Following the handing over handed over computer hardware and software to enable the Chemistry Department to make further progress in the field of Energy research, lead researcher, Dr. Peter Nelson continues to laud the Fund for its assistance. According to Dr. Nelson, the progress that the research team has made since the August 2018 grant has surpassed even his own expectations. His team of two research students had been exploring ways to absorb and convert energy from the sun for use as electrical energy, a feat made possible by a US$15,000.00 grant from the Gary and Pennie Abramson Charitable Foundation for which UWIDEF has stewardship.
Dr. Nelson’s research group is interested in the development and characterization of liquid crystalline polymers and oligomers for biological applications and modelling the thermodynamics of these systems while making use of various intermolecular interactions so as to design stimuli responsive adducts.
Dr. Nelson received a Doctor of Philosophy at age 25-years. A native of St. Thomas, he is a past student of the St. Thomas Technical High School. After earning his PhD at UWI (Mona), he went on to study at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dr. Nelson is the first and youngest student from the University and the Caribbean to have accomplished this type of study there.
Smiling broadly, in reference to his team of research students he noted, “one of the things with research is that without funding, it’s next to impossible to get anything done. When we first got the donation, I remember pointing out how time and resource-consuming our project would have been. Don’t get me wrong...I love a challenge but thanks to UWIDEF’s support, we were able to minimize this with the use of a more efficient computer system with faster operating capabilities.
"I will forever be grateful to UWIDEF”, Dr. Nelson continued, “if it weren’t for the Fund, a lot of the work we do now, would not have been possible. Take this lab for instance; in one year 35 or so articles were published, five of which came from our team. With over 100 faculty members, that’s no small feat. Our productivity is something I am extremely proud of, and it is all thanks to UWIDEF and their support”.