A longtime champion of guiding undergraduate research, Dr. Kausik Das can be proud of the recent accomplishments of his former students and the work they have achieved together.  Publications related to areas of their research at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have reached milestones, and the students who were involved have excelled.  Six are currently attending graduate school with full scholarships and one has a job offer from NASA Wallops and another from Intel.

The lab’s paper describing plasma generation using a kitchen microwave and its applications was published in the April 2021 edition of the American Journal of Physics and was earmarked as an “Editor’s Pick.” The research was previously featured (August 2018) in the MIT Technology Review “as a potential game changer.” 

UMES students in the Department of Natural Sciences, Benjamin Barnes, Eguono Omagamre and Mahdi Fotouhi, along with students in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences, Habilou Ouro-Koura, Justin Derickson, Samuel Lebarty, Jesudara Omidokun, Nathan Bane, Othman Suleiman and Ayobami Ogunmolasuyi, are authors with Das.  Ouro-Koura is pursuing an advanced degree in mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and Ogunmolasuyi is attending Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school, in New Hampshire in the same field.  Barnes is continuing his education at the University of Maryland College Park studying nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Previous students in the Das research group have received full scholarship offers for doctoral studies at Yale and Duke universities.  A former undergraduate, Das said, recently received a highly competitive and prestigious National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship.

Das and his team’s June 2020 paper on creating graphene nano inductors using lasers is featured on the Elsevier website as one of the “most downloaded” papers in current applied physics in the past 90 days.  Collaborators with Das are Barnes, Bane, Derickson and Ibrahim Elkholy in UMES’ Department of Engineering.

The previous month, their research in collaboration with a team at the University of Houston was featured on the cover of the American Chemical Society Applied Nano Materials journal.  According to Das, this paper reported a new way to stimulate the flow of fluids at nanoscale (capillary wicking) by using a small increase in temperature or voltage.  Lower surface tension in fluids allows the bonds between molecules to break apart when forced into narrow channels, he said, stopping the process of fluid transport.    

The associate professor of physics was among 16 peer educators out of more than 16,000 faculty members across the state honored by the University System of Maryland as recipients of the 2021 Regents’ Faculty Awards—the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. Das was chosen in the “scholarship, research or creative activity” category.  He has secured $1.4 million in extramural funding and has involved undergraduates-many from underrepresented minority groups-in his research, writing and presentations. In 2019, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Das and a group of his students built a payload that flew a zero-gravity parabolic flight to collect data to be used in future space missions.

“Amazing outcomes are the signature of Dr. Das’ work.  He is extending the horizons of knowledge and developing the next generation of problem solvers and innovators,” said Dr. Moses T. Kairo, dean of UMES’ School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences.  “Thank you for all you do for students, and for science and education.”

Das’ teaching and research are supported by the National Science Foundation (HBCU-UP Award #1719425), the Department of Education (MSEIP Award #P120A70068) with a MSEIP CCEM grant, and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute through a MIPS grant.

Gail Stephens, Agricultural Communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, gcstephens@umes.edu, 410-621-3850.

Photo by Todd Dudek, Agricultural Communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension, tdudek@umes.edu.

Scroll to Top