Research News Releases—2009
December 16, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The NDSU Incubator welcomes four new and unique start-up businesses to its facility: Bolder Thinking uses state-of-the-art cloud computing to create hosted call centers; My S Dot Touch is working on an integrated laptop, e-reader, cell phone and MP3/iPod; Larada Sciences is developing a medical device that eliminates head lice; and Genosys LLC is leveraging the growing global seed industry.
"A major role for this university is to provide the fertile ground for the nurturing of new business. We are delighted to be able to provide some of the tools entrepreneurs need to grow their business. These four start-up ventures represent our commitment to supporting new start-up businesses," said NDSU President Dr. Richard Hanson.
Bolder Thinking's cloud computing system eliminates the need for a call center telephony hardware by buying time off site through cloud computing. John Jasper, founder and president of Bolder Thinking says "Bolder Thinking's business is at the leading edge in terms of cloud computing services and we expect our ability to succeed will be enhanced by our connections with the NDSU Research & Technology Park," Jasper has more than 25 years experience in technology involved in startups including NAVTEQ, Digital Globe (DGI—NYSE), and Cellular Business Systems (now part of Convergys).
"Joining the NDSU Research & Technology Park is an important move as we work to build our cloud computing call center platform and business," said Jasper. "It is important for us to have close ties with NDSU to facilitate recruitment of software developers and to hire interns to help us establish our platform. We are excited about the prospect of leveraging the Park to facilitate acquiring customers, raising capital and building a great business."
Moving here from Los Angeles, California, Shelton McCoy, founder and president of a new start-up company called My S Dot Touch. The company plans to change the way the world looks at technology by introducing the company's "My S Dot Touch" netbook. This hybrid, book-like laptop has dual multi-touch screens designed to serve as an all-in-one technology device—an e-Reader, Laptop computer, cell phone, iPod or MP3 Player, Photo album and much more.
"It is an honor to partner with the NDSU Research & Technology Park," stated Shelton McCoy. "The Park has great people to work with that have a proven track record in launching startup companies to major players in the technology world. I am very excited about the partnership and ability to build and grow my company here at the Technology Incubator. Touch the World!"
Larada Sciences is a science-based medical technology company dedicated to the safe elimination of human head lice infestations. The company was founded by the lead scientist and technology inventor from the University of Utah, Dale Clayton, Ph.D., and by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs with numerous successful technology and medical device start-up companies to their credit including ZARS Pharma, Aplion Medical, VisualShare, and Exeven Therapeutics.
"We've been very pleased to find in North Dakota such a comprehensive and supportive environment for business growth" said Larry Rigby, CEO, Larada Sciences. "Great talent and access to NDSU facilities and students, the availability of a top-notch manufacturing partner in Wahpeton (ComDel Innovations), and a solid base of early stage investment capital and development programs all helped us decide to establish ourselves here. NDSU's Technology Incubator is a very good fit for our ND operations, not just in terms of office space and shared services, but also for the programs and services they offer and being surrounded by other technology innovators in the Red River Valley. Larada Sciences is proud to be part of this innovation and is excited to be working out of the Technology Incubator."
Incorporated in May, 2009, Genosys LLC is the brainchild of a group of investors with a vested interest in the global seed industry, particularly in the areas of hybrid sunflower seed breeding, production, and distribution. With the first round of capitalization, Genosys was able to acquire a well-established sunflower breeding program, with more than 15 years of rich history, and continue to build on the solid foundation.
Genosys' primary and business objective is to capture the explosive growth momentum and market potential of developing countries such as China, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, to name a few, by addressing the lack of well-developed products catering to country-specific farming practices and consumption behaviors. The secondary and social objective of the enterprise is to elevate the living standards of the agrarian communities of these developing countries through increased crop yield and profitability as well as knowledge sharing and education.
Located on 55 acres, the NDSU Research & Technology Park is a place where university researchers and private industry combine their talents to develop new technologies, methods and systems. The Technology Incubator is a catalyst for innovation in science and technology and provides the tools entrepreneurs need to successfully start and grow new technology ventures. For additional information regarding the NDSU Research & Technology Park and Technology Incubator, please logon to www.ndsuresearchpark.com
December 11, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Stem cells, where they come from and what they are used for will be discussed in the next Science Café on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. in Stoker's Basement at the Hotel Donaldson. Peggy Biga, North Dakota State University assistant professor of biological sciences, will present scientific answers to questions regarding stem cell research in her presentation titled "Stem Cell Research: Is it Worth it?"
Biga will talk about how the government regulates federal spending for stem cell research and ask the audience how religious ideologies might influence such regulations and the way scientists conduct science. She will explain the origins of the debate that surrounds the question of when life begins, which goes back to the time of Aristotle. Then, she will open a discussion of the controversies surrounding stem cell research.
December 10, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Fred Haring, fabrication technician, and Bernd Scholz, engineer, at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) presented a poster presentation and paper at the 2009 International Microelectronics and Packaging Society 42nd International Symposium on Microelectronics, held Nov. 1–5, in San Jose, Calif.
Titled “A Process to Produce Low Cost Solder Balls in Custom Sizes,” the presentation was based on research being developed at CNSE. "The ability to produce solder balls with standard surface mount technology equipment in custom sizes for use on electronic components, chip scale packages, or even on silicon wafers, allows manufacturers and R&D facilities to save money by not having to buy large quantities of solder balls, and gives them the ability to make custom sizes for specific chip needs," said Haring. "This solder ball production process also fits the niche of producing small quantities of custom alloy solder balls as they are being designed and tested in R&D settings prior to real world applications." The paper was co-written by Jacob Baer, Syed Sajid Ahmad and Aaron Reinholz.
In addition, Scholz's presented his paper "Novel Multi-Chip Packaging Method Using Stochastic Self Assembly," was presented to 500 symposium participants. The paper, co-written by Sourin Bhattacharya, discussed research being conducted at CNSE in the area of advanced microelectronics packaging process. "Packaging" refers to the full enclosure and electrical interconnection from a small silicon chip to a part, which can be implemented into a portable electronic device like a hearing aid or cell phone.
The International Microelectronics and Packaging Society conference promotes international cooperation, understanding and promotion of efforts and disciplines in microelectronics packaging and design, 3D packaging, thermal management, lead free issues, micro electro-mechanical systems packaging, reliability testing, bio-med and advanced electronics materials and technologies. The society promotes international, national, state and student chapters.
December 9, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—NDSU’s discoveries of new liquid silanes and novel aerosol beam deposition techniques have great potential to produce low-cost, high-quality photovoltaic devices, according to Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. Boudjouk presented NDSU’s research discoveries during seminars at Kyonggi University, Seoul, South Korea; Korea University, Seoul, South Korea; and at Chungnam National University, Deajeon, South Korea.
NDSU has developed a new form of liquid silicon that will allow more precise control of the formation of silicon nanotubes and nanocrystals, enabling higher conversion of solar energy into elec- trical energy. At the invitation of the South Korean universities, Boudjouk presented “A New Route to Cyclohexasilane: Synthesis and Applications,” during the visit to South Korea Nov. 1–14.
