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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Students Present Research during Provostís Student Research Day

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is hosting Provost’s Student Research Day, during which the university’s top students will unveil the results of their research projects at NJIT - projects that could one day lead to breakthroughs in various technological fields.

Some 40 students - graduate and undergraduate – will illustrate the research with poster presentations and discussions on Wednesday, April 13, 2005, in the NJIT Campus Center Atrium. The research presentations will run from 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Each student presenter has been nominated by an NJIT professor, and had his or her research reviewed by an academic screening committee. The students’ research spans a wide array of fields and topics including biomedical and pharmaceutical engineering; telecommunications and signal processing; solar research; and nanoparticles, nanostructures and nanotechnology.

 The event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served. Directions to the campus can be found on the Visiting NJIT page of the university’s website, and free parking is available in the NJIT Parking Deck.  For more information, contact Dana Knox, interim associate provost at 973-596-5287 or by email: dana.e.knox@njit.edu.

 Here is a sample of three student research projects that will be presented during Provost’s Student Research Day.

 Jabeen Reza, of Parsippany, a junior majoring in applied physics at NJIT, is doing research for one of nation’s most prominent scientists: Louis J. Lanzerotti, PhD, a distinguished research professor of physics at NJIT who chairs the panel studying the effectiveness of the Hubble Space Telescope. Reza’s research is focused not on the Hubble but on interpreting data recorded by Ulysses, a satellite which for the last decade has helped scientists better understand the matter between the planets and other components of the solar system. 

An instrument affixed to Ulysses, known as HI-SCALE, records the amounts of electrons and protons it detects in the atmosphere as the satellite courses through the solar system. Reza sorts the data and plots and graphs it in a simple way that a layman can understand. “My research will help increase scientific awareness in the general public,” said Reza, “and foster an interest in learning about a subject that many find unattainable.”

 Sheng Liu, of Harrison, a graduate student majoring in applied physics, is doing research that will one day help infants, children and adults suffering from a disease known commonly as water on the brain. Liu, under the direction of Gordon Thomas, PhD, professor of physics, is designing flexible microcircuits that monitor the fluid pressure inside the brain. For those who have hydrocephalus, such pressure increases uncontrollably, causing pain and sometimes, death.  The flexible circuits, made from thin semiconductor films on plastic, track the pressure on the brain and thus can help doctors better diagnose and understand hydrocephalus.

 Baohua Yue, of Newark, a doctoral student majoring in environmental science,   focuses his research on using so-called supercritical carbon dioxide to form carbon-nanotube polymer composites.

 Carbon nanotubes are molecular-scale nano materials made from carbon atoms connected single-file in a tube. The tubes are closed at either end by hemispherical structures and typically range from tens of micrometers to a few millimeters in length. The tubes hold great promise for future use as semi-conductors.

  “Carbon nanotubes have excellent electric and thermal conductivities and can greatly strengthen the mechanical properties of chemical materials,” said Yue. “These materials, being strong, lightweight, and with special optical and electric properties, are considered as promising materials for the next generation of semi conductors. The nanotubes are also environmentally benign.

 Yue, working with advisers Michael Huang, PhD, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Robert Pfeffer, PhD, distinguished professor of chemical engineering, has applied similar technology to create thin-film polymeric materials on pharmaceutical particles.

“The technology can lead to a new method of reliably and controllably releasing drugs in the human body,” Yue said.   

Working with what is called supercritical carbon dioxide, Yue also developed a new platform for fabricating polymer-based nanocomposite materials. He mixes the ingredients of polymers and nanomaterials with supercritical CO2, which in turn creates a polymerization reaction. And by controlling the reaction and changing the material’s surface chemistry, he produced nanocomposoite materials, which have promising applications in the fields of chemistry, biomedical engineering, and environmental science.  

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.