SyracuseCoE awards $1.4 million for collaborative research projects to improve air and water quality
SyracuseCoE awards $1.4 million for collaborative research projects to improve air and water qualityJune 15, 2009Martin Wallsmwalls@syracusecoe.org
Researchers at four member institutions of the Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) will begin innovative projects to help improve the air quality of buildings and communities and protect water resources, thanks to $1.4 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) grants announced today at Syracuse University by Rep. Dan Maffei (NY-25).
The Collaborative Activities for Research and Technology Innovation (CARTI) grants are awarded to nine projects aimed at investigating the role static electricity plays in indoor air quality; particulate matter in the Syracuse airshed; an air filter that utilizes plant microbes; the impact of daylighting on decision-making; whether certain common air particles damage the lungs; innovative real-time water quality sensors; water sensors that utilize holographic and quantum properties of hydrogels; and the role a stream’s subsurface plays in stream restoration.
This fourth round of CARTI awards is made possible through funding from the U.S. EPA. Rep. Maffei, like local congressional representatives over the past decade, was instrumental in securing the funds that have made the CARTI research program a success.
“The spirit of collaboration and innovation is alive and well at SyracuseCoE and across our institutions of higher learning in Central Upstate New York,” says Maffei. “I am pleased to announce today that more than $1.4 million in federal funding is coming to these very worthwhile research and development projects. This research not only brings brilliant minds together to further improvements in environmental studies, it brings economic benefits to our region. I applaud and thank all the recipients and schools.”
“SyracuseCoE appreciates that securing funds for the CARTI program has been such a high priority for Congressman Maffei, as it was for our past local congressional representatives,” says Ed Bogucz, executive director of the SyracuseCoE. “Air quality and water resources research by Central Upstate scientists is a cornerstone of SyracuseCoE’s mission, and it is strengthening this region’s reputation as a leader in discovering sustainable solutions to pressing global challenges in human and natural environments.”
The project investigators, their institutions, and the titles of the funded projects are listed below. Full project descriptions can be found on the SyracuseCoE website (http://www.syracusecoe.org/CARTI).
- Andrea Ferro of Clarkson University: $100,000 for the “Investigation of electrostatic forces caused by walking on the floor and its effect on particle resuspension in an indoor environment”;
- John Hassett of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $298,890 for the “Real-time sensing and time-resolved sampling of organic chemicals in Onondaga Lake”;
- Philip Hopke of Clarkson University: $90,369 to study the “characterization of coarse particles in Syracuse, N.Y.”;
- Yan-Yeung Luk of Syracuse University: $100,000 to study “Integrated sensing mechanisms based on holographic diffraction and quantum confinement in protein-laden hydrogel”;
- Kathleen McGrath of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $100,000 to study “Life Down Under: The forgotten hyporheic zone in stream restoration and development of a bioindicator of subsurface recovery”;
- Temitope Ojo of Clarkson University: $215,589 to take “water quality measurements using a novel buoyancy controlled drifting sensor platform”;
- Dacheng Ren of Syracuse University: $100,000 for the “analysis and optimization of a novel regenerative bio-filter system for enhanced volatile organic compound removal from indoor environments”;
- Usha Satish of SUNY Upstate Medical University: $299,011 to study the “impacts of daylighting on human decision making and productivity”; and
- Lawrence Tavlarides of Syracuse University: $100,000 to study “reactive oxygen species in particulate matter: formation, elimination, and in vitro assessment of relative toxic effects.”
“These CARTI grant recipients vividly illustrate Scholarship in Action,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “The winning teams are true collaborators, and their award-winning work is helping solve real problems confronting our community and all communities around the globe-public health threats from air and water pollution. The CARTI award winners’ work will have a powerful impact on our regional economy, and we are extremely grateful to Congressman Maffei for support and commitment to SyracuseCoE members and innovators.”
“We thank Congressman Dan Maffei and the SyracuseCoE for the support of the research of Dr. John Hassett and Dr. Kathleen McGrath,” says Cornelius B. Murphy, president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Foresty. “The CARTI grants awarded to our faculty will help improve the quality of Onondaga Lake and our streams in Central New York. The water resources of Central Upstate New York are one of our most important assets. These grants will help improve our quality of life.”
“With critical support from our elected representatives and organizations such as the U.S. EPA, the development of innovative solutions to address the world’s most pressing issues in water and air quality is happening right here in Central Upstate New York,” says Clarkson University President Anthony G. Collins. “As a result of the collaboration among our research universities and industry partners across the region, the world is watching us succeed at coupling discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise that not only drives economic development in our own backyard but also delivers public good through stewardship of clean air and water across the globe.”
“This grant program further illustrates the powerful economic engine that research and higher education continue to be for this region,” says SUNY Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith. “In total, these projects aim to enhance the human condition, how we live and work, and ultimately build a healthier future for us all. In many ways, they reflect the central mission of Upstate Medical University: to improve the health of the communities we serve. For this opportunity, we thank Congressman Maffei for his support of this valuable program.”
An independent Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of nine nationally recognized researchers from the academic, research and scientific communities recommended the projects for CARTI awards following a rigorous process used by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. EPA for competitively awarded projects.
The air quality SAC team is headed by Barry Ryan of Emory University, a leading expert on environmental effects on humans in urban settings. The water quality SAC team is led by Denice Wardrop of Pennsylvania State University, a noted researcher and associate director of the Cooperative Wetlands Center.
In a two-step process, members of the SAC reviewed preliminary proposals submitted by 32 teams. Of these, 23 teams were invited to submit full proposals. After review and recommendations by the SAC, nine full proposals were selected by SyracuseCoE for funding.
The Syracuse Center of Excellence (http://syracusecoe.org) is a federation of more than 200 businesses and institutions that collaborate on sustainable innovations to improve built and urban environments. SyracuseCoE partners work on research, development and educational projects relating to clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality and water resources. In September, SyracuseCoE will host Healthy Buildings 2009 (http://hb2009.org), a premier international conference focused on green technologies for buildings and communities.