Indiana University Bloomington

News / Events 2014

April

Michael Hamburger
Michael Hamburger is the recipient of the W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service.

This award, also known as the W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service, honors faculty members who are considered to be shining examples of dedication and excellence in service to others. Recipients are selected from more than 4,000 faculty members on all eight campuses. The awards are presented at the Celebration of Distinguished Teaching each spring, and they are accompanied by a cash award and a certificate.

W. George Pinnell, former executive vice president of Indiana University and former president of the Indiana University Foundation, was known for his stewardship as dean of the Kelley School of Business, for leadership in university administration, for initiatives in the Campaign for Indiana, and for service to state and national government. The Pinnell award, established in 1988, recognizes faculty members and librarians who have shown exceptional breadth of involvement and depth of commitment in service to the university, to their profession, or to the public. (PDF)

March

Yifeng Wang selected Asian-American Engineer of the Year
Yifeng Wang

By Neal Singer
SANDIA LAB NEWS February 21, 2014

Yifeng Wang has been selected by the Chinese Institute of Engineers/USA to receive the Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) award for 2014. The award annually recognizes "American individuals of Asian descent who have made exceptional contributions to the field of Engineering, Science, and/or as a Corporate Leader." Since 2002, some 180 corporate executives, managers, engineers, and researchers from leading US technology corporations, research institutions, and the US Armed Forces have received the AAEOY award, including seven Nobel laureates.

Yifeng was nominated by Sandia executive VP Kim Sawyer for "pioneering contributions to nanogeochemistry, nonlinear geochemistry, and environmental material development and sustained contributions to backend nuclear fuel cycle research." "This is a very real honor and I am thrilled by the selection. I would like to thank my colleagues and managers for their support and encouragement over the years," Yifeng says.

Yifeng, who grew up in a small village in China, came to the US in 1988 and became an American citizen in 2001. "For those like me who came to the US at that time, each person has his or her own interesting story," he says. "Mine is that when I first arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, as a visiting student I barely spoke English. I communicated with my graduate advisor mostly through writing in a notebook. Additionally, China and the US were so different. The cultural shock was huge." Yifeng earned a PhD degree in geochemistry from Indiana University in 1993. "I was lucky to have a chance to join the Indiana group, which was working on geochemical self-organization studies. The concepts I learned there, such as nonlinear dynamics and system complexity of Earth systems, have influenced my career in many ways."

After working a year and half at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral student, Yifeng joined Sandia in 1995. In the course of his 18-year career at Sandia, he became known for the broadness of his geological research interests, which span nanogeochemistry, biogeochemistry, early Earth evolution, environmental materials, and geologic repository science. A pioneer in nanogeochemistry, he was the first to demonstrate the effect of nanopore confinement on mineralwater interface chemistry and gave this new research field its name: nanogeochemistry. "Sandia is a good place for idea hybridization," he says. "Nanogeochemistry is a hybridization of geochemistry with nanoscience. Interestingly, the concepts we developed turned out to be quite useful for nuclear waste isolation and shale gas research."

At DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Yifeng conceived and developed an innovative concept that used magnesium oxide to sequester microbially generated carbon dioxide and, additionally, to control WIPP disposal room chemistry. The concept proved critical to the EPA’s ultimate approval of WIPP. Magnesium oxide, in use since WIPP opened, is still the only engineered backfill in the WIPP repository design. "WIPP is the first project in which I was involved at Sandia," Yifeng says. "It was great for a fresh-out-of-school graduate to see his contribution become an integral part of a prominent engineering project, such as WIPP. This is another benefit of working at Sandia, where science and engineering come together naturally."

Yifeng, a distinguished researcher in geoscience engineering, is the technical lead for the DOE Used Fuel Disposition Crystalline Disposal R&D Work Package. He coordinates dozens of technical staff across eight national laboratories and other research organizations for this project. He’s also the principal investigator of an LDRD project involving shale gas disposition and release. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and has six patents issued or pending. He was joined by other recipients to receive the award at the AAEOY Award Ceremony on Saturday, March 1, in San Francisco.

