Monthly Archives: March 2012

Weekend read: Boom time for Mozambique

A good, long-ish read for the weekend. From The Guardian, “Boom time for Mozambique, once the basket case of Africa”:

“The national currency was the best performing in the world against the dollar. Investment is pouring in on an unprecedented scale; as if to prove that history has a sense of irony, Portuguese feeling Europe’s economic pain are flocking back to the former colony, scenting better prospects than at home. Increasingly this is the rule, not the exception in Africa, which has boasted six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies in the past decade. The first oil discovery in Kenya was confirmed on Monday, while the British firm BG Group announced that one of its gas fields off the Tanzanian coast was bigger than expected and could lead to billions of pounds of investment. Bankers, analysts and politicians have never been so bullish about the continent, which barely 10 years ago was regarded as a basket case.”

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2012 Research Award nominees announced

Seventeen outstanding faculty members at N.C. A&T and three interdisciplinary teams have been nominated for the university’s 2012 Research Excellence Awards.

The awards honor top researchers at all levels of faculty.  This year’s program adds two new awards, for interdisciplinary team research and for intellectual property. The annual program is now in its 13th year.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday April 18 at the Research Excellence Awards luncheon on campus.

The nominees are all winners of the research awards in their school or college.  This year’s nominees are:

Senior Researcher of the Year

  • Dr. Dhananjay Kumar, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering;
  • Dr. Lyubov Kurkalova, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Finance;
  • Dr. Stephanie Lusk, School of Education, Department of Human Development and Services;
  • Dr. Ram Mohan, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering; and
  • Dr. Musibau Shofoluwe, School of Technology, Department of Construction Management and Occupational Safety and Health.

Outstanding Junior Researcher

  • Dr. Lemuria Carter, School of Business and Economics, Department of Accounting;
  • Dr. Ellie Fini, College of Engineering, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering;
  • Dr. Yevgeniy Rastigeyev, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Mathematics;
  • Dr. Shengmin Sang, School of Agriculture, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Center of Excellence for Post-Harvest Technologies; and
  • Dr. Qing-An Zeng, School of Technology, Department of Electronics, Computer and Information Technology.

Rookie of the Year

  • Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering;
  • Dr. Narayan Bhattarai, College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering;
  • Dr. Kathryn Kisska-Schulze, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management.

Interdisciplinary Team

  • The Economic Geography of Water and Agricultural Resources, Dr. Mark Burkey, team leader;
  • NOAA Interdisciplinary Scientific Environmental Technology (ISET) Cooperative Science Center (CSC), Dr. Solomon Bililign, team leader; and
  • NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials, Dr. Jagannathan Sankar, team leader.

Intellectual Property

  • Dr. Kelly Graves, School of Education, Department of Human Development and Services, Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness.
  • Dr. Mitchell Henke, School of Technology, Department of Graphic Systems and Technological Studies, Folded Sheets of Material for Use as a Structural Member and Assembly Thereof.
  • Dr. Ajit Kelkar and Dr. Lifeng Zhang, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering, Novel Carbon Nanofibers, Yarns and Weaves from Electrospinning and Their Innovative Composite.

The selection committee for the awards is appointed by the chancellor.  This year’s committee consists of Dr. Shanthi Iyer, Department of Nanoengineering, chair; Dr. Anthony Graham, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Kofi Obeng, Department of Economics and Finance; and Dr. Guoqing Tang, Department of Mathematics.

For a list of all previous Research Excellence Award winners, see the N.C. A&T Division of Research and Economic Development website.

ADVANCE conference to be held at N.C. A&T

Flyer for ADVANCE conference, May 14 at NC A&T

Research Week 2012 schedule announced

2011 Research Award winners Dr. Fini, Dr. Li, and Dr. Worku

2011 Research Award winners Dr. Ellie Fini, Dr. Zhichao Li, and Dr. Millie Worku

The work of outstanding faculty members, undergraduate researchers and freshman innovators will be recognized during Research Week 2012 next month.

