The UAB Writers’ Series will hold its final event of 2016 with writer, artist and anthropologist Dana Walrath.
Walrath will present a workshop Friday, Oct. 28, at 10:30 a.m. and hold a book reading at 2 p.m. in the UAB Hill Student Center Ballroom A, 1400 University Blvd.
Walrath crosses borders and disciplines with her work. After years of using stories and art to teach medical students at University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, she spent 2012-2013 as a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia, where she completed her first book, “Like Water on Stone,” a verse novel about the Armenian genocide of 1915. Loosely based on the story of her grandmother, “Like Water on Stone” is a Notable Book for a Global Society Award Winner, a Bank Street Best Book of 2015, a Vermont Book Award finalist and more. Her newly released graphic memoir, “Aliceheimer’s” — about life with her mother, Alice, before and during dementia — has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has spoken extensively about the role of comics in healing throughout North America and Eurasia, including two TEDx talks.
Her anthropological work on childbirth, genocide and the end of life has appeared in edited volumes and anthropological journals, and she is a co-author of one of the leading college textbook series in anthropology.
The UAB Writers’ Series is an annual offering of the Creative Writing program. Nationally recognized authors are invited to UAB to give readings and participate in Q&A sessions. Readings are free and open to the public.
The UAB Writers’ Series will pick up again March 27, 2017, with author Ralph Eubanks. For more information and a complete lineup of authors, click here.
Author Dana Walrath will present a workshop and book reading Oct. 28 at UAB’s Hill Student Center.
Isabella Mak of Dothan and Eli Ussery of Columbus, Georgia, have been named Mr. and Ms. UAB, and Lakshmi Subramani of Madison and Daniel Alejandro Mendoza of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, were named first alternates.Mr. UAB, Eli Ussery, and Ms. UAB, Isabella MakIsabella Mak of Dothan and Eli Ussery of Columbus, Georgia, have been named Mr. and Ms. UAB, a scholarship competition presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s National Alumni Society.
Lakshmi Subramani of Madison and Daniel Alejandro Mendoza of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, were named first alternates.
The Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition is one of UAB’s oldest Homecoming traditions. This is the competition’s 35th year. The finalists were presented and the winners were named during halftime of the UAB Green and Gold Football Game held Thursday night as part of Homecoming Week.
The winners of the Mr. and Ms. UAB competition each receive a $2,500 scholarship and serve as ambassadors of UAB in the coming year. The first alternates each receive a $1,000 scholarship. The 10 finalists were selected through two rounds of interviews and a student vote, held during Homecoming Week, Oct. 16-22.
Mak, 20, is a junior in the UAB Honors College Global and Community Leadership Honors Program, majoring in neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is director of the Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, vice president of YouAB Learning and a 2015-2016 resident assistant. She volunteers as a nursing ambassador and tutor at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and is a member of the Alabama Student Advisory Council at American Association of University Women. She is the daughter of ZhiRui Mai.
Ussery, 20, is a junior majoring in industrial distribution in the Collat School of Business and is in the Honors College Personalized Curriculum. He was named Orientation Leader of the Year, is corresponding secretary for Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. He is the son of Brent and Gina Ussery.
Subramani, 20, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in molecular biology and philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is in the Early Medical School Acceptance Program, is an orientation leader and is a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. She is the daughter of Gowri Subramani.
First alternates Daniel Alejandro Mendoza and Lakshmi SubramaniMendoza, 21, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Gates Millennium Scholar recipient and a new member educator for Theta Chi Fraternity. He is the son of Mirna Pineda.
The competition finalists:
- Graham Christopher Dupont, 21, of Springville, son of Christopher and Leslie Dupont, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Destiny Houston, 20, of Hoover, daughter of Dontrell Samuel, is a junior majoring in social work from the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Bobby Ijeoma, 20, of Marietta, Georgia, son of Sonny and Christy Ijeoma, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in chemistry.
- Sandhya Krishna, 20, of Madison, daughter of Shiva Krishna, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in biology.
- Oladele Osisami, 20, of Powder Springs, Georgia, son of Oladele and Ikepo Osisami, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in biology.
