Dr. Masoud Kaveh
Assistant Professor of Physics
Dr. Chenggang Tao
Adjunct Professor of Physics
In the summer of 2016, Masoud Kaveh interviewed with Chenggang Tao at Virginia Tech for a postdoc position in Tao’s research group. Just a few days later, JMU offered Kaveh a position in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, which meant he had the best of both worlds. “It was perfect,” Kaveh said, “Now I could have my own research lab and be close enough to Dr. Tao to take advantage of his collaboration and his knowledge. Since then we have been collaborating on different projects.”
One of those projects was Kaveh’s first 4-VA grant project, awarded in the spring of 2017, where Kaveh’s team at JMU and Tao’s team at Virginia Tech worked on an innovative design of semiconductor samples and metals that had never been studied before, researching how to use semiconductor nanowires to overcome limitations of metals in transferring energy. As a result of the collaboration, they learned more about the science behind the interactions between metals and semiconductors and then applied that knowledge toward their second 4-VA project, awarded in the fall of 2018, to develop a new way of storing energy.
Kaveh has also been working on his 4-VA projects with one of the world’s biggest names in the field of semiconductor nano structures—Chennupati Jagadish. Kaveh first met Jagadish in 2011 when Kaveh’s Ph.D. thesis used samples fabricated by Jagadish. As a distinguished professor who has received many awards and accolades, Dr. Jagadish works with only a limited number of research groups from all around the world. “I am very lucky to have his support and collaboration as a young faculty here at JMU,” said Kaveh, “It is a perfect way of engaging JMU with cutting edge research in physics, engaging with the world and new ideas!” Kaveh’s team has published several papers and presented at various conferences around the country. “I just want to thank the 4-VA team one more time for all their hard work and support,” Kaveh said, “Thanks to the seed money provided by 4-VA, we have been able to move our project forward, publish and present our work and have our students get another level of education. Through this support our project got on the final list of the Madison Trust award this year. Also, this project was chosen by the Office of Sponsored Programs to present JMU at this year’s round of competitions for Jeffress Trust Awards.”
Watching our undergraduate students growing and becoming professional, confident researchers is a priceless experience I have had through these projects during the past few years.
I’ll never forget when Nikolas Roeske, a freshman physics major joined my group. He was very shy but motivated. Just a couple of years later, he presented our research at the Virginia Soft Matter Workshop, in the fall of 2018 at VT, among other faculty and post doctorate presenters. He did such a great job that during the break in that meeting, other faculty were asking me whether he was really an undergraduate student. I was so proud of him.