The most recent installment in a series of awards totaling $700,000 from Nalu Scientific to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Physics and Astronomy will support training and work on high performance microchip technology. The funding is part of a $2.3 million grant awarded to the Honolulu-based technology firm by the U.S. Department of Energy to continue its work on high-performance electronics development.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is focused on advancing state-of-the-art detector tools for discoveries in fundamental particle and astroparticle physics. UH Mānoa Professor Gary Varner noted that besides high-energy physics, many of the same or similar detector technologies are used in the accelerator-based national lab X-ray light sources that measure the structure of viruses and proteins, which lays the groundwork for potential drug development.

“Support from Nalu Scientific allows our students and postdoctoral fellows to continue to develop mastery of the tools and techniques of the microelectronics trade that is essential to discoveries in fundamental physics research; and as a byproduct, myriad technology advancements to industry,” Varner said. “After this practical training, they are very well-prepared to join the high-tech workforce, and are in extremely high-demand.”

In the past couple of years, Nalu Scientific grants have supported UH Mānoa postdoctoral fellows Gang Liu, Ruth Perron and Ehsan Yavari; graduate research assistants Noha Mohammed and Charles White; and PhD graduate Kareem Elassy, who went on to work for Intel. Perron and Yavari have completed their fellowships and were hired by Nalu Scientific.