July and August faculty and staff grants announced

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has announced the following grants awarded to university faculty and staff in July and August 2021: 

Ecological legacy effects of megacarcasses in African savanna ecosystems 

$460,000 – National Science Foundation 

Dr. Nathan Lemoine, assistant professor of biological sciences in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.

Abstract: Integrating animals into ecosystem ecology has yielded fundamental insights into the drivers of ecosystem processes, but it is not only live animals that are important for ecosystem function. This research will look at how nutrient pulses from megacarcasses, such as African elephants, impact ecosystem function and terrestrial ecosystem processes. 



NSF Graduate Research Fellowship 

$46,000 – National Science Foundation 

Dr. Patrick McNamara, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering in the Opus College of Engineering. 

Abstract: This award recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM and STEM education. One NSF Graduate Fellow will be supported as they pursue graduate education in environmental engineering.   

Probing Undiscovered Reaction Pathways in the Decomposition of Highly Energized Molecules: Isomerization, Roaming and Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer 

$300,000National Science Foundation 

Dr. Scott Reid, chair and professor of chemistry in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.

Abstract: The decomposition and deactivation of highly excited molecules underlies a wealth of chemical processes ranging from combustion to atmospheric reactions to propulsion and detonation. As a result, the development of a unified understanding of how competing pathways contribute to these reaction events and what roles the local environments experienced by these reactions are of paramount importance in many scientific fields and directly impact society. The projects will provide training for graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of important skill areas.

Use of Wastewater Grit and Milorganite Chaff in Concrete

$62,702 – Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District   

Dr. Baolin Wan, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering in the Opus College of Engineering. 

Abstract: This grant builds upon research that successfully used grit and chaff to repair potholes on roads to find a way to use a greater volume of wastewater grit, which is critical to further reduce and even eliminate landfilling. Using grit and chaff in concrete will significantly decrease the amount of these two wastes for landfill, create new sources of income by selling them to companies who use the techniques to produce concrete products, and solidify MMSD’s leading role in the field of resource recovery.

Neural mechanisms of error correction during manual interception of moving targets 

$420,750 – National Institutes of Health 

Dr. Robert Scheidt (PI), professor; Dr. Scott Beardsley, associate professor; and Dr. Leigh Ann Mrotek, research professor, all of biomedical engineering in the Opus College of Engineering; and Dr. Kristy Nielson, professor of psychology in the Klingler College of Arts and Science.

Abstract: This project will advance a fundamental understanding of how the healthy brain integrates information from vision and somatosensation to correct movement errors that often arise during reaches to moving targets. Researchers will also conduct a set of computational modeling activities that will ultimately enhance transparent operation of intelligent wearable assistive technologies by enabling prediction of human error corrections during dynamic situations involving moving objects.