REU Skyler Hanson

Skyler Hanson

Skyler is one of 14 participants in our 2019 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Pictured here, Skyler is at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. While there she conducted x-ray diffraction studies on laser heated sample at high-pressures at Sector 16, Advanced Photon Source.

One of the many advantages of participating in our REU program are opportunities to travel to national labs.

After the program ends there is a window of time that the program will support travel to a conference. The following criteria qualifies participants for travel support:

    • Confer with mentor to determine if conference is suitable based on REU project
    • Must be invited to present at conference
    • Forward a copy of invite to Program Coordinator, Charita H. Cadenhead along with mentor approval
    • Participant must submit a write up of their experience at the conference
    • Submit all receipts for reimbursement up to $500.

2018 REU Tristan Carlson Attends CLEO 2019

Tristan CarlsonAttending CLEO 2019 was an eye-opening experience. I was able to learn about so many emerging technologies such as LIDAR, light detection and ranging, for autonomous vehicles and metallic nanoparticles used to cure cancer as well as cutting-edge research being performed around the globe. The caliber of speakers at the conference was quite incredible with talks from researchers at top universities and industrial labs, but most impressively the 2018 Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou.

The poster session was great primarily because it challenged me. I had to present on research performed in the short duration of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to experts in optical science and engineering.  Since I had no previous experience, it was very intimidating, but after talks with very friendly scientists my butterflies were partially suppressed. Their pointed questions and conversation helped me gain a deeper understanding of the work, its applications and other lasers operating in the Mid-IR.

The presentations and conference as a whole were very inspiring and have reinforced my desire to continue learning about optics and photonics.  I would love to attend CLEO in the future and hope that other undergraduates from the UAB REU Experimental and Computational Materials Research program get to experience conferences like it. I am very thankful for my mentors Dr. Vladimir Fedorov and Dr. Sergey Mirov, the graduate student from the lab and the UAB REU program for providing me this special opportunity.

Eugenia Kharlampieva Appointed as Co-Director of CNMB

Congratulations to Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva

Eugenia Kharlampieva
Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Chemistry

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva has been appointed as Co-Director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointergration.  Dr. Kharlampieva’s primary appointment is Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry where her research is in the design of polymeric materials for biomedical applications. Her lab works on synthesis and assembly of water-soluble stimuli-responsive macromolecules to develop novel nanostructured materials as “intelligent” platforms for therapeutic applications such as controlled drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and biosensing.

Dr. Kharlampieva joined the Chemistry faculty in 2010 from Georgia Institute of Technology. Since coming to UAB, she has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publication and five book chapters. Dr. Kharlampieva was a recipient  of NSF CAREER Award, UAB Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, UAB College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Innovation Award, Faculty Innovator of the Year Award from the UAB Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She was named as an Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Journal of Materials Chemistry B.

In her role as Co-Director of the CNMB, her primary responsibilities will be assisting in advancing the mission of the Center which is to promote interdisciplinary research and student training in the synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials with broad applicability in materials under extreme environments, nano-enabled biomedical imaging and drug delivery platforms, and nanostructured coatings and materials for biomedical implants and vascular grafts. Dr. Kharlampieva will play an instrumental role in aiding in the achievement of core-objectives of CNMB, identify and lead interdisciplinary grant opportunities, contribute to acquiring new and maintaining existing core facilities.

Dr. Vinoy Thomas Receives Deans Award

Congratulations to Dr. Vinoy Thomas

Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering has been awarded the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.

The numerous students that Dr. Thomas has mentored have greatly benefited from both his extensive knowledge and dedication to his research in polymer composites, biomaterials and nanomaterials..