Boudjouk and Doug Schulz, senior research scientist at NDSU’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, also attended the International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference and Exhibition in Jeju, South Korea. The conference covered the entire range of photovoltaics, from materials and systems as well as market development and policies. Among the most newsworthy announcements were those demonstrating significant reductions in production costs of solar energy.
NDSU has collaborative accords with several South Korean schools, including Kyonggi University and Chungnam National University. Boudjouk was the guest of NDSU alumnus Byung-Hee Han, Department of Chemistry at Chung-Nam University. Boudjouk also met with international NDSU alumni interested in electronics and silicon technology research.
November 25, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Aaron Feickert, a senior from Fargo, N.D., studying mathematics and physics at NDSU, spent his summer working with the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. The Large Hadron Collider analyzes the physics that occur during a collision of protons and the particles that are created during the collisions. Physicists use the data to search for new particles, verify physical models of the universe and discover new physics at high energies.
Feickert researched a detector on the collider, known as the Compact Muon Solenoid. He conducted a study on the effect of proposed upgrades to one of the calorimeters, a device to measure the energy of particles created in collision. Since last summer's research, Feickert has learned that he will get to participate in similar opportunities made possible by the Department of Defense's Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship.
“I greatly value the opportunity this program provides to make a real difference in the scientific programs of the nation," Feickert said. "This is a fantastic opportunity to do what I love and be encouraged in my academic endeavors while serving my country.”
The scholarship is an effort by the Department of Defense to recruit scientists, mathematicians and engineers within the government. It is available for the duration of the recipient's degree, be it undergraduate or graduate, and provides full tuition payment, health insurance and a generous stipend for each year of degree progress. In addition, each recipient is assigned to a defense laboratory where they will fulfill a summer internship and work full time after graduation for the length of time equal to the number of years for which the scholarship was awarded.
Feickert learned about the scholarship through an advertisement on campus and applied. Two defense laboratories contacted him, offering research positions. In one laboratory, he would perform feasibility testing on biological defense projects with the Army. In the other position, he would design control systems for the master atomic clocks in Washington, D.C., with the Navy.
He accepted the second position and will travel to the Naval Observatory to meet with staff in January. Since he is in the final year of his degree, he is not required to complete a summer internship. After Feickert graduates in May, he will begin work at the Naval Observatory for one year. He will work with master atomic clocks, which are a collection of extremely accurate timepieces that use atomic-level measurements to track time. These clocks provide the precise time used by military, GPS systems, cellular phones and network time.
“I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of atomic physics, a subject about which I know little,” Feickert said. “I also am very excited to be able to work on projects that have direct applications to so many technologies that we use every day.” After Feickert completes his work with the Navy, he plans to attend graduate school for mathematics or physics. He enjoys both disciplines, but has not chosen one yet for future study.
October 30, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Suicide is ranked above homicide as the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. Someone dies by suicide every 16 minutes and for every death by suicide there are 25 suicide attempts. Suicide causes agonizing emotional pain for the people who are left behind, and it is associated with substantial costs to society as a whole. "Despite these devastating statistics, there is hope for a brighter future," says Kathryn Gordon, assistant professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. "The scientific study of suicide has led to advances in our understanding about why suicide happens, and importantly, how to stop it from happening."
Gordon will present "Science Saving Lives: the Psychology of Suicide," on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Hotel Donaldson's Stokers Basement located at 101 Broadway, downtown Fargo. The presentation is part of the Science Cafe series, sponsored by the College of Science and Mathematics.
Gordon's presentation will take what science has taught us about suicide and translate it into real-life, practical tips for identifying warning signs and effectively helping people who are at risk for suicide.
The next Science Cafe is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at The Hotel Donaldson's Stokers Basement. The title is "Stem Cells Research: Is it worth it?"
For more information, contact Keri Drinka at (701) 231-6131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 28, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—NDSU recently was awarded a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Phil McClean, professor of plant sciences, is leading the project, titled “BeanCAP: A Coordinated Agricultural Project.” NDSU is the lead institution and is collaborating with 18 scientists from nine other universities and USDA-Agricultural Research Service locations.
The project will incorporate research, education and outreach components around the area of nutritional genomics of common bean (pinto beans, string beans, etc.). The research goal of the project is to incorporate the tools of translational genomics into public plant breeders’ programs with the aim of improving the nutritional value of beans. The project also aims to educate and train high school and beginning undergraduate students in plant breeding and how it interacts with the field of translational genomics. Finally, the project will develop Web-based platforms to disseminate knowledge of nutrition and genomics to the general public.
Additional NDSU personnel involved with the grant include Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist and associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise science; Christina Johnson, computer graphics manager in plant sciences; Juan Osorno, assistant professor of plant sciences; and Brian Slator, professor of computer science.
October 28, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and Fengfei Wang, senior research associate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, have had a manuscript published with collaborator Guoying Zhang from China. “Suppression of growth, migration and invasion of highly metastatic human breast cancer cells by berbamine and its molecular mechanisms of action” was published in the journal, Molecular Cancer.
The researchers have been studying the activity of berbamine against highly metastatic human breast cancer and its molecular mechanisms of action. They discovered that berbamine suppresses the growth, migration and invasion in highly metastatic human breast cancer cells and it has synergistic effects with anticancer agents. The researchers suggest that berbamine may have wide therapeutic and adjuvant therapeutic application in treatment of human breast cancer and other cancers.
“Molecular Cancer, a forum for findings in the field of cancer-related research, is an open access journal, providing an opportunity to present information to specialists and the public. The online appearance of Molecular Cancer allows the immediate publication of accepted articles and the presentation of large amounts of data and supplemental information.”
Researchers from Wu’s laboratory focus their work on tumor therapeutic targets, drug discovery and biomarkers. The lab has a close collaboration with Yantai University in China.
October 27, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—While comedian Tommy Smothers always told his brother, "Mom always liked you best," a study by biology researchers gives new meaning to the classic phrase. Researchers Wendy Reed and Mark Clark at North Dakota State University, Fargo, and Carol Vleck at Iowa State University, Ames, have found that female American coots favor their largest offspring, even before they hatch.
Reported in the November issue of The American Naturalist, the study was conducted over two breeding seasons on small wetlands in the prairie-parkland region south of Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada. Reed and colleagues placed newly-hatched chicks in foster nests. Their findings show that chicks from a female's largest eggs survived better than their smaller genetic siblings. This was true even though siblings were not raised together, nor raised by their genetic parents.
Egg size and other maternal investments vary even more among different mothers, but that did not matter for survival of the offspring. "What matters is that an offspring is the largest among its genetic siblings," says Reed, associate professor of biology at NDSU. "It doesn't mean that bigger is always better, but it does mean that being bigger than your brothers and sisters is important for survival."
