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International Award Recognizes Boise State Leadership in Advanced Materials

David Estrada of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering recently was named a recipient of the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Medal for 2016.

The award recognizes “notable and outstanding research in Materials Science and Technology which may relate to biological, chemical, earth, atmosphere, ocean and planetary, engineering, mathematical, medical and physical sciences.” The medal was awarded during the 2016 American Advanced Materials Congress (AAMC) which took place aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship “Navigator of the Seas” Dec. 4-9.

“While this award is a personal commendation, it is actually international recognition for the hard work of my former and current students. It’s a privilege to work with researchers and students who are dedicated to elucidating the role of emerging materials in solving some of the healthcare related challenges we face as a society,” Estrada said.

The congress provided a global platform for researchers and engineers from 41 countries to present their findings in the field of advanced materials and technology. Estrada presented an invited talk titled, “Graphene Foam as a Bioscaffold for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering.” The talk summarized two years of collaborative work between faculty in three Boise State doctoral programs, Materials Science and Engineering, Biomolecular Sciences, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. The project was funded by a NIH pilot grant provided through the Boise State Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Matrix Biology, which is led by Distinguished Professor Julia Oxford.

“The intersection of graphene and tissue engineering is an emerging and exciting area which is a perfect example of the why the AAMC organizes interdisciplinary parallel symposium topics related to advanced materials. Such interdisciplinary settings are designed to breed new research frontiers,” said Dr. Mikael Syväjärvi of Linköping University in Sweden, and chair of the AAMC’s Graphene Forum. ”The innovative work presented by the team from Boise State University in this area exemplifies the creative and outstanding contributions to advanced materials research which the IAAM medal was created to recognize.” Syväjärvi is an internationally recognized scientist who has made pioneering work in large scale graphene synthesis and now explores the applications of graphene in gas and biosensing.

Development of multifunctional bioscaffolds for tissue engineering is just one of Estrada’s research foci. His team is also developing nano-engineered inks for additive manufacturing of flexible hybrid electronics with applications in biomedical and environmental sensing, studying fundamental electrical and thermal transport properties of emerging nanomaterials, and investigating the practical use of 2-dimensional materials in single molecule detection and analysis. Estrada was also recently recognized as the 2015 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Innovator of the Year, and as one of Idaho Business Review’s 2014 Accomplished Under 40 honorees.