Hitachi Scholarship in Electron Microscopy

Hitachi Scholarship in Electron Microscopy

The Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility awards the Hitachi Scholarship in Electron Microscopy annually to two graduate students generating cutting-edge research and publications in the area of electron microscopy. The scholarship was established by Hitachi High-Technologies as part of their partnership with the University of Arizona.

Kelsey E. Hanson is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Anthropology, specializing in the archaeology of the U.S. Southwest. She is particularly interested in how specialized knowledge is cultivated and circulated in communities and how this is encoded in material culture. In contemporary Pueblo communities, paint recipes are often maintained and passed down by ritual sodalities, making paint an ideal medium to understand sociopolitical organization through time. Drawing from anthropological archaeology, Indigenous philosophy, and conservation science, Hanson’s dissertation research problematizes paint technology to understand the circulation of specialized knowledge in the rise and fall of the Chaco World of northern New Mexico (A.D. 850–1300).

To characterize paint recipes, Hanson is currently analyzing particulate samples collected from archaeological pigments, paint production tools, and painted media using a combination of polarized light, microscopy, X-ray fluorescence, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Thus far, these analyses are revealing new mineral colorants, specialized processing techniques, and previously unrecognized traditions of paint production. By treating paint technology as a material proxy for specialized knowledge, Hanson is using the circulation of paint technology to understand changing power relations through time, offering a new perspective on the sociopolitical history of the Chaco World. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, P.E.O. International, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's Lister Fellowship, the Getty Foundation, the Society for American Archaeology, and many others.

Anton A. Samoylov is a third-year year Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Adam D. Printz in the Dept. of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Anton’s research interests are motivated by a vision for a sustainable future, sparked by undergraduate research in sustainable plastics. His research currently focuses on engineering the mechanical stability of perovskite for applications in thin film photovoltaics through nano-compositing.

Advanced electron microscopy is crucial in guiding the development of composite perovskite thin films in Anton's experiments. "The Hitachi Electron Microscopy Scholarship is of great help when it comes to providing financial support to help me focus on my research as I prepare to submit my results for publication within the upcoming months. I hope my work will also help highlight the role Hitachi and the Kuiper Imaging Facility play in advancing quality research at the University of Arizona for a diverse set of departments."