Often called marsh hens or mud hens, the 16-inch long American coots are known for their territorial and noisy, cantankerous habits. Females lay 5 to 16 eggs per clutch and movement of broods among ponds is rare, which facilitates monitoring the survival of the young. Researchers located 66 nests during the egg-laying stage or during egg incubation and marked them with a unique code, measuring their length and breadth. Chicks were hatched through incubation, allowing researchers to identify which chick hatched from which egg. Chicks used in the fostering study were assigned to foster families, with chicks fostered into nests in three visits. Adult coots readily accepted the foster chicks who were observed weekly by researchers.
Instead of creating offspring that are more similar to one another, the study suggests that maternal effects, such as egg size, can result in greater differences rather than similarities among siblings. "This can affect evolutionary dynamics and provide new explanations for why so much diversity is seen in egg size and other important life history traits," says Reed.
Like many mothers, American coots seem to face the classic mothering paradox—is it quality or quantity that matters? Results of the study suggest that differences in the quality of maternal resources provided to offspring are more important than the absolute quantity of resources. These differences in quality ultimately determine whether the young offspring survive. When researchers placed the large eggs into a foster-brood, they found little support for large eggs within foster-broods having higher survival probability than small eggs.
So while size matters—for American coots, it appears you don't have to be the biggest—just the biggest among your own genetic siblings to increase your chances of survival.
For more information: "Maternal Effects Increase Within-Family Variation in Offspring Survival" The American Naturalist, Nov. 2009, Vol. 175, No. 5, pp.685–695
Funding for this research study was provided by the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, National Science Foundation grant IBN-98-01503, a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research and the American Museum of Natural History, Frank Chapman Fund.
October 21, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Research activity has greatly expanded the last few years at NDSU, including the type of research that involves human participants. Since fiscal year 2005, new protocol submissions to the Institutional Review Board have increased 30 percent, with over-all review activity up 40 percent. The last several months have been particularly busy, with almost twice the volume of protocol submissions compared to the same time period last year.
While a large jump in research activity is exciting for NDSU, it does present challenges in meeting demand while retaining review quality and timeliness. Investigators are urged to plan ahead and allow additional time for Institutional Review Board staff and members to process and review their protocols. Researchers can contribute to a more efficient review and avoid unnecessary delays by ensuring the protocol form is completed thoroughly and accurately, all relevant signatures and applicable attachments are included and required training has been completed and documented by all members of the research team. For more information, go to ndsu.edu/research/irb
October 21, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Six women will receive FORWARD Leap Research Grant awards. The recipients are Victoria Gelling, assistant professor of coatings and polymeric materials; Linda Langley, assistant professor of psychology; Catherine Logue, associate professor of veterinary and microbiological sciences; Lisa Montplaisir, assistant professor of biological sciences; Wenfang Sun, associate professor of chemistry and molecular biology; and Yechun Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics.
These awards, funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant and North Dakota EPSCoR, support the advancement of tenure-track and tenured faculty women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines by providing research grants to seed proposals with strong potential to lead to greater funding opportunities from federal sources. External reviewers reviewed 22 proposals submitted for funding with well-established careers in research. After receiving the external reviewers’ comments, the final decisions for awards were made by an internal award committee.
October 20, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—North Dakota State University has been awarded a $566,997 grant from the National Science Foundation for a high-resolution analytical scanning electron microscope (SEM) to be housed in NDSU's Electron Microscopy Center.
The major research instrumentation grant is under the direction of Kalpana Katti, Ph.D., NDSU distinguished professor of civil engineering; Jayma Moore, laboratory manager of the NDSU Electron Microscopy Center; and Scott Payne, assistant director of the Electron Microscopy Center. The equipment will allow researchers to see materials at the nanoscale level.
A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter and a human hair, for example is about 50,000 nanometers thick. The high-resolution scanning electronic microscope provides faculty and students an important tool to assist scientists in making research discoveries. The scanning electron microscope provides ultrahigh-resolution imaging, magnifying things up to one million times.
The new scanning electron microscope will help prepare NDSU students for professional careers in high-tech fields, and advance research opportunities in the region. NDSU offers an interdisciplinary program leading to a Ph.D. degree in Materials and Nanotechnology (MNT).
Installation of the scanning electron microscope is expected by spring 2010. Anticipated users of the new instrumentation include researchers from NDSU and the upper Midwest, as well as partners from government and industry.
"Only a small percentage of these types of proposals are federally funded in any given year," said Scott Payne, assistant director of the Electron Microscopy Center. "State-of-the-art imaging and analysis also will support future grant requests," said laboratory manager Jayma Moore. "The acquisition of these tools is a needed step toward excellence in engineering and sciences," noted Katti.
"This grant is an important step forward in maintaining a 21st century research infrastructure for science and engineering at the nanoscale," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president of research, creative activities and technology transfer at NDSU.
October 14, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology hosted students from Fargo high schools during the summer as part of the PICNICS (Parents Involvement with Children, Nurturing Intellectual Curiosity in Science) program. The program aims to integrate parents and their children in science and encourage ninth through 12th graders to consider science as a career path.
“Informing both parents and their children in organized settings regarding the importance of science and technology will help them make informed decisions toward science and math when considering college majors and career paths,” said Sivaguru Jayaraman, program coordinator and assistant professor of chemistry and molecular biology.
Students were selected based on recommendations from their high school teachers. They worked alongside graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and carried out research in NDSU’s Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology. The PICNICS program was conducted in collaboration with Todd Bertsch, principal at Fargo South High School; Carol Beaton, advanced placement science teacher at Fargo South High School; and Dale Miller, vice-principal at Fargo North High School
Jayaraman, Kent Rodgers, Mukund Sibi, John Hershberger and D. K. Srivastava, all faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, hosted students in their research groups for the summer. At the end of the program, students presented a poster on their research at a reception held for them by the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology.
September 25, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Like a canary in a coal mine, clues exist in nature that could provide a sequence of snapshots leading to a more complete picture of climate change and other important ecological findings. Measuring and analyzing this type of scientific data from points across the U.S. are key components of NEON. The National Ecological Observatory Network's (NEON) Chief of Science, Dr. Michael Keller, will present information about NEON: Enabling Research and Education in Continental Scale Ecology on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the NDSU Memorial Union, Arikara Room.
North Dakota State University serves as lead coordinating institution in NEON Domain 9, Northern Plains, for this national observatory network that will gather long-term data to enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. Three sites will be located in each domain. The Woodworth Field Station of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Jamestown, N.D., serves as the Domain 9 Core Site. These sites will be part of the NEON network, which will include 60 networked observatory sites around the country.
The Observatory will be the first of its kind to collect ecological data at continental scales over multiple decades, which will be readily available to scientists, educators, students, decision makers and the public to use to understand and address ecological questions and issues.
NEON's goal includes constructing a continental-scale ecological observatory that once operational, will provide critical ecological data that will help us understand how climate change, land use change and invasive species affect the nation's ecosystems. Obtaining this kind of data over a long-term period will advance basic understanding of our effects on the natural world and contribute to environmental decision making in the future.
