Discovery Park International


Click on any one of the projects below to expand for more information.


AzerbaijanScientists advise as Aszerbaijan moves into modern era.
"Azerbaijan is an oil-rich country, the pipelines are completed and oil is flowing to the West. It stands to make a lot of money. The government may now be able to address problems they didn't have the resources to deal with in the past."

- John Bickham, director of Purdue's Center for the Environment

Cytometry for Life

CytometryCytometry is the study of cells and their environments and has been an established science for over 50 years. The living cell is the smallest independent operational unit of the body and understanding how cells work is what cytometry is all about. Cytometry is especially important today in handling the AIDS epidemic. There are between 30 and 40 million individuals in resource-poor nations infected with the HIV virus who desperately need to receive antiviral therapy.

Cytometry for Life is helping to solve the AIDS epidemic by:

  • Using technology to reduce the cost of production of CD4 measuring instruments.
  • Developing: manufacturing, disbritution, and administration channels to get technological solutions to those who need it most.

Energy Center Global Partnerships

Energy Center Global PartnershipsEnergy Center Global Partnerships began its activity in the 1990s and is the product of the work of Purdue's Power Pool Development Group (PPDG) and State Utility Forecasting Group (SUFG). Energy policy is applied to International Regional electricity and natural gas markets. A policy analysis and assessment takes place between the Purdue team and regional regulations, utilities, academic research groups, consultants, government departments, and economic regional secrerateriates.

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Global NanoHub

Global NanohubThe nanoHUB is a rich, web-based resource for research, education and collaboration in nanotechnology. The nanoHUB hosts over 1000 resources including Online Presentations, Courses, Learning Modules, Podcasts, Animations, Teaching Materials, and more. Resources come from over 500 contributors in the nanoscience community, and are used by thousands of users from over 170 countries around the world.

In-field direct combustion fuel property changes of switchgrass harvested from summer to fall.

C.A. Ogden, K.E. Ileleji, K.D. Johnson, Q. Wang

Innovative Transportation between U.S. and Canada

On November 16, 2009, the NEXTRANS Center, with the assistance of the Government of Canada/avec l'appui du gouvernement du Canada and Access Technology Across Indiana, hosted a conference at Purdue University titi tled, "In Step, In Line, On Time: Regional Strategies for Trade, Security, and Mobility Challenges at the U.S. - Canada Border."

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Life Long Analysis of Bladder Cancer Development and Patient Care

Energy Center Global PartnershipsThe goal of this project is to develop a methodology to study complete cancer care trajectories using the care of pet dogs with naturally occurring cancer as a proxy to the delivery of human healthcare. The long term goal is to be able to predict cancer behavior and response to therapy in the individual patient, and thus to individualize cancer care.

- Seza Orcun, e-Enterprise Center, Discovery Park
- Pinar Ozbay, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

Preparation of Chemically Functionalized Surfaces through Ion Soft Landing and their Utilization in Heterogeneous Reactions
  1. Prof. R. Graham Cooks, Aston Labs for Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University
  2. Jobin Cyriac, Post Doc Fellow, Aston Labs for Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University


Preparation of Chemically Functionalized Surfaces through Ion Soft Landing and their Utilization in Heterogeneous ReactionsThe project concerns polyatomic ion/surface interactions at low collision energy (low eV range), especially as related to the long-term objective of preparing reactive surfaces that might be prototypes of future catalytic materials. The overall aim is to broaden the applications of mass spectrometry through instrumentation and methods development and acquisition of chemical know-how relating to the preparation of specific and practically useful functionalized surfaces using ion soft landing (including reactive soft landing) and associated ion/surface collision phenomena.

The main achievement has been the design and construction of a high ion flux soft landing instrument with a secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) system for in situ analysis of modified surfaces and an ambient pressure reaction chamber connected to the main chamber for heterogeneous gas phase reactions. Present objectives falls in directions such as; (i) preparation of surfaces with appropriate chemical functionalities via soft-landing of molecular or cluster ions by transferring functionalizations from gas phase to surfaces, (ii) investigation of heterogeneous phase reactivity of these surfaces in particular, study the potential heterogeneous reactivity, including catalysis, of particular soft landed surfaces at ambient pressure with vapor phase reagents through the examination of changes in surface chemistry as well as characterization of the gas-phase reaction products, (iii) preparation and characterization of high-area non-planar functionalized surfaces. Chemical changes occurring during heterogeneous reaction could be monitored by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and vapor products (in reactor) could be analyzed using residual gas analyzer (RGA). The aim is to improve understanding of ion/surface collisions at hyperthermal energy, utilize them to prepare reactive surfaces with higher efficiency and better control, and characterize the resulting heterogeneous reactivity.

