|ND SUNRISE receives more than $6 million in research grants|
North Dakota university researchers with the Sustainable Energy Research Initiative and Supporting Education group, or SUNRISE, have received more than $6 million in external competitive grant awards this quarter. This bring total awards since 2004 to over $26 million.
ND SUNRISE has been awarded $2.95 million from the North Dakota Department of Commerce to establish the SUNRISE BioProducts Center of Excellence for biobased chemicals, polymers, and composites. Leveraged by more than $8 million in matching funds, SUNRISE is engaging 12 companies in this center including: Red River Valley companies, LM Glasfiber, Tecton Products, Northwood Mills, and Integrity Windows. Multi-national partners include Bayer CropScience, Bayer Material Science, Ashland Chemicals, Rohm and Haus, PPG Industries, Crown Iron Works, Global Ag Solutions, and Kadrmas, Lee, & Jackson.
The Center of Excellence was formulated by PI Wayne Seames, professor of chemical engineering and SUNRISE director along with co-PIs Brian Tande, assistant professor of chemical engineering and Jim Petell, associate vice president for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. Center activities performed at NDSU are administered by Chad Ulven, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and SUNRISE associate director. Khwaja Hossain, MaSU assistant professor will coordinate work activities at Mayville State. They will focus on developing processes for the economical production of chemicals and polymers that are identical to current products produced from crude oil and natural gas. Other work will blend some of the polymer products with natural fibers to produce novel composite materials.
“The SUNRISE BioProducts COE is a natural next step following SUNRISE’s current commercialization activities which include the scale-up of a 100 percent renewable jet fuel meeting U.S. Air Force JP-8 fuel specifications,” said Petell.
SUNRISE was recently awarded $3 million from the North Dakota EPSCoR program for 2009-2013. The funded research will elucidate fundamental aspects of heterogeneous catalysis, especially at the nanoscale, that are relevant to developing alternative transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks. These studies are organized into five broad projects, each of which involves multidisciplinary teams of researchers. The research program is managed by PI Mark Hoffmann, Chester Fritz professor and chair of chemistry and co-PI Michael Mann, professor and chair of chemical engineering. Infrastructure elements of the program will be administered by SUNRISE Director Wayne Seames. In addition to the PIs, SUNRISE UND researchers receiving funding from this grant include Irina Smoliakova, professor of chemistry, Darrin Muggli, associate professor of chemical engineering, plus Alena Kubatova and Julia Zhao, assistant professors of chemistry. New faculty positions in for both UND chemistry and chemical engineering will be supported during the grant.
SUNRISE received an additional $100,000 from the DOE EPSCoR program to support two SUNRISE outreach activities in 2009. $50,000 will be used for the NATURE Freshman Experience, a ND EPSCoR program administered by SUNRISE. Tribal college freshman come of UND or NDSU for one to four weeks and work with a faculty mentor in their laboratory. This program is coordinated by Julia Zhao, assistant professor of chemistry. The other $50,000 will be used for a 10-week summer undergraduate research program coordinated by Evguenii Kozliak, professor of chemistry.
For further information on SUNRISE, visit: http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/sunrise/index.html
-- Wayne Seames, Director, ND SUNRISE, email@example.com, 701-777-2958