July 29, 2009
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
This week, Idaho State University researchers were given huge honors for a very tiny particle.
Idaho State University chemistry professors René Rodriguez and Joshua Pak, along with Idaho National Laboratory scientist Robert Fox, were honored by R&D Magazine for creating one of the top 100 technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace in the past year.
Their work involves precision nanoparticles, which are very small units of matter. The three scientists found a method to create them in precise, uniform sizes.
The precision nanoparticles are being studied for a promising array of applications. They could be the next step in making solar panels more efficient. They could help turn the tide in the fight against cancer. They even show promise in battling bacteria. There is great potential in these astonishing particles, and the technology has been licensed to Precision Nanoparticles, Inc., of Seattle.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu congratulated the winners for their innovation. The project is just one of many examples of how Idaho State University is making a difference at the national level and in the world.
It's also a great example of how partnerships between universities, government and the private sector external agencies can benefit everyone.
Partnerships allow us to do better research — it's the idea behind the recently opened Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES). CAES is a public/private partnership comprised of the three Idaho public universities, the Idaho National Laboratory and private industry. CAES provided seed money for Pak and Rodriguez's project through a Laboratory Directed Research Development Grant.
Partnerships like those exemplified at CAES and and in the precision nanoparticle research are increasingly crucial as the world's energy needs grows at an explosive rate exponentially.
Collaboration helps bring new technology into the marketplace, where it can benefit all of us. And it has great benefits for our students. Through projects like Rodriguez and Pak's, students have the opportunity to contribute to great scientific discoveries of today while gaining the skills they need to be the inventors of new technology in the future.
The promising graduate students who are attracted to ISU by quality research bring with them the ability to both contribute to research and to the educational environment. They teach classes and interact with undergraduate students, bringing new ideas and ways of thinking that can invigorate our faculty and our learning environment.
The collaboration at CAES is just one of many partnerships we foster at Idaho State University, and in the future, we hope to grow even more. It's another way we can help be a part of innovation today while training our students to become the innovators of tomorrow.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University