| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

Ohio Supercomputer Center enables Akron polymer engineering expert to make advances

Can man mimic nature to improve health?

Maybe. That's what a University of Akron polymer engineering expert is researching at the Ohio Supercomputer Center in Columbus.

Hendrik Heinz is using advanced modeling and simulation techniques to more precisely understand biomineralization, nature's ability to form complex structures, such as bones, teeth and mollusk shells, from peptides; and organic photovoltaics. The work could advance knowledge of how organic materials bond to inorganic materials. Ultimately, the results of Heinz's efforts could affect the making of materials used for things like bone replacement and sensing systems -- and even disease treatment and energy generation.

Heinz has noted previously that advances in materials science such as in biomedical and energy conversion devices increasingly rely on computational techniques and modeling. In particular, work at the nanoscale level -- such as charge transport mechanisms in solar cells, the formation of biominerals, and self-assembly of polymers in multi-component materials -- is difficult to observe. Model building and simulation are critical, he says.

The Air Force Research Laboratory/Office of Scientific Research in Dayton; Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, the National Science Foundation; and ETH Zurich  and Sika Technology AG , both of Switzerland join UA and the Supercomputer Center in supporting Heinz's activities.

Heinz is "just one of scores of researchers" who are doing "amazing work" on the computational and storage systems of the Supercomputer Center, says spokesman Jamie Abel.

The Ohio Board of Regents established the center in 1987 as a statewide resource. The state's universities, businesses and others use it for an array of educational and business purposes.

Sources: Jamie Abel and Kathryn Kelley, Ohio Supercomputer Center
Writer: Gabriella Jacobs
Share this page