Wolfgang Rudolph, 277-2081
Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, 277-2080
Jim Brozik, 277-1658
Gabriel Lopez, 277-4939
Steve Stricker, 277-1883
Michael Padilla, 277-1816
October 24, 2001
RECEIVES $2.4 MILLION NSF GRANT FOR OPTICS RESEARCH AND EDUCATION PROGRAM
The University of New Mexico has received a $2.4 million grant from the National
Science Foundations Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship
(IGERT) program for a project titled Cross-disciplinary Optics Research
and Education (CORE).
The grant is one of only 22 of its type in the nation to be awarded this year
out of more than 400 applications to NSF.
The purpose of CORE is to enhance the education and training of graduate students
in the area of optics. The main goal of the project is to cross-train students
from the five UNM departments biology, chemistry, chemical engineering,
electrical engineering and physics in research that is optics-related.
The principal investigator of the project is Wolfgang Rudolph, physics and
electrical engineering professor. Co-principal investigators include James A.
Brozik, chemistry assistant professor; Gabriel P. Lopez, chemical and nuclear
engineering and chemistry associate professor; Stephen A. Stricker, biology
associate professor; and Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, physics and astronomy and electrical
engineering associate professor. Six other faculty members from various departments
will also participate in this program.
The CORE project will also benefit undergraduate students through close collaborations
with UNMs undergraduate Preparation for University Research in Undergraduate
Education program .
The majority of the grant will be used for stipends for graduate students in
the program. The award provides stipends of $18,000, plus a $10,000 education
allowance annually for at least 20 students. The CORE team will actively promote
this program nationwide in hopes of attracting the brightest graduate students
in the country.
During the project, interdisciplinary teams of graduate students will work
on various aspects of the CORE research. They will comprise the design and development
of optical methods and tools and their application in the fields of biology,
chemistry, physics and engineering.
In addition to the current curricula in their respective departments, students
will take a set of cross-disciplinary courses designed specifically for the
program. A weekly seminar will provide the students with training in technical
writing and in presentations of their research in a multi-disciplinary environment.
Mentoring undergraduate students will foster team spirit and leadership skills
and will help to recruit, retain, and involve undergraduates, in particular
those from underrepresented minorities, in research. Students will participate
in internships in national labs, the local industry and abroad.
Rudolph said the overall goal of these education and training activities is
to produce a new cadre of engineers and scientists who are prepared to work
in multidisciplinary environments. As experts in their respective home disciplines,
the IGERT graduates will share a basic understanding of optics, imaging and
spectroscopy. As such, they will be prepared to work at the forefront of optics-related
research, development and education in national labs, academia and industry.
Rudolph said UNM will take steps to ensure a long lasting impact of the project
beyond the five-year duration of the grant.
IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating doctoral
scientists and engineers with the multidisciplinary backgrounds and the technical,
professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future.
This is the second time that UNM won this grant after a successful joint application of UNM (departments of biology and earth & planetary sciences) and the University of Alabama two years ago.
For information concerning the project and application materials, contact Mary DeWitt at 277-1514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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of New Mexico
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