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Department of Energy Funds Four Different Projects Impacting Chemistry and Physics – News

Grants totaling more than $3 million have been awarded to UAB researchers in chemistry and physics by the Department of Energy, signaling continued investment in UAB projects.

Left to right, top to bottom: Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., Sergey Mirov, Ph.D., Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., Cheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D.Four different exchanges within the College of Arts and Sciences to University of Alabama at Birmingham were funded for a cumulative total of more than $3 million by the United States Department of Energy. The grants reflect the continued momentum of research across the college and one of UAB’s projects four pillars of missionresearch, innovation and economic development.

“One of my goals for the college has been to increase our funding through external grants and also to expand the diversity of our funding. Our faculty continues to accomplish both,” said Kecia Thomas, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “These recent Department of Energy awards help expand UAB’s reach beyond the biomedical sciences and demonstrate the broad impact of the liberal arts and sciences. We are so proud of these scientists and hope for the impact their work will have on the world.

Funded faculty and subsequent awards include:

Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, awarded $1,844,998: Burns will develop a one-step process that recycles UNF by recovering most of the uranium and other transuranics from UNF after dissolution in nitric acid.

Sergey Mirov, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Physics, received $335,000: Mirov will develop a medium and long wave infrared laser system. This is a continuation of funding with increased amounts.

Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Professor in the Department of Physics, and Cheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, received $470,250: Vohra and Chen will study the magnetic structures of heavy lanthanides under extreme conditions.

Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., associate dean and professor in the Department of Physics, received $540,000: Vohra will develop and characterize materials for hypersonic applications under extreme conditions. This is a continuation of the previous funding with increased amounts.

“As part of our efforts to diversify the college’s funding portfolio, we are targeting agencies where we do not currently have a strong presence in federal grants and where there are opportunities for growth based on the expertise of our faculty,” Vohra explained, speaking as not just a grant recipient, but an associate dean. “I am pleased to see that our efforts have been successful with the Department of Energy this year, where we have doubled the number of active grants. The involvement of junior faculty in expanding our grant portfolio is strategically important to CAS, and I am particularly excited about the training opportunities provided by these grants for our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who will have potential internship opportunities in DOE National Laboratories and will contribute to overall workforce development for STEM enterprise in our country.

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