Four faculty members from The University of Tulsa’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences recently received a $461,162 research grant from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation program. The grant allows the principal investigator, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Javen Weston, and his team of co-investigators to purchase a high-pressure, high-temperature small angle X-ray scattering instrument. Weston’s team includes Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Nagu Daraboina, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Erin Iski and Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Gabriel LeBlanc.
This device will enable the study of all types of nanoscale materials, from solar cells to pharmaceuticals and wax crystals in oil pipelines to consumer products like the shampoo you use every morning. It will be useful for research in an array of areas, including sustainable plastics, biomedical technology and the distribution of oil through pipelines.
Twenty-one researchers from TU, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas provided letters of support for the NSF grant and have plans to use the device for experiments. It will be the only one of its kind in Oklahoma, making TU a hub for regional nanoscale research. The instrument is expected to arrive and be installed in 2023.
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