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ORED Announces Equipment and Infrastructure Support (EIS) Award Funding

May 03, 2018

Twelve University of Idaho proposals were selected for funding in 2018 through the Office of Research and Economic Development's (ORED) Equipment and Infrastructure Support (EIS) Award program. The program supports equipment purchases, upgrades and repairs to enhance research, scholarship and creative activity at the university.

A total of $159,817 was awarded across five colleges. Recipients were selected from a competitive field that included 23 submissions requesting a total of $324,887. Awards ranged from $4,300 to $27,300.

The proposals were evaluated by a subset of U of I's Research Council. The evaluation process took into account priority rankings from the college deans and existing equipment and infrastructure. Proposals with the most potential for increasing research, scholarly and creative productivity were ranked highest. A minimum 1:1 cost share was required. Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Janet Nelson, made the final funding decisions.

"I am both excited and pleased to see such a diverse and impressive range of EIS award proposals this year," said Nelson. "ORED is committed to the expansion of our university's equipment and infrastructure to allow for a greater range of research, scholarly and creative activity. Through EIS and other programs, we work together with faculty and staff to achieve this."

Selected proposals include the following.

  • Purchase an Electroencephalography (EEG) System. Rajal Cohen, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). Funding will support the purchase of a motion monitor EEG system to directly assess the high-level brain activity controlling posture and movement in people.
  • Acquire a Gap Analysis Instrument to Measure Forest Canopies. Mark Coleman, professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences, College of Natural Resources (CNR). Funding will support the purchase of a gap analysis instrument to rapidly and accurately measure the area of forest canopies, a fundamental approach in forest production, ecology and restoration research.
  • Obtain Theatre Arts Design Equipment. Ann Hoste, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, CLASS. Funding will support the purchase of state-of-the-art, commercial-grade theatre design tools to use in stage productions and classroom activities.
  • Purchase a Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). Zachery Kayler, assistant professor in the Department of Soil and Water Systems, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). Funding will support the purchase of a GC-MS to link existing analytical equipment for new uses that will enhance interdisciplinary, collaborative research in the soil, food and water sciences.
  • Repair a Thermo-Electron DSQ Mass‐Spectrometer. Kamal Kumar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering. Funding will replace the pump and power supply of a customized mass spectrometer to benefit the interdepartmental study on the production and use of alternative fuels.
  • Replace a GC-MS for Bioproducts Research. Armando McDonald, professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Science, College of Natural Resources (CNR). Funding will support the replacement of an obsolete GC-MS instrument for education and research related to converting biochemicals into plastics, pharmaceuticals, fuels and other renewable products.
  • Purchase an Ultrasonic Cavitation Processor. Amin Mirkouei, assistant professor of Industrial Technology and Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering. Funding will support the purchase of equipment necessary to investigate ultrasonic treatment methods for improving the quality and commercialization potential of bio-oil fuel mixes.
  • Upgrade a Cabinet Sprayer for the Greenhouse Complex. Timothy Prather, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Funding will assist in upgrading an existing cabinet sprayer to use in experiments to improve crop quality and yield, including rainfall simulations, micronutrient interactions and herbicide resistance studies.
  • Modernize High Performance Research Computation Infrastructure. Barrie Robison, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, IBEST director, College of Science. Funding will replace four computer servers to improve the speed of data analysis for the IBEST Computational Resources Core.
  • Acquire an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and Sensors to Advance Idaho Agriculture. Jae Ryu, associate professor in the Department of Soil and Water Systems, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Funding will support the acquisition of a hexacopter drone with a camera, light detection sensor and GPS receiver for research related to understanding, monitoring and mitigating drought impacts for irrigated agriculture in Idaho.
  • Repair a Differential Scanning Calorimeter Cell. Jean'ne Shreeve, university distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Science. Funding will make possible the repair of a differential scanning calorimeter cell for a lab that designs and synthesizes new materials to combat biological and chemical warfare agents.
  • Purchase a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Laser Cutter. Dev Shrestha, professor of Biological Engineering, College of Engineering. Funding will support the purchase of a computer-guided laser cutter that bioengineering researchers will use to develop, build and test research equipment for projects related to energy, medicine and agriculture.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu