Shuting Lei, professor in the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department at K-State’s Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, has been awarded a nearly $300,000 research grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Program of the National Science Foundation.

The grant will fund research to study high-performance laser scribing of advanced thin-film materials.

“Thin-film materials have broad applications in the areas of electronics, light sources, renewable energy, sensors, mechanical systems and more,” Lei said.

“With the emergence of new thin-film structures, there is increasing demand for high-performance laser-scribing techniques capable of clean removal of a thin film with minimal collateral damage.”

The proposed research will address this challenge at the fundamental level by studying how a laser beam can be used to selectively remove a thin film in a multilayer structure under a new laser-irradiation strategy.

The project will contribute to the scientific community by advancing a fundamental understanding of laser-matter interaction with advanced thin-film materials.

“The basic research from this project will generate scientific knowledge to enable the development of high-performance laser-scribing techniques that have applications in numerous advanced technology areas,” Lei said.

“(This includes) scribing of solar cells and smart window glass, patterning of flexible electronics and micromachining of microelectromechanical systems and light-emitting diodes.”

First Global Food Seed Grants


The Office of Research Development has announced the results of the fall 2019 call for proposals for the Global Food Systems, known as GFS, Seed Grant Program.

The funding is intended to support innovative research in all aspects of global food systems, with particular interest in those projects that are interdisciplinary; engage graduate and/or undergraduate students; partner with industry, particularly those based in Kansas; and are expected to result in job creation and economic development.

All proposals were peer-reviewed by faculty members with a variety of relevant expertise.

Awardees and their project titles include:

  • Raghavendra Amachawadi, clinical sciences; T.G. Nagaraja, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; and Yonghui Li, grain science and industry: “Evaluation of antimicrobial activities of sorghum phenolic compounds against liver abscess-causing pathogens.”
  • Audrey Joslin, geography; Jason Bergtold, agricultural economics; and Marcellus Caldas, geography: “Agricultural food production and the conservation reserve program in the context of wildfire: assessing rural perceptions and land management in the U.S. Southern Plains.”
  • Yonghui Li, grain science and industry; and Kadri Koppel, food, nutrition, dietetics and health: “Screen and identify sustainable plant-protein sources as alternatives to animal-protein foods.”
  • Prathap Parameswaran, civil engineering; and Ganga Hettiarachchi, agronomy: “Closing the loop: sustainable food production through integrated recovery of biofertilizers and water for reuse from animal waste operations.”
  • Sara Rosenkranz, food, nutrition, dietetics and health; and Yong-Cheng Shi, grain science and industry: “Long-term consumption of Resistant Starch Type-4 (RS4): implications for obesity and chronic disease.”
  • Kaliamesh Siliveru, grain science and industry; Suprem Das, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering; and Randall Phebus, animal sciences and industry: “Rapid detection and mitigation techniques to prevent the potential risk of E. coli contamination in the wheat supply chain.”
  • Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering; Weiqun Wang, food, nutrition, dietetics and health; and Jason Griffin, horticulture and natural resources: “Hemp: a new crop for nutritious food in Kansas.”
  • Umut Yucel, animal sciences and industry; Timothy Durrett, biochemistry and molecular biophysics; and Valentina Trinetta, animal sciences and industry: “Sustainable and biodegradable food packaging applications using sorghum DDGS.”
  • Sarah Zukoff, entomology; and Vipan Kumar, agronomy: “Skills lost to the age of GMOs, creating IPM Leaders to thrive in 21st-century farming.”

Principal investigators of selected projects will be providing progress reports after six months and at the end of the funding period, as well as participate in a poster session in fall 2020.

The next round of GFS Seed Grants will be due Feb. 28, 2020.

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