Spotlight on Research - Fall 2012

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Distinctive Facilities: Advanced Energy Conversion and Storage

Developing next-generation tech

Research Center Spotlight: MAST

Advancing membrane technology

New Projects - Fall 2012

Elizabeth Bradley (CS) and Co-PIs Ken Anderson (CS), Thomas Marchitto (INSTAAR) and James White (INSTAAR) received $577,000 from NSF for "INSPIRE: Automating Reasoning in Interpreting Climate Records of the Past."

CEAS departments received three new Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) awards:  AES received a total award of $533,000 and ChBE received $400,000 in total funding from the Department of Education. Hanspeter Schaub (AES) and Al Weimer (ChBE) led the submissions for their departments. Bob McLeod (ECE) and Chris Bowman (ChBE) also received an interdisciplinary GAANN totaling $533,000.

Nikolaus Correll (CS) received a NASA early career award for space technology research on tele-operated autonomous greenhouses. The award will provide $600,000 over three years to investigate the key perception and manipulation challenges that will enable robots to grow food in space.

Bill Emery (AES) of CCAR was awarded more than $509,000 by the Department of Transportation for "Large-area Road-surface Quality and Land-cover Classification Using Very-high Spatial Resolution Aerial and Satellite Data."

Ryan Gill (ChBE), RASEI, and Chemistry received $5.2M over 5 years from the DOE as part of a larger $9.2 million project for work on "A Platform for Genome-scale Design, Redesign, and Optimization of Bacterial Systems." The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are collaborators on this project.

Christine Hrenya (ChBE) received $450,000 from the DOE to conduct innovative solar research aimed at lowering costs of cost-competitive solar energy. 

SeHee Lee (ME) and Co-PIs Kurt Maute (AES), Conrad Stoldt (ME), and Jana Milford (ME) received $1.9 million in NSF funding for "Sustainable Energy Pathways: A Lab-to-Market Paradigm for the Optimal Design of Sustainable Energy Storage Materials."

YC Lee (ME) and Co-PIs Kurt Maute (AES) and Steven George (Chemistry & Biochemistry, ChBE) were awarded $1.2 million from NSF for "SNM: Roll-to-Roll Atomic/Molecular Layer Deposition."

John McCartney (CEAE) and Co-PI Adam Reed (Law) received $1.01 million from NSF for work on "Sustainable Energy Pathways Collaborative: Pathways to Scalable, Efficient and Sustainable Soil Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Systems."

An interdisciplinary team of student and faculty engineers has won a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its proposal to develop a solar-biochar toilet for use in developing countries throughout the world. Environmental engineering professors Karl Linden (CEAE) and R. Scott Summers (CEAE) will join with professor Al Weimer (ChBE) on the project. The grant is part of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, or RTTC, initiated by the Gates Foundation to address a sanitation challenge affecting nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. CU-Boulder, which was awarded one of four grants in the second round, will receive nearly $780,000 from the Gates Foundation over a 16-month period starting Sept. 1, 2012. CU joins last year’s grantees Caltech and Stanford as the only U.S. universities to receive an RTTC award.

The art of origami has inspired children and artists all over the world because of the amazing objects that can be created by folding a simple piece of paper. Now an engineering research team at CU-Boulder has won a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a light-controlled approach for “self-assembly” mechanisms in advanced devices based on the same principles. Known as "photo origami," the idea is supported by NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program, which supports interdisciplinary teams working on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. Jerry Qi (ME) will lead the team developing the photo origami technique. Collaborators will include CU faculty Robert McLeod (ECE), Kurt Maute (AES), and Elisabeth “Beth” Stade of Mathematics, and Patrick Mather of Syracuse University.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $12 million grant to a University of Colorado Boulder-led team to explore ways to maximize the benefits of natural gas development while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and communities. Led by Professor Joseph Ryan (CEAE), the team will examine social, ecological and economic aspects of the development of natural gas resources and the protection of air and water resources. A part of NSF’s Sustainability Research Network initiative (SRN), the project will focus on the Rocky Mountain region, where natural gas development, as well as objection to it, is increasing.

Katie Siek (CS) was awarded nearly $600,000 by NSF for work on "SHB: Type I (EXP): Health Sense: Motivating Health Awareness in Children through Wearable Computing" with Co-PI Michael Eisenberg (CS).

Louis Stodieck (AES) of BioServe received more than $598,000 from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space for "Development of the International Space Station Commercial Mouse Research Service."

Research Metrics - Fall 2012

Congratulations to all of you! Research awards for FY12 reached a new high of $73.2 million. Please let us in the ADR office know how we can help you to maintain and expand your successful research programs.

Research Awards for FY12:

Research Proposals Submitted for FY12:

For a complete list of new projects, see the OCG Monthly Awards Report.

Funding Sources for FY12:

Research Center Spotlight: MAST

The Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology (MAST) Center advances membrane technology in separation processes through research and development, promotes education in membrane science and engineering, and provides effective technology transfer between the center and its industrial sponsors. Operating for more than 20 years, fundamental and applied center research has led to major advancements in membrane materials and membrane separation processes in established as well as emerging areas including energy production, water treatment, pharmaceutical purification, and chemical processing that will ultimately benefit the environment and public health.

As one of NSF’s longest-running Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC), the MAST Center is well along in its current phase as a multi-university center, with New Jersey Institute of Technology serving as the lead site. Center researchers from CU and NJIT also collaborate with researchers from several other schools, including Colorado State University, the University of Arkansas, Clemson University, and Ben Gurion University. The center has succeeded in drawing researchers from diverse fields including biological, chemical, physical, and materials sciences; health and pharmaceutical sciences; and aeronautical, chemical, civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.

Distinctive Facilities: Advanced Energy Conversion and Storage

Led by Professors Conrad Stoldt and SeHee Lee in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a new research center for advanced energy conversion and storage is being implemented in the former chemical engineering wing of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. With the goal of becoming a formal research center in the coming years, the effort is currently directed toward the creation of centralized facilities and infrastructure to support ongoing and emerging research efforts in the development of next-generation energy storage technologies such as ultra-high capacity Li-ion batteries. The new facilities will provide an environment to support all aspects of technology development, including dedicated infrastructure for both liquid and solid-state battery cell manufacture, electrochemical testing, multiple wet chemical laboratories for electrode and electrolyte material design and processing, computer modeling, prototype packaging, and a commercial atomic layer deposition (ALD) reactor for material interface engineering. Notable research efforts in the college that will find immediate integration into the new center include solid-state battery development for electric vehicles, high energy Li metal-based storage for space missions, ALD stabilized electrodes for high-efficiency liquid Li-ion cells, and miniaturized thin film batteries for arrayed sensor networks.

Upcoming Events - Fall 2012

Office of Vice Chancellor for Research Chat Series: Packard Competition
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., UMC 235

Each year the Boulder campus is asked to submit two candidates for a Packard Award. Past awardees and members of the campus selection board will present what they and the Packard committee are looking for in a successful application. This presentation is highly recommended for anyone who plans to compete for this honor.

Office of Vice Chancellor for Research Chat Series: MRI Proposals
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., UMC 235

The campus is usually allowed only three proposals as part of NSF's MRI competition. There will be a panel of past awardees discussing what goes into a successful proposal and also a chance for individuals/groups to network and see if there are opportunities to work together and produce fewer, stronger, pre-proposals. Note: this year the internal MRI competition will be run earlier than usual to allow more time for final proposal development.

Export Control Presentation
November 2012 | Date and Time TBD

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will host a session on export control Oct. 18, 2012 entitled "The U.S. Department of Justice Case Against Dr. John Reece Roth: Impact and Implications" from Trade Compliance Solutions. The Office of Research Integrity and Regulatory Compliance is continuing its focus on export control outreach and education in November with a presentation offered by the Department of Homeland Security. This session will include discussions about export law in general (ITAR, Commerce, OFAC, EAR); other topics include the challenge of foreign students and the ITAR, the licensing process, and which red flags investigators look for. Watch your email for more information on this important topic.

Upcoming Faculty Workshop: “How to Work with Industry”
Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. | DLC

The Associate Dean for Research Office will be hosting a workshop for faculty on "How to Work with Industry." The workshop gives an overview of basic guidelines and tips faculty should follow, from initial discussions with industry (which may require an NDA signed by OCG), through proposal preparation and budget requirements, to securing the award in the OCG/SPA system (sponsored project) or via charitable support of research. This overview will be followed by an interactive panel discussion with CEAS faculty members who have extensive interactions with and funding from industry. The goal is to provide faculty with information that will help streamline the process of establishing industry research collaborations. This workshop will be helpful for new faculty, as well as those who have mostly pursued agency funding during their careers but are now interested in industry support in the face of the increasing uncertainty of federal funding. It will be a brown-bag lunch, so please bring something to eat. We will provide dessert!

Office of Vice Chancellor for Research Chat Series: IGERT Competition
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., UMC 235

The campus is usually restricted in the number of proposals that can be put forward for the IGERT competition. Panelists will discuss prior submissions that were successful and there will be a chance to float ideas and look for internal synergies.

OCG Open House
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 | 1:00-4:00 p.m. | Location TBA

OCG will be hosting their annual open house. Please stop in and meet your OCG contacts in person. A few pleasant conversations and connecting names with faces will help improve your future working relationship with OCG staff.

How Can We Help?

The ADR Office is currently working with Elissa Guralnick from the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) to accommodate CEAS faculty who are interested in FTEP’s "Well Argued, Well Written" writing workshop in Spring 2013. While any faculty member can sign up for one of these workshops and improve an upcoming publication or a proposal, we especially encourage new faculty who are preparing their first major proposals or career-type proposals to attend one of these workshops. Please contact Jeff Sczechowski if you would like more information.  General information on “Well Argued, Well Written” is available here.

We welcome your feedback in general and encourage you to let us know how we can further help support your research programs. Contact any of us using the details below:

Kurt Maute
Associate Dean for Research

Jeff Sczechowski
Assistant Dean for Research Opportunities

Linda Rose
Coordinator for Research Facilitation

Molly Riddell
Manager of Large Proposals

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