The NEON Northern Plains Domain 9 Science and Education Coordination Committee will also meet at NDSU and includes representatives from NDSU, North Dakota EPSCoR, Sitting Bull College, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of North Dakota, University of South Dakota, University of Wyoming, USDA Northern Great Plains Research Lab, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and a K–12 science educator from the region. NDSU's representatives on the committee include Wei Lin, associate professor of civil engineering and Wendy Reed, associate professor of biological sciences. NEON activities at NDSU are coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer
For more information, visit www.neoninc.org.
August 5, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Sixteen undergraduate students from all over the United States recently spent eight weeks in Fargo researching topics including the affects of toxins on wheat plants or developing biocomposite materials from natural fibers. One of those students was Margaret "Margo" Azure from Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, N.D. North Dakota State University officials hope Azure is the first of many students from tribal colleges around the state to participate in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Research Program.
Azure participated in the program, studying Natural Resource Management. Under the mentorship of Chad Ulven, NDSU assistant professor of mechanical engineering, she researched the development of natural fiber reinforced biocomposite materials from a North Dakota Cord Grass.
Since completing an associate's degree in Natural Resource Management at Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Azure plans to begin work toward a bachelor's degree in Natural Resource management at NDSU.
The goals of the program are to give students a graduate research experience, to encourage students to consider graduate school and to provide students an up-close look at North Dakota's people and places. Last year, 10 students participated.
Two years ago, Evie Myers, vice president for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, and Deland Myers Sr., professor and director of the School of Food Systems, were tasked by NDSU President Joseph Chapman to find ways to get underrepresented students to campus, particularly in the science fields. Last summer, NDSU officials visited North Dakota tribal colleges to develop partnerships at each college allowing both institutions to build on each other's strengths. The NDSU Summer STEM Research program is one way to exercise the new relationships of the institutions.
Participating students are involved in ongoing research projects for NDSU professors, lab activities and are often acknowledged as co-authors of research publications. Students work in biology, plant sciences, pharmacy, cereal science, soil science, plant pathology, communications, computer science, natural resources and exercise sciences.
Funding for the NDSU Summer STEM Research Program comes from NDSU, the National Science Foundation and Cargill. For more information, contact the NDSU Office of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach at (701) 231-6358.
July 28, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—A cutting-edge DNA lab at North Dakota State University has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to perform crime-fighting work. The Justice Department has placed the NDSU Forensic DNA Facility on its list of approved DNA vendor laboratories eligible for work through the Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program. The notification was announced by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.
NDSU's Forensic DNA Facility utilizes high-tech equipment and methods for use in criminal and civil court cases. The lab joins just 24 others in the nation eligible for similar work through the DNA Backlog Reduction Program, which received $151 million in federal funding this fiscal year.
"Approval by the National Institute of Justice as a DNA laboratory vendor to receive casework from law enforcement agencies, under the Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program, is a major accomplishment for our facility," said Dr. Berch Henry, director of the NDSU Forensic DNA Facility. "This achievement acknowledges that our program has successfully met the highest standards of our profession."
The NDSU Forensic DNA Facility uses state-of-the-art methods to perform evidence analysis on both criminal and civil cases. The Facility is engaged in basic and applied forensic research. The NDSU Lab provides the criminal justice system with forensic DNA analysis to help solve cases, assist government laboratories, and provide reanalysis of casework evidence.
The NDSU Forensic DNA Facility is accredited by Forensic Quality Services—International Division of the National Forensic Science and Technology Center. This accrediting agency inspects U.S. laboratories for adherence to standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISC) and the DNA Advisory Board (established by the Director of the FBI). The NDSU Forensic DNA Facility complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and Forensic Requirements for Accreditation (FRA 1).
The NDSU research team focuses on the trickiest of DNA identification cases and on training others in DNA forensic science. The group studies ways to maximize results from the smallest amounts of DNA evidence. The NDSU scientific team's experience includes extensive work at major metropolitan, county and state police forensic laboratories, as well as in private sector laboratories.
NDSU, in association with efforts from Sen. Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor, received $3.5 million in grant awards from the National Institute of Justice to establish the Forensics DNA Facility. The Facility is among the first in the country to combine teaching with a functioning forensic DNA lab. Under development is a Ph.D. track to provide doctoral students in biochemistry with an emphasis in forensic DNA technology—among the first program of its kind in the nation.
The NDSU Forensic DNA Facility team includes board-certified members (American Board of Criminalistics) who possess more than 50 years combined experience in forensic serology and DNA analysis—from identification of biological fluids to DNA profiling. Its scientists are members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, The Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administration, and The Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists.
June 23, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Larry R. Pederson has been named director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at North Dakota State University. The appointment of Pederson was announced by Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities & technology transfer at NDSU.
Pederson most recently held the position of laboratory fellow, the highest of six scientific grades in the Energy and Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash. At PNNL, Pederson managed the High Temperature Electrochemistry Center/Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Coal-Based Systems Core Research program, in collaboration with Montana State University and the University of Florida. In addition, he is past director of the Materials Department at PNNL.
Pederson has published approximately 140 journal articles and conference papers, and holds five U.S. patents and three patents pending. He also holds 16 foreign patents. The focus of Pederson's most recent research includes materials development for electrochemical applications including solid oxide fuel cells, electrochemical sensors and lithium batteries. Such research is relevant for NDSU CNSE's core competencies in materials development for electronics and energy conversion applications.
"CNSE continues to build upon its national and international reputation for research in microelectronics, coatings, nanotechnology, robotics and other areas," said NDSU President Joseph A. Chapman. "Dr. Pederson brings a wealth of scientific knowledge and experience to lead CNSE into its next phase of development."
Pederson moves into the position most recently held by Dr. Gregory McCarthy, who now serves as director emeritus and associate vice president for interdisciplinary research. McCarthy served as director of CNSE since its inception in 2002. "Dr. McCarthy provided CNSE with leadership during its crucial initial phases and has lead the organization from its start with five employees to more than 60 full-time employees and $18 million in annual research activities today," said Philip Boudjouk, NDSU's vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. "As CNSE continues to grow, Dr. Pederson's leadership will assist us in developing innovative technologies while building partnerships and opportunities for researchers, faculty and students."
"I find the technical breadth and quality of research and development activities being conducted at CNSE to be truly impressive. I look forward to working with the talented staff and faculty of CNSE to identify technical thrusts, procure funding, establish strategic partnerships and build upon the opportunity to attract outstanding researchers and students while expanding research facilities and capabilities," said Pederson.
Through the course of his distinguished career in scientific research, Pederson has secured significant research funding from both governmental and private sectors, including $28M for the High Temperature Electrochemistry Center at PNNL since 2002. Other significant research efforts directed by Pederson include: solid oxide fuel cell degradation studies, automotive nitrogen oxide sensor development, lithium ion battery development, microchannel multi-fuel steam reformer development, fuel cell materials development, Nafion-based gas sensors, adhesive bond failure, advanced electronic materials for energy conversion applications, and safety issues relevant to radioactive and chemical tank wastes.
Pederson's research team received an R&D 100 and Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer award for developing a unique technology for producing ultrafine ceramic powders that improve the manufacture of solid oxide fuel cells and many other important products. The R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine honors inventors by identifying the 100 most technologically significant products and advancements for each year and recognizing winning innovators and their organizations.