- Gina Sherman, 20, of Birmingham, daughter of John and Cathy Sherman, is a junior in the Honors College majoring in biology with a minor in secondary education from the School of Education.
UAB researchers will use pressures greater than those found at the center of the Earth to create as yet unknown new materials.
Yogesh Vohra at the Microfab Lab’s sputter machine, which coats the gem diamond in a layer of tungsten.University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers will use pressures greater than those found at the center of the Earth to potentially create as yet unknown new materials. In the natural world, such immense forces deep underground can turn carbon into diamonds, or volcanic ash into slate.
The ability to produce these pressures depends on tiny nanocrystalline-diamond anvils built in a UAB clean room manufacturing facility. Each anvil head is just half the width of an average human hair. The limits of their pressure have not yet been reached as the first 27 prototypes are being tested.
This nubbin on the flat surface of a gem diamond (top) is a nanocrystalline diamond, half the width of an average human hair. Higher magnification (bottom) shows the granular structure of the nanocrystalline diamond.“We have achieved 75 percent of the pressure found at the center of the Earth, or 264 gigapascals, using lab-grown nanocrystalline-diamond micro-anvil,” said Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., a professor and university scholar of physics in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “But the goal is one terapascal, which is the pressure close to the center of Saturn. We are one-quarter of the way there.”
One terapascal, a scientific measure of pressure, is equal to 147 million pounds per square inch.
One key to high pressure is to make the point of the anvil, where the pressure is applied, very narrow. This magnifies the pressure applied by a piston above the micro-anvil, much like the difference of being stepped on by a spiked high heel rather than a loafer.
A more difficult task is how to make an anvil that is able to survive this ultra-high pressure. The solution for the Vohra team is to grow a nanocrystalline pillar of diamond — 30 micrometers wide and 15 micrometers tall — on the culet of a gem diamond. The culet is the flat surface at the bottom of a gemstone.
“We didn’t know that we could grow nanocrystalline diamonds on a diamond base,” Vohra said. “This has never been done before.”
In the 264-gigapascal pressure test at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, the nanocrystalline diamond showed no sign of deformation. Vohra and colleagues recently reported this result in the American Institute of Physics journal AIP Advances.
“The structure did not collapse when we applied pressure,” Vohra said. “Nanocrystalline diamond has better mechanical properties than gem diamonds. The very small-sized grain structure makes it really tough.”
As more micro-anvils are tested and improved, they will be used to study how transition metals, alloys and rare earth metals behave under extreme conditions. Just as graphitic carbon that is subjected to high pressure and temperature can turn into diamond, some materials squeezed by the micro-anvils may gain novel crystal modifications with enhanced physical and mechanical properties — modifications that are retained when the pressure is released. Such new materials have potential applications in the aerospace, biomedical and nuclear industries.
The micro-anvils are made in a Class 7000 clean room in the UAB Diamond Microfabrication Lab, using maskless lithography and microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition.
Vohra says his research team wants to generate smaller grain sizes in the nanocrystalline diamond, which may make it even stronger; understand how the nanocrystalline diamond is bonded to the gem diamond; and use ion beams to machine the top of the micro-anvil to a hemispherical shape. That shape will mean an even narrower contact point, thus increasing the pressure.
“We didn’t know that we could grow nanocrystalline diamonds on a diamond base; this has never been done before.”
Besides Vohra, authors of the AIP Advances paper, “Nanocrystalline diamond micro-anvil grown on single crystal diamond as a generator of ultra-high pressures,” are Gopi K. Samudrala, Samuel L. Moore, Georgiy M. Tsoi, Paul A. Baker, all of the UAB Department of Physics; and Nenad Velisavljevic, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.
The work was supported by three-year grants from the National Science Foundation, DMR-1608682, and the U.S. Department of Energy, DE-NA0002928, totaling $833,000 for 2016 to 2019, and also by Carnegie DOE Alliance Center graduate training support under grant DE-NA002006.
The test facilities at Argonne National Laboratory are supported by Department of Energy awards and contracts DE-NA0001974, DE-FG02-99ER45775 and DE-AC02-06CH11357.