Ceremony celebrates the founding of the CMST at SPC

Saint Peter’s College President Eugene Cornacchia, left, is presented a check by Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Dr. Brenden Godfrey, middle, and AFOSR’s Program Manager of Electro-Energetic Physics Dr. Robert J. Barker, right, on Friday, April 17, 2009.

Jersey City, N.J. – On Friday, April 17, 2009, President of Saint Peter’s College Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., joined Mayor of Jersey City Jerramiah T. Healy to welcome representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense for the formal establishment of the College’s Center for Microplasma Science and Technology (CMST).

“Locating the CMST within a higher education context stimulates educational outreach to young researchers pursuing careers in sciences,” said President Cornacchia.  Mayor Healy, who presented a proclamation for the CMST, also noted, “The education of our youth in the areas of science and math are critical during this technological era and will allow for us to best compete with countries in Europe and Asia. We are pleased that this vital educational tool is being brought to Saint Peter’s College and to Jersey City, placing this renowned institution at the forefront of the microplasma field.”

The day’s events included remarks given by Marylou Yam, Ph.D, the College’s vice president for academic affairs, in addition to Dr. Brendan B. Godfrey, director of the Department of Defense’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Dr. Robert J. Barker, program manager of Electro-Energetic Physics for AFOSR, joined Dr. Godfrey to present the $2 million check for the CMST.

Dr. Godfrey guides the management of the entire basic research investment for the U.S. Air Force, leading a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Virginia and foreign technology offices in London and Tokyo. Dr. Barker is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of plasma physics, microwave generation, and computational physics.

Len Sciorra, Ph.D., chair of the College’s Department of Applied Science and Technology, as well as Jose Lopez, Ph.D., and Wei-Dong Zhu, Ph.D., Assistant Professors of Physics for Saint Peter’s, provided closing remarks, which was followed by a question and answer session.

Saint Peter’s Department of Applied Science and Technology was awarded the $2 million in federal funding from the United States Department of Defense to establish the CMST in October 2008. The CMST, which is also a designated National Center of Excellence, will serve as the nation’s first and only scientific and educational center devoted entirely to the emerging field of microplasma research in the United States.

The purpose of establishing the CMST at Saint Peter’s is to create a hub for all laboratories across the country currently studying microplasmas, organize their research efforts, and host scientific meetings, workshops and conferences to help the national scientific research effort move forward.