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Author: Matt McGowan

Grant Supports Development of Nanoparticle Porous Membranes

The University of Arkansas has received a $411,948 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the creation of useful materials and membranes from blends of multiple polymers and dispersed, inorganic nanoparticles. The research could lead to the development of new materials for a variety of applications, including filtration membranes, fuel cells, batteries and biomedical scaffolds for tissue engineering. Paul Millett, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator for the project, is working with Miko Cakmak, professor of polymer engineering at the University of Akron. Their goal is to investigate how the polymers and nanoparticles interact with each...

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Research Center Receives NSF Grant to Study Gallium Nitride

Researchers at the University of Arkansas’ GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems Center (GRAPES) have received a $200,000 grant to study the modeling of gallium nitride devices. Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and executive director of the center, will lead the effort. Researchers at the center work to accelerate the adoption and insertion of power electronics into the electric power grid. Improvements in these devices will ultimately lead to lower costs for consumers and a substantial reduction in harmful carbon emissions. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a hard-compound, mechanically stable semiconductor material that has high heat capacity and thermal...

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New Center Focuses on Vehicle Electrical Systems

Researchers at the University of Arkansas will help lead a new $18.5 million engineering research center to design and develop vehicle electrical systems that are more powerful, efficient and heat-resistant. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems center, or P.O.E.T.S., will focus on improving current thermal and electrical limits in vehicle designs to make cars more fuel efficient and extend the range of electric cars. Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering at U of A, will serve as deputy director of the research center. Andrew Alleyne, professor of mechanical engineering at the University...

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In Field Research, Common Sense is Best Precaution

This summer, assistant professor Benjamin Runkle and his biological and agricultural engineering students are working in eastern Arkansas, where they have set up instruments to measure water use, soil and water chemistry and methane production from a rice field. They are seeking ways to reduce water consumption and reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions. Runkle has submitted several field notes. The field note below is written by Faye Smith, doctoral candidate in environmental dynamics. Faye Smith Although much of the research in the Landscape Flux Group depends on field instruments that continuously acquire data, the data collection requires us to deploy...

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Dateline East Arkansas: Ag Engineer Works Alongside Energy Department to Ensure Quality and Consistency

Benjamin Runkle and his research team are seeking ways to reduce water consumption and carbon emissions in rice fields to make rice production more environmentally sound and economically efficient. Runkle, an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, is working in eastern Arkansas this summer, setting up and monitoring instruments to measure water, soil and water chemistry and methane levels in rice fields. This is the third in a series of his research dispatches from the field. Benjamin Runkle Last week’s field visit contained an extra degree of best scientific practice. Our measurement system that gathers data on carbon...

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