President's Awards '08-'09

Funded Projects Background

The President's Science and Technology Initiatives Fund Awards and The Creative Economy Fund Awards, 2008-2009

The President's Science and Technology Initiatives Grants | The President's Creative Economy Fund Awards

The President's Science and Technology Initiatives Fund Awards, 2008-2009

PI/Campus: Wayne Burleson, UMass Amherst, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Title: Integrated Payment Systems: Consortium on Security and Privacy
Partner: UMass Dartmouth

Funds will be used to establish a multi-campus research consortium focused on integrated payment systems (IPS), a critical technology for electronic commerce. The consortium will bring together and leverage a number of active and complementary activities, such as research programs in radio-frequency ID technology, embedded security systems, and intelligent transportation systems. Existing industry partners include EMC, Raytheon, ThingMagic, Intel, and IBM. The program's research thrusts include electronic payment systems technologies, security and privacy technologies, and IPS applications in transportation.

PI/Campus: Al Crosby, UMass Amherst, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering Title: Improved and Novel Materials for Total Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery
Partner: UMass Worcester

The project is a collaboration between faculty on two campuses to develop improved and new implant materials for knee and hip replacement surgery. With nearly one million such procedures performed each year in the U.S. currently and an expected six-fold increase over the next two decades, materials that will enhance performance of implants is critical. The research plan focuses on the development of both polymeric and metallic materials and more robust antibiotics, which together are expected to significantly increase the longevity of implants and reduce the need for and cost of revision surgery. The project is representative of the type of focused collaboration which the proposed UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS) is designed to catalyze and facilitate. This activity will be included in the UMCCTS portfolio as the University pursues funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the Center.

Title: UMass Amherst Advanced Energy Research Initiative
PI/Campus: Paul Kostecki, UMass Amherst, Vice Provost for Research

The initiative builds on the efforts of the system-wide UMass Clean Energy Working Group with a strategy to accelerate and expand clean energy-related research initiatives at the flagship UMass Amherst campus and foster inter-campus collaborations. Advanced energy research spans the entire energy continuum, from harvest, use, and conservation to the environmental, social, and economic impacts of these activities. A number of priority areas, including off-shore wind power; low-cost, high-efficiency photovoltaic materials and fuel cells; cellulosic biofuels; "green" gasoline; and zero-energy homes and buildings have been identified for growth. The initiative will support development of the UMass Amherst research enterprise and collaborations with researchers at other UMass campuses.

PI/Campus: Jim Manwell, UMass Amherst, Department Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Director of the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory (RERL)
Title: Offshore Windpower Science and Technology Initiative
Partners: UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell

The project entails a broad-based research program in offshore wind energy that places an emphasis on institutional partnerships and industry collaborations and leverages the existing federal and state investment in the Wind Technology Test Center. The consortium's goal is to pursue over the next two years a targeted set of federally-funded research centers, including the Department of Energy's Energy Frontiers Research Center, National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Collaborative Research Center, and NSF Engineering Research Center. Close engagement and interaction is expected with Commonwealth officials and the Marine Renewable Energy Consortium Researchers (see below) from four campuses are involved and additional regional partners (including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium) are expected to join. A number of industry partners with significant New England presence, have also been identified for participation.

PI/Campus: Daniel MacDonald, UMass Dartmouth, Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences
Title: Marine Renewable Energy Consortium
Partners: UMass Amherst, UMass Boston

The project advances the efforts of a newly-formed university-industry consortium focused on research, development and deployment of marine renewable energy technologies, including wave, tidal and offshore wind. Funds will support both partnership-building activities of the consortium and the initiation of the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program. The RD&D effort focuses on numerical modeling and analysis, experimentation and model testing, materials and component testing, and ocean energy and environmental assessment. Close engagement and interaction is expected with Commonwealth officials and the Offshore Windpower Science and Technology Initiative (See above).

