra-high sensitivity magnetic and biological sensors."
Third-place winner Nathan, whose project leader is Professor and Associate Chairman of Physics Gemunu Gunaratne, is also a physics student.
"From the time I was a child, the patterns I observed held a certain fascination for me," he said. "I remember wondering about how and why they were formed. A childhood dream has been realized in a sense, since I work on pattern formation and on trying to understand why patterns really form, which is where a lot of my scientific curiosity began."
TcSUH is internationally recognized for its multidisciplinary research and development of high-temperature superconductors (HTS) and related materials. (See related release at http://www.uh.edu/admin/media/nr/2006/01jan/010906tcsuh.html.)
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