February 08, 2007

College of Science adds two faculty members

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale added two new faculty members this semester.

Liliana Lefticariu is an assistant professor in the Department of Geology. Saikat Talapatra is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics.

Interim Dean James Tyrrell said the new faculty members bring solid credentials to the college's faculty roster.

"Both of these faculty were hired in part because of their areas of specialization and open opportunities for research collaboration with other faculty already on the campus," Tyrrell said.

Lefticariu earned her doctorate in 2004 from Northern Illinois University. She also previously worked as a research associate at the Biogeochemical Laboratories at Indiana University where the NASA Astrobiology Institute funded her project. It focused on a geomicrobiological and

hydrogeochemical investigation of the physical and chemical limitations on life beneath the subsurface of Earth.

Lefticariu's specialty is low-temperature and aqueous geochemistry, emphasizing the elements that play key roles in biogeochemical processes. She focuses her research in the geological and environmental sciences.

"Dr Lefticariu's interests include the use of mass spectrometry, and she will join a group of faculty from several departments in the College of Science and outside of it interested in using this technique to address a variety of research problems," Tyrrell said.

Talapatra earned his doctorate in engineering science in 2002 from SIUC, where he also won the Richard and Donna Falvo Outstanding Dissertation award as a student. His research includes the growth, characterization and modification of carbon nanotubes and the study of

electrical, magnetic and other properties of those structures. He also studies other carbon nanostructures and their potential use in gas storage applications.

Talapatra completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute working in the laboratory of Pulickel Ajayan, a top researcher in the area of nanotubes. His wife, Poorva, is also an SIUC graduate.

"Dr Talapatra's interests are in nanomaterials and his interests will complement the focus on nanomaterials in the science and engineering colleges," Tyrrell said.


Liliana Lefticariu

saikat talapatra

Saikat Talapatra