Monthly Archives: December 2011

The N.C. A&T grant of the month for November: Improving availability, reliability of data centers

Old Dominion Freight Line logoThe Sponsored Funding Report for November:

N.C. A&T received 16 grants totaling $2.16 million in November.  One highlight of November’s funding was an equipment grant worth $183, 200 from Old Dominion Freight Line of Thomasville to Dr. Larry Burton of the Department of Electronics, Computer and Information Technology and co-investigators Dr. Ibraheem Kateeb, Dr. Robert Cobb, Dr. Craig Rhodes, Dr. Cameron Seay, Dr. Li-Shiang Tsay, and Dr. Tony Graham.

The project:  Improving the Availability, Reliability and Cost Efficiency of Data Centers

The issue: In the last decade, leading edge enterprises adopted server consolidation to address the growing pains of constantly expanding enterprise data centers. In server consolidation, the operating system and applications of a computer server installation are emulated by a single software program known as a virtual machine. Consolidation comes when several virtual machines run on a single computer, yielding dramatic reductions in data center costs. The most recent trend is to extend the use of virtual machines to emulate desktop computers. A few to several thousand virtual machines can run on groups of connected computers, called clusters, to share computer processing power. The resultant amortization of processing demands yields both cost and performance benefits; such installations are called computer clouds. Leveraging virtualization and cloud computing demands similar performance enhancements in computer networking, especially in wireless mobility.

Abstract: This project aims to improve data center management techniques for better information availability, reliability, security, and cost effciency. The broader impacts of this project include development of advanced IT skills in the Triad workforce. This project will enhance learning outcomes of enterprise computing technology students at N.C. A&T, area community colleges, and high schools by engaging students in applied research and providing hands-on experienced-based learning. Additionally, availability of a skilled IT workforce will expand the Triad economy by assisting the expansion of existing enterprises and attracting new information technology dependent enterprises to relocate to the Triad.

Growth at Old Dominion Freight Lines (ODFL) necessitates the relocation of the present Disaster Recovery (DR) center in Greensboro to a newly constructed center located in Thomasville. The present DR site is fully functional and equipped with modern equipment comparable to most other corporate DR sites. The relocation provides a unique opportunity for ODFL and N.C. A&T. This project proposes that ODFL make a grant of the existing DR center to NCA&T SU and to Davidson County Community College (DCCC) for the purpose of establishing a state-of-the-art IT data center research and experience-based learning labs. The grant to DCCC is separate from this proposal, but the two labs are expected to collaborate in research on best practices of remote data replication and security.

A primary goal of this project is to involve undergraduate students in applied research. To this end, students will dismantle the existing DR center under the supervision of the investigators, then re-assemble the equipment on the N.C. A&T campus in a research and teaching lab in Smith Hall. The lab will be constructed as a standalone facility, independent of the campus IT network. This isolation allows the researchers to experiment with alternative network, power, and security configurations, without disruption to the production network. On occasion, qualified configurations may be installed in the campus data center for long term evaluation.

This project proposal is an equipment-only request. The establishment of a dedicated data center laboratory for research will provide researchers a competitive edge to request additional funding for support of additional investigations. As such, ODFL will be a catalyst for sustained research at N.C. A&T with measurable impact to the Triad economy and beyond.

The complete list of grants received in November (xlsx file).

Dr. Bililign visits White House, receives award

Dr. Solomon Bililign and other winners of the presidential award for mentoring meet with President Obama in the Oval Office

President Barack Obama greets Dr. Solomon Bililign (left) and other recipients of the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in the Oval Office, Dec. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Happy holidays from the staff of DORED

The Division of Research and Economic Development staff

The Division of Research and Economic Development staff wishes you a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

A meeting on local Montagnard health issues

There’s a remarkable opportunity this evening for anyone interested in the cross-cultural issues of aligning patient education, care and follow-up with the culture and history of Greensboro’s significant Montagnard population. The event is a moderated discussion among American physicians, Montagnard physicians, and university researchers.  It’s an initiative of the Center for New North Carolinians at UNCG.  Among the faculty members involved in Dr. Maura Nsonwu of the N.C. A&T Department of Sociology and Social Work.  Dr. Nsonwu is a fellow with the center.  The meeting is today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the AHEC room at Moses Cone Hospital.  Details are in this PDF document.

A quick weekend read: ERC wins SBIR grant

Front page of The Business Journal, December 9, 2011, editionThe NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials is starting the commercialization process for its biodegradable implant technology for reconstruction and regeneration.  A front-page story in today’s edition of The Business Journal details the work now being funded by an SBIR grant to develop a magnesium-alloy device that aims to make spinal fusion easier and less painful.

FBI Biosecurity Workshop: February 28 in RTP

News from the N.C. Association for Biomedical Research:

“Registration is under way for the popular Academic Biosecurity Workshop, which NCABR is presenting in partnership with the FBI. It is completely free to attend.

“The workshop will address potential biosecurity risks, information and skills needed for a successful attack on a research institution and warning signs to look for. It will promote the early reporting of suspicious activities and will solidify relationships between law enforcement, research institutions, community stakeholders and academia.”

“The workshop is geared toward academia, but is open to all employees of NCABR member organizations. Space is limited to 150 attendees.”


JSNN grand opening, tours tomorrow (December 8)

One last reminder and we’ll stop talking about it: The open house at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering will be held Thursday, December 8, 9 am to 3 pm. The school is located at 2907 East Lee Street in Greensboro, just north of Interstate 40.  Your personal invitation is on the JSNN website:

JSNN students move into the new building

Dean Ryan and students on move-in day at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, December 2, 2011

Dean Ryan fires up his students as they get ready to move into the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering building on Friday. More photos are on the JSNN Facebook page.  For more photos of the building, see this photo album, also on the Facebook page.


Two interns with Office of Research Services selected for national leadership programs

N.C. A&T seniors Felicia Lawrence, left. and Celeste Paylor

N.C. A&T seniors Felicia Lawrence, left. and Celeste Paylor

The hard work done by Felicia Lawrence and Celeste Paylor extends well beyond the classroom. The two N.C. A&T seniors have not only contributed to the success of the Office of Research Services as interns, they were also selected for two prestigious student leadership programs this semester.

Lawrence was selected to attend the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 11th Annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair. Having successfully completed an intense interview process, she and other young leaders from historically black colleges and universities across the country attended a four-day workshop in New York City. The leadership institute featured a career fair and workshops on professional and personal development.  Lawrence is a senior journalism and mass communications major from Chicago.

Paylor was admitted to the fourth annual KeyBank Creativity and Leadership Symposium hosted by the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She had an opportunity to network with successful business executives and met other undergraduates who have experienced great academic success while studying business. The three-day program allowed her to work with faculty in the Fisher College of Business.  Paylor is a senior marketing major from Hillsborough, North Carolina.

“These students are excellent examples of N.C. A&T’s high-achieving students,” said Saundra Y. Evans, director of the Office of Research Services.  “They are bright, capable and conscientious.  They’re going to have great success after they graduate.”

Paylor is scheduled to graduate this month and has received several job offers. Lawrence will graduate in May 2012 and plans to attend graduate school to study international relations.