Hitachi Electron Microscopy Scholarship

June 1, 2021

Congratulations to Abhinav Nishant and Laura Seifert, recipients of the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Scholarship for 2021/2022! Hitachi High Technologies established this award as part of their partnership with the University of Arizona in support of the Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility. Hitachi recognizes the need for advanced electron microscopy in addressing fundamental questions across the physical sciences and engineering. This competitive award is provided based on demonstrated ability for original scholarship and communication of research to the scientific community.


Abhinav Nishant is a Ph.D. student at the J.C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. He is working with Dr. Robert Norwood in the study and development of optical polymers for integrated photonics applications. Being awarded the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Scholarship is a great source of encouragement for Abhinav, validating for him the importance of the research he has undertaken. Abhinav writes, “With the support of Hitachi and Kuiper Imaging Facility, I can further my study of low-cost optical materials, paving the way towards making high quality and inexpensive photonic devices, such as trace gas sensors.” In the coming months, Abhinav aims to publish his work to showcase the high-quality research being done at the University of Arizona.

Laura Seifert is a fourth year Ph.D. student at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Her research involves the chemical and structural characterization of circumstellar grains that formed in the ejecta of supernova explosions. These grains are preserved in primitive materials such as meteorites and Laura analyzes them using advanced electron microscopy techniques. The goals of Laura’s research are to understand the types of materials, structures, and compositions that are formed in supernova environments and use such information to understand their thermodynamic origins, transport, subsequent modification, and preservation in solar-system materials. Laura writes, “I’m honored to receive the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Scholarship, which will further support my research and dissertation.” Upon completion of the Ph.D., Laura aspires to a career working at a NASA center continuing her work with planetary materials and advanced electron microscopy.