[Pavement testing] [NSF funds research] [Gordon's CD-ROM]

[DHI Herpes test] [Satellite experiment] [Links]


Department of Defense awards
$2 million grant to nine faculty

The Department of Defense has awarded nine Ohio University faculty members a $2 million research grant to develop materials used in high density optical data storage and fiber optic communications.

The five-year Research Initiative Support Program grant to the Condensed Matter and Surface Sciences (CMSS) program allows researchers from several scientific disciplines to work together on a common project requiring a variety of expertise, said Physics Professor Sergio Ulloa, coordinator of the CMSS program.

Researchers from the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering will work on developing materials that could have broad technological impact on full color flat panel TV displays, outdoor advertising, traffic lights and compact discs with more than double the storage space.

"The nitride semiconductors are ceramics suited to high temperature applications such as on-board computers for automobile engines," said Martin Kordesch, associate professor of physics and project director for the grant. The high temperature uses could include emissions control and fuel regulation.

The research will focus on developing ultraviolet emitters and materials for lasers which emit blue light. Grocery storeXA scanners, compact discs and other commercial lasers employ a less efficient red light.

Kordesch put together the team of researchers in response to a call for proposals from the DOD last summer. In addition to Kordesch and Ulloa, the team includes Electrical Engineering Professor Henryk Lozykowski; Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Daniel Gulino; Physics professors Ronald Cappelletti, Gerald Harp, David Ingram and David Drabold; and Associate Professor of Chemistry Hugh Richardson.

Gordon's CD-ROM advises
parents of troubled teens

Southeastern Ohio parents whose children have behavioral problems have access to a 2 1/2-hour interactive CD-ROM program that creator Don Gordon says is equivalent to 15 to 30 hours of therapy.

Gordon, a psychology professor, received a $175,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for the project, titled "Parenting Adolescents Wisely." As of February, social service agencies and juvenile courts in 11 Southeastern Ohio counties were ordering or advising parents of delinquents to view the program.

The program is a series of nine short dramas highlighting a variety of parent-child problems and ways to solve them. Scenario topics include improving grades, completing household chores and arguing.

When the conflict in each drama comes to a head, the action stops and the user is asked to select the proper course of action. Users make a selection and a video presentation corresponding to their choice follows. If the wrong selection is made, a scenario is shown illustrating the unacceptable outcome. The user returns to the original scene of conflict and is asked to make a different choice.

Gordon has received positive feedback on the program from colleagues, and he eventually
would like to make the CD commercially available for home use.

"The people we are trying to help are the children, but we have to go through the parents," he said.

Road to pavement testing
leads to Lancaster campus

Construction was expected to begin in April at the Ohio University Lancaster regional campus on a new $1.5 million indoor research facility designed to improve road pavement technology.

The teaching and research laboratory will be used for the study of pavement response to loading and environmental factors, and will be unique in the United States because of its ability to test varying asphalt and concrete road surfaces on top of different road beds.

The facility, a joint project between Ohio University and Ohio State, was funded by an Investment Fund Grant from the Ohio Board of Regents. The lab will give researchers the ability to "construct pavement to the same specifications that would be constructed in a highway area," said Gayle Mitchell, director of the Center for Geotechnical and Environmental Research in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Ohio University has become a national leader in pavement research with the expertise of Professor of Civil Engineering Shad Sargand. Sargand is the principal investigator on a six-university consortium which will conduct a $13.6 million road testing project along a three-mile stretch of U.S. Route 23 near Delaware this summer.

The project will measure climatic-, load- and distress-related changes in the highway during use. Researchers will use the data in an attempt to create more durable roadways that last longer. The project is funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

Diagnostic Hybrids to distribute
test kit for determining herpes

Diagnostic Hybrids Inc. (DHI) of Athens is coming of age in the international biomedical field, illustrating just one of many successful companies assisted by Ohio University's Innovation
Center.

DHI recently announced a strategic alliance with BioWhittaker Inc. of Walkersville, Md., an international leader in cell culture products, providing a sublicense for manufacture and distribution of DHI's patented transgenic cell technology, the Enzyme Linked Virus Inducible System, or ELVIS. The ELVIS test kit is believed to be the fastest method available for determining both positive and negative results for herpes simplex virus (HSV).

DHI received $1.1 million in the agreement against future royalties from the sale of ELVIS kits and other products under development at DHI in the United States, Canada and Europe.

DHI was created in 1983 as a university Research and Development Limited Partnership, based on technologies created in the labs of Ohio University researchers Joseph Jollick and Thomas Wagner as they sought methods to use DNA-probe assays for the identification of infectious diseases.

DHI is one of several firms with connections to the Innovation Center that have hired students in their respective entrepreneurial efforts. DHI has employed up to 25 students a quarter who come from all areas of the university. Athens Technical Specialists Inc., the National Business Incubation Association, and the Ohio Southeast Enterprise Development Fund are among the organizations that give students a look at the private sector.

NSF will fund undergraduate
summer research experiences

The National Science Foundation has awarded the Ohio University Department of Biological Sciences a three-year, $150,000 grant under the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. The grant will fund 10 undergraduate students for 10 weeks of research and study on the Athens campus during three summer terms beginning this year. Ohio University is providing $12,500 for the program, which may include up to four OU students.

Scott Hooper and Linda Ross, assistant professors of biological sciences, co-wrote the grant. Students will hear lectures on neuroscience, and work with graduate students and faculty mentors on projects of interest to the students. Students will work in a wide range of areas related to biology and physiology.

Satellite data transmission
experiment termed a success

Researchers successfully transmitted financial data by satellite in a first-of-its-kind experiment on the $360 million Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), teaming Huntington National Bank, NASA and Ohio University, according to university and bank personnel involved in the project.

Launched on the space shuttle Discovery in September 1993, the ACTS satellite was the centerpiece in a 20-week experiment in 1994, testing the feasibility of transmitting financial data between Huntington's Columbus headquarters and its check processing center in Parma, a Cleveland suburb.

The critical financial data is transmitted by terrestrial telephone lines. The success of the experiment indicates the satellite-based transmission system may one day serve as a backup for fiber optic cables in the event of a fire, earthquake or other calamity that prevents use of the terrestrial lines.

"This new kind of satellite permits direct transmission of data between two earth dishes only four feet in diameter," said Hans Kruse, an assistant professor in the McClure School of Communication Systems Management, who served as the project's principal investigator.

Don Flournoy, project manager and Ohio University professor of telecommunications, noted that the new satellite has capabilities that offer practical applications for banking. Flournoy envisions a day when data transmission by satellite could compete with terrestrial transmissions.

"Somewhere down the road, when the technology becomes less expensive and more available, we may go back to them (NASA and Ohio University)," said Michael Whetstone, data communication network support manager for Huntington. "Working with NASA and Ohio University as a team was great."


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