Winthrop Chemistry Faculty Receives NSF Research Grant (8/19/03)

On August 18, 2003, the National Science Foundation announced the awarding of a grant of $99,963 to Wake Forest University for support of the development of a "Portable Spectrometer for Nuclear Forensics."  The project will be under the direction of Dr. Bradley T. Jones, Professor of Chemistry at Wake Forest University, and Dr. Clifton P. Calloway, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Winthrop University.  This award is effective September 1 , 2003 and expires August 31, 2004.

The proposed project is to develop a novel, low cost, portable instrument for the simultaneous determination of trace radioactive elements in nuclear forensic samples.  This would be a fast response detection system that would be available to use in assessing the extent of contamination in the event of a terrorist-activated Radioactive Dispersion Device.  This instrument would be useful in allaying public fear in the broader region where radioactivitiy is difficuolt to measure, but trace amounts of the agents might still exist in soil, dust, water, and crops.

Dr. Calloway will act os the Co-Pi and will be in residence at Wake Forest University during summer 2004.  Dr. Calloway will focus his attention on the instrumental development aspects of the project, and help with the transition towards a prototype system.  Dr. Calloway received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Wake Forest University and has been a member of the Winthrop faculty since 1995.

The National Science Foundation hereby awards a grant of $99,963 to Wake Forest 
University for support of the project described in the proposal referenced 
above as modified by NSF.                                  
This project, under the direction of  Bradley T. Jones, Clifton P. Calloway, is 
"ACT/SGER:      A Portable Spectrometer for Nuclear Forensics."                 
  January 15, 2002, the Institute for Theoretical Physics announced that Dr. Mesgun Sebhatu, Professor of Physics at Winthrop University, has been chosen as an ITP Scholar for 2002-2004.  Dr. Sebhatu was one of seven faculty from across the United States competitively selected for this program.

The purpose of the ITP Scholar program is to support research efforts of faculty at non-Ph.D. granting universities.  The program will fund summer study and collaboration for each of the next three years with some of the leading theoretical physicists on the planet. The ITP is located at the University of California at Santa Barbara and serves as host for approximately 800 visiting physicists.

Dr. Sebhatu's research focuses on understanding the strong nuclear force, one of the four fundamental forces found in nature.  He has developed mathematical expressions that effectively model the strong force with few parameters.  Dr. Sebhatu maintains a number of close collaborations with theoretical physicists all over the world.  Recently, his approach to the strong force has attracted the attention of a number of nuclear theorists at Hamburg University in Germany.  Dr. Sebhatu's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Winthrop University Research Council.

Dr. Sebhatu received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Clemson University and has been a member of the Winthrop faculty since 1978.  Prior to coming to the US in 1970, Dr. Sebhatu taught math and physics in Ethiopia.  From 1991-1992, Dr. Sebhatu served as the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Professor of Physics at Michigan State University.  At Winthrop, Dr. Sebhatu teaches the two semester calculus based physics course, modern physics, thermodynamics, astronomy, and the new "Energy and the Environment" course that he recently developed.