Rebecca Barthelmie
IU Geosciences Professor Rebecca Barthelmie will give the Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture
IU professor's lecture assesses the impact, potential of wind energy

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Wind energy now supplies enough electricity to power 15 million homes in the United States. According to the American Wind Energy Association, at the end of 2013, there were more U.S. wind power megawatts under construction than ever before, with projects underway in at least 20 states.

This phenomenal growth of wind energy and the future directions of the wind energy industry are the topics of the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture, "Wind Energy 2030," presented by Rebecca J. Barthelmie, professor of atmospheric science and sustainability in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Geological Sciences at IU Bloomington. The lecture takes place from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in the IU Cinema, 1213 E. 7th Street.

Barthelmie, an internationally recognized expert in wind energy research, leads a number of large projects, with funding from the European Union, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, focused on studying wind turbines and large wind farms offshore and in the Midwest/Great Plains. For example, in 2011, she led a project of six institutions awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy to study offshore wind resources in the Great Lakes. In 2009, Barthelmie received the outstanding scientist award from the European Wind Energy Academy for her extraordinary efforts and sustained contributions in the field of wind energy research.

As demand for stable and reliable renewable energy sources increases, wind-generated electricity production is growing rapidly, Barthelmie notes, making research on the interactions between wind turbines and the surrounding atmosphere increasingly important. Wind energy is also a critical component of future low-carbon energy scenarios and can play a critical role in climate change mitigation.

"All utility-scale wind energy production now occurs in large wind power plants where tens or hundreds of wind turbines are deployed in arrays," Barthelmie says. "But how should turbines be placed, how can we maximize their lifetimes? My work is about optimizing the design and operation of wind farms so we can find even better ways to harness the power of the wind."

The Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture series is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Provost at IU Bloomington. Begun in 1980, this annual event recognizes the research achievements of an IU Bloomington faculty member and is accompanied by a $3,000 award to support the distinguished lecturer’s continuing research. Past awardees include Elinor Ostrom, Ellen Ketterson, Richard DiMarchi, and Susan Williams.

February

Doug Edmonds
Doug Edmonds named 2014 Sloan Research Fellow

IU Geoscience Researcher Doug Edmonds is a 2014 recipient of the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation's Research Fellowship.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers as recipients of the 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.

From the IU Newsroom: His research focuses on developing scientific theories and models aimed at understanding how river deltas are created. The fate of deltaic coastlines is a pressing environmental problem. River deltas are slowly disappearing as sea level rises, resulting in a net loss of coastal land. And deltas are important: They are the link between land and ocean environments, are ecologically rich and support approximately 15 percent of the world population.

The $50,000 fellowship will further Edmonds’ research on predicting the resilience of deltaic systems to environmental stressors, such as sea-level rise, coastal subsidence and declining sediment supply. more

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance. More on the Sloan Foundation Website

Crossroads logo
Welcome to Crossroads Geology Conference 2014!

Crossroads will be held at Indiana University-Bloomington on March 28 and 29, 2014.

Abstract Deadline is February 28, 2014!

The student members of the Rho chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon at Indiana University invite you to participate in the annual Crossroads Geology Conference at Indiana University. This conference is a student-organized event featuring research presentations by graduate and undergraduate students in the geological and environmental sciences from a number of regional colleges and universities, at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Feel free to email us for more information. At the time of submission, applicants should specify whether they are requesting an oral or poster presentation. Oral presentation slots will be offered on a limited basis. Applicants who are not selected for oral presentations will have the option to present a poster. Conference Website

January

Geology and Paleoanthropology Field School in Tanzania May 13-June 24 2014

G349/549. Applications are now being accepted for a new field course. This Geo-paleoanthropology course will take advantage of IU’s long established reputation for field school instruction in the Earth sciences. Together with the research experiences available at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, a famous paleoanthropological site known for the discoveries of early human fossils by Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, this field course will provide first-hand experience in the application of interdisciplinary field methods in physical, biological and cultural contexts of human evolution. more

Research confirms Mars once had conditions to support life.

The latest results from the Curiosity expedition are included in six papers today by Science Express. David Bish, an Indiana University Bloomington geologist and a member of the Mars team, is a co-author on several of the papers, which discuss the mineralogy and chemistry of the rock samples.more

We look back on the events of 2013 and look forward to an exciting new year in the Department. (News archives)

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