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Louisiana Tech University professor earns NSF Early Career Development grant
Date:4/24/2012

RUSTON, La. Dr. Niel Crews, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech University and a member of Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing, has been awarded an Early Career Development grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his proposal, "Thermal Gradient Microflow Calorimetry using Anisotropic Temperature Sensors."

The five-year $400,000 award will help Crews expand the scope of his research program and also integrate his research with a series of educational and outreach activities that will involve students from the high-school to doctoral levels.

"Niel's work with microfluidics and its biomedical applications is a great example of our interdisciplinary research culture, and provides a platform for innovative solutions in the future," said Dr. Randy Null, director of the Institute for Micromanufacturing and Entergy/Cordaro Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Early Career Development or "CAREER" grants are among the most prestigious grants awarded by the National Science Foundation to support the careers of young academic researchers and help them become national leaders in research and education. Including Crews, six Louisiana Tech engineering researchers have received CAREER awards so far with five of them having an association with the Institute for Micromanufacturing.

In his research program, Crews will explore a new, fast, and highly sensitive method for measuring the extremely small amounts of heat released when molecules react. The technique makes use of microfluidics, which is the area of science that studies how fluids behave when confined to spaces that are many times smaller than the thickness of human hair.

Crews believes that a hand-held and self-contained device based on his technology would revolutionize many fields, such as pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, and materials science. A specific application which is already being studied by Crews is th
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Contact: Dave Guerin
dguerin@latech.edu
318-257-4854
Louisiana Tech University
Source:Eurekalert

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