from five of the seven continents are currently working on experiments
for NASA at The University of Southern Mississippi.
coincidental, the vast geographical representation is befitting
of its project - the International Space Station.
is not lost on chief scientist John A. Pojman, who after a recent
revelation said, "I looked around my lab one day and realized
that most of the continents of the world are represented here."
A native of
Cleveland who now lives in Hattiesburg and New Orleans, Pojman is
a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with
a longstanding relationship with NASA.
The team is
preparing an experiment to test how miscible fluids - those fluids
that dissolve in each other - interact without the interference
of gravity. The experiment is called "Transient Interfacial
Phenomena in Miscible Polymer Systems (TIPMPS)." The models
used to simulate the experiment provide information on the fundamental
interactions between molecules. The results of the experiment could
help researchers better understand processes ranging from the dissolving
of plastics to protein crystal growth.
Pojman is joined
in his work by fellow scientists Boon Teo, a native of Singapore
who recently came to Southern Miss by way of Australia. Representing
Europe is Dr. Svetlana I. Evstratova, who hails from Rostov, Russia.
South America is Birsen Varisli, who grew up in Bolivia. Several
scientists call North America home, including postdoctoral researcher
Dr. Victor Wyatt of Union Church, graduate students William Ainsworth
of Mount Olive, Brian Zoltowski of Wausau, Wisconsin, and undergraduates
Kayce Leard of Natchez and Daniel Antrim of Waynesboro.
has been a very exciting and challenging project," Teo said.
"Being able to collaborate with such a wide variety of people
from different areas of the world has been a very enjoyable experience."
Internet, Pojman and his international crew continue their work
worldwide with other scientists - mostly in Europe.
with a group in France on the simulations of our planned experiments,"
Pojman said. "I have never met the scientist who does most
of the work, who is himself from Russia. The Internet makes all
the fact that "people want to come here from all over the world
is a tribute to Southern Miss and Mississippi.
benefit from the interaction with our students, our excellent faculty
and our facilities. But my students and I also learn about other
cultures, countries and educational systems. It's hard to say who
Evstratova said Southern Miss has allowed him to further his academic
career while learning new and interesting science - as well as meeting
new people from around the globe.
has a chance to meet people from around the world. I am able to
do this and learn top notch research at the same," he said.
"I am very grateful for the experiences that I have been able
to be a part of here at Southern Miss."