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Regents Professor Frank S. Bates and Distinguished McKnight University Professor Chris Leighton, along with Sangwoo Lee, a former post-doctoral fellow and doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, have been awarded a 2014 Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Cozarelli Prize, established in 2005 and named in 2007 to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, recognizes six recently published PNAS papers of outstanding scientific excellence and originality each year. Papers selected were chosen from more than 3,500 research articles that appeared in the journal last year.

Their research, “Sphericity and symmetry breaking in the formation of Frank-Kasper phases from one component materials,” deals with the structures that form when long chain molecules known as block polymers assemble into nearly spherical nanoscale particles that organize into a variety of three-dimensional patterns, typically in highly symmetric ways. The award will be formally recognized at the PNAS Editorial Board Meeting and the National Academy of Sciences Awards Ceremony on April 26, 2015 in Washington DC.

Related: http://discover.umn.edu/news/science-technology/u-m-professors-receive-2014-cozzarelli-prize



Katie Geldart, a chemical engineering graduate student, is among a select group of recipients of the 2015-16 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF) awarded by the University of Minnesota Graduate School. The IDF provides a unique opportunity for outstanding doctoral students conducting interdisciplinary research to benefit from interaction with faculty members at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. Each year, approximately 15 or 20 graduate students across various disciplines at the University of Minnesota are awarded Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships. The award includes a stipend and tuition benefits for the 2015-16 academic year. Geldart is working with Professor Yiannis Kaznessis, a faculty member of CEMS and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine. Geldart's research involves modifying probiotic bacteria to produce antibiotic molecules inside the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. This is a promising, alternative antibiotic technology.

Related: http://www.grad.umn.edu/projects-priorities-interdisciplinary-initiatives-funding-opportunities/idf-15-16



Post-doctoral associate Hong Chul Moon, Regents Professor Timothy P. Lodge, and C. Daniel Frisbie, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head, recently published pioneering research on "Solution Processable, Electrochromic Ion Gels for Sub-1 V, Flexible Displays on Plastic" in the journal Chemistry of Materials.

Electrochromic devices (ECDs) using electrochromic (EC) materials have been used for numerous applications including car mirrors, smart windows, optical displays, and sensors. But, ECDs are often expensive and rigid in their material properties. With this recent research, the CEMS team has determined that novel electrochromic gels may bypass those limitations, leading to new types of low-cost, flexible color-changing devices and electronic displays.

The research team first treated an ion gel composed of a polystyrene-based block copolymer and an imidazolium compound with ferrocene and methyl viologen, which is redox active. The team then sandwiched the resulting electrochromic material between flexible transparent plastic conductors and showed that applying less than 1 V reversibly switched the device between colorless (oxidized) and colored (reduced) states. The researchers note that the device, which was made via simple solution processing, functioned stably in air for 24 hours.

Written by Mitch Jacoby, Chemical & Engineering News http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i7/Flexible-Electrochromics-Change-Hue.html

Related: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b00026



The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering announced today that it has received $17.8 million in renewed funding over the next six years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The University of Minnesota was one of only 12 universities nationwide, including MIT, Harvard, Princeton and the University of Chicago, chosen to receive NSF funding this year for a materials research center.

The University of Minnesota’s multifaceted Materials Research Science and Engineering Center was established in 1998. The center’s primary mission is to conduct cutting-edge materials and nanotechnology research that enables important areas of future technology, ranging from biomedicine and electronics to security and renewable energy. "This funding from NSF is a vote of confidence that our materials research at the University of Minnesota is important and relevant on a national scale," said Timothy Lodge, director of the University of Minnesota Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. "Other supporting facilities at the University in nanotechnology, characterization, and computation and support from industry gave us an important edge in this very competitive funding process."

Related: http://discover.umn.edu/news/science-technology/university-receives-178-million-nsf-grant-materials-research-science-and



Professor Michael Tsapatsis has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer. Only 67 new members nationwide and 12 foreign associations received the honor this year.

Tsapatsis received the honor for design and synthesis of specialized nanomaterials, called zeolites, that are used for selective separation and reaction. His research group’s accomplishments include development of unique molecular sieves and membranes that are used to increase efficiencies in the chemical and petroleum processing industries.

Tsapatsis has been professor at the University of Minnesota since 2003, and he currently holds the Amundson Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He has published more than 200 papers and has been invited to present more than 120 lectures around the world. He is the inventor/co-inventor of six issued patents and six patent applications. Tsapatsis has received numerous awards, including the Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research, a Packard Foundation Fellowship, and National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related: http://discover.umn.edu/news/science-technology/university-minnesota-professor-michael-tsapatsis-elected-national-academy