UW-Platteville's Hamilton presents research, looks to secure funding in Hawaii

January 15, 2013

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Dr. Jim Hamilton is pictured near a massive telescope at Haleakala, Maui. Hamilton and his team are working with the U.S. Air Force to maintain this telescope.

 

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Jim Hamilton, director of the UW-Platteville Nanotechnology Center for Collaborative Research and Development, spent time in Hawaii sharing campus research discoveries. Hamilton also worked to establish relationships that could result in funding for students and additional research and development at UW-Platteville.

Dr. Yi Zuo, assistant professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii at Mãnoa, invited Hamilton to Hawaii to share information about nanomaterials and to be a guest speaker in their Departmental Seminar Series. Zuo wrote software that the UW-Platteville NCCRD utilizes in its research.

In addition to his nanotechnology presentation, Hamilton presented at an Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies conference on space surveillance and also visited some of the world’s largest telescopes, which are housed on the Hawaiian Islands. “For some years now we have been working on protecting and cleaning optical surfaces on all of the world’s large telescopes,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton and his teams continue to perfect and collect needed data on the new, innovative way to clean mirrors on large telescopes using a revolutionary polymer product.

The process of protecting and cleaning the mirrors has always been difficult. The mirrors are worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and traditional methods have resulted in scratching and other problems.

Through this research, they have developed a business in Platteville called Phototonic Cleaning Technologies. The company has sales in 62 countries and has distributors in 20 countries.

Hamilton secures funding for international collaborations and trips from outside the state and university for his trips around the world. Corporations, governments and institutions of higher learning pay for Hamilton’s travels to update them on the research.

Hamilton’s short-term goal is to generate partnerships with companies who conduct work for the U.S. Air Force and Navy to advance the research of the next generation of polymer at UW-Platteville.

He is also hopeful to someday be able to place UW-Platteville students with government installations or private businesses around the world to continue their research.

Hamilton has done work with the U.S. Air Force and NASA. Among the many highlights was being able to have the polymer used on the Hubble Space Telescope. He also conducted work at the U.S. Space Surveillance Command in Maui, Hawaii, which tracks all of the items in space.

Hamilton is excited about what is on the horizon. “What we do in the NCCRD here was considered impossible by everyone around the world,” he said. “We did two impossible things: we figured out a process for protecting and cleaning telescope mirrors and we developed nanotechnology that enables use of graphene in industry.”

Contact: Dr. Jim Hamilton, director, UW-Platteville Nanotechnology Center for Collaborative Research and Development, (608) 342-1670, hamiltoj@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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