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National Science Foundation awards Union faculty more than $1 million in grants


A number of faculty members recently received National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1 million to support a range of research projects and field work.

Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics and astronomy, has received a three-year NSF grant of $437,883, to support the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT) project.

Koopmann leads UAT, a consortium of 19 institutions that promote undergraduate research within the ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA, where ALFA refers to the Arecibo L-band Feed Array detector). The grant will continue work made possible by an earlier grant that involved 126 undergraduates and 21 faculty mentors (50 percent women) at the various institutions.

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An interdisciplinary team of faculty researchers led by Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded $308,323 for an inverted optical microscope that will primarily serve five departments within the College's Nanoscience program (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering).

Others involved in the grant are Palmyra Catravas, associate professor, electrical and computer engineering; Brian Cohen, lecturer, biology; Rebecca Cortez, assistant professor, mechanical engineering; Michael Hagerman, associate professor and chair, Chemistry Department; Joanne Kelbeck, associate professor, chemistry; and Seyfollah Maleki, professor, physics and astronomy.

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Brad Bruno, associate professor and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Ann Anderson, professor of mechanical engineering, and Mary Carroll, professor of chemistry, have been awarded $276,477, Union's first instrument development grant under the NSF's Major Research Instrumentation program.

The grant will be used for their project “MRI: Development of an Instrument for Testing Catalytic Aerogel Materials,” and will allow the team to design and build an advanced modular engineering testbed.

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"I would like to extend my congratulations to all," said Therese A. McCarty, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "This continued success with NSF is a testimony to our faculty’s scholarly accomplishments as well as their skill in putting forward compelling proposals."

To learn more about grants awarded to Union faculty, click here