Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nollert Honored with 2014 Teaching Scholars Award

Matthias U. Nollert, associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, was honored with the 2014 Teaching Scholars Award on October 31.

The recognition rewards Nollert for his exemplary dedication to students, teaching, and the scholarship of teaching, and comes with a $1,500 cash award. In addition to his demonstrated excellence in teaching, Nollert also helps others become more effective teachers.

According to Brian Grady, director of CBME, Nollert deserves this award for several reasons: excellent teaching evaluations, engagement with students and his efforts to secure a grant to enhance authentic research experiences for educators.

Grady further noted the largest and most in demand graduate-level elective course, Bioengineering Principles, taught by Nollert. “The high demand for this class is both because of the material covered, but also specifically because of Dr. Nollert’s reputation as a teacher,” Grady said.

Goldwater Scholar and 2013 CBME alumnus, Eddie Shimp recalled “His sense of humor and method of encouraging discussion on topics helped further the understanding of the material in a way that simply lecturing from a book or a PowerPoint slide could not.” Shimp is a product development engineer for Immuno-Mycologics, Inc. in Norman and adjuncts at Oklahoma City Community College where Nollert’s influence continues to be felt. “I could not be the teacher I am without having been his student,” said Shimp.

Nollert has been investing in students at OU for more than 16 years. Learn more.

Members of the Teaching Scholars Initiative committee accept and review nominations of qualified College of Engineering faculty members.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daniel Resasco Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Daniel E. Resasco
Two University of Oklahoma professors—Daniel E. Resasco and Paul H. Weigel—have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, a professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

“Dr. Resasco and Dr. Weigel deserve this high honor, which brings great credit to the entire university,” said OU President David L. Boren.

Resasco, professor of chemical engineering in the OU College of Engineering, has been recognized multiple times by his peers and international organizations for his innovative contributions to the body of knowledge in the areas of chemical engineering.  Chiefly noted as the inventor of a method for producing single-walled carbon nanotubes from catalysts at lower cost and in great quantity, his research focuses on industrial processes in both molecular design of fuels with improved properties and synthesis of nanostructured materials based on single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Resasco is a founder of SouthWest NanoTechnologies, a company recognized as a leader in producing high-quality single-walled carbon nanotubes, and inventor of their core technology, their patented production method.  He holds 60 patents issued in 14 countries, demonstrating his inventive proficiency.  Resasco has demonstrated innovation in his teaching, research and commercialization efforts and has been a role model to faculty for combining academic pursuits with societal impact.

Paul H. Weigel, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the OU Health Sciences Center, has made significant contributions to the understanding of glycosaminoglycans, such as hyaluronic acid, how they function normally in the body and how they are involved in diseases.  Weigel is a leader in promoting entrepreneurship as well as collaboration between academia and the biotechnology industry.  His research program has led to 27 issued U.S. patents and 39 foreign patents.
He has been awarded over $11 million in research grants, many of which directly contributed to the commercialization of his basic research, including four Oklahoma Applied Research Support grants.

Weigel is noted internationally for his contributions to the field of synthetic hyaluronan production.  He serves as co-founder, co-chief scientist and director for Hyalose, LLC, a company formed in 2000 around his research and commercializations efforts, which was funded by the Austin-based investment firm Emergent Technologies.  Hyalose uses recombinant technology for the production of hyaluronic acid, which was previously produced by extraction from animal by-products or bacteria and required rigorous purification prior to use.  Recombinant technology developed by Weigel with Hyalose reduces the risk of unwanted contaminants and enables hyaluronan production of defined polymer length and content for use in biomaterials, drugs and reagents as well as medical device coatings.  Hyalose has successfully partnered with a global pharmaceutical company for the commercialization of this technology.

Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors will be inducted by the Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the Fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 20, 2015, to be held at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.  Fellows and their institutions are listed on a plaque on permanent display at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  Weigel and Resasco will join 2013 OU Fellows Paul DeAngelis and Jeff Harwell in this distinguished honor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lambeth Named Outstanding Senior Engineering Student

Andrew Lambeth of Oklahoma City, a senior chemical engineering major at the University of Oklahoma, was named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Senior. Lambeth and 18 other students chosen from other OU undergraduate colleges received this special recognition at a November ceremony and during halftime at the OU vs. Iowa State football game.

Lambeth visited OU’s College of Engineering during his junior year in high school as part of the Junior Engineering Technical Society program. He visited several universities, but none felt quite as right as OU.

While he said his original intent was to become a doctor, after immersing himself in the degree’s coursework and industry experience during a co-op, he now plans to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry.

“Andrew is a leader in every sense of the word,” said Brian Grady, director of the OU School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. “He is one of those people that make everyone around him feel very comfortable and valued. I certainly expect great things from him as he leaves OU and goes out into the ‘real’ world!”

After graduation in May, Lambeth will move to the Los Angeles area, where he will work as a summer intern for Valero before returning to Norman in the fall to pursue his master’s degree in engineering.

The Outstanding Senior Awards, presented by Sooner Parents, recognizes and celebrates achievement in the areas of scholarship, honors, awards, leadership and service to the university and community.

Monday, December 8, 2014

OU Professor, Inventor Reaches Major Milestone in the Development of Interband Cascade Lasers

A team led by the University of Oklahoma professor who invented the interband cascade laser has reached a major milestone in the development of interband cascade lasers by creating a robust technology that operates at room temperature and works continuously—an important component for building practical systems.

Rui Q. Yang, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the OU College of Engineering, proposed the concept for interband cascade lasers 20 years ago.  He continues to perfect the technology for use in multiple applications, such as detecting pipeline leaks, finding new oil and gas wells and in the NASA Mars rover Curiosity.

At OU, Yang’s research group collaborates with Professors Matthew B. Johnson and Michael B. Santos and their research groups in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.  This latest development of room-temperature and continuous wave interband cascade lasers was a result of their collaboration with J. Gupta and colleagues at the National Research Council in Canada.

“Like a waterfall that cascades from level to level gaining energy with each step, interband cascade lasers are energy-efficient mid-infrared semiconductor laser sources for sensing chemicals in a number of applications,” says Yang.  “The latest continuous wave interband cascade laser operates at room temperature yielding a more efficient product.”

Though small, the mid-infrared laser market is growing four times faster than the laser market as a whole, according to market analyst Strategies Unlimited.  Yang owns four patents on interband cascade lasers and related devices with interest in assisting the technology transfer and commercialization of these semiconductor device components.
Before joining the OU College of Engineering in 2007, Yang worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.  He led the research and development of an interband cascade laser used to support missions to Mars.  Yang continues to collaborate with NASA, Sandia National Laboratory and others on his research.

The National Science Foundation Small Business Technology Transfer Program supports OU research on interband cascade lasers and related optoelectronic devices.  For more information, contact Rui Q. Yang at rui.q.yang@ou.edu or visit the Quantum Device Laboratory at http://qdl.ou.edu/.