Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Discovery of nanotubes offers new clues about cell-to-cell communication July 2nd, 2015

Nanospiked bacteria are the brightest hard X-ray emitters July 2nd, 2015

Engineering the world’s smallest nanocrystal July 2nd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

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

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

Academic/Education

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Rice University boots up powerful microscopes: New electron microscopes will capture images at subnanometer resolution June 29th, 2015

Six top Catalan research centres constitute ‘The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology’ to pursue a joint scientific endeavour June 27th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

Announcements

Nanospiked bacteria are the brightest hard X-ray emitters July 2nd, 2015

Engineering the world’s smallest nanocrystal July 2nd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Environment

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Energy

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

June 29th, 2015

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Proposed TSCA Nanomaterial Rule ‘Premature’, Says Former EPA Toxicologist July 1st, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Spain nanotechnology featured at NANO KOREA 2015 June 26th, 2015

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells June 25th, 2015

Toward tiny, solar-powered sensors: New ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent June 23rd, 2015

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