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Brad Petersen
Director of
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53 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
56 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Three ECE ILLINOIS faculty members' research supported through Beckman competition

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May 12, 2014

  • Three ECE ILLINOIS faculty members have been awarded funding through a competition at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology to take on new interdisciplinary research directions.
  • Professors Stephen Boppart, Joseph Lyding, and Jean-Pierre Leburton are involved in groups that will be supported by the Taking the Beckman Institute to the Next Level: Seeding Novel Interdisciplinary Research competition. They'll receive support between May 16, 2014, and May 15, 2016.
  • The expectation is that the seed proposal research will be conducted at the Beckman Institute and within two years will lead to externally funded programs.

Stephen Allen Boppart
Stephen Allen Boppart
Three ECE ILLINOIS faculty members have been awarded funding through a competition at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology to take on new interdisciplinary research directions.

Professors Stephen Allen Boppart, Joseph W. Lyding, and Jean-Pierre Leburton are involved in groups that will be supported by the Taking the Beckman Institute to the Next Level: Seeding Novel Interdisciplinary Research competition. They’ll receive support between May 16, 2014, and May 15, 2016.

Art Kramer, Director of the Beckman Institute, said this competition is valuable to the Institute’s mission and its evolution into new research directions.

Joseph W. Lyding
Joseph W. Lyding
“This competition continues the self-renewal and reinvention process that has been critically important to the vitality of the Beckman Institute and its ongoing mission to foster novel interdisciplinary research,” Kramer said.

The expectation is that the seed proposal research will be conducted at the Beckman Institute and within two years will lead to externally funded programs at the Beckman Institute.

The selected seed proposals cover a wide range of topics that involve 17 researchers from more than 10 different departments. One team not only uses expertise found at the Institute, but also incorporates additional researchers from other campus units.

“The NanoStrong team will explore the use of a novel process to dramatically strengthen carbon nanotube-based structural materials,” said Lyding, the project’s principal investigator. “Though strong, these materials are nearly two orders of magnitude weaker than the intrinsic strength of carbon nanotubes.

Jean-Pierre  Leburton
Jean-Pierre Leburton
“To close this strength gap, the NanoStrong team includes Professor SungWoo Nam from the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. Though not previously affiliated with Beckman, Professor Nam’s expertise is in the fabrication and mechanical testing of carbon nanotube-based composite structures.”

Other selected proposals include:

  • Optical stimulus and control platform for neural circuits (PI: Boppart, who is also affiliated with bioengineering; John Rogers, materials science and engineering; Justin Rhodes, psychology).
  • Graphene nanopore transistor for bio-molecule sensing and manipulation (PI: Leburton, along with Rashid Bashir, bioengineering; Klaus Schulten, physics).
  • NanoStrong: Ultra-strong nanostructured carbon-based materials (PI: Lyding, and includes Greg Girolami, chemistry; Narayana Aluru, mechanical science and engineering; SungWoo Nam, mechanical science and engineering).
  • Engineered 3-D breast tumors: from basic science to biomedical use (PI: Rohit Bhargava, bioengineering; Narayana Aluru, mechanical science and engineering; Jian Ma, bioengineering; Prasanth Kannanganattu, cell and developmental biology).
  • Development of novel optogenetic and brain imaging approaches to study top-down control mechanisms (PI: Daniel Llano, molecular and integrative physiology; Stephanie Ceman, cell and developmental biology; Brad Sutton, bioengineering).

Rogers, Bashir, Aluru, and Sutton are all affililated with ECE ILLINOIS, as well.

 

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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