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SwRI, UTSA award $200K for photoresponsive nanomaterials research

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(June 26, 2012) -- Kelly Nash, assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Benjamin Furman, a research engineer in the Southwest Research Institute Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, have been selected to receive $200,000 in seed funding for their collaborative research proposal, "Photoresponsive Polymeric Composites Utilizing UV-Light Harvesting from Upconverting Nanoplatelets."

Nash and Furman will use the funding to develop and characterize photoresponsive polymer-matrix nanocomposites that incorporate highly luminescent up-converting nanoplatelets (UNPs). They expect the UNPs to offer mechanical reinforcement and stimulate bond rearrangement using inexpensive visible-light sources, such as green laser diodes.

The development of the nanocomposites, in conjunction with newly designed opto-acoustic instrumentation, will promote new capabilities in targeted drug release and offer a new fundamental method to investigate the structure/property relationships of multifunctional nanocomposites in general. The proposed project will focus on hydrogels for applications in drug release.

"We are extremely pleased by the quality and quantity of Connect program proposals submitted for this third round of funding. We believe that the outstanding response represents a substantial growth of interest in institutional collaboration that we intended the Connect program to stimulate," said Walt Downing, SwRI executive vice president. "It was difficult to select a single winner from the field of excellent proposals. Ultimately, we chose a project that builds upon the respective strengths of UTSA and the institute to conduct research in photoresponsive nanomaterials that might lead to revolutionary breakthroughs in drug delivery and other biomedical applications."

"Doctors Nash and Furman's Connect proposal will have tremendous value not only to industry and the university but to the nation," said Jim Massaro, UTSA assistant vice president for research development. "It is a perfect example of the importance of collaboration and what two outstanding entities in their own right can accomplish together. Connect has proven its worth time and again."

This is the third project to be funded under Connect, a program established in 2010 to stimulate inter-organizational research between SwRI and UTSA in fields such as advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, environment, security and manufacturing, among others.

 

 

Events

Wednesday, May 4, 5 p.m.

School Psychology Symposium and Reception

Student posters will present case studies based on practicum experiences, literature reviews on topics relevant to educational psychology, and other research experiences this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Durango Building (1.124), Downtown Campus

Thursday, May 5, 5 p.m.

String Project Spring Concert

This end-of-semester concert will feature the 3rd through 8th grade students who have participated in the UTSA String Project this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus

Friday, May 6, 8 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, Curtis Vaughan Observatory invites everyone to join them for their monthly stargazing event on top of the Flawn Science Building
Flawn Science Building, Curtis Vaughan Observatory, Main Campus

Monday, May 9, 8 a.m.

The Honeynet Project Workshop

This three-day event will focus on the tools, tactics and motives involved in computer and network attacks. Attendees from around the world will take part in world-class hands-on trainings and technical discussions.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 12, 4 p.m.

Master of Public Administration Open House

Visit with faculty, alumni and students to discuss the benefits of and requirements for a Master Degree in Public Administration and/or the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration & Leadership
Buena Vista Building (1.338), Downtown Campus

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony One

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Sciences.
Alamodome

Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Two

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Business, the College of Public Policy and University College.
Alamodome

Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Three

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Alamodome

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.

The Great Staff Appreciation Event

The UTSA community is invited to honor the roughly 2,600 UTSA staff members who contribute to the success of the university and its students.
University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m.

Superintendent Certification Program Information Session

Join UTSA faculty and staff, current students, and area central office administrators/program alumni to learn about this exciting accelerated and web-enhanced program leading to Texas Superintendent Certification. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Building (1.322), Downtown Campus


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