Thanks to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Summer REU program, I was able to present my research at the 2021 APS Gaseous Electronics Conference. It was an amazing opportunity to learn more about my research and about the subject of plasma physics in general.
Due to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases in Alabama, experts advised that holding the conference digitally, rather than in person, would be the safest option for all participants. This was my first academic conference, and despite the fact that it was virtual, I felt the same levels of pressure and excitement as if it had been held in person. Some aspects of a virtual conference were more advantageous, such as the option to watch sessions on demand, which allowed me to watch more of the conference than I would have been able to if the conference had been conducted in person.
After watching a few speakers, I was intimidated to be in the midst of so many amazing minds, and I was apprehensive about how my presentation would compare to theirs. I had to reassure myself that I was just as deserving of being there as they were, and that I shouldn’t compare myself to them.
A Zoom meeting titled “Women in Science” was one of the live events I attended. Several successful female scientists moderated the event, sharing their experiences as women in a male-dominated profession. I appreciated attending this conference as it was educational and refreshing to hear from women who had had similar experiences to myself and how they overcame gender bias. The fact that the number of women in science is increasing every day and that the field of science is changing to become more inclusive and tolerant left me feeling encouraged after the conference to continue with my studies and research in science.
I was able to present my findings at my live poster session with ease and confidence thanks to extensive preparation with Dr. Renato Camata, my research mentor throughout the summer REU program, as well as with our research group. My experience at the Gaseous Electronics Conference gave me the confidence to present scientific findings in front of other professionals, and it served as good practice for larger conference presentations that I may participate in in the future.
Congratulations to 2021 Summer REU Lauren Hogan for placing 2nd in the Physical and Applied Sciences category at the UAB 2021 Summer Expo. This year the event was held virtually but the participants gave their all. Congratulations Lauren.
The Advanced Materials Characterization (AMC) Core has been selected an institutional research core (Director: Dr. Paul Baker and co-Director: Dr. Vinoy Thomas). It will be a part of the fifteen cores that are supported centrally by the office of Vice President for Research. The AMC Core will provide a broad range of services related to the research and development of materials. Our services will cover the analysis of basic properties of materials such as the structure, composition, and hardness. The types of materials to be analyzed include biomaterials, nanomaterials, metals, ceramics, thin films, composite materials, and semiconductors.
The AMC Core will include the University’s only scanning electron microscope (SEM), which provides high resolution images of surfaces of a broad range of materials, including soft matter (biological samples) and has elemental analysis capability (EDX). The x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) is a powerful surface analysis (probing depth of only 3-10nm) instrument that provides elemental composition and chemical bonding information with small spot size (minimum 10 micrometers) and surface mapping capability. The multipurpose X-ray diffractometer (XRD) is a state-of-the-art instrument purchased in 2018 that provides information on crystal structure and phase identification, particle size and shape analysis (SAXS), thin film analysis, epitaxial layer analysis, and can be upgraded to include even additional capabilities. The micro-Raman spectrometer is a high-resolution spectrometer that analyzes the vibrational modes of the material to provide information about the molecular structure of a material. The nanoindenter measures the hardness of a material near the surface and can measure polymers and thin films. These materials growth and characterization facilities are being combined and proposed as a single core to provide materials characterization under one managed facility and serve as a catalyst for innovative materials discovery at UAB. One of the key strengths of the core will be the broad support from industry usage as well as the multi-departmental use. This multi-disciplinary approach to characterization of advanced materials is a part of the UAB research mission.
In spite of not being able to have a Summer 2020 REU due to COVID-19, NASA REU is moving forward for 2020-21 with REU for a 10 week period beginning October 1, 2020.The following UAB students have been selected to participate in this fascinating hybrid REU model. We want to recognize and congratulate them.
Rachel Day is a UAB Junior
Mentor: Dr. Andrei Stanishevsky, Physics
Hannah Blansett is a Junior at UAB
Major: Materials Science & Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Material Sciences and Engineering
Brita is a UAB Senior
Mentor: Dr. Cheng-Chien, Physics
Ishmael is a Senior at UAB
Mentor: Dr. Ryoichi Kawai, Physics
Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra is pleased to announce that the following collaborative seed grants from UAB were selected for funding by the NSF EPSCoR RII program in Alabama for FY2021. These are collaborative grants between two Alabama institutions that are part of this NSF supported state-wide consortium in plasma science and technology. https://www.uah.edu/cpu2al
Dr. Aaron Catledge (PI), Awarded Amount $40,000
Title: Low-temperature plasma as a means to create superhard high-entropy metal diborides via boro-carbothermal reduction
Collaborating Institution: Tuskegee University
Dr. Cheng-Chien Chen (PI), Awarded Amount $40,000
Tile: Assemble Plasmon and Phonon Polaritons in Atomic-Scale van der Waals Hybrids
Collaborating Institution: Auburn University
Dr. Vineeth Vijayan (PI) and Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Awarded Amount $40,000
Title: Low Temperature Dusty Plasma based Nanoparticles Modified Polymer Scaffolds as Potential Biointerface for Bone Tissues
Collaborating Institution: Alabama State University & Auburn University
Dr. Masaru Nakanotani (PI, UAH), Awarded Amount, $40,000
Title:Physics of Collisional Shock Waves :Laser Ablation Experiments, Fluid and Fully Kinetic Simulations
Collaborating Institutions: CFDRC & UAB –Dr. Renato Camata
Congratulations to all the PI’s and their collaborators!
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.