The Frank J. Horton Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to U of R students whose research supports the program at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). Nitish has been working with Hussein and myself on a number of high energy density flow problems, and is PI on a pilot experimental campaign on OMEGA-EP to measure viscosity in fused silica. He also recently published a paper on shock-particle interactions on a stiff-gas method to approximate solid-like resistance of compressible particles, since material strength models are difficult to implement in rad-hydro codes. Well-deserved for Nitish. Congrats!
A fond farewell and best wishes to our seniors, Umar, Savannah, and Charles, as they take on the next stage of their careers! Umar and Charles are heading to gainful employment, at Applied Materials and ASML, respectively. Savannah is headed to Boston, starting a PhD in MechE at Boston University. It certainly hasn’t been easy, with so much of their undergraduate experience marked by COVID, but they persevered. Come back and say hello during Mel Weekend sometime, but also send me a postcard to decorate my bulletin board.
Also, a belated congratulations to alumni Caroline Cardinale ’21 at Caltech, who recently won a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!
If you haven’t noticed, I started a Google Maps over on the People page to keep track of where our alumni go. If you have an update, please message me!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Amidst the COVID crisis, we have some good news — Caroline Cardinale ’20, who has been with our lab group for a while, won an Astronaut Scholarship, given to juniors and seniors in STEM who intend to pursue research in higher education. This year, 56 scholarships were awarded nationwide. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was founded by the Mercury 7 astronauts, the very first — a wonderful legacy beyond their already historical contributions. Leo Liu ’19, who is starting his second year as a PhD student at University of Virginia with Dan Quinn, won a Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Ph.D. Fellowship to continue his research on batoid-inspired hydrodynamics. We’re very proud of our current and past students!
We will be receiving a grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to use coherent light sources to probe the dynamic properties of fluids, along with co-PIs Hussein Aluie, Riccardo Betti, and Ryan Rygg. We will be looking for a PhD student to work on this project. If you are interested in using massive lasers to study fundamental physics — who isn’t? — keep an eye for an official posting with desired qualifications.
Our fledgling project with fluid transport in the brain, with relevance to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, was recently funded by the NIH under an R01 award for five years. The project is headed by Maiken Nedergaard at the U of R Medical Center, and is also in collaboration with Doug Kelley and Jack Thomas also of Mechanical Engineering, among others. The project highlights the exciting overlap between the medical sciences and applied mechanics. Check out the article in URMC Newsroom.
A nascent multidisciplinary collaboration between Alice Quillen (Physics), Hesam Askari (Mech. Eng.), Scott Seidman (Biomedical Eng.), and Jessica Shang has been awarded a University Research Award to develop small robots that navigate complex media (sand, slime, mud, etc.) without conventional locomotion methods. The Hydro Lab will investigate the swimming mechanisms of these robots in viscous fluids.