September 2013

University Awards Grants Through Arkansas Biosciences Institute

Arkansas Biosciences Institute funding helps improve University of Arkansas research facilities and supports faculty individually and with collaborators both on campus and at other institutions.

The University of Arkansas, with funding from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, has awarded grants for 38 science and technology research projects for fiscal year 2014.

The institute is a partnership of scientists at five research institutions across Arkansas, including the state’s flagship university in Fayetteville, with a focus on supporting research that improves human health.


The fiscal 2014 grants at the U of A totaled $1,467,195, said Roger Koeppe II, a Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemistry who represents the flagship on the institute’s scientific coordinating committee.

“The Arkansas Biosciences Institute is important for promoting broadly based university research in areas such as biomedicine and biotechnology,” Koeppe said. “A review panel evaluates the initiatives based on their impact on the scientific community and potential for eventual publication.”

Institute-supported investigators explore many different body and cellular processes in their search for answers to challenging basic science- and health-related questions.
Koeppe said the institute chooses projects that are both innovative and may need preliminary results in order to compete for research funding on a national level, such as the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation.

“These proposals primarily come from newer faculty who are just starting their labs but some can come from mid-career and senior faculty,” he said. “An established faculty member who has had a good research career may want to start investigating in a new area and we recognize that.”

There are two other categories the committee considers when it makes the grant: shared equipment and bridge funding.

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New Study Sheds Light on Tornado Behavior


Panneer Selvam

The first field investigations of the effect of terrain elevation changes on tornado path, vortex, strength and damage have yielded valuable information that could help prevent the loss of human life and damage to property in future tornadoes.

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas analyzed Google Earth images of the massive 2011 Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., tornadoes and found similarities between the two in behavior and interaction with the terrain. The findings likely apply to all tornadoes.

“We wanted to understand the impact of terrain on damage magnitude and tornado path,” said Panneer Selvam, professor of civil engineering. “Information about this interaction is critical. It influences decisions about where and how to build, what kind of structure should work at a given site.”

The researchers’ analysis led to three major observations about the nature and behavior of tornadoes as they interact with terrain. First, tornadoes cause greater damage when they travel uphill and less damage as they move downhill. Second, whenever possible, tornadoes tend to climb toward higher elevations rather than going downhill. And third, when a region is surrounded by hills, tornadoes skip or hop over valleys beneath and between these hills, and damage is noticed only on the top of the hills.

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Physicist Disentangles 'Schrodinger's Cat' Debate

Art Hobson

University of Arkansas physicist Art Hobson has offered a solution, within the framework of standard quantum physics, to the long-running debate about the nature of quantum measurement.

In an article published August 8 by Physical Review A, a journal of the American Physical Society, Hobson argues that the phenomenon known as “nonlocality” is key to understanding the measurement problem illustrated by “Schrodinger’s cat.”

In 1935, Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrodinger used the example of a cat in a closed box to illustrate the central paradox of quantum physics: microscopic particles such as electrons, photons or atoms can exist in two quantum states at once. These states are known as “superpositions.”

Hobson cites direct experimental evidence supporting his analysis, from experiments performed in 1990 involving nonlocal observation of entangled pairs of photons.  
“The strange thing is that the action happens instantly, with no time for light or an electromagnetic signal or radio signal to communicate between the two,” Hobson said. “It is a single object that is behaving as a single object but it is in two different places. It doesn’t matter what the distance is between them.”

Hobson is professor emeritus of physics in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

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U of A Becomes Member Institution of UIDP


The University of Arkansas has been accepted as a member institution of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership.

Convened by the National Academies, the Washington, D.C.-based partnership was launched in 2006 by the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable to provide a forum for academic and corporate representatives with diverse interests and responsibilities to find better ways to work together.

“Becoming a member of this national organization allows the University of Arkansas to strengthen existing research collaborations and partnerships and be in a better position to develop new relationships,” said Jim Rankin, vice provost for research and economic development at the University of Arkansas. “The University-Industry Demonstration Partnership is a project-oriented organization where members identify issues and opportunities impacting university-industry relations and develop new approaches to working together.”

Member benefits include preferred attendance at the partnership’s meetings and workshops, exclusive participation in its projects and initiatives and access to critical information shared through the member listserv.



University Awards Grants Through Arkansas Biosciences Institute

New Study Sheds Light on Tornado Behavior

Physicist Disentangles 'Schrodinger's Cat' Debate

U of A Becomes Member of UIDP


Adams Honored for Excellence in STEM Research and Mentoring

Scientists Awarded Telescope Time at Kitt Peak National Observatory

Faculty at University of Arkansas Co-Author New Edition of Arkansas: A Narrative History


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Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of grants awarded to faculty in July and August, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.
- Burt Bluhm, National Science Foundation, $778,000
- Roger Koeppe, $684,485, National Science Foundation
- Christian Tipsmark, $614,500, National Science Foundation
- Nan Zheng, $550,000, National Science Foundation
- Micah Hale, $367,345, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
- Fred Limp, $300,378, National Park Service
- Jim Correll, $289,982, University of Exeter
- Thad Scott, $273,546, Poteau Valley Improvement Authority
- Jackson Cothren, $249,986, National Science Foundation
- David Stahle, $219,650, National Science Foundation


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