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

JPK announces expansion of its global sales and service activities in China and USA April 15th, 2014

Nanobiotix Appoints Thierry Otin as Head of Manufacturing and Supply April 15th, 2014

PAM-XIAMEN Offers UV LED wafer April 15th, 2014

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 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

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Academic/Education

Director Wally Pfister joins UC Berkeley neuroengineers to discuss the science behind ‘Transcendence’ April 7th, 2014

First annual science week highlights STEM pipeline and partnerships: UB, SUNY Buffalo State and ECC team up with the City of Buffalo and its schools for April 7-11 events April 3rd, 2014

Global 450 consortium announces new general manager of internal operations: TSMC’s Cheng-Chung Chien Receives Unanimous Support, Brings History of Innovation and Efficiency to Global Consortium of Companies Driving Industry Transition to 450mm Wafer Technology March 26th, 2014

NanoTecNexus to Host "Chemistry of Wine" Fundraiser in Support of STEM Education - Collaborations Key to Success - March 20th, 2014

Announcements

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Environment

Trees go high-tech: process turns cellulose into energy storage devices April 7th, 2014

Fabricating Nanostructures with Silk Could Make Clean Rooms Green Rooms March 31st, 2014

University of Waterloo Engineering to Showcase Student Design March 14th, 2014

Iran Applying Nanotechnology in Growing Number of Industries March 10th, 2014

Energy

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells: Photovoltaic solar-panel windows could be next for your house April 14th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Effects of Carbon Nanotubes Studied on Pregnant Mothers April 12th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Scientists Study Possibility of Migration of Nanoparticles from Foodstuff Packaging to Products March 16th, 2014

Detecting Bioterrorism: Is Chemistry Enough? Los Alamos scientist addresses bioaerosol risks and detection March 12th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells: Photovoltaic solar-panel windows could be next for your house April 14th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

Better solar cells, better LED light and vast optical possibilities April 12th, 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