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JUN 6, 2019 8:30 AM BY ANANYA SEN | NEWS BUREAU SCIENCE WRITER | 217-333-5802
Scientists often build new protein molecules by stringing groups of amino acids together. These amino acid chains, called polypeptides, are the building blocks needed in drug development and the creation of new biomaterials.
Imagine polymer materials that can heal themselves when damaged or change color when under stress. Or polymer gels that can mimic blood clotting to protect and regenerate damaged vascular networks. Nancy Sottos of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) did just that and has devoted her career to the development of materials systems inspired by nature’s ability to design self-healing, self-regenerating, self-reporting, and self-protecting materials.
By Lois Yoksoulian, Physical Sciences Editor, Illinois News Bureau
Chemists at the University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess CO2 to store solar energy – in the form of chemical bonds – for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.
by Lois Yoksoulian, Physical Sciences Editor, Illinois News Bureau
Recyclable plastics that contain ring-shaped polymers may be a key to developing sustainable synthetic materials. Despite some promising advances, researchers said, a full understanding of how to processes ring polymers into practical materials remains elusive. In a new study, researchers identified a mechanism called “threading” that takes place when a polymer is stretched – a behavior not witnessed before. This new insight may lead to new processing methods for sustainable polymer materials.
The Brimacombe Medal recognizes mid-career individuals with sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering and with a record of continuing service to the profession.
Trinkle was chosen for his significant contributions to the prediction of alloying efforts on diffusion, solid solution strengthening and softening, and for exemplary service to TMS.
BY LOIS YOKSOULIAN | PHYSICAL SCIENCES EDITOR | 217-244-2788
Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure. However, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.
Pinshane Huang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has been granted an National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award
NSF CAREER grants are given to young faculty who demonstrate great potential early in their careers. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering in the department of materials science and engineering and leads the Autonomous Materials Systems group in the Beckman Institute. The Swanlund chair is the highest endowed title bestowed upon faculty at the University.
Her research interests include polymers and composites capable of self-healing and regeneration, mechanochemically active polymers, tailored interfaces and novel materials for more reliable energy storage. She is a Fellow of the Society of Engineering Science and the Society for Experimental Mechanics.
The Center for Advanced Study (CAS) is charged with promoting the highest levels of scholarship and discourse at the University of Illinois. The Center also serves as the primary formal venue on our campus for various types of scholarly interaction and creative activity across academic disciplines. It sponsors workshops and seminars, supports new scholarship, and brings to campus more than thirty distinguished scholars, writers, and artists each academic year, in collaboration with other units of the University.
Axel Hoffmann, currently a senior group leader in magnetic films at Argonne National Laboratory, will start in the Fall of 2019.
MechSE Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande recently won the prestigious Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for his research on two-dimensional material heterostructures. NSF CAREER grants are given to young faculty who demonstrate great potential early in their careers.
Three MRL faculty have been named to the 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics: Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande, Assistant Professor Pinshane Huang, and Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of MRL Catherine Jones Murphy.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a stamp-sized sensor that can detect trace amounts of certain chemical warfare agents, such as sarin, within minutes. The research is published in ACS Omega.
Sarin is a man-made nerve agent that can spread as a gas or liquid. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to large doses will over-stimulate glands and muscles, and can lead to loss of consciousness or respiratory failure. Even small doses can cause a long list of distressing and dangerous symptoms.
A team of multi-disciplinary scientists and engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new, more precise, method to create nanoscale-size electromechanical devices. Their research findings are published in Nature Communications.
The self-organization of molecular, nano, and larger building blocks into complex structures is a process that widely occurs in nature.
Michael Caple, Larry Salvati, Samya Sen, and Yingfeng Yang have been awarded PPG-MRL Graduate Research Assistantships to pursue cutting-edge research broadly related to the areas of interest to PPG.