Sunday, November 29, 2015


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.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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

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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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