Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > University supports research initiatives

Abstract:
The University recently announced the administration will continue to push its goal of becoming one of the best research institutions in the world and announced an additional $40 million of internal funding to support nine projects.

By Joseph McMahon

University supports research initiatives

Notre Dame, IN | Posted on April 28th, 2010

"Doing research is fundamental to the University," Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said. "The goal of the University is fairly simple — to be a source for good throughout the world. We do that through three ways: our undergraduate program, our research and our Catholic tradition."

The funding is part of the second phase of the University's Strategic Research Initiative (SRI), which began last year and now stands as an $80 million investment. Projects funded examine nanotechnology, sustainable energy, climate change and the interaction of Roman Catholicism and Islam, among other subjects.

"We are studying some very important questions and some very important problems, and the impact of the things that we find is going to influence many important things around the world," Vice President for Research Robert Bernhard said. "We felt, as a panel, that we have a chance to make great breakthroughs in those areas."

Bernhard said research is different for each field, and the University's goal encompasses "research, scholarship and creative endeavor."

"Many people in the humanities do research, but they often refer to it as scholarship," he said. "For the scientist, research is the discovery of knowledge — learning something that no one has ever learned before. For the social scientist, it's looking at improving human conditions. For the engineer, it's solving problems. For the artist and people in architecture, it's the creative experience of being able to do something that's admired. The shorthand version is, it's all research."

Bernhard said pushing Notre Dame to become one of the premier research institutions would help the University attract an elite faculty.

"Faculty from the very best universities are all involved in some type of scholarship or research and want the opportunity to continue that work because it helps them have an impact on the world and stay current in their subject," he said. "Research is important for people and for impact."

According to Bernhard, students also stand to benefit from the funding because it will provide them with not only the best teachers, but also the opportunity to get involved.
"I think students benefit significantly both from the type of faculty that we will be able to recruit as part of these things and secondly from the opportunity for them to get involved," he said. "More and more of our undergraduate students are doing research, and I think that the trend is going to continue."

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Jessica Hellmann agreed, adding that expanding research will allow the best students to work with the best faculty.

"Of course, research plays a critical role in enhancing undergraduate and graduate student instruction; the best students want to work with the best faculty on the most pressing problems of the day," she said. "By having a great research infrastructure, Notre Dame can offer courses and experiences to students that are taught by leaders in the field."

Hellmann, whose project is titled "Notre Dame Collaboratory for the Study of Adaptation to Climate Change," said her research will allow her to have a real impact on the world beyond campus.

"Research provides the University the opportunity to engage and affect the world around us," she said. "Climate change adaptation will involve difficult decisions that are legal, moral, scientific and political, and Notre Dame is uniquely poised for this kind of interdisciplinary and complex thinking."

Engineering Professor Tracy Kijewski-Correa, whose project is titled "CYBER-EYE: A Cyber-Collaboratory for National Risk Modeling and Assessment to Mitigate the Impacts of Hurricanes in a Changing Climate," said it is important for Notre Dame to fund research initiatives because it is one of the areas where the University lags behind its peer institutions.

"As a university with a strong undergraduate educational tradition, we lag behind many of our peers who have been doing research from ‘day one,'" she said. "One part of their competitive advantage, aside from their long standing traditions in research, is the fact that they have endowments to seed research ideas."

Kijewski-Correa said her project will help contribute to Notre Dame's mission by finding a way to save the lives that are often lost in disastrous hurricanes.

"Notre Dame has had a long tradition of responding with great compassion and generosity to help the afflicted in the wake of these disasters," she said. "This project would deepen that mission commitment by helping us to lead the way on developing hazard-resilient communities using cutting edge research to prevent these losses altogether."

The panel that evaluated the merits of the research proposals, which included both Affleck-Graves and Bernhard, originally received 45 three-page proposals. Bernhard said the proposals were evaluated based on a set of criteria, which included mission fit, contribution to the research prominence of the University, educational benefits for students and whether the project was sustainable in the future.

