Award! The American Physical Society Division of Materials Physics has awarded Melanie White an Ovshinsky Student Travel Honorable Mention Award to attend the 2016 APS March Meeting.   This award will allow her to present her work with advisor Dr. Ravhi Kumar on a high pressure synchrotron x-ray diffraction and Raman study of rare earth pyrochlore oxide. Each year, ten Ovshinsky Student Travel Awards and ten Honorable Mention Awards are granted based on a highly competitive, international application process.   The awards enable students to participate in the APS March Meeting sessions and assist the careers of student researchers.


 December 2015 026Daniel Sneed designed and constructed a portable ruby fluoresce spectrometer. The instrument was commissioned by the Canadian Light Source and was installed in November 2015 in proximity of the IR beamlines.

This fall Emily Siska and Daniel Mast attended and presented posters at the IUCr IUCR2015High-Pressure workshop. The workshop focused on recent advances in high pressure techniques. Talks included high-pressure crystallography, new materials synthesis, physical and chemical properties, theory and computation, as well as technique developments for high-pressure studies at synchrotrons. The workshop was a good and productive experience where Emily and Daniel learned about high pressure techniques that will advance their research and had the opportunity to talk to researchers from around the world doing similar work.

AWARD! The Powder Diffraction Scientific Interest Group (SIG) of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) has awarded Daniel Mast a 2015 Margaret C. Etter Student Lecturer Award. With this Daniel presented his high pressure work on technetium metal in Philadelphia, PA at the ACA 65th Annual Meeting, July 25th – 29th. Each SIG has the opportunity to select one student to receive an award and to present a lecture. Selections are based upon submitted abstracts and are independent of whether the student originally requested an oral or poster presentation.

The DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications!

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2015 Solicitation 2Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Tuesday December 15, 2015.

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

Contributing at Las Vegas Science EventsIMG_20150602_133851

HiPSEC students Chris Higgins and Andrew Alvarado volunteered as judges at the


Skybot competition held on May 23 in Las Vegas. The event was also attended by Congressman Joe Heck. Here is a synopsis of the event:  “The main goal of the Skybot Engineering and Business Innovation Challenge (SEBIC) is to inspire students to find a passion in some aspect of technical education. It will be more than just “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”, commonly known as STEM. It will include business attributes, community service, espirit de corps, sportsmanship in the form of magnanimous competitiveness, and execution of the actual competition. Robotics have been part of competitions for many years. With the advent of airborne drones, or Skybots, it is imperative that the third dimension gets added. Nevada is the first in the nation with this competition.”

GRADUATION! Nirup Bandaru has completed his doctoral degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Dr. Ravhi Kumar, Dr. Rama Venkat and Dr. Clemens Heske as advisory committee chairs. His dissertation work entitled “STRUCTURE AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF TRANSITION METAL DICHALCOGENIDES (TMDs) UNDER HIGH PRESSURE AND HIGH TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS” was supported by HiPSEC. Nirup took a job as a Research and Development Scientist at PDF Solutions, a semiconductor fabrication company located in San Jose, CA.

AWARD! The UNLV Foundation, in partnership with Southwest Airlines, has awarded Melanie White with the Student Travel Award for her work with Dr. Ravhi Kumar on a high pressure x-ray diffraction and high pressure Raman study of pyrochlore oxide, a potential nuclear waste containment material. Melanie will use the award to travel to Philadelphia, PA, to present the research at the American Crystallographic Association’s 65th Annual Meeting, July 25th – 29th. Melanie has also received an ACA Young Scientist Travel Grant. This project was also awarded first place at the 2015 UNLV CSUN Academic Affairs- Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Poster Conference.

AWARD! Howard Yanxon is awarded with 2015 McNair Scholar Summer Internship to work with Dr.Ravhi Kumar. The McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program on our campus is administered by the UNLV Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach which received a grant from U.S. Department of Education.

compoMARCH 20, 2015. Melanie White, Nolan Regis and Kelly Seaborg poster presentations won awards at the UNLV-CSUN-OURS Poster Conference.




UNLV-HiPSEC students presented their research at the 2015 SSAP symposium in Santa Fe, NM on March 11-12, 2015. We are particularly proud of Patricia Kalita and Daniel Sneed for winning best poster presentation awards.




On February 12, 2015 the review panel came to the UNLV for the annual HiPSEC review. We had the opportunity to showcase our results to scientists of the NNSA, LANL, LLNL, Sandia and NSTec. HiPSEC students had the opportunity to discuss their research with senior scientists, establish new connections and discuss career development opportunities.