Monthly Archives: July 2011

Worth noting: Aggies at the landill of the future and summer research by apprentice Aggies

Two news items worth noting from the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences:

– Sunday’s News and Record reported on the involvement of A&T researchers at the Catawba County Regional EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility, which is developing a system to recover all useable products and by-products  from the local landfill (near Hickory).  Professor Abolghasem Shahbazi and grad student Quentin Brown were quoted in the article, available here.  More about the EcoComplex is available at its website.

– High school students in the School of Ag’s Research Apprenticeship Program did some serious research this summer.  Summaries of their projects are available on the program’s Facebook page.  If you want a reason to feel good about the next generation of researchers, give it a look.

More coverage of nano as an economic force

Front page of The Business Journal, July 29, 2011, featuring coverage of nanotechnology research at N.C. A&T.

The July 29, 2011, edition

This week’s edition of The Business Journal once again features a nanotechnology initiative in which N.C. A&T plays a leading role as an economic driver for Greensboro.  Two weeks after a front-page article on A&T spinoff Advaero Technologies, the July 28 edition of the paper features the role of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in local economic development.

This week’s edition also has an article on the Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems conference (Page 5), hosted by the JSNN beginning August 28 at Grandover resort in Greensboro.  The newspaper is available in a print edition available by subscription and sold throughout the Triad and an electronic edition available to subscribers at the paper’s website.

One month left to register for nano conference

The international Commercialization of Micro-nano Systems Conference begins one month from today (which will be Sunday August 28).  The conference website includes a registration link (it’s well down the page, on the right).  The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering is the conference host.  The event itself will be held at the Grandover resort on Interstate 85. The pitch:

“COMS focuses primarily on solutions, not just science and technology. It is a hands-on, practical meeting to assist you in bringing your products to market. COMS will provide you with the latest information on technology transfer, manufacturing processes, facilities, infrastructure, investment, applications and markets, as well as covering regulatory issues, social implications, education and workforce development.”

Big finish this week for ERC summer program

Students and teachers taking part in the Engineering Research Center’s summer outreach program will show off what they’ve accomplished this week.  Participants include five high school and community college teachers; nine undergraduates from Bennett, Cal State-Los Angeles, GTCC, N.C. A&T, UNC-CH and UNCC; and three high school students from Greensboro and Charlotte.

The summer outreach program provides direct, hands-on research experience in bioengineering. Undergraduates are on campus for eight weeks; teachers and high school students are here for six weeks.

The undergraduates will take part in an oral presentation competition Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon, in the Fort IRC, Room 410.  The list of their presentation titles is here (PDF).

On Friday, teams of students, teachers and their research mentors will engage in a poster competition at 11 a.m.  the posters will be displayed on the second floor of McNair Hall.  The program’s closing ceremony and awards presentation will take place in the McNair Auditorium at 11:45 a.m.  The event’s program and list of research poster topics are here (PDF).

Child obesity event at N.C. Research Campus

The Kannapolis Scholars program is inviting researchers to attend a one-day workshop on child obesity at the N.C. Research Campus.  Registration is open through tomorrow, Friday July 22.

WHAT: Lost in Translation: A Conversation in Childhood Obesity.

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, August 5th, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., David H. Murdock Research Institute Core Laboratory Event Room. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: From advancements in obesity research to improvements in the products that end up on your plate, many careers, companies, and lives have been dedicated to addressing childhood obesity. However, these efforts do not tend to communicate to a diverse audience, and instead are generally focused within their field. By opening a dialogue among government, industry, and individual sources using a transdisciplinary approach we can provide revolutionary solutions for eliminating childhood obesity. Through transdisciplinary collaboration this conference will highlight the aspects of childhood obesity where our progress has been “lost in translation” from scientists to the community, government to industry and everywhere in between.

To this aim we have selected four speakers representing government, industry, academia, and community stakeholders to speak about issues relating to childhood obesity afterwards we plan on having conference attendees discuss these issues in a round-table format.

TO REGISTER: Deadline is Friday July 22nd. Go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L5QQTQY.

QUESTIONS: kannapolisscholars@gmail.com.

The Kannapolis Scholar Program brings postgraduate students to the N.C. Research Campus for a transdisciplinary training program. The 14 postgraduates currently in the program research food science, nutrition and human health under the direction of mentors from each of the participating universities: Appalachian State, Duke, N.C. A&T, N.C. Central, N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro.

UNC system workshop on defense research set

UNC system faculty researchers and administrators will meet with the Department of Defense at North Carolina A&T State University next month to discuss how the universities can help the military meet its science and technology needs.

UNC system campuses conducted $30 million in research to support the Defense Department in fiscal 2010.  The UNC Defense Opportunities Workshop will feature representatives of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DoD Medical and the research offices of the Air Force, Army and Navy, among other agencies.

The half-day workshop will be held on Wednesday August 3 at the Alumni-Foundation Event Center on the N.C. A&T campus.  It is open to faculty and administrators from the system’s 16 university campuses.  Online registration is available at http://www.sa-meetings.com/UNC-DoD. Log-in information is available from the chief research officer at each campus.

