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Photovoltaic Technology Research Laboratory Opens

With the purpose of teaching the science and engineering of solar energy and partnering with industry to research methods for producing more-efficient and lower-cost solar cells, the Lee College of Engineering has opened the new Photovoltaic Technology Research Laboratory. Located in the Energy Production and Infrastructure Building, the photovoltaic lab is under the direction of Dr. Aba Ebong, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The production laboratory equipment includes a RTP2 rapid thermal belt furnace, an in-line diffusion furnace and a screen printing system. The production lab can fabricate solar cells using the exact same methods as industry. A computational modeling and solar cell testing laboratory is also part of the new photovoltaic facility. On the educational side, the facility provides students the chance to see how solar cells are produced from start to finish.

Engineering Professor Studies Wastewater Treatment

For years, scientists have been aware of the potential problems of antibiotics being present in wastewater, and the research of Dr. Olya Keen is now showing that treatments to clean wastewater may actually be creating new antibiotics and further contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

An assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Keen began her current research into the behavior of antibiotics in wastewater in the summer of 2014. She recently presented her initial findings at a conference of the American Chemical Society held in Denver, Colorado.

"This research is a small piece of a larger question," Dr. Keen said. "There are varieties of antibiotics found in wastewater, and at this point we are just testing one. It is in a class of antibiotics that all have similar compositions, so we anticipate that other antibiotics in this class may respond the same way."