(Sept. 27, 2010)--Chemistry professors Cong-Gui Zhao, Banglin Chen and Doug E. Frantz in the UTSA College of Sciences will together receive $330,000 from the Welch Foundation over the next two years to develop more effective chemical reactions to assemble important compounds and materials.
Associate Professor Cong-Gui Zhao will receive $130,000 to improve the way chemists make organocatalysts, carbon-based molecules used to speed up chemical reactions. Traditionally, chemists make organocatalysts from scratch, a time-consuming and laborious process. Zhao, however, will design and produce pre-catalyst modules, which will self-assemble when mixed. By developing a series of chemical building blocks, Zhao will create a chemical assembly line, reducing the time and labor it takes to develop a series of effective catalysts for a given chemical reaction.
Through $100,000 in support from the Welch Foundation, Associate Professor Banglin Chen will carry out research on the self-assembly of new metal-organic porous materials for gas storage, gas separation and other chemical processes. Chen's research team already has developed and patented porous materials for commercial acetylene storage, separation and removal. Acetylene is used in plastic production, welding and metal cutting. Over the next two years, the researchers will focus on how the metal ions in porous materials recognize and interact with various types of gases and develop functional porous materials for gas storage and separation.
The remaining Welch Foundation funding will support Assistant Professor Doug Frantz's research on allene synthesis. Allenes are an important class of molecules that serve as the building blocks for various compounds including new drugs and biologically active natural products. Using hydrogen-transfer processes, Frantz's research team will provide chemists with a practical and powerful tool to synthesize allenes for academic and commercial use.
Based in Houston, the Welch Foundation is one of the nation's largest and oldest private funding sources for chemistry research. The foundation primarily supports researchers at Texas institutions of higher education.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.