With the assistance of faculty mentors, UConn students in all majors, across all UConn campuses, conduct research or creative projects each year in pursuit of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Award.
UConn recently announced that 39 students had been awarded the 2022 SURF Award. Two Institute of Materials Science (IMS) faculty members served as mentor to winners for this year’s cohort of winners.
Dr. Helena Silva (Electrical and Computer Engineering) served as mentor for Derek Lefcort (’23, Electrical Engineering, ENG) for his project entitled Fabrication and Electrical Characterization of Multi-Contact PCM Toggle Device.
Dr. Linnaea Ostroff (Physiology and Neurobiology) served as mentor to Rebecca Tripp (’23, Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS) for her project, Characterizing Neurons Containing Calcium-Binding Proteins in the Amygdala of Female and Male Rats.
IMS congratulates all the winners and commends Drs. Silva and Ostroff for their dedication in serving as mentors.
Dr. Karl Prewo, former Institute of Materials Science (IMS) External Advisory Board member, passed away February 9, 2022, after a long illness.
A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Prewo earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and began his career at United Technologies Research Center where he worked for 30 years. During that time, he was awarded 56 patents, two George Mead medals for engineering achievement, the Horner Citation, and several outstanding achievement awards. He became a Fellow of both the American Ceramic Society and ASM International, authored over 80 technical papers and four chapters in books about materials science.
He enjoyed lecturing and gave numerous presentations all over the world including teaching extension courses at UCLA, the University of Maryland, and the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. He participated for many years in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Air Force and the National Materials Advisory Board. He was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) where he chaired the Economic Development Board.
He was a proud member of a group of fathers who founded Vernon Youth Soccer under the motto “Everyone Plays.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 56 years, Karen; his son Karl Douglas and wife, Kristine, son Christopher and wife, Erin; and his grandchildren who were his pride and joy, Karl Ethan, Nicholas, Avery and Hudson, and a host of relatives living in Germany.
On February 14, 2022, ARPA-E announced $175 million for 68 OPEN 2021 research and development projects aimed at developing disruptive technologies to strengthen the nation’s advanced energy enterprise. These high-impact, high-risk technologies support novel approaches to clean energy challenges.
Associate Professor and Electrical Insulation Resource Center (EIRC) Director Yang Cao and fellow researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) will combine the functionality benefits of power electronics with the power density benefits of high-voltage cables to create a cohesive, all-in-one structure to replace bulky, inflexible power substations in today’s electrical grid. This “substation within a cable” design uses a cascade of coaxial power conversion cells to gradually step-down voltage to levels required by the loads. Virginia Tech’s module can achieve high power density and a form factor that enables seamless integration with the cable by mimicking a coaxial geometry design. This could eliminate the need for large and expensive power substations and enable simple integration of renewable energy sources, an electric vehicle fast-charging infrastructure, energy storage, and efficient direct current distribution lines.
The research project, Substation in a Cable for Adaptable, Low-cost Electrical Distribution (SCALED) has received $2,953,389 in funding support through the ARPA-E OPEN 2021 initiative.
The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) announced the election of 35 new members for 2022 who the organization describe as leading experts in science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and technology. 12 of those newly elected members are UConn faculty and four are faculty members of the Institute of Materials Science (IMS).
Rainer Hebert, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Director of Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Center, Associate Director of the Institute of Materials Science
Sangamesh G.Kumbar, Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Health
Mu-Ping Nieh, Professor, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UConn School of Engineering and Institute of Materials Science
Carolyn Teschke, Professor and Interim Department Head, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Chemistry