Tag Archives: National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation representatives educate local faculty, researchers about funding opportunities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Representatives from the National Science Foundation were in Nashville to tell faculty and researchers at local higher education institutions about research funding opportunities.

NSF-6
National Science Foundation representative Dr. Laura Namy talks to faculty and researchers about research funding opportunities. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College hosted the event that was held Feb. 19 on Meharry’s campus. Participating colleges and universities included American Baptist College, Belmont University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, who spearheaded the event and is TSU’s chief research officer, said the main purpose of collaborating with Meharry was to “strengthen the knowledge base about research funding opportunities among the various faculty members at the different institutions,” particularly historically black colleges and universities.

“In order for faculty members to be successful in attracting research dollars to support what they’re working on, they have to know what’s available to them,” said Crumpton-Young. “And one of the things that’s not commonly shared among HBCUs, or among small institutions, are the opportunities that are available.”

The conference focused on research related to social behavior and economic sciences, “the set of sciences that are related to the human experience,” said Dr. Laura Namy, program director in NSF’s Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences in the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE). The three research divisions within SBE have a total annual budget of over $200 Million.

“The human experience is fundamental to every aspect of society,” said Namy. “And being able to conduct rigorous science to understand the processes by which people experience their everyday lives is really important for being able to both explain and optimize the quality of life for individuals.”

Dr. Orville Bignall, an associate professor of physics at TSU, attended the conference and said he plans to apply for a grant that will help him achieve collaboration between the psychosocial sciences and physics.

“This kind of collaboration will help me to get a process in place to help my students to navigate the proper channel that will help them to be more successful,” said Bignall.

Last year, TSU set a record with $51 million in new research awards. The university recently got a $350,000 grant from NSF to enhance its computing, network and security capacity. Crumpton-Young said the university is hoping to break another record this year, “and a big part of that is for faculty members to know what’s available so we can write those proposals and get funding.”

Dr. Maria de Fatima Lima, dean of Meharry’s School of Graduate Studies and Research, said Meharry and TSU currently have a partnership grant in cancer research and she hopes to see future collaborative efforts to inform faculty and researchers about funding.

“What I would like to see is for us to find other areas of common interest and expand this partnership,” Lima said. “We hope to see the faculty collaborating in research programs and enhancing the research of both schools.”

The National Science Foundation, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the funding source for about 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Vanderbilt Receive Nearly $1 Million to Increase Minority STEM Ph.D.’s

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) —Increasing the number of minority students who earn a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering and math is the aim of a new “bridge to doctorate” program being launched by a coalition of Tennessee universities and led by Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe
Dr. Lonnie Sharpe

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $987,000 to TSU to launch the new program as an expansion of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or TLSAMP. TLSAMP is a NSF-funded collaborative effort by 10 Tennessee colleges and universities to significantly increase and improve the retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields statewide.

“We are delighted that Vanderbilt University is the inaugural host for the Tennessee Bridge-to-the–Doctorate program,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence at Tennessee State University and TSLAMP executive director. “One of our goals is to increase the number of students attending graduate school. This award allows more of our students to transition into such programs. I am excited about this great opportunity for our students to continue their quest for doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Tennessee State University leads TLSAMP and includes Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Vanderbilt. Each institution provides services that assist underrepresented minorities with the transition from high school to college, integrate them socially and academically into the university environment, and engage them in research and summer internship opportunities, and now include assisting to earn a Ph.D.

“We are thrilled to be working with TSU and our other Tennessee partners on this project. We all benefit by increasing the number of underrepresented minority students earning their Ph.D.s in these fields,” said Art Overholser, senior associate dean of the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and co-director of the new program. “The perspectives and talents of the students we hope to attract will not only enrich our research and teaching of STEM disciplines, but will serve as an example and inspiration for students to come.”

This is the second award in as many years for the TLSAMP from the National Science Foundation. In October 2013, TSU received a $2.5 million grant to increase the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students majoring in STEM disciplines while meeting the future needs of government, industry and education.

