Knight to Serve as Division Leader of A. J. Drexel Plasma Institute

Published on Wednesday May 28, 2008

Professor Richard Knight has been announced as Division Leader of the A. J. Drexel Plasma Institute.

Drexel University has announced the designation of the A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute which will be a national resource capitalizing on the breakthroughs in plasma science and engineering and their novel application to problems related to energy, health, national security, and the environment.  The A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute will be directed by Dr. Alex Fridman, John A. Nyheim Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, and will concentrate on five areas that utilize non-thermal plasma: 1) fuel conversion and hydrogen production; 2) energy systems and aerospace engineering; 3) environmental control and waste treatment; 4) material treatment; and 5) medicine and biology. Drs. Gary Friedman, Alex Rabinovitch, and Andrei Starikovski will serve as Associate Directors of the Institute, and Drs. Young Cho and Richard Knight (MSE) will serve as division leaders.

This designation follows a process that included an application made to the Vice Provost for Research and review by a committee composed of members from the College of Medicine, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and the LeBow College of Business. The A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute joins the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute as foci of internationally recognized areas of interdisciplinary research excellence at Drexel.  The purpose of the A.J. Drexel Institutes is the development of use-inspired research programs leading to the development of new technologies and applications in their designated areas that will contribute to the development of practical solutions to complex societal problems.

In 2007, Drexel approved a Major Research Initiative in Plasma Medicine and Biology, which has received international acclaim for developing the field of plasma medicine in which plasma is used in the treatment of medical conditions for which there is no other effective intervention.

Drexel led the 1st International Plasma Medicine Conference held in Corpus Christi, TX in 2007. This major Research Initiative will be incorporated into the A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute. The plasma team has received funding from several government agencies, including the U.S. Army and Air Force, NASA, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, as well as corporations interested in the technology. Numerous patents based on their work have been filed.

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