Super’ researcher returns to achieve new highs

Professor Paul Chu, a world-renowned physicist, is returning to UH full-time after receiving a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The grant was awarded to Chu for his continued research with superconductivity studies.

‘I’m most happy that Professor Chu has returned to full-time activities at the University of Houston and that he will intensify his lifelong quest for new, more useful superconducting materials,’ Dr. Harold Weinstock, AFOSR program manager, said in a press release. ‘He is one of the world leaders in this endeavor, and we at AFOSR are delighted to support his research in our new five-year program to reach new heights in superconductivity research.’

Chu, who was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988 for his discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, is gearing to step up his research.

‘In the 22 years since the discovery of liquid nitrogen high temperature superconductivity here in Houston, great progress has been achieved in all areas of HTS science and technology research and development,’ Chu said.

‘The time is ripe for us to bring what we have learned over the years in HTS materials synthesis, characterization and understanding to bear in the search for superconductors with higher transition temperatures and current carrying capacity, and even room temperature superconductors.’

Chu has been working from UH and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and has established multiple research centers in Hong Kong.

‘Paul Chu is one of those rare, multifaceted individuals who manages to devote his time to several important efforts, and do them all well,’ Corbin Robertson Jr., chairman of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, said.

After Chu joined UH in 1979, he founded the Magnetic Information Research Laboratory, the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, the Texas Center for Superconductivity and the National Science Foundation Research Science and Engineering Center.

With Chu returning to UH full-time, fellow researchers said they were excited to continue research that should greatly influence the future of physics and chemistry. Chu supports the science not only with his research, but also with funds for future researchers to continue the work.

Allan J. Jacobson, a UH chemistry professor and director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity, said Chu is undertaking a similar new activity in Houston.

‘A few years ago, Paul founded the Houston International Materials Forum with the intent of bringing the best and brightest minds together to research topics of global impact,’ Jacobson said.’

‘HIMF, created with initial funds from Dr. S. S. Chern, the Chu family and endowments totaling $3 million from the Cullen Trust for Higher Education, has the mission to define and identify the direction of future materials development by a group of world leaders in the field of materials, physics and chemistry.’

Leave a Comment