U hires researchers under USTAR initiative

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

The U recently hired three researchers under the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative.

Cameron Charles, Brian J. McPherson and Guido Gerig are the first three of 30 researchers the U hopes to hire.

The initiative’s main goal is to attract world-class scientists and researchers to help boost Utah’s economy.

“Strong researchers will then bring in talented students?and more companies will be motivated to establish operations in Utah to gain access to talented graduates,” Charles said.

The initiative funding will also provide a new building with state-of-the-art laboratories.

“USTAR is helping to attract the world’s top scientists?which will support students and world-class programs at the U,” said Jack Brittain, senior vice president of academic affairs. “Everyone at the U benefits from our ability to hire world-class scientists.”

Charles began work on Jan. 1 as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

His research will focus on high-speed wireless communication systems to improve data transmission speeds and reduce the amount of power used.

Gerig will begin work as a professor of computer science on July 1. He will also be a member of the U’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute.

Gerig is working on developing techniques for turning medical images into diagnostic tools.

“This is vital to everyone who has ever had any kind of a tumor or brain disease,” Brittain said.

McPherson joined the U in August and has been working as an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. McPherson is also manager of the new Carbon Management Group and the U’s Energy and Geoscience Institute.

McPherson will be researching ways to pump the carbon dioxide put off by power plants underground and use it as a way to push out hard-to-reach oil.

“By injecting into the ground, we can prevent power plant CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming,” McPherson said.

The U is currently working on recruiting more USTAR researchers.