Pederson received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a minor in physics and received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minn. He also has served as research advisor for 15 master's and Ph.D. graduate students in Missouri, Illinois and Washington. In addition, he taught graduate and undergraduate classes in materials science while serving as an adjunct professor at Washington State University.
NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Fargo, conducts multidisciplinary research with partners in the governmental, private and university sectors. CNSE's scientific capabilities include bioactive materials, combinatorial science, corrosion protection, electronics miniaturization, flexible electronics and materials, hard coatings, wireless sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID). The Center also develops protective coatings for ships and aircraft. CNSE has been recognized in various publications including Wired; magazine and The Financial Times. It is located in the NDSU Research & Technology Park, along with the Center for Advanced Electronics Design and Manufacturing, the Center for Integrated Electronic Systems, the Center for Surface Protection, the Center for Nanoscale Energy-Related Materials and the NDSU Product Design Center.
June 19, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Philip Boudjouk, board chair of The Coalition of EPSCoR/IDeA States, testified on June 18 before the U.S. Senate's Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense. Boudjouk serves as vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at North Dakota State University, Fargo.
In his testimony, Boudjouk noted the Department of Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) receives grants from the Department to perform research in response to the Department's priorities. The funding supports basic research, publications and patents, graduate student training, purchase of research equipment and multi-state research collaborations. Past DEPSCoR research has included designing helicoptor rotors, development of critical software systems, wireless communication systems, preventing laser damage to aircraft optical guidance systems and increasing durability of lightweight composite materials.
Boudjouk noted that researchers in DEPSCoR states can make important contributions that support the research needs of the Department of Defense. Examples of such research include: prediction of river currents for Navy operations, determining the effect of exposure of military personnel to extreme physical and climatic conditions and developing small plastic air-vehicles for the Air Force. DEPSCoR is a non-profit organization representing 21 states and two territories currently eligible to receive Department of Defense DEPSCoR research awards.
North Dakota is among the jurisdictions that are designated to participate in DEPSCoR. In addition, 26 states and territories participate in EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. In his role as chair of The EPSCoR Coalition, Boudjouk serves as the coalition's liaison to federal agencies and non-profit institutions such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and provides testimony to Congressional committees.
In North Dakota, EPSCoR provides funding for research infrastructure such as high performance computing, equipment for research programs, funding for new researchers, financial support for undergraduate and graduate student research, funding to provide technology expertise to businesses in the state, and funding for research in conjunction with North Dakota's tribal colleges. A positive economic impact of $433 million has occurred in North Dakota due to the $188.4 million awarded to EPSCoR-supported researchers since 1986.
Boudjouk previously served as chairperson for The Coalition of EPSCoR States from 2000–01. Boudjouk also served as project director for the North Dakota EPSCoR program from 1992 to 2000. The ND EPSCoR program is widely recognized for its success in promoting and administering millions of dollars in federal contracts with research faculty throughout the North Dakota University System. In 2008, ND EPSCoR received a five-year $15 million grant to develop and support scientific research infrastructure in the state.
June 12, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Nathan Schneck, NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) research engineer, presented a research paper at the 2009 Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), May 26 to 29, in San Diego. The paper, "Underfill Optimization Under Accelerated Temperature Cycling and Drop-Impact Loading for Stacked Packages Using Finite Element Modeling," co-authored by CNSE Package Design Engineer Zane Johnson, was presented during the technical program at the conference.
Jason Thomas, NDSU CNSE undergraduate research assistant, also presented a poster at the conference. His work, "A Unique Application of Decapsulation Combining Laser and Plasma," was based on electronics packaging research conducted at CNSE involving a group of NDSU CNSE researchers including Jacob Baer, Philip Westby, Kevin Mattson, Frederik Haring, Greg Strommen, John Jacobson, Syed Sajid Ahmad and Aaron Reinholz.
Schneck received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 2005 and his master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2008 from NDSU. Thomas is pursuing a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering at NDSU.
Both presentations discussed research being conducted at CNSE in the area of advanced microelectronics modeling and testing. The ECTC Technical Program contained presentations covering leading edge developments and technical innovations across the packaging spectrum topics including advanced packaging, modeling & simulation, optoelectronics, interconnections, materials & processing, applied reliability, assembly and manufacturing technology, components & RF and emerging technologies. More information on ECTC.
June 10, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Zhigang Chen, research scientist in NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, has received a grant award for $98,210 from the United Soybean Board. Chen's research focuses on producing high biorenewable content and high performance ultraviolet curable coating materials.
The combination of chemically-modified soybean oil with solventless UV curing technology provides a green solution to stricter environmental regulations facing the coatings and composite industry. Chen will research various formulation and synthesis approaches to enhance soy-based UV curable coating materials with high efficiency toughening chemicals, and/or UV reactive chemicals derived from low-cost natural resources. High biorenewable content coating materials with higher performance suitable for industrial applications are expected to be produced.
Chen received his Ph.D. from NDSU's Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Additional research includes work as co-principal investigator to develop novel soy-based UV curable thiol-ene coatings and thiol-urethane coatings. The research is funded by the North Dakota Soybean Council.
May 20, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Forbes.com has listed North Dakota State University and Fargo as number five in an article called "Top College Towns for Jobs" published on May 19. The article by Matt Woolsey carries the headline "Post-grads in these 20 metros where job growth is rising should stay put."
"Universities play a vital role in the economy of a region and the recognition by a well-known business publication such as Forbes shows the impact of North Dakota State University, as we strive to create educational and economic opportunities for North Dakota and the region," said NDSU President Joseph A. Chapman.
The Forbes article suggests that research universities are conducive to great environments for business, providing an educated labor force and centers of innovation stemming from university research. "The growth of research activities at NDSU, from $44 million in 1999 to more than $115 million today, underscores not only the opportunities that research presents for students, faculty, and staff, but already clearly shows a positive effect on the area's economy," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at NDSU.
To conduct its analysis of top college towns for jobs, Forbes used U.S. metropolitan statistical area data and metropolitan divisions as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The magazine also examined job growth using data from Moody’s Economy.com. A senior economist from Moody's quoted in the article "notes that for every job created by a university or college, between one-half and one full job are created in the surrounding economy." The article pegs the percentage of workers in university jobs in Fargo at 2.9 percent and Fargo's job growth since 2008 at 2.45 percent, based on statistics from Moody's Economy.com. View the entire listing of college towns.
The article also notes that all universities are affected by investment performance on university endowments and suggests that a school such as Harvard with a large endowment may experience less economic impact than smaller schools such as NDSU.
In addition to NDSU and Fargo at number five in the Top College Towns for Jobs article, the list includes universities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
May 13, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Growing up in Bowman, N.D., Ben Braaten didn'’t know his future career path would take him from the plains of North Dakota to high-tech research on radio frequency identification (RFID). As a graduate student soon to receive his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, Braaten is one of 15 employees at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) who have combined educational and hands-on opportunities to shape their future careers in technology.
