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03-08-2007

Seven Clarkson University Professors Receive Seed Grants to Fund Research Projects

Three projects led by seven Clarkson University professors have received funding through this year's Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering seed grant competition.

Through the Coulter endowment to the School of Engineering, a high emphasis is placed on education and research that enables technological advances to serve humanity. The three funded projects are examples of the importance of basic engineering research necessary to make advances in the health care and medical fields. These seed grants will enable the researchers to get started on their projects so they can then write competitive proposals to funding agencies to further their research.

Associate Professor Susan E. Conry and Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology Director Charles J. Robinson are developing a more advanced diagnostic tool for detecting and measuring the severity of neurological tremor. This is commonly associated with the elderly and patients with multiple sclerosis. The current analysis is done with a paper and pencil; a doctor will have the patient outline a square with a pencil. The doctor will then study the deviations from the lines and try to draw conclusions about the patient's progress. Conry and Robinson have an idea to create a computer tool that will interpret the deviations mathematically. Both professors are in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Assistant Professor Weiqiang Ding and Associate Professor Cetin Cetinkaya are working to develop an apparatus to measure forces between micro- or nano-particles. The apparatus will be used to gain fundamental knowledge about how these particles roll and stick to surfaces. Such information is valuable, for example, in understanding how red blood cells clot. Both professors are in the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department.

Higher priority for funding was given to projects that targeted engineering faculty who are tenure-track assistant professors or more senior faculty looking to explore a significantly new research area, were working within one of the University's research focus areas, and demonstrated the probability that the preliminary research would result in significant future research grants. The three focus areas are environment and energy, advanced materials processing, and rehabilitation and biomedical engineering.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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