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UNM School of Engineering Researchers Win Two "Oscars of Innovation" from R&D Magazine

July 12, 2011

RDlogoTwo technologies developed by UNM School of Engineering researchers in collaborations with the national laboratories and other universities have been recognized by R&D Magazine as among the 100 top high technology products this year. The R&D 100 Awards, widely recognized as the "Oscars of Innovation,” will be presented Oct. 13 during a black-tie gala at the SeaWorld Conference Center in Orlando, Fla.

One award went to veteran researcher Jeff Brinker, Distinguished and Regent's Professor of Chemical & Nuclear Engineering, for Biomimetic Membranes for Water Desalination, a solution to address the global challenge of clean water. Brinker collaborated with a team from UNM and Sandia National Labs to create a novel nanoporous synthetic material that is an improvement over reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for water desalination.

Another award went to an up-and-coming junior faculty in the Department of Computer Science: Assistant Professor Dorian Arnold. He collaborated with researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin on STAT, a highly scalable debugging tool for identifying errors in computer codes running on supercomputers with 100,000 processor cores and above.

“I am proud of the UNM School of Engineering’s R&D 100 award winners,” said School of Engineering Dean Gruia-Catalin Roman. “Our partnerships with the national labs and industry are resulting in breakthrough solutions to environmental and societal challenges. Congratulations to all the researchers involved in these projects.” 

Jeff Brinker and the R&D 100 Award for Biomimetic Membranes
jeffrey-brinkerBrinker is a researcher with over a decade of experience creating breakthrough technologies. In 1990, he wrote a seminal book on solgel processing, a means of making inorganic materials molecule-by-molecule in a beaker, much like organic polymers. Today, sol-gel processing methods are used in everything from makeup to tires, and 
Brinker is internationally known for his work in advanced materials. Brinker is not only a Distinguished and Regent's Professor, he is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and one of only two Fellows at Sandia National Laboratories.

Brinker’s UNM collaborators on the Biomimetic Membranes are Ying-Bing Jiang, Senior Research Scientist in the UNM Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and Dr. Shaorong Yang, post-doctoral researcher in the UNM Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.

Dorian Arnold and the R&D Award for STAT
dorian-arnoldArnold began working on the scalable debugging tool that led to the R&D 100 Award during the summer he visited Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a student scholar. He received his PhD in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin and joined the UNM CS Department in January 2009. At UNM, he teaches computer sciences courses, primarily in Operating and Distributed Systems. His research focuses on high-performance computing and the performance and reliability of large scale distributed systems.  He is co-director of the Scalable Systems Laboratory, where his students’ research topics like scalable computer infrastructures, autonomous computer systems, and computer system reliability.