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Tripathy Symposium Showcases Latest Materials Science Research

Event Honors Memory of One of University’s Foremost Researchers

Prof. Sukant K. Tripathy (1952-2000)

12/12/2009
By Edwin L. Aguirre

About a hundred researchers, colleagues, friends and students gathered on Dec. 4 at Wannalancit Mills for the ninth Tripathy Annual Memorial Symposium.

The one-day meeting, organized by the Center for Advanced Materials in honor of the late Prof. Sukant K. Tripathy, is normally held on the Friday following Thanksgiving week to coincide with the fall meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston.

The symposium highlights the latest research trends and advances in polymer materials science being conducted by academia and industry across the country. It includes presentations by invited speakers who are accomplished experts in their respective fields. This year’s speakers and their topics were:

  • Randy-Holmes Farley, Genzyme Corp., Waltham, “Therapeutic Polymers in Medicine”
  • Kamil Ekinci, Boston University, “Fluid Dynamics of NEMS: Fundamentals, Challenges, and Prospects”
  • Xiaogong Wang, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, “Azo Polymers: Synthesis, Self-Assembly and Photoprocessing Applications”
  • Valtencir Zucolotto, University of SÃo Paulo, Brazil, “Development of New Bio-Nanocomposites: Applications in Nanomedicine and Toxicity Issues”
  • Sergio Granados-Focil, Clark University, “Triazole Functionalized Sol-Gel Membranes, Effect of Crosslink Density and Heterocycle Content on Water Free Proton Conduction and Membrane Mechanical Properties”
  • Thomas Seery, University of Connecticut, “Metal Mediated Polymerizations Initiated from Nanoparticle Surfaces”
  • S. Thayumanavan, UMass Amherst, “Molecule-To-Molecule Approach to Renewable Energy”
  • Kethinni Chittibabu, Konarka Technologies Inc., Lowell, “Printable Solar Cells -; From Lab to Market”

About 25 posters were presented by student researchers and post-doctoral fellows during the symposium. All the papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Macromolecular Science, with Plastics Engineering Asst. Prof. Ramaswamy Nagarajan serving as guest editor.

Earlier on the same day, Dean of Sciences Robert Tamarin presented the certificate for the 2009 Tripathy Memorial Endowed Graduate Fellowship to Jagdeep Singh, a doctoral candidate in the Chemistry Department’s polymer science program. Singh was recognized for his academic accomplishment and multidisciplinary research in the areas of materials science and polymer science. The award consists of a $6,500 research stipend for the summer.
 “The symposium is a wonderful way to honor Sukant’s memory,” said Tripathy’s widow, Susan, who attended the event with their daughter, Sheila. “It’s inspiring to see young researchers doing great science. It’s also nice for the family to meet old friends and colleagues and see how their work has progressed. The symposium is a good way to keep in touch with people, and it’s an event that our family looks forward to every year.”

For more information, visit the Center for Advanced Materials website. To see more photos of the symposium, visit the UMass Lowell photo gallery.

Soumitra Satapathi, right, of the Physics Department and the Center for Advanced Materials talks about his team’s work on fabricating organic solar cells using thiophene-based polymers.
Tripathy Fellow Jagdeep Singh, second from left, with Prof. Jayant Kumar and Susan and Sheila Tripathy.