(See original article by Kim Eaton, published April 4, 2019)

McWane Center Engineering Showcase

McWane Center Engineering Showcase

On February 22, 2019, the McWane Science Center hosted an event called the Engineering Showcase to celebrate the end of National Engineering Week. A team from UAB Materials Science and Engineering and Society for Plastics Engineers UAB Student Chapter (Dr. Vinoy Thomas: faculty sponsor, Bernabe Tucker: student chapter president) had a demonstration table with a hands-on activity “Plasma and Nano-Spider webs: How Nature Inspires Engineering.” During the demo, students were able to see an electrospinner in action which produces nano and microscale fibers that resemble a tiny spider’s web (a popular super-hero was mentioned by several attendees). Microscope station and fluorescence demonstrations were also set up. Students were able to see a plasma source and learn about how plasmas are being used in research conducted in Alabama, specifically at UAB, to change the properties of polymer materials for biomedical applications, (URLs to recent publications: and ).

According to the McWane Science Center there were over 2000 students in the K-12 range in attendance. Furthermore, many were from inner city Birmingham (which includes >75 % minority representation). This event highlighted plasma science and technology research being conducted in Alabama funded through the NSF EPSCoR CPU2AL: Connecting the Plasma Universe to Plasma Technology in Alabama project (Cooperative Agreement OIA-1655280). Dr. Yogesh Vohra (CPU2AL lead for UAB) oversees the plasma surface processing research which includes the synthesis of superhard materials (lead by Dr. Aaron Catledge and Dr. Paul Baker) and the surface processing of biomaterials (lead by Dr. Vinoy Thomas). This event demonstrated plasma technology and biomaterials to students from K-12 age ranges, thus, increasing exposure for CPU2AL project and STEM concepts. Involvement included UAB Faculty/Postdoc/Grad Students from Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), Physics, and Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration (CNMB). (written by Bernabe Tucker)

Support for Interdisciplinary Materials science Program

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers Drs. Yogesh K. Vohra, Eugenia Kharlampieva and Amber Genau  have won a $597,000 federal grant to support up to five doctoral students in the interdisciplinary materials science program.  Read entire article here.

REU Brian Davis Selected for BMES 2018

Brian Davis Presented Poster at 2018 BMES

Congratulations to Brian Davis for being selected to present his poster at the 2018 Biomedical Engineering Society, October 17-20 in Atlanta, GA.

Abstract Title: Cardiac Magnetogenetics: Noninvasive Control of the Heart
Authors: Brian Davis, Lufang Zhou, Patrick Ernst

Brian’s poster presentation is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 in the from 9:30am – 1:00pm.

You’ll find more information about the BMES on their website.

Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education

Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education

Eugenia Kharlampieva
Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Chemistry

Congratulations to Dr. Eugenia Khamlampieva on her new National Science Foundation grant for MRI:  Acquisition of an Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education.

Dr. Kharlampieva says:  This Major Research Instrumentation award supports the University of Alabama at Birmingham to acquire an atomic force microscope for interdisciplinary materials research and education. This microscope supports a diverse, multi-departmental research in soft materials ranging from soft synthetic hydrogels to relatively dense composites and biological structures. The instrument will be located at UAB Department of Chemistry and will combine the capabilities for high-resolution and high-speed imaging with quantitative nanomechanical mapping.

The ability to acquire multifunctional, high-resolution data under a wide range of operating conditions allows for studies on a broad spectrum of dry and hydrated samples. The types of samples extend from synthetic networks, polymer composites, nanodevices, to cell membranes and tissues. The common theme among these samples is that they all involve soft materials, i.e., synthetic polymers, biological structures, or combinations of the two. An increased ability to characterize state-of-the-art nanomaterials results in an enhanced fundamental understanding of the structural properties of soft materials and the composition at their surfaces. This includes the effect of the surface morphology on the physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of the materials.

The understanding enables transformative research for the development of new materials in tissue regenerative therapies, controlled drug delivery, molecular sensing, and related biotechnologies. The atomic force microscope will also play a vital role in student education in the fields of chemistry, materials science, biomedical science, and biomedical engineering. A high-caliber research environment is vital to the regional economy in Central Alabama through raising community awareness toward biomedical and soft-materials technologies.