Monthly Archives: August 2010

Research news: Training, deadlines and more

A major new training initiative is under way for researchers funded by NIH and NSF. Training is also coming on the new electronic application for using animals in research.  An Undergraduate Research Symposium is scheduled for September 21-22.

Oh … and the Office of Sponsored Programs would like to have a word with you about deadlines for research proposals.

Faculty members and grad students will be receiving information on all of these of these subjects in the first monthly edition of the Research A&T newsletter for the 2010-11 academic year.  It will be arriving via campus mail as early as today.  If you can’t wait to see it, here’s a PDF version.

NEWSLETTER — August 2010

U.S. Rep. Brad Miller tours the ERC

Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., visited the IRC today for a tour of the Engineering Research Center.  Miller is a member of the House Science Committee.  He visited the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering last week.

Rep. Brad Miller, in light suit, listens as Dr. Devdas Pai describes the work of the Engineering Research Center.

Local TV news coverage: The economic impact of nanotechnology

Just about anyone who has been interviewed by the news media can tell you that getting your point across to reporters — especially complex points about subjects like, say, nanotechnology — can be frustrating.  But sometimes a reporter really gets it, and then something wonderful can happen.

Case in point: In a very nice example of initiative by a news outlet, WFMY News 2 visited the JSNN yesterday to get some video for a piece on the economic-impact of the nano school.  The reporter also talked to Reyad Sawafta at QuarTek in High Point and economist/media star Andy Brod at UNCG.  The result is a very good piece on what the JSNN means to the local economy.

Check it out:

Nice work by reporter Julia Bagg and videographer John Brumbaugh.

Special thanks to the JSNN — Dean Jim Ryan, the faculty and the students.  Their cooperation, patience and the thoughtful insights they’ve shared with the news media over the past couple weeks have generated some excellent coverage of the opening of the school.

Small-business commissioner coming to speak … and listen

North Carolina’s Commissioner for Small Business is looking for advice, and he’s coming to A&T next week to see what we can tell him.

Scott Daugherty wants to know how his office can help unlock the job-creation potential of small business.  Got any ideas?  Go tell him.  He’ll be speaking on Thursday September 2, at 5:30 in Merrick Hall.  Details are in the flyer (PDF) below.

ENT — Daugherty-Presentation

It’s a really big day in the nano world

Dean Jim Ryan talks to reporter Stephanie Stilwell of News 14 Carolina as the first class is about to get under way at the JSNN.

JSNN doctoral student Steven Coleman is interviewed in one of the school's labs.

Dean Jim Ryan calls the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering his “one-room schoolhouse,” and it opens today with 18 nanoscience grad students. They’ll be taking their classes in the conference room of the USDA research building at South Campus of the Gateway University Research Park on Lee Street. Lab rotations will be in two temporary locations in the building, along with labs at A&T and UNCG.

In about a year and a half, that one room will give way to the state-of-the-art, $65 million lab-and-classroom building being built next door (on time and on budget!) that will lead two universities into the highest of high-tech worlds.  But today is all about the students.  Here’s the news release we’ve issued, jointly, of course … Aggies and Spartans working together to produce one leading-edge education and research program.

NANO — joint news release 2010-08-23

Advancing Ethical Research

Dr. Karen Smith-Gratto and Donna Eaton RN have been selected to present a poster at the 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference.  Subject: Student Research Requirements and the Need for Faculty Training.  The conference is organized by Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. Smith-Gratto is a professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.  Eaton is the IRB Compliance Officer in the Office of Compliance & Ethics.

PRIM&R is a national organization that advocates for the highest ethical standards in the conduct of biomedical, social science, behavioral, and educational research.

Homaifar receives $900,000 from NSF for research on climate change

NEWS RELEASE — Climate data-mining 2010-08-18

Terrific news from Dr. Abdollah Homaifar in the College of Engineering.  We issued the following as a news release today in conjunction with NSF and our partner schools (the link above provides a PDF of the release):

GREENSBORO — North Carolina A&T State University is part of a major new research initiative from the National Science Foundation (NSF) aimed at improving scientists’ ability to predict potential consequences of climate change.

The work at N.C. A&T will focus on improving scientists’ ability to predict hurricanes and precipitation patterns.  The university is one of five involved in the project.

