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physics graduate students
Graduate students Ray Yow (left) and Guang Yin Swanland

UTSA awarded $225K NSF grant for physics

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Sept. 19, 2006)--UTSA physics professor Dhiraj Sardar has been awarded a three-year, $225,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support students pursuing doctoral degrees in physics.

The NSF grant, which is the largest ever received by the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, is highly competitive. According to Sardar, only one in 17 proposals receives NSF funding.

"This NSF grant is a major leap for the UTSA physics program, and helps propel the College of Sciences as we continue to work toward premier research university status," said Rosalie Ambrosino, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Sardar's students will study optical and laser materials and characterize and analyze their properties. Current laser research projects include discovering novel techniques for cleaning semiconductor wafers using ultrasonic sound waves, developing non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tools for medical applications, and studying the optical effects of lasers in infrared regions.

The author of two patents and more than 200 scientific publications and abstracts, Sardar's grants have supported more than 42 graduate and undergraduate students. His awards include the American Physical Society's 2003 Prize to A Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution and the 2002 UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Research Achievement.

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