May 2014

Bobbitt Honored at Inventors' Appreciation Banquet

Donald R. Bobbitt (third from left), president of the University of Arkansas System, accepts plaques for his patents at the second annual Inventors' Appreciation Banquet.

Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, was among those honored on April 23 at the University of Arkansas’ second annual Inventors’ Appreciation Banquet. The event, held at the Inn at Carnall Hall and hosted by Technology Ventures — the Fayetteville campus technology licensing office — saluted the accomplishments of Bobbitt and two other inventors who have been issued patents during their tenure at the university.

They were initiated into the National Academy of Inventors, a nonprofit organization that accepted the U of A as a charter member in 2012.

At the inaugural Inventors’ Appreciation Banquet last spring, the university initiated 16 current and former faculty and staff members into the academy, which endorses investigators at universities and non-profit research institutes who translate their research findings into inventions that benefit society.

“We want to continue to recognize the dedication it takes for those faculty and staff who are active inventors and who act as great partners to Technology Ventures in our effort to commercialize what we hope will be world-changing intellectual property,” said Jeff Amerine, director of the office.

Including Bobbitt, the U of A patent-holders initiated were Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and Twenty-First Century Chair in Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuit Design and Computer-Aided Design; and Matt McIntosh a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Jim Rankin, vice provost for research and economic development, told those gathered that the U of A has institutionalized its support for faculty who are generating intellectual property.

“The university now recognizes intellectual property as part of the research and creative activity metric in faculty promotion and tenure,” Rankin said. “We thank Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, for her full support of this initiative.”

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Researchers Track Ripples in Freestanding Graphene


Paul Thibado

An international team of scientists, led by physicists at the University of Arkansas, has tracked the dynamic movement of ripples in freestanding graphene at the atomic level.
This discovery advances the fundamental understanding of one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials, said Paul Thibado, University of Arkansas professor of physics.
“Physicists have known that the ripples must be there and some experiments did find them,” he said. “But they could only measure the ripples as static in time. The theory requires that they fluctuate, more like looking at an ocean with waves. The thermal energy needs to vibrate. Up until our experiment no one had successfully measured this dynamic property of the ripples.”
The team published its findings on Monday, April 28, in Nature Communications, an online journal published by the journal Nature, in a paper titled “Unusual ultra-low frequency fluctuations in freestanding graphene.”
Freestanding graphene could emerge as a replacement for silicon and other materials in microprocessors and next-generation energy devices, but much remains unknown about its mechanical and thermal properties.

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UAMS to Hold Telemedicine Showcase

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences routinely highlights its biomedical research programs in a series of faculty mixers called “Showcases,” which typically draw 100 to 150 UAMS faculty, staff and students who are interested in emerging areas of research. The next Showcase, scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, will feature research in telemedicine.

UAMS has extended an invitation to telemedicine researchers on the Fayetteville campus to participate in the June 4 Showcase. In addition, a small number of posters (15) will be displayed and showcase organizers have reserved four spaces for Fayetteville campus researchers.

If you would like to attend, please e-mail an RSVP to Cynthia Sagers, associate vice provost for research and economic development, at, and please indicate in your message whether you would like to present a poster.

DARPA Adds Biological Technologies Office 


The U.S. Department of Defense has announced a new research effort focused on biotechnology. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created a new division, the Biological Technologies Office, to explore the increasingly dynamic intersection of biology and the physical sciences.

The mission of the Biological Technologies Office is to foster, demonstrate, and transition fundamental research, discoveries and applications that integrate biology, engineering and computer science for national security. The office expands on the instrumental work undertaken by DARPA’s Defense Sciences and Microsystems Technology offices.

“The Biological Technologies Office will advance and expand on a number of earlier DARPA programs that made preliminary inroads into the bio-technological frontier,” said Geoff Ling, named by DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar to be the first director of BTO. “We’ve been developing the technological building blocks, we’ve been analyzing our results, and now we’re saying publicly to the research and development community, ‘We are ready to start turning the resulting knowledge into practical tools and capabilities.’”

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Bobbitt Honored at Inventors' Appreciation Banquet

Researchers Track Ripples in Freestanding Graphene

UAMS to Hold Telemedicine Showcase

DARPA Adds Biological Technologies Office 


Historian Wins Loeb Classical Library Fellowship

Chemical Engineering Professor Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

APEI Awarded $3.5 Million to Develop Power Module for Fighter Jet


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Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of the top grants awarded to faculty in April, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.
• Stavrous Kavouras, $305,264, Danone Research
• Clinton Wood, $198,085, Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association
• Ed Pohl, $99,992, Air Force Institute of Technology
• Darin W. Nutter, $75,000, Arkansas Energy Office
• Tom O. Spicer, $70,000, Safer Systems LLC


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