Self-assembled CNT circuits with ohmic contacts using Pd hexadecanethiolate as in situ solder

Thiruvelu Bhuvana, Kyle C. Smith, Timothy S. Fisher and Giridhar U. Kulkarni

Soil water flow characterization and prediction in two different soil types
  1. Jagdish Singh, M.Sc., Punjab Agricultural University, India
  2. Dr. Dhanwinder Singh, Department of Soils, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.
  3. Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Water is a major carrier for movement of nutrients and contaminants within the soil. There are two broad pathways for water flow in soil; matrix flow and preferential flow. Preferential water flows is the movement of water in soil macro-pores including cracks and holes developed by biological activity. Preferential water flow in macro-pores develops not only because of the horizontal and vertical heterogeneity of hydro-physical soil properties but also due to holes/burrows made by plant roots, earthworm and other biological organisms. Macro-pores can potentially increase fluxes through soil. Clay content, mineralogy and the physical boundary conditions govern the characteristics of a crack network that forms and evolves with decreasing water content leads to preferential water flow. An important environmental concern of the preferential flow is the faster movement of surface applied fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other pollutants, into and through soil. The transport of solutes is complicated by networks of interconnected pathways which can transmit water and its solutes at varying velocities. These pathways result from biological and geological activity, such as subsurface erosion, faults and fractures, shrinks, well cracks, animal burrows, worm holes, decaying roots etc.

Preferential flow allows water to flow more quickly than in usual matrix flow pattern, influence soil situation and modify its response from agricultural perspective. Prediction of water flow in heterogeneous soil is made complicated by the presence of macro-pores. However, field experiments have shown that water flow in soil could not be described by the use of Darcian theory. Generally Richard's equation is the most often used model for water flow measurement. One dimensional horizontal soil columns present the simplest systems to assess the validity of the Richards' equation.

Simunek et al 2008 developed HYDRUS_1D model which numerically solves the Richards equation for saturated-unsaturated water flow and advection-dispersion type equations for heat and solute transport. The water flow equation incorporates a sink term to account for water uptake by plant roots. The flow equation may also consider dual-porosity type flow or dual permeability type flow. Braudeau et al (2004) presented a functional model of the unsaturated soil water medium that recognizes the hierarchical nature of the soil structure and its swelling properties and named it functional representative volume of the soil water medium as pedostructure. They developed relationships for all the structural specific volumes (air, water and pores system) as a unique function of soil water content at equilibrium state as defined by the shrinkage curve. Braudeau and Mohtar (2006) developed pedostructure based parametric functions for the soil structure and water interaction represented by soil shrinkage and matrix water potential curves to derive the swelling curve equation. This equation represents the kinetic of absorption of water by swelling of the primary peds within the pedostructure. Braudeau et al (2009) presented a soil water structure model "Kamel", which was developed, based on the hierarchical soil structure taking into account its thermodynamic properties. The "kamel" model run with a set of 15 soil input parameters called as pedostructure parameters which are parameters of physically based equation of four soil characteristic curves that can be measured in laboratory. This kamel model can be used for water flow simulation in soils but it needs to be validating under actual field conditions. The objective of this project is to characterize the water flow behavior in soils with varying clay content and to simulate and compare soil water flow using Hydrus_1D model and Kamel model.


  1. Braudeau E and Mohtar R (2008) Evaluation of the entry parameters of the Kamel Model,
  2. Braudeau E, Frangi J P, and Mothar R H ( 2004) Characterizing non rigid dual porosity structured soil medium using its Shrinkage Curve. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:359–370.
  3. Simunek J, Sejna M, Saito H, Sakai M, and van Genuchten M T (2008) The HYDRUS-1D Software Package for Simulating the Movement of Water, Heat, and Multiple Solutes in Variably Saturated Media, Version 4.08, HYDRUS Software Series 3, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, USA, pp 330.

The role of symmetry in the mass independent isotope effect in Ozone
  1. G Michalski, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University.
  2. S K Bhattacharya, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.


The role of symmetry in the mass independent isotope effect in OzoneUnderstanding the internal distribution of "anomalous" isotope enrichments has important implications for validating theoretical postulates on the origin of these enrichments in molecules such as ozone and for understanding the transfer of these enrichments to other compounds in the atmosphere via mass transfer. An approach is presented using the reaction NO2- + O3, for assessing the internal distribution of the ?17O anomaly and the d18O enrichment in ozone produced by electric discharge. The ?17O results strongly support the symmetry mechanism for generating mass independent fractionations, and the d18O results are consistent with published data. Positional ?17O and d18O enrichments in ozone can now be more effectively used in photochemical models that use mass balance oxygen atom transfer mechanisms to infer atmospheric oxidation chemistry.

