Pushing Boundaries, June 2014

The mayor of Paducah, KY, Jeffrey R. Seay, Ph.D., P.E. (AL E ’04), and an undergraduate chemical engineering student recently traveled to Gabon, Africa, to discuss economic development opportunities and potential research and collaboration between the University of Kentucky (UK) and Gabon. Dr. Seay is a an assistant professor at UK Paducah and explained how the partnership began.

“This opportunity has grown out of our on-going research in sustainable biofuels in Cameroon – the country to the north of Gabon,” Seay said. “Through the relationships we have built in Cameroon, we now have the chance to disseminate our work to other countries in the region. Learn more details about the trip, including the group’s plans to meet with several top leaders of Gabon such as the President of the Gabonese Senate.


Associate engineering professor Samir M. Iqbal, Ph.D. (TX H ’96), has received a NSF grant “to build an inexpensive device that uses nanotechnology and a simple urine test to detect the most miniscule amount of bladder cancer cells in a patient.” Dr. Iqbal, from the University of Texas at Arlington, is part of a team that recently published their findings in an upcoming issue of Analytical Methods.

As with other cancers, early detection is key in effectively treating bladder cancer, which “is frequently asymptomatic and as many as 25 percent of patients are diagnosed at an advanced and often incurable stage.” Iqbal said, “Our device and method can detect as few as two bladder cancer cells in a full liter of urine. That’s the kind of sensitivity we will achieve.” Click here for the article from Phys.org


The Los Angeles Times reported on a group of “self-described space cowboys (that) have won permission to be the first privately organized group to take control of a retired government satellite and change its orbit.” The group includes Robert W. Farquhar, Ph.D. (IL A ’59), who enjoyed a 23-year career at NASA, is a former Army paratrooper, and “legendary for making spacecrafts do things once thought impossible.”

In fact, Dr. Farquhar helped send the ISEE-3 into space 36 years ago. It became the first satellite to “park” in a region where the two bodies’ gravitational fields balanced. Read the article for more information on plans for the satellite, such as chasing another comet


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s