The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) awarded seed grants to 21 groups of interdisciplinary researchers at Penn State for the 2021–22 cycle, 3 of which include researchers from the Eberly College of Science.
Since 2013, IEE has awarded grants to nearly 200 interdisciplinary projects across 15 Penn State colleges and campuses.
“The return on investment of this program has been outstanding, demonstrating proof-of-concept for novel approaches to discovery and innovation, and resulting in high-profile publications and large external grants,” said Tom Richard, IEE director and professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
IEE’s Seed Grant Program fosters basic and applied research addressing five research themes: Climate and Ecosystem Change; Health and the Environment; Integrated Energy Systems; Urban Systems; and Water and Biogeochemical Cycles.
“This kind of seed grant funding allows researchers to build an interdisciplinary team, work together on critical questions and further their impact,” said Lara Fowler, IEE assistant director and senior lecturer for Penn State Law.
The 2022 projects that include Eberly researchers — along with their principal investigators, co-investigators and affiliated colleges/organizations — that were awarded seed grants are:
- “Facilitating environmental investigations employing a single column model” — José D. Fuentes, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Laifang Li, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Abu Asaduzzaman, Penn State Harrisburg; Melissa Gervais, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Jia Li, Eberly College of Science; Li Li, College of Engineering; Wei Peng, School of International Affairs; Manzhu Yu, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Chris Forest, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Alfonso Mejia, College of Engineering; Xingchao Chen, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
- “Environmental impact on neural circuitry development of psychiatric disorders” — Yingwei Mao, Eberly College of Science; Nanyin Zhang, College of Engineering; Alfredo Bellon, College of Medicine
- “Deciphering the nano-structural mechanisms to enhance the performance of water splitting catalyst by advanced correlative characterizations” — Yang Yang, College of Engineering; Lauren Greenlee, College of Engineering; Ismaila Dabo, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Lauren Zarzar, Eberly College of Science; Mauricio Terrones, Eberly College of Science
The Institutes of Energy and the Environment is one of seven interdisciplinary research institutes at Penn State that connects and supports interdisciplinary teams of researchers to solve some of the world’s most difficult energy and environmental challenges.