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Newsmaker: Jennifer Aitken

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Jennifer Aitken, an associate professor of chemistry at Duquesne University, has conducted research on semiconductors that has attracted a $431,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 8:22 p.m.

Noteworthy: Aitken's research on semiconductor compounds won her a $431,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.

Age: 38

Residence: Franklin Park

Family: Husband, Lykourgos Lordanidis, and sons John, 5, and Nicholas, 2

Occupation: Associate professor of chemistry at Duquesne University

Background: The research Aitken conducts on semiconductor compounds used in everything from solar cells to imaging equipment examines the arrangement of atoms. The grant, her second from the foundation, will help her and her team of researchers as they work to develop semiconductors that are faster, lighter and cheaper.

Education: Bachelor's degree in chemistry from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., 1996; doctorate in organic chemistry from Michigan State University in 2001; postdoctoral fellowship at Wayne State University in Detroit from 2001 to 2003

Quote: “I … always just had these questions about the world around me and how things work, and I could answer a lot of those questions through chemistry.”

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