Material Science Graduate Student, Ms. Kayla Cole, is the recipient of a NASA Space Grant Fellowship. Ms. Cole and her advisor, Prof. Claudia Mewes (Department of Physics & Astronomy), are part of a larger NASA funded collaboration on “Micro-Magnetic driven Design of Multi-Component Magnetic Alloys for Advanced Electric Propulsion”. This new effort will assist the nation in the transition from primary fossil fuel to low-carbon propulsion technologies using such options as turboelectrics, which significantly reduce fuel burn as compared to current aircraft. The project is a collaboration between the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (Prof. Greg Thompson) and the Department of Physics & Astronomy (Profs. Claudia and Tim Mewes) and is hosted at the multidisciplinary MINT center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In her winning proposal, Ms. Cole’s research will focus on the functional design aspect and will use a combination of first principles calculations and micromagnetic simulations to guide the experimental teams at the MINT center and at NASA’s Glenn Research Center (Dr. Ron Noebe).
Dr. Dave Nikles passed away on March 19, 2018. He is survived by his wife Jackie, daughter Sarah, son Daniel, mother Lucille Nikles, and siblings Tim Nikles (Jeanne Nikles), Laura Nikles (Denise Bell), and Sue Nikles Moore (Tim Moore).
Dr. Nikles was a Professor of Chemistry, and was at The University of Alabama since 1990. During his tenure, he was a former Associate Director for the Center for Materials for Information Technology (MINT), and served as Director of the Central Analytical Faculty.
He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Akron in 1977 and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1982. From 1972 to 1977 he was a quality control technician at the Firestone Synthetic Rubber & Latex Company. From 1982 to 1990, he was a chemist with the Hoechst Celanese Research Division in Summit, NJ. While at Hoechst Celanese, he was a co-inventor of naphthalocyanine recording layer materials for a write-once optical data storage media and a member of the commercial development team.
Dr. Nikles’ research interests included materials science for information storage and related. The scope of his research encompassed the synthesis, characterization, and applications of organic, inorganic, organometallic, and polymeric materials for optics, electronics, optical data storage, electrophotography, holography, magnetic tape, and magnetic recording. Specific areas of interest were involved with new concepts for optical data storage, photochemical hole-burning for optical data storage, holography, electrophotography, near-infrared chromophores, porphyrin photochemistry, new magnetic nanoparticles for magnetic tape, new binders for magnetic tape, new processes for magnetic tape manufacture, pollution prevention in the magnetic tape industry and the reliability of archival data storage media. Dave was very active in research within MINT Center. His contribution through his expertise on magnetic particles to the various projects including MRSEC, G8 program and industrial sponsored programs are highly recognized. He was also very active in MINT’s education and outreach programs, especially mentoring high school students. Dr. Nikles was a member of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, the IEEE Magnetics Society, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He authored more than 60 papers and was a co-inventor on 12 patents. Professor Dave Nikles will be terribly missed. Our most sincere condolences.
(MINT Director Takao Suzuki)