Mike Reich, a full-time employee at CNSE and native of Cleveland, N.D., is also receiving his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Others such as Greg Owen, a Valley City, N.D. native, and Casey Roshau from Dickinson, N.D., will receive master's degrees in electrical engineering at NDSU commencement ceremonies on May 15. They are joined by CNSE employees Mariam Hoseini of Tehran, Iran, and Sourin Bhattacharya of New Delhi, India, who will graduate with master's degrees in computer engineering and manufacturing engineering, respectively.
Most of the CNSE employees earning advanced degrees credit a portion of their success to working as undergraduate or graduate research assistants at CNSE while going to school to achieve their degrees. Casey Roshau from Dickinson, for example, has worked at CNSE since 2006 while pursuing his degrees. He's received hands-on experience with hardware design, sensor systems and photovoltaic cell research. "Internships throughout a student's college career are extremely beneficial to obtaining post-graduation employment," says Roshau. "My CNSE experience has allowed me to focus on hardware design for control circuits and power electronics," he says. Roshau has joined Phoenix International, a John Deere company in Fargo, N.D., upon graduation.
Ben Braaten from Bowman worked at CNSE developing antenna designs for RFID tags while completing his undergraduate degree, master's degree and Ph.D., at NDSU. Mike Reich of Cleveland, N.D., came back to North Dakota from Keyport, Wash., to pursue a technology career first at Phoenix International and then at CNSE. Greg Owen of Valley City worked on an agrosecurity animal identification project at CNSE, part of a research project in conjunction with the NDSU Research Extension Center in Dickinson, N.D., to track thousands of cattle. Upon receiving his master's degree from NDSU, Owen will be joining Sebesta Blomberg & Associates, an engineering firm with offices in 14 states. Two graduates, Reich and Bhattacharya, will continue as CNSE employees, while the other graduates are pursuing additional degrees or career opportunities.
In addition, another nine undergraduate research assistants at CNSE will receive their bachelor's degrees on May 16. This group includes: Jacob Baer, Frazee, Minn., mechanical engineering; Thomas Cinnamon, Stillwater, Minn., industrial engineering; Jaime Jensen, Devils Lake, N.D., biochemistry and molecular biology; Kyle Johnson, Thief River Falls, Minn., mechanical engineering; Kianoosh Karami, Fargo, N.D., electrical engineering; Natasha Plemel, Anoka, Minn., mechanical engineering; Thomas Severance, Herman, Minn., electrical engineering; Drew Thompson, Barnesville, Minn., mechanical engineering; and Jenny Wu, Fargo, N.D., zoology.
"CNSE provided these students the opportunity to work side by side with highly trained professionals and gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge research," says Philip Boudjouk, who oversees CNSE as vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer at NDSU. At CNSE, the students work with cutting-edge miniaturized electronics design and fabrication and protective coatings.
CNSE provides students access to a combination of high-tech equipment, cleanroom processes and software design tools that you wouldn’t find anywhere in the area. "There are so many 'wins' for these NDSU students and for us," says Greg McCarthy, associate vice president for interdisciplinary research and CNSE director. "The typical student will work on our projects full-time in the summer and part-time during the school year. What they earn goes a long way toward covering college costs, and they come out after two or three years ready to compete with any graduate from anywhere in their first job or research appointment in graduate school."
Phil Boudjouk notes that students coming from the North Dakota prairie and surrounding areas to gain experience at CNSE bring unique qualifications. "They often have a built-in respect for machinery. They have designers' eyes. They’re always seeing how to improve a piece of machinery. Typically, they make mistakes only once because they learn quickly." These characteristics, along with an unusually strong work ethic, add to their success in pursuing research, advanced degrees and high-tech jobs, he says.
Established in 2002, NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering offers a dynamic environment for researchers and students to engage in exemplary programs while enhancing their educational and career opportunities. "CNSE has provided returning North Dakotans with access to high-tech jobs, offered research opportunities to NDSU students seeking advantages in the job market, and supported educational opportunities for students seeking advanced degrees," says Phil Boudjouk. "As research continues to grow at NDSU to include CNSE and a new Center for Nanoscale Energy-Related Materials, we'll continue to offer high-tech opportunities to the region."
May 5, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The scientific discoveries of North Dakota State University geoscientists Allan Ashworth and Adam Lewis are highlighted in the documentary, "Ice People," scheduled to premiere on the Sundance Channel on May 5 at 9 p.m. CT, with additional airings May 6 and May 10. Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion offers a rare glimpse of scientists at work under extreme physical conditions. The film documents the geologists' field work, while capturing the austere beauty of Antarctica.
As noted in a USA Today article, "Ice People Takes You to Scientists' Extreme Lab," the film shows the cold and sometimes backbreaking field work conducted by scientists Ashworth and Lewis and NDSU students Kelly Gorz and Andrew Podoll. An international team of scientists headed up by Ashworth and Lewis and David Marchant, an earth scientist at Boston University, combined evidence from glacial geology, paleoecology, dating of volcanic ashes and computer modeling, to report a major climate change centered on 14 million years ago.
Ashworth, a distinguished professor of geosciences, notes in the film, "To be in a place which is so underexplored, as a geologist, and to have the opportunity of making a discovery is pretty powerful medicine for a geologist." According to Lewis, the discovery of lake deposits with perfectly preserved fossils of mosses, diatoms and ostracods is particularly exciting to scientists. "They are the first to be found even though scientific expeditions have been visiting the Dry Valleys since their discovery during the first Scott expedition in 1902–03," said Lewis.
Documentary filmmaker Aghion spent four months at the U.S. research station McMurdo, and camped out for seven weeks with Dr. Ashworth and his research crew as they studied fossilized vegetation in Antarctic lakebeds. The film "Ice People" has been screened at science museums and film festivals in Australia, Vancouver, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Jerusalem and Fargo. Select theaters across the U.S. will also be showing the film in the coming months.
Note: The research of Dr. Allan Ashworth described here is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation's Polar Programs. The film "Ice People" is a co-production of Dry Valleys Productions, ARTE France, ITVS International, in association with Sundance Channel and is produced with a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.
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May 4, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Bret Chisholm, director of NDSU's Combinatorial Materials Research Lab in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Chad Ulven, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, have been awarded a multi-year $395,000 research grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a combat support agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Research conducted by Chisholm and Ulven will explore transparent materials that absorb the force or energy of strong impacts. Their proposal is titled "An Investigation of Polycarbonate/Polysiloxane Multiblock Copolymers Produced Using Hydrosilylation Coupling Chemistry."
Polycarbonate has been used as a thermoplastic that is transparent with high impact resistance, used for many things such as bullet-proof glass and canopies for military jets. However, the material also shows a tendency to undergo brittle failure in notched impact tests. The objective of Chisholm and Ulven’s research is to develop extensive structure-property relationships for polycarbonate-polysiloxane multiblock copolymers using a novel synthetic method that will allow precise control over block copolymer architecture. The structure-property relationships obtained as a result of the proposed research will enable the design of novel impact-resistant materials. The project will be a joint effort with NDSU and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
April 20, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Jane Schuh, assistant professor of immunology in NDSU's Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, appeared on the research and development hour of "Weekend Edition" on KFGO radio, The Mighty 790. The show aired April 18.
