posted on March 21, 2014

Each year, the University of Minnesota recognizes faculty members for outstanding contributions to postbaccalaureate, graduate, and/or professional education with the Graduate and Professional Teaching Award. The award criteria are: excellence in instruction; involvement in students’ research, scholarship, and professional development; development of instructional programs; and advising and mentoring of students.

Professor Marc Hillmyer (Chemistry) is one of the recipients of the 2014 Graduate and Professional Teaching Award. He is recognized for outstanding achievements to graduate education in chemistry and polymer science. Professor Hillmyer and his research group use MSI for computational calculations that complement their experimental work. More information about this research, including a link to publications by the group, can be found on the Hillmyer group abstract page.

More information about this award, including citations for all this year’s awardees, can be found on the Scholars Walk website.

posted on March 18, 2014

Professor Clement Pryke, an MSI Principal Investigator in the School of Physics and Astronomy, is one of the co-leaders of the team that made headlines around the world yesterday with their announcement that they have discovered evidence of the period immediately after the Big Bang. Professor Pryke is a member of the BICEP2 Collaboration, a group that uses the BICEP2 telescope, in Antarctica, to study the cosmic microwave background. Other team leaders include researchers from Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, and Stanford University.

Professor Pryke uses MSI resources to support the massive computational effort necessary to analyze data from the BICEP2 and Keck-Array telescopes.

Some of the many stories about the BICEP2 results can be found on the University News Service website, the University’s Discover website, the Minnesota Public Radio website, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

posted on March 10, 2014

The Minnesota Daily recently ran an article about research being performed in the Sudan Underground Mine, an old iron-ore mine in northern Minnesota. Pools of water in the mine contain microorganisms that are being studied by University of Minnesota researchers, including MSI PIs Professor Robert Blanchette (Plant Pathology), Associate Professor Jeffrey Gralnick (BioTechnology Institute), and Dr. Christine Salomon (Center for Drug Design). The article can be found on the Minnesota Daily website.

Professor Blanchette is using MSI to study a fungus that is killing conifers in northern temperate regions; Professor Gralnick is performing genetics research using next-generation sequencing; and Dr. Salomon uses MSI resources to support investigations into bioactive natural products.

posted on March 7, 2014

Long-time MSI Principal Investigator Joachim Heberlein, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering, passed away on February 17, 2014. Professor Heberlein had been an MSI Principal Investigator for over two decades. His research group at MSI studied factors contributing to dielectric breakdown in low-voltage circuit breakers post current-zero. The group was developing a model that would deal with a number of factors contributing to dielectric breakdown; the model is designed to fit seamlessly into a larger CFD model demonstrating 3D circuit breaker geometries.

More information can be found on the College of Science and Engineering website. The staff at MSI extend their deepest condolences to Professor Heberlein’s family, friends, and colleagues.

posted on March 7, 2014

Long-time MSI Principal Investigator and Fellow Professor David Thomas (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) has been elected to the Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research. This is the highest honor given to faculty by AHC.

Professor Thomas has used MSI resources for over two decades. He and his research group, the Minnesota Muscle Laboratory, specialize in muscle processes. They use MSI for computational simulations that connect models with experimental results. A member of the lab, Dr. Bengt Svensson, was recently profiled in a Research Spotlight on the MSI website.