Category Archives: Research

2016 REF Grants for Physics Faculty

The Vice President for Research Office announces the 2016 REF awards and thanks the review committees, the deans and department chairs for their time spent on this important internal research award process. Among the recipients are:

Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grants

Will Cantrell, Physics/EPSSI – Refrigerated Water Re-Circulating System

Research Seed (RS) Grants

Jae Yong Suh, Physics

From Tech Today, by VPR.

Shaw Wins Research Award

 

Raymond Shaw
Raymond Shaw

Congratulations to Raymond Shaw (Atmospheric Sciences, Physics) for winning the 2016 Research Award.

In the words of Ravi Pandey, chair of the Department of Physics, Shaw is “widely recognized in the national and international community of atmospheric scientists investigating cloud microphysical processes.”

His research is both detailed and big—from the minutiae of raindrops to understanding the patterns of cloud formation. As part of this research, he collaborates with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to lead a team of scientists to conduct holographic imaging of cloud droplets from an airplane laboratory. The research was published in Science last fall and was the subject of a Michigan Tech Research Magazine story.

“The unifying aspect of my research is the atmosphere,” Shaw says, adding that the process of research inspires him. “It’s like working on an incredibly diverse set of intertwined and nested puzzles. Every now and then a burst of insight allows us to solve a part of one of them.”

Shaw is also recognized for his teaching and says that teaching is another aspect of research. “Students learn at a deeper level when they dig into a research problem,” he explains.

“The advisor-grad student relationship is the closest thing I know to an apprenticeship, where the grad student masters a craft by working side by side with a mentor.”

He considers Alex Kostinski (Physics) his own mentor who has helped him on Michigan Tech’s campus from day one. Along with Pandey’s support and the insight from his students, Shaw says, “Perhaps it sounds quaint, but I do feel like being recognized with the MTU research award is a larger recognition of the colleagues and students with whom I have worked.”

From Tech Today, by Allison Mills.

Claudio Mazzoleni on Soot Compaction

Soot Compaction

Cloud formation boosts soot albedo

A team in the US has found that soot becomes more compact under the conditions of cloud formation, scattering more light as it does so.

The compaction, which is greater for icy than supercooled cloud droplets, should be taken into account in future climate models, the researchers say.

“A change in the scattering [resulting from compaction] can have quite a large effect on how much soot would warm the atmosphere,” said Claudio Mazzoleni of Michigan Technological University in the US. “Therefore, knowing how soot compaction might affect the scattering is important to better understand future climate.”

Read more at Environmental Research Web, by Jon Cartwright.

Morphology of diesel soot residuals from supercooled water droplets
and ice crystals: implications for optical properties
doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/114010

Pandey Group Publishes Most Excellent Recent Paper

1.4919389.figures.online.f2The following paper from Professor Ravi Pandey’s research group has been selected as one of the most excellent recent papers that report significant advances in 2D materials beyond graphene.

Effects of extrinsic point defects in phosphorene: B, C, N, O, and F adatoms
Gaoxue Wang, Ravindra Pandey, Shashi P. Karna
Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 173104 (2015)

The papers are hand selected by Associate Editor Roger K. Lake of the University of California Riverside and reported in AIP Applied Physics Letters. The selected articles are free to read for a limited time.

New X Prize Announced

At a keynote address Tuesday during the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, announced the launch of the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a three-year global competition challenging teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid and unmanned ocean exploration.

As part of the total $7M prize, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is offering a million dollar bonus prize to teams that demonstrate their technology can “sniff out” a specified object in the ocean through biological and chemical signals. David Schewitz, Shell vice president of geophysics for the Americas, and Richard Spinrad, chief scientist at NOAA, joined Diamandis on stage to launch the new competition.

David Ciochetto, research engineer in Michigan Tech’s Physics Department feels the competition could be of special interest to the Great Lakes Research Center community and to those in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering working on underwater robotics.

From Tech Today, by David Ciochetto.

Atmospheric Sciences Ranks in Top 50 for Research Spending

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its annual research spending report, and Michigan Tech has moved up in its rankings.

Of 634 institutions that received research funding in 2014, Tech received $68.5 million, ranking 163rd overall nationwide. The University ranked 117th among public institutions.

Atmospheric science — a new interdisciplinary category — received $3.1 million and ranked 34th.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.

Research in the atmospheric sciences at Michigan Tech is highly interdisciplinary and involves scientists from across campus, including the Departments of Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and Physics, and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Research has been supported by DOD, DOE, EPA, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and the private sector.