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Chu, Selvamanickam Honored at Superconductivity Conference

August 08, 2014
Chu, Selvamanickam Honored at Superconductivity Conference

Two of the University of Houston’s leading superconductivity researchers will be honored this month at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Paul C.W. Chu, TLL Temple Chair of Science, founding director and chief scientist of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, will receive the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Council on Superconductivity Max Swerdlow Award for Sustained Service to the Applied Superconductivity Community.

Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair professor of mechanical engineering, professor of physics and director of the Applied Research Hub at the Texas Center for Superconductivity, will receive the inaugural IEEE Dr. James Wong Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductor Materials Technology.

The awards will be presented during the opening session of the conference, which begins Aug. 11. The Swerdlow award, named for the late Max Swerdlow, longtime program manager for superconductivity for the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), recognizes sustained leadership and exceptional service to the applied superconductivity community.

Chu said the fact that the award is connected to Swerdlow and the office he managed for so long makes the honor distinctive.

“The honor is special for me, not because of my contribution but more because of Swerdlow and AFOSR,” he said. “It was funding from Max Swerdlow and AFOSR to my advisor, Bernd Matthias, that supported my graduate work in the ’60s, and it is the partial funding from AFOSR that allows me to explore my imagination today.”

The Swerdlow award requires honorees to have had a lasting influence on the advancement of superconducting technology either through exceptional service to and leadership within the community, the formation and promotion of major programs in applied superconductivity or through leadership and management roles in major research organizations.

Chu is credited with meeting all three criteria. He led a research team in 1987 that discovered a compound that acted as a superconductor at a temperature above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen; he still holds the record for high temperature superconductivity.

This is the first year for the James Wong award, which recognizes a living individual for technical contributions to the field of applied superconductor materials technology, based on innovative concepts and theories, and the impact of the recipient’s contributions on the field.

Wong, founder of Supercon Inc., was honored by the IEEE Council on Superconductivity in 2011 for his work in producing commercial grade superconducting cables and conductors.

Selvamanickam co-founded SuperPower, which produces high temperature superconducting electrical wire, in 2000; there he led the development of technologies to convert a brittle ceramic superconductor into a flexible wire that has 300 times the current-carrying capacity of a comparably-sized copper wire. He led the organization to multiple world records for the highest performance wire over several length scales, the longest thin film superconductor wire made, first to pilot manufacturing and commercialization.

He brought the research division of SuperPower with him when he was hired by UH in 2008. At UH, his team has recently tripled the performance of the superconducting wires in a project on superconducting wind generators funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. He also established a pilot-scale superconducting wire manufacturing research facility at the UH Energy Research Energy Park, with support from the state of Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

Selvamanickam said it has been a privilege to spend his career working to develop processing technologies to engineer complex materials into practical forms.

“I am honored to have worked with and continue working with a great group of innovators in the field of superconducting wire technology and to be recognized with this award,” he said.

- Jeannie Kever, University Communication

For more information, read the original news release.

Science diplomacy in Iran

July 01, 2014
Science diplomacy in Iran

Warren E. Pickett, Anthony J. Leggett and Paul C. W. Chu

Iranian scientists are growing increasingly isolated because of political tensions between Iran and the West. We attempt to alleviate this problem through science diplomacy.

For more information, read the original news release.

REEcycle Claims the Gold at DOE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition

June 13, 2014
REEcycle Claims the Gold at DOE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition

CONGRATS to Bauer students who won the triple crown at the DOE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C. REEcycle developed a profitable way to reclaim rare earth elements from magnets in electronics. The company acquires used electronics from recyclers and extracts rare earth elements using a patented technology developed by Prof. Allan Jacobson, TcSUH Director, and Ph.D. student Pradeep Samarasekere.

For more information, read the original news release.

TcSUH News: 1987 Discovery of Superconductor Creates Excitement

June 13, 2014
TcSUH News: 1987 Discovery of Superconductor Creates Excitement

Kudos to Paul Chu! Great article in China Daily 06/13/2014

1987 Discovery of Superconductor Creates Excitement

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2014-06/13/content_17585554.htm

Also on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/ChinaDailyHouston?hc_location=timeline

For more information, read the original news release.

UH Researcher Paul Chu's Achievements Cited in Exhibit

June 02, 2014
UH Researcher Paul Chu's Achievements Cited in Exhibit

Paul Chu, the founder of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is included in an exhibit honoring the contributions made by immigrants from Taiwan and China to the United States.

“It gives visitors a different view of immigrants and tells stories of how immigrants started their journeys in America,” said Roy Yuan-Rong Leu, vice minister of the Overseas Community Affairs Council in Taiwan.

The exhibit, “Immigrants Building America,” opened Sunday, June 1, at the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, 10303 Westoffice Drive. It will remain up through June 14.

Through historical photographs and accounts, the exhibit features the work of early immigrants who arrived from China to fill the need for labor in the gold mines and to build the railroads across the United States, as well as describing the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and subsequent extensions, which restricted Chinese immigration. It wasn’t repealed until 1943.

In addition to Chu, successful immigrants and children of immigrants cited in the exhibit include Rockets star Jeremy Lin, the son of Taiwanese immigrants; former Olympic skater Michelle Kwan, and former Cabinet members Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Paul Chu, who grew up in Taiwan, told the crowd gathered for the exhibit’s Houston opening that he is grateful for the contributions of earlier immigrants and mindful of the discriminatory laws and policies they suffered.

“I had the opportunity to come to this country to seek my dream as a scientist and an educator,” he said.

Chu gained global recognition when he and his colleagues discovered superconductivity at above 77 degrees Kelvin, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. That ushered superconductivity into the modern age, and superconducting materials now are used for energy generation, transmission and storage, as well as in the health field, including magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, among other uses.

Chu served as president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 2000-2009, when he returned to UH, where he continues his research.

For more on the exhibit, see http://virtual.ait.org.tw/en/iba/panoramas.html#scene=/en/iba/scenes/s1

For more information, read the original news release.

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