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Author Archives: Rhonda Ward

UConn’s School of Engineering Announces UConn-ZEISS Partnership and Introduces New Microscopy Center

The UConn School of Engineering announced the launch of a new UConn-ZEISS Partnership with the opening of a new, state of the art laboratory, the Reverse Engineering, Fabrication, Inspection and Nondestructive Evaluation (REFINE) Lab. The event was attended by many members of the ZEISS leadership team, including President of ZEISS North America, James Sharp.

According to Sharp, working with a top research institution like UConn is part of the ZEISS tradition.

“It is deep in our roots at ZEISS to collaborate with scientists to improve our products. Over 150 years ago, Carl Zeiss and physicist Ernst Abbe partnered to achieve global success,” explained Sharp. “Since then, more than 20 Nobel Prize winners have relied on ZEISS microscopes to conduct their research. We know that this tradition will continue thanks to the UConn-ZEISS partnership and the REFINE Lab.” Read the full story from Technology Innovation Partnership


Dr. Rainer Hebert is New Associate Director of IMS

Dr. Rainer Hebert

Dr. Rainer Hebert

Dr. Rainer Hebert has been appointed Associate Director of the Institute of Materials Science. Dr. Steven Suib made the announcement on August 16 highlighting Hebert’s “dedication to IMS, his excellent scholarship, and outstanding research program.”

Dr. Hebert earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and held postdoctoral fellowships at Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both from 2003 to 2005. He joined the faculty of UConn in 2006 and has since built an outstanding set of credentials which include serving as the director of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center, Director for Undergraduate Studies for the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and in 2016 he was honored by the School of Engineering with a Castleman Professorship in Engineering Innovation.

Dr. Hebert’s research specialties include alloy development through additive manufacturing, additive manufacturing process capabilities, improvements in elevated temperature strength for high strength low alloy steel, and devitrification reactions in metallic glasses.

Dr. S. Pamir Alpay Named Executive Director of UConn Tech Park

Dr. S. Pamir Alpay

Dr. S. Pamir Alpay

UConn’s Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) at the UConn Tech Park has new leadership. Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Dr. S. Pamir Alpay will serve as Executive Director of the state-of-the-art facility and associated industry partnerships, effective immediately. Dr. Alpay replaces Dr. Radenka Maric, who served in the role until her promotion to Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health this past July.

“We are thrilled to have someone with Pamir’s extensive experience as a scientist and collaborator leading the Tech Park,” says Dr. Maric. “Having already worked closely with several of the companies associated with the Tech Park and currently leading the UTAS Center for Advanced Materials which will be housed at the IPB, I am confident that Dr. Alpay will be able to hit the ground running as Executive Director. We are excited to see him build on the progress already achieved by centers located at the IPB, the School of Engineering, and the Institute of Materials Science.” read the full story from the UConn Innovation Portal

IMS Industrial Affiliates Program Welcomes New Member Cadenza Innovation

The IMS Industrial Affiliates Program is pleased to welcome Cadenza Innovation as a new member. Cadenza Innovation provides ground-breaking energy storage technology solutions, specializing in the development of lithium ion battery technology. The company was founded in 2012 by Christina Lampe-Onnerud, former CEO of Boston-Power.

Since 1974, the IMS Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) has provided convenient access to resources at the Institute of Materials Science to assist industry partners with short-term, materials-related research, development, characterization and production projects. Membership provides access to essential scientific and technical resources within IMS, including laboratories and faculty, leveraging a deep understanding of materials, engineering, and processing coupled  with some of the best characterization laboratories in the world, to help industry solve technical materials challenges.

