Campus and State briefs from March 9

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Distinguished professor improves semiconductor research, application

Jim Edgar, distinguished professor and department head of chemical engineering, recently received a patent for his invention that may help improve electronic devices and benefit the power electronics industry, according to a K-State news release.

Edgar received a patent for “off-axis silicon carbide substrates,” a process for building better semiconductor devices. Electronic products are composed of semiconductor crystals which need to be layered perfectly for the device to work.

“It’s like a stacked cake separated by layers of icing,” Edgar said in the news release. “When the layers of semiconductors don’t match up very well, it introduces defects. Any time there is a defect, it degrades the efficiency of the device.”

His research will allow manufacturers to build better semiconductors and minimize potential defects.

Kansas lawmaker makes Holocaust-abortion comparison

Republican Rep. Dick Jones of Topeka compared abortion to the Holocaust during a debate over a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion by removing a fetus from the womb in pieces, according to the Little Apple Post.

On Monday, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on the bill where arguments against the bill ranged from a lack of qualification in state legislature to regulate medicine to politicians having ulterior motives.

Jones said he views abortion as being a Holocaust against fetuses. Opponents of the bill said banning the procedure would increase health risks to women.

NBAF construction back on schedule

On March 3, the U.S. Congress approved the remaining $300 million to complete the $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, according to a K-State news release.

Located on the northeast edge of K-State’s campus, the research facility will have about 400 employees and is expected to generate $3.5 billion into the Kansas economy over the next 20 years.

Construction on the central utility plant of the lab has been in progress since 2013 and is about 90 percent complete.

“NBAF is needed to confront foreign animal diseases that threaten America’s agricultural economy and food supply,” Ron Trewyn, K-State’s NBAF liaison, said in the news release. “Building this lab is long overdue.”

Construction of the plant is scheduled to start in May and is expected to be completed in 2020.

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