Eleven UW-Stevens Point students and Dr. Lori Lepak—a research
associate in UWSP Professor Michael Zach’s Nanoresearch Laboratory— received
the Best Poster Award in the Nanostructured Carbon Materials and
Nanoelectronics session at the International Materials Research Congress in
Lepak and her team won the award for the student poster that showcased their
research on nanowires, microscopic devices with applications in solar cells,
biomedical operations and in other electronics.
Lepak did part of the work on the project at Argonne National Laboratory in
Illinois where she synthesized the diamond templates used for growing
nanowires with the help of UWSP undergraduates in the local laboratory. The
rest of the project was worked on at UWSP with help from chemistry students
with varying backgrounds and goals.
“Dr. Lori has done a fantastic job at mentoring students, solving problems and
communicating our great results,” Zach said. “The entire team has done fantastic
work. I find it truly exhilarating to be leading UWSP students in this type of
Many of our students have great work ethics, but coming from small towns they
have never had the opportunity to contribute to science at an international
level. I look forward to the next few years as we demonstrate the fruits of our
research to the local community and at a national level. It is also our hope to
start a business with these new discoveries and bring high tech jobs to central
“It’s good preparation for a variety of fields,” Lepak said.
UWSP chemistry Professor John Droske created a polymer used in part of the
project and Alan Marten of Marten Machining in Stevens Point manufactured a
machine used in the process of mass-producing nanowires.
“We’re just one piece of the puzzle but we interlock with local industries,”
Lepak said that the research done at Professor Zach’s laboratory could
culminate in a business being started and with it bring high-tech and environmentally
friendly jobs to the central Wisconsin area along with further research and
employment opportunities for students.
The UWSP undergraduate students who co-authored the research with Drs. Lepak
and Zach included Andrew Zimmerman, Samuel Hempel, Corina Grodek, Dylan Jones,
Ephriam Daniels, Daniel A. Dissing, Ruth Gervais, Katherine Ebensperger, Anne
Llinas, Jeffrey Machovec, and Julia Weber. Additional local authors include
Alan Marten from Marten Machining, Timea Hohl and David Seley (former UWSP
postdoc in Zach’s laboratory, now in Colorado). Authors from Argonne National
Laboratory include Anirudha V. Sumant, Ralu Divan, C. Suzanne Miller, and