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Faculty Earn Grants for Scientific Research



Materials Science Fellow

Materials science and chemical engineer- ing professor Edward Kramer earned fellow- ship into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences last week for his work analyzing the properties and biological processes of binding block copolymer molecules.

Kramer is one of 29 UCSB faculty mem- bers admitted into the academy, which includes over 200 Nobel Laureates and 100 Pulitzer Prize winners from various fields, such as journalism, global security and science and technology policy. Kramer has performed research on hydrogen bonds of polymers, microscopic imaging methods, X-ray scatter- ing and other work within chemical engineer- ing and materials science.

AAAS, founded in 1780, includes a wide range of scholars and professionals including Grammy, Oscar and Emmy winners, National Medal of Science recipients and other aca- demic honorees to provide a multidisciplinary approach for the center’s public policy research focus.

Sloan Research

UCSB assistant professor of chemical engineering M. Scott Shell recently received a Sloan Research Fellowship for his work exploring the formation of nanomaterials

through computer simulations. Shell is one of 126 researchers across North

America to receive the grant and one of 15 UCSB faculty members selected in the last eight years. The fellowship includes a $50,000 contribution for the recipient to continue pur- suing a particular research question for two years.

Shell said the study involves understanding how biological structures are formed at the molecular level.

The research could significantly improve electrode and battery performance, as well as help manufacture microscopic wires, accord- ing to Shell.

“As engineers, we’re kind of always trying to figure out how to make things smaller, functional devices that are shrinking down to the scale of just atoms and molecules,” Shell said. “So the interesting thing is, biology, for a long time, has figured out how to solve this problem — how to make very small, func- tional machines and devices.”

Experimental Visualization Lab

UCSB’s Experimental Visualization Lab received grants totaling $224,000 from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and the National Science Foundation to support tech- nology-related arts and engineering programs.

According to a UCSB Office of Public

Affairs press release, EVL — part of the Media and Arts Technology graduate pro- gram — integrates the arts and engineering for “research in visual and spatial data visualiza- tion and optical-computational processes.”

The National Science Foundation’s $124,000 grant will support EVL’s exper- imental research on the analysis of com- plex images, while the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation’s $100,000 contribution will ben- efit EVL’s research and maintenance on the campus Allosphere.

Interactive media professor George Legrady, co-principal investigator of the NSF’s Interactive Digital Media Program, said fund- ing will provide campus researchers with a variety of new opportunities and continued access to required resources.

“In [data visualization and computational photography], engineers develop the compu- tational and physics fundamentals, whereas the visual experts bring methodologies from aesthetics and cultural analysis to study the communication potentials and operations at the reception level,” Legrady said in the press release. “Experiments through imple- mentation and software/hardware prototype design may potentially contribute feedback to advance engineering and lead to innovation in the arts.”

— Staff Report

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