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03-16-2005

Clarkson Faculty Members Present Advanced Research To United Defense Company Engineers

[A photograph for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/suni-ahmadi.jpg]

Two distinguished Clarkson faculty members were guest of honor presenters at a recent luncheon held at United Defense’s York, Pa., facility during the company’s annual weeklong recognition of its engineering staff. suni-ahmadi

Dr. Goodarz Ahmadi, Clarkson interim vice provost for Research and associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, discussed the promising field of nanotechnology, which was of great interest to the audience of professional engineers and technicians.

There have already been great strides in the utilization of nanotechnology in the production of lightweight materials, noted Ahmadi. This is a promising innovation for high-tech manufacturers like United Defense, which is considered a leader in the development and production of combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions used by the U.S. Department of Defense and our allies worldwide.

Dr. Ian Suni, Clarkson associate professor of Chemical Engineering, discussed possible military applications of biosensors and fuel cells. Biosensors combine biology with the processing power of modern microelectronics and optoelectronics to offer powerful analytical tools. In the health care field, which was the early impetus for advancing this technology, biosensors are capable of providing immediate detection, rapid analysis and continual monitoring of a patient’s condition. Biosensors have also been used successfully in environmental diagnostics and in the food and processing industry.

Issues of national security have more recently fueled advances in biosensor technology. According to Suni, the same analytical capabilities of biosensors used for patient care have hopeful military and defense applications as well. These include technology for individual soldier protection such as biosensors for nerve gases, food pathogens, and other bio-agents. Suni also discussed advances in fuel cell research and development for use in such military applications as power packs used in the field to continually power multiple electronic devices.

“One of Clarkson’s key goals as a competitive, research-intensive University is to disseminate new knowledge that is created by its faculty,” says Ahmadi, adding, “We welcome opportunities like the United Defense event to reach out to private industry.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Ian Suni (l), Clarkson associate professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Goodarz Ahmadi, Clarkson interim vice provost for Research and associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, discussed potential military applications of nanotechnology, biosensors and fuel cells before an audience of engineers at a recent United Defense company-sponsored presentation at its York, Pa., facility.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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