The goals of the event are to raise awareness across UNC institutions on defense research priorities and funding opportunities, to aid in identifying and pursuing such opportunities, and to facilitate networking among UNC investigators and defense research program managers.

“North Carolina A&T and the entire UNC system are producing new technology and new capabilities for soldiers in the field and those who support them,” said Dr. Celestine A. Ntuen, A&T interim vice chancellor for research and economic development.  “National security and defense is an emerging area of research expertise at N.C. A&T.  It’s a high priority, and we are very interested in learning how we can do more.”

N.C. A&T research projects in defense and security include the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences, the Center for Cyber Defense, the Center of Excellence for Battlefield Capability Enhancement, and the Center for Human-Centric Decision Making.

The workshop is being organized by the UNC system Office of Federal Relations, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and by IEM Inc., a Research Triangle Park firm that provides strategic and technological assistance to federal, state and local agencies.

Fall 2011 research training schedule released

The Division of Research and Economic Development has released the fall 2011 research training schedule (xslx file).  It includes:

  • A special joint presentation with the N.C. Biotechnology Center on writing proposals for grants from the center (August 11),
  • A joint presentation with Bluford Library on literature reviews for grant proposals (October 6),
  • Four lunch-and-learn sessions on the nuts and bolts of proposal development, and
  • Sessions on innovation, the federal SBIR/STTR program, and using patent datebases, presented by the Office of Outreach and Economic Development.

Registration for all events will be available at the DORED training website.

STEM jobs pay better and are more steady

If you’re a faculty member in engineering, science or technology, here’s something your students should know: The U.S. Commerce Department has found that jobs in STEM fields are growing faster than the overall job market, pay better and are more stable.  Details are here, courtesy of the very useful WRAL TechWire. The full study is here (PDF, 10 pages).

N.C. A&T spin-off firm Advaero to play a key role in producing super-strong carbon fiber material

This week’s edition of The Business Journal features a front-age article on N.C. A&T spinoff company Advaero Technologies and its role in the production of a new super-strength carbon fiber material:

“Imagine a strip of material one inch wide and one-tenth of an inch thick.  Now imagine a stack of six cars.  Finally, imagine lifting that 30,000-pound stack off the ground with that ribbon of material.  And the material doesn’t break.

“Aerospace manufacturers, defense contractors and others have only been able to imagine a lightweight composite material with that strength, but a new partnership involving N.C. A&T State University spin-off Advaero technologies may help make just such a material available in the near future.”

The article details the role of Advaero’s H-VARTM manufacturing technology in producing a new carbon fiber material designed at Stanford University.  Chomarat, a French textile firm, will manufacture the material.  The company has a facility in Anderson, S.C., but could choose to produce the material in the Triad.  Advaero is located at the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus.

The H-VARTM (Heated Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Molding) process was developed at N.C. A&T by Dr. Ajit Kelkar and Dr. Ronnie Bolick.  Advaero licenses the technology from the university.

The article appears in the July 15 edition of The Business Journal. It’s also available to subscribers on the newspaper’s website.

June’s N.C. A&T grant of the month: $1.1 million for high performance computing in nano and bio

The Sponsored Funding Report for June:

N.C. A&T received 28 grants totaling $15.63 million in June.  The university received a total of 209 grants during fiscal 2011, ending on June 30.  The unofficial total for sponsored funding during the year was $60.5 million, compared to $60.1 million in FY 2010.

One highlight of June’s funding was a two-year grant worth $1.1 million from the Army Research Laboratory to Dr. Ajit Kelkar of the Department of Nanoengineering and Dr. Ram Mohan of the Department of Computational Science and Engineering.

The project: High Performance Computing and Enabling Technologies for Nano and Bio Systems and Interfaces

The issue:  Future advances in medical diagnosis and health monitoring are based on molecular medicine that is enabled through nano bio-sensors. These require a molecular level interaction of abiotic – biotic systems (material systems such as silicon, metals, polymers) interacting with biological constituents; and their molecular diffusion.

Abstract:  The overall objective of this project is to focus on high performance computing, multi-scale modeling and enabling technologies for nano-bio systems and interfaces. The understanding of such nano-bio interactions through high performance computational modeling is essential to invoke more complex, closed loop systems for molecular discovery and health monitoring in extreme environments, for military medicine (for example, detection of mild traumatic brain injuries), athletics, etc.

The research investigations and developments would encompass: high performance computing enabled multi-scale modeling methodologies, analysis and capability developments for nanoengineered material systems and their applications; high performance computing and capability developments for the multi-scale modeling of biological systems, abiotic – biotic interactions and their applications; intelligent data mining and algorithms for data analysis with large variations and outliers; capability development in the areas of high performance computing; computational modeling analysis at different length scales for nano and bio systems; and student support toward education and development of next generation workforce.

The grant lists below are sortable by dollar amount, date, principal investigator, college/school, department, or sponsor, among other criteria.

The complete list of grants received in June (xslx file, sorted by amount).

The complete list of grants received in FY2011 (xlsx file, sorted by date).