The five-year grant, said Sharpe, pays $493,207 per year and will impact nearly 3,800 underrepresented students throughout Tennessee at both ends of the collegiate pipeline, from community college to graduate school, and now the PH.D. level.

“These grants provides tremendous opportunities for us to increase the number of minority undergraduates and now Ph.Ds in the STEM field,” added Sharpe. “This will ultimately increase the number of students pursuing careers in the STEM workforce that drives the security and economy of our nation.”

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Noted Presenters to Highlight Fall Research Forum at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Speakers from the National Science Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will be the featured presenters at this year’s Fall Research Forum at Tennessee State University. The forum will be on Thursday, Sept. 25, beginning at 10 a.m., in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

Dr. A. Ja
Dr. A. James Hicks

Under the theme, “Research: Celebrating Excellence,” Dr. A. James Hicks, senior program leader at the NSF, will present as the keynote speaker, to be followed by Tanisha J. Hall, director of Long Range Planning at the TDOT.

TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover, will bring greetings on behalf of faculty, staff and students during a luncheon in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center.

According to Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, chief research officer and associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, the one-day forum will also feature faculty exhibitions and research on such topics as Cyber Defense for Attacks on Cloud and Mobile Systems; High Performance Computing Techniques; Safety Effectiveness Evaluation of Median Cable Barriers in Tennessee; and TDOT: Innovative Strategies for Public Involvement.

Tanisha J. Hall
Tanisha J. Hall

Deans and directors of the various colleges and research centers are expected to make brief presentations, Crumpton-Young said.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Hicks, who is program director of the Louise Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, holds a B.S. degree in biology from Tougaloo College, and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He received postdoctoral training, at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri.

Prior to becoming the LSAMP program director, Hicks served as chairperson and professor of Biology from 1977 to 1988, and later Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1988 to 1997 at North Carolina A&T. As a scientist his research focus has been in the area of plant systematics. His work has been reported at various scientific seminars and in peer review journals.

Hicks has received numerous honors and awards for his achievements in science and for his efforts in promoting the advancements of underrepresented groups in science, engineering and mathematics. Most notably, in 1988 he received the White House Initiatives Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology with a letter from President Ronald Regan.

Hall, whose division at the TDOT is charged with identifying transportation needs through research and analysis of travel and safety data, has more than 18 years experience in urban planning.

A member of the Tennessee American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners, Hall holds dual degrees in Business Administration, and Transportation and Logistics. She also holds a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

For more information on the Fall Research Forum contact Nannette Carter Martin at (615) 963-5827, (615) 963-7631 or mailto:nmartin@tnstate.edu

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Professor Creates Simulation Model to Predict Storm Surge in the Event of Hurricanes

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As coastal states watch the Gulf of Mexico with wary eyes for the beginning of hurricane season each year, scientists and researchers are working from different fronts to ease their anxieties.

A Tennessee State University researcher is working on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in timely manner to better prepare coastal dwellers for the storm.

Dr. Muhammad Akbar
Dr. Muhammad Akbar

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands.

Aided by a $209,403 grant by the National Science Foundation, Akbar is developing a simulation model that uses an “implicit solver.” While there are other models out there, this implicit model can use a larger timestep, potentially minimizing the overall prediction time.

“We input meteorological data that we receive every few hours, typically six hours, during a hurricane, and predict the surge a few days before its landfall,” Akbar said. “The model input data include the storm’s location, wind speed, pressure, and size of the hurricane eye, surface vegetation and structures,among others.

“The human element of this research can’t be overstated,” Akbar added. “We want to be able to predict the storm surge in a quicker time frame. The objective of this research is to assist the emergency management and people affected by an approaching hurricane with more time to make critical decisions, and evacuate the coastal region, if needed.”

Dr. Akbar points to the devastating effects of the Bhola cyclone that struck his native Bangladesh in 1970 killing nearly 500,000 people, and the more recent Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf coast in 2005, as a primary motivation behind his research for the past four years.

