Wilkes University College of Science and Engineering Awarded Nearly $500,000 from National Science Foundation

by Web Services

Wilkes will use the funds to acquire high-performance computer software that supports student-faculty research with the most advanced technology available.

Wilkes University has received a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation. Totaling over $486,000, the award will help Wilkes acquire a high-performance computer cluster, a state-of-the-art tool that supports student-faculty research across a variety of science, engineering and mathematics disciplines. 

Acquiring the high-performance computer cluster will position Wilkes as the only institution in the region with such advanced computational facilities. 

The instrument will allow faculty and students to perform high-caliber research on the most demanding of computational problems, including climate and earthquake prediction, genomic analysis, artificial intelligence and drug design. Additionally, the equipment will allow melding of real-time modeling and simulation with classroom instruction, providing a more impactful student learning experience.

The award will also support Wilkes in its outreach to high school students, promoting science to young people and instilling an interest in research and discovery.

The proposal was crafted by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty members from the College of Science and Engineering with a common goal of integrating computational technology with teaching and research. The team was led by Henry J. Castejon, professor and chair of mechanical engineering, and included Del Lucent, associate professor of physics; Caroline Fortunato, assistant professor of biology; Bobak Karimi, assistant professor of environmental engineering and earth science; Sofya Chepushtanova, assistant professor of math and computer science and Abas Sabouni, associate professor of electrical engineering.

“On the heels of being ranked a national university by U.S. News and World Report, this is just another example of the talent and breadth of Wilkes University’s faculty,” said interim President Paul S. Adams. “We want to recognize our colleagues in the College of Science and Engineering and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. We also want to thank the NSF and our legislators for their enduring support to the Wilkes mission.”

“Interdisciplinary learning prepares our students for fulfilling careers while helping to advance scientific discovery,” said interim Senior Vice President and Provost, Terese Wignot. “This award will continue our educational emphasis on mentoring and hands-on learning.”

The National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering instruments used in research and education. A Major Research Instrumentation award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that can be otherwise be costly to institutions of higher education. It provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. The Major Research Instrumentation Program supports the development of next-generation research instruments that can advance the frontiers in science and engineering research.

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