Thermodynamics of hydrogen vacancies in MgH2 from first-principles calculations and grand-canonical statistical mechanics

R. Grau-Crespo, K. C. Smith, T. S. Fisher, N. H. de Leeuw, and U. V. Waghmare

The 21st Century Industrial Engineering

Parasuram Balasubramanian

Traffic Analysis

Traffic AnalysisStrategic Deployment of Vehicle Detectors
This research seeks to develop a mechanism to strategically deploy vehicle detectors to infer network origin-destination (OD) demands using limited link traffic count data. It leads to the problem of the identification of "optimal" locations for installing detectors so that maximum system observability is achieved with a limited monetary budget.

  • Srinivas Peeta, Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University (PI)
  • Shou-Ren Hu, Assistant Professor, National Cheng Kung University (Co-PI)

Water quality models: particulars and drawbacks in emerging sector
  1. Rabi Mohtar, Professor Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Director Global Engineering Program, Purdue University.
  2. Madhumita Das, Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Principal Soil Scientist, Water Technology Centre for Eastern Region Chandrasekharpur, Orissa, India.


Rabi MohtarIncreasing degradation and improper use of available water source are the major threat to sustainable development. Ready-to- use modeling tools are available to undertake the threat at various scales. Those were mainly built on to fix up the problem pertinent to specific region. Growing water scarcity gradually shifts the priority from tracking pollutant behavior to determining water quality to harness it for appropriate use especially in irrigation. Irrigation is a most water intensive sector. Assured water supply insulate crop from natural aberration and ascertains yield. Unfolding irrigation potential of water provides firm support to select crop, identify water saving measures and irrigation practices to promote efficient use of irrigation under diverse situations and consequently reduce water loss and save water for other purposes.

Madhumita Das Water pollution attacks the health of natural resources, deteriorates quality and eventually made them unusable for several purposes. Monitoring water quality became essential and a surge of water quality model has established. Those have mostly come up to fix the problem by regulating waste load or waste treatment process/s. In the run the need to develop model from the perspectives of water-bodies was unattended and overlooked. Over the years when fresh water is retreating sharply, exacerbates by water quality deterioration and lack of water management practices get matured, then the priority has been shifted as per gravity of the problems on natural ecosystem. Prudent use of water resources has become essential to achieve water security by promoting sustainable management of water resources for different purposes. That necessitates devising a system to assess the potential of water resources, accordingly planning could be initiated for its best use under diverse circumstances.

Self-assembled CNT circuits with ohmic contacts using Pd hexadecanethiolate as in situ solder
  1. Thiruvelu Bhuvana, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit and DST Unit on Nanoscience, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakuur Campus
  2. Kyle C. Smith, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University.
  3. Timothy S. Fisher, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University.
  4. Giridhar U. Kulkarni, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit and DST Unit on Nanoscience, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.


An easy and elegant method of CNT nanocircuit fabrication using a metal organic precursor of Pd, namely, Pd hexadecanethiolate, is presented. This precursor directs the self-assembly of individual CNTs spanning a gap between Au electrodes. This is achieved by first patterning the precursor along the edges of the gap electrodes, as it enables direct patterning by e beam. Further, thermal activation of the precursor at 250°C leads to metallization and the ohmic electrical contact between the CNTs and the electrodes beneath. A resistive fuse action of the soldered CNTs is observed as well.

Thermodynamics of hydrogen vacancies in MgH2 from first-principles calculations and grand-canonical statistical mechanics
  1. R. Grau-Crespo, Department of Chemistry, University College London
  2. K.C. Smith, School of Mechanical Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
  3. T.S. Fisher, Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for the Advanced Scientific Research, Jakuur Campus
  4. N.H. de Leeuw, Department of Chemistry, University College London
  5. U.V. Waghmare, Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur Campus


Ab initio calculations and statistical mechanics are combined to elucidate the thermodynamics of H vacancies in MgH2. A general method based on a grand-canonical ensemble of defect configurations is presented to model the exchange of hydrogen between crystalline MgH2 and gas-phase H2. We find that, even at the lowest hydrogen partial pressures at which the hydride phase is stable, MgH2 is capable of accommodating only very small concentrations of hydrogen vacancies. These vacancies are mainly isolated rather than forming clusters, contrary to what is expected from a simple energetic analysis.

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The international efforts at Discovery Park are enabling Purdue's achievements and global recognition for research and education. Our execution strategy involves developing interdisciplinary partnerships in addressing global grand challenges.

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Pankaj Sharma, Ph.D., MBA 
Associate Director for Operations and International Affairs (courtesy)
Sharma Associate Professor of Industrial Technology (courtesy) 

Sheryl Willison
Administrative Assistant