The five-year, $10 million NSF Expeditions in Computing grant, “Understanding Climate Change: A Data-Driven Approach,” aims to advance climate science by taking advantage of the wealth of climate data collected by satellites, ground-based sensors and physics-based climate simulations.

The NSF grant includes $900,000 in funding for work to be performed at N.C. A&T by Dr. Abdollah Homaifar.  Homaifar is the Duke Energy Eminent Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He is a specialist in data mining, the process of analyzing extremely large databases to identify patterns and correlations.

“This effort will allow us to analyze climate variables together with geographical information about vulnerabilities and impacts,” Homaifar said.  “This analysis can lead to an understanding of what we can do to protect communities at risk, key resources and critical infrastructure.

“The computational challenges comprise understanding the cascading relations of climate variables and geographical information (relationship mining), fusion of disparate data, as well as decision sciences for uncertainty quantification, risk assessment and allocation of resources based on cost-benefit tradeoffs.”

Homaifar’s goal is to develop new fusion and search algorithms to make allow scientists and public officials make better decisions and predictions of hurricane activity and other processes affected by climate change.

The project team is being led by Professor Vipin Kumar of the University of Minnesota. The other institutions involved are North Carolina State University, Northwestern University and a joint team from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

For more on research at North Carolina A&T, visit the Aggie Research blog, or website,  Aggie Research also can be found on Twitter (@aggieresearch) and Facebook (Aggie Research).

Technology Commercialization for Academic Researchers

How do you take a discovery with commercial potential from the lab to the marketplace?  N.C. A&T will co-sponsor a half-day event to provide academic researchers with an introduction to technology commercialization. Researchers will learn the fundamentals of assessing the market opportunity, roles for the researcher, details about intellectual property (including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets ), and university technology transfer resources.

The event will be held Wednesday September 15 at the Elliott University Center at UNCG.  It will be presented by the Small Business Technology Development Center.  For more information, click below to see the attached flyer and agenda (both are PDF files).

Sept. 15 Flyer

Sept. 15 Agenda

New faculty orientation

New faculty members hear from Fran Lackey, Director of Sponsored Programs, at their orientation

More than 30 new faculty members are at the IRC this afternoon to complete their two-day orientation.  Good scheduling: After lunch, the final two sessions are on research funding and promotion and tenure.  That’s how you keep people from dozing off in the afternoon — talk about money.

Interim deans named for Education, Graduate School

News from University Relations on three new appointments in Academic Affairs, two of which have significance for Aggie Research:

North Carolina A&T State University Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Linda Adams recently announced new interim appointments within the institution’s Division of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Dorothy Leflore has been appointed interim dean of the School of Education. She brings a wealth of experience to her new role, as a former administrator and professor in the School of Education at N.C. A&T. In addition to her faculty appointment, she served as chair of the department of curriculum and instruction for 13 years. Leflore has made significant contributions in the areas of student, faculty and program development. During her tenure at A&T, she has secured approximately $40 million in funded proposals. Additionally, she has published several books, book chapters, and articles in refereed journals and has presented at state and national conferences. Leflore earned her B.S. degree in business education from Mississippi Valley State University and obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in curriculum and instruction from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Lori Hunter has been appointed as interim associate vice chancellor of enrollment management. Her background includes serving as a senior administrator in higher education, a manager in the corporate sector and entrepreneur. Her most recent positions included: assistant dean of student services in the School of Technology at A&T; associate dean of continuing studies at Wesleyan University; and associate dean in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. Hunter has made contributions in the areas of academic support program and process development; and student recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation. Hunter obtained a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh an Ed.M. in higher education administration from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in higher education from Syracuse University.

Dr. Alan Letton has been appointed as interim associate vice chancellor for research/dean of the Graduate School. Letton is principal for Letton & McTier Associates, a consulting firm that focuses on research and product development. He has served as the senior vice president of research and engineering for Sealy Inc. and executive vice president for Polymerix Corporation. His previous academic experience includes serving as a professor of mechanical engineering and chemistry at Texas A&M University and dean of engineering of architecture and physical sciences at Tuskegee University. Additionally, he has served on many boards, founded several non-profit organizations and amassed a combination of over 100 articles, patents and book contributions throughout his career. Letton completed his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his doctorate in chemical engineering and polymer science & chemistry from the University of Cincinnati.