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University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering faculty members are leading or contributing to five multidisciplinary research projects that are part of the sixth round of the UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative.

Jason Kawasaki, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is the principal investigator for a project that will result in the acquisition of a cryogen-free magnetransport system, which will be housed as a shared-user facility instrument within the Wisconsin Centers for Nanotechnology in the College of Engineering. The instrument, which allows researchers to measure electronic, magnetic and thermal properties of quantum materials at low temperatures, will be open to all UW-Madison users.

 Vicki Bier
Vicki Bier

Jerry Hunter, the director of the Wisconsin Centers for Nanotechnology, is co-principal investigator for the project, which also includes seven other engineering faculty from three departments as co-investigators: Paul Voyles (Beckwith-Bascom Professor of materials science and engineering), Thomas Kuech (Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker and Beckwith-Bascom Professor of chemical and biological engineering), Daniel Rhodes (assistant professor of materials science and engineering), Chang-Beom Eom (Raymond R. Holton Chair for Engineering and Theodore H. Geballe Professor of materials science and engineering), Paul Evans (professor of materials science and engineering), Michael Arnold (professor of materials science and engineering), Dakotah Thompson (assistant professor of mechanical engineering).

Vicki Bier, a professor of industrial and systems engineering, is leading a project that seeks to address limitations in machine learning and explores the differences in how humans and machines to learn. Paul Kantor, an honorary associate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, is a co-principal investigator on the effort.

 William Murphy
William Murphy

William Murphy, Harvey D. Spangler Professor of biomedical engineering and H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellow, is co-principal investigator for a project aimed at preserving biodiversity by “biobanking” genetic material and exploring inter-species somatic cell nuclear transfer-mediate cloning.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Philip Dunham Reed Professor Susan Hagness and Assistant Professor Kangwook Lee and Voyles are co-principal investigators for a project that seeks to engineer practical quantum information systems. Professor of Physics Robert McDermott is principal investigator, while Professor of Physics Mark Eriksson is also a co-principal investigator. Both are affiliates of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Pavana Prabhakar and Hiroki Sone, both assistant professors of civil and environmental engineering, are co-investigators for a project to develop the capability to perform scanning electron microscopy of water and carbon dioxide ice in the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience, focusing on electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis for ice microstructure and Raman spectroscopy for ice composition.

The effort, which also includes Lucas Zoet, an assistant professor of geoscience and an affiliate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Geological Engineering Program, would result in UW-Madison housing the only lab in the United States offering combined ice EBSD analysis and ice Raman analysis.

The goal of UW2020 is to stimulate and support cutting-edge, highly innovative and groundbreaking research at UW–Madison and to support acquisition of shared instruments or equipment that will foster significant advances in research. Since the first round of UW2020 projects in 2016, 95 research efforts have received funding.