Schuh's asthma research focuses on finding candidate genes or targets for asthma, on what initiates the disease process early and shows up later. It includes the assessment of innate, acute, and chronic lung responses that occur during the evolution of fungus-induced airway inflammation. Schuh is currently submitting the results of this research to several scientific journals.
"Weekend Edition" features research activities from around the region, offering listeners information about how science affects daily life, as well as information about the wide variety of research conducted at NDSU.
April 20, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Researchers from NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials have published the cover article in the Journal of Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics. Mohammed Nasrullah, postdoctoral researcher at CNSE, and Professor Dean Webster in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials authored the article "Parallel synthesis of polymer libraries using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)" in the April 22, 2009, online issue of the journal.
The main focus of the work presented in the article explores issues relating to parallel ATRP synthesis of libraries of low molecular weight polymers and block copolymers. The research is funded by the Office of Naval Research. The Combinatorial Materials Research Laboratory (CMRL) at CNSE, which uses high-throughput methods, speeds up the preparation and exploration of new polymeric materials. A large diversity of parameters can be screened simultaneously, resulting in determination of new structure/property relationships. Using automatic robotic methods such as the ones used in the CMRL, researchers can generate and test a large number of samples in one day, cutting experiment times from weeks to days.
Mohammed J. Nasrullah's previous research includes the area of photoresist polymers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and the area of reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Nasrullah joined CNSE in 2005 as research associate to work with Dr. Dean Webster and the Combinatorial Materials Research Laboratory team at CNSE for the development of advanced marine coatings using combinatorial and high throughput experimentation.
Dr. Webster previously worked for Sherwin-Williams Company and Eastman Chemical Company. He joined the Coatings and Polymeric Materials Department at NDSU in 2001. Webster holds 9 patents and 13 published patent applications and has authored more than 60 publications and book chapters.
March 17, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The American Chemical Society's Chemical & Engineering News in its March 16 edition featured a Science Cafe coordinated by Dr. Victoria Gelling of NDSU's Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. The article, "Science Cafes Hit the Spot," noted that "You wouldn't normally expect to find American Chemical Society members gathered for a local section meeting in the middle of a hardware store." More than 60 community members attended the session held last year at Scheels Home and Hardware in Fargo to hear the research director of the coatings company Valspar talk about chemistry and paint. The article's author, Linda Wang, points out the success of science cafes around the world in putting the public at ease by talking about science in lay terms in casual settings.
The NDSU College of Science and Mathematics also began a series of successful science cafes in local venues last fall. The next Science Cafe is set for March 31 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Babb's Coffee House, 604 Main Ave, Fargo. NDSU Geosciences Professor Donald Schwert will lead the discussion "A Citizens Guide to Geologic Survival in Fargo–Moorhead." Floods, shifting clays, landslides, and radon make the F–M region one of the most challenging geologic environments for development. In this science cafe, Schwert will discuss the geologic setting of our region and how we can better adapt to its many challenges.
Previous Science Cafes covered topics such as the electoral college, the psychology of terrorism, and mathematics and the Rubik's Cube. The events involve face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics, are open to the community and take place in casual settings.
March 13, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Victoria Gelling and Dean Webster of NDSU's Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials appeared on the research and development hour of "Weekend Edition" on KFGO radio, The Mighty 790. The show aired March 7.
Gelling and Webster provided information on how coatings affect everyday materials, as well as information about research projects, including work with NASA on coatings containing smart capsules to sense and respond to corrosion, coatings that use natural raw materials such as vegetable oils, nanocomposite coatings, coatings for aircraft and ships and coatings research for conserving artwork. The program also emphasized research opportunities available for undergraduate and graduate students at NDSU.
Formed in 1905, the NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials is one of only a few recognized universities in the country offering a program in coatings. Graduates of the department work in a variety of settings, from paint companies to industry to cosmetics.
"Weekend Edition" features research activities from around the region. Past programs also have featured research and topics by NDSU professors Allan Ashworth and Adam Lewis in the Department of Geosciences; Dinesh Katti and Kalpana Katti in the Department of Civil Engineering; Heather Gill-Robinson in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Emergency Management; Debra Pankow, NDSU Extension family economics specialist; and Phil Boudjouk, NDSU vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy released the 2008 national rankings for National Institutes of Health funding for pharmacy schools. Out of 112 schools of pharmacy, NDSU's pharmacy program was ranked 13th in the United States for the percent of doctoral faculty with National Institutes of Health funding. NDSU has 42 percent of full-time equivalent doctoral pharmacy faculty receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.
NDSU's percentage of pharmaceutical sciences faculty with competitive National Institutes of Health funding exceeded many other prestigious research universities including the University of Maryland, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa and the University of Florida.
NDSU ranked 38th nationally for total National Institutes of Health grant dollars awarded per full-time equivalent faculty, just behind the University of Minnesota (34th) and the University of Iowa (35th).
"This is a great acknowledgement of the quality and competitiveness of our research within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and within our college," said Charles Peterson, dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences. "We have a great group of faculty, working very hard, and producing great results. They are competing successfully with the best in the nation."
NDSU is one of 112 schools of pharmacy nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
February 20, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Magdy Abdelrahman, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has been named a recipient of the Faculty Early Career Development award (CAREER) by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Abdelrahman will receive a five-year, $400,000 award from the NSF to conduct research outlined in his proposal titled "A Program of Research Focused on Understanding of Interaction of Recycled Materials with Asphalt, Outreach, Academic and Engineering Development."
Dr. Abdelrahman's research program will focus on using recycled materials, like tire rubber, to enhance the performance of pavement as an aspect of the civil infrastructure sustainability. The broad goal of the research program is to fundamentally characterize the materials and process variables responsible for property development in asphalt-rubber interaction. "Asphalt applications have the potential to contribute to the solution of the growing solid waste problem, provided that engineering and environmental concerns are addressed," said Abdelrahman.
Recycled tires, also known as crumb rubber modifier (CRM), and recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), for example, can be engineered and used successfully in asphalt pavement applications. Asphalt binders represent an area that can improve pavement performance, according to Abdelrahman. The proposed research will synthesize asphalt-CRM binders through interactions, will characterize the physical and chemical properties of asphalt-CRM binders, and will model the impact of chemical releases from recycled asphalt materials containing additives and polymers on soil and groundwater.
"This CAREER project will have a broad impact because solid waste is problematic throughout the world," said Abdelrahman. The plan includes development of a graduate/senior course on recycled material applications and faculty-professional focus meetings to exchange experiences in the area of recycled materials. Activities will be used to recruit, train and mentor students while preparing them for careers in recycled materials. Community outreach activities will raise awareness to K–12 students to the environmental issues facing the global community regarding solid waste management.
