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Research Alliance Selects Brandon Kemp for Fellows Program


-- courtesy Arkansas Research Alliance     

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) announced five new ARA Fellows, including Dr. Brandon Kemp of Arkansas State University, today at the State Capitol.  

In its second year, the Fellows program recognizes distinguished university research leaders who are already working in Arkansas at one of the state’s five research universities: Arkansas State University (A-State), University of Arkansas (UA), University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).  

Fellows are nominated by the chancellor of their affiliated university and receive a $75,000 grant paid over three years.

The Fellows program was created to advance the mission of ARA by supporting world-class scholars whose work helps strengthen the competitiveness of the state through university-based research. Members of last year’s inaugural Fellows class focus on innovations in biomedical engineering, plant biochemistry and nutritional improvements, electronics research for transportation and the electric power grid, as well as testing to help diagnose liver injury related to acetaminophen.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said, “Arkansas Research Alliance continues to help fuel economic growth in our state. By investing in distinguished researchers and nurturing innovation, they’re helping us more aggressively advance our economy and position us for the future.”  

Fellows announced today and their research focuses are:

-- Brandon Kemp, Ph.D., P.E., A-State
  Associate Professor, College of Engineering
  Research seeks to better understand the fundamental interactions between light and matter by developing a consistent theory of the momentum, energy and forces that electromagnetic fields exert on materials. 

-- Michael Owens, Ph.D., UAMS
  Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Director, Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies
  Founder and Chief Scientific Officer InterveXion Therapeutic LLC
  Research focuses on the development of medicines to treat drug abuse. These medicines are based on antibodies and vaccines that bind dangerous drugs.

-- Jessie J. Walker, Ph.D., UAPB
  Interim Coordinator of Computer Science
  Research focuses on cyberinfrastructure and defense super computers.

-- Cang Ye, Ph.D., UALR
  Professor, Department of Systems Engineering
  Research focuses on healthcare robots for people with visual/physical disabilities.

-- Min Zou, Ph. D., FASME, FSTLE, UA
  Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  Research focuses on nanoscale surface engineering for a wide range of applications ranging from anti-reflective coatings for solar panels to friction and wear reduction coatings for mechanical systems.

“We are proud to welcome these talented researchers to our Fellows program,” said Jerry Adams, ARA president and CEO. “They represent the exemplary research talent at Arkansas universities and the powerful potential that exists to positively impact economic development, innovation and advancement in our state.”

In his letter nominating Kemp, A-State Chancellor Tim Hudson called him one of the "rising stars" in electrical engineering, saying his career ". . .  combines significant work in the realm of pure science with industry-leading applications of his theoretical work."

The ARA Fellows program is a companion to the well-established ARA Scholars program, which recruits research talent to Arkansas. Adams noted that the ARA Scholars and ARA Fellows programs are steadily gaining traction with the number of researchers nearly doubling in the past year.

“One of the many things that attracted me to ARA is the organization’s intense focus on making our state stronger through job-creating research,” said Sonja Hubbard, chairman, ARA board of trustees and CEO of Texarkana-based E-Z Mart Stores, Inc. “We are proud to put the support of ARA behind these nationally and internationally recognized researchers who will help us further stimulate commercial opportunities in Arkansas.”

About Arkansas Research Alliance

Founded in 2008, ARA is a 501(c)3 organization governed by a board of trustees comprised of chancellors from Arkansas research universities and CEOs from across the state. The Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) is dedicated to elevating the fundamental belief that research matters.  Operating as a public-private partnership, ARA invests in research that stimulates innovation, encourages collaboration and strengthens economic opportunity in areas in which Arkansas possesses core competency.

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Brandon Kemp
Brandon A. Kemp, Ph.D., P. E.

Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering

Kemp seeks to better understand the fundamental interactions between light and matter by developing a consistent theory of the momentum, energy, and forces that electromagnetic fields exert on materials. His team applies theoretical advances to model existing applications and explore the feasibility of emerging technologies such as tractor beams, invisibility cloaking, and controllable materials and surfaces.

An experienced professional engineer, Kemp has expertise in the application of advanced analytic methods to a variety of technical areas including electromagnetic wave theory, laser printer technology, optical trapping and binding, radar, source localization and electromagnetic interference. Prior to becoming a faculty member at A-State, he spent several years in product and technology development at Lexmark International, Inc.

He is a 2012 National Science Foundation CAREER award winner and a member of the Arkansas Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Center for Advanced Surface Engineering (CASE). He received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from A-State.