Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Professor Robert Johnson and his team simulate Pluto's upper atmosphere

This July, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will probe the Pluto system. Modeling and simulation work done by Professor Bob Johnson and his team show promising data revealing that nitrogen in the atmosphere from the cold and distant dwarf planet Pluto could be flowing over to its moon Charon, which would be the first known example of a such an event.
img: Nasa 
 The group's findings temper past doubts about Pluto and its moons potentially sharing an atmosphere.

From New Scientist:

  "It's thought to happen all the time in astronomy, such as in the case of binary stars or explanets located close to their stars,"  says Johnson. "Calculations and computer models are one thing. But here we have a spacecraft that's going to fly by and directly test our simulations, which is quite exciting."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

UVA ECS Student Chapter Ranked #1

With 32 students, the University of Virginia student chapter of the Electrochemical Society ranked number one as the ECS student chapter with the largest presence according to May press posting.  Founded in 1902, the Electrochemical Society is the largest international organization promoting  electrochemical and solid state science and technology. With over 8,000 members in 70 nations, ECS promotes the field of electrochemistry and solid-state science through meetings, journal publications, scholarship, and training.

The UVA student executive committee is:

Mary Lyn Lim (MSE), Co-Chair
Jay Shrinavsen (MSE), Co-Chair
Noelle Easter Co (MSE)
Rob Golden (MSE)
Scott Lee (CHEM)
Gilbert Liu (MSE)

Micheal Nguyen (CHEM)
James Robinson (CHEM-E)
Lok-kun Tsui (MSE)

Giovanni Zangari is the ECS faculty adviser

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MSE-ES Jill Fergusson represents UVA NExT at White House Forum

On May 20 at the White House Forum on Small Business Challenges to Commercializing Nanotechnology, Jill Ferguson (ES' 17) spoke before members of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and members of the National Economic Council, along with business leaders and representatives of academia.

Jill Ferguson of UVA NExT speaking at the White House
According to White House press release, the  forum recognizes nanotechnology as a important emerging growth sector:
In recognition of the importance of nanotechnology R&D, representatives from companies, government agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profits are announcing a series of new and expanded public and private initiatives that complement the Administration’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization of nanotechnology and expand the nanotechnology workforce
Jill attended representing, NExT, the Nano and Emerging Technologies Club) of UVA during the lightening round of talks. Jill Ferguson is pursuing an Engineering Science degree with a concentration in Material Science Engineering and Nanotechnology and an Engineering Business minor. Jill's notable active roles in academia and  in the science and technology community, coupled with events like her participation in the forum, aide in answering the President Obama's call for all sectors of the nanotechnology community to come together as pillars and to continue to build and enforce nano-science and nanotechnologies.  

NExT provides students of diverse backgrounds a forum of which to learn, develop and grow in the dynamic and ever evolving cutting edge research and technologies field by spreading tech news, hosting seminar series, leading NASA lab tours, and working to create student alumni relationships. Started in Spring 2009, NExT was formed by UVa undergraduate Matthew Smith. Jill's recent participation in the White House Forum embodies the NExT club's vision:
NExT is devoted to raising awareness of current research and potential applications of nano and emerging technologies, building an interdisciplinary community of students interested in technologies of the future, facilitating interaction with faculty and industry, and promoting science and engineering innovation