CONGRESSMAN RUBÉN HINOJOSA ANNOUNCES $215,000 GRANT FOR SEMICONDUCTOR RESEARCH AT UTPA AND UTB
Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) announced a $215,000 grant was awarded to the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for student training in semiconductor and thin film research.
"Every time I visit a school whether it is an elementary school or a University, I see so many talented students eager to learn more about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM)," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "Our schools in the Rio Grande Valley are offering our students the latest in educational opportunities when it comes to STEM fields. I encourage all of our students, especially women, to consider STEM field careers. I am pleased the NSF has awarded this funding for our two Universities in the Rio Grande Valley."
The program is geared towards research partnership and in strengthening the collaboration between professors and students from the two institutions. It is also aimed at attracting new sources of research support, and elevating device and material education to a competitive level.
The broader impact includes academic enrichment in a historically underrepresented region of south Texas with a population of 1.5 million. The investigators will work to find out the key issues behind the low number of women entering the engineering discipline and to explain the necessity of having more women involved in this technology-related field. The acquisition will also help to prepare qualified and skilled graduate and undergraduate students and lays the foundation for strong integrated research and education initiatives centered on devices and materials at Minority Serving Institutions
Semiconductors are the foundation of modern electronics, including radio, computers, and telephones. Semiconductor-based electronic components include transistors, solar cells, many kinds of diodes including the light-emitting diode (LED), the silicon controlled rectifier, photo-diodes, and digital and analog integrated circuits.
A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness. Electronic semiconductor devices and optical coatings are the main applications benefiting from thin film construction.
The intellectual merit is focused on finding solutions to multidisciplinary issues such as higher reliability, easier thermal management, and simpler manufacturing processes in semiconductor materials and devices. The project supports and promotes a hands-on, entrepreneurial, educational experience in micro-fabrication to enhance research infrastructure through characterization, improvement and development of thin films and electronics devices.
This project, entitled "MRI: Acquisition of a Sputtering System for Device and Material Research (SDMR) at Hispanic Gateway Institutions," is under the direction of Hasina Huq. The award is effective Sep. 01, 2012.