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Spring 2019

 
 
 
 
Brian Cunningham, MNTL Director 
Brian Cunningham, MNTL Director 
 

This issue of InstruMNTL highlights many accomplishments, but sometimes we also need to be reminded of our different paths to success and the obstacles we encounter along the way. It is our resilience when faced with those obstacles that allows us to push on and achieve. We need to remember to "fail fast," learn from failure, appreciate what we have and who we work with, and take time out to renew and energize.
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MNTL FACULTY AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
 
 
 
Narayana Aluru 
Narayana Aluru 
 

Professor Narayana Aluru has been elected a 2018 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his "outstanding contributions to computational, physical and engineering aspects of nanofluidics and micro/nanoelectromechanical systems ..." AAAS recently announced the 2018 Fellows, all of whom will be honored at its annual meeting in April 2019.
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Left to right: Shuming Nie and Arend van der Zande 
Left to right: Shuming Nie and Arend van der Zande 
 

Professor Shuming Nie and Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande recently were named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list, which internationally recognizes scientists based on their publications and citations in scientific journals.
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The National Science Foundation awarded Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande an Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award for his research on two-dimensional material heterostructures. Read more ...

 
 
Nick Holonyak Jr. 
Nick Holonyak Jr. 
 

Nick Holonyak Jr., the John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and in Physics, was honored by faculty and former students in an October 2018 event at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In honor of Holonyak's 90th birthday, speakers praised him for his impact on the world, as the "father of the LED," as an accomplished and prolific electrical engineer, and as a professor who continues to inspire students, faculty and alumni.
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Rashid Bashir 
Rashid Bashir 
 

College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir has been selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, an honor that recognizes inventors for their innovation and impact. Bashir will be inducted into the NAI in April 2019 in Houston.
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Dale Van Harlingen 
Dale Van Harlingen 
 

Physics Professor Dale Van Harlingen is a member of a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team that won a Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers grant from the National Science Foundation. The project will focus on quantum mechanics to influence sending, computing, modeling and communications technologies.
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Can Bayram 
Can Bayram 
 

Assistant Professor Can Bayram recently earned the Young Scientist Prize in Optics from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Bayram is the first UI recipient of this award, and the recognition is for his work with graphene and photonic devices.
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Left to right: Rashid Bashir, Yurii Vlasov, and Jonathan Sweedler. 
Left to right: Rashid Bashir, Yurii Vlasov, and Jonathan Sweedler. 
 

The National Institutes of Health awarded $3 million to a research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to work on new technology for monitoring brain chemistry. The work is expected to have implications for developing a better understanding of the brain and help advance treatments for brain diseases. Leading the team are MNTL researchers Founder Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Yurii Vlasov, James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair in Chemistry and School of Chemical Sciences Director Jonathan Sweedler, and College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir.
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Taher Saif 
Taher Saif 
 

Faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently won a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue a "bio-hybrid soft architectures" project. The research team, which integrates living matter with artificial elements to create bio-robots, includes Taher Saif, Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor in Mechanical Science and Engineering.
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Songbin Gong 
Songbin Gong 
 

Songbin Gong has earned a 2019 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gong, an assistant professor and Intel Alumni Fellow in Electrical and Computer Engineering, will be recognized for his contributions to research in electromagnetics and optics at the College's annual spring awards ceremony.
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RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS
 
 
 
Paul Braun 
Paul Braun 
 

A multi-national team of researchers recently described their development of "metallic wood," a nickel-based material that is stronger yet lighter than titanium, with porous wood-like qualities. The research team, which includes Paul Braun, the Ivan Racheff Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, published the work in Nature's Scientific Reports in January 2019.
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From left: College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir, graduate students Clare Ko and Gelson Pagan-Diaz, and professors Marni Boppart and Hyunjoon Kong. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer. 
From left: College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir, graduate students Clare Ko and Gelson Pagan-Diaz, and professors Marni Boppart and Hyunjoon Kong. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer. 
 

Scientists from several disciplines at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that, when muscle fibers are grown on grooved surfaces, nerves integrate with them more efficiently. The work was published in January 2019 in Advanced Science and has potential applications for use in drug screening and tissue regeneration.
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Nanoelectric devices made from atomically thin materials on a silicon chip. Photo courtesy of the UI Materials Research Laboratory. 
Nanoelectric devices made from atomically thin materials on a silicon chip. Photo courtesy of the UI Materials Research Laboratory. 
 

A new etching technique for creating nanoscale devices is the development of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers, including Arend van der Zande, assistant professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering. The work was published in Physics News and in Science Daily in November 2018.
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Left to right: John Dallesasse and Mark J. McCollum 
Left to right: John Dallesasse and Mark J. McCollum 
 

John Dallesasse, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mark J. McCollum, principal research engineer at MNTL, are part of a group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign building a wireless and scalable sensory infrastructure to help scientists better understand the conditions under which their experiments succeed or fail. The National Science Foundation-funded project runs for two years.
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Andrew Smith 
Andrew Smith 
 

A new type of probe, developed by a research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., uses quantum dots instead of fluorescent dyes to count and analyze cells. Andrew Smith, associate professor in Bioengineering, is a principal investigator on the cancer-related work, which was funded by the Mayo-Illinois Alliance, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.
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Hyunjoon Kong 
Hyunjoon Kong 
 

Hyunjoon Kong and his research team have developed a way to use microbubbles to clean away dangerous infection-causing biofilms that can be present inside medical tubes, devices and implants. Kong, a professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the team used a system based on natural properties and micro-level basic mechanics. The work was published in the American Chemical Society's journal, Applied Materials and Interfaces.
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