ECSU Faculty receive over $1 Million in DoD Awards

ECSU

Elizabeth City State University faculty members have received three US Department of Defense (DoD) grants totaling over $1 million.  The principal investigators for these grants include Provost Vann Newkirk, Dr. Gloria Payne, and Dr. Adetayo Adedeji.   

These DoD awards will be used to purchase new equipment and hire faculty in Materials Science and Engineering.  The DoD funding will enhance ECSU’s ability to provide numerous educational opportunities to students, and increase collaborative efforts between ECSU, other academic institutions, and the Department of Defense. 

“We are truly excited about the innovations and educational activities that will result from these DoD awards, not to mention the potential for future research collaborations.  These awards are a testament to the high-caliber research faculty at ECSU,” said Annemarie Delgado, ECSU’s Director of Sponsored Programs, Contracts and Grants.

Dr. Kuldeep Rawat was awarded, and Provost Vann Newkirk will manage, an  award of  $99,904 from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a project titled, “Faculty Start-up Package to Strengthen Materials Research at ECSU.”  This initiative will put ECSU on the road towards establishing a Materials Research Center to promote basic and applied science research as well as collaborative and innovative research training in areas relevant to the DoD. 

ECSU will support a new faculty member to develop a long-term targeted research program in materials science and engineering that will be well-funded by governmental agencies and industry. The University will enhance research capacity that will enable new faculty to conduct innovative materials research, leverage existing partnerships and resources, while establishing new partnerships with major research institutions.

Dr. Gloria Payne, Professor and Chair, Department of Natural Sciences, was awarded $597,283 from the Army Research Office for a project titled “Digitalization of Planetarium Enhances Education and Research (DOPLEER).”  The project’s research focus will consist of an integration of solar system analysis as it relates to changes in the earth’s Polar Regions. 

A Digistar 6 full dome 3D projection system will be purchased that will provide for real-time analysis opportunities to identify solar markers and patterns that could possibly answer questions related to sea level changes.  Students who are majoring in science and math education will be trained on equipment that will enable them to create learning activities for secondary activities for secondary education students. 

ECSU faculty on the project  include Dr. Harry Bass, Department of Natural Sciences, Dr. Sultana Kahn, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Dr. Kuldeep Rawat, Department of Technology, and Dr. Jinchun Yuan, Department of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Adetayo Adedeji, Associate Professor of Physics, Department of Natural Sciences, was awarded $311,430 from the Army Research Office for a project titled “Acquisition of Instruments to Develop and Characterize Patterned Micron-Sizes Thermochromic Vanadium Dioxide to Study the Size and Edge Effect on Semiconductor-Metal Characteristics.”  This instrumentation grant will enable ECSU to acquire equipment to be used primarily to investigate the impact of samples size, shapes and edge terminations on the Semiconductor-Metal Transition (SMT) characteristics of thermochromic Vandium Dioxide (VO2) thin films.  They will be an integral part of materials research and education capability being developed at ECSU to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative research activities that are of interest to the DoD. 

Undergraduate student research assistants will be involved in using the instruments to achieve research goals and students will be prepared for graduate programs or high technology jobs in the field.  In addition, outreach activities will be planned with science teachers and students from local schools.