“When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, it brought sustained winds of 100-140 miles per hour,” he said, “and a predicted storm surge of 28 feet, causing about 2,000 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage.”

Funded by Department of Homeland Security, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and National Science Foundation, Akbar has a profound passion for storm surge research.

“I’m fortunate to get an opportunity to work with top experts in the field and grateful for the research projects,” he added. “These events and others like them have spurred a serious and sustained global effort to improve the ability to predict the coastal surge conditions.”

While it is a complex problem to solve because of the uncertainty of the hurricane track and strength, and other sources of error, Akbar is hopeful that the rapid and reliable storm surge prediction capability is not too far off.

“It is our hope that this research leads to advances in improving warning and evacuation systems, not only here but in the developing world,” Akbar said.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Receives $2.5 Million Grant from National Science Foundation

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe
Dr. Lonnie Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently received a $2.5 million grant to implement and lead the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority participation in support of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The National Science Foundation grant will cover a period of five years, paying $493, 207 per year to significantly increase the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students majoring in STEM disciplines while meeting the future needs of government, industry and education.

“This grant will impact nearly 3,800 underrepresented students throughout Tennessee, and increase the production and quality of minorities pursuing STEM careers,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence and co-principal investigator of the grant. “I am pleased that our excellent STEM faculty and alliance partners are committed to work together to have an impact at both ends of the collegiate pipeline, from community college to graduate school, to engage a diverse pool of students in the STEM enterprise.”

LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive approaches that facilitate the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields. Phase I awards, which TSU first received in 2002, places emphasis on aggregate baccalaureate production. The University then received a Phase II award in 2008 to augment Phase I with emphasis on individual student retention and progression to baccalaureate degrees. The recent grant, which covers Phase III, augments Phase I and Phase II with attention to aggregate student progression to graduate school acceptance.

The program goals are accomplished through the formation of alliances of colleges and universities across the region, in which TSU acts as the lead campus. Other institutions in the alliance include LeMoyne-Owen College, Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University.

“This grant provides tremendous opportunities for us to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM,” added Sharpe. “This will ultimately increase the number of students pursuing graduate studies in the STEM workforce that drives the security and economy of our nation.”

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331


About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

NSF Funding Helps College of Engineering Support Local High School STEM Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering has received several grants from the National Science Foundation related to developing simulation and gaming modules to enhance learning in engineering education. These research projects engaged undergraduate and graduate students in developing simulations in machine design and graphics.

In support of STEM Education in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the College of Engineering is also assisting with the creation of the gaming and simulation laboratory at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, under a partnership with the National Safety and Security Technologies Academy at Stratford.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, who has been affiliated with Stratford High for more than two years, serves as an advisor to the NSST academy, as it transforms the curriculum to STEM disciplines and careers.

“Our college is committed to supporting K-12 education and partnering with MNPS through the Pencil Foundation, and playing a key role in educating future engineering students from our local community,” Hargrove said.

The Foundation, which administers eight educational programs involving volunteers and mentors, links community resources with Metro Nashville Public Schools. It also provides academic enrichment opportunities, and prepares students for graduation.

As part of the COE/NSST partnership, a group of six students and two instructors from Stratford Magnet High School participated in a Virtual Reality Workshop on Oct. 10 at Tennessee State University. The workshop, conducted by Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, introduced the students to software tools used in commercial Virtual Reality systems.

According to Dr. Shetty, participants gained practical experience creating simulations with Vizard, a 3D engine used to create Virtual Reality Applications.

This was a step up from the 2D gaming module the students had previously been exposed to, according to Roger Osborne, one of the Stratford instructors. “The experience of creating a 3D virtual world and learning techniques to animate 3D characters and objects was extremely valuable,” he said.  “The students were able to ‘learn by doing’ through a sequence of exercises geared toward exposing them to development of a 3D virtual reality game.”

Osborne expressed interest in deploying the Vizard software in the Stratford gaming labs, as well as adopting it to the school’s criminal justice program to help students create an investigative scene in a 3D virtual world.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331


About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu