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Tonko Heralds $2M Additional Science Grants Awarded to Capital Region

NSF grants fund cutting-edge research at Union College and UAlbany, bringing 2 week federal grant total near $10 million

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Albany, August 28, 2019 | comments

ALBANYCongressman Paul D. Tonko announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding the State University of New York at Albany (UAlbany) and Union College multiple scientific research grants totaling $2,056,439. This brings the two week total of science grant announcements for Capital Region colleges and universities to nearly 10 million dollars: $9,433,913.

“Our Capital Region continues to shine as a beacon of scientific achievement, as shown by the remarkable collection of federal science grants awarded to RPI, UAlbany, Union College and SUNY Polytechnic over the past two weeks,” Congressman Tonko said. “The local researchers behind these pioneering efforts are a national treasure, and their insights will help shape our actions to safeguard public health, our economy and the well-being of Americans for generations to come. Congratulations to these researchers, our pioneering Capital Region academic institutions, and all who have dedicated themselves to advancing science and the betterment of humankind.”

  • UAlbany has been awarded $1,599,123 for research on the effects of Climate Change on forests and human food production. The research is led by Dr. Robert M. Rosenswig, an associate professor in UAlbany’s Department of Anthropology. Mathias Vuille, a professor in UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences is a co-principal investigator on the project.
  • Union College has been awarded a combined $457,316 for two research projects:
    • $380,978 for research to understand the driving forces behind embryo development by studying chick embryos. This project is spearheaded by Dr. Ashok Ramasubramanian, an associate professor at Union College.
    • $76,338 for collaborative research to provide effective pathways to deliver computer science content across a broad range of disciplines. Dr. Kristina Striegnitz, an associate professor at Union College, leads this project.

 “Dr. Rosenswig’s work highlights the critical interdisciplinary research that UAlbany is doing on atmospheric science, climate change and its impact on society – historically, today and into the future,” said James Dias, Vice President for Research at UAlbany. “Climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing our society, and as a public research institution UAlbany is committed to helping find meaningful solutions. Dr. Rosenswig’s work will help illuminate whether there are valuable lessons to be learned from the past.”

“Dr. Ramasubramanian’s research provides an exciting opportunity for undergraduate students at Union to engage in cutting-edge research that combines experimental work with sophisticated computational modeling,” said Strom Thacker, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Union College. “Our exceptionally talented faculty and students are dedicated to advancing knowledge to help tackle critical challenges, and this team’s work has the potential to shed light on possible origins of certain congenital disorders. Dr. Striegnitz’s work further strengthens Union's rigorous undergraduate curriculum that integrates engineering and the liberal arts by exploring innovative approaches to embed computing across the curriculum. This work is anchored in a commitment to prepare our students as responsible contributors to society by infusing, from the ground up, an examination of ethical considerations into the full range of computation across the curriculum.”  

Previously-announced NSF grants this month include:

  • SUNY Polytechnic awarded $6,000,000 to develop and implement a workforce certificate program for students, employers and academic institutions based on a competency model. Research on this program is led by Dr. Robert Geer, a professor at SUNY Polytechnic.
  • RPI  awarded a combined $1,377,474 for three research projects tied to innovations in energy, environment and telecommunications:
    • $507,284 for research into international collaborations to study soil as a means of raising awareness on the public health risks of soil contamination. This program is led by Dr. Abby Kinchy, an associate professor at RPI.
    • $420,190 for research into improving wireless communication by developing a sustainable and comprehensive framework for analyzing radio spectrum. Dr. Ali Tajer, an associate professor at RPI, developed this project.
    • $450,000 for research into power grid modernization including secure monitoring and control systems using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Research for this project is led by Dr. Meng Wang, and associate professor at RPI.  

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