Accolades: Systems Engineer, Research Scientist Earn Recognition

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of UT Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager. 

Jonsson School Professor Receives Best Paper Prize

Dr. Reza Moheimani

Dr. Reza Moheimani, acting associate dean of academic affairs and professor of systems engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, recently won the best paper award from IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, considered the premier scientific journal in control engineering.

“I am honored and humbled to have received this award for the second time,” said Moheimani, holder of the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology.

Moheimani accepted the award for his research on multifrequency atomic force microscopy (AFM) at a ceremony held in December during the 2018 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Miami. The paper was co-written by Dr. Michael Ruppert, Moheimani’s graduate student at the University of Newcastle, Australia, who was a visiting scholar at UT Dallas.

A conventional atomic force microscope uses a microcantilever probe to create 3D images of surfaces at extremely high resolutions, hundreds of times beyond what is possible with optical microscopy. It is used in a variety of applications, such as imaging the structure of biological molecules, studying tissues and cells (for instance, distinguishing cancer cells from normal cells), and identifying the atomic structure of materials.

“A microcantilever force sensor has many modes, and researchers have found that operating it simultaneously in several modes unravels important properties beyond what could be gleaned from conventional AFM,” Moheimani said. “In this paper, we proposed a robust feedback controller that enables arbitrary control of microcantilever quality factors. This enabled us to improve imaging stability and achieve higher cantilever bandwidth while imaging nanometer features. This work is particularly important in enabling video-rate multifrequency AFM, a technology that does not yet exist.”

Moheimani has focused on control of high-precision mechatronic systems, including AFM, throughout his career and won the journal’s best paper prize in 2007 for his research on the control of piezoelectric tube nanopositioners.

Materials Scientist Named to Board of International Organization

Dr. Monica Jung de Andrade

Dr. Monica Jung de Andrade, a research scientist at the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Materials Research Society (MRS), an international professional organization of more than 14,500 materials researchers from academia, industry and government.

An active MRS member since 2012, de Andrade is founder of the MRS chapter at UT Dallas. At the national organization, she has held positions on both the academic affairs and member engagement committees, and from 2014 to 2018 she chaired the international student affairs subcommittee.

De Andrade has worked with MRS to promote and engage young professionals from around the world, and in 2017 she received the MRS Woody White Service Award.

“I’m proud to be representing UT Dallas at such a prestigious professional society,” she said.

In addition to carrying out research in areas such as nanostructured composites, hybrid materials, smart materials and carbon nanomaterials, de Andrade is an instructor and mentor for undergraduate students at UT Dallas.

“With her ever-increasing contributions to the Materials Research Society and her efforts to engage and encourage students in materials science, Dr. de Andrade is such an important role model for young researchers,” said Dr. Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute and the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].