Dr. Abdelrahman joined the NDSU faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering in 2004. He received a bachelor's of science degree and a master's degree in civil engineering from Zagazig University in Zagazig, Egypt. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. Abdelrahman has authored or co-authored 22 peer-reviewed publications and co-holds a patent on asphalt-rubber interaction. He is a member of two National Academies committees and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management.
Since 1996, fourteen faculty members at NDSU have received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards. "National Science Foundation CAREER awards to NDSU faculty reflect the institution’s ability to attract the best and the brightest among researchers," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.
National Science Foundation CAREER awardees at NDSU have nearly $5 million in grants to conduct research in chemistry, civil and electrical engineering, coatings and polymeric materials. NSF career awardees currently at NDSU include faculty members Gregory Cook, Seth Rasmussen, Wenfang Sun, Sivaguru Jayaraman and Uwe Burghaus in chemistry, Sanku Mallik in pharmaceutical sciences and Kalpana Katti, Eakalak Khan, Xuefeng Chu and Chung-Souk Han in civil engineering.
The National Science Foundation CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of scholars who are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Recipients are chosen on the basis of creative career development plans that integrate research and education within the context of their university's mission.
February 19, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—Chung-Souk Han, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has been named a recipient of the Faculty Early Career Development award (CAREER) by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Han will receive a five-year, $400,000 award from the NSF to conduct research outlined in his proposal titled "Integrated Research and Education on the Size Dependent Deformation in Polymers—Indentation Tests, Material Modeling, and Numerical Simulations."
The goal of Dr. Han's research is to develop an understanding of how polymers at the nanoscale level are affected by certain factors. It has been observed in experiments that smaller components of many polymeric materials are stiffer and often stronger than larger components. This phenomenon is neither well known nor well understood in polymers, according to Dr. Han. One way to investigate such deformation behavior is nano-/micro indentation testing applied in this research project.
Components of polymeric materials in small dimensions are used in a great variety of applications including coatings for corrosion protection, sensors, composites, adhesives, medical applications, foams, threads and woven materials. Despite the importance of size dependent deformation of polymers in such applications, a sound physical micromechanical theory is not available, according to Dr. Han. The purpose of this project is to develop and verify such a theory along with numerical tools to simulate the size dependent deformation in polymers. "Besides the direct applications related to the hardness of polymers, the research is of fundamental nature as it will be of importance wherever polymers are present in small dimensions," said Dr. Han.
An educational component of the research plan includes involving students with disabilities and involving Native American students in research activities through summer camps and undergraduate research. The goals include introducing and encouraging student interest in materials science, mechanics of materials, micromechanics and other areas. Selected undergraduate students at NDSU also will be participating in the research program through competitive compensated research positions.
Dr. Han joined the NDSU faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering in 2005. He received a degree in mathematics from the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany, and advanced degrees in applied mechanics and civil engineering from the Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, and the University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany, respectively. He previously conducted research at The Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart, Germany, as well as at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., and at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Since 1996, fourteen faculty members at NDSU have received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards. "Continued growth of research programs at NDSU and the National Science Foundation CAREER awards to NDSU faculty illustrate the caliber of research activities across campus," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.
National Science Foundation CAREER awardees at NDSU have received $5 million in grants to conduct research in chemistry, civil and electrical engineering, coatings and polymeric materials. NSF career awardees currently at NDSU include faculty members Gregory Cook, Seth Rasmussen, Wenfang Sun, Sivaguru Jayaraman and Uwe Burghaus in chemistry, Sanku Mallik in pharmaceutical sciences and Kalpana Katti, Eakalak Khan, Xuefeng Chu, and Magdy Abdelrahman in civil engineering.
The National Science Foundation CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of scholars who are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Recipients are chosen on the basis of creative career development plans that integrate research and education within the context of their university's mission.
February 18, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The Fargo premiere of documentary filmmaker Anne Aghion's "Ice People" is planned for Tuesday, March 3, at the opening night of the 2009 Fargo Film Festival. The film features the research of NDSU scientists Allan Ashworth and Adam Lewis and students Kelly Gorz and Andrew Podoll.
In celebration of "Ice People" and the opening night of the festival, NDSU landscape architecture students Kyle Slivnik, David Prom and Patrick Benson will create a snow sculpture in front of the Fargo Theatre. The students recently participated in the Festival du Voyageur 15th annual International Snow Sculpting Symposium.
Aghion spent four months at the U.S. research station McMurdo and camped out for seven weeks in the research field with Ashworth and the research crew while they studied fossilized vegetation in Antarctic lakebeds. The feature-length documentary explores the physical, emotional and spiritual adventure of living and conducting science in Antarctica.
"Ice People" first premiered at the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, has aired on ARTE in Europe and the Sundance Channel. The film also has been screened at science museums and film festivals in Australia, Vancouver, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Jerusalem and is featured in "Hollywood in Antarctica" in the Oct. 17, 2008, online issue of The Scientist.
January 6, 2009, Fargo, N.D.—The Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University has announced that Min Kim Park, Chicago, Ill., has been named the 2009 James Rosenquist Artist in Residence at NDSU. Ms. Park will work spring semester 2009 in the studio dedicated for the program at NDSU's Downtown Visual Arts Department, interacting with students, holding public lectures and opening her studio to visitors.
Born in South Korea, Min Kim Park focuses on exploring the issues revolving around gender, ethnicity and identity using multimedia performance, video, photography, and video and sound installation. "I am committed as an artist to create innovative work," stated Ms. Park, "that is at the same time relevant to current social, political, and theoretical concerns." At NDSU, Ms. Park will teach a seminar course that focuses on the history and theory of photography, new media, web art, film and video, installation and performance. Her international background will enhance the students' cultural background and offer them a global perspective on the creation of art. Her residency will culminate with an exhibit and donation of a piece of artwork to the James Rosenquist Artist Residency Collection.
"Ms. Park is a quintessentially American artist, whose globalism shows itself in her work. It is this melding of American and international insights that is inspiring for us at NDSU," said Thomas Riley, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at NDSU.
Ms. Park received her master of fine arts degree in photography from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She holds a bachelor of art degree in communication and journalism from Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Mo. She has taught at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; the School of the Art Institute, Chicago; and Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. In addition to the James Rosenqiust Residency award, Ms. Park has been the artist in residence for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Neb. Ms. Park has exhibited her work in galleries both nationally and internationally.
The James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program for Visual Arts at NDSU honors James Rosenquist. Born in Grand Forks, N.D., Rosenquist is considered one of the greatest living artists of the Pop Art movement of North America. His work and career are internationally known. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from North Dakota State University in May 2005.
NDSU introduced the James Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program in 2006 with its inaugural artist, Hedi Schwöbel, of Ludwigsburg, Germany. One of her artistic installations included sculpted salt blocks placed in area pastures with cattle near Casselton and Leonard, N.D. The second artist in residence, sculptor Jonathan Pellitteri, used his experience as a mason and carpenter to create artwork that included various mediums and processes representing his observations of the world around him.
"The Rosenquist Artist in Residency Program allows NDSU to continue additional support of the arts," said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer, which is funding the program. "The program's success illustrates its support of art education and the region's vibrant arts community."