Department of Energy funds four different projects making impact in fields of chemistry and physics

Grants totaling more than $3 million have been awarded to UAB researchers in Chemistry and Physics by the Department of Energy, signaling continued investment in UAB projects.

Stream DOE GrantsFrom left to right, top to bottom: Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., Sergey Mirov, Ph.D., Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., Cheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D.Four different grants within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been funded for a cumulative total of more than $3 million by the United States Department of Energy. The grants are reflective of continued momentum in research throughout the college and one of UAB’s four mission pillars, research, innovation and economic development.

“One of my goals for the college has been to increase our funding through external grants and also to expand the diversity of our funding. Our faculty continue to accomplish both,” said Kecia Thomas, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “These recent awards from the Department of Energy help to expand UAB’s reach beyond the biomedical sciences and to demonstrate the broad impact of the liberal arts and sciences. We are so proud of these scientists and hopeful for the impact their work will have on the world.”

Funded faculty and subsequent awards include:

Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, awarded $1,844,998: Burns will develop a single-step process that recycles UNF by recovering the bulk of uranium and other transuranics from UNF after dissolution in nitric acid.

Sergey Mirov, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Physics, awarded $335,000: Mirov will develop a Middle and Long Wave Infrared Laser System. This is a continuation of funding with increased amounts.

Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., associate dean and professor in the Department of Physics, and Cheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physics, awarded $470,250: Vohra and Chen will study magnetic structures in heavy lanthanides under extreme conditions.

Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., associate dean and professor in the Department of Physics, awarded $540,000: Vohra will develop and characterize materials for hypersonic applications under extreme conditions. This is a continuation of previous funding with increased amounts.

“As part of our efforts to diversify the funding portfolio of the college, we are targeting agencies where we do not currently have a strong presence in federal grants and where there are opportunities to grow based on our faculty expertise,” explained Vohra, speaking as not only a grant recipient but as associate dean. “I am pleased to note that our efforts have been successful with the Department of Energy this year where we have doubled the number of active grants. The involvement of junior faculty in expanding our grant portfolio is strategically important for CAS, and I am particularly excited about the training opportunities offered by these grants to our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who will have potential internship opportunities at DOE national labs and overall contribute to workforce development for STEM enterprise in our nation.”