Friday, September 04, 2015

UTSA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory nurture research partnerships

UTSA researchers

UTSA researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee (from left): Taeg Nishimoto, Jeffrey Kantor, Clare Cloudt, Hazem Rashed-Ali and Carlos Garcia

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(Aug. 31, 2011) -- A group of representatives from The University of Texas at San Antonio traveled to Oak Ridge, Tenn., this summer to establish partnerships with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the U.S. Department of Energy's largest science and engineering research laboratory. UTSA and ORNL are expected to forge partnerships in sustainability, nanomaterials and computational biology.

Five UTSA representatives traveled to ORNL including Jeffrey Kantor, senior associate vice president for research development; Taeg Nishimoto, associate dean of the College of Architecture; Hazem Rashed-Ali, assistant professor of architecture; Carlos Garcia, associate professor of chemistry, and graduate student Clare Cloudt. The trip was made possible through UTSA's membership in Oak Ridge Affiliated Universities (ORAU). UTSA became a member of ORAU based on the expansion of the university's research program.

While in Tennessee, UTSA and ORNL representatives discussed building renovation projects, solar projects and guest lecturers from the ONRL Energy Sustainability Group. ONRL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences provided UTSA guests with a tour of its facility, where researchers use a multidisciplinary approach to study nanomaterials and related phenomena. UTSA also established connections with the ONRL Computational Biology group.

To support UTSA, the ORAU University Partnerships Office provided UTSA with a letter of support for a research proposal Garcia submitted to the National Science Foundation. The letter praises UTSA's biosensors research and commits to helping UTSA identify opportunities for research collaboration at the ORNL Center for Nanophase Materials Science.

"The people we met at Oak Ridge were extremely positive," said Kantor. "They were very open to the possibility of developing new research collaborations with us. We look forward to watching this relationship mature and expect it to bring great benefits to UTSA students and faculty in science and engineering."

Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research, said UTSA's partnership with Oak Ridge is a prime example of the type of relationship UTSA needs in order to become a nationally recognized research university.

"Partnerships like the one we are developing at Oak Ridge and those we have established with Southwest Research Institute, Texas Biomed and the Health Science Center are critical for achieving Tier One," said Gracy. "Each organization has its own strengths, but together we can address questions and fuel discoveries that will advance society's well-being."

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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