"The University is trying to jump start areas of research that they believe will be important in the future and where Notre Dame can play a role," said Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Paul Huber, who is leading an initiative called "Assessment of the Impact of Nanoparticles on Human Health and the Environment."

Of the original 45, 10 were invited to write full proposals, which the panel then sent to be evaluated by the top experts in each of the respective fields.

"My proposal was selected based upon the uniqueness of the research approach, the importance of the research to Notre Dame's mission and the possibility that the research could provide a significant return on investment in terms of research dollars resulting from the proof-of-concept research proposed," said Professor of Biological Sciences Malcolm Fraser, who is spearheading the initiative entitled "Developing Group I Intron Antiviral Strategies for Treating HIV and HCV Infections."

Fraser, whose project will attempt to develop cures for HIV and HCV, said his project will help raise the University's visibility in the research field while also possibly curing one of mankind's greatest plagues.

"The unique approach we are establishing immediately provides high value and high visibility research for the University," he said. "If successful, we will have made a unique and significant contribution to the development of cures for these two extremely important diseases."

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Gregory Hartland, whose project is called "A Focused Interdisciplinary Research Group in Nanostructured Solar Cells," said his project will help boost Notre Dame's reputation as a leader in the nanotechnology field while also attempting to find a cheap, sustainable source of energy.

"We think we will be able to get some very high profile papers out of our efforts, which will show (along with the work being done in the NDNano center) that Notre Dame is a serious player in nanoscience at an international level," he said. "Hopefully, this will also lead to new funding (from agencies such as the NSF and DOE), and establish Notre Dame as a leader in nanomaterials for solar energy applications."

But while Hartland examines the applications of nanotechnology, Huber will be looking at its possible perils, particularly whether or not nanoparticles are toxic to humans.

"A lot of different materials are being developed and released into the environment because they're not regulated," Huber said. "If the University is going to be involved in research activities, then the burden is on them to make sure everything is safe."

The other four projects chosen were the "Sustainable Energy Initiative" from Professor of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering Joan Brennecke; the "N.D. Environmental Change Initiative" from Professor of Biological Sciences David Lodge; "Contending with Modernity: Islam and Roman Catholicism in a Secular Age" from Professor of History R. Scott Appleby; and "Laboratory for Enhanced Wind Energy Design — eWind" from Engineering Professor Thomas Corke.

Affleck-Graves said the projects have the potential to help shape the world.

"It's through their research that the faculty can change the world," he said. "Curing a neglected disease, tackling the problem of religious fundamental violence, energy and the environment — these are all ways that Notre Dame can help change the world."

In the future, Bernhard said he is undecided about whether another round of funding will take place, but he stressed that the SRI was just the beginning.

"These two rounds of investment are part of our process but they're not all of it," he said. "We're thinking about whether a third round makes sense and whether we would want to do a third round. We're not decided on that yet."

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Notre Dame

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Preparing for Nano

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012

Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012

Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 25th, 2014

Academic/Education

Haydale Announces Collaboration Agreement with Swansea University’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings (WCPC) July 12th, 2014

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

Innovation Management and the Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry July 1st, 2014

Albany NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Prestigious Journal of Electronic Materials July 1st, 2014

Announcements

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Environment

Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Researchers Use Various Zinc Oxide Nanostructures to Boost Efficiency of Water Purification Process July 13th, 2014

Using Sand to Improve Battery Performance: Researchers develop low cost, environmentally friendly way to produce sand-based lithium ion batteries that outperform standard by three times July 8th, 2014

Energy

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2014 conference July 8th, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

NNCO Announces an Interactive Webinar: Progress Review on the Coordinated Implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy July 23rd, 2014

Development of an interactive tool for the implementation of environmental legislation for nanoparticles manufacturers July 4th, 2014

FDA issues guidance on use of nanotechnology in foods July 1st, 2014

Nano-coatings release almost no nano-particles: Silver in the washing machine June 30th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

Making dreams come true: Making graphene from plastic? July 2nd, 2014

Shrinky Dinks close the gap for nanowires July 1st, 2014

New Study Raises Possibility of Production of P-Type Solar Cells July 1st, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE