Skip to main content

CSET Good News Report April 2023

Center for Materials Research and Engineering Department

photo of Jacob StrimaitisJacob Strimaitis, a recent Ph.D. graduate at the Center for Materials Research and CREST CREAM scholar, advisor Dr. Messaoud Bahoura, has his research titled " Investigation of the Effect of Degree of Prelithiation on High-Performing Hybrid Supercapacitors Made with Porous CaFe2O4 Anodes", accepted for publication in the Journal of Energy Storage (impact factor - 8.9).

The paper report on the first hybrid supercapacitors (HSCs) made with porous CaFe2O4 (pCFO) anodes prelithiated to different degrees. These pCFO-based HSCs perform competitively with other HSCs, both with respect to energy and power density indicating that pCFO may be uniquely resistant to the influence of lithium plating and so is a promising candidate for next-generation HSCs.

Messaoud Bahoura, Ph.D., Professor of Engineering and Director of the Center for Materials Research (Co-PI), Dr. Isaac O. Osunmakinde, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science (PI), Dr. Breshell Jackson-Nevels, Assistant Professor, Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work (Co-PI), Dr. Tonya Fields, a Cybersecurity Researcher (Co-PI), Ms. Akosua Acheamponmaa, School of Business, Program Director of the NSU Innovation Center (Co-PI) and collaborators from the Eastern School of Medicine (EVMS) received an award of $125,000 from the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium's (HRBRC) Collaboration Accelerator Fund (CAF) for their project titled “Using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to Expand Access to Mental Health Care for Underserved Populations in Hampton Roads”. The primary objective of this exploratory study is to employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methodologies to analyze patterns and predictors of mental health outcomes among underserved populations in the Hampton Roads region, with an emphasis on African American communities. By leveraging the power of technology, we can potentially transform how mental health care is delivered, providing tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of underserved populations in the region. This proposed research is a logical next step in the field of mental health care, as it has the potential to contribute significantly to our understanding of the barriers to accessing care and identify effective solutions for expanding access, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for underserved populations.

photo of Ajeeya DixonMs. Ayanna Shorter, an M.S. student in the materials science master program at the Center for Materials Research (advisor Dr. Mikhail Noginov), successfully defended her MS Thesis “Understanding Reflection and Energy Transfer in Nanophotonic Materials” on March 27, 2023.

Ms. Paula Fortuno, an M.S. student in the materials science master program at the Center for Materials Research (advisor Dr. Natalia Noginova), successfully defended her MS Thesis “Plasmonic Materials for Sensing Applications” on February 28, 2023.

Department of Physics

Drs. Doyle Temple and Leroy Salary received a grant from the Department of Defense entitled “Discovery and Investigation of New Materials for Quantum Photonics.” The $800,000, four-year award focusses on new materials for entangled photon sources and fabrication of new metamaterials nanostructures.

Materials Research Society Spring Conference 2023

Ajeya Dixon, chemistry major, Liam Harrigan, physics major, and Tekiyah Robinson, chemistry major, presented their research at the international Materials Research Society Conference Wednesday April 12th. The MRS conference was attended by well over 10,000 scientists from around the world.

photo of Tekiyah RobinsonCrystal Growth and Magnetic Properties of MgCr2O4
Ajeya Dixon1, Liam B. Harrigan2, Leroy Salary2, and Doyle Temple2

Departments of Chemistry1 and Physics2
Norfolk State University

Single Crystal Growth of Non-Symmorphic Material CuBi2O4
Tekiyah Robinson1, Ajeya Dixon1, Leroy Salary2, and Doyle Temple2

Departments of Chemistry1 and Physics2
Norfolk State University Norfolk State University

photo of Liam HarriganCrystal Growth and Magnetic Properties of Ba-doped CaFe2O4
Liam B. Harrigan, Leroy Salary, and Doyle Temple

Department of Physics
Norfolk State University

New HBCU Science and Technology Council established at Universities Space Research Association Washington, DC– May 3, 2023.  Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is proud to announce the establishment of a new Council – the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Science and Technology Council (HBCU S&T Council). This Council aims at fostering more collaborative opportunities for R&D in space-related disciplines between USRA, HBCU faculty and students, and the federal government.

HBCU Science and Technology Council members from Left to Right: Dr. Victor McCrary (University of the District of Columbia), Dr. Anika Bissahoyo (Bowie State University), Dr. Michelle Penn-Marshall (Texas Southern University), Dr. George Miller (Norfolk State University). (Council members not present: Dr. Charles Weatherford (Florida A&M University), Dr. Malinda Swoope (Alabama State University), Majed Dweik (Alabama A&M University), Farin Kamanger (Morgan State University), and Eric Muth (North Carolina A&T State University).

USRA, a nonprofit organization that conducts innovative research in space-related science, technology, and engineering, recognizes the importance of a collaborative team to drive innovation and progress. The HBCU S&T Council will serve as a platform offering HBCU faculty and students the ability to partner and engage in research projects, professional development, and networking opportunities with USRA and its government sponsors in a variety of space- and aeronautics-related fields.

To facilitate these partnerships, Council membership includes senior university representatives from Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Texas Southern University, and the University of the District of Columbia.

Dr. Jeffrey Isaacson, USRA President and CEO, remarked, “Engaging HBCUs has been, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of USRA’s mission to advance the space- and aeronautics-related sciences and exploration. With the establishment of this Council, I look forward to robust partnering opportunities among USRA, HBCUs, and federal agencies such as NASA, the U.S. Space Force, the DoD and national security community more broadly, and the National Science Foundation.”

“We are excited to partner with USRA to establish the HBCU S&T Council,” said Dr. Victor McCrary, Chair of the Council and Vice President for Research at the University of the District of Columbia. “By working together, we will provide students and faculty new opportunities to contribute to developing significant research innovations in both the basic and applied areas of national importance.”

The Council is addressing funding prospects from NSF for research projects and programs to build research capacity at HBCUs. It is also developing capability statements in the space sciences and engineering for their respective universities.  And finally, it is exploring various opportunities that may be available with the United States Space Force and the Department of Defense.

The scope of the HBCU S&T Council includes providing strategic guidance to USRA in support of USRA’s efforts to engage with HBCUs, identifying strategic opportunities and institutional needs, and providing contacts for future partnerships and programs. It will also identify programs consistent with USRA’s nonprofit mission and purpose to assist HBCUs with institutional capacity building in areas related to space-related research and development. In addition, the HBCU S&T Council will review and assess performance of USRA programs, and their impact on USRA’s nonprofit mission.

The establishment of the HBCU S&T Council is part of USRA’s growing commitment to promote collaborative efforts with USRA, HBCUs, and the federal government. USRA looks forward to working with the Council and advancing shared goals.

About USRA

Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities, and conducts other major research and educational programs. USRA engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. More information about USRA is available at