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|Dr. Duck-Joo Yang|
Neuroscience and novel cancer treatments might seem worlds away from high-efficiency batteries and advanced solar cells, but the U.S.-Korea Joint Symposium of Nanotechnology Workshops, hosted and co-organized by UT Dallas, will bring these diverse fields together under one roof.
The event, to be held May 1-4 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, provides an opportunity for nearly 100 scientists, engineers and students from both the United States and South Korea to highlight their collaborations and to exchange information, especially in the fields of nanostructured materials, nanoelectronics and nano-biotechnology.
The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the South Korean government have sponsored the joint nanotechnology workshops for the past 10 years, with host institutions alternating between the two countries. Additional sponsors for this year's symposium include academia, industry and private foundations.
The U.S.-Korea Joint Symposium of Nanotechnology Workshops combines into one event four established U.S.-Korea workshops, including the 3rd Texas-Korea Nanotech Workshop, which is jointly sponsored by UT Dallas and takes place in Texas every other year.
Nanotechnology is the science of the ultra-small. Researchers in this field manipulate matter at the level of atoms and molecules to develop new products and applications that operate on, or are built upon, this tiny scale.
Nano-engineered materials already have found their way into hundreds of everyday products, from cosmetics and fuel additives to baseball bats and batteries. The U.S. and other world governments have invested billions of dollars in nanotechnology research and the possible advances such research could bring in electronics, energy, medicine and a host of other industries.
"Teaming is critically important for making rapid advances in nanotechnology, and for a decade this annual conference has fostered Korean-U.S. partnerships that are enriching both countries and the world," said Dr. Ray Baughman, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry at UT Dallas, the director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, and honorary chair of the symposium organizing committee. "Working together using the power of nanotechnology, both countries are trying to solve some of humankind's most challenging problems."
UT Dallas researchers are making advances in diverse areas of nanotechnology, from artificial muscles that are more than a hundred times more powerful than natural muscles, to improved electronic materials and devices, to novel methods for harvesting and storing energy.
Dr. Duck-Joo Yang, associate dean for research and interdisciplinary programs in the UT Dallas School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, is co-chair of the joint organizing committee for the symposium, and Dr. John Ferraris, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry, is program co-chair for the Texas-Korea Nanotech Workshop.
"This symposium is a model for U.S.-Korea research collaboration, and we look forward to another decade of shared partnership and achievement," Yang said.
One of the keynote speakers for the symposium will be UT Dallas alumnus James Von Ehr (MS '81), founder and CEO of Texas-based Zyvex Labs, a leading nanotechnology manufacturing company. Recognized as a leader within the nanotechnology industry, Von Ehr is a member of UT Dallas' University Campaign Council and the Development Board and is a 2004 Distinguished Alumnus.
UT Dallas faculty slated to give technical talks include Ferraris and Baughman; Dr. Yves Chabel, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics; and Dr. Moon J. Kim, professor of materials science and engineering.
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