University News

Engineering school awarded $12 m

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The School of Engineering won two federal grants totaling over $12 million this month. The first, financed by the Department of Energy, is worth $6.17 million over three years and will be shared with the University of Rhode Island. The second, a $6.25 million grant awarded jointly with California State University at Northridge over five years, is funded by the Army Research Office.

The grant from the Department of Energy will be used to study how lithium-ion batteries — the types of batteries in electric cars — can be made longer-lasting and less expensive.  

The Army grant will be used to see if scientists can manipulate metals’ atomic structures.

The two grants reflect the University’s increased commitment to engineering, which includes the recent construction of the School of Engineering, according to James Rice PhD’11, the engineering school’s state agencies liaison.

Though it is too early to tell whether the new School of Engineering will increase the flow of federal funding to the University, the attention garnered by the change will help the school, said Larry Larson, dean of the School of Engineering.

 The transition from an engineering department to the School of Engineering has “raised our visibility nationally and internationally” and fed enthusiasm about engineering at Brown, Larson said. Large grants like these are typical but necessary for the University’s engineering research, he said.

Though the amount is “not as big as it sounds,” the grant is essential because all engineering research is funded by external sources, Larson said.

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