Michal Lipson, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering & professor of applied physics, received an honorary doctorate for her pioneering work in silicon photonics. “This is an incredible honor,” says Lipson. “Trinity College is home to the AMBER Centre, on whose board I have had the privilege of serving. The center’s transformative research impacts science worldwide. And, the University of Dublin itself is a symbol of change. It is the first college to elect a female chancellor, & women now represent more than 50% of its student body. The university stands for - and actively works toward - progress across all sections of society & intellectual disciplines, including my own.”
CNN: "I'm a climate scientist, but I didn't work on the latest National Climate Assessment. I wasn't asked to do so, in fact. But if I had been, I would have thought hard before agreeing to participate, because the work is largely thankless. The scientists who put long hours, days, and years into assessments like the NCA, those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others do so on a volunteer basis. The time comes out of their other projects, reducing their output -- meaning fewer papers published on their own research, fewer proposals for grant funding to sustain their research groups, less time put into anything that benefits their careers directly. To what end?"
Simon Billinge, who holds joint appointments in APAM & BNL, was featured in Chemistry World. Billinge’s group uses techniques to tackle real world problems, improving the properties of advanced materials by subtly altering their molecular structures. These might be high temperature superconductors, batteries or photovoltaic cells, or, increasingly, pharmaceuticals. Many of the “failed” compounds on drug companies’ shelves are potent & selective inhibitors of their molecular targets but are too insoluble to enter the bloodstream. Reformulating by reducing the particle size can sometimes increase the solubility of a ‘brick dust’-like compound by as much as a thousand times.
Columbia Engineering researchers have created the first flat lens capable of correctly focusing a large range of colors of any polarization to the same focal spot without the need for any additional elements. Only a micron thick, their revolutionary "flat" lens is much thinner than a sheet of paper and offers performance comparable to top-of-the-line compound lens systems. The findings of the team, led by Nanfang Yu, associate professor of applied physics, are outlined in a new study, published by Light: Science & Applications.
Columbia Engineering researchers have built a Kerr frequency comb generator that, for the first time, integrates the laser together with the microresonator, significantly shrinking the system’s size and power requirements. They designed the laser so that half of the laser cavity is based on a semiconductor waveguide section with high optical gain, while the other half is based on waveguides, made of silicon nitride, a very low-loss material. Their results showed that they no longer need to connect separate devices in the lab using fiber—they can now integrate it all on photonic chips that are compact and energy efficient.