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Physics researchers awarded DOE grant

TAMPA, Fla. -- University of South Florida researchers Hari Srikanth, Ph.D. and Manh-Huong Phan, Ph.D. received a three-year $420,000 grant from the United States Department of Energy (DoE) to study ground state magnetism and cooperative phenomena in correlated electron oxide materials. The grant will support a graduate student and postdoctoral scholar for the duration of the project, and increase national visibility of the USF Department of Physics.

“Support from this DoE grant will help our group maintain a high level of productivity in forthcoming years,” Srikanth said. “We published a record 23 papers in our group in 2012, and I am pleased to say we are on track for similar number of publications in 2013.”

Srikanth is professor of physics at USF. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the Indian Institute of Science and did his postdoctoral research at Northeastern University in Boston. Srikanth was an assistant professor for research at the Advanced Materials Research Institute before joining USF in 2000. His current research interests are focused on exploring novel physical phenomena in magnetic materials. He directs the Function Materials Laboratory at USF, which is equipped with facilities for synthesis and electromagnetic characterization of a wide range of materials.

Phan is research assistant professor of physics. He received his Ph.D. in engineering physics from the University of Bristol and joined USF in 2007. His research interests lie in the underlying physics and applications of nanomagnetism and magnetic nanomaterials. He leads research in the development of advanced nanomaterials with magnetocaloric and magnetoimpedance effects for energy-efficient magnetic refrigeration and smart sensor technologies.

“While a clear understanding of the magnetic ground state properties and cooperative phenomena in correlated electron oxide materials is key to manipulating their functionality for technological applications, it remains among the most challenging problems facing condensed-matter physics today," Phan said. "Under this DoE support, we attempt to address some of these outstanding issues by using unique experimental techniques and facilities available in our laboratories and our collaborators’.”

Srikanth and Phan have been successful in jointly mentoring students and postdoctoral researchers. Two recent examples are graduate student Nicholas Bingham, who successfully defended his Ph.D. last April and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the prestigious Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, and undergraduate student Alex Ruiz, who was offered in 2013 the very competitive and prestigious Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship for pursuing his Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Berkeley, which has one of top physics programs in the national university system.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Research Physics   
Author: Katie Vasenina