Research Briefs

June 24, 2011

Geology professor receives Marie Curie Fellowship

Dr. Boris Lau, assistant professor of geology in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship that will provide more than $300,000 for a future research study in Europe. The award will allow Lau to investigate the role of microbial metabolites in metal sorption on mineral surfaces at the nano-scale. He said the results will provide insights for the water industry, so treatment can be improved by providing criteria for selecting bacteria that can synthesize particular metabolites to immobilize specific toxic metals. Lau is the first professor at Baylor to be selected as a Marie Curie Fellow.

Baylor invention could prove useful in determining purity of pharmaceuticals

Two Baylor chemistry professors have invented a new polarimeter, a basic scientific instrument used to measure and interpret the polarization of transverse waves, such as light waves, that could prove useful in determining the purity of pharmaceuticals. Baylor has now patented the device.

Dr. Kenneth W. Busch, emeritus professor of chemistry at Baylor, and Dr. Dennis Rabbe, MS '97, PhD '03, chemistry laboratory coordinator at Baylor, developed the polarimeter that differs from others in that it has no moving parts, which eliminates problems associated with wear and tear and possible inaccurate readings.

Engineering professor wins national educator award

Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been selected by the Society of Plastics Engineers for the 2011 Educator of the Year award. Bradley was honored in Boston on May 1 for building a new area of research on polymer composites at Baylor.

"I was truly shocked when I found out," Bradley said. "I have been building a polymeric composites research program here at Baylor and teaching an elective class each year called 'Engineering with Plastics,' but at this stage of development, I would not expect that I would be competitive for such a national award."