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New Orton Chair hits the ground running

Perena GoumaPerena Gouma, Orton Chair“Having being named Orton Chair is a great privilege and a huge responsibility for me,” said Perena Gouma.

“In the six months that I have held this position I have been upgrading the research facilities of my group and the department with a brand new materials processing system, a table-top Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis system that will be used for the synthesis of advanced materials, such as the Chevrel phases of molybdenum chalcogenides,” she said. “Also a new Phenom SEM with EDS capability has been installed in my lab for the characterization of the morphology and the composition of the various materials that we produce, from alumina nanowires to copper ferrite flexible mats.”

These new tools will greatly enhance the ceramic materials research and development efforts across Ohio State.   

Gouma has been busy establishing relationships with colleagues at the Global Water Institute and the Infectious Disease Institute, across different colleges, and across many U.S. institutions. “Putting together interdisciplinary teams and working on proposal writing for major federal initiatives has been an exciting endeavor at this time,” Gouma said. 

The start-up funds for the Orton Chair, which were made possible through the support of the Orton Foundation and Honda Endowment, have been used to support a post-doctoral associate and several graduate students working on projects including ferroelectric nanomaterials, sensors and breathalyzers for sleep apnea, and photocatalysts for water splitting and hydrogen production. A series of publications has been prepared for submission, and Gouma's research group has been giving invited talks at conferences and authoring book chapters based on research results.

She’s also eager to engage with the new Mark Lawson , the new general manager of the Orton Foundation, noting, “there is a great anticipation of strong interactions between the Orton Chair and the Foundation.”

“Several invention disclosures have been submitted on technologies developed by my research group while at Ohio State,” Gouma said. “Opportunities for commercializing some of these technologies, such as the wearable metabolic rate monitor, are currently being explored with the University’s tech transfer office.”

Finally, she’s taught a senior-level course on Composite Materials and has thoroughly revised and updated and will be teaching the Ceramic Materials Module of the MSE 3332 lab course.

The Orton Chair is a tribute to Edward Orton, Jr., who established the first ceramic engineering program in America and was a leader in the ceramic community. Orton recognized the importance of innovation for ceramic manufacturers. As an accomplished mining engineer and geologist, he made every effort to make Ohio State a leader in ceramic education.

The goals of the Orton Chair are to enhance the relationships between industry and the University and to broaden the contributions of ceramic educational programs in regard to the manufacture and use of ceramic materials.