UW News

May 22, 2012

News Digest: Honor: Xiaodong Xu, ‘Raise the Roof’ May 24, ‘Cirque’ launches at UW Tacoma, Honor: Buddy Ratner, science behind ‘Chasing Ice,’ Honor: Jeff Hou

News and Information

Xiaodong Xu garners Department of Energy early-career grant
Xiaodong Xu
, a UW assistant professor in the departments of materials science and engineering and physics, has been awarded an Early Career Research Program grant by the Department of Energy. The program, now in its third year, supports outstanding scientists early in their careers working in areas of interest to the energy department. Xu’s was among 68 grants selected from nearly 850 applicants. The award covers up to $150,000 in research expenses annually for five years.

Xu’s proposal concerning photon-electron interactions in Dirac quantum materials will investigate new materials at the quantum level. These materials display unusual interactions between incoming light, electrical charge transport and electron spin. His research seeks to better understand these interactions, potentially leading to new high‐speed electronics, memory devices and solar cells.

Ethnic Cultural Center’s ‘Raise the Roof’ party Thursday
The Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center will host a “Raise the Roof” party Thursday, May 24, at 3 p.m., at the buildings renovation site on the corner of Brooklyn Ave Northeast and Northeast 40th Street. Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to sign a beam and watch as a crane lifts this beam to the top of the roof.

Food will be available courtesy Seattles first Native American food truck, Off the Rez. For more information, visit the ECC web site.

The new Samuel E. Kelly ECC is undergoing an extensive renovation and is scheduled to open in late fall of 2012. Check out photos of the building progress: April 5, 2012, Jan. 31, 2012, Dec. 2, 2011 and Oct. 12, 2011 – Groundbreaking.

New financial conflict of interest regulations
The UWs policy on financial conflicts of interest is being revised so that it complies with new public health service regulations which go into effect Aug. 24.  Implementation processes to ensure compliance with the new regulations are still under development. Email communications will occur throughout the summer, and the new financial conflict of interest website will be updated frequently.

For all investigators, the monetary threshold for disclosing a significant financial interest will be lowered from $10,000 to $5,000, with no threshold for disclosure of equity in a non-publicly traded company. All investigators disclosing a significant financial interest will use a new electronic reporting tool currently under development.

Investigators engaged in public health service-funded research must complete online financial conflict-of-interest training prior to the expenditure of funds on any newly-funded projects; all significant conflicts of interest related to institutional responsibilities must be disclosed; the institution must make conflict-of-interest information publicly available prior to the expenditure of any funds; and investigators must disclose all travel reimbursement sponsored by (i.e., paid by an outside entity) or reimbursed by an outside entity for travel after Aug. 24, 2012.  Travel reimbursement from the following outside entities does not need to be reported:  an institution of higher education, a federal/state/local government, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute affiliated with an institution of higher education.

The staff in the Office of Research is available to assist and answer any questions.

‘Cirque,’ an activism traveling carnival, launches June 2 at UW Tacoma
UWs Q Center is celebrating National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride with “Cirque,” Washington state’s first student LGBT arts and activism traveling carnival, with Tacoma, Spokane and Seattle events.

Cirque features live music, performances, slam poetry, speakers, carnival games, food and refreshments at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 2, in UW Tacomas Philip Hall. The event is free. Register at http://depts.washington.edu/cirque

Preceding the UW Tacoma program, at 2 p.m., Cirque presents a talk by David C. Ward, the curator of the Smithsonian-curated Tacoma Art Museum Hide/Seek queer art exhibit in its final week. Tacoma Art Museum offers a discounted rate and exclusive tour through Cirque that afternoon. The UW Tacoma events are sponsored by Office for Equity & Diversity, the Diversity Resource Center, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and the Arts and Lectures Fund.

Cirque will have an event later in June in Spokane at which it will honor individuals statewide who have advanced the Q Centers mission of building and facilitating queer academic and social community though education, advocacy, and support services.

Details about the Seattle events are still in the works. For more information, contact: leoule@uw.edu or cirque@uw.edu

Buddy Ratner recognized for contributions to field of biomaterials
The European Society for Biomaterials has chosen Buddy Ratner, a UW professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering, for the 2012 George Winter Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of biomaterials. The committee cited Ratner’s excellence in research, his vision and his leading role in the promotion of biomaterials science worldwide. He will be honored at next year’s society conference in Madrid, where he will present the award lecture.

Glaciology graduate student to discuss science behind SIFF film ‘Chasing Ice’
Kristin Poinar, a UW graduate student in glaciology, will join director Jeff Orlowski following two screenings of the movie “Chasing Ice” to talk about the science behind melting glaciers. The documentary features stark video of vanishing glaciers, shot over years using time lapse cameras deployed in the Arctic. Inspired by National Geographic photographer James Balog, the film aims to shine a spotlight on the effects of climate change.

Poinar anticipates answering questions about moulins – kilometer-deep holes through the ice sheet bored by meltwater each su
mmer – which figure prominently in the film. She may also share expertise on subjects including glacier acceleration and the use of satellite images to study glacier change.

The film, featured as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, screens on June 9 at 6:30 at Harvard Exit and June 10 at 1 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Jeff Hou named community builder
Jeff Hou, chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture, has been presented a Community Builder Award by the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority. Hou brought stakeholders together for improvements in the International District, including the recently re-opened International Childrens Park. Hou has also been a leader in the King Street Visioning Project, which aims to revitalize the core of the International District.