PI/Campus: Zsuzsa Kaldy, UMass Boston, Psychology Department
Title: Screening Tools for Early Detection of Anxiety Disorders

The research project focuses on the creation of standardized behavioral assessment tools that can be used in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders in young children (ages 2-3). Its specific objectives include the identification of early neurocognitive markers of anxiety disorders and subsequent development of a new clinical test, with accompanying support materials, for use by healthcare professionals. The faculty team is well-positioned to claim a leading role in this largely-neglected area of study. The effort is consistent with priorities identified by NIH's National Institute for Mental Health for pediatric mental health, and it is strongly aligned well with the campus's emphasis on developmental science. Research partnerships exist with NIH intramural researchers and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition, the long-standing collaborations of one of the investigators with Yale Medical School will be a resource for the team.

PI/Campus: Jayant Kumar, UMass Lowell, Physics Department
Title: Materials Research and User Facility Using Focused Ion-Beams
Partner: UMass Dartmouth

Project will support the development of a new materials science research and user facility utilizing the campus's high-energy ion accelerator. Funds will be used primarily for acquisition of equipment, creating a facility that is unique in the region. It will expand research programs in priority areas for the campus (e.g., nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, optoelectronics, biomedical devices and biotechnology), promote further collaborations with industry, and provide valuable materials processing and characterization services to companies and federal research centers. The new capabilities of the facility will provide tools that can be applied across a wide range of applications and industries, such as semiconductor, photonics, microarray fabrication. A number of life sciences applications are also anticipated.

PI/Campus: Christian Mueller, UMass Worcester, Department of Pediatrics
Title: An Integrated "Fundamental Science to Clinical Development" Approach to Gene Therapy
Partner: UMass Amherst

The project entails a highly complementary partnership in the area of gene therapy and involves investigators at two campuses. A significant and ongoing hurdle to the development of effective treatments of genetic disorders is the actual delivery into cells of remedial nucleic acids. This collaboration, using a set of novel polymer-based gene delivery vehicles, has potential for advancing the field of gene and RNAi therapy. Using relevant animal models of genetic disorders, these delivery vectors will be tested for effectiveness and future clinical applicability, modified and further developed. This interdisciplinary effort is intended to lay the groundwork for NIH (individual and program project) and Department of Defense proposals and broader collaborations between the campuses.

The President's Creative Economy Initiatives Fund Awards

PI/Campus:  David Glassberg, UMass Amherst, Department of History
Title:  Developing a Master Plan for Heritage Tourism at the W. E. B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite and Other Areas in Great Barrington

The University of Massachusetts's W.E. B. DuBois Legacy Committee, in partnership with the Friends of the DuBois Homesite and the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, plan to transform the site of the W.E. B. DuBois boyhood home in Great Barrington into a regional, national and international tourist destination in order to create an enduring memorial to celebrate the life and legacy of DuBois, a pioneering African-American scholar and activist born in Great Barrington in 1868.

PI/Campus:  Laura Lovett, UMass Amherst, Department of History
Title:  Forty Years of Women's Creative Economies in Western Massachusetts:

This project will collect oral histories, produce an historical narrative and develop an online database that will detail forty years of women's contributions to the creative economy of western Massachusetts and publicly document what has been a long history of remarkable tolerance and talent in the Pioneer Valley.

PI/Campus:  Stephen Schreiber, UMass Amherst, Architecture + Design Program
Title:  Architecture and Design Exploration Program for Inner City Youths in Springfield

The UMass Amherst Architecture+Design Program will start a design exploration program in Springfield that will introduce at-risk high school students to careers in architecture and design.  The program, which will target students who live in the Mason Square community of Springfield, will be a collaborative effort between the UMass Amherst Architecture+Design Program, Dunbar Community Center in Springfield, the Springfield Public Schools, Springfield Technical Community College, and the Western Massachusetts American Institute of Architects.

PI/Campus:  Joan Arches, UMass Boston, College of Public and Community Service
Title:  To Enhance Use of the Arts in Early Childhood Education.

