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NSU Research Contingent Travels To France

Thursday, June 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Hill
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(NSU NEWSROOM--June 26, 2014)--A Norfolk State University professor and a team of doctoral students will travel to France next week to present research and explore potential collaborations with science and engineering research groups in Europe.

The group of Norfolk State students will travel to French cities such as Paris, Gardanne, and de Saint Étienne from July 2-18. The NSU contingent, led by Dr. Suely Black, an NSU chemistry professor, will visit laboratories, research centers, and energy commission facilities among other related activities.

“It’s really about preparing students to work in interdisciplinary fields, and in a globalized society,” Black said.

Black, who works in the NSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said the trip is a part of a five-year, $3.3 million grant, from the Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training in Magnetic and Nanostructured Materials. (IGERT-MNM) The grant supports the development of graduate training programs.

NSU, which is in the fourth-year of the grant, is the principal investigator of the project in collaboration with professors and students from Purdue and Cornell universities. Students from those institutions will also participate in the trip.

Some of the locations where the students will visit include Cadarache, a French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission research center where they are expected to meet with scientists exploring fusion energy. The students will also visit facilities where they will learn about nanostructure fabrication for biomedical applications, 3-D cell culture and micro nanotechnologies.

The Norfolk State contingent will include Black and Ph.D. students Vanessa Peters, Thejaswi Tumkur and Quincy Williams, who will present research about metamaterials and plasmonics. Black said the main purpose for the trip is for the doctoral candidates to establish research connections overseas and to explore avenues where they can develop international partnerships.

The professor said students learn through four modules of training as part of the IGERT-MNM program. They include the development of interdisciplinary research ideas, writing research proposals, how to communicate and educate the public about their science and ethics associated with science and intellectual property.

The students who will visit France are exploring the interdisciplinary discipline of materials science and engineering, applying knowledge from chemistry, engineering and physics.

“The goal is to get all of this science integrated to achieve greater goals,” Black said.

The doctoral candidates from NSU are excited about the chance to present their research and collaborate with researchers from another country.

Peters, a materials science and engineering doctoral candidate from Virginia Beach, said she looks forward to the program itinerary.

“This will be an exciting trip,” Peters said. “Not only will we have a chance to present our research, but we also will get to explore the history within the country.”

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