The School of Engineering held its first Nanotechnology Research Forum on Wednesday, March 5th. Nearly 30 faculty members from the School’s five departments presented five-minute overviews of their ongoing research activities in nanotechnology and related areas. The objective of the forum was to highlight current research underway at UConn and to foster collaborations among different parties who are actively engaged in explorations involving this transformative technological frontier.
Dean of Engineering Dr. Mun Y. Choi welcomed the over 80 attendees and framed the School’s objectives in staging the forum. He was followed by Drs. Greg Anderson, Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Education, and Harris Marcus, Director of the Institute of Materials Science, who also offered brief remarks.
Three guest speakers who play important roles in Connecticut’s emerging nanotechnology industry and curriculum development opened the forum. They were Stephen Andrade, Program Manager of Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice, who spoke as a representative of the State’s Office for Workplace Competitiveness; Brig. Gen. (ret.) Robert Mansfield, Director of the National Center for Aerospace Leadership at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT); and Louis Manzione, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology & Architecture at the University of Hartford and founding executive director of Bell Laboratories’ research center in Ireland.
In addition to the engineering faculty presentations, the forum featured research summaries by two invited researchers, Drs. Kenneth Noll of Molecular & Cell Biology and Steven Suib of Chemistry, who discussed their work involving – respectively – development of energy and sensor technologies from microbes, and nano-sized catalysts. Both researchers collaborate with engineering faculty members on a variety of fuel cell, coatings, materials and other applications-oriented investigations.
The event attracted faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, University administrators as well as industry collaborators. Throughout the three-hour forum, the slate of primarily engineering faculty members discussed facets of their nanotechnology research spanning a spectrum of applications, from sensors, actuators and transistors to nano-scale surface mapping and defect detection, memory devices, novel fuel cells and intra-cellular injection. Other research areas centered on devices, medical therapeutical delivery devices and photonics.
University President Michael Hogan, delayed by business in Hartford, delighted attendees by joining in the informal discussions that took place during the post-forum reception.
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