News

Three MSI PIs in the College of Biological Sciences are leading a new project to develop a bioreactor that can capture CO2 emissions and convert them to formate, a safely storable and transportable liquid that can be used to create other materials.
A project that developed a technology that improves the fuel efficiency of delivery vehicles has won the 2021 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award. MSI PI William Northrop (associate professor, Mechanical Engineering) is the PI of this project, and MSI PI Shashi Shekhar (professor, Computer Science and Engineering) is a co-investigator. The U of M team worked with colleagues from UPS, Workhorse Group, and JKV Engineering.
A recent study by the University of Washington showed a correlation between consumption of sugary drinks and colorectal cancer in young women. MSI PI Emil Lou (associate professor, Medicine; Masonic Cancer Center) was interviewed on tv station KSTP recently about this finding.
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has awarded 2021 Minnesota Futures Grants to two projects. This program offers funding each year to promote research that incorporates new, cross-disciplinary ideas.
In a recent paper published in the journal Nature Physics, three MSI PIs from the School of Physics and Astronomy and their colleagues have published findings about the superconductor niobium diselenide (NbSe2). Researchers from the University of Minnesota led the study team, which also included researchers from several other institutions. The study shows that 2D NbSe2, which is only a few molecules thick, is a more resilient superconductor than thicker sheets of the material.
Five MSI PIs have received awards from the 2021 Research Infrastructure Investment Program. This Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) program is designed to support transdisciplinary research and collaboration across the U of M. OVPR made ten awards this year. Below are the MSI PIs who received awards:
On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Mangi will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on July 7. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on July 7 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. July maintenance will include:
MSI PI George Karypis (professor, Computer Science and Engineering) received the Distinguished Contributions Award during the 2021 Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD). The PAKDD is one of the longest-established and leading conferences in the areas of data mining and knowledge discovery. The award recognizes Professor Karypis’s outstanding contributions to those fields.
A recent story on tv station KARE-11 featured MSI PI Chris Hogan (professor, Mechanical Engineering) talking about how upgrades to building ventilation systems can help inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Upgraded ventilation systems, as well as inexpensive methods such as opening windows and changing filters, can keep the coronavirus from spreading in aerosol drops.
MSI PI Paul Dauenhauer (professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) has been named a finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. This prestigious award is the largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists and engineers. Professor Dauenhauer is one of only 31 finalists nationwide this year. The final awards will be announced in July.
MSI will be upgrading its Panasas storage system to the next-generation Ultra hardware. The 10 Petabytes of new hardware represent a net 5 PB increase in storage capability. MSI’s ceph-based storage, built with HPE hardware, will also be increased by 5 PB. These increased capabilities are necessary as researchers are using larger and larger datasets. A press release from Panasas about this upgrade was released today.
MSI has joined the iRODS Consortium, an international membership-based foundation that leads the development and support of the open-source integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS). iRODS is free data-management software for data virtualization, data discovery, workflow automation, and secure collaboration. MSI plans to use it for the new HIPAA-compliant Blackwell cluster, which will enter production later in 2021. It will also be used to help users manage and share data in second-tier storage.
MSI PIs Paolo Provenzano (associate professor, Biomedical Engineering; Masonic Cancer Center), Beau Webber (assistant professor, Pediatrics; Masonic Cancer Center), and Branden Moriarity (assistant professor, Pediatrics; Masonic Cancer Center) and their colleagues
A new study by MSI PIs Jason Hill (professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) and Stephen Polasky (professor, Applied Economics) and their colleagues describes research showing how agricultural activities contribute to air pollution in the form of fine particulate matter. The study showed that animal production is responsible for 80% of this pollution and discusses how this could be reduced.
The University of Minnesota recently announced new awardees to the McKnight Presidential Fellows Program. Four MSI PIs are included in the 2021 class. The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is a three-year award given to exceptional faculty who have achieved tenure and promotion to associate professor in the past academic year. The MSI PIs on the list are:
An interdisciplinary team of University of Minnesota researchers has developed a website where bicyclists in Minnesota can locate public restrooms and portable toilets. The website, MN Bike and Go, went live in April 2021. The site also allows bicyclists to add additional sites to the map, and to report the facilities’ hours of being open and rate its conditions on a short survey.
MSI PI Amy Kinsley (assistant professor, Veterinary Population Medicine) was recently featured in the Talking With U of M series: Talking Aquatic Invasive Species with the U of M.
A new study co-authored by MSI PI Jason Hill (professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) shows that people of color are disproportionately affected by particulate matter in the atmosphere. This held true even when controlling for which state people lived in, whether they lived in urban or rural areas, and income level.
MSI PI Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources) and graduate student Rachel C. Putnam have been awarded the 2021 W.S. Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America (ESA).
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Mangi will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on May 5. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on May 5 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. Systems status is always available on our Status page.

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