April 2013

Louis to Receive Unique Dual Doctorate

Lydie Louis, University of Arkansas

Lydie Louis, a graduate student at the University of Arkansas, expected to spend three months in France studying nanostructures at Ecole Centrale Paris, a premier school focused on science and technology.

She ended up spending two years in the City of Light, earning enough credits to allow her to graduate this spring with a dual doctorate

in microelectronics and photonics from both the University of Arkansas and Ecole Centrale Paris.

Louis is the first student in the interdisciplinary microelectronics-photonics graduate program to earn a dual doctorate. She started her graduate studies in Fayetteville in 2004 and earned a master’s degree in microelectronics-photonics in 2006. She studied at Ecole Centrale Paris from 2008 to 2009 and part of 2010.

Louis, who would like to pursue a research position at a national laboratory or in private industry, said she imagines her feeling of relief when she receives her diplomas.

“I will be very, very happy because it took a very long time,” she said with a smile.

Louis works with ferroelectric materials at the nanometer scale. Ferroelectric materials are used in medical ultrasound to examine fetuses and internal organs, in military sonar for underwater navigation and detection, and in cell phones. These materials have a spontaneous charge separation that allows them to generate an electric field when their shape is changed — thus mechanical energy becomes electrical energy.

“In my experimental work, I synthesize one-dimensional nanowires or nanotubes,” she said. “I grow a ferroelectric inside these nanostructures, building the material and shaping it.”

Learn More

Mulvenon Appointed Director


Sean Mulvenon, University of Arkansas

Sean W. Mulvenon has been appointed director for research assessment and promotion at the University of Arkansas, a new position in the office of vice provost for research and economic development.

The appointment is for 18 months and can be renewed, said Jim Rankin, vice provost for research and economic development.

Mulvenon’s primary goals are to establish more effective and efficient data structures, reporting features and research functionality in the office of vice provost for research and economic development, an academic unit dedicated to growing the research infrastructure and capacity of the university.

Mulvenon previously served as the university’s assistant vice provost for research from 2008-10.

“A tremendous challenge in growing our scholarly productivity, grant awards, and recognition as a research institution is overcoming the myth that this emphasis detracts from the University of Arkansas being a student-centered academic institution,” Mulvenon said.

Learn More

Woods Publishes Shadow Warrior

Randall Woods, University of Arkansas

William Colby, who spent decades in the Central Intelligence Agency and served as its director in the 1970s, was so physically unassuming that historian Randall B. Woods calls him the “anti-James Bond.”

In Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA, his new biography of Colby, Woods argues that underneath the glasses and buttoned-down persona was a “courageous, natural leader of men, a veteran of conventional and unconventional combat, a patriot committed to the defense of his country, a man drawn to the sound of battle.”

Woods is a Distinguished Professor of history in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. In his book, he traces the life of Colby, who began working with the Office of Strategic Services — the precursor to the CIA — during World War II and spent more than a decade leading secret actions in Vietnam. In Southeast Asia, according to Woods, “Colby was a champion of covert action, secret armies, pacification and counterterrorism.”

Learn More

University Centers Partner on Research

The RFID Research Center in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences have partnered to conduct research that will integrate emerging visual identification technologies to use for retail applications.

Visual identification technologies use inexpensive 2-D and 3-D imaging technologies, commonly found in cell phones and video game devices, to identify objects by color, shape and size without the need for traditional barcodes or product numbers.

Products on store shelves or in warehouses can be recognized quickly and linked to product information databases. When linked to associated product information, the product can be added to inventory, verified for correct location and removed from inventory at checkout.

The centers will collaborate on research to make visual identification technologies reliable for business applications, including identifying items missing from store shelves, speeding up self-checkout and locating items in distribution centers.

Learn More


Louis to Receive Unique Dual Doctorate

Mulvenon Appointed Director

Woods Publishes Shadow Warrior

University Centers Partner on Research


Simulating Atmosphere of Titan

Could Microbubbles Save Your Life?

Arkansas Bests Stanford, Columbia, Harvard at National Education Conference


The Arkansas Catalyst
Sign up for Listserv information on high performance computer networks, the environmental sector, the Health Research Initiative, nanoscience and nanoengineering, NASA related research, and sustainability funding.

Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of faculty awards in March, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.

— Gregory Dumond, $226,543, National Science Foundation
— Andy Pereira, $111,241, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
— Laurent Bellaiche, $105,000, U.S. Army Research Office
— Vincent Chevrier, $105,000, NASA
— Marty Matlock, $85,655, National Science Foundation


Follow us on twitter

Stay updated on Facebook

Watch research videos on YouTube

Contact us

Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development
205 Administration Building
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

email us


You're receiving this newsletter because you signed up for the The Arkansas Catalyst newsletter.

unsubscribe now

The Arkansas Catalyst is an initiative of the office of the vice provost for research and economic development with support from the office of university relations & Information Technology Services.