Russ College has awarded federal grants to support graduate students in areas of national need

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Ohio University has received Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) scholarships from the U.S. Department of Education.

The three OHIO programs that received the funding include Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; carbon-based materials for sustainable construction and energy applications in mechanical, physical, chemical and biomolecular engineering; and industrial and systems engineering supply chain research.

“This is a great opportunity to impact students pursuing higher education in STEM fields, and I am grateful that the Department of Education has chosen our group to receive this award,” said John Staser , Ph.D., Associate Professor and Principal of Russ College. of the scholarship in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

The GAANN program funds doctoral and graduate scholarships for students who wish to become high-impact faculty or researchers in areas of high need. GAANN will waive tuition fees and provide a stipend to each scholarship student.

“U.S. Department of Education funds will be used to provide interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities for engineering and physics students interested in developing carbon-based materials for construction and energy applications. These materials can provide equivalent or better performance with lower embodied emissions, helping to reduce climate change while increasing supply chain security,” said Jason Trembly, Ph.D., Russ Professor of Engineering. Mechanics and Director of the Carbon Based Materials for Sustainable Development Fellowship. building and energy applications.

“We need to ensure that these funds are used in the most impactful way possible so that the research, the science produced by these PhD students and their advisors has an impact. They can inform and guide policy-making, and also support the country’s economy and well-being,” said Felipe Aros-Vera, Ph.D., assistant professor at Russ College and director of the engineering fellowship. industry and systems.

In addition to the various research projects in which they may participate, GAANN Fellows will also work closely with undergraduate students, including teaching courses to gain teaching experience and mentoring undergraduate student researchers.

“GAANN Fellows will have teaching and mentorship opportunities that are often not available to graduate students,” Staser said. “This type of direct instruction is not very common in engineering programs like ours. GAANN Fellows will also participate in various professional development activities. »

Fellows in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program have the opportunity to participate in different research projects, all of which have electrochemical engineering as their theme. According to Staser, typical student projects include the development of materials and devices for electrochemical energy conversion and storage, as well as corrosion studies and electrochemical applications in the biomedical field.

Scholars in the Industrial and Systems Engineering program can research three different projects in Supply Chain Design, Supply Chain Resilience, and Supply Chain for Social and Economic Prosperity. Aros-Vera notes that the importance of supply chains is now understood by many due to the COVID pandemic.

“Supply chains are the backbone of the economy. You need a solid infrastructure, you need a reliable and resilient transport network; all the important elements for the country, for Ohio, for the Appalachian region, etc. “said Aros-Vera. “It’s very well aligned with what we aspire to do.”

Fellows in the Carbon-Based Materials for Sustainable Construction and Energy Applications program will also have several research areas in which they can work. use carbon-based materials to increase the sustainability of the built environment.

For more information on GAANN scholarship programs at OHIO and how to apply, visit the Russ College webpage.

“The goal is to graduate top researchers who can quickly make an impact in the particular area of ​​the grant,” Staser said. “This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to work on cutting-edge research projects while participating in comprehensive professional development activities.

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