Monday, June 22, 2015

MSE mourns the loss of professor Raúl Baragiola

The Materials Science and Engineering Department was saddened to learn that Raul Baragiola, the Alice and Guy Wilson Professor of Engineering Physics and Materials Science, died Sunday June 21, 2015.

Professor Baragiola joined the University of Virginia in 1990 following positions at Rutgers University, the Bariloche Atomic Center in Argentina, and as CEO of his own computer and software engineering company.  Founder and Director of U.Va.'s Laboratory for Atomic and Surface Physics, Baragiola was a member of NASA's Cassini Mission team.

His research interests spanned astrophysics/astrochemistry,  atomic physics, solid state physics, and space sciences, atomic collisions in gases and solids, sputtering, electron and photon emission from surfaces, Auger processes, surface physics, physics of ice, plasmon excitations, dielectric breakdown and decomposition of insulators, ion beams and ion implantation, physical-chemistry of surfaces of planetary bodies and interstellar grains, and instrumentation for space research. 

Baragiola offered in one interview that he was "someone who is always looking for questions. For me, the most fascinating stage is the very first, when an idea begins to take shape, when the elements of a problem are first discovered." In his 2014 bio sketch by Eduardo Montes-Bradley, Professor Baragoila elaborated "that he liked to explain things that have not been explained before... the passion that I get if from solving mistakes."

Baragiola was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow and Chartered Physicist of the Institute of Physics (London), and an Honorary Member of the Bömische Physical Society, Professor Baragiola, held two Argentina National Physics Prizes, and a NASA achievement award, as well as an ICACS Lifetime achievement award.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Wadley Lab Wins Major Equipment Award

The Wadley Lab group received notification of DOD approval to construct a $800,000 high temperature, high water vapor pressure laser gradient test facility as part of the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.  The new instrumentation will enable the University of Virginia researchers to recreate the thermal, environmental and mechanical loading conditions within future ceramic gas turbine engines.

According to DOD press release, the highly competitive program  received over 695 proposals for support from a wide range of advanced engineering areas:

"The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program supports state of the art equipment that augments current university capabilities or develops new capabilities to perform cutting edge defense research and associated graduate student research training....    This includes research that underpins advances in materials, structures, and manufacturing science; quantum and nanosciences; computing and networks; electronics, electromagnetics, electro optics; acoustics; neuroscience; fluid dynamics; robotics and autonomous systems; and ocean, environmental, and life sciences and engineering."