This grant will support a pilot program in the Columbia Point and Dorchester communities of Boston that will develop reliable techniques to enhance use of the arts in preschool programs, leading to better return on investment in preschool education and, ultimately, the improved quality of urban life that results from more effective education.

PIs/Campus:  Pacey Foster, UMass Boston, Management and Marketing, and David Terkla, UMass Boston Economics
Title:  Study of the Film Industry and Its Economic Impact on Massachusetts.

The project will combine formal top-down economic modeling with qualitative bottom-up approaches to better understand this critical sector of the creative economy in Massachusetts.  This improved understanding will allow us to explore in more sophisticated ways the economic costs and impacts of the film tax credit on the economy in Massachusetts.

PI/Campus:  Barbara Lewis, UMass Boston, Trotter Institute
Title:  Change and Transition:  A Reading Series of One-Acts

The William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture at UMass Boston, with The Color of Film in Roxbury, Massachusetts, will produce a series of four staged readings for Black History Month 2009 which will help create, support and foster works that embody diverse images of people of color in the media and on stage. 

PI/Campus:  Joan Becker, UMass Boston, Academic Support Services
Title:  Developing the University of Massachusetts as a Leader in Growing the Green Economy.  
Additional Participating Campuses:  Dartmouth, Lowell

This ambitious project, which will involve UMass Boston (the lead campus), UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell, will showcase UMass' leadership in the green economy.  "UMBe Green", the Boston Campus' sustainability program works with academic, administrative and student constituencies to engage the campus community in sustainable practices in a cosmopolitan city like Boston to help fulfill UMB's obligations towards its sustainability commitments.  The overall project will explore three aspects of the "Green Economy": (1) Clean Energy-a growing new industry; (2) creating smart growth in a long-established sector (cities and ports); and (3) developing the workforce to grow these sectors by engaging a new generation (K-12 and pre-collegiate students).

PI/Campus:  Morgan J. Peters, UMass Dartmouth, Department of English
Title:  The LORE Music Group Project

The LORE Music Group Project will employ an economic development model that combines live regional artistic and cultural programs with a component designed to explore the use of internet-based promotion and sales of sound recordings.  The objective is to expand the opportunities for Greater New Bedford regional soul, jazz and dance music artists to generate income from music sales and enjoy increased national exposure leading to bookings and performances.

PI/Campus:  Rachel DeMotts, UMass Lowell, Department of Regional Economic and Social Development
Title:  Global Trade, Social Justice and Community Development

This project will advance understanding of university and city roles in the global economy and introduce and explore fair trade principles within the university community by establishing a UMass Lowell-sponsored fair trade store in downtown Lowell as a centerpiece for interdisciplinary projects, community outreach, and new course offerings. 

PI/Campus:  Chad Montrie, UMass Lowell, History Department
Title:  Concord River Greenway

Building on the current Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust efforts to construct a Greenway along the Lower Concord River, this grant will support three related initiatives:  (1) development of an historic tour along the east bank of the Lower Concord River; (2) creation of an interactive website focused on this historic area; and (3) production of a documentary film on the history of the area.

PI/Campus:  Susan Gallagher, UMass Lowell, Department of Political Science
Title:  Reading New England:  Using Digital Resources to Explore Landmark
Texts Additional Participating Campuses:  UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, also UMass Press

This project will support creation of Reading New England, a new imprint at UMass Press which will publish an ongoing series of digital critical editions of landmark works by New England's most important authors, and will make these offerings available on the internet.

PI/Campus:  Mignon Duffy, UMass Lowell, Sociology Department
Title:  Taking Care:  the Costs and Contributions of Care Work in Massachusetts
Additional Participating Campuses:  UMass Amherst, UMass Boston

This project will conduct research on the role of the care sector in the Massachusetts economy and will, for the first time, quantify the paid and unpaid labor involved in the work of caring for dependents in Massachusetts, as well as the amount of public funding invested in this growing segment of the State economy.