The events also will feature a graduate-student panel discussion and a morning focused on the university’s role in applied research. Keynote speakers will include Mr. Theodore Wood, intellectual property attorney in Washington, D.C., and graduate of N.C. A&T; Mr. Robert Bennett, CEO of US Green Energy Corp.; Dr. Solomon Bililign, professor of physics and director of the NOAA ISET CRC; and Dr. Shirley Hyman-Parker, associate dean for research in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

The full agenda is here.  Highlights:

Innovation and Applied Research Day

  • Friday April 13
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Corporate panel: The University’s Role in Innovation and Applied Research
  • Lunch speaker: Mr. Robert Bennett, US Green Energy

Undergraduate Research Day

  • Monday April 16
  • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Undergraduate poster presentations
  • Lunch speaker: Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, Associate Dean for Research, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Graduate Research Day

  • Tuesday April 17
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Graduate student panel discussion
  • Lunch speaker: Dr. Solomon Bililign, Professor, Department of Physics; Director, NOAA ISET CRC

Research Excellence Day

  • Wednesday April 18
  • 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Alumni-Foundation Event Center
  • Research Excellence Awards luncheon, noon
  • Keynote speaker, Mr. Theodore Wood, Esquire, Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox PLLC, Washington, DC

Rehabilitation engineering research initiative: DORED to hold interest meeting April 24

Tuesday, April 24, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410

Our nation is experiencing growing populations of the elderly, injured veterans as well as a general population that is in need of physical therapy and other rehabilitative services.  We in academia have the opportunity to contribute to the larger community by applying our expertise in the areas associated with physical rehabilitation.

Funding agencies have also recognized the need, as evidenced by the recent investment by the National Institutes of Health of $30 million over five years to fund centers dedicated to developing rehabilitation technologies and resources.

With our state being home to eight military bases, including Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, new developments in rehabilitation could have a tremendous impact on North Carolina as they are readily applied to injured war veterans.  There are also four Veterans Affairs hospitals in North Carolina along with the Cone Health system that would benefit from a rehabilitation research program.

Other institutions in the Triad have recognized this need.  UNCG, Winston-Salem State, and Wake Forest all have various physical therapy programs, working to fill this need.  Even with the involvement of these great institutions, a significant gap exists, as none of these institutions extensively focuses on rehabilitation engineering and technology.

N.C. A&T’s opportunity

North Carolina A&T is especially well suited to fill this gap because of our resources, reputation, and expertise.  Therefore, our objective is to establish a research cluster focused on rehabilitation engineering that aims to create innovative solutions to the most pressing problems in physical and cognitive impairments.

We look forward to creating an interdisciplinary team of students, faculty, and staff from STEM disciplines as well as the social-behavioral sciences. Some areas of challenge consist of:

  • Prosthetics and orthotics,
  • Rehabilitation devices such as nano implants for epilepsy control, and
  • Rehabilitation robotics and other devices.

N.C. A&T faculty members interested in joining this initiative should contact the DORED office (334-7995 or send an email) and plan to attend our informal meeting Tuesday April 24.

Click here for information on an upcoming symposium in the Research Triangle Park.

Workshop on Navy research contracts April 10

LOGO -- NAVSEAThe Division of Research & Economic Development will host a workshop on Performing Contractual Research with the Navy on Tuesday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center, Room 410.

The workshop will be conducted by Mr. Kurt Yankaskas, a Program Manager in NAVSEA. He will present an overview including:

  • Distinguishing the difference between contracts and grants,
  • The characteristics of applied research projects,
  • Developing relationships with program officers, and
  • The mechanics of Navy proposals.

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation.  Mr. Yankaskas also will be available to discuss civilian careers with Naval Research following the workshop.

Register for this workshop by emailing Mr. Lando Little at lrlittle@ncat.edu.  Please feel free to bring your lunch with you.

On black businesses and entrepreneurship: Buying black in a racially divided economy

Book cover: "A Year of Buying Black"A piece of longform audio journalism for the weekend: From Slate.com, “A Year of Buying Black: An interview with Maggie Anderson.”

“In 2009, Maggie Anderson and her family pledged that they would patronize black-owned companies whenever possible, so she scoured the Chicago area for black-owned supermarkets, dry cleaners, gas stations, pharmacies, and clothing stores. Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest To Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy is the story of their experiment in conscious consumerism. Anderson discovered that black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial and ethnic groups in every measure of success. In the Asian community, a dollar circulates among local shop owners, banks, and business professionals for up to 28 days. In the Jewish community, a dollar circulates for 19 days. In the African-American community, a dollar is gone within six hours. The interview runs about 29 minutes.”