High Expectations for 1st Symposium on Computational Research

Postdoctoral researchers from the Institute of Materials Science and the Materials Science and Engineering Department will hold their 1st Symposium on Computational Research on Thursday, July 27. IMS News asked Dr. S. Pamir Alpay, Head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department and postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Sanjeev Nayak, coordinator for the symposium, about their expectations for the first year of the event:

Dr. S. Pamir Alpay

Dr. S. Pamir Alpay

How did the idea of this symposium come about?
As new students joined our group, there was a requirement to introduce them to the field. But, materials science and engineering is such a vast subject covering all the disciplines of STEM, it was desirable to have them see beyond the research interests of the group. Hence, a thought came that we should arrange a symposium. From another perspective, there existed no formal postdoctoral researcher’s activity in the IMS/MSE and we know their important contribution in research. This symposium was planned such that IMS/MSE postdoctoral researchers could take the lead, discuss their research and create an active and brainstorming session. The IMS/MSE postdoctoral members from modeling and theory division voluntarily came forward and hence the symposium touches the theoretical aspect.

What are your expectations for the symposium and what does success look like?
Our expectations for this symposium are at the individual research level. For example, if someone is stuck in a bottleneck situation pertaining to one’s research, it would be easy to seek help from a more experienced researcher in that field. We expect that the students and researchers would make themselves known to one other so that each would know where to find help. Maintaining a list of participants of this (and future) symposium will provide that necessary contact information. Our measure of success is simple, more active engagement with people and a sense of collective academics. The tone of this symposium is at the level of idea-exchange and concept development. If we can set a playground for conceptual development, naturally we would be doing creative research. We are glad that people from departments like, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Sciences, and Electrical and Computer Engineering have signed-up for the symposium.

Dr. Sanjeev Nayak

Dr. Sanjeev Nayak

As this is being billed as the 1st, what are your expectations for future symposia?
We believe that isolated events cannot accomplish the broad goals and hence we encourage annual meetings of this kind. This year’s program is an IMS/MSE postdoctoral activity and attendees have signed up from various departments of UConn and one guest from the Roger Williams University, Rhode Island. We can see that this type of symposium on fundamental research raises a lot of interest among researchers. Our effort for future symposia would be to accommodate selected experts from universities, national labs and industries from across the nation. Such gatherings will help our young members to assimilate, build up networks and possibly also find jobs.

IMS Says Farewell to YoungHee Chudy

YoungHee Chudy

YoungHee Chudy

YoungHee Chudy began working for the IMS Polymer Program in 1986. Hired by Dr. Leonid Azaroff, director of IMS at that time, YoungHee began her career as a part-time administrative assistant to Robert Weiss who was then head of the Polymer Program. As the program grew, so did her role. Eventually the position transitioned from part-time to full time.  On June 30 YoungHee retired leaving an extremely big pair of shoes to fill.

The current IMS Director, Dr. Steven Suib, announced YoungHee’s retirement on June 15 including a long list of accomplishments. While all of her accomplishments are outstanding, the items on the list that stand out most have to do with YoungHee’s dedication to people and the Polymer Program’s success:

  • “Mother Hen” of the Polymer Program, especially with regard to graduate students, junior and mid-level faculty members
  • Accommodates many international student visitors at her home. She would then help them find a place to stay, give them utensils, bed sheets, and other things to make their transition to life here easier and to ease financial burdens
  • Lunch buddy to students and faculty members
  • ”Welcome Wagon” to Program visitors and seminar speakers, always making them feel extremely welcome

Reflecting upon her tenure in IMS and the Polymer Program, YoungHee noted, “The people and the relationships of my IMS years, they mean the most to me.”

Among those attending the farewell reception for YoungHee was former head of the IMS Polymer Program, Bob Weiss, and his wife Cindy, faculty, students, and staff.  Students honored Chudy by painting a special message on Spirit Rock where they refer to her as #PolyMOM.

Indeed, YoungHee Chudy has been an inspiration, a guiding force, a welcoming smile, and a friend to many.  Everyone at IMS wishes YoungHee the very best in the next phase of her life journey.

YoungHee Chudy and Polymer Program Heads Plus Director Suib and Robert Chudy

l-r Rajeswari Kasi, Douglas Adamson, Robert Weiss, YoungHee Chudy, Steven L. Suib, and Robert Chudy