People, papers and presentations for Oct. 11, 2021

people, papers, presentations

Kelly Jo Neubauer, a graduate student in the lab of Rice physicist Pengcheng Dai, is one of 65 U.S. students selected by the Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program. The program will allow her to pursue part of her thesis research, which uses neutron scattering to study the interplay of magnetism and topological electronic phenomena, through a residency at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Lisa Basgall, director of Rice Emergency Medical Services and a lecturer in kinesiology, has been appointed to the National EMS Advisory Council by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Basgall is one of 15 new members and will join 10 returning members to provide advice and recommendations regarding EMS to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS. Each member serves a two-year term, and may serve up to two terms.

Rice researchers and materials scientists Muhammad Rahman and Pulickel Ajayan won the “Sustainable Technologies/Future Energy” category in the 2021 Tech Briefs Create the Future competition with their multifunctional bionanocomposite fruit coatings project, which uses proteins from surplus eggs in a compound that preserves fresh produce. The team on the project, covered with a story and video in Rice News in 2020, included alumnae Sylvia Jung and Nancy Cui and graduate student Neethu Pottackal.

Rice researchers led by bioscientist Caroline Ajo-Franklin have published a review of bottom-up approaches to the engineering of living materials in the Cell Press journal Matter. The review co-authored by Rice postdoctoral researcher Sara Molinari and graduate student Robert Tesoriero Jr. discusses challenges and directions in the development of materials inspired by nature that self-synthesize, sense and respond to the environment. Enabled by fundamental discoveries, the discipline aims to create materials containing living cells that self-heal and respond to their surroundings. They could be designed for such applications as environmental bioremediation, biosensing and elemental extraction and as therapeutics.

Amanda Perkins-Ball, an assistant teaching professor of kinesiology, presented a panel this month at the 2021 Association for Applied Sport Psychology conference, held virtually. Perkins-Ball spoke about anti-racism work in teaching, research and consulting in sport and performance psychology.

Kaden Hazzard, an associate professor of physics and astronomy, has published an article in APS Physics Viewpoint titled “Photons Get Slippery,” describing a paper that demonstrates a “synthetic dimension” that allows pulses of light to interact and behave collectively as a superfluid. He wrote the discovery enables a tunable platform to explore “the interplay between many-body interactions, topology and dissipation — features central to many fields of physics.”