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Sunday , October 21 2018
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Tag Archives: nsf grant

UTEP Team Earns NSF Grant for Electromagnetics and Photonics Research

The EM Lab, a group of UTEP researchers led by Raymond Rumpf, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has secured a new patent for anisotropic metamaterials for electromagnetic compatibility, and a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF grant was awarded for research on photon funnels, which are “nanoscale 3-D lattices that direct the flow of light using a new optical phenomenon recently invented by the EM Lab,” said Noel Pedro Martinez, doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. Rumpf and his EM Lab team are working with Stephen Kuebler, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and his Kuebler Lab.

“In one area, we’ve invented a new electromagnetic phenomenon that lets us change the shape of the electromagnetic fields around devices,” Rumpf said.

The discovery related to the patent allows the researchers to sculpt electromagnetic fields like clay. One of the applications of their invention could be used in cell phones. The team is presently working with cell phone antennae.

Rumpf founded the EM Lab in 2011 and his team has already delivered an array of very significant breakthroughs, including inventing at least two new electromagnetic phenomena.

Rumpf is a pioneer in 3-D printing of high-frequency circuits and electromagnetic devices. His mission at UTEP is to develop revolutionary technologies that are enabled by 3-D printing.

Three other patents are pending related to the work at the EM Lab. Rumpf came to UTEP with 13 patents. The Schellenger Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the EM Lab says the awards are rewarding for the work the team conducts, as many couldn’t believe their discoveries were possible.

“In the beginning, it was just a bunch of insane ideas that people were shaking their heads at,” Rumpf recalled. “Over the years, we’ve managed to prove our concepts to a point where people are convinced and are seeing all of the ways the concepts can be used.”

To learn more about the EM Lab, visit it online.

UTEP Awarded NSF Grant to Study Math, Science Teacher Shortages in Texas

David Knight, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UTEP College of Education, has received a $499,875 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study teacher preparation programs and teacher labor markets in Texas during the last 20 years.

Knight, associate director of UTEP’s Center for Education Research and Policy Studies (CERPS), will lead the interdisciplinary project with co-principal investigators Sara Grineski, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts; and Tom Fullerton, Ph.D., professor of economics and finance in the College of Business Administration.

The project, titled “Building Capacity for Interdisciplinary Analysis of Longitudinal Data for Education Policy Research: Understanding Science and Math Teacher Labor Market Pipelines,” will examine longitudinal data of Texas teachers in the educator career pipeline over a period of 20 years.  This will include studying the qualifications and racial diversity of teacher preparation program graduates, their initial job placements, and the job characteristics and salaries of teachers who leave the profession to work in the private sector.

The data also will be used to determine whether regions in Texas are producing enough math and science teachers to meet the demand. Researchers will analyze the factors leading to math and science teacher attrition, including wage opportunities in external labor markets. The study also will explore whether historically underserved students have equitable access to high-quality math and science teachers.

“This project spans boundaries between K-12 and higher education that academic and practitioner communities increasingly see as artificial divides,” Knight said. “Teacher candidates who enter preparation programs are recent graduates from the K-12 system. When they re-enter that system as licensed educators, they prepare the next generation of teachers. The study will inform policies around teacher preparation, hiring and retention. Through this work, our long-term goal is to identify policies that improve educational opportunities for students in our local region and nationally.”

This is the second NSF grant Knight has been awarded this year.

The study is part of CERPS’ efforts to build capacity for data-intensive research in education policy in the College of Education.