Updates for 2008-2009

New students have joined the PIRE program, which continues to help all of the participating faculty recruit new students into this area of research. All of the students are getting research training through their participation in interdisciplinary research projects. We aim to have each student be mentored by primary advisor and one US faculty member outside of their institution. Additional faculty from our EU partners will get involved as the projects develop. The section on findings shows how individual projects involve faculty at multiple institutions in this program.

Research visits to our EU partners, and the participation in the summer school provide additional educational experiences for our students. This summer, a total of 8 graduate students from the PIRE institutions will attend our summer school. In addition, we will provide support for 1 student from Texas A&M University.

One undergraduate student (Rebekah Oakes) is participating in PIRE/REU program working with Dr. Claus Christensen.

Updates for 2009-2010

All of the students involved with the PIRE program are getting research training through their participation in interdisciplinary research projects and their research interships at our partner institutions. Each student is mentored by their thesis advisor as well as the collaborators outside of their institution (both in the US and at our EU partners). Hence, all graduate students get the benefit of being trained by faculty who are experts in their respective fields.

The summer schools provide additional training opportunities. The 2009 summer school provided an organized program of lectures on the topic of nanoparticles for energy conversion and storage. The weeklong course also included a reflections section where students from different groups discussed the lectures presented each day and worked on answers to the questions posed by the speakers.

We provide cross training opportunities whereby students get to visit the labs in other partner institutions to learn specialized tools and resources. Last year, Eric Petersen and Levi Houk spent a week at UVa to learn the application of DFT methods to their research. Yomaira Pagan spent a week at UNM to learn the application of electron microscopy to catalyst characterization.

The PIRE program is also providing training to students to become adept at collaborations across institutions and across countries. Students present results of their work via Adobe Connect to other groups. When the student is at the EU site, they continue to have regular meetings with their research group in the US. In this way, they are learning also how to use resources available outside their lab to enhance ongoing project

Prof. Datye attended the Minority Serving Institutions Conference held at Dallas, TX and presented a talk on the PIRE program to interested faculty. This was at the invitation of Dr. Ed Murdy who also attended the meeting on behalf of OISE

Prof. Datye was invited to attend a meeting on Global Engineering organized by the Assistant Director of Engineering, at NSF in February 2010. The meeting was to solicit input on new directions that could be pursued by the Engineering directorate at NSF to enhance the international activities for students and faculty.