UW-Stevens Point: Free lecture introduces cutting-edge research at UWSP
UWSP University Relations and Communications
A student research program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is developing exciting new methods for nano manufacturing that could create new jobs in Central Wisconsin.
Chemistry Professor Mike Zach will discuss the research in a presentation, “UWSP’s Nanowires: High-tech, Cutting-edge Research in an Unexpected Place” on Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Pinery Room at the Portage County Library, 1001 Main St., Stevens Point. Part of the College of Letters and Science Community Lecture Series, the talk is free and open to the public.
Zach and his students collaborate on nanotechnology research, the study of manipulating matter at extremely small sizes. Outcomes in the field include manufacturing microscopic devices and structures with applications in medicine, electronics and energy production.
“Our students have the opportunity to discover something and become the first person in the world with that information. Unlike typical classwork study, where assignments are based on existing procedures, there is no ‘standard answer’ in research. Having a diverse background is a real asset when combined with information learned in classes because all these tools could be the key to solving a tough research problem,” said Zach.
Zach is a UW-Stevens Point alumnus who relates to student life in Stevens Point including the regional employment climate. To help them prepare for a career beyond the classroom, Zach and his students visited the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, one of the nation’s top government laboratories, last month. The group toured laboratories, met with professional scientists, and had a “behind the scenes” tour of Argonne’s new Center for Nanoscale Materials.
“These students were excellent ambassadors for our university,” said Zach. “An experience like this is out of the ordinary and the students all took something positive away from this opportunity. My hope is to let students know the sky is the limit on where they can take their scientific ambitions including starting original research while still an undergraduate. Many of my students realize they are becoming leaders of a cutting-edge technology discovered and developed right here in our UW-Stevens Point laboratory. They are discovering advancements of this technology and helping create jobs.”
Zach holds a master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California-Irvine. He teaches courses in Introductory Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, Instrumental Analysis and Independent Research.