Tuesday, May 27, 2014

UNO Gets $98,000 Grant to Create Advanced Materials Science Lab

LESZEK MALKINSKI, UNO PHYSICS PROFESSOR, IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ON A $98,000 GRANT FROM THE LOUISIANA BOARD OF REGENTS FOR A NEW MATERIALS SCIENCE LAB.  Leszek Malkinski, UNO physics professor, is the principal investigator on a $98,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents for a new materials science lab.

The University of New Orleans has received a 1-year $98,832 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to create a state-of-the-art materials science laboratory. The lab will give UNO students hands-on experience with energy and electronic materials in a new course that will be unique to New Orleans and one of the few of its kind in the nation.

The research team, consisting of three physicists, a materials scientist and a chemist, will purchase equipment to set up 15 sophisticated experiments in which students will fabricate materials and devices and characterize their structure and properties, according to Leszek Malkinski, professor of physics and the grant's principal investigator. Some of the other experiments will involve harvesting and converting energy and investigating energy exchange in solar cells.

The new lab course, which will be first offered in the fall semester of 2015, is unusual in the diversity and number of proposed experiments. The course is expected to encourage students to study materials science and give students the kind of practical skills that will benefit their careers in either industry or academia, Malkinski said.
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field that applies the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This relatively new scientific field incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry as well as nanotechnology, which is the manipulation of matter on an extremely small scale.

The co-principal investigators on the grant are Kevin Stokes, professor of physics; Leonard Spinu, professor of physics; John Wiley, professor of chemistry; and Weilie Zhou, associate professor with the Advanced Materials Research Institute.


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