Posted: January 22, 2010

Students are using nanotechnology to pursue advances in clean energy and health care technologies

(Nanowerk News) A trio of high school seniors conducting hands-on nanotechnology research through internships at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany have been selected as semifinalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search ("Intel STS"), the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition.
The three are among just 300 students chosen nationwide to compete for $1.25 million in awards, with 40 finalists scheduled to be announced on January 27.
Arunima Deya Balan, who attends Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, NY, is working with Dr. Ji Ung Lee, CNSE Empire Innovation Professor of Nanoscale Engineering, on clean energy research that utilizes nanotechnology to mimic the optical processes in photosynthesis. Her project targets the development of more effective photovoltaic carbon nanotube diodes by replicating the highly efficient process of converting sunlight into energy.
Ian Michael Schneider, a student at Byram Hills High School in Armonk, NY, is also conducting research in the area of renewable energy. Working with Dr. Harry Efstathiadis, CNSE Associate Professor of Nanongineering, his project is designed to increase the efficiency of thin film solar photovoltaic devices, which have demonstrated significant potential to reduce the cost of manufacturing while providing a clean and sustainable source of energy.
Xiao Rui Guo, who attends the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, is working with Dr. Yubing Xie, CNSE Assistant Professor of Nanobioscience, on the development of bioengineered surfaces for depositing hydrogel microarrays containing biological molecules and cells, which has the potential to significantly reduce the cost and usage of animal models in drug and healthcare product development. His contributions led to recognition as a co-author on an abstract submitted to the Society for Biomaterials' 2010 Annual Meeting & Exposition, to be held April 21 to 24 in Seattle, WA.
Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "It is a distinct pleasure to congratulate the talented students who have been selected for this prestigious honor, which truly recognizes them as among the nation's best and brightest young scientists. Their innovative nanoscale research projects tackle the critical challenges of developing clean energy and improving health care, while showcasing the world-class intellectual and technological resources of the UAlbany NanoCollege, and our steadfast commitment to educating and training the highly skilled scientists and researchers of the 21st century."
The Intel STS encourages talented U.S. high school seniors to pursue independent research in science, math, engineering, and medicine, and provides a national stage to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists. Alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including seven Nobel Prizes and three National Medals of Science.
Source: CNSE